Goodreads Book Giveaway of My YA Fantasy Novel, The Society of Imaginary Friends

The-Society-of-Imaginary-Friends300x200Enter for a chance to win a hard copy of my Amazon bestselling novel, The Society of Imaginary Friends, a young adult epic fantasy. Click here to enter my Goodreads Giveaway, which is live now through December 21, 2016. This breakthrough novel is the first book of The Conjurors Series, and retails for $8.99.


Valerie Diaz has a power that she can’t contain, and it’s killing her. Bounced between foster homes and the streets, she only has time to concentrate on staying alive. But a visit from the imaginary friend of her childhood opens a world of possibilities, including a new life half a universe away on a planet that is bursting with magic.

The Society of Imaginary Friends follows Valerie on a journey that straddles two worlds. In order to survive, she must travel many light years away to a realm where anything is possible. On the Globe, imaginary friends come to life, the last of the unicorns rules the realm, and magic seeps from the pores of all the Conjurors who live there.

But choosing to embrace her potential will set Valerie on a treacherous course – one filled with true love, adventure and perilous danger.


How to Create an Advertising Campaign for Your $0.99 eBook Promotion

This September, I ran my biggest promotion to date on The Conjurors Collection, which is a bundle of the first three books in the series. It is the most successful promotion that I’ve run so far. Below are my best rankings during the promotion period.


I discounted the bundle, which was $7.99, to $0.99 for two weeks, from September 6-19. In total, I sold 612 copies (earning me $214) and had a huge surge in readers from Kindle Unlimited, for which I was paid over $400. My check from Amazon for September was more than $700. Even considering that I spent $350 on advertising, I made a great profit (for me). Even better, the following month I made almost $500 even though I did very little advertising (less than $50), so the long-term benefit of the ad campaign was significant.

A month later I ran a mini-promotion on just the first book in the series, The Society of Imaginary Friends, discounting it to $0.99 for a week. I only spent $43 in advertising, but I had less than 50 sales. I wanted to call this out because part of my success with my September promotion was that I was selling three books for $0.99, which was a much more attractive deal.

Below I’ll list the sites that I used for advertising and the costs and results of each one. But some key takeaways – it’s worth it to have multiple days of high sales, even if the ads don’t immediately pay for themselves, because it pushes up your rank on Amazon, and the increased visibility results in more sales in the long term. For my next promotion, I plan to cluster my ads so that the ones that sell the most units are on subsequent days rather than spread out.

Another takeaway was that for a huge book like my bundle, it was worth it to be exclusive to Amazon (KDP Select). I was paid much better by every Amazon Unlimited reader than I was from readers who bought the bundle at $0.99. In the first case, I probably made over $5 for every reader who finished the book, and in the second case I made under $0.35. So while I may make my individual books available on other sites, I’ll keep my bundle exclusive to Amazon.

Below are the number of copies of the collection that I sold on a particular day, with the associated ad that I used.

Books Sold

September 19, 2015: Ebook Soda ($10), Pixel of Ink ($30)
Number of Downloads: 71
Effectiveness: Medium
Pixel of Ink is a site known for delivering a return on ad investment, but they do not always have options to advertise with them. It’s a matter of luck if your book can be featured when you need it there. I can’t say for certain how many sales were from Ebook Soda, so I may try advertising with them separately in a future promotion.

September 18, 2015:  FKBT ($25)
Number of Downloads: 35
Effectiveness: Medium
I was somewhat disappointed with the Free Kindle Books & Tips ad, given its price tag. It’s one of the few I won’t be using again, because my $25 can be split among other sites that will deliver a bigger value altogether.

September 17, 2015:  Wattpad (Free), Indies Unlimited Thrifty Thursday (Free)
Number of Downloads: 19
Effectiveness: High
I was concerned about my rankings dropping because I had no paid ads on this day, and was pleasantly surprised that a post on my Wattpad account (where I have the first book in the series published for free) and Indies Unlimited delivered an excellent influx of readers for no charge.

September 16, 2015:  Booksends ($50)
Number of Downloads: 70
Effectiveness: Medium
Though Booksends is pricey, I recommend it in order to drive up your Amazon sales rank. Though my initial investment in the ad didn’t yield a positive return, I do think it helped the overall campaign by selling such a high number of copies in one day.

September 14 & 15, 2015:  Books Butterfly ($50), Book Barbarian ($8)
Number of Downloads: 92
Effectiveness: Medium
These ads were over the course of two days. Like the Booksends ad, I recommend using Books Butterfly to give your ad campaign momentum by having a higher number of downloads, even if the ad doesn’t pay for itself right away. I will also try Book Barbarian again, next time on its own day so I can better determine how well it does on its own.

September 13, 2015:  The Fussy Librarian ($24 to be listed in multiple genres)
Number of Downloads: 19
Effectiveness: Low
I’ve advertised with Fussy in the past with better results, but this time I was disappointed in the return on my investment. However, I think part of the problem was that I spent extra cash to be listed in additional genres. Next time, I’ll stick to one genre, which will have a lower price tag.

September 12, 2015: eBookHounds ($5), Robin Reads ($15)
Number of Downloads: 59
Effectiveness: High
This was my first time advertising on these two sites, and I will definitely be using them again. I had a high number of downloads for a low cost, and it was one of a few days where I immediately made a profit, not counting the long-term impact on sales.

September 11, 2015:  Betty Book FREAK ($8), Reading Deals (Free)
Number of Downloads: 17
Effectiveness: Medium
For $8, I was satisfied with the number of downloads I received. I would try using Betty Book FREAK again to see how it performs on a different day.

September 10, 2015:  The Ereader Cafe ($25)
Number of Downloads: 27
Effectiveness: Low
Like FKBT, I was disappointed by how few downloads my $25 got me. This is a site I may cut from my future promotions to see if the money can be better spent elsewhere.

September 9, 2015:  Booklover’s Heaven (Free), BKKnights ($5.50)
Number of Downloads: 22
Effectiveness: High
BK Knights always gives me a good return for a small price tag. But be careful which of his services you choose. I recommend SKIPPING his twitter/facebook offerings. Instead, opt to be listed on his site, where readers are more likely to download your book.

September 8, 2015: Ereader News Today ($20)
Number of Downloads: 50
Effectiveness: High
I always have excellent results when I advertise with ENT, and this time was no exception.

September 7, 2015: Discount Books Daily ($10), Booktastik ($10), SweetFreeBooks ($5), ReadFreely (Free)
Number of Downloads: 25
Effectiveness: Low
By grouping so many ads together, it’s hard for me to parse which ones worked best. Maybe one site is responsible for all 25 sales, in which case I would be doing it a disservice not to recommend it. However, I will think twice before advertising on any of the paid sites from this day of my promo in the future, because the number of downloads was disappointing for a combined budget of $25.

September 6, 2015: BookGorilla ($50), ReadCheaply (Free)
Number of Downloads: 71
Effectiveness: Medium
Like Booksends and Books Butterfly, though BookGorilla is pricey, I recommend it in order to drive up your Amazon sales rank. Though my initial investment in the ad didn’t yield a positive return, I do think it helped the overall campaign by selling such a high number of copies in one day.


Have you found other sites that you highly recommend for advertising ebooks? If so, please share!

The Conjurors Collection: First Three Books in My YA Fantasy Series Available for $0.99

The-Conjurors-Series-3D-Omnibus-300x200If you’re a lover of teen/young adult fantasy, check out the first three books in The Conjurors Series for $0.99 today through September 20. The Conjurors Collection, Books 1-3, is available on Amazon if you’re interested in checking it out.

I welcome all feedback and reviews, so if you decide to read it let me know what you think!

Click here to check out an excerpt from the first novel, The Society of Imaginary Friends. Below is the blurb for the series:

Belief is a powerful magic.

Valerie Diaz has a power that she can’t contain, and it’s killing her. Bounced between foster homes and the streets, she only has time to concentrate on staying alive. But a visit from the imaginary friend of her childhood opens a world of possibilities, including a new life half a universe away on a planet that is bursting with magic.

The first three books of The Conjurors Series follow Valerie on a journey that straddles two worlds. In order to survive, she must travel many light years away to a realm where anything is possible. But choosing to embrace her potential will set Valerie on a treacherous course – one filled with true love, adventure and perilous danger.

This collection includes the first three novels in this young adult fantasy series: The Society of Imaginary Friends, Knights of Light, and Guardians of the Boundary. Purchased individually, the ebooks would cost $10.

Edge-of-Pathos-300x200You can also check out the fourth and final book in The Conjurors Series, Edge of Pathos, for $4.99 on Amazon. It is not included in the collection.

Edge of Pathos, Final Book in The Conjurors Series, Now Available

Edge-of-Pathos-300x200After hundreds of hours of writing, hundreds more of editing and marketing, and almost 400,000 words, The Conjurors Series is complete. I self published the final novel in the series today, Edge of Pathos. You can buy a copy here, if you’re interested, or you can email me through my contact page and I’ll send you a free review copy in any format you request.

I can’t swear that I’ll never return to the world and characters that I built in this series, but for now, I’m looking ahead to a new project and a chance to create something from scratch that incorporates all of the things I’ve learned writing The Conjurors Series.

You can check out the blurb for Edge of Pathos below. For those of you who follow my blog and writing, thank you for your support. Every positive email I’ve received has made me happier than I can express, and every negative review has made me a better writer. I’m grateful to you all.

Edge of Pathos

Never pause, never doubt, never yield. Rise and fight.

Valerie thought she understood loss. Her entire life has been defined by it. But now, she is facing the most frightening loss of all. Her own mind is slipping away, consumed by the power that burns through her every time she saves a life.

As the Fractus sweep across Earth, using the strength of their magic to subjugate the powerless, Valerie struggles to lead the resistance, constantly one step behind her enemy. When Reaper taps into a powerful new source of magic, Valerie knows that solutions that worked in the past won’t be enough to defeat him. She’ll have to reimagine how magic can be harnessed in order to combat a force dark enough to dark enough to enslave all of humankind.

In the final novel of The Conjurors Series, Valerie must bury her pain and uncertainty deep inside of her and make the hardest decisions of her life with no one to guide her. The fate of two worlds depends on it.

On Using Story Cartel to Get Reviews for Your Self-Published Book

Story-Cartel-logo-300x284For self-published authors, establishing credibility with a substantial number of honest reviews is crucial in order to sell books. In an effort to get more reviews of the first book in The Conjurors Series, I tried a website called Story Cartel. For $30, you are allowed to list your book on the site, where readers can download your book for free. Readers who write reviews of the books they download are entered into contests for various prizes, like gift cards or a new Kindle. During my promotion and I received 8 reviews (four4-star, four 5-star).

Ultimately I’m happy that I decided to use Story Cartel. I kept my expectations reasonable. There are some folks who received 50 reviews using Story Cartel, but most of my research prepared me that I’d be lucky to get more than five. I now have seven more positive reviews of The Society of Imaginary Friends than I did before, which will hopefully make the next promotion of my book more powerful.


  1. Story Cartel has a built-in network of readers who have probably never seen your book before, so you have the chance to get new, honest reviews. You are guaranteed to get at least one new review or you get a refund.
  2. After the promotion, Story Cartel gives you a list of the names and email addresses of everyone who downloaded your book. This provides you the ability to politely reach out after your promotion to see if they are interested in reading other work by you.
  3. It’s a great opportunity to get some honest feedback about your book. Especially if you’ve only had a friendly audience reviewing your story, even a few new reviews can help you understand if there are major changes that you need to make before you continue to promote your book.


  1. It isn’t free, and you only get your money back if you get no reviews at all. Story Cartel charges $30 for their service, which is money they use for prizes that they give to readers who post reviews.
  2. It’s up to you to promote your giveaway on Story Cartel if you want more than a few reviews. I made a couple of posts on Twitter and Facebook, and that seemed to help get a few extra readers of my book.
  3. Some reviewers don’t post genuine reviews. I had one reviewer who writes generic reviews and posts them for a whole bunch of books in order to be entered into the Story Cartel prize drawing multiple times. She didn’t actually read my book and provide an honest review.

Has anyone else used Story Cartel? What was your experience like?

Calling All Self-Published Authors: Book Review Exchange

shutterstock_108685118One of the most powerful marketing tools that your book can have is one that doesn’t cost anything at all – honest reviews. It’s one of the first things that readers look for when they’re deciding whether a book is worth checking out. In particular, self-published novels need good reviews, because readers are trying to sift through hundreds of cheap – or free – books, many of which aren’t high quality.

The other value that I’ve found equally important from reviews is that it is a great way to get honest feedback about your book. Friends, family, and even beta readers are biased. Strangers can often provide insights that you’d never get otherwise. For example, reviews of The Conjurors Series have alerted me to the fact that I may be targeting the wrong audience for my story. I’d considered it YA fantasy, but readers think it is more appropriate for a younger audience. In the future, I’m going to promote it more heavily to middle grade readers.

I’d also like to get more reviews for the books in The Conjurors Series. To that end, I’m asking anyone who is interested in exchanging books to read and honestly review to reach out to me in the form below. I’ll read yours and provide reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, or any other sites where you’re promoting your book, if you’ll do the same for me.

How to End Your Self-Published Book Series

shutterstock_55706296As I begin plotting the final book in The Conjurors Series, I noticed that it is by far the hardest book to write. It feels as though the stakes for my protagonist have never been higher, and it can be intimidating trying to ensure that she lives up her potential.

Faced with such high expectations, I looked at how other successful authors have successfully tackled ending their series. Below are the tips I found most useful as Valerie embarked on her final adventure.

Keep up your momentum and passion for your series.
Whether your three books in or twelve, by now you’ve probably invested hundreds of hours and maybe even several years of your life to the characters in your series. You’ve analyzed the character traits of your protagonist so many times that she starts to feel like an annoying family member who won’t leave you alone. But readers who have grown to love your protagonist want to see her make her final stand with flair and walk into a satisfying sunset. Remember how excited you were to plot book 1? Make sure that same energy pervades every last sentence of your series.

Reread your series to make sure you complete all of the storylines you started.
There is nothing that makes me crazier than a series that doesn’t tie up all of its loose ends. Whether it’s a character who is introduced and then disappears or foreshadowing that never results in anything, I find that the disappointment of a missed connection can sour a series that I’ve otherwise enjoyed. You never know what tidbits your readers will remember, so be sure that you don’t leave any holes in your story.

Show readers how much your protagonist has evolved (or devolved, as the case may be).
A good series has its protagonist evolve not just within each book, but over the series as a whole. When you’re wrapping up your series, remind readers of how far your protagonist has come. In the last book of the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, Katniss revisits District 12, where she grew up, and we are reminded how she went from being a scrappy kid fighting for survival to the inspiration of a revolution that changed the country.

Take time to say goodbye.
You don’t need to write a farewell speech for each of the key players in your story, but take time to give readers a sense of closure for the characters they’ve become attached to. Also give yourself a chance to pause and realize that your epic has at last reached its ending. For yourself as well as your readers, it’s okay to slow down in order to punctuate that this is truly The End.

Let readers know how to find your future work.
Especially for self-published authors, it’s critical to have your contact information easily accessible to readers who want to continue to read what you write in the future. Whether it’s your website, Facebook page, or even Twitter, provide venues for fans to stay in touch. You’ll be glad when the next book of your new series comes out to have a built in fan base who already likes your style.

Helpful Links

  • This post on The Editor’s Blog on setting up a series.
  • This post on Standoutbooks on what to consider throughout your series.
  • This post on my blog on creating a series bible.