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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