Amazon Kindle, Best Selling List, Book Promotion, Book Sales, Leave a Review, Marketing/Ads, Self-Publishing

Self-Promoting leads to Best Seller List!

I thought I’d share my stats from the social media ads and the results from those ads. Many indie authors are asking (not me personally), but want to know which method(s) of advertising works and what have been the results.

Since I can only speak from my experience, here is what I have done and the results I received so far.

I chose to use Facebook Ads as they have been an excellent way for me to cast a wider net and reach readers all over the world. I find this method to be user-friendly as well as budget friendly.

Screenshot_2019-03-18 (1) Hannah Reinbeck, Author

The screenshot above is showing the results of the Facebook Ad I placed one week before the Kindle Promotion was scheduled to start. I set a budget and didn’t use it all, which is a good thing. The $10.76 that I did spend, over 1,200 targeted readers saw the ad, of those readers 318 engaged by “Liking/ Loved” my post/ad. I sent an invite to half of them to follow my Author page. Why not all of them? I will, but due to Facebook cracking down on users “liking” too many posts in a short period of time and “inviting” too many users to their pages I didn’t want to risk having my account locked while my promotion was running. Now that it’s finished I will go back and invite everyone and let them decide to accept or decline.

During this week of promoting, my Author page jumped from 104 followers to 147 followers.

I also placed an ad on Twitter, here is a screenshot of those results.

Screenshot_2019-03-18 Ads Manager

Sorry, I’m not at all as tech savvy as I’d like to be. I’ll do my best to explain the tiny print in the screenshot above.

Starting Date: March 7, 2019,/ Ending Date: March 16, 2019

$35.00 was my total budget, I spent $20.00 in total.

My ad was seen by 3,853 Twitter users, 5 of them clicked on the ad at the cost of $4.00 per click from a $5.00 per day budget.

Twitter ads have not been as effective, and that’s probably due to my lack of experience and tech savviness. I don’t find that their ad set up is user-friendly. Sure the ad has reached over 3,000 people, and I gained a few followers which lead to a few retweets from that, but I don’t think the ad performs better than Facebook. Again, it’s just my experience, and I am by no means an expert on social media ads.

With that said, here is a screenshot of the results from this weekends Free Kindle promotion.

Screenshot_2019-03-18 Kindle Direct Publishing Terms of Service

I did try to make the image larger, I apologize for being a noob, resizing images still escapes me. The image shows KENP Read  (Kindle Ebook Normalized Pages) Those that opted to get the Kindle Unlimited version over the Free Kindle version, I can see how many pages have been flipped/read/swiped, and I earn a fraction of a percentage from them.

KENP Read, 270 pages.    FREE Units (Free Kindle downloads from the promotion) 71. While the free promotion has ended, seems Amazon/USA is just now showing the Kindle (paid version) for $0.00, way to be tardy to the party. Maybe they decided to extend the promotion on their .com platform to make up the hiccup during the promotion. If it still shows FREE, you may as well take advantage.

The last Kindle Free promotion in August 2018, resulted in 37 downloads, this recent promotion just about doubled the number of downloads to 71 + 1 Kindle Unlimited. What’s different this time around is that my book ranked in two different #1 spots on Amazon’s Best Selling List.

Amazon/USA #1 Best Selling Free/Sexual Abuse

Screenshot_2019-03-17 Amazon Best Sellers Best Sexual Abuse

Amazon/Canada #1 Best Selling Free/ Abuse & Self Defence

Screenshot_2019-03-17 Amazon ca Best Sellers The most popular items in Abuse Self Defence

My book also ranked #9 on Amazon/USA Free/ Memoirs

Screenshot_2019-03-17 Amazon Best Sellers Best Memoirs

I’m very proud of reaching that milestone and having written a book that has made a Top 10 List of Best Sellers. Sure it’s not the NY Times, or Oprah’s, but I can officially say that I am a Best Selling Author. Having done so with a non-fiction/memoir that isn’t associated with a celebrity or not having made headlines is a pretty big deal.

I want to take a moment to thank all you that have purchased a copy of Breaking the Cycle of Abuse: My Journey from Victim to Survivor, as well as thank all of you that took advantage of the free promotion this weekend. I truly appreciate your continued support. Your support doesn’t just include paid sales and royalties, it includes engaging with me on my various social media platforms, this blog, your word of mouth recommendations, supporting survivors and leaving a review.

A published book that doesn’t get promoted will only sit and go unnoticed. Getting noticed takes time, hard work and a daily effort to engage with readers, other authors, book reviewers and you have to set money aside to pay for services that will help to get your book in front of readers. Having a self-published book doesn’t mean instant sales. Go to where the readers are because not all authors are readers.

That is my advice for indie authors.

Again, a Big Thank You to those that have helped to get me to this point, it’s a massive leap from where I started one year ago.

The newest Best Selling Author, Hannah


*** Note to self and others, using the screenshot option works great, except the time that the picture can be viewed is limited*** Live and learn I suppose.


Amazon Kindle, Book Sales, Goodreads, Marketing/Ads, Self-Publishing, Speaking from Experience

Indie Author: Self-Promoting and Getting Reviews

Welcome Back Blog Readers,

In this blog post, I wanted to share my experience thus far as an Indie Author that has been self-promoting my book to gain reviews. I will share what methods have worked for me and which have failed. To be fair, some methods take longer so you can’t expect instant results from an ad or promotion that you run.

I am not a self-proclaimed “Marketing Guru” nor do I have a team of marketing geniuses helping me, I’m simply me doing this on my own and sharing my experiences along the way.

Social Media:

Social media is a great place to start as there are so many platforms for you to create a following, find readers that have an interest in the genre that you are writing, networking to find proofreaders, editors, beta readers, reviewers and businesses to help promote your work.

I have stuck with Facebook and Twitter, but you can also branch out on Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, and countless others that you may have heard of that I’m simply not familiar with as I’m not super tech savvy.

Facebook: I suggest creating an Author page in which to start creating hype/buzz, share sneak peeks of your work to get people excited about what you’re going to be launching in the future. Facebook also allows you to run ads and boost posts. I have done both, and both come with a small fee (under $20) although you can certainly spend more if you have the budget to do so.

Navigating through the Facebook ad/campaign section is pretty user-friendly. I have found this to be an effective way to gain followers/friends/readers and have made a few great contacts in the process. There are so many groups that you can choose to join that are dedicated to Indie Authors, Authors that write the same genre, Groups that allow you to promote your work on their page, so there is that to consider.

Here is my Author Page:

Twitter: This social media platform is also an excellent tool for an Indie Author. There are so many groups that you can align yourself with to help promote your book to thousands of potential readers. Since my book “Breaking the Cycle of Abuse: My Journey from Victim to Survivor,” is a non-fiction/memoir about childhood sexual abuse I have been able to search for groups that support #metoo, #metoomovement, #CSA, #survivorculture. I have found that many people in these groups are my target readers and are more likely to support my work.

Many of these members have hundreds and thousands of followers that they will Retweet for their followers to see. That is just the FREE aspect, Twitter also allows you to create ads based on existing tweets that you’ve posted, so keep that in mind if you are considering using a post as an ad. The fee for running a Twitter ad is still budget friendly but is slightly more than Facebook. I have found that running ads on Twitter definitely helps to reach potential readers from all over the world.

Twitter has been an excellent resource for finding small businesses that help Indie Authors promote their book(s) for a reasonable price. As with most things, you’ll want to do a bit of research before conducting business and sending out several digital copies of your book to a scammer.

Here is a short list of twitter businesses that I have worked with.

  • DigitalBookGirl- very reasonably priced, professional, efficient, delivered as promised. She’s also on Facebook under the same name.
  • Books & the Bear- They offer a wide variety of services for Indie Authors, their packages are reasonably priced, They delivered as promised.
  • TweetYourBooks- reasonably priced, various promotional packages to choose from based on your needs/budget, they delivered as promised, they also have affiliate accounts each has tens of thousands of followers that will see your book/campaign.

There are countless other promotional services to consider, do so at your own risk. I thought it was a good idea (at the time) to find volunteers to read my book and leave a review on Goodreads, Amazon and their blog if they had one. I didn’t want to hand out loads of free digital copies of my book, so I limited the number to 10. I posted my “Looking for 10 volunteers” search on Facebook and Twitter to increase my odds of finding possible readers/reviewers. Facebook didn’t turn up any interest, while I found 9 eager volunteers within 24 hours on Twitter.

I was pretty excited about getting 9 reviews to show up on Goodreads and Amazon, because what’s not to like about that. A few people wanted to do a book review exchange, they review for me, I review for them to which seemed fair to me and I agreed.

In full disclosure, I am not an avid reader, in fact, I’ll always take the movie version before the book version any day. I have tried reading books that I thought would interest me, but I have a hard time getting through a few chapters before I completely lose interest or I find that my mind wanders and I’m constantly reading the same sections a few times before things register especially if there is a lot of dialogue. It’s not that I can’t comprehend, it’s just that I’m a better visual learner, than a verbal/reading learner. I was reading/comprehending at a Freshman in college level at age 12/grade 7.

Anyway, I took on the task of reading 2 books as part of the review exchange agreement that I made with 2 other indie authors in early November. I read those books and left my review on Goodreads and dedicated a section of my blog for “Reviews” left by me and reviews of my book left by others.

The new year arrived, and I had not heard from any of the volunteers, so I thought I would send them all a private message to touch base and see how everyone was progressing. Granted I did mention that there wasn’t a rush for their review (my fault for not being more specific). One reviewer said she was just getting over having the flu and that once she felt better, she would start reading my book. No problem there, I completely understood. Another reviewer thanked me for the reminder and thought it was a good idea to help keep them on track after the holiday season, and that she would start on it soon. No problem there either.

I never did hear back from the other 7, it’s now the end of January, and I noticed the reviewer with the flu has recently unfollowed me, no message, no nothing. The other reviewer got in touch with me the other night and read the book fairly quickly and was able to leave a rating on Goodreads, so progress was made. If you are that reviewer, I Thank You! As for the other 7, I am not holding my breath or expecting anything to come from them. It’s been frustrating to expect results when some people can’t follow through. I know that life happens and we have to prioritize, just keep me in the loop and have a bit of common courtesy. It’s okay to be honest if you’ve changed your mind, or if you don’t want to leave a bad review because you didn’t like the book, then just say so and delete the copy of my book, no hard feelings. I’d rather have that conversation with the opportunity to answer questions/concerns than to be avoided and feel taken advantage of. Lesson learned.

One thing to keep in mind if you are seeking reviews and sending out FREE digital copies: The person leaving the review must mention that they received a copy of your book for the purposes of leaving a review, or something along those lines. That way your account on Goodreads and Amazon isn’t flagged for possibly buying your reviews or perhaps having some of your reviews removed. Amazon is a bit tricky, as they are able to track the IP address from where you uploaded your book, where you bought a copy and where the review is coming from. So the chance of your spouse leaving an honest review is very slim.

For examples of how to write a review for a book that you received a free copy of, check out this link.

Heidi Lynn is fantastic if you have the opportunity to work with her. She doesn’t read everything, but she has an extensive range of genres that she enjoys. I encourage you to check out her website and contact her if you happen to write a genre she reads. Heidi Lynn has been able to put me in contact with a few other authors that I have a common interest with, and I have found that reading non-fiction/memoir stories are the one genre I can get into. Thank You, Heidi Lynn!

If you are a new author with no following and you are just creating your social media accounts, self-promoting is a task that you have a chip away at every week to create a buzz and find readers to engage. That is the road I started on almost one year ago. I’ve been slowly gaining Likes, Shares, Retweets, Friends, and followers of my blog since June 2018. My book has three 5-star reviews on Amazon, and I’ve sold 5 paperbacks, 2 Kindle e-books, 2 Kindle Unlimited copies and gave away 37 FREE digital copies during my Kindle free promotion back in August (no royalties or reviews from that campaign). In total for last year (end of June to December 2018) I made a whopping $26.76 in royalties. No, I’m not bragging, I’m showing you that this is what it’s like as an Indie Author that started from nothing, no contacts in the industry, working part-time, no team of people or a publishing company to help promote your work. This is the reality and what most of us are going through.

Non-fiction/memoir books don’t tend to gain too much momentum unless that particular story has made headlines or a celebrity is involved in some way to help launch it into the mainstream. So I don’t expect much more than a few trickling sales here/there from my book. The real money making genre is Romance because sex still sells. If you have a series in that genre, even better. You can offer the first book in that series for FREE, and those readers who like it will buy the next book in that series. To find out which types of books are trending, check out Bookbub

So, this concludes this segment, and hopefully, you’ve gained a little insight as to what it’s like as an Indie Author. I’m happy to answer any questions, take your comments and suggestions into consideration.

Until next time, ~Hannah




Amazon Kindle, Book Sales, Marketing/Ads, Self-Publishing, Speaking from Experience

Constructive Criticism

Welcome back blog readers,

In author news, here’s what’s going on. I thought I’d promote on Facebook and on Twitter that I am searching for readers. Not just any readers or followers looking for a freebie, but readers that would be genuinely interested in receiving a free digital copy of my book in exchange for their honest review on Goodreads.

I have to be realistic, and I know that non-fiction/memoir isn’t for everyone, especially when the truth is about childhood sexual abuse. I understand that not everybody will be able to relate, or find my story easy or fun to read.

The purpose in seeking volunteers to read/review my book is due to the fact that Amazon won’t promote my book to their customers unless my book has 20-25 reviews from verified purchases. While I have over 40 copies sold on Amazon, only 1 person has taken a moment to leave a review. ( Thank You for your review!) No, I’m not complaining, just explaining how reviews or lack thereof affect authors.

I’ve submitted my book with Bookbub in hopes that they would offer me a deal on their platform, but they won’t touch it unless the book has 20-25 reviews either Amazon or Goodreads. Amazon is strict with their ability to leave a review and a verified purchase is required. However, on Goodreads, it’s easier as they tend to consider that not all of your books need to be purchased in one place in order to leave a review/comment.

Currently my book has one 5 star review on Amazon and I just noticed that someone left a 1 star review on Goodreads. I was curious and did check the profile of the reader of the 1 star review ( I bet most of you would do the same ) just to see if she was a harsh critic with everyone (those types do exist). Since there wasn’t a comment as to what or why she disliked my book, from her profile I noticed that her preferred genre was Fiction and Children’s Literature. My best guess is that my book just wasn’t her cup of tea, and that’s fine.

I’m not upset, but my curiousity is interested to know why or what prompted the dislike. I guess it’s best not to dwell on things I have no control over. I can’t change the events that took place, my style of writing is unique to me and I won’t change what comes naturally. I’m okay not being everyone’s cup of tea, I prefer to be an acquired taste anyway.

As it sits, I’ve have 4 volunteer readers/reviewers from Twitter that seem eager to help, and I’m grateful for that. I was offered by one volunteer to do a book exchange along with leaving a review for each other. I have accepted and will make it a priority.

I do appreciate ALL honest reviews whether they end up being 1-star, 5-star or fall in the middle. For those that feel uneasy about leaving a review here are a few suggestions that are short yet effective. Reviews are not just for the author, they are also for other readers.

  • I Liked It
  • Not My Preferred Genre
  • I Recommend It
  • I Couldn’t Relate, but the story was well written.

You get the idea. Short and to the point is better than not leaving any comment (just my opinion as a consumer that relies on reviews before making big purchases).

To be continued, once there is something to report 🙂

*** UPDATE***  November 23, 2018

I now have 8 verified volunteer reviewers, 1 pending (waiting on their email address), 1 Professional book reviewer and 2 online book promoting services to help spread awareness about my book.

What I learned last night is that if you are giving out FREE copies of your book in exchange for a review, the reviewer MUST state that in addition to their review (On Goodreads especially) but I suppose it’s good practice to make that statement up front as to not go against the terms of service.

A BIG Thank You to those Twitter followers that really stepped up to help a new author!




Amazon Kindle, Book Sales, Marketing/Ads, Self-Publishing

In Author news…

Welcome back blog readers,

This post will be lighter and less political as I’d like to share what’s been going on with me as an author. I recently received my second payment from Amazon for the sales of the paperback books, Kindle e-book copies and the Kindle Unlimited pay per page.

Oct 1, 2018 EFT CREDIT AMAZON DIGITAL $12.78 Paperback
Oct 1, 2018 EFT CREDIT AMAZON MEDIA EU $0.30 KU Pay per page
Oct 1, 2018 EFT CREDIT AMAZON MEDIA EU $4.44 E-book

While it’s not enough to retire, it’s still a milestone considering that the idea of putting out my story was part of my healing process and as a means of helping other survivors know that they are not alone.

Speaking of milestones, I also received my first review/recommendation left on my Author Page (Facebook).

“I know from experience than it takes a great deal of courage to come forward and speak about abuse suffered from people you should have been able to trust. Thank you for inspiring me to have the courage to tell my story as well.” – J. Brenner

I have also received a traveling book kit which is basically a large ziplock bag to help protect the book and adhesive labels to attach to the inner front cover to allow the finder to track/log where they found the book. I thought it was an interesting idea and I plan to send out four paperback copies along with a homemade bookmark. Hopefully the bookmark with help keep the pages from being folded (dog ear).


Where will I leave them? One will be left in town, the precise location is still unknown. The second will be left on the Norwegian Epic cruise ship sometime during the month of December of this year. As for the other two, that has yet to be determined. The labels are in place and have been noted as 1 of 4, 2 of 4 and so on. Hopefully those readers will also make note in the journal entry as to which one they found to help make it easier to keep track.

Otherwise, I have been busy blogging and working part-time. I do have an idea for a children’s book series, but I haven’t started on that project yet. Other than that, it’s business as usual and nothing overly exciting news to report.

Happy Thursday~ Hannah

Book Sales, Marketing/Ads, Self-Publishing, Speaking from Experience, Venting

Free promotional deal, falls short.

Welcome back blog readers,

Over the last week or so I often come up with various topics that I’d like to discuss. I really need to start writing those ideas down as I tend to forget some of them before I have the chance to sit down at my computer. With that said and no real segway or introduction I’ll start with the first topic that comes to mind.

Some of you may know that I ran a free promotion for my e-book on Amazon earlier this week. I did my best to advertise the freebie on Facebook, Twitter, and here on this blog.  The ads that I placed on Twitter and Facebook worked great in the sense that the ad was shown to over 15 thousand people. That’s crazy! How many of those 15 thousand people took advantage of my promotion?


Not exactly what I expected.

The idea for running the free promotion was to gain exposure, CHECK. Thousands of people all over the world saw the ad. I was able to target specific areas in which the Facebook ad would be seen, which I like over Twitter. On the other hand, the ad on Twitter casts a wider net. I did gain more “friends” from my facebook ad, and it’s safe to say that it was most of those readers that took advantage of the free e-book.

Another point to the free promotion was to gain readers, CHECK. My book was downloaded 19 times during the first day, which I thought would only increase, but that didn’t happen. I have to admit that my husband was right (again) and I should have had the free promotion run for one day, not five days.

The most important point in setting up the free promotion was reciprocation. I give away my e-book for free, those interested have the chance to get a free copy and in turn, after reading they would leave an honest review either on here, my Facebook page, on Twitter, on Amazon (preferably), or on Goodreads.

I’m still waiting for the first review.

While it is okay to dream and have expectations of what might become of all of the effort that I’ve put into this; I have to maintain some perspective. Did I expect to see 100+ free downloads? You bet! Am I disappointed that it wasn’t as popular as I thought it might be? You bet! But I’m not going to give up yet.

I’ve been considering turning my book into an audio version. Probably within the next few weeks, I’ll turn my workspace into more of a recording studio and narrate my book. While I could hire a professional voice actor to do it, I really do take pride in seeing this project all of the way through. Nobody knows my story better than I do and feel that I owe it to myself to get myself out of my comfort zone and consider this another aspect of being a self-published author. Although if I were to be approached with a TV mini-series/movie deal, I would leave the acting to the professional.

My husband has mentioned a few other ideas that are worth considering. He’s willing to help me put together a Press Release Kit. I’d be okay with that if I could keep any interviews to radio/podcast and less visual (TV). It was also suggested that I consider guest blogging. I will admit that I’m not entirely sure what that would entail, but I’m open to it if the opportunity presents itself.

As for sinking more money into ads/promotions, I have to say that I’m done until further notice. The notion of releasing my book wasn’t done as a means of getting rich quick or because I wanted to see my name on a Best Sellers list. I wrote my book as a means of self-healing and working through the trauma I endured 30 years ago as a child. If my book should fall into the hands of another victim of sexual abuse and they are inspired to start healing after reading it, then my job is done. Writing was never about fame and fortune, it was about helping others like myself. Helping them find their voice, helping them break their silence, helping them find closure.

Buy a copy of my book here

P.S. What’s the deal with the resellers on Amazon trying to sell my book for more money and ridiculously high shipping rates. The paperback is PRINT ON DEMAND through Amazon, just buy it through them, save yourself some money. ~ Hannah