Kitty Litter Cake Recipe – Fun and Delicious


Kitty Litter Cake for Wikket, the Crime-Solving Cat

Kitty Litter Cake Image

Take the Body and Run is a goofy thriller and contemporary romance about a hunted woman hiding behind 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.

In honor of Wikket, the crime-solving cat, I’m sharing the recipe for Kitty Litter Cake.

Wikket is the size of a young panther cub. Macey, his human partner in crime, wonders if she’ll need an industrial-sized leaf bag and a snow shovel to clean up after him. Whipping up a Kitty Litter Cake makes her laugh about her poop scooping duties. Macey loves the look of shock when people see the cake and try to make sense of oozy gooey Tootsie Rolls glistening on top of crumblies in a litter box pan. She always serves it with a (new) poop scooper.

Let’s get started. Here’s what you’ll need.

One German chocolate cake mix
One white cake mix
Two boxes of vanilla pudding, instant (who has time to make pudding from scratch?)
One package of Golden Oreo cookies
Green food coloring
A package of Tootsie Rolls
A new, never-used kitty litter box and pooper scooper

Mix the cake mixes and bake, following the directions on the box. Macey doesn’t like to cook. Instead of buying the cake mixes and going through the trouble of stirring and baking, she buys pre-cooked German chocolate and white cakes from the grocery store bakery. Be sure to ask for them without icing. To save even more time, call ahead.

Then, make the pudding according to the directions on the box; pop it in the fridge to keep it cool until you’re ready for it. Macey prefers to grab the canned pudding, but it’s your choice.

Crumble the sandwich cookies. Macey likes to hit them with a meat tenderizer to relieve her frustration, but you’re welcome to use something more civilized, like a food processor.

Put aside all but 1/4 cup of crumbled cookies. Put a few drops of green food coloring in the 1/4 cup and mix it in. Keep the food coloring out of the cat’s reach, or your feline will have a green mouth and tongue.

When the cakes are cool, crumble them into a large bowl. Mix in 1/2 of the remaining cookie crumbs and the cold pudding. You want your “litter” moist, not wet. You may have some pudding left.

Put the cake mixture into the clean litter box. Don’t get confused and use a dirty box.

Place half of the unwrapped Tootsie Rolls in a microwave-safe saucer and heat until softened.

Shape the ends so that they are pointed. Curve the Tootsie Rolls a bit. Then, position the Tootsie Rolls on the cake. Bonus points if you bury them a bit. The Tootsie Rolls should look like cat poop.

Sprinkle the surface with half of the remaining cookie crumbs. Scatter a small amount of the green colored cookie crumbs lightly over the top.

Now, pop a few of the Tootsie Rolls in the microwave until they are nearly melted. Position them on top of the cake and sprinkle with green cookie crumbs. Nuke the remaining Tootsie Rolls until soft and shape them like cat poop. Put all but two randomly over top of cake mixture. Sprinkle with any remaining cookie crumbs. Curve the two remaining Tootsie Rolls and carefully hang them over side of litter box. Shake a few green cookie crumbs on your outlier poops hanging on the side of the litter box.

Serve with the (clean!) pooper scooper for a fun dessert.

Kitty Litter Cake is great anytime of the year, but it’s hilarious at a Halloween party.

The excellent photograph of the Kitty Litter Cake (top of the post) is courtesy of Christina Keats, the talented designer who created the social media graphics for Take the Body and Run.

Fun Mystery and Romance – Take the Body and Run

The fun mystery/romance was a Kindle Scout winner.

Carolyn Haines, USA Today bestselling author of Pluto’s Snitch and Sarah Booth Delaney, had great things to say about the book:

“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.”

Ryker_TaketheBodyandRun (1)

Macey is the university’s new Employee Relations director. You’d think with that job title, she’d be better with people. But no. Her first day in the college employee relations department ends with a knife at her throat.

She’s 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 prankster exploits. 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.

Here’s the link to the book on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Macey-Malloy-Mysteries-Chick-Lit-Twist-ebook/dp/B01HC30YG

Excerpt from Take the Body and Run

KP_Website_Banner_770x200_redorange.png

You can use the link to the book to read the first part of the book for free.

Here’s the “Author’s Cut,” so to speak. In the following excerpt, Brett is pursuing Macey across the college campus when he meets Wikket.

I heard a voice bawl: “Macey Malloy!” Surprised, I peered over my shoulder.

It was my would-be phone suitor, Brett Reed. As he raced across the grounds, I waited, enjoying the pretty campus and the warmth of the sun on my face. The buildings were beautiful, constructed of handsome brick and breathing old money from long-gone donors. The mature, expertly trimmed trees moved in the breeze, the fluttering leaves just beginning to change to autumn colors.

His backpack bouncing, Brett flew over the perfectly manicured grass. The pathologist ran like a Labrador, his arms and legs flying, his entire body happy in the sun. If his tongue had been hanging out as he panted with excitement, it wouldn’t have shocked me.

My heart melted into a puddle of goo. I mentally poked at the newfound feeling, wondering what it could be. I decided I felt happy, with a tiny dollop of anticipation. Inside my head, I tried to stomp on that treacherous heart. It evaded me like a hopped-up ghost in a Pac-Man game. I promised it that I would deal with it later.

“Macey,” Brett panted. His face was shiny with perspiration. “Where are you going?” he gasped.

In my peripheral vision, I glimpsed a black blur. I looked down. “Wikket! What the hell are you doing here?”

Brett scooped up the cat.

“Brett! Wikket is not a people person. Let me have him before he slashes you with his claws.”

Brett crooned. The cat purred, rubbing his jaw on the pathologist’s happy face and leaving strands of black fur.

I gawked. Once I could speak, I blurted, “What the fudge? Wikket doesn’t like humans.”

“We bonded when I took care of you. I shared my strawberry yogurt with him. He gobbled it up like he hadn’t been fed in months.” Brett cheerfully cuddled the big black cat, who filled his arms and oozed over the sides.

I narrowed my eyes. “Yogurt upsets his stomach. I had to clean up cat puke after you guys left.”

“Why are you surprised to see him?” Brett spoke quickly to change the subject. “Didn’t you bring him to work with you today?”

“I was running late this morning. He must have taken advantage of my frantic rushing around and stowed away in the car. I thought he was safely at home.”

Wikket leaped out of Brett’s arms. He wound around my legs, leaving black fur in his wake. “Wikket, you’re going to be persona non grata on campus,” I informed the cat. “The university recognizes dogs and miniature horses as service animals. Not cats.”

“Miniature horses?”

“Never mind.” I waved away horses, miniature and otherwise.

“Your purse is huge. Why don’t you carry Wikket in there? Women carry their little dogs in their purses. Why not a cat?”

“Brett, I’m not sure he’ll fit in there.”

“Sure he will. You could fit a microwave and a stack of pizzas in that bag. Try it, Macey.”

“If Wikket doesn’t want to go in the bag, then I can’t make him.”

Brett was surprised. “Wow, you make the poor cat sound like a stubborn mule. Give me your bag.”

Brett opened my bag. Even with my tablet and assorted junk, there was plenty of room. Like an intelligent dog that had graduated from obedience school with high honors, Wikket jumped into the bag. Brett lifted it to my left shoulder.

I immediately listed to the left. “You should go with me next time I have to take him to the vet.” I struggled to stand straight.

“That sounds nice. I’d love to.” Brett immediately answered with a huge smile, as if I’d asked him to spend a torrid weekend with me in Vegas, not take an obstinate and grouchy cat to the vet.

Take the Body and Run: On Sale for 99 cents

The book is on sale for 99 cents. It’s for a limited time, and only in the US marketplace.

It’s always free on Kindle Unlimited.

For your convenience and so you don’t have to scroll up, here’s the link to the book on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Macey-Malloy-Mysteries-Chick-Lit-Twist-ebook/dp/B01HC30YG

KP Authors’ Cookbook

The Kitty Litter Cake recipe also appears in KP Authors Cook Their Books.

What happens when you get a bunch of authors together and the subject turns to food? They decide to write a cookbook, of course. After a few too many Facebook posts featuring pictures of sumptuous dishes our authors prepared, we decided that we needed to band together and share the food love.

KP Authors Cookbook
The cookbook is 100% free on Amazon. Here’s the link:

https://www.amazon.com/KP-Authors-Cook-Their-Books-ebook/dp/B0175UM12W

Feel Free to Contact Me

Email: jada_ryker@yahoo.com

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

Twitter: @JadaRyker

To get updates on my books from Amazon: Click the link below. Then click the gold Follow button under my picture.

Amazon Author Page with Follow Button

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Jada-Ryker/e/B00D8LR5XS

Newsletter Subscription

I promise I’ll never sell or give away your email address.

Here’s the link to sign up for the newsletter:

http://gem.godaddy.com/signups/211744/join

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I’m Rolling Around, as Happy as a Cat with Catnip

Murder Takes a Dare, Mayhem Takes a Dare, and Arson Takes a Dare were among the first books I wrote. This month, I updated the covers with the help of the talented designer, Christina Keats. I rolled around with the covers, as happy as a cat with catnip. What do you think of them?

The Takes a Dare Series

MurderRedo

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’s strangest ally is Laithe. The part-Abyssinian cat with a big personality and even larger attitude has his special part to play in the life-or-death investigation.

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

MayhemRedo

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.

Marisa’s feline friend leaps into the fray. Laithe is the part-Abyssinian cat who uses his wedge-shaped head and nose for trouble to force his furry way into Marisa’s investigations.

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

ArsonRedo

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’s cat joins the investigation. Laithe, the part-Abyssinian cat whose sense of fun and mischief lands him—and Marisa—squarely into danger, has to use all of his feline skills to save her from life behind bars.

Marisa once 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

Laithe as Himself

Within the pages of the Takes a Dare series, you’ll meet Laithe. His character is based on the real cat. The real-life Laithe was a purebred Abyssinian. According to Wikipedia, the word Abyssinian refers to Ethiopia, but most of the stories about the origins of Abyssinian cats refer to Egypt. Using genetics, researchers think the breed started near the coast of the Indian Ocean.  Over time, the breed was further developed in Great Britain.

When Laithe’s owner married a woman with a cat allergy, I took Laithe into my home and heart. With his long, pointed ears, elongated legs, orange brindle fur, mysterious green eyes, and huge personality, Laithe soon settled into the household.

Although he was not a kitten, Laithe was very playful, curious, and adventurous. Using the wedge shape of his head, he could open most cabinet doors. With his strong legs and athletic body, he could make dizzying leaps and bounds, such as from the floor to the top of the refrigerator.

Laithe was also very strong willed. He wanted to be in charge of the household, including maintaining his favorite place to sit in the living room. He reminded me of Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory) and and his favorite spot. When it came to food, Laithe would only eat Meow Mix dry cat food. Once when the store was out of Meow Mix, I tried to feed him another type of food. He went on a hunger strike, and refused to eat until he was presented with Meow Mix. When we adopted a young cat from the local animal shelter, Laithe proceeded to teach her the household routine. He was the lord high ruler, and she was his obedient little minion.

With his warm and affectionate heart, Laithe loved to be held and petted. He liked to stretch his body and put his paws on my shoulders. He’d rub his head on my face, purring like mad.

After a grave illness, Laithe passed away. We all love him and still miss him. In the Takes a Dare books, Laithe lives a fun and adventurous life with Marisa Adair, who loves him to distraction–as did I.

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My Trip to the Naughty Shop


My Trip to the Naughty Shop

Alaska July 2016

My trip to Fairbanks was exciting. I traveled with my older daughter to visit my younger daughter. My mom had watched various Alaska-themed television shows. She was worried about serial killers and bears attacking her daughter and granddaughters.

My problem came from a different area. We drove to “The Top of the World.” Julia (my younger one) wanted to visit the Naughty Shop. Heather added her support. In the backseat, I squirmed. I thought about how awkward it would be to visit an adult-themed store with my children, even though they’re grown. “I’ll wait in the car,” I announced.

“But they have cute crafts,” Julia insisted.

I couldn’t believe it when I saw the sign.

It was the Knotty Shop. I evaded serial killers and bears. The homonym got me.

Kindle Press Sale – 99 Cents

Kindle Press is running a special promotion through July 11, 2017. The sale features Kindle Press reader favorites for $0.99.

KP Sale July 5 to July 11

I’m pleased to let you know that Take the Body and Run has been selected for inclusion in this deal. The contemporary mystery/romance is about 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.

Ryker_TaketheBodyandRun New KP Provided Cover

My Kindle Scout winner is included with a stellar group of other romances by talented authors.

Be sure and check out these terrific romances.

https://yourprfriend.lpages.co/july-sale

FREE Take a Walk on the Dead Side (Macey Malloy Mysteries with a Chick-Lit Twist Book 2)

Pick up Take a Walk on the Dead Side, the fun and exciting sequel to Take the Body and Run, for free!

Jada-DeadSide-JPG-11-25 print

The book is free from July 5 – July 9, 2017.

Macey Malloy and Wikket, her cantankerous cat with a nose for crime, plunge headlong into danger when a stalker targets an innocent college student. Terrified for the girl, Macey tries to help her, only to be trapped in the web of deceit with tangled links to missing women. Even with her grumpy cat’s help, will Macey solve the mysteries before it’s too late?

Click here to get the book for free from July 5 – July 9, 2017: http://mybook.to/TakeaWalkontheDeadSide

Macey Malloy Mysteries with a Chick-Lit Twist

Here’s the complete list of Macey Malloy Mysteries with a Chick-Lit Twist. With the correct timing of the downloads (see dates below), you can get all of the published books and stories for just 99 cents!

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

Winter Solstice Cover

Click here to get the book for free: http://mybook.to/WinterSolstice

Book One: Take the Body and Run

Ryker_TaketheBodyandRun New KP Provided Cover

Click here to get the book for 99 cents (reduced from $2.99) through July 11, 2017: http://viewbook.at/TaketheBodyandRun

Book Two: Take a Walk on the Dead Side

Jada-DeadSide-JPG-11-25 print

Click here to get the book for free from July 5 – July 9, 2017: http://mybook.to/TakeaWalkontheDeadSide

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

Vernal Equi

Click here to get the book for free: http://mybook.to/VernalEquinox

Novelette (takes place after “What the Cat Dragged In”): “Cat Scratch Fever” FREE in Summer Solstice, an anthology by Kindle Press authors

Summer Solstice

Click here to get the book for free: http://mybook.to/SummerSolsticeAntholog

More FREE Books by Jada Ryker for Summer Vacation

In honor of the summer Kindle Press sale, I’ve set most of my books free. Check my Amazon author page to see all of the books. Be sure and click the gold Follow button under my picture to get updates on new releases.

Amazon Author Page with Follow Button

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

Dog Days of Karma

Dog Days of Karma is one of my personal favorites among my books.

Dog Days of Karma Cover

It’s free on Amazon July 7, 2017 through July 11, 2017.

Here’s the description:

Desperate to locate a missing person, Constance Twist decides to call a detective agency. Waiting for directory assistance while 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.

Celeste and Ericka, assisted by their friends, investigate Constance’s murder and Sonora’s disappearance.

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

Click here to download your free copy of Dog Days of Karma free July 7, 2017 through July 11, 2017: http://mybook.to/DogDaysofKarma

A Pink Zombie, with a Mist

I had a ton of fun writing the mystery/romance/horror.

Zombie_032017_printJPG

It’s free on Amazon July 6, 2017 through July 10, 2017.

Here’s the description:

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. But is there?

Click here to download your free copy of A Pink Zombie, with a Mist free from July 6, 2017 through July 10, 2017: http://mybook.to/PinkZombie

Murder Takes a Dare

The mystery/romance was my first book. It’s also semi-autobiographical in nature.

MurderRedo

It’s free on Amazon July 5, 2017 through July 9, 2017.

Here’s the description:

“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 Jonah, a former friend from her chaotic past of drinking and partying, surfaces 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. Can Marisa and her friends solve the mystery before the murderer strikes again?

Click here to download your free copy of Murder Takes a Dare, free July 5, 2017 through July 9, 2017:

http://mybook.to/MurderTakesaDare

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After the Kindle Scout Campaign – DIE and the Family Stone


Selected or Not Selected?

If your book was selected . . . Yay! Check out my blog post and see what I did when Take the Body and Run was selected.

If your book wasn’t selected . . what are the next steps? First of all, realize that you’re in good company. DIE and the Family Stone was not selected. Is it the end of the world? No.

Kindle Scout has declined to select many great books. How do I know? I’m not only a writer but also a reader. I read as many non-selected books as I can, particularly those discussed in the Kboards Kindle Scout thread.

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,213112.18625.html

I’ve read non-selected books that wowed me, books that were well written and edited, and with excellent stories and characters that stayed with me long after the last page.

Many of those books experienced very successful launches using their Kindle Scout campaign as a springboard, and have remained in the high paid rankings—doing much better than my 2016 Kindle Scout selection!

We don’t know the exact criteria they use for selection. Regardless, you may be ready to launch your book. Read back through the Kboards Kindle Scout thread, and you’ll see some great ideas for launches. Especially useful is the thread for non-selected books.

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,243477.2000.html

Prepare to Publish

Ensure an error-free story

I always write my book in Word, using my Createspace template. At this point in the process, it’s been edited. The betas have read it. I’ve fixed any issues they found. I’ve gone through it one last time to strive for an error-free book.

Don’t get trapped in an endless loop of rewriting and editing. My husband calls it “picking.” You have to decide if you’ve picked at it enough. That’s the point at which you’ve got to say: “Let it go.”

It’s time to release your book into the world.

Paperback

Log in to CreateSpace or set up a new account. Set up the paperback version without selecting the distribution options.

You can use Kindle Direct Publishing for both your digital version and paperback version. I’m a creature of habit. I’ve used Createspace since I started self-publishing my books. I still use the process to set up my paperback in Createspace.

During the proofing process, I don’t select distributions until I’m ready to publish. Selecting the distributions can create the page on Amazon.

I make sure the book is ready, including fixing widows and orphans and using the online previewer to ensure there are no formatting or other errors. I’ll submit the file for review, do a final check, set up the description, categories, key words, and add my bio.

I set the pricing to sync up the price for all of my paperback books. Your minimum price is based on your number of pages, and will vary, sometimes by only a few cents, from book to book. I have a backlist with a number of books, and each price is set at $10.79. The exception is Gimlet, which is a collection of stories. I have that one priced at $9.79.

I won’t finalize and click the distribution options until my Kindle version is ready.

I set up the paperback version to order physical copies for book signing events. I don’t sell many paperback versions.

Kindle (eBook) Version

Log in to Kindle Direct Publishing or create a new account. Under Create a New Title, click Kindle eBook. Enable digital rights management. Fill in the information, including categories and key words. The best place for guidance regarding key words is here:

https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/A200PDGPEIQX41

Proof the book by using the online previewer. Check that your links work in the back matter and any other sections with links. You can’t put in your link to take the reader to the review page on Amazon until after it’s live.

Set your pricing. I price my ebooks at $2.99. You can check other books in your genre and of a similar length when setting your price. As a reader, I’m not going to buy an Indie book if it’s priced $6.99.

If you put in your Kindle Scout thank you note to nominators that they could get a free book regardless of selection or non-selection, then one option to get it to them is to enroll your book in Kindle Select. You’ll be able to use the free days functionality.

I don’t use the pre-order option. There are pros and cons with pre-orders. Check through various writers’ groups and Kboards for more information. Quite simply, I don’t use the pre-order function because a reader, when I buy a book, I want to read it now. I don’t want to wait weeks to read it.

KDP says that the book will be live within 72 hours. Mine went live five hours after I hit the button.

You can use the Publish on Kindle option in Createspace. Here’s my Kindle cover:

Die_and_the_Family_S_Cover_for_Kindle

Here’s the link to the Amazon page:

https://www.amazon.com/Family-Stone-Kirbie-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B072MJHB1F

Set up Free Days in KDP

As soon as it’s live, use the Promotion and Advertise button next to the book information on your Bookshelf in KDP.

Here’s more information about setting up free days in KDP:

https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/A34IQ0W14ZKXM9

Add a Review Link to the Kindle Version

Kindle has a pop-up review function when the reader finishes the book. However, I offer the reader a link on my Thank You page at the end of the book to make reviewing easy for them.

It’s tricky because you have to publish the book first in order to get the link for the review to paste into your Thank You page. In your first uploaded version, you can add the Thank Page at the end of the book, thanking the reader for reading the book, and asking for a review. But at that point, you didn’t have a link to click at that point.

Once your book is live, then go to the Amazon page. Click the gold bar Write a Customer Review. No, you’re not going to write a review of your own book. Rather, you’re going to copy the information in your browser and paste it into your Thank You page at the end of your book. All the reader has to do is click the link to get to the review page. Once your Thank You page is ready, save your book document and upload it through KDP. Use the online previewer to check that the page you revised is correct, and test the link. Hit the publish button.

When you check your bookshelf, you’ll see the message LIVE Updates in Review.

Author Central

Add the Book

Log into Amazon’s Author Central. Click on Books, hit the gold bar Add More Books, and claim your new title. It says it can take up to five days for your book to appear.

Once it’s there, you should see both the paperback and ebook versions. Edit your product details and any other parts you want to amend.

If you don’t see your book in Author Central and/or the paperback and ebook versions aren’t linked on the Amazon page, then you’ll need to email to request it.

Click help at the top right of the Author Central screen, then on the left hand side click the gold bar Contact Us.

Once your book has been added to Amazon Central, you’ll need to review editable fields like Product Description. Check and ensure they’re correct. You can also add bold and italics to the text.

Edit Your Bio on Amazon and GoodReads

Author Central

Update your bio on Author Central by putting a special announcement at the top. You could use something like this:

News Flash from Jada! I’m running a special offer to say “Thank You” to everyone who supported DIE and the Family Stone. The book is FREE on Amazon from June 11 – June 15. Download and enjoy! I would love it if you could leave a few words in the form of a review on Amazon.

*****

The asterisks may be used to separate your announcement from the rest of your bio. Be sure you added your new book on your bio, if you list your books in it.

Don’t forget to update the profile once your free days are completed and the book is back to its usual price.

GoodReads Author Profile

Similar to Author Central, your GoodReads author profile is a good place to announce your free days. Update your bio on GoodReads by putting a special announcement at the top. You could use something like this:

News Flash from Jada! I’m running a special offer to say “Thank You” to everyone who supported DIE and the Family Stone. The book is FREE on Amazon from June 11 – June 15. Download and enjoy! I would love it if you could leave a few words in the form of a review on Amazon.

*****
The asterisks may be used to separate your announcement from the rest of your bio. Be sure you added your new book on your bio, if you list your books in it.

Don’t forget to update the profile once your free days are completed and the book is back to its usual price.

Set up Newsletter with Free Days

Before the Kindle Scout campaign, I had just a few newsletter subscribers. In my Kindle Scout thank you note, I had asked that nominators either subscribe to my newsletter or email me to get the book for free regardless of the selection status. My subscribers increased from a handful to over 200 subscribers. If you have a large social media following, then that number probably made you chuckle :) But it’s a good start for me.

I host my website through GoDaddy. I use the email marketing function for the newsletter. With this initiative, I sent out my very first newsletter to let the subscribers know that DIE and the Family Stone was live. I participated in a live webinar, watched videos, and carefully built my first newsletter. I also added a request for reviews, along with the link to get to the review page. I used the headers, text/image and image/text boxes, built links from each picture to my book, and added social media buttons.

If you’d like to see the newsletter, just contact me and I’ll email it to you.

I sent out the newsletter only after everything above had been completed. I sent it out on the first free day. That gave subscribers five full days to snag the free book.

Use the Kindle Scout Option of Letting Nominators Know it’s Available

My personal opinion is that you should use this option as soon as possible, based upon completing all of your steps above in a timely manner. Let the nominators know the book is out there before they forget about it, lose interest, or go on to something else.

Once everything is in place, it’s time to push the blue button to let nominators know it’s available, and I synchronized it with the first free day. By doing it at the beginning of the five free days, there should be plenty of time for the nominators to get their free copy, even if there’s a delay on Kindle Scout’s end sending the emails to nominators.

When do the nominators get the email? Great question! I’ve seen comments on Kboards that indicate there’s sometimes a delay of days after the author pushes the button and the nominators get the email. Other comments say that the nominators got it the next day or even two hours after the button was pushed.

This is another great reason to nominate yourself. You can see the emails that the nominators receive, and when they’re delivered.

I pushed the blue button on Sunday, June 11, at 9:30 am. The email went out Monday, June 12, at 5:37 pm.

New Release Notification on Amazon

Readers who followed your author page on Amazon will get an email from Amazon after your publish your book.

Here’s a screen shot of my author page. The readers who clicked Follow are the ones who get the email. I followed myself. That way, I can see when Amazon sends out emails.

Amazon Author Page with Follow Button

Change Your KBoards Profile

You can make changes to your KBoards profile through a variety of ways. I’ve found this to be the easiest:

https://www.kboards.com/authorsig/

Add your new book by pasting in its ASIN. I moved other ASINs to put the new book first in the list.

I also posted the book’s free days information on KBoards. I posted it both on the Kindle Scout thread and Book Not Selected thread.

Twitter

Post your tweet, and pin it to your Twitter page. Use the drop down menu on the right to pin it. It will be easier for you to see how many retweets, likes, etc. you receive.

Website

Be sure and post the free days on your website.

Facebook

Post the information about the free days on both your personal Facebook page and your author page.

Post in Facebook groups that allow promotion with the free days. Be sure to check each group’s posting guidelines to ensure they allow book promotion.

Free Promotions

There are free promotions available. The only downside is they’re time consuming and tedious to complete.

Here are some that I used, from free to inexpensive and up to highest price, to publicize the free days soon after launch. I don’t receive discounts or compensation for mentioning these companies. I’m just passing them along to you. Be sure and check before booking. Prices may change. Also, sites may stop offering free listings.

FREE – Awesome Gang

According to their website, they have 9,600 newsletter subscribers, and 55,394 Facebook fans as of February 2017.

Awesome Gang Screen Shot

Use the free form link:

http://awesomegang.com/submit-your-book/

FREE – Book Deal Hunter

Book Deal Hunter Screen Shot

Here’s the free form link:

http://bookdealhunter.com/submit-free-book/

FREE – Armadillo eBooks

Armadillo eBooks Scfreen Shot

Here’s the free form link:

http://www.armadilloebooks.com/submit-free-ebooks

FREE – eReaderLove

eReaderLove Screen Shot

Here’s the free form link:

http://www.ereaderlove.com/contact-us-submit-a-book

FREE – Content Mo

I used the $2.99 option (see Paid Promotions), but you can run your free days at no charge.

Content Mo Screen Shot

Here’s the link to get started:

http://contentmo.com/submit-your-free-ebook-promo

FREE – readper

The site offers various services for authors, including a free option.

Readper Screen Shot

Here’s the link:

http://readper.com/authors

Paid Promotions

Paid promotions are totally optional. Don’t spend the money unless you can afford to lose it. That said, there are some good paid promotions out there. In my archive, I have past blog posts about paid promotions. I’m not a prolific blogger, so they’re easy to find :) You can also check with author groups, and ask for recommendations.

99 Cents – Ignite Your Book

You can only use the 99 cents option one time for a book.

Ignite Your Book Screen Shot

Use this link for 99 cents submission:

http://igniteyourbook.com/99-submission/

$1.00 – Snick List

For $1.00, you can run one free day on Snick List. You can do five days for $2.50, pro-rated for days between two and four.

Snick List Screen Shot

You can also do a year for a permanently free book for $5.00.

You can place the ad the day the book goes free. Here’s the link:

http://snickslist.com/books/place-ad/

FREE or $2.99 Option – Content Mo

I used the $2.99 option, although you could run your free days at no charge. From their site: “THREE TWEETS JUST FOR YOUR BOOK to over 24,000+ Twitter Followers for Just $2.99.”

Content Mo Screen Shot

Here’s the link to get started:

http://contentmo.com/submit-your-free-ebook-promo

$29 – Book Marketing Tool

Book Marketing Tool Screen Shot

The tool allows you to request listings on various sites for your free days. Listings aren’t guaranteed; hey, it’s free so it’s up to the site if they decide to run it or not.

You will need to create an account. You’ll also need to add the book, but it’s fast and easy.

I like the easy process for submitting to some 26 sites without having to copy and paste ASIN, link, social media links, blurb, etc. Some sites require confirmation from you if they do decide to run the promotion. Be sure and check your email.

https://bookmarketingtools.com/submission?login=yes

Paid Promotions List (use at your own risk)

Here’s a list to sites to promote free books. I haven’t tried all of these, so use at your own risk.

https://www.tckpublishing.com/list-of-sites-to-promote-your-free-amazon-kindle-books

Your Turn

I hope my experiences have been helpful to you as you launch your own book.

If you missed the opportunity to download the book for FREE on Amazon from June 11 through June 15, I hope you’ll snag the book through Kindle Unlimited. It would help me :)

*****

Can Kirbie trust the hot guy who’s also hot on her missing sister’s trail?

Frantic, Kirbie searches for Laken, her missing, party-girl sister. She collides with Evan, who’s also hot on Laken’s trail. He’s convinced that Laken crashed her car, dumped his brother’s body in the river, and fled. He’s determined to find the girl, mowing down anyone who’s unwary enough to get in his way, and throttle the truth about his brother’s disappearance out of her.

Out of options and time, Kirbie joins forces with the attractive and mysterious Evan. She can’t trust the man who’s determined to make her sister pay for a crime Kirbie is sure Laken didn’t commit. At the same time, her treacherous heart melts like sweet chocolate in Evan’s heated presence. She vows to keep her traitorous heart safe, even though it’s determined to throw itself into Evan’s flames. She forces herself to concentrate on finding her sister . . . and saving Laken from Evan’s vengeful wrath.

The unlikely allies track Laken to The Amazing Erase, a secret, underground show with desperate misfits as the performers.

Does The Amazing Erase represent hedonistic depravity, or does it hide an even darker, final performance?

DIE and the Family Stone is set in Kentucky. I grew up in a farming community outside Brandenburg, Kentucky.

Although I did take some creative license with the geography, the underground compound in the story is located near Otter Creek. That’s an image of me wading in Otter Creek, located not far from Louisville.

Otter Creek Park

In the story, you’ll meet the Stone sisters, Kirbie and Laken. Spooky was the third sister. She was the focus of her violent, alcoholic parents’ rage. I realize “Spooky” may not be considered a politically correct name. However, my real-life sibling bore the derisive nickname Spooky. My Spooky bore the brunt of our father’s fury, although we were all victims of it. I hoped to rewrite that lost soul’s tragic ending as well as offer some solace for the Spookys who survived their horrific childhoods.

Feel Free to Contact Me

Email: jada_ryker@yahoo.com

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

Twitter: @JadaRyker

To get updates on my books from Amazon: Click the link below. Then click the gold Follow button under my picture.

Amazon Author Page with Follow Button

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Jada-Ryker/e/B00D8LR5XS

Newsletter Subscription

I promise I’ll never sell or give away your email address.

Here’s the link to sign up for the newsletter:

http://gem.godaddy.com/signups/211744/join

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DIE and the Family Stone is FREE June 11 – June 15, 2017!


DIE and the Family Stone is FREE!

If you missed the opportunity to download the book for FREE on Amazon from June 11 through June 15, I hope you’ll snag the book through Kindle Unlimited. It would help me :)

*****

Can Kirbie trust the hot guy who’s also hot on her missing sister’s trail?

Frantic, Kirbie searches for Laken, her missing, party-girl sister. She collides with Evan, who’s also hot on Laken’s trail. He’s convinced that Laken crashed her car, dumped his brother’s body in the river, and fled. He’s determined to find the girl, mowing down anyone who’s unwary enough to get in his way, and throttle the truth about his brother’s disappearance out of her.

Out of options and time, Kirbie joins forces with the attractive and mysterious Evan. She can’t trust the man who’s determined to make her sister pay for a crime Kirbie is sure Laken didn’t commit. At the same time, her treacherous heart melts like sweet chocolate in Evan’s heated presence. She vows to keep her traitorous heart safe, even though it’s determined to throw itself into Evan’s flames. She forces herself to concentrate on finding her sister . . . and saving Laken from Evan’s vengeful wrath.

The unlikely allies track Laken to The Amazing Erase, a secret, underground show with desperate misfits as the performers.

Does The Amazing Erase represent hedonistic depravity, or does it hide an even darker, final performance?

DIE and the Family Stone is set in Kentucky. I grew up in a farming community outside Brandenburg, Kentucky.

Although I did take some creative license with the geography, the underground compound in the story is located near Otter Creek. That’s an image of me wading in Otter Creek, located not far from Louisville.

Otter Creek Park

In the story, you’ll meet the Stone sisters, Kirbie and Laken. Spooky was the third sister. She was the focus of her violent, alcoholic parents’ rage. I realize “Spooky” may not be considered a politically correct name. However, my real-life sibling bore the derisive nickname Spooky. My Spooky bore the brunt of our father’s fury, although we were all victims of it. I hoped to rewrite that lost soul’s tragic ending as well as offer some solace for the Spookys who survived their horrific childhoods.

Feel Free to Contact Me

Email: jada_ryker@yahoo.com

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

Twitter: @JadaRyker

To get updates on my books from Amazon: Click the link below. Then click the gold Follow button under my picture.

Amazon Author Page with Follow Button

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Jada-Ryker/e/B00D8LR5XS

Newsletter Subscription

I promise I’ll never sell or give away your email address.

Here’s the link to sign up for the newsletter:

http://gem.godaddy.com/signups/211744/join

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Kindle Scout Campaign – The Freak Show Below: Part Four


Parts One, Two, and Three 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 in case you want to check it out, although the campaign is over:

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.

In Part Three, I posted advice from Steve Vernon, acclaimed storyteller and Kindle Scout winner, about soliciting support for your HeadTalker. I also include step-by-step instructions from Lincoln Cole on how to set up your HeadTalker.

End of Week Four 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.

* Hot and Trending

There are various schools of thought about H&T. We know from Lincoln’s great statistics that books with no H&T hours have been selected, while books with 24 hours of H&T for all thirty days were not selected.

I think it’s nice, because it boosts visibility. I don’t think you should stress over it, though. Here’s my chart with the H&T hours:

Hot and Trending after Campaign is over

* 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.

External Sources Week Four Revised

Most of the views were from Direct Traffic at 73% of all of the traffic. The second highest source of traffic was Facebook at 23%. That’s 96% of all of the traffic. The other approximately 4% percent of other sources included Kboards, Author Central, and my website. The numbers don’t add up to 100% due to rounding.

* 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%
End of Week Four: 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 first week. By the end of the second week and through the third 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 end of the campaign, the ratio was exactly 50/50.

Free Promotional 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. I contacted all of my closest friends by the end of the third week. Due to time constraints and other considerations, I skipped the friends with whom I have limited personal-message contact.

Here’s the table.

Facebook Messages Week Four Revised

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.

I took the total number of Facebook groups to which I belong, and targeted posting in one-fourth of the groups each week. In my first campaign, I wanted to do something for promotion. This campaign, I felt a bit more relaxed and didn’t feel pressured to continuously campaign and promote above and behind paid advertising.

I think the choice not to contact more friends and to not post in any groups the last week did contribute to the change in the Facebook percentage of External Sources (see above). Facebook did change from 41% of the External Sources at the beginning of my campaign to 23% at the end of the campaign.

Posting in Facebook Groups Week Four

Correlation Between Views and Paid Promotion

The next chart demonstrates the free or paid promotion activities, and the results.

Summary Table Promotions and Results

Kindle Scout and Paid Promotions

I get questions from time to time from authors who are running Kindle Scout campaigns. I try and guide them to my blog posts, starting here http://jadaryker.com/?p=97 with my 2016 campaign and here http://jadaryker.com/?p=286 for my 2017 campaign. My posts also include the links to other authors’ great information.

Some authors respond: “I don’t have time to read posts! Just give me the bottom line!”

Truthfully, I feel like singing “Soft Kitty” to them to help them calm down.

If you’re running a campaign now or thinking of trying Kindle Scout, then I highly encourage you to take the time to go through the information in my posts and other authors’ posts. But here are a couple of questions and answers to help you. I don’t receive discounts or any sort of compensation from any vendor. These are my results for informational purposes only. Always check prices, make your own decisions based upon your budget, and check that any paid promotion ran as promised.

Question:

I don’t have any money to spend on promotion, but I want to make the best of the chance to snag a Kindle Press contract. Should I take out a home-equity loan or contact a payday loan branch for the money to pay for promotion?

Jada:

No! Don’t spend money you don’t have on promotion! Approach advertising like you would a visit to the casino – don’t bet more than you can afford to lose.

Use the free promotion ideas I’ve discussed in my blog posts:

 Message your friends on social media, such as Facebook.
 Post in Facebook groups.
 Set up a HeadTalker campaign.
 Tweet your campaign on Twitter.
 Set up a Tumblr page.
 Be active on the Kboard thread that I have suggested throughout my posts: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,213112.18400.html

Question:

I have some cash squirreled away in my underwear drawer. I love your (and other Kindle Scout campaigners) ideas about leveraging the campaign as a springboard for my new book, regardless of selection (or non-selection) by Kindle Press. I want to pay for promotion with my hidden loot. What’s the best way for me to spend the money on the campaign?

Jada:

These options are the ones I’ve found to be the most powerful and effective. I’ve arranged them from the lowest cost and on up. Remember, prices, terms, and conditions are subject to change. It’s on you to check before you buy. Your results may vary.

$5 – Readper is the least expensive option, and had the best impact on my single-day views.

Here’s the website link: http://readper.com/authors

$10 – The Author Shout promotion is good for the entire thirty days of your campaign, provided you start it as soon as you get your link for your campaign.

Author Shout Graphic

They’ll also send you free graphics to use in your campaign. Here’s an example of what they mocked up for me:

The Freak Show Below by Jada Ryker FACEBOOK and TWITTER TEASER

Use the link to go to their page.

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

$20 – Lovely Books is a great option for social media exposure. Also, the person who runs is a lovely (Get it? Lovely?) lady and a good-hearted person.

Lovely Books

She offers:

• Over 9,000 Facebook Fans
• Over 20,000 Twitter Followers
• Hundreds of Unique Website Visitors Every Day
• More Comprehensive Promotional Options

You should choose the Social Media option when your campaign begins, to get 30 days of Twitter and 30 days of Facebook posts to cover your Kindle Scout campaign.

Here’s the link.

http://lovelybookpromotions.com/promotional-packages

$30 – MelRock on Fiverr does great work.

MelRock

She also has a Kindle Scout promotion package for 30 days for $30.

Here’s the link: https://www.fiverr.com/melrock/kindlescout-30-day-promo?funnel=1e3976a0-1d5b-4c5c-9654-939edeafc8d1

$30 – Just Kindle Books gave me a good result. Here’s some information from their website.

This promotion helps readers discover and nominate your book on Kindle Scout. Just Kindle Books guarantees that they’ll get your romance or mystery book into “Hot & Trending” for at least one day or your money back.

Just Kindle Books Screen Shot

Here’s the link: http://www.justkindlebooks.com/kindle-scout-promotion

$70 – Cost with coupon. Scout Boost is a good option. If you refer to my detailed chart, you can see the first time it ran gave me the best results. I did experience a diminishing return with subsequent runs.

Scout Boost Screen Shot

Here’s the link: http://www.scoutboost.com/booking-form

$200 – Cost with coupon for Best Indie Press. You can see from my chart that I had great results with the service. I also loved working with Jessica. She sent me updates on the newsletter results throughout the time she promoted the campaign.

Best Indies Books Screen Shot

Remember…we don’t know for sure how Kindle Scout counts views. I’m convinced—and Jessica provided the tracking—that I got tons more traffic than what was reflected on my campaign stats dashboard. I approached Best Indie Press as a great way to build visibility and to leverage the free Kindle Scout promotion, regardless if the book is selected or not selected for Kindle Press.

Tom Swyers wrote extensively about his experiences with Best Indie Press.

https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,245964.150.html

You can find the coupon code on Tom’s narrative.

The link to Jessica’s service is: http://unbouncepages.com/bestindiepress_kindlescout

You have to apply for the service. She has the option to decline. Don’t assume she’s rejected your request. If you don’t see an email back from her, be sure and check your spam folder.

$Various – Facebook Boosts. You can boost your posts for just few dollars and on up. You can try to boost one for a small amount, gauge the results, and decide if you want to do it again.

Question:

You ran a winning campaign a year ago. What did you do last time that you passed on this time around?

Jada:

Here are promotion efforts I tried last time but didn’t do this time.

Flyers: Last year, I had flyers printed with information about the campaign, and the smart phone thingy. It was expensive and took up a lot of time in the distribution phase. If you do it, use a link tracker, but I don’t think it’s very effective.

Press Release: After my book was selected last year, I paid for a press release targeted to media in Kentucky. I wrote it myself, using a template I found on a Createspace forum. I’ve lived in Kentucky all of my life, and Take the Body and Run is set in Kentucky. I was disappointed when only a handful of Kentucky newspapers picked up the story, but it was a lesson learned.

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 last year on my views statistics. It’s pricey, too… a sad waste of money.


WEEK FOUR Review of Action Items

WEEK FOUR CHECK IN –
Did you do everything for the final week?

 Contributed to discussions on KBoards; you should be at or near the top of the rolling list.

 Ran your subsequent HeadTalker campaign, if you chose the option.

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

 Contacted the last 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 last week.

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

 Set up paid promotion(s) if desired. Chances are you set them up earlier, with the last of them running this last week.

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

 Don’t forget to nominate yourself. That way, you can see when the emails go out to people who nominated you.

 Manage expectations. Take a deep breath…it’s over except for the waiting, yay!

CAMPAIGN END Check In –
What should you do the last day of the campaign or the next day after it ends?

 Remove the Kindle Scout campaign appeal from your Author Central biography.

 Remove the Kindle Scout campaign appeal from your Author biography on GoodReads.

 Update your profile on Kboards to remove the Kindle Scout link.

 Change the Kindle Scout campaign appeal page on your website. I changed the page from “The Freak Show Below Kindle Scout Campaign” to “The Freak Show Below – Coming Soon”. I also added the book’s cover and first two chapters, which were included in the Kindle Scout campaign. I removed all references and links to Kindle Scout.

 Switch out images on social media, like Facebook (personal and author pages, if applicable), Twitter, Tumblr, etc.

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. To subscribe to my newsletter to get information about my books and other stuff, please click the Subscribe button on the right side panel.

Now, may I ask a favor?

Could you please check out my Kindle Scout winner, Take the Body and Run? Here’s the link to the book. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can get it for free and it sure would help me.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HC30YG2

Here’s some more information about the book:

Book One: 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 mysteries.

~*~ 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.

For your convenience, here’s the link to the book. Did I mention it’s free through Kindle Unlimited?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HC30YG2

Still with me? 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

And if you could follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/JadaRyker

Last but not least…to get updates on my books from Amazon: Click the link below. Then click the gold Follow button under my picture.

Amazon Author Page with Follow Button

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Jada-Ryker/e/B00D8LR5XS

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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, Author of Kelpie Dreams

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.”

Lincoln Cole, Kindle Scout winning author of Raven’s Peak

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

Lincoln’s 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 what Lincoln posted on Kboards about HeadTalker.

“HeadTalker is a really useful tool to get bursts in clicks so it is definitely worthwhile. Basically, you should be able to go to Headtalker.com and make an account. Then:

1) In the top right, click on the button that says “Start” – A popup will show up and you click “Start a campaign”

2) Enter the name (this is just for you and for display)

3) Enter a message ****NOTE**** when you put your message, keep in mind people are tweeting this out to their followers at the assigned date.

DO NOT PUT: “Hey, check out my new kindle scout book at this link” or anything similar because then it looks like THAT PERSON tweeting is saying it is THEIR book, which causes huge amounts of confusion. Sorry for the caps, but sooooo many authors screw this up that I wanted to make sure to point it out.

What you should put is something like “Check out this Kindle Scout entry by @YourTwitterName and get a free copy if selected” or something similar. Something promotional but never reference that it is yours in the tweet (since other people are tweeting it rather than retweeting).

4) Put the link to your Kindle Scout campaign (HeadTalker will actually turn this into a custom link in the tweet people send to track clicks, so you can see how well the campaign performs later by looking at the page).

5) Add a featured photo (background photo isn’t as important since it is just for your campaign. the featured photo actually gets tweeted so book cover or anything you want to feature).

6) Choose a category (Books and Literature most likely).

7) The story is like “Hey support my campaign because I’m awesomesauce” but it doesn’t get involved in the tweet. It is just for recruiting tweeters/sharers so doesn’t matter too much

8) Set your supporter goal at 25 (you can always go over, but if you put your goal at 100 and only 50 people sign up it won’t get shared, so going low is better) then pick a date and time to post. I would say at least 5-12 days in the future to get the 25 people you need to make it happen!

9) Hit submit. After about an hour or two you will get an email from HeadTalker saying your link is live, and usually 5-7 automatic accounts with about 900,000 followers with instantly support your campaign to get your started!”

Here’s what Lincoln said about his own recent HeadTalker activities:

“A few days ago I set up four campaigns for 4 different promotional things I’m doing over the next month (each with different messages and images) and it took about 5-10 minutes to do it.

“Then, check out https://www.facebook.com/groups/309681422531552/

“This is a trade group for sharing support. You can support other people’s campaigns and in return they will support yours. Either make a new post or look for the ongoing post to add it to, or add it to the posts other people make after you support their campaigns so they can support yours back.

“Once you are at 25 people just watch the magic happen (you can check a few hours after the tweets/shares happen and see how many people clicked to your campaign, and with luck it’ll push you onto the H&T list!)”

As of right now, Lincoln is running a new Kindle Scout campaign. Here’s a screen shot of his twitter post:

Lincoln's Exorcist KS Campaign

Just click the link to get to his campaign:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3VV8S5ETQAJMM

Lincoln's Exorcist KS Campaign on Kindle Scout Page


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.

I tracked the number of messages 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. Due to rounding of percentages, it doesn’t add up to 100%.

Sources Revised 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.

 Manage your expectations.

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. To subscribe to my newsletter to get information about my books and other stuff, please click the Subscribe button on the right side panel.

Now, may I ask a favor?

Could you please check out my Kindle Scout winner, Take the Body and Run? Here’s the link to the book. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can get it for free and it sure would help me.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HC30YG2

Here’s some more information about the book:

Book One: 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 mysteries.

~*~ 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.

For your convenience, here’s the link to the book. Did I mention it’s free through Kindle Unlimited?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HC30YG2

Still with me? 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

And if you could follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/JadaRyker

Last but not least…to get updates on my books from Amazon: Click the link below. Then click the gold Follow button under my picture.

Amazon Author Page with Follow Button

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Jada-Ryker/e/B00D8LR5XS

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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%.

Sources Revised 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).

 Manage your expectations.

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. To subscribe to my newsletter to get information about my books and other stuff, please click the Subscribe button on the right side panel.

Now, may I ask a favor?

Could you please check out my Kindle Scout winner, Take the Body and Run? Here’s the link to the book. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can get it for free and it sure would help me.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HC30YG2

Here’s some more information about the book:

Book One: 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 mysteries.

~*~ 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.

For your convenience, here’s the link to the book. Did I mention it’s free through Kindle Unlimited?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HC30YG2

Still with me? 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

And if you could follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/JadaRyker

Last but not least…to get updates on my books from Amazon: Click the link below. Then click the gold Follow button under my picture.

Amazon Author Page with Follow Button

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Jada-Ryker/e/B00D8LR5XS

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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.

Managing Expectations

Expect Non-Selection

Many authors go into Kindle Scout thinking that selection means instant fame and fortune. It’s important to remember that there’s no guarantee of selection. Kindle Scout has declined to select many great books. How do I know? I’m not only a writer but also a reader. I read as many non-selected books as I can from the Kboards Kindle Scout thread. I’ve read books that wowed me, books that were well written and edited, with excellent stories and characters.

The best advice I can give you is to go into your campaign not expecting to get selected. We don’t know the exact criteria they use for selection. You created your campaign for your professionally edited book, using a great cover, compelling (and free of errors) description, and a great tagline. You took advantage of the About Me and the questions/answers section. You included your social media information, and your backlist.

In Part Three, I explore using the Kindle Scout campaign as a springboard to a successful launch of a non-selected book. Many non-selected books had effective launches using their KS campaign as a springboard, and have remained in the high paid rankings-doing much better than my KS selection.

One aspect of managing your expectations, not only with Kindle Scout but also as an author, is to work a day job. I work full-time over 40 hours per week, along with a long commute. I don’t have the pressure of paying bills through money earned as an author. Most authors, especially those of us who are Indies, don’t earn enough money from writing to keep our households solvent. I spend money on promotions and building my brand. It feels good to have some flexibility due to the earnings from the day job.

Another thing to think about is total compensation. A day job not only gives you money but also benefits. For me, that means paid vacation, holiday, sick; medical insurance with the employer paying a significant portion; a retirement plan with money kicked in by my employer; disability and life insurance; and tuition assistant. I work for a university. I earned my masters degree without paying any money for tuition. I only had to pay for books and fees.

There’s a great question and answer in a previous Slate’s Dear Prudence column. The person who wrote to Prudie has a brother who “has no intention of looking for another job; he wants to be a famous sci-fi author.” Here’s the link:

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2016/07/dear_prudence_my_mother_abused_my_dying_father.html

You’ll need to scroll and find the column heading: “My brother wants me to help him become a famous writer.”

Prudie’s answer includes this gem: “Arthur C. Clarke worked as a pensions auditor, served in the army, and clerked for an indexing service well into the 1950s, even after he had found success selling his short stories; Kurt Vonnegut continued to teach English and write ad copy after the publication of his first novel; Isaac Asimov remained on the faculty at the Boston University School of Medicine even after he started making more money as a writer than as an academic—there’s precedence for finding, and keeping, a day job.”

Temper Expectations with Selection

Selection does not equal instant fame and fortune. Yes, some selected books have done very well. Others have not performed that well, maybe even not as good as some of your self-published titles.

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. Due to rounding of percentages, it doesn’t add up to 100%.

Sources Revised 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).

 Manage your expectations.

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. To subscribe to my newsletter to get information about my books and other stuff, please click the Subscribe button on the right side panel.

Now, may I ask a favor?

Could you please check out my Kindle Scout winner, Take the Body and Run? Here’s the link to the book. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can get it for free and it sure would help me.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HC30YG2

Here’s some more information about the book:

Book One: 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 mysteries.

~*~ 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.

For your convenience, here’s the link to the book. Did I mention it’s free through Kindle Unlimited?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HC30YG2

Still with me? 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

And if you could follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/JadaRyker

Last but not least…to get updates on my books from Amazon: Click the link below. Then click the gold Follow button under my picture.

Amazon Author Page with Follow Button

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Jada-Ryker/e/B00D8LR5XS

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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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