book marketing, experiment #29

Because book marketing is tricky and what works is constantly changing, I have to be experimental, agile, and forgiving about my misfires. (And there have been many misfires.)

And quite a few lulls.


that spike on June 23? It’s a giveaway of about a 900 books. Kicked things into high gear for about a week and then it flattened out again.

So then I was sent a link to this book:

How to Hit #1 in the Amazon Free Store by Jeff Bennington, and I decided to apply his steps. Come to find out that first giveaway, wasn’t big enough. I needed a giveaway that was enormous and would move me up the Amazon rankings. And to do that my friends I would have to spend some moolah.

I set my free days for August 15, 16, 17. At first it was for Bright, then I added Beyond and Belief too. See that negative dip above? That’s probably someone who bought my books saying, hey, what the heck, refunding them and getting them for free instead.

See this graph below? That’s the free books in that first green hump, mid August:


First, I asked to promote my giveaway, they’re expensive, also considered the lead-maker, also too exclusive for my books, they turned me down. So whatevs, this is what I did instead:

  • ran a free promo for Bright, but then I added the $30 Deal/Book of the Day
  • cost $60 for Bright on August 15th in the Young Adult category
  • cost $75 for Bright in Young Adult on August 16th
  • I asked BKnights@fiverr to run a promotion for Bright on August 15 to 4800 for $5, but to schedule it fast I paid $11
  • Fussy Librarian $5 for a listing for Bright
  • Then on the days of the giveaways I boosted two posts through, they were photo memes and cost $25

I did the math, total: $206

During the giveaway I got to the top of the Amazon Bestseller list for Dystopian (Free books, which is seperate.) for both Bright and Belief, and Beyond was just a page down. I was really psyched.


But I realized I made a mistake. I paid for marketing for the first two days then continued the giveaway for another day with no buzz. That day my book downloads fell off sharply. And then when my books went to full price there were barely any accidental or intentional buys. Oops.

Then it seemed like not much happened for a few days and then this:screen-shot-2016-09-08-at-9-57-58-am

see that rise in the blue? Those are page reads through the Kindle Unlimited program. It took a few days but readers were findng my books. And this happened:

On August 28, Bright jumped to #88 on the Amazon Best Sellers Dystopian Romance paid list. That’s top 100, baby, same list as Divergent. Not overall, but still, so good compared to what came before. And readers read the heck out of my book that week, too.screen-shot-bright-88-dystopian-aug-28

In the three weeks since the Giveaway of Bright, Beyond, and Belief started, I made back $132.49. Not in the black yet, but hey, I’ll let you know how it goes.

I hope that helps you as you strategize and market, I’d love to hear your successes and failures. I’m scoring this a success, though I need another soon.









Reviews needed

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Perhaps you didn’t know that I now have six books out.

I do, it’s true.

(Also two more on the way, but that’s beside the point;o)

You have probably read a few of them, if not most of them, and for that I am very very grateful.

But perhaps you forgot to leave a review? I know you liked it, but maybe now you could tell the world. For me? Pretty please?

My reviews are great, but there aren’t many, and the lack thereof is hindering my ability to sell, market, and seek accolades.

So, if you’ve read any of the above books, and liked them. Please follow the links below and leave a simple review.



This story knocked my socks off, literally and figuratively, but I wear flipflops now, so it’s all good. Bravo!

See how easy that was?

Here are the links:

Bright (Book One of The Estelle Series)

Beyond (Book Two of The Estelle Series)

Belief (Book Three of The Estelle Series)

Fly: The Light Princess Retold

Violet’s Mountain

Leveling (a novella)

Being Prolific

It has been noted in my hearing that I am writing a lot. Which is true. I published my first book in January of 2014 and now there are 6. If you blinked you might have missed a few book releases recently.

The cool part is that the books are still there, waiting for you here.

I have two  three that I’m working on, Leveling 2 (it’s in final edits), Leveling 3 (It’s in first draft, one scene down) and a new one that’s hard to describe.

It’s a love story. Two best friends attempting to navigate becoming lovers, when they are interrupted by the death of a mom. And, it is contemporary Los Angeles. Plus there is a lot of Mary Queen of Scots. Also, they both surf. In addition, there is a love triangle. Bonus! There is a hottie musician. Lots of stuff happens.

I’m 35,000 words in and like every book, it’s my best ever. Which is a tall order, because have you seen my reviews? They’re awesome.

This book, Belief, was published last month. If you haven’t read it yet, but you’ve been following Estelle’s story, you’ll want to. She becomes so much more.


Buy it here.

Only one review so far, but it says this:

5.0 out of 5 stars Magical
This entire series is perfect. Zany and fun and heartwarming and deep. I’m in love with the characters. Please say there will be more stories to come!!!
Thank you to everyone for reading my books and enjoying the stories and reviewing them kindly and asking for more. I’m literally writing as fast as I can ;o)

Belief (Book 3 of The Estelle Series) is published

I really hope you enjoy.

It’s a coming-into-(her own)-power story about a young girl who takes on an authoritarian government. The story is full of good friends, tight-knit families, love-sweet-love and not one but two boys, also fashion, protest, stolen kisses, and a pretty awesome chase scene. There’s definitely that moment where you wonder, What Can Happen Next? Did I mention parties? Rock stars? Truck drivers and Old Endearing Farmers? As in most of my books there’s a bit of surfing and a dash of wishful thinking. Also, the government is definitely poisoning the water system, so really something must be done. And lastly don’t forget the cat named Walden. He kind of saves the day around the middle of our story. (It gets worse again.)

There’s drama, excitement, plans are made, some fail, some succeed, but in the end, nothing can be done but the only thing that’s left.

I think you will love it and here’s a small taste:

“This is how Cj explained it.” William swept his arm toward the woods. “We have a tree, that’s our culture and our government, our hierarchy of power. The branches and leaves are the parts that show, our fashion and designs, like our water system and medicines and our sky projectors and all the other things.”

We walked closer to the tree and looked up into the branches.

He said, “In all of that, we—you and me and everyone else—we’re the roots. Now, some of us, we see the leaves are not right, they need to be changed. So we’re trying to change them but there’s this whole system between us and the change. It’s standing in the way, but the leaves are flashy and sparkly and we’ve focused all our attention on them.”

“Like we’re trying to fix the water system, but not doing anything about the disappearances.”

“Exactly. You originally wanted to turn off the sky projectors. To do that you built a farm and then you had to fight for the right to farm. Along the way you had to fight for the right to publish. To not be imprisoned. We’ve been fighting over all these individual leaves for a long time.”  

I said, “We need to deal with the trunk.”

“That’s where the power is.”

I laughed. “That will be easy.”

William said, “Chainsaw.”

I said, “Is that what cuts trees? I wouldn’t know, I’ve lived as a root my whole life.”

William threw his arm around me and hugged me close as we walked. “Did I tell you today how much I love you?”



Buy the ebook on Amazon

The print book will be ready soon!

Belief (Book three of The Estelle Series) is ready to be pre-ordered!

I’m dying to tell you what happens, but can’t spoil anything, so you’ll just have to wait until the day its released, June 25th.



But know this:

if you wanted Estelle to be a Strong Female character (and by that you don’t mean that she can kill people with her bare hands, or leap buildings with a single bound, or never miss with her aim, but prefer your strong females to be ordinary and normal yet able to accomplish amazing things) she is. She definitely is.

Can’t wait to hear what you think!



Leveling (a novella) is in your Kindle today!


I camped in a beautiful place this week, Refugio State Beach, CA. I took this photo, the ocean is carving away at unstable cliffs, causing stately Palms to topple and moms to beg, “Please, don’t go under there.”

Some days it seems everywhere you look you find instability and a cause for fear, we live in these days. We wake up to the records we’re breaking—temperature, population, rage. We go to sleep to the whispers of our fears—it’s hotter, it’s crowded, it’s all on the point of collapse. And how do we carry on? Yet we do.

We jump on the cliffs with our loved ones and we build cabanas in the sand and play a song we wrote around the fire and these things are what’s good, where our focus should be. Not in fear but in fun. Not in trauma but in joy. We stop being cynical and instead embrace our possibilities.

That’s what Leveling is about, two people colliding at the tip top of a building with the water rising all around. Their fears are escalating, but also, love. Because we are still ‘we‘ when it comes down to the end of the day. Our children still sing and play and invent games like Full Contact Werewolf and laugh with abandon while rolling in the sand. And two people surrounded by water might fall in love. They might discover hope at the edge of a rising sea. They might actually set the events in motion that change everything for the better. They might. We can only hope.

Leveling is for sale here:leveling better finish orange font half submerged

Leveling, only .99

If you bought it during the preorder period, guess what? It’s in your kindle right now. I hope you enjoy. And please let me know what you think. I’m working on the second installment right now.


1000 e-books released to the wilds!

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Here’s the truth about self-publishing. It is a difficult, perplexing, self-flagellating experience. You might write beautiful prose, publish exquisitely designed books, and spend a little of most days marketing in some manner and still…

I’ve been told that I must take the long-view. To not worry about sales today, but build a bookshelf of great books and someday…soon…hopefully…they will come.

My shelf has grown to six books.

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A trilogy is now complete. A romance. A fairy tale. A romantic novella.

The reviews are rolling in:

Bright- “I greatly enjoyed this book. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I read it a second time soon after reading it the first – mostly because the first time, I was so enthralled, I read it very quickly and the second time, I savored it instead.” -K. De Haan

Beyond- “I’ve loved Estelle since first meeting her in Bright and I never expected her journey to come so far. Now I can’t wait to see what she and her friends and family do next. She makes me want to save the world and remember to always star gaze.” A. Goins

Fly- “This is a great book for young readers and teens, even a good read out loud book to share with littler ones. Amelia and Hank are inspiring and fun heros.” Jillydag

Violet’s Mountain- ” I found this book to be a passionate love story with all the twists and turns of a tragic romance, but with a happy ending.” Janzen.

But the sales, not so much.

So yesterday I did the equivalent of kicking the jukebox, or shaking the gold pan, or shuffling the deck—I put three books for free and in one day gave away 1035 books. That’s a big number up from zero. The long view is in play.

If you downloaded one of my books yesterday, thank you and welcome. I think you’ll like them. And I’d love to hear from you if you do.

I write about environmental disasters disorders from a hopeful point of view, because no matter what is happening in the world, people will still live, still create, still love. People, still. It’s a long positive view, one that I’m getting used to taking.

Free e-books for Memorial Day Weekend!

Three to be exact.  On May 27th 12:00 am EST to 11:59 pm EST. Free. Download them now and read them over your holiday.

Bright bestBright, Book One of The Estelle Series. If you haven’t read it yet, what’s taking you so long? If you have, now would be a good time to gift a copy to a friend, the e-book is FREE May 27th. 24 hours only.

BeyondBeyond; Book Two of The Estelle Series, will also be FREE. So pick one up and refresh your memory for when Belief; Book Three of the Estelle Series comes out June 24th. (It would be awesome if you’d pre-order it now, too!)Belief-best-cover-smallest


My romance, Violet’s Mountain,  will also be FREE tomorrow, because what better to do than read about hot sexy surfer boys this summer break?

leveling better finish orange font half submergedAnd if you want more hotness, preorder my new novella, Leveling,  It’s a romantic sexy story in only 20,000 words. Not for kids