Take the Body and Run is Available on Amazon!


Thank You for the Nomination!

If you nominated it, thank you again and be sure to click the link below to get your free copy now.

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

Once you’re on the page, just click the blue box Get Your Copy.

To get it on your reading device, click the pop up button Redeem Now.

I would love it if you could kindly leave a review once you’ve read it :)

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

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.

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

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

I’m exaggerating. A little.

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

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

Kindle Scout Announcement

Timeline

Now for the timeline.

Sunday, May 1

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

Monday, May 2

My manuscript was chosen for a campaign.

Wednesday, May 4

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

Thursday, June 2

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

Tuesday, June 14

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

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

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/selected

Wednesday, June 15

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

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

Friday, June 17

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

Sunday, June 19

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

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

I also verified the cover was ready to go.

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

Monday, June 20

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

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

Monday, June 20 (later that day)

Hello Jada,

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

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

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

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

Thanks for being a part of Kindle Press!

Regards,

Your editorial team

Monday, June 20 (right after above)

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

June 21

Completed the Kindle Scout survey. Great job, team!

Friday, July 8

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

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


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

Overview

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

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

Structure/Plot Flow

The story is suspenseful and flows well..

Characterization

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

Tone and Style

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

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

—Kelly, Kindle Scout Editor


My Editing Process

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

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

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

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

Sunday, August 21

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

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


Release on Amazon

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

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

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

Hopefully, they will post early reviews.

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

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


Ninety Days from Launch

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

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

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


To be continued . . .

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

Now, a word from our sponsor (me).

My Self-Published Books: Shaken, Not Stirred

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

Shaken, Not Stirred

A Pink Zombie with a Mist June 2015

A Pink Zombie, with a Mist

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gimlet-6x9-for-border FINAL

Gimlet Short Story Collection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Headtalker

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

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

Kelpie Dreams

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

Kelpie Dreams Review Resized 150 no aspect ratio

Back to Steve Vernon and his expertise. He says:

“Let me see if I can explain quickly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Twitter

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

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

Instagram

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

LinkedIn

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

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

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

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

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

Hindsight is Twenty/Twenty: Pre-Campaign Work

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

Third Party Promotions

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

What Worked

GenrePulse

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

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

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

Facebook Boosts

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

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

What Didn’t Work

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

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

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

Research

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

KBoards

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

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

Steve Vernon’s Blog: 30 Days of Kindle Scout

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

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

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

Lincoln Cole’s Guide to Kindle Scout

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

Here’s what he covers:

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

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

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

http://www.lincolncole.net/kindlescout

Your Campaign Statistics

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

Try not to stress out. Just do your best.

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

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

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

Build Your Plan

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

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

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

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

WEEK ONE

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

Here are my suggestions for the first week.

Update Your Social Media

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

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

Jada_FacebookBanner_851x315_June2

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

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

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

Manage Your Facebook Friends List

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

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

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

You support your friends.

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

Let’s look at your FB friends list.

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s agree to disagree.

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

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

*****

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

*****

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

Let’s rethink that mindset.

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

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

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

Manage Your Emails/Subscriber Lists

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

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

Post on Your Facebook Page

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

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

Posting in Facebook Groups

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

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

*****

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

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

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

*****

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

Paper Flyers

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

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

WEEKS TWO THROUGH FOUR

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

Week Two

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

Week Three

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

Week Four

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

Interested in my previously self-published books?

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

Ahem.

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

The Karma Consulting Series

Dog Days of Karma Cover

Dog Days of Karma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Equi_Knocks_of_Karma_by_Jada_Ryker

Equi Knocks of Karma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Final Campaign Statistics

As promised, here are my final campaign statistics.

Snip Final Campaign Stats Entire Screen

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

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I submitted to Kindle Scout on impulse.

Let me give you some background.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s my Scout profile:

Kindle Scout Profile

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

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

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

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

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

HELL, no.

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

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

The Takes a Dare Series

Murder Takes a Dare by Jada Ryker Cover

Murder Takes a Dare

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

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

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

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

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

Mayhem Takes a Dare by Jada Ryker

Mayhem Takes a Dare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

arson-dare-final (1)

Arson Takes a Dare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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June 19, 2016 · 10:11 pm

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

Take the Body and Run Cover Final

Take the Body and Run

Fleeing her past, Macey hurtles into danger.

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

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

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

Here is the beginning of the book.

***

Welcome to Macey Malloy’s World

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

The Work Gang:

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Boss

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

People I Pissed Off My First Week at Work

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other People Not Likely to Join the Macey Malloy Fan Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Roommate

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

CHAPTER ONE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Movement at the door caught my attention.

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

Halloween Anth Cover

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

Downloads and reviews would be lovely.

Click below to get your copy.

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

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

Here’s more detail about the book:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Mayhem Takes a Dare, by Jada Ryker, is FREE on Amazon September 25 – September 29!

The second book in the Takes a Dare series is free now through Tuesday, September 29.

Don’t worry if you missed Murder Takes a Dare, the first book in the series. Mayhem Takes a Dare reads well as a standalone novel.

Downloads and reviews would be wonderful.

Fantasy and reality clash when the members of an online group meet. Behind the profiles, a vicious killer waits.

Marisa recognizes an exotic dancer. Sarah is undercover, trawling for a sugar daddy to save her from her abusive boyfriend. Marisa is furious when she realizes the dancer has targeted the innocent Brandon to be her new GoFundMe account. When the dancer is later killed, Marisa is a suspect.

Marisa and her friends follow the clues. Can she solve the mystery before her online profile is deleted… permanently?

Amazon US:

http://www.amazon.com/Mayhem-Takes-Dare-Adventure-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00E2QS2LW/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mayhem-Takes-Dare-Adventure-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00E2QS2LW/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Amazon CA:

http://www.amazon.ca/Mayhem-Takes-Dare-Adventure-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00E2QS2LW/ref=sr_1_8?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1443222116&sr=1-8

Amazon AU:

http://www.amazon.com.au/Mayhem-Takes-Dare-Adventure-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00E2QS2LW/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1443222175&sr=8-6&keywords=jada+ryker

 

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Part Four: For Authors on a Budget: An Indie Author Shares Marketing and Promotion Experiences from Free and up to $100

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Recap

In Part One, I discussed the process to produce a high-quality book. Bryan Miller provides affordable editing/proofreading services. He may be contacted through his website http://williambryanmiller.com/proofreading/needProofreading.php. Christina Keats is a talented graphic designer who can take your cover from your imagination to reality. You can connect with her through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/christina.keats.9. Beta readers can help with continuity, spot plot holes, and provide valuable feedback to help improve your final version.

I also shared some basic marketing tips. Check out the website’s statistics, including traffic numbers. Consider marketing a free book to create momentum for the sequel’s new release. By all means use free sites. Some will result in free downloads or sales, while with others you get what you pay for (hint: nothing). You should only pay money to the site if your book is accepted. Allow plenty of time upfront to get your promotions scheduled. At the time of the promotions, check to be sure they actually did run.

Parts One, Two, and Three Promotional Sites

In Part One, I discussed my experiences with various sites, including statistics, costs, lead times, and outcomes. Each web address is also included. I covered Best Indie Books, The Daily Bookworm, E Book Deal of the Day, E Book Lister, E Book Soda, E Reader Café, E Reader News Today, Free Booksy and Bargain Booksy, Free Kindle Books and Tips, The Fussy Librarian, Genre Pulse, and Storyfinds.

Part One is available at http://jadaryker.com/?p=39

The sites discussed in Part Two are Addicted to E Books, Awesome Gang, Book Basset, Book Bear, The Book Circle, Book Goodies, Booktastic, and Digital Book Today.

Part Two is available at http://jadaryker.com/?p=57

In Part Three, Discount Books Daily, E Book Bird, E Book Stage, EBookasaurus, Good Kindles, Ignite Your Book, and Just Kindle Books are discussed.

Part Three is available is at: http://jadaryker.com/?p=60

Part Four Sites

In Part Four, I discuss One Hundred Free Books, People Reads, Pretty Hot, Read Cheaply, Read Freely, and Reading Deals.

One Hundred Free Books (OHFB)

Traffic: 169,000+ Facebook fans, 29,000+ email subscribers, 2,000+ app users,

Lead Time: Not specified.

Cost: $0 – $75 – $100

With the $75 option, you get blog, email, social media, and a Facebook boost. For $100, you get the same as $75, plus your book is featured at the top of the email.

For this site, I chose the free option. With the free option, you’re not guaranteed a placement. If it’s run, then the free option can give you some more exposure.

http://www.discountbooksdaily.com/submit-a-listing/

PeopleReads

Traffic: Not specified.

Lead Time: Not specified.

Cost: $0 – $7.99 – $8.99 – $14.99 – $19.99 – $24.99 – $29.99

PeopleReads offers many different options and prices.

For the free option, you’re not guaranteed placement. It may or may not be emailed to subscribers.

If you meet the minimum requirements and are accepted, you can choose among a plethora of paid options.

Requirements include the following: 10 reviews on Amazon (US and/or UK) with an average rating of 3.9 stars or better (review requirement does not apply to New Release Listings). For books with 50+ reviews an average of 3.8 stars or better must be maintained and for books with 200+ reviews an average of 3.5 stars or better must be maintained. The book should be free of typos, and it should have a professional cover. Meeting the requirements doesn’t mean an automatic acceptance.

I picked the $7.99 option. The book did well on the free days, and I had sales of non-free books. I got my money’s worth from the listing.

http://www.peoplereads.com/list-your-ebook

Pretty Hot (Vinny Umbrella)

Traffic: 7,500 Twitter followers and around 5,690 Facebook fans.

Lead Time: Not specified.

Cost: Free – $25

With the free option, you get some exposure. The featured option for $25 guarantees a featured spot on the homepage for 5 days. The book will also go out in the newsletter and get posted in the social media channels.

I’ve gone both the free and paid route with Pretty Hot. I got more exposure and more downloads.

And here’s a helpful hint: once you do a paid spot, watch for a coupon code! Your next paid spot will be very cheap.

http://pretty-hot.com/submit-your-book/

Read Cheaply

Traffic: 60,000 (varies by genre)

Lead Time: Not stated.

Cost: Free (site states for a limited time) or $150

To be accepted, the book must have good reviews and positive acclaim. The guidelines also include a full-length, edited, professional formatted book, with a great cover.

The price should be free or discounted by at least 50%. Deal prices of $2.99 or less have a greater chance of being accepted. The book must not have been offered for a better price in the last 90 days. Your deal must be a limited-time offer. They may make exceptions for perma-free books.

You do need to write some new text, which should be compelling and free of errors.

The site will not feature the same author more than once every 30 days. They will not feature the same book more than once every 4 months.

http://readcheaply.com/partners/#overview

Read Freely

Traffic: Website says “thousands of book readers”

Lead Time: Not specified.

Cost: Free

It doesn’t cost you a thing to use this service. They will ask you to post their link on your webpage, etc. You may also fill out the author interview form. For the free book to stand a chance of making it into the newsletter, it must be free for at least a whole week.

What do you have to lose? Go for it!

http://www.readfree.ly/submityourfreebook/

Reading Deals

Traffic: 5,835 Facebook fans

Lead Time: Not specified, but you may be out of luck if it’s the day before your deal.

Cost: Free or $10 To be accepted, the book needs to be free of errors, have a great cover, and free of formatting problems. You book must have at least 5 reviews with a 4 star rating average.

I tried the free service, and was happy with it. I am going to try the paid service in a future promotion.

http://readingdeals.com/submit-ebook

Please note: This is just my experience. I don’t represent any website’s interests. I’m merely an indie author, trying to get some recognition for my hard work without blowing up my budget.

Takes a Dare
Murder Takes a Dare, Mayhem Takes a Dare, and Arson Takes a Dare are available on Amazon.com in both electronic and paperback formats. The Cat, the Crow, and the Cauldron is a collection of Halloween short stories, including “Dead Eye,” a Takes a Dare short story.

 

The Takes a Dare Series

Murder Takes a Dare by Jada Ryker Cover

Murder Takes a Dare

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

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

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

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

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

Mayhem Takes a Dare by Jada Ryker

Mayhem Takes a Dare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

arson-dare-final (1)

Arson Takes a Dare

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cat Cald Crow with Border

The Cat, the Crow, and the Cauldron

The strange and wonderful collection of Halloween stories ranges from paranormal romance to horror.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.amazon.com/Cat-Crow-Cauldron-Halloween-Anthology-ebook/dp/B016KW8N2I

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Part Three: For Authors on a Budget: An Indie Author Shares Marketing and Promotion Experiences from Free and up to $100

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What Happened in the Previous Discussions?

In Part One, I discussed the process to produce a high-quality book. Bryan Miller provides affordable editing/proofreading services. He may be contacted through his website http://williambryanmiller.com/proofreading/needProofreading.php. Christina Keats is a talented graphic designer who can take your cover from your imagination to reality. Beta readers can help with continuity, spot plot holes, and provide valuable feedback to help improve your final version. You can connect with her through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/christina.keats.9.

I also shared some basic marketing tips. Check out the website’s statistics, including traffic numbers.  Consider marketing a free book to create momentum for the sequel’s new release. By all means use free sites. Some will result in free downloads or sales, while with others you get what you pay for (hint: nothing). You should only pay money to the site if your book is accepted. Allow plenty of time upfront to get your promotions scheduled. At the time of the promotions, be sure they actually did run.

Parts One and Two Promotional Sites

I discussed my experiences with various sites, including statistics, costs, lead times, and outcomes. Each web address is also included. I covered Best Indie Books, The Daily Bookworm, E Book Deal of the Day, E Book Lister, E Book Soda, E Reader Café, E Reader News Today, Free Booksy and Bargain Booksy, Free Kindle Books and Tips, The Fussy Librarian, Genre Pulse, and Storyfinds.

Part One is available at http://jadaryker.com/?p=39

The sites discussed in Part Two are Addicted to E Books, Awesome Gang, Book Basset, Book Bear, The Book Circle, Book Goodies, Booktastic, and Digital Book Today.

Part Two is available at http://jadaryker.com/?p=57

Part Three Promotional Sites

In Part Three, Discount Books Daily, E Book Bird, E Book Stage, EBookasaurus, Good Kindles, Ignite Your Book, and Just Kindle Books are discussed.

Discount Books Daily

Traffic: Not listed.

Lead Time: Not specified.

Cost: $10 – $50 – $75. The cost varies by the price of the book, the genre, Free or $0.99, and the option you choose. For example, if you choose the $10 option, it’s $10 for each promotion day (3 days * $10 = $30).

The site will accept the same submission only once every 60 days. Requirements include the following standards. First, your book must be professionally edited. The site will read the first several pages, looking grammatical errors, and will listen to the sample audio for professional narration and editing. Second, the book must have a high-quality cover design and professional formatting. Third, the book must contain positive, real reviews. I don’t know what that translates to…it’s vague. Fourth, the book’s Amazon page must have a professional description free of typographical errors. Fifth, the full-length book (no short stories or novellas) must be for sale in the US. Last, the book should be free or deeply discounted for a limited time, with at least a 50% discount recommended. The site will let you know within 3 days if the book is accepted.

For this site, I chose the $10 option for one day for a free book. It did boost the book exposure, and I thought it was worth the cost.

http://www.discountbooksdaily.com/submit-a-listing/

E Book Bird

Traffic: Not listed

Lead Time: Allow plenty of lead time, because the spots fill up quickly.

Cost: $5

The requirements are fairly simple. A professional-looking cover is a must, with the image no smaller than 400 x 600 pixels. Unless it’s a new release (less than 90 days old), the book must have at least ten reviews with a 4+ star rating on media outlets such as Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, etc. The book has to have grate blurb. The book must offered as a sale on the date your book is featured at or below $2.99.  The site recommends the .99 cent – $1.99 range. The site will accept all genres except erotica.

I like this option because $5 is not much to pay for increased exposure to your book. The site manager is very responsive and answers questions for you.

http://www.e-bookbird.com/ebook/authors/#tab-1418753016178-3-10

E Book Stage

Traffic: Not listed

Lead Time: The listing date must be no earlier than 5 days from now, and no later than 30 days.

Cost: Free

E Book Stage has a specific set of steps. 1. Sign up for an account. 2. You can go ahead and upload all of your books, or upload as needed for promotions. 3. Pick your promotion option. You can view and track your promos on your private area and see your books on our website that are available for our readers. 4. The site will ask you to Like it on Facebook, follow on Twitter and invite your friends to like the Facebook Page. 5. Once you’ve submitted, wait for an approval.

The requirements:  High Reviews Rank on Amazon. A minimum of 5 reviews with an average stars rating of 4.0.  Children’s picture books should be at least 28 pages. “Regular Price” with a price of $25.00 or less. “Special Price” must be at least 50.0% off or more from the “Regular Price”. For A FREE promo just put 0.00 in “Special Price”. “Book of the Day” with same title, as long as there is a 120 days gap between promotions. “Book of the Day” deals as long as there is a 1 day gap between promotions by the same author.  For regular promotions, we require a 1 day gap between various titles (same title requires 120 days between promotions) by the same author. The site does not accept a book cover with a poor quality or additional text. If the image does not meet the quality standards, it may be rejected. If they reject a book, they will provide a reason, if possible.

You can’t beat a free price. If it gives your work more exposure, it’s definitely worth it.

http://ebookstage.com/how-to-promote-your-ebook

EBookasaurus

Traffic: Website states listings are seen by “thousands of people”

Lead Time: Not stated.

Cost: Free Option or Premium Listing

The cost of a Premium Book listing is $10 USD per listing.

Website states: INTRO SPECIAL – PREMIUM LISTING $5.00

However, when I filled out the form for the list, it showed a cost of $10. I did email the website to ask if the page is out of date. If so, I would think they’d update it.

Whether you’re an author on a budget or not, $5 is $5!

Good Kindles

Traffic: Website says “thousands of book readers”

Lead Time: Not specified.

Cost: $7.95 – $13.95- $19.95

The website states that the visitors actively search for new books on the site. They can search for a book genre through the search box (e.g. “romance” or “thriller”), can browse the site and read the listings, and they use the recommendation tools (“You might also like” widget, “Random book” button, and many others).

To use the site, you need to do some extra work. You must send an email with book title, link to book, description at least 200 words, and attach cover as a file.

I chose the $7.95 option. With that, I got a permanent listing of the book on the Goodkindles website. I also received a feature in the newsletter and social profiles on the day of the book listing publication. I think it’s good exposure for the price.

http://www.goodkindles.net/p/submit-your-book.html

Ignite Your Book

Traffic: 30,000 readers

Lead Time: The promotion must be set to start at least 10 business days from the date you submit your book. If you submit a book for promotion that starts in less than 10 business days, a listing is not guaranteed and you won’t get a refund.

Cost: $21.75

You’ll get a one-time listing on the start date of your discounted eBook promotion. The book must be at a discounted price of $2.99 or less. The site will not feature the same book more than once every 3 months. Books with a ranking of less than 3.5 stars on Amazon.com will not be considered.

I did get a good number of downloads. I think it’s worth the price for the service.

http://igniteyourbook.com/how-it-works/

Just Kindle Books

Traffic: Facebook – 20,200+, Twitter – 12,800+, Pinterest – 800+, StumbleUpon — 500+, Email Subscribers – 6,200+

Lead Time: May be able to schedule within 24 hours, but asks for at least 3 days before it’s needed to run.

Cost: Free, but you can purchase add ons, such as $10 for buy button + social media posts.

You must enter a unique books description 50 words or longer. The description must be new and found nowhere else online. Books must be priced at free or $0.99 to run in the promotion. Books must have 5 or more reviews on Amazon. They don’t accept books with offense covers (book covers that show full nudity, corpses, mutilation, hate symbols, guns pointed at the reader or other potentially offensive pictures will be rejected). They reserve the right to be highly selective about which books chosen for free promotions. The website will run one free promotion per book. Books that have already ran in a free promotion will not be considered for a second free promotion.

You can’t beat free, especially if you can get more readers for your book. I think it’s worth it if you want to spend some extra money for add ons.

http://www.justkindlebooks.com/authors-corner/

Please note: This is just my experience. I don’t represent any website’s interests. I’m merely an indie author, trying to get some recognition for my hard work without blowing up my budget.

And now… Let me tell you about my Karma Series

Dog Days of Karma and Equi Knocks of Karma are available on Amazon in electronic and paperback formats. Soul Stice of Karma is planned for release in 2016.

The Karma Consulting Series

Dog Days of Karma Cover

Dog Days of Karma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Equi_Knocks_of_Karma_by_Jada_Ryker

Equi Knocks of Karma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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