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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 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

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

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

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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 will not be considered.

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

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.

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.


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.

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

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Scenes from the Last Episode

In Part One, I discussed the process to produce a high-quality book. Bryan Miller provides affordable editing/proofreading services. 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.

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 results in free downloads or sales, while with others you get what you pay for (hint: nothing). Allow plenty of time upfront to get your promotions scheduled. At the time of the promotions, be sure they actually did run.

I shared 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

Vinny’s Umbrella

There are several sites run by one person. The ones I identified are as follows: Book Reader Magazine, Awesome Gang, Discount Book Man, and Pretty Hot. If you do one, you may get discount codes for the others.

It’s not a secret… it could have easily been masked with fake names. Just an FYI for you.

He lists no-cost sites that he knows of, and asks for more to put on the list.

Part Two Sites

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.

Addicted to E Books

Traffic: Not listed.

Lead Time: For free books, post only books that are the free the day you fill out the form for the free book.

Cost: Free – $15

For free advertising, the site only allows each book to be listed once. Log in and check before you submit. You could be banned for submitting more than once for the same book.

The book’s regular price must be $5.99 or less. If it’s an omnibus, they will accept up to $9.99. The caution is to supply the regular price, not any sale prices. Because of the backlog, it probably won’t show on the front page until after the sale.

Your book must be at least 100 pages long on Amazon. The site doesn’t accept erotica, and will reject a book that doesn’t have a family-friendly cover. At least 5 reviews are required. You will need to indicate levels of profanity, violence, and sex.

Each accepted book is featured for one day on the front page, and then moves into the subsequent pages. It can take several weeks for your book to show up on the front page.

To submit your book, you must register and click the link to verify. Once your account is verified and you are logged in, you can fill out the form.

You may also choose the paid advertising option. There are two advertising options.

Option #1: Sidebar Plus Facebook Ad. Cost: $15. Your eBook will be featured on the sidebar of the website for one week. It also includes featuring the book in a Facebook post.

Option #2: Facebook Ad. Cost: $5.00. The eBook will be featured in a Facebook post.

Please note: They are moving and will not be able to put up ads the week of July 12-18, 2015.

I did try the free option, and was pleased with it. Don’t forget to set up your account using the email that they send you.

Awesome Gang (Vinny’s Umbrella)

Traffic: Facebook has 49,182 fans and Twitter over 11,336 followers.

Lead Time: If you don’t put in a date, they will publish within one week.

Cost: Free – $10

Fill out the form for free or paid. Check the free box or the $10 paid option.

The paid option will get your book featured on the homepage for 2 days, a guaranteed spot in the newsletters, and more social media promotion.

You will need to upload a file for your cover.

I used the free option for free days. I did see traffic on downloads. I will try the $10 paid option for my next promotion.

The Book Basset

Traffic: 45,000 Facebook fans

Lead Time: Check the availability calendar before the promotion. Calendar shows 30 days from today.

Cost: $7.99 – $21.99

The site only accepts same book once every six months, and the same author every 30 days. No erotica or explicit adult content, and all submissions are subject to approval.

The Guaranteed Freebie Post is $7.99 for one day. They do three freebie posts a day, and your book will be included in one of those posts. Each post will appear on and in the daily “Today’s Deals From Book Basset” email. Each post will also be Tweeted and posted on Facebook.

The book should have an average rating of at least 3.5 stars with at least 10 reviews. With the exception of biographies and cookbooks, nonfiction books are not allowed.

The featured author post costs $21.99. Each day, Book Basset will feature one author’s works. Featured authors will get a dedicated post in the morning and will have their post Tweeted and posted on Facebook. Their post will also be featured in the daily “Today’s Deals From Book Basset” email.

The site highly recommends that at least one of the books submitted be free and any paid titles be priced at $2.99 or less. They welcome and encourage submitting a series. From their experience, a series will do well when most books are free and one or two are paid. You can enter 1 to 5 books at the same time.

Book Bear

Traffic: 140,000 followers and 5,000 newsletter subscribers

Lead Time: I didn’t see any date cutoffs; appears to be real time.

Cost: $10 – $50

There are several options and costs for promoting through Book Bear. For example, in the $50 package, you can get 10 days of social media blasts.

I chose the newsletter option for $30. I did think it was worth the cost. My plan for a future campaign is to try the social media blast for $10.!services/c842

The Book Circle

Traffic: 1,000 readers, authors, and publishers

Lead Time: Not specified

Cost: Free – $45

The free package includes listing on the Free Kindle Ebooks Page, 1 Tweet, 1 Facebook Post.

$5: The Premium package includes guaranteed listing on the Free Kindle Ebooks Page, 1 Tweet, 1 FB post, 1 Banner Ad.

$13: The Professional package is everything included in Premium Package plus E-newsletter blast   $45: The Ultimate package is everything included in Professional Package plus Listing Booster. The Booster is to 34 additional sites. These include: Book Boost, Book Canyon, Choosy Bookworm, Coupon Crazy Mom Blog, Deal Seeking Mom, eBook Daily Deals, eBook Lister, eBooks Habit, eFiction Finds, eFreeBooks, eReader Cafe, eReader Perks, Feed Your Reader, Free Book Dude, Free eBooks For Me, Free Stuff Times, Freebies 4 Mom, Freebooksy, Frugal Freebies, I Crave Freebies, I Love eBooks, Indie Book of Day, Indie House Books, Its Write Now, Kindle Books Promo, Media Bistro – AppNewser, One Hundred Free Books, Orangeberry Promo, Penny Pinchin Mom, People Reads, Reading Deals, Story Finds, The Frugal Find, and Your Daily Ebooks.

I tried the free option, and felt satisfied with it. The traffic stats aren’t impressive, but I may try the $45 option in the future, given the “boost” to the 34 sites.

Book Goodies

Traffic: Over 30,000 Facebook and Twitter

Lead Time: At least one week if time sensitive

Cost: $5 – $40

You can list free, permanently free, and bargain books. Allow plenty of time to read and fill in information. The site is complicated.

An author interview is required upfront, as well as information about your book. Be sure and use a plain text program. When you fill out the form, you will need to upload your book cover.

No shortened links are allowed. Be careful to use the right category. Don’t add free books into Bargain Books unless they are permafree, and are so noted in the post content. Don’t add fiction books to a nonfiction category, or adult books into the young adult category. The better you categorize your post the more likely readers will find your book.

Some of the submission forms ask for what seems to be duplicate information. Please be aware that your posts about your books, your interviews and your guest posts will all come up independently in search engines.

Posts submitted to BookGoodies may be scheduled a month or more after you submit them.

Check your submission for typos and errors BEFORE you hit submit. They use the information “as is” and will not be performing major edits on your submission. If you submit and realize you made a lot of errors, resubmit with “this is a corrected submission” in the first content section.

Guest posts are for topics of interest to readers, not for self promotion and are not to include links in the body of the post.

I pad $30 for 5 days Free Kindle Book Highlight. I had a good number of downloads. My plan is to dial it back down to the $5 listing fee for the next free promotion.


Traffic: 3,000 subscribers for mystery (varies by genre) and 600-1000 daily website visitors

Lead Time: Schedule ahead of time.

Cost: $5 – $40

There are four options: 1. Daily book deals on the site and in the newsletter. 2. Facebook book deal feature with a boost of your post to 8000 followers. 3. Featured Author, with a written interview, podcast interview or video podcast. 4. Banner adverts on the blog.

Sale books must be free or discounted by at least 30%. They won’t consider a book if it has been offered for a better price in the last 50 days. Sale books must be a limited-time offer. Anything on sale for a period longer than two months will not be considered.

New releases and sale books must be available with at least one major retailer. New release books must have been published within the last 6 weeks to qualify as a new release.

Reader reviews and ratings help the editors get a good idea of how others have responded to your book. However, there is no minimum number of reviews required. You should hear back within 48 hours of submission.

All books (novellas/novels) must have a minimum word count of 20,000 words. No single short stories. (Poetry is exempt from this criteria).

For a free offering, the average downloads are 100, with a range of 70 – 500.

You will need to upload your cover.

I did a free offering in the mystery genre, for a cost of $10. I thought it was worth the price to promote the free book.

Digital Book Today

Traffic: Amazon – 205,000 – 265,000 clicks per month. Daily email subscriber list: 13,800+. Facebook Likes – 32,000+.

Lead Time: At least 48 hours for free offering

Cost: Free and up

There are thirteen options for promotion. The unpaid options have several requirements, including the number of reviews, rating, and start date.

I chose the $15 option for a free book. I think it was good value for the price. I did submit a future promotion for the free option.

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.


Enough about you ;). Now, let’s talk about my series, 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.

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.

In Winner Takes All, Marisa’s father Billy Ray emerges from a coma with an extraordinary story. She explores her challenging relationship with her distant father. Alex, Marisa’s friend from childhood and possibly more today, provides his unconventional support. 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, is trapped in a funeral home’s cellar when she recognizes a monster from her past.

In Driving Miss Daisy’s Cattle, Lieutenant Camden finds viral recordings 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.

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

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Writing the Books

I love to write. I’ve self-published my work on Amazon, including Dog Days of Karma and Equi Knocks of Karma, the first two Carr – Maah Consulting mystery/paranormal novels; A Pink Zombie, with a Mist, a Shaken, Not Stirred, mystery/horror adventure; and Murder Takes a Dare, Mayhem Takes a Dare, and Arson Takes a Dare, the first three books in the Takes a Dare mystery series. I’ve also published Gimlet, a collection of short stories, and contributed to May the Fourth (Be With You), stories across time and space.

I’ve worked hard to ensure the best quality, error-free product, presented with great covers. I go over the drafts many times, on a search-and-destroy mission against typos, missing words, and other errors. I even read it aloud, to the cat’s confusion. I’ve shared the work with my lovely betas, two sweet, elderly sisters in Florida, who enjoy collaborating on their suggestions for me. I’ve used Chameleon’s very affordable and high quality proofreading services for all of my work. You can contact her at:

I’ve contracted my covers through Christina Keats, the acclaimed graphic artist who always completes her excellent work before the deadline. You may connect with her through her Facebook page:

Promotion and Marketing

Writing, editing, ruthlessly seeking the perfect final product… Does that sound exhausting?

Lean closer. Let me whisper in your ear: That was the easy part.

As an independent author, I’ve found marketing and promotion can be the most challenging part of the process for the author. Choosing good, reputable marketing partners can help ease the work. Checking them out includes looking at the number of subscribers and/or followers. My caveat is: how many of them are authors, hawking their work? Is it 10%? 20%? 50%? There’s no way for us to tell. Also remember that large numbers of subscribers doesn’t mean every single one will buy your book. They won’t all make a purchase, download your free book, or purchase the next book in the series even if they did download the first in the series.

A check of Amazon reveals tons of marketing books along the price continuum. At no cost to you, I’ve compiled my experiences.

Why Pay Money to Promote a Free Book?

Giving away your books can be an investment in the future. I offer a book for free at the same time I release the next book in the series. My goal is to build up readers for the first book, in hopes they’ll be interested in reading the second book in the series.

Due Diligence

Pricing, traffic, lead times, etc., change over time. I’m sharing my experiences as of summer 2015. If you want to try the sites, please read through the information carefully. My experiences are not a guarantee of your experiences, either positive or negative.

Remember, some sites may choose not to promote your work. It’s their call.

Regardless of what sites you decide to try, be sure and complete your due diligence. Check to ensure your promotion(s) ran on the agreed upon day(s). Your book might fall through the cracks or the site may experience technical difficulties. Be sure and sign up for the newsletters ahead of time, so you can easily check your day(s).

I found it helpful to use an excel worksheet to keep track.


Traffic: “Thousands of followers”

Lead Time: Information was almost immediately live.

Cost: 1. Free with purchases from the site and book reviews. 2. $8 per book per month. 3. $20 for six months for all of your books.

Authors can register for free. With the free registration, you can set up your author profile. You also get unlimited posting to the author stream.

You can purchase book listings for $8 per book per month.

You can choose to go with a Premium Account. The benefits include: ◾A Great Author Profile. ◾Unlimited Posting to the Author Stream. ◾Promote all your books for FREE. ◾Post Book Samples. ◾Post Articles. ◾Post Self-Promotion Articles. ◾Post Giveaways. ◾Add Profile Video. ◾Add Book Trailers. ◾Author Interview. (Coming Soon)

The Premium Account price is $20 for 6 months.

There is an alternative to the Premium Account price. Instead of paying for a premium membership, you can get it for free by buying books through the site, and then writing reviews.

Once you do your posting, you’ll get an edit key via email. You can go in and make tweaks as needed.

By logging in, you can also see how many times the ad has been viewed.

It does take work on your part, building your profile and adding your books. Although I wasn’t bowled over by the number of views, I found it worth the expenditure.


Statistics: Not listed.

Lead Time: Check site.

Cost: From free and up to $50.

You can submit a free book. If accepted, it’s featured on the site, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ free of charge.

You can also pay for guaranteed daily placement packages from $10 to $50.

Plan #1: This plan is for Free books only and $10 for one day. With Plan #1, you get a guaranteed spot in the daily list of Free ebooks. Your free book will be featured on the daily email list. Your link will be posted to the Facebook page and Google+, tweeted, and added to the Pinterest page.

Plan #2: This plan is for all books for one day for $20. Plan #2 guarantees a spot in the daily email list and prominent static placement in the Featured book spot on the front page (top center). Your book cover and link will be seen on the home page of the website. You will also receive a Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest post.

Plan #3: Includes everything in plan #2, plus a one week spot as the “Book of the Week” in the main slider bar at the top of the page for $35.

Plan #4: Page Takeover. This is a complete one day takeover of the website for $50. You get everything above, plus an interview and a blog post on the site. You also have the opportunity to do a giveaway.

I did submit the free listing. I did have some downloads. It was worth a free listing.


Traffic: 3,200 followers.

Lead Time: Submit the listing 5-7 days before the desired featured date.

Cost: $5 – $15

The Free Book Feature costs $5 per day, and appears on Facebook and Twitter. You can feature it up to three days. The Premium Book Feature is $10 per day, up to three days. You can also add on your book trailer. The last option is giveaways for $15, which I did not try.

Authors can submit one free book and one regularly priced book every 15 days.

The site was having technical difficulties the day of my promotion. The problem appeared to be due to Amazon. They did post the book on their Facebook page, and on Twitter. They offered to run the promotion in the future for free if they didn’t get the technical problem fixed. The site did make it right by agreeing to run it in an upcoming month.

Given the site problems, it was difficult to assess effectiveness. I believe it was worth the $5 a day cost.


Subscribers: 13,700

Lead Time: Up to 60 days in advance.

Cost: $5 for each day of promotion.

The site does require email confirmation first thing.  After submitting your listing, be sure to check your email (and spam box) for your confirmation code.  After submitting the code, your listing will be placed in the Review Queue. If it meets the requirements, then the listing will appear on the requested days.

Important note: If you don’t confirm within 7 days, it’ll be deleted.

To provide readers with the best ebooks, listing priority is based on rating and number of reviews, along with chosen promotions and focus eBooks. The homepage listings are displayed with the highest ‘value’ listings first.  Value is calculated with the proprietary formula.

If you want to promote your listing up in the rankings, you can select a paid promotion option for your eBook.  For details on having your listing near the top on our homepage, please contact us.

The book must have at least a star rating of 3.5 or higher.  The exception to this rule is if your book has no reviews or if the book is Non-Fiction.

I paid $20 for four days of promotion. I found it to be worth the cost.


Subscribers: I didn’t see the number of subscribers listed.

Lead Time: Listing date must be no earlier than 3 days from now, and no later than 60 days.

Cost: Flat $10 for all genres.

Requirements include free from errors and a great cover. There are also length requirements.

Novels should be at least 150 pages (50k words). Novellas should be at least 20k words. Short story collections should have a minimum of 12k words total. Children’s picture books should be at least 30 pages. The book must be priced at $4.99 or less on the day of the listing. The book must be available from at least one major retailer.

The book has to be accepted for promotion.

You can promote the same title as many times as you like with eBookSoda, as long as there is a 60 day gap between promotions. There should be a 2 week gap between titles by the same author. If the listing isn’t selected when you apply and you’d like to resubmit your book for consideration in the future, then wait at least a couple of weeks before reapplying.

I ran my ad for one day for $10. It’s a flat price for all genres. I had steady downloads the day it ran, so I definitely got value for the price.


Traffic: Unknown

Lead Time: Submit at least three days before the free date(s).

Cost: Free – $35

The book must have at least 3 stars and an overall rating of 4.0. The book must be at least 100 pages long. They don’t accept erotica.

The site was having technical difficulties, but it did list my Book of the Day paid promotion.

I had two promotions. One, I purchased a promotion of a non-free book for $35. Two, I requested a free promotion of the free book. I didn’t see the free listing, but hey, it didn’t cost me anything and they were having site problems.

I did recoup the cost of the paid promotion.


Subscribers: “Thousands”

Lead Time: No more than 30 days in the future

Cost: $30 – $60 1. Free and Bargain Books: Pricing is by genre and book price. For example, my free mystery was $30 for one day. 2. Book of the Day: The cost is $60 for a book priced below $2.99.

To promote through E Reader News Today, the book must be available on The site will also promote book deals that are available at Barnes & Noble/Nook, Google Play, Apple iTunes and Kobo. It must be a full-length book of at least 125 pages, with the exception of children’s books, non-fiction, and cookbooks.

The site won’t promote the same book within a 90 day period. However, there aren’t any restrictions on the number of times that an author is promoted.

There is not a minimum number of reviews. However, the site may read the reviews to get an idea of how well the book has been received by readers.

I experienced a good number of downloads.


Traffic: Over 75,000 subscribers and Free Booksy has over 200,000 Facebook fans.

Lead Time: At least 72 hours.

Cost: 1. Free Booksy varies by genre; for mystery, it was $75 for one day 2. Bargain Booksy varies by genre; for mystery, it was $50 for one day

Books don’t have a minimum requirement for reviews, but do go through an editorial process. Of the two, I’ve had better results with Free Booksy. It’s a bit pricy at $75 for one day for my mystery, compared to some other sites, but I think it’s worth it for the exposure. Prices do vary by genre.

If your book is not free, you can consider Bargain Booksy. You can feature one book per month. This is an option for books priced between 99 cents and $5.00. For my genre, it’s $50 for one day. I did break even. I had the book priced at $2.99. I believe it may have done better at 99 cents.


Traffic: 600,000 via apps and 150,000 subscribers

Lead Time: First come, first served. May change a booked date with five business days notice.

Cost: 1. Featured Book ad $100 for a book priced $2.99 2. Free Book Promotion $25.

Free Kindle Books and Tips’ traffic includes 600,000+ people accessing the blog via the free reader app or the Collections app for their Kindle Fire, and 150,000+ people via an e-Ink Kindle subscription, email or social media subscription, or directly on the blog’s website, or via an RSS reader.

Here’s a quote from the site owner:

“Let’s be honest about web marketing: while the above numbers look impressive I am not going to try and fool you, as the reality is although each day’s posts go out to over 750,000 people approximately 100,000 people take action (i.e., read a particular day’s post using one of the methods listed above) each day; it also does not mean I am implying 100,000 people will buy your book.  I’d rather be upfront with you about circulation numbers as I’m not aware of, for example, any Kindle-focused website truly delivering 100% of their hundreds of thousands of Facebook followers for daily posts.”

Unless the book is a new release, it needs to have at least a 4 out of 5 star rating on the Amazon USA website from at least 8 customer reviews – and at least 4 of those need to be Amazon verified purchase reviews; Goodreads, Smashwords, Amazon UK, or other sites’ ratings of the book will not be considered. A book will be rejected if it appears to be a paid or shill review.

I ran a Featured Book ad for $100 for a book priced $2.99. I also purchased a Free Book Promotion for $25. If you want to submit a new release, that option is available.

The site owner’s follow up and follow through was excellent. I also liked his effort to set reasonable expectations. On the negative side, I did not recoup the expenditure on the paid book. I did have the book priced at $2.99. Now, the owner did state that books priced at 99 cents do better. I believe it may have done better at 99 cents. My plan is to try it again at the lower price.


Traffic: 116,000 subscribers

Lead Time: Check calendar for available spots

Cost: Varies by genre; mystery/police procedure/thriller, the cost is $10 – $17

The Fussy Librarian sends 116,000 subscribers a daily email. Contracting with Fussy means the book is featured one time. Remember, the numbers of recipients do vary by genre. The prices page shows the numbers by genre. In addition, the book stays in the searchable database for 30 days, which is included in the fee. Fussy will also contact the author with a “pre-flight check,” to ensure the information for the promotion is correct.

Of course, Fussy is…fussy. The book must have 10 reviews and a 4.0 rating on Amazon OR 10 reviews and a 4.0 rating on Barnes and Noble, 11 to 19 reviews and a 4.0 rating, or 20 reviews and a 3.5 rating. The 10 reviews can be split be among Amazon’s various sites. The book has to be priced at $5.99 or less. Fussy will get back to you in less than 48 hours, to let you know the book is approved.

I’ve had good results, and the price is definitely reasonable.–genre-statistics/


Traffic: 40,000 subscribers and 420,000 app downloads

Lead Time: Check calendar for availability.

Price: 1. Full Promotion: $40 2. Apps Only: $15 Don’t book both packages at the same time for the same campaign as they will obviously overlap.

Genre Pulse focuses on Kindle marketing. They accept free books for promotion, and books priced not higher than 99 cents. I like Genre Plus because they offer the opportunity to track the clicks through their site. The author can easily calculate the return on investment.

There are two packages from which to choose. The Full Promo offers over 420,000 app downloads and 40,000+ email recipients. The price is $40. The second package is Apps Only, with 420,000 app downloads and a cost of $15.

You do have to supply a synopsis of less than 100 words.

You get an email to let you know the promotion is live, and a link to check your clicks. I was happy with the number of clicks, and thought it was money well spent.


Traffic: 23,113 Facebook likes and 4,014 Twitter followers

Lead Time: Allow plenty of time for the pre-work

Cost: Author Spotlight, two days for $60

With Story Finds, you’re going to work hard before you can even schedule a promotion. First, set up a user account. Then, set up your author page. Last, add each your books to your author page, including the blurb and excerpt. You can do copying and pasting from other sites, like your Amazon author page. It doesn’t cost anything up to this point, but it sure is time consuming.

According to the webpage, Story Finds has over 23,113 Facebook likes, over 4,014 Twitter Followers, 437 Pinterest followers (1,400 average daily impressions), and 894 followers on Google Plus. The Reader Newsletter goes out on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, with over 6,320 subscribers.

For my promotion, I used the Author Spotlight. With the Author Spotlight, my free book was the only book on the homepage. For $60, Story Finds can book two-day Author Spotlights for Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. The one-day Author Spotlight is on Saturday, for $50, but I didn’t try that one.

One advantage is you can log in and make changes after your ad appears. If you see an error, you can easily fix it in nearly real time.

I did recoup the funds, and liked the presentation on the webpage.

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.



A Special Note from Jada

Take the Body and Run Cover Final

I snagged a Kindle Press publishing contract for my new book, Take the Body and Run, through Amazon’s Kindle Scout program. The book is about a hunted woman hiding under a dead friend’s identity, a handsome lawman, a death doctor with fart machine-will travel, and a cranky cat with a nose for crime.

The projected release date is mid-August.

I hope you’ll support me by purchasing it when it’s ready on Amazon. I think you will like it; the book is a contemporary mystery/romance.

Here’s the link to the Kindle Scout profile. The campaign has closed, but the profile includes the description and the beginning of the book.

Thank you!


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FREE: Dog Days of Karma for the Dog Days of Summer

Dog Days of Karma, by Jada Ryker, will be FREE Thursday, July 2 – Monday, July 6.

Add fireworks to your holiday reading with this unusual murder mystery adventure, spiced with humor, romance, and a soupçon of the paranormal.

In search of a detective agency, Constance Twist storms into the Carr—Maah Consulting Agency.

Celeste Carr explains that Carr—Maah performs human resources consulting, not investigative work. When Ericka Maah orders Celeste to take Constance’s case, Celeste wonders if her business partner has slipped off the edge of eccentric and into the abyss of the bizarre.

Constance is viciously murdered in the street outside the agency. Celeste promises to find the elusive killer.

Jose, Carr—Maah’s previous receptionist and now a successful restaurant manager, helped a beaten woman to safety. He’s shocked when she hightails it out of town. Her trail leads back to his hometown and the Carr—Maah Consulting Agency.

Celeste, Ericka, and Jose join forces to solve the murder. They’re helped by Hobart, a mysterious homeless man forced by Ericka to become the agency’s new receptionist. As they follow clues to solve Constance’s murder and stop a sociopathic mastermind behind the website, they investigate the suspects. Christoph Metre, the chief executive of a rival agency, pops up in unexpected places, including the murder scene. Mrs. Grant, stalking the elderly Mr. Crispie, flew into rages when Constance Twist offered the feisty man lemonade with a Twist.

Celeste wonders about the new receptionist. The recalcitrant Hobart was in the vicinity when Constance was murdered. He raises more questions than he answers. Will he bring order to the office chaos? Will he court the beautiful and ambitious Celeste? Or is he a ruthless killer?

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May the Fourth (Be with You) Anthology

I worked with an amazing group of authors to produce an anthology. May the Fourth (Be with You) is an eclectic anthology of short stories that stretch across time and space.

You can get the book free at many sites, including Amazon:
Barnes and Noble:

Here’s more information on the stories:

In Just Another Day in Hell, Demelza Carlton leads the reader to hell and back. Lucifer has to deal with his devilish girlfriend, demons, and how to get away with harassing the minions in the HELL Corporation. Add in an angelic temp employee, and Luce may find the way to hell paved with good intentions.

Joe DeRouen introduces humans and ghosts in Up in Smoke. Can humans and ghosts work together to figure out what’s behind deadly and destructive fires… when they can’t even communicate?

Lisa Hall’s Blackstone Manse explores the ancient white manse outside a village, and its mysterious relationship with the townspeople. When a religious order gets its metaphorical nose out of joint and decides to destroy the manse, the villagers must decide what to do.

In Celia Kennedy’s post-apocalyptic world, memories aren’t always what they seem. In Tears in the Rain, can a fierce bounty hunter complete his mission and find his way back to a gentler time? Or will the corrosive atmosphere strip away his last chance for true love?

In Heather Osborne’s Ripples in the Tide, Garrett stands at a crossroads in his life. He’s made some questionable choices, and he’s paying for them. Without warning, his boyhood of abuse and cruelty at the hands of his father crosses into his present as an inmate in prison. Will his sessions with prison psychologist Dr. Arianna Cross help him put the past behind him, or will she help him carve out a new future of hope and love?

On a remote planet, Leonie Rogers’ The Renewer demonstrates the lengths to which a society in a far corner of the universe will go to retrieve its Chosen Child. As its captain, Jen must take her squad into danger to rescue the child. With high stakes and little chance of success, Jen knows failure will lead to the loss of more than just the child.

In Lost in Times, by C. J. Rutherford, Derren continues to seek something he can’t define, even across time and space. He drags Krista, his twin sister, into his search, landing them in a Nazi prison camp. The twins must make the right decision, one which won’t wreak havoc on the past, present, or future.

In Jada Ryker’s 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?

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To Outline or Not to Outline…Use a Roadmap!

For my books, I always develop a roadmap. The map has the beginning or start with Chapter One and the destination, which is composed of the final chapter and the ending. As I follow the roadmap, I may take some interesting side roads. The map keeps me on task, and I can meander back from the side trips.

I don’t stay locked on the map as if it’s the path to the holy grail. Rather, I have to ensure the story makes sense and the flow of the action feels right. In Mayhem Takes a Dare, a short chapter just didn’t feel as if it fit. In that chapter, Althea was wringing her hands and Clay states they’ve been looking at the puzzle in the wrong way. In a subsequent chapter, Althea decides to call Marisa’s therapist and Clay gives Althea a listening device.

If I need food and clothes, does it make sense to make separate trips? If I go to Kroger and get food, come back home, head to JC Penney, purchase clothes, and come back, I’ve wasted a great deal of time. Instead, how about going to Wal-Mart and buying the food and clothes, and then returning home?

I fixed the flow problem above by combining the action in those two chapters into one chapter. Althea worries and calls Marisa’s therapist, and Clay states the perception of the murders is wrong and hands Althea the device. Ta da! Problem solved!

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Looking for Betas in all the Wrong Places…

Have the music playing in your head:

I was looking for love in all the wrong places…

Looking for love in too many faces…

Now switch to I was looking for betas in all the wrong places…

Looking for betas in too many faces…

Jada’s Betas include two ladies in their 70’s, voracious readers, plenty of time on their hands, and with the grasp of grammar, punctuation, and syntax of militant high school English teachers. They confer with each other, and what very few things one misses, the other finds. Their turnaround time on reading and giving feedback is nearly light speed.

I’ve known them for many years. They approached me. I never thought of asking them. While humorous, my books include strip clubs, addiction, and memories of childhood abuse. If the thought had crossed my mind, I would have thought: Such things would give these delicate ladies attacks of the vapors.

In return for their beta work, I send them flowers. They protest, no, I am doing them the favor, and giving them the opportunity for a grand time.

Betas are where you least expect them.

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The FIRST Blog Post EVER by Jada Ryker

What to Expect from the Site

What You Will NOT Find:

  • Pictures of my food.
  • Will our far-in-the-future descendants shake their heads regretfully as they wonder if the pictures from lunch and dinner tables were once considered avant-garde?  
  • Photographs of various parts of my body, with old and new tattoos.
  • Win/Win for all of us, since I’m in my fifties.
  • Descriptions of bodily functions.
  • References to “my publisher,” “my agent,” or “my editor.”
  • Peppering blogs, comments, and Facebook posts with these references sounds pretentious.
  • As a self-published author, I don’t have them 🙂

What You Will Find:

  • Support for other authors.
  • Success is not a “zero sum game.”
  • Success for one author does “use up the available success.”
  • Commitment to excellence in writing.
  • While one or another of the little poopie-butted missteps may get past me, I am waging my own war on typographical errors.
  • Sharing of good ideas for self-published writers.
  • While it sometimes seems as if I am digging through a litter box with a pooper scooper, I do find gems of good advice from other writers on Facebook.

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