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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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. You can connect with her through Facebook at 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

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

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:

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.


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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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 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?

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?

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.

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?

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