Tag Archives: Romance

Kitty Litter Cake Recipe – Fun and Delicious


Kitty Litter Cake for Wikket, the Crime-Solving Cat

Kitty Litter Cake Image

Take the Body and Run is a goofy thriller and contemporary romance about a hunted woman hiding behind a dead friend’s identity, a handsome lawman, a death doctor with fart machine-will travel, and a cranky cat with a nose for crime.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun Mystery and Romance – Take the Body and Run

The fun mystery/romance was a Kindle Scout winner.

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

“TAKE THE BODY AND RUN is a fast-paced ride with a sparkling character and written in a new, original voice. This is a don’t-miss debut.”

Ryker_TaketheBodyandRun (1)

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

She’s certain things can’t get any worse. She’s wrong. An angry employee vows to put her on an online hit list. When he turns up dead, she’s a suspect—and on the hit list.

To keep her secrets and her life, Macey partners with two unexpected allies who cause her pulse to race with steamy attraction—and exasperating annoyance. Vince, a handsome, driven lawman, digs up more than just clues to the brutal murder. Brett, a fun-loving pathologist with a deadly sense of humor, drives everyone crazy with his prankster exploits. Macey’s supersized black cat Wikket, possessing courage, curiosity, and crankiness in equal portions, assists in his own grumpy, feline fashion, golden eyes open and claws extended.

Here’s the link to the book on Amazon.

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

Excerpt from Take the Body and Run

KP_Website_Banner_770x200_redorange.png

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brett scooped up the cat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Miniature horses?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take the Body and Run: On Sale for 99 cents

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

It’s always free on Kindle Unlimited.

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

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

KP Authors’ Cookbook

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

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

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

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

Feel Free to Contact Me

Email: jada_ryker@yahoo.com

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

Twitter: @JadaRyker

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

Amazon Author Page with Follow Button

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

Newsletter Subscription

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

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

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

Share This:

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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

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

The Takes a Dare Series

MurderRedo

Murder Takes a Dare

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

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

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

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

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

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

MayhemRedo

Mayhem Takes a Dare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ArsonRedo

Arson Takes a Dare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laithe as Himself

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

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

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

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

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

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

Share This:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

My Trip to the Naughty Shop


My Trip to the Naughty Shop

Alaska July 2016

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

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

“But they have cute crafts,” Julia insisted.

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

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

Kindle Press Sale – 99 Cents

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

KP Sale July 5 to July 11

I’m pleased to let you know that Take the Body and Run has been selected for inclusion in this deal. The contemporary mystery/romance is about a hunted woman hiding under a dead friend’s identity, a handsome lawman, a death doctor with fart machine-will travel, and a cranky cat with a nose for crime.

Ryker_TaketheBodyandRun New KP Provided Cover

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

Be sure and check out these terrific romances.

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

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

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

Jada-DeadSide-JPG-11-25 print

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

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

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

Macey Malloy Mysteries with a Chick-Lit Twist

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

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

Winter Solstice Cover

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

Book One: Take the Body and Run

Ryker_TaketheBodyandRun New KP Provided Cover

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

Book Two: Take a Walk on the Dead Side

Jada-DeadSide-JPG-11-25 print

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

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

Vernal Equi

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

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

Summer Solstice

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

More FREE Books by Jada Ryker for Summer Vacation

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

Amazon Author Page with Follow Button

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

Dog Days of Karma

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

Dog Days of Karma Cover

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

Here’s the description:

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Pink Zombie, with a Mist

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

Zombie_032017_printJPG

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

Here’s the description:

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

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

Murder Takes a Dare

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

MurderRedo

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

Here’s the description:

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

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

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

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

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

http://mybook.to/MurderTakesaDare

Share This:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

After the Kindle Scout Campaign – DIE and the Family Stone


Selected or Not Selected?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prepare to Publish

Ensure an error-free story

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

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

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

Paperback

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kindle (eBook) Version

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Die_and_the_Family_S_Cover_for_Kindle

Here’s the link to the Amazon page:

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

Set up Free Days in KDP

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

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

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

Add a Review Link to the Kindle Version

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

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

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

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

Author Central

Add the Book

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

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

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

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

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

Edit Your Bio on Amazon and GoodReads

Author Central

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

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

*****

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

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

GoodReads Author Profile

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

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

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

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

Set up Newsletter with Free Days

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Release Notification on Amazon

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

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

Amazon Author Page with Follow Button

Change Your KBoards Profile

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

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

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

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

Twitter

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

Website

Be sure and post the free days on your website.

Facebook

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

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

Free Promotions

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

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

FREE – Awesome Gang

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

Awesome Gang Screen Shot

Use the free form link:

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

FREE – Book Deal Hunter

Book Deal Hunter Screen Shot

Here’s the free form link:

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

FREE – Armadillo eBooks

Armadillo eBooks Scfreen Shot

Here’s the free form link:

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

FREE – eReaderLove

eReaderLove Screen Shot

Here’s the free form link:

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

FREE – Content Mo

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

Content Mo Screen Shot

Here’s the link to get started:

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

FREE – readper

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

Readper Screen Shot

Here’s the link:

http://readper.com/authors

Paid Promotions

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

99 Cents – Ignite Your Book

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

Ignite Your Book Screen Shot

Use this link for 99 cents submission:

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

$1.00 – Snick List

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

Snick List Screen Shot

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

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

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

FREE or $2.99 Option – Content Mo

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

Content Mo Screen Shot

Here’s the link to get started:

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

$29 – Book Marketing Tool

Book Marketing Tool Screen Shot

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

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

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

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

Paid Promotions List (use at your own risk)

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

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

Your Turn

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

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

*****

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Otter Creek Park

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

Feel Free to Contact Me

Email: jada_ryker@yahoo.com

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

Twitter: @JadaRyker

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

Amazon Author Page with Follow Button

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

Newsletter Subscription

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

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

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

Share This:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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


DIE and the Family Stone is FREE!

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

*****

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Otter Creek Park

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

Feel Free to Contact Me

Email: jada_ryker@yahoo.com

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

Twitter: @JadaRyker

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

Amazon Author Page with Follow Button

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

Newsletter Subscription

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

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

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

Share This:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Kindle Scout Campaign – The Freak Show Below: Part Four


Parts One, Two, and Three Recap

My book Take the Body and Run, a “goofy thriller” with a crime-solving cat, was selected almost a year ago.

Ryker_TaketheBodyandRun New KP Provided Cover

Here’s the link to the Kindle Scout winner:

https://www.amazon.com/Macey-Malloy-Mysteries-Chick-Lit-Twist-ebook/dp/B01HC30YG2

I’ve been happy as a Kindle Press (imprint of Amazon) author, but I probably have the lowest expectations. I don’t want to quit my job, I didn’t write a book to finance my retirement someday, and I don’t want fame or wealth. I’ve heard some self-published authors wish for all of those things. My KP book does much better than my self-published books, which ranged in sales ranking from 500K to >1M. Yeah, that’s M = Million, so I’ve been deliriously happy with KP.

I haven’t set the world on fire with my winning book, but I paid back my advance about two months from the September 2016 publication. The program guidelines (check for updates) say that the selected book may be eligible for promotions every ninety days. I had a December 2016 99 cents promo, the KS anniversary sale promo that all winners had the last part of March 2017, and my book was included in the 150 books for $1.50 promo that ended April 30, 2017.

New Campaign: The Freak Show Below

I started a new campaign that went live on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. The book is mystery/romance, but no crime-solving cat like last year’s winner or a supernatural creature like my paranormal romance/mystery series–which kinda bit me in the butt when a reviewer wrote about Take the Body and Run: “The cat doesn’t talk!”

freakshow kirbie centered

Here’s the link in case you want to check it out, although the campaign is over:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/141PP1ZMLFOXK

I don’t expect to win another contract. While I’m very happy with the winning book’s performance, it can’t compete with other winners who have said they paid back their advance the first week and are earning tons of money. My plan is to use the publicity as a springboard to a successful launch, as so many of the non-selected authors have done. See what I did there? “Non-selected” authors not “Rejected” authors.

In Part One, I discussed several promotion options. Free things you can do: Read mine and other blog posts (I have links in my new blog post), HeadTalker, send a (as in one) personal message to each of your Facebook friends (you can spread out over the weeks), post about your campaign on Facebook (I limit to once per week and will post a fifth time at the final couple of days to avoid wearing out my welcome), change your author profiles on Amazon and GoodReads to include an appeal and link to your campaign (I did get several views), and you could post in Facebook groups that allow promotion – you might want to use a trackable link to see if you get traffic.

I also discussed what you should do before submitting your book for a Kindle Scout campaign. Hopefully, you completed all of those steps first.

In Part Two, I discussed the results of my HeadTalker campaign. Spoiler alert: I didn’t have good results.

I also asked the question: Should you spend money on promotion? I asked Bill Hiatt, accomplished author who used his Kindle Scout campaign as a springboard to his successful book launch, if I could quote his great advice to another Kboarder. He suggested that while it may not be prudent to spend a lot of money promoting the Kindle Scout campaign, it is money spent toward your launch.

I also asked how we can leverage our campaign (especially if not selected) for a successful launch. Lincoln Cole, popular author and Kindle Scout winner, weighed in on how to do it.

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

End of Week Four Summary of Statistics

Yes, that’s right, I’m not posting my exact numbers. Why? I’m afraid of jinxing my campaign. Superstitious or cautious? You decide.

* Hot and Trending

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

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

Hot and Trending after Campaign is over

* Summary of Top Sources

Kindle Scout gives us the daily list of the top 50 external pages driving traffic to our campaign. These statistics can help you determine which campaign efforts are the most effective.

Here’s a summary of the top sources by percentages.

External Sources Week Four Revised

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

* Internal to External Traffic

The ratio gives you the cumulative mix of where your campaign page traffic is coming from. Internal is the first percentage, while external is the second percentage.

Beginning of Week One: 55% and 45%
End of Week One: 50% and 50%
End of Week Two: 45% and 55%
End of Week Three: 45% and 55%
End of Week Four: 50% and 50%

That means that at the beginning of my campaign and before I had a chance to implement any promotions or asks for nominations, most of the views came from Kindle Scout. As my efforts kicked in, the most number of views came from outside Kindle Scout by the end of the first week. By the end of the second week and through the third week, I saw even more progress with my promotion efforts, with even more of my sources outside of Kindle Scout. At the end of the end of the campaign, the ratio was exactly 50/50.

Free Promotional Efforts

Contacting Facebook Friends by Private Message

Over the course of the campaign, I contacted my friends on Facebook via private message. As you read in the first post, I did gear each message toward that person, including both their name and information about the friendship. I contacted all of my closest friends by the end of the third week. Due to time constraints and other considerations, I skipped the friends with whom I have limited personal-message contact.

Here’s the table.

Facebook Messages Week Four Revised

Posting in Facebook Groups

Make sure that the Facebook group allows promotion by reading the description. Some Facebook groups allow any promotion related to books, which are great for Kindle Scout promotions. If the description says “Kindle Unlimited Only” or “Free or 99 Cents Books Only” or related restrictions, skip them. They may be great for book promotions that fit the parameters, but not your Kindle Scout campaign. You don’t want to get booted for a failure to follow directions.

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

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

Posting in Facebook Groups Week Four

Correlation Between Views and Paid Promotion

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

Summary Table Promotions and Results

Kindle Scout and Paid Promotions

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

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

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

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

Question:

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

Jada:

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

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

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

Question:

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

Jada:

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

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

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

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

Author Shout Graphic

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

The Freak Show Below by Jada Ryker FACEBOOK and TWITTER TEASER

Use the link to go to their page.

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

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

Lovely Books

She offers:

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

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

Here’s the link.

http://lovelybookpromotions.com/promotional-packages

$30 – MelRock on Fiverr does great work.

MelRock

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

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

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

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

Just Kindle Books Screen Shot

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

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

Scout Boost Screen Shot

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

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

Best Indies Books Screen Shot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question:

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

Jada:

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

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

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

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


WEEK FOUR Review of Action Items

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

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

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

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

 Contacted the last set of one-fourth of your Facebook (and/or other social media) friends, sending a personalized appeal via message.

 Send one tweet via Twitter for this last week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Turn

If you’ve been using my previous blog posts and this one to help you in your campaign, yay! I want people to benefit from my experiences. To subscribe to my newsletter to get information about my books and other stuff, please click the Subscribe button on the right side panel.

Now, may I ask a favor?

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

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

Here’s some more information about the book:

Book One: Take the Body and Run

Ryker_TaketheBodyandRun New KP Provided Cover

“TAKE THE BODY AND RUN is a fast-paced ride with a sparkling character and written in a new, original voice. This is a don’t-miss debut.”

-Carolyn Haines, USA Today bestselling author of Pluto’s Snitch and Sarah Booth Delaney mysteries.

~*~ Kindle Scout Winner ~*~

Macey’s first day in the college employee relations department ends with a knife at her throat.

Macey is certain things can’t get any worse. She’s wrong. An angry employee vows to put her on an online hit list. When he turns up dead, she’s a suspect–and on the hit list.

To keep her secrets and her life, Macey partners with two unexpected allies who cause her pulse to race with steamy attraction–and exasperating annoyance. Vince, a handsome, driven lawman, digs up more than just clues to the brutal murder. Brett, a fun-loving pathologist with a deadly sense of humor, drives everyone crazy with his fart machine-will travel. Macey’s supersized black cat Wikket, possessing courage, curiosity, and crankiness in equal portions, assists in his own grumpy, feline fashion, golden eyes open and claws extended.

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

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

Still with me? I’d also love it if you could like my author page.

Request for Author Page Likes

Here’s the link:

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

And if you could follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/JadaRyker

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

Amazon Author Page with Follow Button

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

Share This:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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

Share This:

.

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

Zombie_032017_printJPG

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

Share This:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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!

Share This:


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

Share This:

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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

Share This:


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
.
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

“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

MurderRedo

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

MayhemRedo

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

ArsonRedo

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

Share This:

3 Comments

June 19, 2016 · 10:11 pm