Kindle Scout Campaign – The Freak Show Below: Part Three


Parts One and Two Recap

My book Take the Body and Run, a “goofy thriller” with a crime-solving cat, was selected almost a year ago.

Ryker_TaketheBodyandRun New KP Provided Cover

Here’s the link to the Kindle Scout winner:

https://www.amazon.com/Macey-Malloy-Mysteries-Chick-Lit-Twist-ebook/dp/B01HC30YG2

I’ve been happy as a Kindle Press (imprint of Amazon) author, but I probably have the lowest expectations. I don’t want to quit my job, I didn’t write a book to finance my retirement someday, and I don’t want fame or wealth. I’ve heard some self-published authors wish for all of those things. My KP book does much better than my self-published books, which ranged in sales ranking from 500K to >1M. Yeah, that’s M = Million, so I’ve been deliriously happy with KP.

I haven’t set the world on fire with my winning book, but I paid back my advance about two months from the September 2016 publication. The program guidelines (check for updates) say that the selected book may be eligible for promotions every ninety days. I had a December 2016 99 cents promo, the KS anniversary sale promo that all winners had the last part of March 2017, and my book was included in the 150 books for $1.50 promo that ended April 30, 2017.

New Campaign: The Freak Show Below

I started a new campaign that went live on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. The book is mystery/romance, but no crime-solving cat like last year’s winner or a supernatural creature like my paranormal romance/mystery series–which kinda bit me in the butt when a reviewer wrote about Take the Body and Run: “The cat doesn’t talk!”

freakshow kirbie centered

Here’s the link:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/141PP1ZMLFOXK

I don’t expect to win another contract. While I’m very happy with the winning book’s performance, it can’t compete with other winners who have said they paid back their advance the first week and are earning tons of money. My plan is to use the publicity as a springboard to a successful launch, as so many of the non-selected authors have done. See what I did there? “Non-selected” authors not “Rejected” authors.

In Part One, I discussed several promotion options. Free things you can do: Read mine and other blog posts (I have links in my new blog post), HeadTalker, send a (as in one) personal message to each of your Facebook friends (you can spread out over the weeks), post about your campaign on Facebook (I limit to once per week and will post a fifth time at the final couple of days to avoid wearing out my welcome), change your author profiles on Amazon and GoodReads to include an appeal and link to your campaign (I did get several views), and you could post in Facebook groups that allow promotion – you might want to use a trackable link to see if you get traffic.

I also discussed what you should do before submitting your book for a Kindle Scout campaign. Hopefully, you completed all of those steps first.

In Part Two, I discussed the results of my HeadTalker campaign. Spoiler alert: I didn’t have good results.

I also asked the question: Should you spend money on promotion? I asked Bill Hiatt, accomplished author who used his Kindle Scout campaign as a springboard to his successful book launch, if I could quote his great advice to another Kboarder. He suggested that while it may not be prudent to spend a lot of money promoting the Kindle Scout campaign, it is money spent toward your launch.

I also asked how we can leverage our campaign (especially if not selected) for a successful launch. Lincoln Cole, popular author and Kindle Scout winner, weighed in on how to do it.

Week Three Highlight: The HeadTalker Help Desk

Steve Vernon is a Kindle Scout winning author. Last year, his fantastic book Kelpie Dreams was chosen for Kindle Press publication.

Kelpie Dreams

His excellent story is about “Lady Macbeth–a high school librarian, ex-assassin, and part-time kelpie, whose mother wanted to name her Hemorrhoid at birth.”

Kelpie Dreams is on sale for 99 cents for the entire month of May OR you can read it for free anytime on Kindle Unlimited.

https://www.amazon.com/Kelpie-Dreams-Steve-Vernon-ebook/dp/B01CYNM152

Here’s what Steve says about himself. You can tell he’s an extraordinary storyteller.

“Everybody always wants a peek at the man behind the curtain. They all want to see just exactly what makes an author tick.

“Which ticks me off just a little bit – but what good is a lifetime if you can’t ride out the peeve and ill-feeling and grin through it all. Hi! I am Steve Vernon and I’d love to scare you. Along the way I’ll entertain you. I guarantee a giggle as well.

“If you want to picture me just think of that old dude at the campfire spinning out ghost stories and weird adventures and the grand epic saga of how Thud the Second stepped out of his cave with nothing more than a rock in his fist and slew the sabertooth.

“If I listed all of the books I’ve written I’d bore you – and I am allergic to boring so I will not bore you any further. Go and read some of my books. I promise I sound a whole lot better in print than in real life. Heck, I’ll even brush my teeth and comb my hair if you think that will help any.”

For more up-to-date info, you can follow Steve’s blog at:
http://stevevernonstoryteller.wordpress.com and follow him at Twitter: @StephenVernon

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Steve keeps a running list of active campaigns on the Kboards thread: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,213112.17925.html

Here’s some great advice from Steve regarding Headtalker. He posted this on Kboards (see above link to the thread):

“Try posting your Headtalker campaign on this thread for a bit of extra HeadTalker support.

https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,235630.msg3496471.html#msg3496471

“You might also want to try posting it over on Facebook. There are a couple of groups that I would recommend.

“I’ve had some really good luck at THUNDERCLAP CAMPAIGNS. The folks there support Headtalker campaigns as well. You just have to ask to join.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/309681422531552/

“I’ve had a bit of action at HEADTALKER & THUNDERCLAP SUPPORTERS, although not as much as at THUNDERCLAP CAMPAIGNS.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/thunderclapsupporters/

“Hope that helps out. In fact, any of you folks looking to run a HeadTalker or a Thunderclap campaign ought to try them out.”


Free Promotions Efforts

Contacting Facebook Friends by Private Message

Over the course of the campaign, I contacted my friends on Facebook via private message. As you read in the first post, I did gear each message toward that person, including both their name and information about the friendship.

On a daily basis, I tracked the number of message that I sent. The cumulative total percentages are as follows:

Week Three Facebook Messages

At the end of the first week, I’d reached out to 29% of my Facebook friends, putting me ahead of my target for the week. By the end of the second week, I’d contacted 45%, landing me behind my target. At the end of the third week, I’d only contacted 54%, leaving me 21% behind my Week Three goal of 75%.

What happened? I didn’t have the time to dedicate to those private messages. I think that’s why, despite the great response to the boosted Facebook post, my overall Facebook percentage in the Sources statistic decreased (see below). Of course, promotion activities kicked in during the third week. I promised the vendor to not discuss that promotion until after the campaign is over, but I can say that it resulted in sharp upward spikes. I’ll be posting about that initiative later.

Posting in Facebook Groups

Make sure that the Facebook group allows promotion by reading the description. Some Facebook groups allow any promotion related to books, which are great for Kindle Scout promotions. If the description says “Kindle Unlimited Only” or “Free or 99 Cents Books Only” or related restrictions, skip them. They may be great for book promotions that fit the parameters, but not your Kindle Scout campaign. You don’t want to get booted for a failure to follow directions.

Posting in Facebook Groups Week Three

I took the total number of Facebook groups to which I belong, and targeted posting in one-fourth of the groups each week. I was closer to on track with the group postings than I was with the Facebook private messages.

If you want to promote more aggressively, you can post in all of your groups once per week. Given my number of groups, it worked out better with my available time to divide the number into fourths.


Paid Promotions Results

As you read in the Week One and Week Two posts, I did try paid promotions. Here are the results. The results that follow are just those as of the end of Week Three. I started some new promotions in addition to those shown below, but won’t be able to evaluate those until later in campaign. I’ll post those results at the end of Week Four, when I have the results.

Author Shout

The Author Shout promotion is good for the entire thirty days of your campaign, provided you started it as soon as you got your link for your campaign.

Author Shout Graphic

I still believe that the best paid promotion as defined by steady impact on views is Author Shout. They also sent me the graphics that they made, which was a nice touch. They continue to promote over the 30-day period for that initial cost. If you get selected, they’ll also give you a bonus promotion.

Use the link to go to their page.

https://authorshout.com/promote-with-us

Facebook Boost

A good promotion for steady results is the Facebook boost. Be sure and set your targeted audience based on your book. For The Freak Show Below, I set my targeted audience as shown below.

Gender: Women
Age: 35 years to 65+ years
Location: Kentucky
Interests: Books, Mystery, Romance

Why did I set my target location as Kentucky? I’ve lived in Kentucky all of my life. My book is set in Kentucky. Here’s my post:

Ky Post on FB

I x’ed out the link preview. I attached my book cover. As an alternative, you could attach the Author Shout graphic (they give it to you for your personal use) or your website banner.

The post had the best results of any boosted post ever, including my first campaign for Kindle Scout and my self-published books.

Will you get the same results? I can’t guarantee it. If you do boost a post, you should check in on your results regularly to ensure you’re still getting bang for your bucks. You can stop the post at any time.

MelRock on Fiverr

I had heard about MelRock on Kboards. She agreed to promote my campaign with a blog post plus 15 days of tweets to 170,000+ twitter followers for $30. I approached it as a good way to get exposure not only for my Kindle Scout campaign, but also as an author.

MelRock

Twitter hasn’t been a strong area in the sources. However, I think that MelRock offers a good deal. She’s also a nice person with whom to work. Here’s the link on Fiverr:

https://www.fiverr.com/melrock

End of Week Three Summary of Statistics

Yes, that’s right, I’m not posting my exact numbers. Why? I’m afraid of jinxing my campaign. Superstitious or cautious? You decide.

* Summary of Top Sources

Kindle Scout gives us the daily list of the top 50 external pages driving traffic to our campaign. These statistics can help you determine which campaign efforts are the most effective.

Here’s a summary of the top sources by percentages. I didn’t include the smallest percentages, so it doesn’t add up to 100%.

Week Three

* Internal to External Traffic

The ratio gives you the cumulative mix of where your campaign page traffic is coming from. Internal is the first percentage, while external is the second percentage.

Beginning of Week One: 55% and 45%
End of Week One: 50% and 50%
End of Week Two: 45% and 55%
End of Week Three: 45% and 55%

That means that at the beginning of my campaign and before I had a chance to implement any promotions or asks for nominations, most of the views came from Kindle Scout. As my efforts kicked in, the most number of views came from outside Kindle Scout by the end of the first week. By the end of the second week, I saw even more progress with my promotion efforts, with even more of my sources outside of Kindle Scout. At the end of the third week, the ratio held steady.

The numbers also tell me that while posting on Facebook and individually asking friends for nominations is still working, Direct Traffic did pass up Facebook, and became an even larger percentage by the end of the third week. You may recall that when I tried to run any boosted posts in Week One, I received messages from Facebook Ads that there was too much text. For Week Two, I did post with the link, the preview x’ed out, and attached the cover of the book. It’s not perfect, but it did run as a boosted post. I still got traffic from Facebook, but not as much as Direct Traffic.


WEEK THREE Review of Action Items

WEEK THREE CHECK IN –
Did you do everything for the third week?

 Contributed to discussions on KBoards; you should be on the rolling list.

 Ran your subsequent HeadTalker campaign, if you chose.

 Post on Facebook, once on personal page and once on author page for the third week.

 Contacted the third set of one-fourth of your Facebook (and/or other social media) friends, sending a personalized appeal via message.

 Send one tweet via Twitter for this third week.

 Posted in Facebook groups that allow promotion (just once in each group this week).

 Set up paid promotion(s) if desired (Readper and Author Shout were already highly recommended; think about giving MelRock a try).

 Check your statistics to gauge results of your promotional efforts.

Your Turn

If you’ve been using my previous blog posts and this one to help you in your campaign, yay! I want people to benefit from my experiences.

Now, may I ask a favor in return? Will you please check out my campaign? There’s an excerpt posted for you to read and make your decision. If it’s chosen, then you get it for free. If it’s not to your taste, think about nominating other books to help those authors. Once you click the link below, you can log into Amazon at the top right. Below my blurb and categories, you’ll see a blue button Nominate Me. Just click the button. After clicking to nominate, you’ll see a feedback screen. If you want to fill it out, thank you! If you don’t have time, just scroll down the feedback screen and click Skip to nominate without giving feedback. Here’s the link:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/141PP1ZMLFOXK

freakshow kirbie centered

I’d also love it if you could like my author page.

Request for Author Page Likes

Here’s the link:

https://www.facebook.com/jada.ryker.author

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Second Kindle Scout Campaign – The Freak Show Below: Part Two


Part One Recap

My book Take the Body and Run, a “goofy thriller” with a crime-solving cat, was selected almost a year ago.

Ryker_TaketheBodyandRun New KP Provided Cover

Here’s the link to the Kindle Scout winner:

https://www.amazon.com/Macey-Malloy-Mysteries-Chick-Lit-Twist-ebook/dp/B01HC30YG2

I’ve been happy as a Kindle Press (imprint of Amazon) author, but I probably have the lowest expectations. I don’t want to quit my job, I didn’t write a book to finance my retirement someday, and I don’t want fame or wealth. I’ve heard some self-published authors wish for all of those things. My KP book does much better than my self-published books, which ranged in sales ranking from 500K to >1M. Yeah, that’s M = Million, so I’ve been deliriously happy with KP.

I haven’t set the world on fire with my winning book, but I paid back my advance about two months from the September 2016 publication. The program guidelines (check for updates) say that the selected book may be eligible for promotions every ninety days. I had a December 2016 99 cents promo, the KS anniversary sale promo that all winners had the last part of March 2017, and my book was included in the 150 books for $1.50 promo that ended April 30, 2017.

New Campaign: The Freak Show Below

I started a new campaign that went live on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. The book is mystery/romance, but no crime-solving cat like last year’s winner or a supernatural creature like my paranormal romance/mystery series–which kinda bit me in the butt when a reviewer wrote about Take the Body and Run: “The cat doesn’t talk!”

freakshow kirbie centered

Here’s the link:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/141PP1ZMLFOXK

I don’t expect to win another contract. While I’m very happy with the winning book’s performance, it can’t compete with other winners who have said they paid back their advance the first week and are earning tons of money. My plan is to use the publicity as a springboard to a successful launch, as so many of the non-selected authors have done. See what I did there? “Non-selected” authors not “Rejected” authors.

In Part One, I discussed several promotion options. Free things you can do: Read mine and other blog posts (I have links in my new blog post), HeadTalker, send a (as in one) personal message to each of your Facebook friends (you can spread out over the weeks), post about your campaign on Facebook (I limit to once per week and will post a fifth time at the final couple of days to avoid wearing out my welcome), change your author profiles on Amazon and GoodReads to include an appeal and link to your campaign (I did get several views), and you could post in Facebook groups that allow promotion – you might want to use a trackable link to see if you get traffic.

I also discussed what you should do before submitting your book for a Kindle Scout campaign. Hopefully, you completed all of those steps first.

WEEK TWO Highlight: Should You Spend Money on Your Campaign?

I looked to one of my Kboard heroes for his opinion. Bill Hiatt is the author of Different Lee. He built a strong launch from his Kindle Scout campaign last year.

Here’s the link to his excellent book. I read it, loved it, and wrote a five-star review. https://www.amazon.com/Different-Lee-Dragons-Book-ebook/dp/B01MRFR9I1

Different Lee

Here’s how Bill answered the question “Should I spend money on my campaign?” as posed by another KBoarder. I’m quoting him with his kind permission.

“I don’t think anyone would advocate spending huge amounts. However, it is worth noting that expenditures on your Scout campaign are also expenditures toward your launch. If you are selected, every single nominator gets a free copy that counts like a sale in the paid rankings and gets your book off to a strong start. If you aren’t selected, the Scout exposure can still help your self-pubbed launch, at least if you launch right away. I had lots more activity than usual even before I started other launch promos, and the also-boughts followed a different pattern. Usually, people buying my new release were people who had bought my previous books. My Scout-rejected book, however, showed none of my other books in also-bought for at least two months. Instead, other KP and Scout-accepted titles showed up, suggesting a lot of my sales were coming from my Scout exposure. Many of these were people I might not have reached in any other way.”

Bill answered a follow-up question about promotions.

“At some point, you might want to experiment with copromote. In that system you don’t have to ask anyone to support anything. What happens is that you earn points by supporting the posts of others, and spend points when other people support yours–in other words, a symbiotic relationship that is more direct than HeadTalker or ThunderClap. The system can be totally free, or you can buy extra points if you want to make a big push and haven’t earned enough yet. (You earn points in proportion to the number of fans or followers you have. If you have 10,000 Twitter followers, you earn 10,000 for every Tweet you support. Each social media account you use on copromote earns separately, but all the points go into one big pile, so that even if you earned points in five different ways, you could spend them all in a blaze of glory to promote one post or tweet.)

“I tested copromote on two similar tweets, one of which I copromoted, and one of which I didn’t. The copromoted one got 3,000 impressions, the non-copromoted one 300. Your actual mileage may vary.

“The process probably takes longer than HT or TC because it takes a while to pick good things to copromote, by which I mean things that would be of interest to your fans. There are a certain number of copromoters who promote weird things, like a five-line blog post, or something of only local interest. There are also some that are sloppy. For instance, sometimes the links don’t work at all; other times they go to the wrong place. I also vet them by genre. That doesn’t mean I only copromote in my own genre, but it does mean that as a writer of YA fiction, I’m probably not going to be promoting erotica, and sometimes what I can see on copromote doesn’t make it clear what the genre is. Regardless of genre, I check the books out to see if they look like good reads.”

WEEK TWO Highlight: How Can You Leverage Not Getting Selected into a Successful Launch?

Lincoln Cole wrote the definitive guide for running successful Kindle Scout campaigns. I read, enjoyed, and wrote a well-deserved five-star review for his Kindle Scout Guide: How to Run a Hot & Trending Campaign and Improve Your Odds of Getting Picked.

Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Scout-Guide-Trending-Campaign-ebook/dp/B01LZH81LC

Scout Guide

I’m also one of Lincoln’s fiction fangirls. His Kindle Scout winner Raven’s Peak is an excellent supernatural thriller. Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/Ravens-Peak-World-Fire-Book-ebook/dp/B01FVEZ6G2

Ravens Peak

Here’s how Lincoln answered the question “How can I leverage not getting selected into a successful launch of my book?” as posed by another KBoarder. He gave his permission for me to quote him.

“After you are selected, your book goes to the Kindle scout launch process.

“However, if you get rejected, you still get a button on your page to contact Kindle Scout and let them know your book is published. Then they will send a note out to everyone who nominated your book to let them know your book is for sale and where they can buy it.

“So, let’s say you got 2k nominations…If you launch your book 2 weeks after your rejection notice, then you have Amazon send those 2k people an email to purchase your book. “Leveraging” it means you could time it around other launch features to increase your ranking and sales. For example, if of those 2k people, 30 will buy your book, then you could time it so that promotion happens on the same day as another promotion you are running (or your own newsletter) where another 40 might buy the book. Then, you get 70 sales that day which spikes your ranking and can trigger the Amazon algorithm to recommend your book to more people while it is a “HOT NEW ITEM”.

“Amazon rewards longevity (if your book sells consistently over a long period of time) but they also reward spikes, especially while a book is still new. The nominations you got from Amazon’s Kindle Scout could help with launching your actual book. However, keep in mind that a lot of people who nominated probably nominated hundreds of books to get some free, so the likelihood of them dropping cash on your book isn’t huge. Also, Amazon doesn’t give you those numbers (just like with the Amazon author follow) so they know how many people got an email, but you will have no idea since you don’t see actual nomination statistics.

“So, yes, it is a tool for launching your book, but it doesn’t necessarily mean money spent on your Kindle Scout campaign will translate to value at your launch since a huge chunk of the people who get the launch email probably won’t buy the book. Still, it IS value.”


Free Promotions Efforts

Contacting Facebook Friends by Private Message

As you read in the first post, I did word each message based on the person, including their name and information about the friendship.

On a daily basis, I tracked the number of message that I sent. The cumulative total percentages are as follows:

Week Two Facebook Messages

At the end of the first week, I’d reached out to 29% of my Facebook friends, putting me ahead of my target for the week. By the end of the second week, I’d contacted 45%, landing me a bit behind my target.

Posting in Facebook Groups

Make sure that the Facebook group allows promotion (posts that request nominations) by reading the description. Some Facebook groups allow any promotion related to books, which are great for Kindle Scout promotions. If the description says “Kindle Unlimited Only” or “Free or 99 Cents Books Only” or related restrictions, skip them. If the group description says, “No Promo”, then that means “No Promo”. It doesn’t mean that no one can post a promotion except for you. You don’t want to get booted for a failure to follow directions.

Week Two Facebook Group Posts

I took the total number of Facebook groups to which I belong, and targeted posting in one-fourth of the groups each week. I was closer to on track with the group postings than I was with the Facebook private messages.

Facebook Post for Groups

If you want to promote more aggressively, you can post in all of your groups once per week. Given my number of groups, it worked out better with my available time to divide the number into fourths.

HeadTalker Results

HeadTalker is free. I didn’t do a HeadTalker campaign during my first time in Kindle Scout. I heard about it during the campaign, and I posted information about it. I decided to try it during the second campaign.

I couldn’t believe the results! It went live on May 9. My page views for May 9 decreased, and I fell off Hot & Trending. My flabber was gasted.

It could be that the results take time to kick in. Or I accidentally embedded a curse in my link. Who knows? Regardless, it’s free. I think it’s worth your time to at least try it. I most likely won’t run another HeadTalker promotion.


Paid Promotions Results

As you read in the Week One posts, I did try paid promotions. Here are the results. The results that follow are just those as of the end of Week Two. I started a couple of new promotions in addition to those shown below, but won’t be able to evaluate those until later in campaign. I’ll post those results at the end of Week Three and the end of Week Four, when I have the results.

Readper

The mention of the Kindle Scout campaign in the newsletter had the best impact on single-day views. Here’s the website link: http://readper.com/authors

Check the dates available, read the short information on Kindle Scout campaigns, and click to book your campaign.

Scout Boost

The second best paid promotion as defined by single-day views was Scout Boost. Scout Boost costs $94 for each promotion. You can’t run it any oftener than once every 7 days. You might get lucky and get a 25% off coupon.

Here’s the link:

http://www.scoutboost.com/booking-form

Author Shout

The best paid promotion as defined by steady impact on views is Author Shout. They also sent me the graphics that they made, which was a nice touch. They continue to promote over the 30-day period for that initial cost. If you get selected, they’ll also give you a bonus promotion.

Use the link to go to their page.

https://authorshout.com/promote-with-us

Facebook Boost

A good promotion for steady results is the Facebook boost. You should check in on your results regularly to ensure you’re still getting bang for your bucks.

End of Week Two Summary of Statistics

I’m not posting my exact numbers. Why? I’m afraid of jinxing my campaign. Superstitious or cautious? You decide.

* Summary of Top Sources

Kindle Scout gives us the daily list of the top 50 external pages driving traffic to our campaign. These statistics can help you determine which campaign efforts are the most effective.

Here’s a summary of the top sources by percentages. I didn’t include the smallest percentages, so it doesn’t add up to 100%.

Week Two

* Internal to External Traffic

The ratio gives you the cumulative mix of where your campaign page traffic is coming from. Internal is the first percentage, while external is the second percentage.

Beginning of Week One: 55% and 45%
End of Week One: 50% and 50%
End of Week Two: 45% and 55%

That means that at the beginning of my campaign and before I had a chance to implement any promotions or asks for nominations, most of the views came from Kindle Scout. As my efforts kicked in, the most number of views came from outside Kindle Scout by the end of the first week. By the end of the second week, I saw even more progress with my promotion efforts, with even more of my sources outside of Kindle Scout.

The numbers also tell me that while posting on Facebook and individually asking friends for nominations is still working, Direct Traffic did pass up Facebook. You may recall that when I tried to run any boosted posts in Week One, I received messages from Facebook Ads that there was too much text. For Week Two, I did post with the link, the preview x’ed out, and attached the cover of the book. It’s not perfect, but it did run as a boosted post. I still got traffic from Facebook, but not as much as Direct Traffic.


WEEK TWO Review of Action Items

WEEK TWO CHECK IN –
Did you do everything for the second week?

 Contributed to discussions on KBoards; asked Steve Vernon to add you to the rolling list of campaigns.

 Ran your HeadTalker campaign.

 Post on Facebook, once on personal page and once on author page for the second week.

 Contacted the second set of one-fourth of your Facebook (and/or other social media) friends, sending a personalized appeal via message.

 Send one tweet via Twitter for this second week; if you’ve got Author Shout running, you might elect to skip the step, since they’re tweeting it every day.

 Posted in the next set of one-fourth of your Facebook groups that allow promotion.

 Set up paid promotion(s) if desired (Readper and Author Shout highly recommended).

Your Turn

If you’ve been using my previous blog posts and this one to help you in your campaign, yay! I want people to benefit from my experiences.

Now, may I ask a favor in return? Will you please check out my campaign? There’s an excerpt posted for you to read and make your decision. If it’s chosen, then you get it for free. If it’s not to your taste, think about nominating other books to help those authors. Once you click the link below, you can log into Amazon at the top right. Below my blurb and categories, you’ll see a blue button Nominate Me. Just click the button. After clicking to nominate, you’ll see a feedback screen. If you want to fill it out, thank you! If you don’t have time, just scroll down the feedback screen and click Skip to nominate without giving feedback. Here’s the link:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/141PP1ZMLFOXK

freakshow kirbie centered

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Second Kindle Scout Campaign – The Freak Show Below: Part One


My Update as a Kindle Press Author

My book Take the Body and Run, a “goofy thriller” with a crime-solving cat, was selected almost a year ago.

twitter_profile_400x400

https://www.amazon.com/Macey-Malloy-Mysteries-Chick-Lit-Twist-ebook/dp/B01HC30YG2

I’ve been happy as a Kindle Press (imprint of Amazon) author, but I probably have the lowest expectations. I don’t want to quit my job, I didn’t write a book to finance my retirement someday, and I don’t want fame or wealth. I’ve heard some self-published authors wish for all of those things. My KP book does much better than my self-published books, which ranged in sales ranking from 500K to >1M. Yeah, that’s M = Million, so I’ve been deliriously happy with KP.

I haven’t set the world on fire with my winning book, but I paid back my advance about two months from the September 2016 publication. The program guidelines (check for updates) say that the selected book may be eligible for promotions every ninety days. I had a December 2016 99 cents promo, the KS anniversary sale promo that all winners had the last part of March 2017, and my book was included in the 150 books for $1.50 promo that ended April 30, 2017.

New Campaign: The Freak Show Below

I started a new campaign that went live on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. The book is mystery/romance, but no crime-solving cat like last year’s winner or a supernatural creature like my paranormal romance/mystery series–which kinda bit me in the butt when a reviewer wrote about Take the Body and Run: “The cat doesn’t talk!”

freakshow kirbie centered

Here’s the link:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/141PP1ZMLFOXK

I had to write to the Kindle Scout support staff because KP changed my cover just before the anniversary sale, and the old cover shows up in the backlist (“Other Books by Jada Ryker”) section in the campaign preview. Anyway, I felt cheeky and asked the tech to nominate my campaign :). The answer I got back was that “for some reason, Kindle Scout pulls from the paperback” – what the heck??? They suggested I ask for the rights to the cover for the paperback. After unclenching my jaw, I wrote back that I’d asked KP for the rights after getting the new cover, but I’m still waiting to hear.

I don’t expect to win another contract. While I’m very happy with the winning book’s performance, it can’t compete with other winners who have said they paid back their advance the first week and are earning tons of money. My plan is to use the publicity as a springboard to a successful launch, as so many of the non-selected authors have done. See what I did there? “Non-selected” authors not “Rejected” authors.

What should you do before submitting your book for a Kindle Scout campaign?

* My Blog Posts

Check out my blogposts related to my first Kindle Scout campaign for my goofy thriller, Take the Body and Run. I’m not that prolific in blogging, so they’re very easy to find on the sidebar.

* Join the KBoards Group

Be sure and check out the best KBoards group dedicated to Kindle Scout. Participate with the wonderful group of supportive authors. You can post the link to your campaign to get it on the current scout list of members’ campaigns. Steve Vernon (Kindle Scout winning author of Kelpie Dreams) keep the list current. Here’s the link:

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,213112.5525.html

* Read Blogs and Other Sources

Jaxon Reed (The Emphatic Detective) posted on his blog about his KS experience (he’s a two-time winner as of today). He’s the talented author of The Empathetic Detective.

Empathic Detective

This link takes you to his compilation of other KS experiences:

http://jaxonreed.com/books/experiences-with-kindle-scout-perspectives-from-several-authors/

Several from the KBoards group are mentioned with links to their experiences and information. Here are some of them:

Lincoln Cole (Raven’s Peak): KS stats (H&T and views self-reported by authors selected and not selected), previously published KP books with their months of selection, etc. Be sure and check out his stats! He also wrote a great guide to Kindle Scout, available on Amazon.

Steve Vernon (Kelpie Dreams): Thirty Days of Scout to help you keep your sanity.

Lexi Revellian (Time Rats 1 and 2; she’s a two-time winner): Link to her article about earning her advance.

Jim Nelson (Bridge Daughter): Multi-part series.

Jasmine Silvera (Death’s Dancer): How she chose the KS option.

Cindy Marsch (Rosette: A Novel of Pioneer Michigan): Her post on selfpublishingadvice.org about running a campaign.

My experiences (Take the Body and Run) going into a campaign with neither social media presence nor followers but how I won a contract.

* Tom Swyers’ The Top Secret Diary of a Kindle Scout Prepper

Tom’s thread is an excellent compilation of what he did during winning campaign for The Killdeer Connection.

https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,245964.175.html

Strive for the Perfect Submission

I can’t stress enough the importance of a compelling book cover and a professionally edited manuscript.

Editor: Professional editing and proofreading services were provided by Chameleon. She may be reached regarding her professional services at chameleonauthor557@gmail.com. She’s not only great at her vocation, but she’s also a wonderful person and successful author in her own right.

Cover Artist: Christina Keats designs the covers of all of my books. She is imaginative, gets the work done before the target date, and she’s an all-around nice person. You can reach her at: christinamkeats@gmail.com.

You also need to ensure that your one-liner, blurb, About Me, and any questions you choose to answer are perfect. I’ve seen mistakes in those sections, and it breaks my heart for those authors. It’s hard for me to love a campaign with typos or mistakes in those sections. I think most readers would be leery of nominating a 50,000+ word book when those very short sections have errors or typos. Run those sections by your editor, your betas, your friends, and/or other authors. Don’t submit your campaign with mistakes. You may not be able to get them fixed once the campaign starts.

Once your campaign is approved and before it starts, use the link (it will only work for you until the campaign goes live) to check your campaign for errors. Pay close attention to the excerpt. The formatting should be the same in the document you submitted. If the format is not right, then work with the Kindle Scout team to fix it.

Join Facebook Groups that Allow Promotion

Before your campaign starts, join Facebook groups that allow promotion. Be sure and read their rules before posting your live campaign.

WEEK ONE of Your Kindle Scout Campaign

Author Profiles

Change your Amazon Author Profile through Author Central and your GoodReads Author Profile to include a note and your Kindle Scout campaign link.

Here’s the message I used on my Author Profiles:

Special Message from Jada: Hi, friends, may I please request your help? It’s free and easy! The Freak Show Below is active now on Amazon’s Kindle Scout program. I was lucky last year and won a Kindle Press contract with kind support from people like you. I’m taking a second run with my new book. Please consider nominating the never-before-published mystery/romance. It’s the first in the new series—no crime-solving cat this time ;)

If it’s not to your taste, think about nominating other books to help those authors.

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/141PP1ZMLFOXK

*****

After the separator, then I had my regular biography listed.

I did get some views from the Amazon Author Profile. If you’re reading this blog post while my campaign is active (starting May 3 and active for 30 days), then you’ll see the message on my Author page. Here’s the link to my Amazon Author page:

https://www.amazon.com/Jada-Ryker/e/B00D8LR5XS

Don’t forget to change your Amazon and GoodReads Author Profiles back to normal once the campaign ends.

Create Banners

Create banners for your Facebook page, website, and twitter.

I worked with my talented cover artist to get my banners created. Here’s an example:

Freak-Twitter-1500x421.1 Like this one


Free Promotions Efforts

Contacting Facebook Friends by Private Message

See my previous posts during my first campaign about the Rule of Fourths (patent pending ;)). Take the number of Facebook friends and divide by 4. That gives you the number of messages you need to send each week of your campaign.

Send personal messages to each of your friends and ask them to nominate you. A personal message means addressing them by name, reminding them of your connection if needed, and asking them to nominate. Don’t use a mass message function to send a generic message. When I get those, I ignore them.

During my first campaign, I posted the format I used. If you decide to use it, please don’t embarrass us both by blindly copying and pasting.

On a daily basis, I tracked the number of message that I sent. The cumulative total percentages are as follows:

Facebook Messages Week One

At the end of the first week, I’d reached out to 29% of my Facebook friends, putting me ahead of my target for the week.

Posting in Facebook Groups

Hopefully before your campaign started, you had a chance to join Facebook groups that allow promotion. Be sure and read their rules before posting your live campaign. Most don’t allow posting more than once a day. My suggestion is to post only once a week, but it’s your call.

Don’t post an appeal for Kindle Scout nominations until AFTER you make sure that the Facebook group allows promotion. How do you know? You find out by reading the description. Some Facebook groups allow any promotion related to books, which are great for Kindle Scout promotions. If the description says “Kindle Unlimited Only” or “Free or 99 Cents Books Only” or related restrictions, skip them. If the group description says, “No Promo”, then that means “No Promo”. It doesn’t mean that no one can post a promotion except for you. You don’t want to get booted for a failure to follow directions.

Week One Facebook Group Posts

I took the total number of Facebook groups to which I belong, and targeted posting in one-fourth of the groups each week. I was closer to on track with the group postings than I was with the Facebook private messages.

Facebook Post for Groups

If you want to promote more aggressively, you can post in all of your groups once per week. Given my number of groups, it worked out better with my available time to divide the number into fourths.

Some groups allow posting once per day, but I think it wears people out if you post in groups each day.

HeadTalker

HeadTalker is free. I didn’t do a HeadTalker campaign during my first time in Kindle Scout. I heard about it during the campaign, and I posted information about it. I decided to try it during the second campaign.

Here’s the link. It ends on May 9, but I think you’ll still be able to view it to see what I did.

https://headtalker.com/campaigns/the-freak-show-below

Be sure and set a realistic number for the supporters. I saw a HeadTalker by another author. He set the supporters at 500. That meant he’d have to have at least 500 people support his HeadTalker. After discussion on KBoards, he reset the number to 25.

Here’s the link to a Kboards forum that supports HeadTalker campaigns:

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,235630.350.html

You can also post your HeadTalker on the Kindle Scout thread:

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,213112.17325.html

I didn’t realize there were Facebook groups for HeadTalker support. J. E. Hunter (Under Jupiper, currently running on Kindle Scout as of now) posted it on Kboards. You could check out those groups, although I have not.

Twitter

Many Kindle Scout campaigners have announced: “Twitter is dead,” or “Twitter doesn’t work for books.” I’m not an expert. However, I think it doesn’t hurt to use it for your campaign and it might help. I recommend tweeting once per week.

Be sure and research the best hashtags. Here’s the message I used for Twitter and for my HeadTalker:

“Do you love #FREE #Suspense #Romance? Nominate #KindleScout – click link and then click blue NOMINATE ME! https://hdtk.co/rlD9C”

Post on Facebook

Post your campaign on both your author page and your personal page.

I recommend posting once per week. You can post at the beginning of each of the four weeks, and one last post right before your campaign ends. Just my opinion: If you post too often, you wear out your welcome and people get sick of seeing the same appeal over and over.

Paid Promotion

There are a ton of sites that will gladly take your money. Be smart by checking out other people’s experiences through their blogs and Kboards before spending any of your hard-earned money.

Readper (managed by two-time Kindle Scout winner Jaxon Reed)

A very inexpensive and effective option for paid promotion for your Kindle Scout campaign is Readper. Fellow Kboarder and Kindle Scout veteran (two-time winner) Jaxon Reed started the Readper program.

Once a week in his newsletter for only $5 he supports a Kindle Scout campaign. Best of all, if you sign up for his newsletter you have a chance to win an Amazon gift certificate this month (May 2017).

Here’s the link to a Kboard thread about it:

https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,245348.0.html

After my Kindle Scout winner, Take the Body and Run, was published in September 2016, I worked with Readper. I asked Jaxon if Readper could help with my new KS campaign that started this month. And he agreed to do it!

Readper performed beyond my wildest dreams! The day after the promotion ran, I checked my campaign stats. I had the highest number of views for that day since I started the campaign.

It’s been the single most effective promotion AND the cheapest!

It’s definitely worth it to give it a whirl, and Jaxon (like Steve Vernon, Lincoln Cole, and others on Kboards) is a heck of a nice person.

It’s also a nice show of support if you sign up for the newsletter: http://readper.com/authors

Author Shout

The service is inexpensive and other authors have had great results. I did set up a promotion with that one. They also sent me the graphics that they made, which was a nice touch. They continue to promote over the 30-day period for that initial cost. If you get selected, they’ll also give you a bonus promotion.

I also sent them an email, and let them know I’d posted about them on my blog, encouraging other campaigners to use their services. I also asked them to support my HeadTalker campaign. They agreed. Yay!

Use the link to go to their page.

https://authorshout.com/promote-with-us

Scroll down to the Kindle Scout option. Here’s what it looks like:

Author Shout Graphic

Scout Boost

During my first campaign, James Fraser was kind enough to allow me to run a promotion for the campaign as an experiment on GenrePulse. In return, I provided him with my daily statistics so he could see the sharp upward spikes when he ran the promotion.

He developed a service geared toward Kindle Scout Campaigns. Scout Boost $94 for each promotion, and you can’t run it any oftener than once every 7 days. You might get lucky and get a 25% off coupon.

Here’s the link:

http://www.scoutboost.com/booking-form

Boost Posts on Author Page

You can boost your author page post. On the first week, I tried to boost the post to “people who like my page and their friends” as a targeted post, set to run for seven days. I also tried to boost a post to my targeted demographics (Kentucky and surrounding states; females 35 – 65+; books – mysteries and romances). Be sure and set your demographics by your own specific audience.

My boosted posts didn’t run. I got messages from Facebook Ads that there was too much text. I think it’s a problem with their system, because the last ad I submitted had just a couple lines of text but still is not running as of now. I did ask for a manual review, got approval, but it’s still not running. I did contact the Facebook support page and left a message, with the approval email pasted in the message.

End of Week One Summary of Statistics

I’m not posting my exact numbers. Why? I’m afraid of jinxing my campaign. Superstitious or cautious? You decide. Instead, I’m posting percentages.

* Summary of Top Sources

Kindle Scout gives us the daily list of the top 50 external pages driving traffic to our campaign. These statistics can help you determine which campaign efforts are the most effective.

Here’s a summary of the top sources by percentages. I didn’t include the smallest percentages, so it doesn’t add up to 100%.

Week One

* Internal to External Traffic

The ratio gives you the cumulative mix of where your campaign page traffic is coming from. Internal is the first percentage, while external is the second percentage.

Beginning of Week One: 55% and 45%
End of Week One: 50% and 50%

That means that at the beginning of my campaign and before I had a chance to implement any promotions or asks for nominations, most of the views came from Kindle Scout. As my efforts kicked in, the most number of views came from outside Kindle Scout by the end of the week.

The numbers also tell me that posting on Facebook and individually asking friends for nominations is working. Facebook was greater than Direct Traffic. As mentioned above, I didn’t run any boosted posts, because I got messages from Facebook Ads that there was too much text. I think it’s a change with their system, because I didn’t have a bit of trouble boosting posts during my campaign last year in 2016. I did ask for a manual review, got approval, but it still didn’t run.


WEEK ONE Review of Action Items

WEEK ONE CHECK IN –
Did you do everything for the first week?

 Join KBoards and read past posts; post and/or message Steve Vernon and ask him to add you to the rolling list of campaigns.

 Read other campaigners’ (past and present) blog posts to learn from those authors’ experiences.

 Commission or do your Facebook, website, and Twitter banners; switch out the banners.

 Change your Author Profile through Author Central (Amazon) and GoodReads, including a personal appeal and your link; keep existing bio after a separator (***** or other).

 Set up HeadTalker with future date, such as one week and with the minimum number of supporters.

 Post on Facebook, once on personal page and once on author page for this first week.

 Contact one-fourth of your Facebook (and/or other social media) friends and send a personal appeal via message.

 Post in one-fourth of your Facebook groups that allow promotional posts.

 Send one tweet via Twitter for this first week.

 Set up paid promotion(s) if desired (Readper and Author shout – see above).

Your Turn

If you’ve been using my previous blog posts and this one to help you in your campaign, yay! I want people to benefit from my experiences.

Now, may I ask a favor in return? Will you please check out my campaign? There’s an excerpt posted for you to read and make your decision. If it’s chosen, then you get it for free. If it’s not to your taste, think about nominating other books to help those authors. Once you click the link below, you can log into Amazon at the top right. Below my blurb and categories, you’ll see a blue button Nominate Me. Just click the button. After clicking to nominate, you’ll see a feedback screen. If you want to fill it out, thank you! If you don’t have time, just scroll down the feedback screen and click Skip to nominate without giving feedback.

THANK YOU for considering my campaign. Here’s the link:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/141PP1ZMLFOXK

freakshow kirbie centered

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Kindle Scout Winner Take the Body and Run


Kindle Scout Winner Take the Body and Run

Ryker_TaketheBodyandRun New KP Provided Cover

“TAKE THE BODY AND RUN is a fast-paced ride with a sparkling character and written in a new, original voice. This is a don’t-miss debut.”

-Carolyn Haines, USA Today bestselling author of Pluto’s Snitch and Sarah Booth Delaney

~*~ Kindle Scout Winner ~*~

Macey’s first day in the college employee relations department ends with a knife at her throat.

Macey is certain things can’t get any worse. She’s wrong. An angry employee vows to put her on an online hit list. When he turns up dead, she’s a suspect–and on the hit list.

To keep her secrets and her life, Macey partners with two unexpected allies who cause her pulse to race with steamy attraction–and exasperating annoyance. Vince, a handsome, driven lawman, digs up more than just clues to the brutal murder. Brett, a fun-loving pathologist with a deadly sense of humor, drives everyone crazy with his fart machine-will travel. Macey’s supersized black cat Wikket, possessing courage, curiosity, and crankiness in equal portions, assists in his own grumpy, feline fashion, golden eyes open and claws extended.

https://www.amazon.com/Macey-Malloy-Mysteries-Chick-Lit-Twist-ebook/dp/B01HC30YG2

Macey Malloy Mysteries with a Chick-Lit Twist

Prequel: “Two Tickets to Paradise” (FREE in Winter Solstice, an anthology by Kindle Press authors)

Book One: Take the Body and Run

Book Two: Take a Walk on the Dead Side

Short Story (takes place after Book Two): “What the Cat Dragged In” (FREE in Vernal Equinox, an anthology by Kindle Press authors)

Novelette (takes place after “What the Cat Dragged In”): Cat Scratch Fever

I would love it if you could kindly leave reviews once you’ve read them :)

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How I Scored a Kindle Press Publishing Contract on My First Submission to Kindle Scout. Part Four: After the Campaign Ended, and I Won the Contract

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.

I live in Bardstown, Kentucky. It’s the bourbon capitol of the world (according to the signs). It’s also on the Bourbon Trail. From time to time, I catch a whiff from one of the distilleries. Ironically, I don’t drink.

When my Kindle Scout campaign ended, I entered the limbo phase. No, not dancing lower and lower under a pole. Limbo as in purgatory. As a teetotalling bourbon capitol resident, I couldn’t even drink away the pain and suffering. I stayed perfectly sober while wailing and gnashing my teeth.

I’m exaggerating. A little.

I got the news on the twelfth day after the campaign ended. Take the Body and Run was selected for publication! Yay!

Here’s the announcement I received on June 14, 2016, around noon:

Kindle Scout Announcement

Timeline

Now for the timeline.

Sunday, May 1

Submitted the manuscript, cover, description, etc., through the online process.

Monday, May 2

My manuscript was chosen for a campaign.

Wednesday, May 4

My campaign was launched. I hoped that “The Force” was with me. See How I Scored a Kindle Press Publishing Contract, Part Two, for my marketing efforts.

Thursday, June 2

My campaign ended at midnight. Obsessive checking of emails and Kindle Scout page began.

Tuesday, June 14

Announcement the book had been selected. The Kindle Scout email included details like I had 30 days to submit the final manuscript, cover, and blurb.

Check out Take the Body and Run and other selected titles:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/selected

Wednesday, June 15

My thank you note went out those who nominated the book.
As you can infer from the wording, I really didn’t think I’d get the contract.

“Hello! Thank you so much for supporting Take the Body and Run by nominating it. It’s readers like you who inspire me to keep writing. If you’d like to see what happens next with Macey’s story, please check in on my website: http://jadaryker.com/ Thanks again! Jada”

Friday, June 17

Call with Kindle Scout representative. Megan was very nice, and explained what I should expect from the process.

Sunday, June 19

I had 30 days to submit the final manuscript. I made a deal with myself: no obsessive picking through the manuscript or rewriting it for 30 days – just send it!

Submitted Take the Body and Run manuscript, after I read through it one last time.

I also verified the cover was ready to go.

Finally, I expanded the blurb a bit from the original campaign description.

Monday, June 20

Kindle Scout review team approved the updated manuscript, same cover, and revised book details.

The email also included information about the advance: “If this is the first time you’ve had a book selected by Kindle Press, you should receive an email from Amazon Payee Central within the next 7 business days that asks you to provide your banking and tax information through our secure online portal. Providing this information will take a little time on your end, but as soon as we have you all set up, we’ll begin processing your advance payment. The $1,500 advance is issued within 30 days of our receiving your complete payment information.”

Monday, June 20 (later that day)

Hello Jada,

We’re pleased to let you know that editorial work on your Kindle Press manuscript Take the Body and Run has begun. An editor will review your manuscript using the Microsoft Word Track Changes feature and provide recommendations.

When the editor has completed work on your manuscript, we’ll send you another e-mail letting you know your manuscript is ready for review, along with a link so you can download your manuscript, review all the editorial suggestions, and decide which changes you’d like to make before submitting your edited document to the Kindle Scout/Kindle Press team.

Your manuscript should be ready for you to review by July 8, 2016.

If you have any questions regarding the editorial process or suggestions made for your manuscript, please contact us.

Thanks for being a part of Kindle Press!

Regards,

Your editorial team

Monday, June 20 (right after above)

Received the email from Amazon Payee Central for banking/tax information.

June 21

Completed the Kindle Scout survey. Great job, team!

Friday, July 8

As you saw from the email, July 8 was the target date for me to receive the edited document by this date. I actually received it two days early.

You have as much time as you need to review the edits. Kindle Press has found that authors typically need one week, but more time is completely fine. They want you to take the time you need to get your book ready to put its best foot forward.


Here’s an excerpt from my letter from the editor:

Overview

The manuscript is in very good shape at this point. The writing is lively and sharp, the story is developed for the genre, and the text itself is very clean from a copyediting standpoint. I can tell that a good editor has seen this manuscript; the text is polished in a way that you rarely see at this stage . . .

You (and Macey) have a great voice, and you have some fantastic observations and turns of phrase. . . I laughed out loud. The story moves briskly, and the characters are distinctive and entertaining.

Structure/Plot Flow

The story is suspenseful and flows well..

Characterization

Your descriptions of characters are terrific, and all of them are distinctive. You have some great weirdos and nut jobs in here!

Tone and Style

You perfectly capture the tone of a goofy thriller through your writing, which is brisk, witty, and entertaining.

I hope my edits and comments are valuable in helping the manuscript achieve your publishing goals. Good luck in your revision, and I wish you all the best for this manuscript and future books.

—Kelly, Kindle Scout Editor


My Editing Process

My editing experience may help those of you in the process. Up until I received my above letter, I’d wanted to get my book out there as soon as possible. I thought it was great as is. Plus, I had an irrational fear that the nominators will forget about the book.

The editor made some plot suggestions, including one I was saving for the next book. I may have been more receptive because she said great things about my book. Comments above like “lively, sharp, entertaining, polished, and a great voice” made me think she must be very smart ;)

I ended up adding about 5,100 words of new text. I was paranoid about adding any typos or mistakes. I asked if I could get another review by Kelly. The answer was no, just one was the limit. I said I’d pay for the second edit, if it wasn’t hideously expensive (like not more than the $1,500 advance). The representative gave me the contact information for Kelly’s boss.

Get this. The manager said they’d consider the new text as part of the original edit. It didn’t cost me a penny, and the turnaround time was pretty fast. And Kelly loved the added text.

Sunday, August 21

My vacation to Fairbanks, my busy full-time (plus) job and 3-hour daily commute, commitment to weekend hiking with my husband, sending through Createspace hard copies with the new text for my betas (lovely retired ladies who don’t own computers), turnaround time for the second edit, etc., meant that 5.5 weeks elapsed between getting the original edits and uploading my final document on Sunday, August 21.

Is the delay worth it? I think I have a better quality book to offer readers…so yeah.


Release on Amazon

The team completes the conversion of the manuscript.
This process takes one to two weeks.

Usually, it’s ten days on the following Monday that the preorder page goes up. Then, fifteen days on the following Tuesday it goes live.

The Scouts get access to download their free books at this point in time.

Hopefully, they will post early reviews.

Amazon will add the book to their New Releases and add to carousels like New Mysteries.

Also, Amazon will send targeted emails to thousands of customer they think are mostly likely to enjoy the book.


Ninety Days from Launch

Amazon will send out emails to their readers most likely to purchase the book.

In general, the book is eligible for the first price promotion after ninety days, and then every subsequent ninety days.

The book may be eligible for Kindle Daily deals, Kindle Fire deals, month-long price promotions, etc.


To be continued . . .

I’ll post more information once my book launches. As of today, the book has not yet been posted on Amazon.

Now, a word from our sponsor (me).

My Self-Published Books: Shaken, Not Stirred

A Pink Zombie, with a Mist, and Gimlet are available on Amazon in electronic and paperback formats.

Shaken, Not Stirred

A Pink Zombie with a Mist June 2015

A Pink Zombie, with a Mist

Anthropologist Olivia West is determined to find her missing best friend. As children, she and Emma Martin wandered into Heaven’s Bottom, an isolated Kentucky community cut off by the Ohio River and mountainous terrain. The two women share strange memories of the traumatic experience. Emma is convinced they witnessed a blood sacrifice and moon magic, surrounded by zombies. As a scientist, Olivia believes there’s a logical explanation.

Detective Steven Lewis pursues his own investigation of the mysterious town. A social worker, his wife fought her way into The Bottom to investigate suspected child abuse. She didn’t make it out alive. Haunted by grief and regret, Steven is obsessed with finding her killer. He’s convinced the murderer is hiding in the wild forest, camouflaged by the swirling mist.

Olivia and Steven enter into an uneasy partnership to find Emma and solve his wife’s brutal murder. They contact Sheriff Noah McCracken, who holds the local law enforcement role that’s been passed down through his family for centuries. Like his ancestors, the sheriff ignores the chilling events in Heaven’s Bottom.

Can Olivia and Steven convince Noah to “release the McCracken” in time to save their lives?

SPECIAL BONUS: As a reader appreciation gift, “The Hand of Karma” mystery/horror short story is included FREE at the end of the book.

https://www.amazon.com/Pink-Zombie-Mist-Stirred-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00SHZJL82

Gimlet-6x9-for-border FINAL

Gimlet Short Story Collection

Jada Ryker’s collected short stories run the gamut from mystery to horror to science fiction. The stories include “Gimlet,” “As the Crow Flies,” “Cross to Bear,” “An Alien Act of Honor,” “Winner Takes All,” “Dead Eye,” “The Hand of Karma,” and “Driving Miss Daisy’s Cattle.”

In “Gimlet,” Juneau and Coldwell pose as patients in a mental hospital to solve a paranormal mystery. Fellow patient Iris, notorious for both her séances and her police record, claims she’s in touch with the spirits who have the answers to the puzzle. Will her supernatural connections help Juneau and Coldwell solve the mystery, or lead to a one-way trip to the morgue?

In “As the Crow Flies,” Fresna is a middle-aged nursing assistant toiling in a nursing home. She likes Mr. Corvis, an eccentric resident. When odd things happen to Fresna, Mr. Corvis is in the vicinity.

Tina returns to her rural Kentucky home to attend her hard-living and hard-drinking brother’s funeral in “A Cross to Bear.” She reconnects with Chris, her childhood friend’s handsome brother. Tina has to contend with her troubled relationship with her father, her feelings for Chris . . . and a malevolent watcher.

Mae Rue is on the verge of being arrested for her husband’s brutal murder. An extraterrestrial family invades her grief, seeking to right an old wrong. Mae Rue learns there are many facets to honor, including “An Alien Act of Honor.”

After her emotionally distant father Billy Ray emerges from a coma with an extraordinary story, Marisa explores her challenging relationship with him. Alex, Marisa’s friend from childhood and possibly more today, provides his unconventional support. In “Winner Takes All,” Marisa and her father learn how a second chance impacts them both.

In “Dead Eye,” Alex takes Marisa to an unusual Halloween party in an isolated Kentucky community . . . with a murderer ready with deadly tricks, rather than treats.

In “The Hand of Karma,” Jessamine, mourning her mother’s sudden death, becomes trapped in a funeral home’s cellar with a monster from her past.

In “Driving Miss Daisy’s Cattle,” Lieutenant Camden finds out that viral videos of a dead bull rider, with a rodeo clown bent over him, don’t tell the whole story. With a brand-new officer dogging his footsteps, Cam has to solve the mystery.

https://www.amazon.com/Gimlet-Shaken-Stirred-Short-Stories-ebook/dp/B00XAIESDO

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How I Scored a Kindle Press Publishing Contract on My First Submission to Kindle Scout. Part Three: What I Didn’t Do… But May Work for You

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To help you with your Kindle Scout campaign, here’s what I didn’t do. Why am I sharing it? Because it might help you.

I work full-time in my day job, about fifty hours per week. I have a daily commute of over three hours. I just didn’t have the bandwidth to try new or unfamiliar avenues. Because you are more savvy and learning about the process upfront, you can learn from what I didn’t do.

What I Didn’t Do…But You Might Want to Try

Headtalker

I only knew what I learned in the Kboards group after my campaign started. My head would have exploded if I’d added one more thing to it.

Below is the best and most simple explantion I’ve seen of Headtalker. It’s by Steve Vernon, Kindle Scout Winner and author of Kelpie Dreams. Here’s the link to the book: https://www.amazon.com/Kelpie-Dreams-Steve-Vernon-ebook/dp/B01CYNM152

Kelpie Dreams

I’ve read the book. It’s excellent! Here’s my five-star review: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2VQ9CA590HGFF/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B01CYNM152

Kelpie Dreams Review Resized 150 no aspect ratio

Back to Steve Vernon and his expertise. He says:

“Let me see if I can explain quickly.

“You need twenty-five supporters – and then the Headtalker is set to go live.

“If it gets the necessary twenty-five supporters – in two days time your announcement regarding your Kindle Scout Campaign will automatically be Tweeted, Facebook Announced, or announced on Tumblr or Linked In – depending on how the supporter voted to support you.

“So I just hit the support button and promoted your Headtalker for my Twitter, my Tumblr, and my Linked In. That gave you THREE more supporters – bringing you up from a total of 18 supporters, up to your new total of 21 supporters. Which means that in 2 days time (assuming you hit the necessary 25 supporters) your announcement regarding your Kindle Scout campaign is going to show up on my Twitter feed and on my Linked In and Tumblr listings – ONCE!

“It’s kind of like buying ONE commercial on the city television network. That ONE commercial goes live ONE time and maybe 3% of the city’s population are watching television at that time and see your commercial and maybe ONE PERCENT of that three percent are going to click on over and have a look at your Kindle Scout campaign. That will show up on your campaign as VIEWS. And then maybe ONE PERCENT of that one percent are going to be impressed enough to actually nominate your book – which will HOPEFULLY tip your book into the Hot & Trending.

“Headtalker (and/or Thunderclap) doesn’t do a whole lot for your campaign but it is a relatively easy and free way to get your Kindle Scout campaign a little bit more exposure.

“SO – right now you need FOUR more supporters – OR you need two supporters who support your campaign through two different venues (ie: on Facebook and on Twitter). Either way makes up the necessary four supporters that you need to get.

“If you need to you can support yourself just by going to that Headtalker page and punching the Facebook button. That will give you one extra supporter (namely yourself).

“If you’re a KBoards member, you can post your Headtalker campaign over in the Headtalker/Thunderclap kboards thread.

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,235630.100.html

“Hope my clunky explanation helps make things clearer for you.”

–Steven Vernon, Kindle Scout Winner and Author of Kelpie Dreams

Twitter

I just haven’t been active on it. I tried the Book Bear tweets ad, but it was a failure.

Some friends kindly tweeted and retweeted out of the goodness of their hearts.

Instagram

I tried to do an ad through FB, but couldn’t get the pixies, I mean pixels, right.

LinkedIn

I don’t have an account for my author persona and see above, imminent head explosion, so I skipped it.

If you have time, you can set up your profile and use it to promote the Kindle Scout campaign.

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How I Scored a Kindle Press Publishing Contract on My First Submission to Kindle Scout. Part Two: My Campaign is Live. Time to Shift from Panic Mode!

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Oh, poop! The campaign is live! Now what? First, shift from panic mode to “I’ve got this” mode.

That’s SHIFT. With an F. Given my lack of preparation and research, let’s emphasize that F, shall we?

Hindsight is Twenty/Twenty: Pre-Campaign Work

If you are smarter than I was, you’re reading this before your campaign starts. If not, no problem, you’re in great company. Just keep reading… you’ll get there.

Third Party Promotions

If you have a promotion budget and want to spend some money to get the word out, then you can see what worked for me and what didn’t work. For some vendors, you need to schedule ahead of time, to ensure they have room for your promotion.

What Worked

GenrePulse

The single most effective promotion was through GenrePulse. I’d used the service before for already-published book promotions. I contacted the owner. I asked him if he’d be willing to try an experimental promotion for my Kindle Scout campaign. He was willing to do the behind-the-scenes work to try it. As an added bonus, he sent me the tool that tracked the clicks from the ad. Don’t do it any more frequently than once a week. You don’t want to wear out your welcome with those readers. After your campaign starts, I advise scheduling weekly promotion for each one of the four weeks.

Disclaimer: I don’t get any referral fees or discounts for sending you to the site. I’m just passing along my experience, in hopes of helping people like me.

Check out my final campaign statistics. The large spikes are directly correlated to my GenrePulse campaigns. As you can see, higher-than-normal spikes continued the next couple of days after each campaign, but at a lower rate. The lower rate is to be expected; it’s a reflection of the Law of Diminishing Returns.

Facebook Boosts

I also boosted my post about the campaign throughout the four weeks. On your FB page, click the Ads Manager. Follow the prompts. Set your target demographics based on the audience you think will buy the book.

Revisit your ad several times a week, if not daily. Click on Demographics. The bar graph will show you where your ad is most effective. I set my initial audience as United States women cat lovers who like cozy mysteries. As I checked my demographics, I was surprised to see the high level of engagement was among women 18 – 44 years of age. I experimented with refining my audience, finally changing the age range to 18 – 34 to get the best possible results.

What Didn’t Work

In the initial throes of desperation, I tried Bookgoodies Authors Ad Network. While the Facebook group for Bookgoodies authors includes wonderful people and the administrator of the site is a lovely person, this option yielded zero results. I didn’t see any impact on my Views statistics. It’s pricey, too… a sad waste of money.

I’d tried Book Bear for already-published works. I tried the tweets option for the Kindle Scout. I did see the tweets. I didn’t see any movement in the statistics. It wasn’t very expensive, but still a waste of money. A KBoards member also tried it; the promotion didn’t even run. Caveat emptor: Always check that a paid promotion has run, and contact the vendor if it didn’t.

Last, I ran a KBoards banner ad. I didn’t get much traction from it.

Research

I frantically did my research on the fly, desperate to find out what other people did in their successful campaigns. These are the best sources that I found.

KBoards

I found out about KBoards during the research phase. From my personal messages to my FB friends, I found out about a terrific forum within KBoards. The topic is Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED). Here’s the link: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,213112.6925.html

The group on KBoards is wonderful. It’s a mix of people who have garnered Kindle Press contracts and those who have not. The members nominate each other, give helpful advice, moral support, etc.). Steve Vernon (past winner) keeps a list of members’ campaigns, which he updates every day. Read past posts (helpful for getting answers to questions already asked), create your profile (don’t forget to put your Kindle Scout campaign link as your signature), and dive right in. You will be in a way better place than I was when I started the process.

Steve Vernon’s Blog: 30 Days of Kindle Scout

Steve’s blog posts help me keep my sanity. He posted each day of his 30-day campaign. You will need to click through the days.

Steve suggested posting in groups outside of writing, but I don’t belong to any that aren’t book related (how pathetic is that).

Here’s the link to his site, starting with the first day of his successful campaign. https://stevevernonstoryteller.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/kelpie-dreams/

Lincoln Cole’s Guide to Kindle Scout

Lincoln is another Kindle Scout winner. He put together a comprehensive guide to Kindle Scout. I studied his guide more carefully and intently than I did the GRE preparation course. His was more fun.

Here’s what he covers:

HOW KINDLE SCOUT WORKS
RUNNING YOUR CAMPAIGN
HOW HOT & TRENDING WORKS
SELECTION DATA BY MONTH/YEAR AND AVERAGE
AVERAGE HOURS HOT & TRENDING AND PAGE VIEWS
BLOGS AND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT KINDLE SCOUT
AFTER GETTING PICKED
VIDEOS ABOUT THE PROCESS

Be sure and click on “average hours hot & trending and page views.” Look at his statistics from those who got and didn’t get picked (be sure to have your cursor in the table and scroll down). It’s self-reported data, and it’s not comprehensive.

Amazon keeps its algorithms a deep, dark secret. We’re lucky Lincoln has put in the hard work compiling numbers that people provide to him. It’s mind boggling. We can’t say X views + Y hours H&T = Contract. Some statistics are low…but the authors got a contract. Some statistics are amazingly high, but the authors didn’t get it. I know from personal experience that it’s not previous paid Amazon sales. As I shared in Part One, mine are abysmal.

http://www.lincolncole.net/kindlescout

Your Campaign Statistics

Be sure and use the Kindle Scout dashboard to view and analyze your campaign statistics.

Try not to stress out. Just do your best.

Here are my stats. I didn’t think I was superstitious, but I didn’t share my stats until after my book had been selected for publication.

Views: 5,709
H&T: 699 hours
Sources Internal 25% External 75%

The chart with my final statistics is included at the bottom of the post.

Build Your Plan

The fact that my formatting on the site was initially hosed added to the stress. I had hard page breaks in the first few pages, since I always write my books in the Createspace template. Those breaks did not translate properly to the profile.

I was desperate. I sent enough emails to the Kindle Scout Team to qualify for a restraining order. They were very nice and responsive. Once I took out the hard returns and emailed the team the revised Word version, they fixed it.

Despite feeling like I was being consumed by fire ants while tied to railroad tracks with a locomotive barreling toward me, I decided to put together a plan.

Working in Excel, I created a worksheet. I had rows dedicated to each of the thirty days. Columns included Date, Day of the Week, Number of Hours in Hot and Trending, Total Possible Hours in Hot and Trending, Percentage (Number of Hours H&T/Total Possible Hours H&T), Activity. On a different worksheet in the same document, I tracked the Sources and the Internal/External Sources. I also calculated the average number of views of each day, and added up the major sources (like Facebook, Direct Traffic, etc.). There’s more information about these factors under Campaign Statistics.

WEEK ONE

You’ve developed your plan. You have at least a week-by-week plan. I did mine day-by-day, so you can get as detailed as you wish.

Here are my suggestions for the first week.

Update Your Social Media

Get the word out there. Sometimes we think: If a tree falls in cyberspace, does anyone hear it? If the crash leads to views and nominations, then heck yes! Implementing the list below is totally FREE.

Facebook background: Upload a banner ad for the campaign. Here’s mine. Christina Keats designed it.

Jada_FacebookBanner_851x315_June2

Amazon author page: Through Author Central, inform readers about your active campaign in the first paragraph of your bio. Replace your author picture with your campaign book cover.

GoodReads author page: Same as above, use the page as another way to reach readers. Click on the upper corner “Profile” to make changes.

Website: Write a blog post about your campaign. Paste your excerpt in the post. Add your book cover through the media button.

Manage Your Facebook Friends List

Some time ago, a book reviewer asked a fairly well-known author a question about her books on the author’s FB page. The author blasted the reviewer, scorched earth and burnt-off eyebrows style. People wrote about the author’s temper tantrum on their blogs.

I didn’t stir the pot. I didn’t share any of the comments. But I vowed I’d never buy any of her books. And I haven’t.

Hopefully, unlike the above example, you have a great track record with social media. You’ve been on FB for some time, you don’t badger people to “buy my book” or only post to order them to “vote for me” on a daily basis. You don’t call people idiots if they don’t agree with you. You’re not an arrogant twit, talking down to people from your high perch.

You support your friends.

All in all, you’re all-around good social media community member.

Let’s look at your FB friends list.

Take your total number of FB friends, and divide that number by four. This is the number of people you will individually contact with a personal message each week. You’ll contact one-fourth of your list each week to keep momentum going throughout your campaign. You don’t want a blast on the few first days, and nothing the rest of the time. Week One is dedicated to the first fourth of your list, Week Two to the second fourth, Week Three to the third fourth, and Week Four to the last fourth.

I advise individually contacting each person with a message geared toward them. Don’t blast them with a generic message. Yes, I get it. It’s time consuming. But they’re your friends. They’re more likely to click through and nominate you than total strangers. Take the time to message each one.

The oddest personal message I sent was to an author friend who sadly passed away. She was a fantastic friend, great author, and animal lover. Here’s what I wrote: “I wish you were here to read this. I hope it gets to you in heaven. I have a chance for a Kindle Press publishing contract. Maybe you could whisper in a divine ear and put in a good word for me.”

When I went back to the message to quote it for the post, I saw that it had been “seen”!

I know what you’re thinking. Someone, like her dear daughter, is still reading the messages.

Let’s agree to disagree.

Back to personal messages. Don’t dump a generic message through the FB message system. Rather, do a thoughtful personal message to each of your friends. Taking the extra time lets them know you care about them as a person, not a potential nominator.

Here’s my general template, in case it’s helpful to you. Don’t blindly copy and paste my template. Don’t embarrass both of us by leaving INSERT NAME and REMIND THEM… in the text.

*****

Hi, (Insert Name)! (Remind them of your shared frame(s) of reference, history, whatever.) May I ask for a quick favor—just a couple of free and easy clicks, I promise. Please consider nominating my new book for Kindle Scout. There’s an excerpt posted for you to read and make your decision. If it’s chosen, then you get it for free. If it’s not to your taste, then think about nominating other books to help those authors. Here’s the link: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1DGO7BYR20RG8

*****

You may think: Hey! I’m not going to promote other authors!

Let’s rethink that mindset.

Each Kindle Scouter can nominate up to three books at a time. With your book as one nomination, they still have space for two more. They can’t fill up their nominations with your book.

Success is not a zero sum game. In other words, if someone else wins a contract, that doesn’t mean you’ll lose. You’ll meet other authors in the group on KBoards (see the Research section). The group supports each other. Steve Vernon puts up a list each day of the KBoards group members’ active campaigns.

My book is a fun mystery, with a chick-lit twist, with a cat. My targeted demographic (be sure and read the section on Demographics) is female cat owners aged 18 – 35. There are a lot of people outside that demographic. Why not steer them toward books they’ll prefer?

Manage Your Emails/Subscriber Lists

Similar to managing your FB friends list, you will thoughtfully plan how best to contact people on your email contacts list and your subscriber list. You’ll apply the Rule of Fourths to these lists as well, to spread out the contacts and keep up your momentum.

I contacted each person on my email contacts list with a personal note, similar to the one I used for the FB friends list. I drew the line at long-ago exes. I had to draw the line somewhere, and that was a good place.

Post on Your Facebook Page

I recommend posting just once per week on your FB page. You don’t want to wear out your friends, do you? No.

Craft the first post so that you can boost it. See the section on how to boost your FB post.

Posting in Facebook Groups

I did apply the Rule of Fourths to my FB groups. I’m not sure how effective posting in groups is… it’s probably more therapeutic than impactful in getting nominations. When you feel as though you have to DO SOMETHING to promote your campaign, then posting in groups may be an outlet for that energy.

I used a different approach for the message I posted in groups than my message to friends.

*****

Want to have a say in books published under Amazon contracts? You can make a difference with your Kindle Scout nominations—and it’s easy and free.

A hunted woman hiding under a dead friend’s identity, a handsome lawman, a death doctor with fart machine-will travel, and a cranky cat with a nose for crime… Take the Body and Run is live on Amazon Kindle Scout. The program is for books that haven’t been published, but I have a description and excerpt to help you decide. With a couple of easy clicks, you can help me out by nominating the fun mystery with a chick-lit twist.

If it’s not to your taste, then please think about nominating other books to help those authors. It’s fun, free, and easy. You get a free copy of the book if Amazon picks it. Here’s the link: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1DGO7BYR20RG8

*****

I also posted in my high school, undergraduate, and graduate alumni FB groups. Not sure how effective that was… I don’t THINK it hurt, and it may have helped.

Paper Flyers

I also drafted a paper flyer. I started it with “I’m Jada, your Bardstown neighbor.” I had a printer insert the code for smart phone scanning, and run off paper, color copies. A lady who was unemployed and looking for work distributed the flyers twice around Bardstown, her town, and her church. I did see some small spikes after she distributed them.

The weirdest thing I did with the flyers? I taped them to walls, doors, and stalls in ladies’ restrooms across Bardstown. Boy, did I get some funny looks… and did I see some bizarre things. Interestingly, the staff left them up in the public library restroom.

WEEKS TWO THROUGH FOUR

You outlined your plan in Week One. As you get through the three subsequent weeks, follow the plan.

Week Two

Manage the second fourth of your lists. Ensure your GenrePulse campaigns run as scheduled and check the clicks tracker. If you decide on paper flyers, distribute the second fourth of your printed stack. Monitor your FB boost statistics, including demographics, and tweak as needed to improve your reach. Update your worksheet with your campaign statistics.

Week Three

Manage the third fourth of your lists. Ensure your GenrePulse campaigns run as scheduled and check the clicks tracker. If you decide on paper flyers, distribute the third fourth of your printed stack. Monitor your FB boost statistics, including demographics, and tweak as needed to improve your reach. Update your worksheet with your campaign statistics.

Week Four

Manage the last fourth of your lists. Ensure your GenrePulse campaigns run as scheduled and check the clicks tracker. If you decide on paper flyers, distribute the last fourth of your printed stack. Monitor your FB boost statistics, including demographics, and tweak as needed to improve your reach. Update your worksheet with your campaign statistics.

Interested in my previously self-published books?

Time for some shameless self promotion. Maybe “shameless” is not the right word. I learned the true meaning of “shameless” during my Kindle Scout campaign. See above taping flyers in ladies’ restrooms.

Ahem.

Dog Days of Karma and Equi Knocks of Karma are available on Amazon in electronic and paperback formats. Soul Stice of Karma is planned for release in 2017. These mysteries incorporate romance and paranormal elements.

The Karma Consulting Series

Dog Days of Karma Cover

Dog Days of Karma

Desperate to locate a missing person, Constance Twist decides to call a detective agency. Waiting for directory assistance and muttering to herself about karma, Constance jots down the address for the Carr—Maah Consulting Agency. On the way to the agency, Constance is shoved into traffic and nearly killed.

Celeste Carr is shocked when Constance storms into the office, demanding help. Celeste tries to explain that Carr—Maah is a human resources consulting company, not a detective agency. Celeste grits her teeth when her mysterious business partner Ericka Maah overrules Celeste and forces her to take Constance’s case.

The killer rectifies the earlier error. Constance is brutally murdered as she leaves the agency.

Several hundred miles away, Jose is a restaurant manager and former agency employee. He helped Sonora escape her abusive husband by giving her a job and an apartment. After Sonora unexpectedly flees, Jose finds a hefty online reward for a lost dog. The posting shows Sonora’s image photoshopped with the picture of a dog. Jose follows Sonora’s trail back to his hometown and the Carr—Maah Consulting Agency.

Celeste, Ericka, and Jose, assisted by Hobart, the mysterious homeless man forced by Ericka to become the agency’s office manager, investigate. The clues lead them to a surfeit of viable suspects. His voice heated by the South African sun, Christoph Metre is the charismatic head of the rival consulting agency. Obsessed with the exotic Ericka, Christoph appears with his entourage in unexpected places, including the murder scene. Lovesick Mrs. Grant, in a one-sided relationship with Mr. Crispie, hated it when Constance Twist offered the spry widower lemonade with a Twist. Dr. Britta Spartan, head of the domestic violence shelter, writhes around Hobart like a predatory boa constrictor around a juicy mouse.

If Celeste and her friends can’t solve the mystery in time, they’ll be the next victims.

https://www.amazon.com/Dog-Days-Karma-Carr-Maah-Consulting-ebook/dp/B00JGDWM4E

Equi_Knocks_of_Karma_by_Jada_Ryker

Equi Knocks of Karma

In the second standalone adventure in the Carr—Maah Consulting Agency Paranormal Mystery series, Celeste Carr and Ericka Maah, business partners and friends, face a powerful and ruthless adversary.

Celeste and Ericka are shocked when Toni Rae Yelton, a self-centered party girl, storms the office and holds them hostage. Desperate, Toni Rae orders the mysterious Ericka to use her alleged supernatural powers to call off the police and the reporters, who are all convinced she’s the sinister force behind her little girl’s disappearance.

Adding to Celeste’s angst, Hobart has vanished. The mysterious man was forced off the streets some months ago. Ericka used a combination of her unusual talents and blackmail to coerce Hobart into working for her firm. He reluctantly agreed. More enthusiastically, at least until his disappearance, he was also Celeste’s boyfriend. Now, Celeste believes something terrible has happened to him.

Celeste is forced to not only investigate, but also navigate the landmines in her life. Celeste’s friend Ericka duels with her arch enemy and business rival, handsome and charismatic Christoph Metre. An odd little dog, curiously attuned to Celeste and using his teeth, claws, and smell for protection, attaches himself to her. When she’s in danger, a devilishly handsome stranger materializes to save her…and makes her less eager to find her missing boyfriend.

As the sinister cords of the mystery tighten around Celeste’s throat, she must find the person behind the mask in time to save not only herself, but others. With the fine Machiavellian hand leaving few clues but many deadly traps, Celeste will have to solve the mystery before it’s too late.

SPECIAL BONUS: As a reader appreciation gift, the short story “Winner Takes All” is included FREE at the end of the book.

https://www.amazon.com/Equi-Knocks-Karma-Carr-Maah-Consulting-ebook/dp/B00Z23J76I

My Final Campaign Statistics

As promised, here are my final campaign statistics.

Snip Final Campaign Stats Entire Screen

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How I Scored a Kindle Press Publishing Contract on My First Submission to Kindle Scout. Part One: An Impulsive Submission

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I submitted to Kindle Scout on impulse.

Let me give you some background.

Take the Body and Run, my mystery with a chick-lit twist, was rejected by a major romance publisher. To be fair, they wanted sexy billionaires and wealthy, powerful ranchers. The only billionaires I’ve personally met were jerks.

Granted, the “n” or “total population” of Billionaires I Have Met is tiny. I’ve never met a wealthy rancher. I grew up around farmers, who don’t necessarily fit a glamorous view. In my defense, I thought they’d read the story, fall in love with it, and say, “Who needs charismatic billionaires and rich ranchers?” After all, I had a hunted woman hiding under a dead friend’s identity, a handsome lawman, a death doctor with fart machine-will travel, and a cranky cat with a nose for crime.

I even had the support of one of their great, established writers. She’d read my work and loved it.

Did all of that result in a contract? Ah, no. Rejection.

That’s not the end of the book’s rejection story. Before that submission, I’d entered the book into the St. Martin’s Minotaur/ Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition. My book is a mystery, it’s free to enter, and the winner gets a publishing contract. The downside is submitting by December 15, and then not knowing anything until the end of March. It’s not a “Thanks, but No Thanks”… rather, the author simply doesn’t hear anything. Except for the winner, that is. Needless to say, that wasn’t me.

I had a full-length novel, ready to go.

Why did I think my book was ready for prime time?

It had been professionally edited by Chameleon, editing queen, for the very reasonable price of $180. The price depends on your word count and other factors. It’s also subject to change. If you’d like to get in touch with her for an estimate, you can send her an email: chameleonauthor557@gmail.com
.
Jada’s Betas had put it through their exacting process. I do have an earlier blog post about how to find great beta(s). It’s not hard to find, because I’m not a prolific blogger. (I’m working on improving my blogging.) By the way, I’d wanted to call them Jada’s Master Betas. No, I didn’t have the nerve to suggest it to them, although they are masters at their craft.

I did some fairly minor rewrites to put the Betas’ suggestions in the book. I was paranoid about putting typos in my book. I asked Chameleon to go through it once again. Her price was very reasonable.

I had a beautiful cover. Talented artist Christina Keats designed the gorgeous cover. Her rates are very market competitive. You can contact her: christinamkeats@gmail.com.

On Sunday, May 1, 2016, my husband Paul said, “How about Amazon’s Kindle Scout?”

My first reaction was “Nope.” With Kindle Scout, authors accepted for campaigns have the opportunity to “audition” their books for Amazon’s imprint Kindle Press. The last year Amazon did the Breakthrough Novel Award, I’d submitted a different book. I’d obsessively picked at the description and excerpt for the contest, wanting it perfect. It didn’t get even into the first round. Blah!

“Kindle Scout,” Paul said. “You can get a five-year contract and 50% royalties. Look. It’s just a few blanks to fill in.”

Once I started filling them in, I had to finish. (Are you getting a feel for my personality type?) I decided I’d submit quickly, without overthinking it. I didn’t pick at the beginning of my book. I didn’t stress over the description. I dashed off a description to meet the words limit, uploaded my book as it was, and included my cover. The evening of May 1, I hit the submission button.

I was shocked when I got the email on May 2 at 11:00 am. I did NOT expect to be chosen for a campaign.

Here’s my Scout profile:

Kindle Scout Profile

If you’d like to see it in more detail, here’s the link.

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1DGO7BYR20RG8

My first reaction was panic. The thirty-day clock was ticking. I had no idea what to do.

Before you move on to Part Two of the Kindle Scout campaign series, you may want an answer to this question: What about my publishing history?

I submitted until my ears bled and got no, no, no. I submitted to hundreds of agents and publishers and magazines… all no. Did I give up?

HELL, no.

I started self-publishing on Amazon through Kindle Direct Publishing in 2013.

As I explain on my Amazon author page, the books combine humor and murder in a total package of entertaining and fun southern adventures. Murder Takes a Dare was my first book. I wrote two more in the series. The Takes a Dare series gave me a fictional venue to explore addiction/recovery issues and my own childhood angst.

The Takes a Dare Series

Murder Takes a Dare by Jada Ryker Cover

Murder Takes a Dare

“I’ve gotten myself in too deep—” Jonah’s last words are an epitaph to a life spent on the wrong side of the law.

Marisa Adair is shocked when her former friend Jonah surfaces from her chaotic past of drinking and partying, only to be murdered. She must solve the crime before the killer destroys her new life.

To find the murderer, Marisa partners with unusual collaborators. Dithering Russell is focused on ferreting out secrets, including her colorful past. Childhood friend Alex is a chief financial officer, and the chief pain in her… neck. Esther is the daughter of a former agent in the FBI’s controversial “Dickless Tracy” program for women. She learned to disable an opponent in hand-to-hand combat around the same time she learned to spell and throw the quintessential tea party.

Marisa must revisit her dark past of childhood deprivation and adult struggles with addiction. The clues point to the shadowy underbelly of a notorious club, the setting for the glittering fool’s gold of her old double life. As Marisa and her friends track the killer, can they solve the mystery before the murderer strikes again?

https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Takes-Dare-Adventure-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00D5U5IYU

Mayhem Takes a Dare by Jada Ryker

Mayhem Takes a Dare

Fantasy and reality clash when the members of an online group meet in person. Behind the glitter of the profiles, true identities are entwined with deadly secrets.

“You can’t tell him.” Sarah’s pretty face hardens, the dimples fading like a whimsical daydream. Her fingers claw Marisa’s arm.

Marisa is furious. “I won’t let you get away with it. You’re trying to trick my friend into a relationship.” Marisa’s gaze rakes the bulky sweatshirt and boxy jeans camouflaging the lush figure. “You’re a stripper with a volatile boyfriend. You’re not a high school teacher looking for love.”

Later, Sarah is stabbed to death during her exotic routine. Marisa and her devastated friend are among the suspects.

In the past, Marisa lived a reckless double life. She was a conservative administrator by day. After hours, she partied the nights away in a notorious club. Now, she finds herself back in shadowy, forbidden places as she and her friends track down a killer. The twisted trail to the murderer leads to explosive, decades-old secrets, including a vigilante-style killing.

Marisa and her friends follow the clues to a twisted killer. Can she solve the mystery before her online account is deleted… permanently?

https://www.amazon.com/Mayhem-Takes-Dare-Adventure-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00E2QS2LW

arson-dare-final (1)

Arson Takes a Dare

An obscenely rich lottery winner tricks Marisa Adair into joining forces with a famous Florida private detective to investigate her daughter’s twenty-year-old murder. During a serial arsonist’s reign of terror, Mayla died in a fiery inferno. The newly wealthy mother wants to dedicate her considerable resources to finding her daughter’s killer and bringing him to justice.

Marisa is busy with problems of her own. After her troubled brother’s death, Marisa discovers he was stalked online. The stalker is the vicious bully who had made their childhood a living hell. She decides to track down the bully, confront her, and hold her accountable for her crimes.

Alisa was a beautiful girl. She was also the ringleader of a group of bullies. Now, as an adult, she seeks out the weakest of the herd to torment through the anonymity of her computer. Alisa also holds the key to dark secrets, with the chilling tendrils reaching from her childhood to the present.

After Alisa’s brutal murder, Marisa is the number one suspect. When Marisa is arrested, her friends rush to help her. Alex, sure he will be driven mad by Marisa, is determined to clear her. Marisa’s friend and former teacher Althea is combat ready after decades of teaching elementary schoolchildren. Marisa’s support group, as ruthless as they are supportive, will go to great lengths to help their fellow member. Tara, Marisa’s best friend and in need of her own twelve-step program for her shoe addiction, will demand hard choices of her boyfriend, the lawman who put Marisa behind bars.

Marisa lived a chaotic life of drinking and partying. Hitting bottom left her existence in shambles. Like a phoenix, Marisa rose from the ashes. Now she’s a savvy and respected human resources director. In jail for a murder she didn’t commit, Marisa faces losing her hard-won new identity…and possibly her life.

https://www.amazon.com/Arson-Takes-Dare-Adventure-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00VKJ3WXM

In Part Two, I’ll tell you what I did—and what I didn’t do—to promote my Kindle Scout campaign.

After we’ve talked about Kindle Scout, I’ll mention my Karma Consulting Series, mystery/paranormal adventures. In those books, I also discuss issues like homelessness.

In Part Three, I’ll talk about what I didn’t have time to try… but may work for you.

In Part Four, I’ll cover what happened after the campaign ended.

You’ll get to hang out in limbo with me (yay), and I’ll bring you up to speed as I work to get my book available as a Kindle Press finished product. I’ll also tell you about my foray into horror. A Pink Zombie, with a Mist, is the first book in the Shaken, Not Stirred Series. Along with a fun mystery, I also offer my own insight into environmental justice issues.

If you’d like to review the Kindle Scout submission requirements, eligibility, etc., start below at the link. Read all of the information. Then, decide what’s best for you.

Doing well with high paid rankings? You may want to pass on the program and continue what you’re doing now.

Want to try a hybrid of indie and publisher? Kindle Scout might be a good program to try.

Heard that Kindle Scout only picks established writers with good sales? I’m not a fabulously successful indie author. If I break 400,000 in the Amazon Best Sellers Paid Ranking, then I’m doing the happy dance. If I break even on cover and editing costs over the course of a year, then I’m doing the happy dance with jazz hands. (No, it’s not available on video.)

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/about#how-it-works-authors

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June 19, 2016 · 10:11 pm

Jada Ryker’s Take the Body and Run: Nominate through June 2 on Amazon Kindle Scout (Update: The book was chosen for publication.)

Take the Body and Run Cover Final

Take the Body and Run

Fleeing her past, Macey hurtles into danger.

Macey’s first day in the college employee relations department ends with a knife at her throat. Macey is certain things can’t get any worse. She’s wrong. An angry employee vows to put her on an online hit list. When he turns up dead, she’s a suspect—and on the hit list. To keep her secrets and her life, Macey partners with Vince, a driven lawman, and fun-loving pathologist Brett, who drives everyone crazy with his quirky humor and his fart machine. Her cat Wikket grumpily leaps into the fray.

Please consider nominating the fun mystery with a chick-lit twist. If it’s not to your taste, think about nominating other books to help those authors. Here’s the link:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1DGO7BYR20RG8

Here is the beginning of the book.

***

Welcome to Macey Malloy’s World

My name is Macey Malloy. My world is chaotic. In the midst of mysterious deaths and scary happenings, you’ll be meeting a very diverse group of people. You’ll also be right here with me as I start my new job as the university Employee Relations Director. You would think with that job title, I’d be better with people. But no.

The Work Gang:

Leila Frey is the Recruitment Director. She’s cute, funny… and her accountability to me chafes her butt like a leather thong.

Whitney Smith is a recruiter, both for the university and for her team. She loves to stir the animosity between Leila, who is her boss, and Angela. Her pink-haired friend Luci plays guitar in a band and possesses hidden talents.

Angela Langford is the Employee Relations Manager. She needs emergency mentoring with her relations with employees, especially me, her new boss. I snatched her coveted promotion out from under her, to hear her whining about it. She hates me almost as much as she does Leila.

Joris Cobb, supervisor of the Employee Records Department, is rotund, white-haired, and sweet as a molasses cookie… one baked with a tart lemon filling and rolled in green persimmons.

Katie Brewer, one of Joris’ Employee Records Clerks, hides behind her fall of long brown hair. She only ventures out to suck up to her boss or to make my life miserable. Considering Joris’ attitude toward me, she can hit two goals at one time.

Greta is the receptionist. Rather than greeting visitors and answers the phone, she watches slasher movies in bloody streams on her work time. She’s also determined to take me down, with the help of a bulky friend.

My Boss

Tanna Woods is the Chief Human Resources Officer. She’s also my boss. My predecessor, Jennifer Hughes, asked Tanna a lot of questions. So do I. Let’s hope I don’t end up like Jennifer. She was deleted from the payroll… permanently.

People I Pissed Off My First Week at Work

I have limited space, so I’ll stick with the Top PO’ed at Macey List.

Dr. Eric Monroe functions as both the county coroner and the medical examiner. They got a BOGO, buy one, get one, with him. His talent is great eye contact… with my breasts. I’d like to take him back for a refund.

Dr. Andrew Paine runs the university’s Body Bequeathal Program. When he’s not drooling over body donations to promote science, he teaches classes in the School of Medicine. His students call him Dr. Pain in the Ass.

Cynthia Myers is the Chief Nurse Executive and chief pain in my ass. She’s waging a one-woman war on cooties. She also runs the nursing area with an iron fist in a titanium glove.

Lareton Smith, Nursing Director, growls like a guard dog when Cynthia invades his territory.

Charity Settle, Nurse Manager, is caught between Lareton and Cynthia. She may have to get creative to keep them both happy.
More garage mechanic than professional nurse, Craig Roberts is incensed when he gets caught threatening a patient. As the Employee Relations Director, I suspend him. An unknown stalker has a chilling, longer-term plan for the nurse.

Minerva is a beautiful Latina firecracker, intent on opening a can of Whoop on my Ass.

Other People Not Likely to Join the Macey Malloy Fan Club

Feel free to mix and match people from my Gang at Work, My Boss, and non-fan club members. They won’t mind.

Legal expert Trusty Cole is ambitious. He wants to climb the campus ladder… and his statuesque administrative assistant, with rungs in all the right places.

Candi, a cute, jiggly blonde college student, uses her Cam to record her entire life on video. She streams it to middle-aged men to stock her war chest… and to pay for its enhancements.

Bethany Spencer is another blonde, neither jiggly nor flighty. She’s the assistant to Dr. Paine, helping him with the administrative side of the Body Bequeathal Program. Dr. Paine would love for her to donate her body, but not to the Bequeathal Program.

Sergio is Minerva’s handsome brother. He exudes a certain earthy charisma. His pet name for Minerva is Minnie Mouse, but I like Nervy Minvery much better.

Rowen Sands cannibalized his family farm to develop a luxurious community. Austin Cramer has a vested interest in the real estate beyond the role of caretaker.

Hunky Guys Who Don’t Like Secrets, Surprises, or Secret Surprises

Detective Vince Knox is dedicated to law enforcement. He’s muscular, handsome, and disconcertingly intuitive. If opportunity Knox, I may or may not answer the door.

Dr. Brett Reed teaches medical students. He also sees a special sort of patient in the academic medical center. He’s funny, brave, and not afraid to drive a conga line to the rescue. If he wrote a joke book, I might be tempted to Reed it.

My Roommate

Wikket is strong, courageous, and ready to rumble. He’s grumpy, sensitive, and hard to live with. He’s a nosy busybody, loves to meddle in my business, and thinks he knows everything. He’s not my mother. He’s a cat. Note I didn’t say “my cat.” He’s his own feline.

CHAPTER ONE

“It’s your fault my husband is dead. Now, I’m getting even.” Her black, curly hair wild around her contorted face, the woman slapped my desk with one hand. Her body, the generous curves stuffed in a tight black dress with the hem barely south of the law, shook. She held the butcher knife in front of her like a short sword, the blade gleaming in fluorescent light.

The first day at work is the hardest. I’ve had difficult first days, such as the day I began my job at the trauma hospital. I’d parked in a board of director’s plum, downtown space. Her contorted face at odds with her pretty pink suit and white silk blouse, she’d screamed at me, attracting the attention of everyone walking from the parking garage. An onlooker had called the police. I’d ended up in the irate chief executive’s office, trying to look contrite as he’d droned on and on about how much money she’d contributed to the hospital. Good thing he was old school when it came to technology. He didn’t find out until later about the viral video.

I’d thought that was my most horrible first day. Now, this was shaping up as the new winner of the Worst First Day at Work award.

The strange woman’s eyes burned with rage as she leaned over the desk. She pointed the knife at my chest. “Virgil killed himself because you fired him on trumped-up sexual harassment charges.”

My primitive hindbrain screamed run. The more intellectual thought processes clamored that running equaled a knife in my thorax. I quelled the flight instinct with a promise to listen if I couldn’t think of another option.

As my heart hammered and my body shook, I forced myself to concentrate. Since it was the first day of the fall semester as well as my first day at the university, the lobby upstairs was jammed with students, signing up for their work study assignments. My staff was helping out with the melee, excuse me, the high volumes, leaving me alone in the deserted basement work area. My office was tucked away in the far corner with the other offices. The cube farm, employee records dungeon, and the front counter were between me and help.

The front counter! Fear jabbed my racing heart. “What did you do to Angela?”

Surprise replaced the fury on her face. “Who?”

“The woman at the counter! Did you kill her?”

The woman rolled her eyes, pulling down the edges of her mouth in disgust. “I wouldn’t hurt an innocent person. There was no one at the counter. I simply hoisted myself over the barrier. I wandered around until I found you.”

I was relieved Angela was safe, in spite of her thinly-veiled animosity toward me. She’d wanted this director job. Tanna Woods, the Chief Human Resources Officer and my new boss, had warned me about the venomous Employee Relations Manager. Angela had thought my job would be the next logical stepping stone in her career. When she told me about it, Tanna had snorted. She said Angela did well enough in the role, but lacked the skills to move up the ladder. Tanna said the other woman didn’t have the needed diplomacy skills, poise, and tact for the director role. Angela had a tendency to say what she thought, especially when senior leaders said and did stupid things. I didn’t think it was the best time to inform my new boss that I shared my new subordinate’s weakness.

I jerked my thoughts back to the present. I couldn’t dial 911 on the office phone before she stabbed me. My cell phone was in my huge black-and-red purse. I’d tossed it in the corner when I’d come in. The bag might as well have been across campus. Some human resources offices have panic buttons. If this office had one, then I didn’t know where it was. I felt gingerly under my desk top. Nope, nothing but a wad of old gum. Ew.

Out of ideas, I decided on honesty. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I didn’t fire your husband. This is my first day at work.”

“Nice try. You fired my husband, Miss Hughes. You deliberately kept him from getting unemployment. You leaked the story to the local newspaper. With the false accusations dogging his steps, he couldn’t get another job. Out of options, he killed himself.” Tears flowed down her round cheeks, along with mascara.

“You’ve made a mistake, ma’am.” I did my best to look open and honest. “My name is Macey Malloy. I took Ms. Hughes’ position as the Employee Relations Director.”

She glared. She was mad, upset, and grieving. She was not convinced of my innocence.

Very slowly, I stood. Over the years as a manager, I’d been in meetings that dragged on and on. I’d thought death would be a sweet release. I winced now at the irony of those irreverent thoughts. Over time, I’d learned that standing up would generally end a meeting. I didn’t have much hope that the body language would work on a grief-stricken widow bent on bloody revenge.

I was right.

“Do you think I’m stupid?” Twisting toward the doorway, she used the knife as a pointer. “The name on the office door is Jennifer Hughes.” She pivoted back to me. With her free hand, she grabbed a sheaf of loose papers from the desk. She glanced down at them. “Memos to Ms. Hughes.” She threw the papers to the side. She picked up the nameplate engraved Jenn Hughes from the messy desk. She used it to shove my office phone off the desk, baring her teeth when it clattered to the floor. She waved the nameplate in my face, and then she threw it.

I screamed and ducked as the metal whistled past my ear to crash into the corner behind me. I stumbled, my knees weak. I fell backward into my office chair. “Ms. Hughes left the university very abruptly, without cleaning out her office.” My voice shook with fear. I didn’t sound convincing, even to myself.

“You’re exactly as Virgil described you. He said you have thick, black hair, shoulder length with the ends curled under. You’re not pretty, but you’re attractive, despite your long nose and wide mouth. He also said you’re exactly eight inches taller than me, which makes you five feet, ten inches tall.”

A new frisson of fear slid down my spine. Did Tanna hire me because I resembled the previous Employee Relations Director? I remembered the president of the small Kentucky college where I’d worked until a month ago. He hired petite blonde women, collecting them as if they were dolls for his curio cabinet. Tall, dark, and not even close to petite, I didn’t fit the profile. His predecessor had hired me. He inherited me, so to speak, but he wasn’t happy about it. His chagrin went deeper than just my non-Barbie-doll looks.

“Virgil was right, you’re a little pudgy, but hey—” she broke off to stare down at her short, thick body “—even a dog likes some meat on his bone.”

I preferred healthy, not pudgy, but I wasn’t correcting an enraged woman with a knife. “I can’t help it if I share a physical description with Ms. Hughes—”

“Shut up. I’m talking. The university owed my husband. Virgil Greene played football for this university. He was—”

“—the Lean, Greene, Fighting Machine,” I finished. In spite of my watery insides, I was impressed. “He carried the university to prestigious bowl games every year he played. He went on to the NFL.” I frowned, poking through my memory. “He got hurt his second year as a pro. He packed on weight. The last I heard, he was bankrupt, diabetic, and working a dead-end job as a custodian for a university—”

Mrs. Greene bellowed like a wounded moose. “The university made millions off him, without paying him a dime.”

Too late, I realized I’d been less than diplomatic. Good thing Tanna’s not here to see it, I thought.

“The pros used him up, and didn’t care when he shattered his leg on the field. Virgil never planned; he thought he’d always have the money rolling in. He spent millions of dollars partying with his entourage. When the money was gone, so were his friends. Broke, he came back to the university, begging for work. People still remembered his name. He got a job as a janitor. He was working for ten freaking bucks an hour, coming in when he was too sick to work, and cleaning up after self-centered students who couldn’t be bothered to pick up after themselves. After all, their mommies and daddies made them the centers of their universes, giving them everything they wanted—”

As Mrs. Greene continued down what sounded like a well-worn rant road, I tried to think. In the outer area next to the cube farm, high windows were on a level with the parking lot. There were no windows in my new office, and only the one door. In the basement, like outer space, no one could hear me scream.

“And then, you investigated Virgil for sexual harassment. You claimed he was following the cheerleaders around campus. Actually, he just loved the football field.” Mrs. Greene’s face softened, the dark eyes melting like milk chocolate.

If I ignored the knife, Mrs. Greene was a pretty young widow, her face reflecting her grief and love for her dead husband.

“He spent the happiest years of his life on the field,” she continued, her voice low. Without the rage, her tones were musical. “In some unconscious way, he was trying to recapture those glory days. He wanted the kids cheering for him, asking him for his autograph, and reporters interviewing him.”

I pictured a sick man wishing for his glory days. In the here and now, I saw a woman who loved her husband. My heart melted. I tried to reason with myself. This woman was holding me at knife point, ready to plunge her weapon into my chest or swipe it across my throat.

I sternly ordered the sympathy to get the hell out of my heart. It refused. I sighed. This was exactly why I had taken in a cantankerous old cat, against my better judgment. Of course, the cat couldn’t hold me hostage. At least, not yet. Wikket was a pretty smart feline.

“Those hoity-toity sorority girls decided he was a creepy old man following them to cheerleading practice. And you agreed, you heartless bitch!”

Spit flew in my face. I was afraid to reach for the hand sanitizer.

Mrs. Greene growled. Her fury chased away the remaining wisps of humanity. “He was just crossing the campus behind them, not stalking them!”

My sympathy dried up more quickly than the globules of saliva on my face. I was sick of being at the wild woman’s mercy. I couldn’t keep waiting for the staff to return to the basement. They were scheduled to help in the lobby all day.

I decided I’d had enough. Mrs. Greene was focused on her husband and the great injustice. If I rushed her, I might overpower her. I might even live through it. I braced my hands against the arms of my chair.

Movement at the door caught my attention.

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FREE! The Cat, the Crow, and the Cauldron: A Halloween Anthology is PERMANENTLY FREE!

Halloween Anth Cover

The anthology is a wicked Halloween compilation of stories across genres, ranging from paranormal romance to horror.

Downloads and reviews would be lovely.

Click below to get your copy.

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Crow-Cauldron-Halloween-Anthology-ebook/dp/B016KW8N2I/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cat-Crow-Cauldron-Halloween-Anthology-ebook/dp/B016KW8N2I/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Here’s more detail about the book:

Joe DeRouen’s Good Fortune teaches us a valuable lesson about why you should be very careful when you hold someone’s fate in your hands. It may come back to haunt you, just as it does for Grimsley Harkness, who dares to wish for more than he deserves.

Celia Kennedy’s Nothing Scares Me takes readers on a test of endurance. Lost in the Florida Everglades, Ardith Deblois, wife, mother and intrepid adventurer, fights for her life. Enveloped within the humid swamplands is a perilous maze full of obstacles and adversaries. Which is the greater impediment, the humans that hunt her or the deadly animals and poisonous plants she hides amongst? Can she fight through fatigue and dehydration to save herself? Nothing Scares Me. True or not?

Zeecé Lugo’s Five Stories Up finds us on October 31, 1966, and night is falling over the city. Below, the groups of little ghosts and goblins stream in and out of the front stoops and basement bodegas, running, laughing, white blankets flapping in the wind, their candy treasures tightly held in hand. But above, in the dark rooftop of Sonia’s building, something pale and evil watches her, and beckons…

Angie Martin’s Sold follows a paranormal team as they investigate the home of a serial killer for their live Halloween night televised show.

In Heather Osborne’s Will You Remember Me?, past and present collide when ghosts from witch trials of long ago come to life. It’s up to Sierra to lay things to rest.

In Leonie Rogers’ Roast Pumpkin, Anna discovers that going trick-or-treating in her new home town is more of an out-of-this-world experience than she’d ever imagined.

CJ Rutherford’s Treaters tells the story of Jaz. Who would believe the world would end on Halloween night? Can Jaz, a retired U.S. Marine, battle loss, grief, demons, and loneliness, to survive the end of the world?

In Jada Ryker’s Dead Eye, Alex takes Marisa to an unusual Halloween party in an isolated Kentucky community… with a murderer ready with deadly tricks, rather than treats.

In Jalpa Williby’s Beauty and the Beast, Kelsey’s entire family perishes in a fire on a dreadful Halloween night. Overcome by grief and guilt, she decides to end her pain once and for all. Will the mysterious stranger be her savior, or will he ultimately cause her tragic demise?

 

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