Smarketing LLC
269 S. Beverly Drive, Suite 269 Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Santa Barbara office:
3905 State Street, Suite 7-302
Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Indie Excellence Submission
703 Pier Ave, Suite B-684
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Phone: 310-862-2573



INDIE EXCELLENCE® Comments from 2011 Winners and Finalists

"In June of this year, I was awarded the National Indie Excellence® Finalist Award for Best Self-Help book of 2011.  Winning this award has been incredible, but the icing on the cake was being awarded the prize from the Public Relations Firm, EMSI.  Through EMSI’s expert print campaign, which placed articles in more than 20 publications, my book has been exposed to over 21 million potential readers and secured my very first book review.  I’ve also been invited to speak on the radio and write original articles for blogs and web sites.
"As a newly, self-published author, winning the book award and the PR package was a god-send.  It’s helping me to establish myself as an expert coach, author, and speaker, and there’s no better confirmation of your book’s quality than that gold sticker.  Up until winning, I had done all of my own marketing and publicity, and as any new author knows, this can been a real challenge.  EMSI has been a a true partner in my effort to let the world know about my book.  They have done a professional, thorough job on my behalf, and continue to send me requests for writing and notifications of article placements.
"I can’t speak highly enough of EMSI and Ellen Reid’s National Indie Excellence® Awards ."

Dear Ellen and the Indie Excellence® team,

"After the edit of my third book, my editor suggested that I might want to take look at entering my self-published book in your awards. The last thing on my mind was to enter an award competition, but it sounded like a good opportunity and I decided to submit my last two books. It was such a confirmation of my work when one of my books won, and the other was selected as a finalist in the body, mind, spirit category.

"Just like everyone else, I proudly affixed the stickers to the front of my book. This was in May of 2011. In September of 2011 I received an invitation from Lifetime Television to appear as a guest author/expert on their morning show, "The Balancing Act." It is a highly-rated morning show with hundreds of thousands of viewers reaching 220 markets across the US. They wanted me to share the concepts from my books with their viewers.

"When I asked how they found my book the producer said, "There are hundreds of thousands of books published each year, and we don't have time to screen all of them. We go straight to the award winners and start our screening process from there." So...I just wanted to say thank you as I credit you for creating this opportunity for me and for all others.

"I just finished my fourth book and will be submitting it for the next awards round. Thank you for all you do! I am most appreciative."

Alice Inoue
Alice Inoue Life Guidance, LLC

INDIE EXCELLENCE® Organization, Judging Panel & Ellen!!!

" It was such a thrill to learn that my picture book was chosen the winner of the INDIE!!! Your national recognition is enormous validation on so many levels, both personal & professional. In these first few days since the announcement of my win, the traffic levels to my blog have quadrupled! What a thrill to have your organization’s vision support my efforts to create stellar resources for children and those who love them. Your timing is perfect!

"My book, “Red, White and Blue” is based on an original song I recorded immediately after 9-11 where the lyrics of the song become the text of the book. Receiving your recognition will further the possibility that my book will be ‘discovered’ in time for it to serve as a resource to teachers & librarians in the upcoming 10th anniversary observations of that historic day.

"My own personal story is also compelling. It took me 5 years to create my illustrations from fabric as small quilts, in large part due to the reality of fighting two separate diagnosis of early Breast Cancer, its treatment and complications, during the same time frame. Needless to say your shiny gold sticker is an enormous delight to earn as a survivor. I have been plastering them to my face ever since they arrived!!!

"Ellen, it was such a joy to hear the excitement in your own voice when you shared the news with me. I know that you fully understand what winning this award will mean for me in the years to come. Your dedication to ‘excellence’ is indeed apparent in all you endeavor. Best wishes as you find other gems in the future and shine your light of recognition upon deserving efforts, changing the perception of independent publishing in the process and bringing the world authors work worthy of national merit."

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

P.S. This is the last picture taken of me with my ‘naked-book’ – that is prior to “Red, White and Blue” being adorned with your shiny gold bling!!!

Debbie Clement

"Just want to thank you for the opportunity to enter my book in the NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE® AWARDS competition and tell you what it has meant to me to be named a “Winner” in the autobiography category.  This book has been praised by family and friends, and after having excerpts published in magazines, orders have been received from all over the country—but to have judges decide that my book is good and award me the highest status available in your competition,  is most meaningful to me.  This book was written at the request of my children for my grandchildren and great grandchildren, and though encouraged by those who helped with the typing, layout, and editing that it would be of interest to many other than my family, the NIEA award confirmed that for me.  The news release was prepared and sent to local newspapers, and in addition, copies of the release are enclosed with the books that are ordered.   The release is also displayed where my books are sold.  Last, but not least, it is with pride that I put the “Winner” sticker on The Life & Times of Vince Kontny—it signifies that this book has been judged and that it was found to be worthy of reading." 

Vince Kontny
Volume 1: The Early Years

Ruby's Tale

Local dog celebrates book launch

By Phillip Bock, Editor

Ruby and owner Pat Bettendorf are celebrating the release of a new book that chronicles Ruby's adventures. From radio show co-host to therapy dog and media hog, little Ruby has done it all. Not bad for a puppy found abandoned in a house back in 2003.

The book was recently the recipient of two awards. In 2010, it was a finalist in the 2010 book of the year award by ForeWord Reviews. The book was selected as a finalist out of 1,400 entries from various independent publishers. In 2011, the book received the Indie Excellence® Book Award.

This is my testimonial of my being the finalist in the Indie Excellence® Book Awards 2011 (Fantasy category).

The Chosen-Book One of the Portals of Destiny
by Shay Fabbro

Dear Ellen,

My book was picked as the Finalist of the 2011 National Indie Excellence® Awards in True Crime. I felt compelled to write the book and now I feel compelled to write praise for your prestigious organization. I am attaching herewith my praise and my photo accordingly for your perusal. Thank you very much for this honor.

God bless you always, Jeannie Walker

"Fighting the Devil" - A True Story of Consuming Passion, Deadly Poison, and Murder

I want to thank Ellen and everyone at NIEA for the honor received by Show Me How! Build Your Child's Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. In my book, I say that we all need a cheering committee and parents are a child's most important fans! Well, authors published by small presses need a cheering committee also and the NIEA are our most important fans!

Dear Ms. Reid,

I wanted to thank you for choosing my book as a finalist in the Children's Fiction genre. It is a great honor and I'm so excited. I have already noticed increased interest in my book because of the award.

Thanks again!

Peggy Krause, Author of The Scruffy Little Crumb-Grabbers

I cannot begin to tell you what it meant to me to win this award.  I see it as given me validation.  Why?  Who knows.  It feels like someone listened to me, listened to my entire story and could follow me as I showed how all the separated puzzles pieces of my nightmare was connected.  If you were one of the ones who read my book during this process, you know what I had gone through.  I am so very, very tired and discouraged after the years of struggle and pain - this award lifted me up in ways that no one could possibly know.  This weekend my press release will be in my local paper.  This award will definitely be a huge help in selling my book.  I cannot wait to see it with its sticker!  

Teri Figarola

Dear Ellen,

Thank you so much for informing me that the judges in the 2011 NIEA competition chose my novel, Promised Valley Rebellion, as the winner in the Gay & Lesbian & Transgender Fiction category. Since this is my first novel, my first book, and my first adventure in the book-publishing world, your announcement left me stunned. Whatever else I do in my life, I'll never forget the moment I saw my novel and my name in your list of winners.

I'll make every effort in my all of my writings to prove myself worthy of the NIEA winner's award for the first one of them to see the light of day.

I've attached images of my book cover and myself for you to display as you see fit.

Again, thank you very much for this amazing surprise.

Ron Fritsch

Last year, Christina Allen of Lexington Park published a children’s book, “A Micro-Chip on My Shoulder: A True Story of a Little Poult.” Allen, a member artist with the North End Gallery in Leonardtown, wrote and illustrated the book that told of the adventures of Chip, a Jersey buff turkey born at the Allen’s homestead and nursed back to health after being attacked by an unknown predator one night. In addition to telling of Chip’s recovery, the book was also intended to illustrate the value of heritage breed turkeys like the Jersey buff.

Allen learned last week that her book about the now adult turkey won the 2011 National Indie Award for Excellence in Children’s Books, nonfiction.

“Since it’s my first (and maybe only) children's book, I am quite stunned by the award,” Allen wrote in an email.

Even before the book award, Chip, the subject of the book became a celebrity at the Allens’ homestead, which is listed as a stop on Southern Maryland Trails.

“Because of the book, and the Southern Maryland Trails Guide, Chip (who is in retirement now) gets more visitors than ever here,” Allen said. “We [had] about five farm tours a week this spring. [Recently,] we had visitors from Poland and from India ... It is truly drawing attention to endangered heritage turkeys and some of the important food issues.”

Dear Ellen,

I want to tell you how much I appreciate your award to Colin Mallard for his book Understanding...the simplicity of life, which won the Indie Excellence® Awards 2011 in the category New Age Non Fiction.... I am getting a video camera and hope to send a video in the next week or so but just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate the work you do in supporting small publishers.

Val Walton

Dear Ellen,

Thank you so much for the recognition you have given to ESCAPE FROM MARIANNA with the award of Regional Fiction Finalist in the 2011 Indie Excellence® Awards. It is an honor to be selected by such an elite group of readers, editors and critics

You have given so many wonderful and talented writers, as well as the dedicated small and independent presses who publish them, a chance to receive the recognition they deserve.

You are truly the future! There are many stories such as mine that cry out to be told. May you continue to be their hope.

Bobbi White

Dear Ellen:

I just want to take a moment to thank you and your team at Indie Excellence® Awards for the great job you all do in supporting and promoting the independent publishing market. The time and effort that you put forth to recognize authors who have selected independent publishers, is to be commended. For authors to receive an Indie Excellence® Award for “their” book is indeed a dream come true for them.

Thank you again.

Sincerely, Nancy Coate

Dear Ellen,

I was elated to see The Final Test – A Biography of James Ball Naylor listed as a FINALIST in the Historical Biography Category for the National INDIE Excellence® Awards for 2011. A special thank you goes to the judges and staff that worked toward the selection of my book. It is a validation for nearly 40 years of research and a tribute to my mentor Dwight Wesley Garber and to this fascinating man – James Ball Naylor. I am currently about to do a presentation/book signing at The Book Loft, the largest and best book store in Columbus, Ohio. What a great way to start – by stating that The Final Test was a FINALIST in the 2011 National INDIE Excellence® Awards. It is a project I truly believed in and am deeply honored by the selection of this biography as a 2011 FINALIST.

Again, thank you so much.

Theresa Marie Flaherty

Dear Ellen, Briefly interrupting celebrating, I am thanking you for the Indie Awards for Blood and Silk! I am thrilled and honored, as are the folks at Friesen Press and Kelley and Hall Publicity.

Truly, this is a life changing opportunity!

Carol McKay

Thank you Ellen, and thanks to all the staff and judges that participated in the 2011 NIEA. I am honored that my book “This Way Madness Comes” was selected as a Winner in the Fiction – Adventure category, and as a Finalist in the Science Fiction category. It was unexpected, but very exciting and welcome news. Thank you for helping to give independent writers a voice.

Robert Alan

My most abundant thanks, Ellen! It was an impossible to describe thrill to scroll down the list of winning authors with all their intriguing titles -- and amazingly, incredibly -- find my own novel The Secret of Lies listed as a finalist in the New Fiction category. My sincere appreciation to you and the judges for such an exceptional honor. I will surely be riding along on the clouds for quite some time

All best wishes,
Barbara Forte Abate

Lorna Stevens and I thank you very much for choosing our book, God, Seed: Poetry & Art About the Natural World for the Poetry and Art categories in the 2010 Indie Excellence® Awards. 
Thanks again for supporting our work!

Hi Ellen!

Thank you so much for selecting 7 Scorpions: Rebellion for finalist! This really made my day to see.

Mike Saxton

Hi, Ellen:

I am so excited about my book being an Indie Excellence® Award WINNER.

Thanks so, so much, Ellen! Again, I am honored and excited. I can't thank you enough!

AND, a few days ago, I was interviewd on a national radio talk show and Honest Medicine shot up to #49 on This has been quite a week.

Again, thanks!!



Thank you to the judges who voted my thriller, River Bones, as a Finalist in the 2011 contest. It was interesting to scroll through the list of Winners and Finalists and all their interesting titles. When I came to the Thriller category, I gasped when seeing my book listed. Being a Winner or Finalist is some of the best promotion a book can receive, so thank you also for offering these contests.

All the best, Mary Deal


When I received an email saying the Indie Excellence® Awards for 2011 were posted, I took a deep breath and decided I would go take a look to see who won ... I think I am still in shock to have seen my first book, An Agreement with Love, was chosen as a finalist in the poetry catagory. What a joyful feeling!

The truth of it is still settling in and I'm full of all kinds of thoughts about how this supports my belief in myself, as not only a writer, but also to my commitment to make every aspect of the book the best I could, from the poetry format, to layout and the cover, and to the flow of the story line. Thank you so much for providing a place where individual writers, and especially poets, can be recognized for the intense love and devotion they pour into their works.

It is with honor that I present AAWL to the market with the seal of Indie Excellence.

Sending Best,
Kristina Mercier
Author of An Agreement with Love

Dear Ellen,

Thank you and your NIEA staff and program for choosing "Childhood ... Literary and Cinematic Inspiration" as the 2011 Winner in your Arts and Entertainment category. I am so appreciative of your kind consideration. Thanks also for you graciousness all through the process.

Carol Altman

Hi Ellen

All of us at Publishing Gurus are thrilled to learn that our publishing house's first children's book, PERCY'S SPECIAL GIFT by MaryAnn De Salva, is the prizewinner for Children's Fiction in 2011! Thank you so much for this special honor. We're extremely proud of PERCY, and of MaryAnn De Salva for creating a character who has touched the hearts of so many children. Best wishes to you and to all the judges who worked on this year's Indie Excellence Awards!

– Wicked Sunny, Betsy Gordon, and Nancy Coate, for
regards, Wicked Sunny

Dear Ms. Reid,

Wow! What wonderful news! Thank you so much! I am delighted and humbled that you selected Circus Before Dawn to receive one of the Indie Excellence® Sponsor’s Choice Prizes. I worked hard writing my novel — beginning in 1997! — and so your gracious recognition is meaningful beyond what I am able to describe here. But I can tell you there’s a new novelist walking much lighter today. Thank you for making my day, my week, my year.

With kind regards and enduring gratitude, David Miller

Hello Ellen,
I am thrilled that the Eden Prescription was a finalist for Medical Thriller, especially when I see who
I was up against!

Best regards,

Hi Ellen,

As a 2010 book Finalist, and a 2011 book Winner? I'm wordless. Imagine that! But, I do want to thank you for sponsoring a very worthy foundation for seeking out books of excellence, and to the judges who considered Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York an accomplished "winner" in history. The Indie Excellence® Book Awards encourages books of merit, and I appreciate the validation. Thank-you Indie!

My Best,
Renee Wendinger

I want to say 'Thank You' to the judges who voted ANGELS IN THE MIDST as a finalist in the Religion Fiction category of the Indie Excellence Awards. I am also saying 'Thanks' for my friends and family who helped me bring this dream to fruition. I will also be proud to say that the Indie Excellence® Award was my first.

Marc Curtis Little

Hi Ellen,

Just came home from a great book event in Irvine at Pretend City Children's Museum and read my emails.

Hurray! We are thrilled and excited to have received this award and recognition for I'm 5!!!

Thank you so much for all your efforts in providing opportunities for authors and illustrators to share their stories with children everywhere,

We are more than pleased and proud to have been recognized for all three of our children's picture books, Circus Fever, On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! and I'm 5 as Finalists.

Your award stickers proudly decorate the covers of our books everywhere we go.

Kindest regards,


I just saw that you selected my book as the winner in the Self-Help:Motivation category. Thank you so much! I am delighted! What a great way to start the new week. :)

Thank you again for this honor. It means so much to me.

With warmth and inspiration,

Julie Clark
Author, Inspirational Coffee Breaks for Women: 12 Ground Rules for Pouring
Your Heart into Life

Dear NIEA,

I am so very excited to have had my book ("Racism, The Bible, and The American Dream") selected as winner under the social change category and as finalist under the category of African-American non-fiction. I can't thank you enough for consideration of my work.

Thank you so very much again for your consideration of my work. I feel so very honored to be a winner and finalist.

Elreta Dodds

Kudos from 2015

Kudos from 2014

Kudos from 2013

Kudos from 2012

Kudos from 2010

Kudos from 2009