Tag Archives: amazon

But Where Are the Readers?

After publishing, the real hard work begins. Post a link to your newly published book and you’ll get the obligatory responses and purchases from select friends and family. But there are well over three million books in publication, ready to be purchased or downloaded at any given time. What makes yours stand apart?

Of course you’ll need a social media presence, but be ready. Despite social media interaction, which may devour hours of the day, you may receive one or two, Hey wanna book swaps? Great to at least get ratings, maybe readings, perhaps a solid review, but those are few and far in between. Not to mention you are either buying their book or buying yours and gifting it to them. I’ve had sales off FB and Twitter, and lots of to be reads off Goodreads. Most of those well intentions come from other authors looking for reciprocity.

Where do you get the readers? The following? Some companies offer marketing. I have tried several and gained several new authors as followers. But where are the readers? Your best bet is book bloggers, but good luck getting on their reading list any time soon. The good bloggers are backed up at least nine months. I have tried independent small marketing firms, mostly because I like to support the Mom & Pops out there. However, I have been burned by a few of those and recently disputed a fee through PayPal for one such company claiming they will publicize my book to over 15,000 readers on their blog and even more across social media for $14.99/month. I paid and never heard from them again.

Being listed as a writer on Facebook, I quickly realized that I am now targeted for sponsored ads relating to writing, editing, publishing, and anything interconnected to the industry. I look through the ads, do my research, read the comments, look for reviews and find that most authors are greatly displeased with these services. After all, they can only guarantee exposure not sales. Writers have been targeted by pop-up companies and services in mass this year. Authors are a consumer targeted group.

Then there are free books. Many authors boast, and rightfully so, about giving away 10,000 books on a KDP free day. It’s all for exposure and the cost (but no profit) of gaining exposure. And somehow, and this is just me, I feel like the adage: Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? I know those readers too. Many only look for free books and will not BUY anything indie. Many readers download free books from unknowns and don’t read them (bless the ones that do AND leave reviews…they are few). One friend shows me her Kindle with hundreds of free downloads, but she admits to rarely reading them, and often erases them to free up memory to download new free books. I ask why she downloads them and she proudly says, “I really do have good intentions.”

baseball1Writers beware! You will pour your heart and soul into birthing characters, plot, and story line. Some writers have only a family following. Some have a very small dedicated following. The greater majority sell under twenty books. This is in no way meant to be a downer but an insight into a whole new world that will take your hope and dreams and make you work harder than you ever thought possible. Many writers give-up, because marketing can consume your day, which in turn means you aren’t writing, which causes a bit of writer depression. There is a vicious cycle that consumes even the brightest of eyes. Those that succeed do so by sticking with their talents: write, publish, market, repeat. As Tom Hanks said in a League of Their Own, “If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. The hard is  what makes it great.”

The best advice I have come across to date to sell more books is: WRITE MORE BOOKS.

If you have any great advise for indie authors or have a service you’d like reviewed, leave a comment below.

Tania L Ramos RN BSN

Follow me on TWITTER and FACEBOOK or visit my WEBSITE


New Amazon Feature Can Help Authors

Here’s a new take on two things already in our author superhero utility belt: the #AmazonCart. This is a new tool, courtesy of the powers at Amazon, that allows Twitter users to add your book (or any other product)from Twitter directly to their Amazon shopping cart. Fancy that! Readers no longer have to leave their Twitter feed and get redirected. Can this new feature help published authors?

Here’s how it works:
Simply post a tweet that has your Amazon link and ask the reader to reply with #AmazonCart. This will not only alert you that someone has put your book in their cart, but it will also directly add your product into their shopping cart. The next time they log onto Amazon your book will already be there.
This appears to be a pretty novel concept. How many times have I scrolled across books that looked interesting, but didn’t want to be redirected, and later forgot what book that was? Oh so many. With this new option the book will automatically be in their cart. I always said Amazon was the devil, now they entice us with these wonderful new resources. Devil indeed.

The down side: The Twitter user must have their Twitter account linked into their Amazon account for this to work. It’s a new idea so I’m unsure how many people have their accounts linked.
What are your thoughts? Is this a method you will try? Do you think it has merit?

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author
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Book Sales Increase=ALS Contribution Increase

A quick thank you for all who have supported the sales of Be Still. Second quarter sales have gone up, which means contributions to ALS research have gone up.

Remember, 75% of all 2014 sales from Be Still will be donated back to ALS research. Why? Because the main character in the book is dying from this horrible disease. Follow his journey of life, death, and a world caught in between while trying to make amends with his son and himself.

Category: Fiction; Family; Romance; Subjective/Speculative
Amazon & Kindle
Barnes & Noble & Nook
iBook, Sony Ereader, Kobo

FREE SAMPLE ON GOOGLE PLAY <–No download needed!


Posted August 4, 2012
I know the history of this author and all that was wearing on her life when she wrote this book. Let me tell you, to be able to write a book like this during that time of her life can only be explained by saying, “Wow.” I knew she had talent, but this book is a testament to how she was able to “Be Still,” and move passed the trials in her life and turn a time of darkness into something positive.
I know this book fiction but it book stirred my emotions and I saw the author in every scene that dripped with sarcasm, but I felt her pain when Travis learned the truth. I lost a family member I wasn’t too fond of, but this book made me evaluate that. Thank you to Tania who made me think, who made me close my eyes as Travis learned to do, to drown out the noise and Be Still. This book came at a difficult time in my life, but I’m better for it and have recommended it to family and friends.

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author
Continue the research into ALS. Thank you for your support.
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Negative Reviews: Do You LOL or Cringe?

If you’ve published, whether self-pub, indie, small press, or big press, odds are you’ve received the dreaded negative review. Some are cruel and seem amazingly poised to do nothing other than be hurtful, while others may be negative but give constructive criticism in a way that can be used. Then there is the author review of a book, and those ones drive me to the point of madness.

Example of reviews:

Cruel: This book reeked of 5th grade writing. No wait, my 5th grader could compose something better than this mess. Do not read this book. Just don’t.

Negative: I loved the concept of the book but it didn’t seem to deliver on the hype. There were too many questions left unanswered: how did the killer know the families since the story line said the killer knew the families he stalked. Never got about to why, so I felt a huge chunk was left out.

Negative/Constructive: Though the story was great and beautifully written, I was upset that the connection between the killer and the families was never made. The plot was intriguing, and this certainly was a page turner that kept me up at night, but it would have been near perfect had the connection between killer and the families been made. Certainly an author to keep my eye on.

The author review: The tag was catchy, but once I got into the book the onslaught of writing errors ensued. We are dropped into a detective’s office that had zero, zilch, nada in the way of scene set-up or characterization. Scene transitions dragged and there were so many places just creating a new chapter would have been more effective. The use of scene breaks was trite, and should never be used in a manner to change point of view. The paragraphs were long, and the author did much more telling than showing which is just ineffective writing at its finest. The story arch left much to be anticipated, but the climax didn’t deliver to a point where I was riveted. Author’s voice was jumbled in the characters, and he might as well had just made himself a character instead of sitting front row of third person omniscient. There was nothing about this that stood out, except that it would be great for kindling a fire on a cold night.

a4So I pose this question: How did you react to your first negative review? I find some to be laugh worthy and others make me shake my head at the verbal cruelty. Did you learn from negative reviews? And what advice would you give to new authors who have yet to see the dreaded 1 star? And if so inclined, go ahead, post the worst review you’ve seen…its actually helped businesses who got bad reviews on Yelp get more business.

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author
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My Iuniverse Stats 2012

A quickie post for those of you looking at Iuniverse to publish. Keep in mind this is my second book, but the only one I really promoted in 2012. These are the sale numbers for online sales through retail markets and include e-books. My physical book sales are quite a bit more, so apparently I sell more from the trunk of my car: more than double. And I’ve given away about 15 books to giveaways, reviewers, friends..etc

Ebooks: 44

Softcover: 10

Hardcover: 4

Total: 58

What sells more? Ebooks, by far. Unless you are standing at the trunk of my car. Personal sales equal about 120-ish. Keep in mind, I am not KDP, so no freebie days. These are actual sales that I had to hustle for. And I still say this is not bad for a no-name, no followers author of 2012. Remember, I didn’t start selling until June 2012, so I’m shining my gold star right now.

Okay, a further break down for those wondering if only selling on Amazon is ideal. I took all the e-readers and broke it down. Kindle still sold more, but it would be wrong of me to neglect the other options because they almost add up to Kindle sales.

Kindle: 27

Nook: 13

iBook: 3

Sony e-reader: 1

As for the royalty pay out, here is the gist: aprox $1 per ebook and about $2 – $2.50 per physical book depending on the site purchased from. My total royalty pay out for 2012 is almost $80. I made 5 times that selling from my trunk after my initial cost to purchase. Not trying to discourage anyone. I’ve said before, they were great for doing all the hard work: formatting, distribution, etc … but the payout isn’t great.

So if you’d like to contribute to double these sales in 2013 please purchase my book, and don’t forget to leave feedback if you have or do. I love reviews and criticism. Here’s the trailer

Kindle $3.49 today

Nook $3.51 today

Barnes & Noble softcover $14.25 plus use this coupon through 3/10/12 to get 15% off code:CBU2BGZXLT5ZA

Signed copy: Use PayPal to email address hdsurfgirl@hotmail.com $15 for softcover $23 for hardcover (shipping included/ U.S. only)

Insight into Amazon’s Resell: Did We Do This?

So many questions have been posed about why Amazon has decided to look into reselling e-books. There have been great comments made, and some interesting comments sent to my email direct, and they weren’t all nice.  With so many strong opinions it is clear that there can be a potential war on the horizon.  Again, I state, I’m not asking people to take up arms and fight the machine.  Rather, I’m trying to educate the self-publishing masses as to something that can  happen, and I’m not saying it actually will.

Where did the idea for reselling e-books stem from? Perhaps the Amazon think tank of Amazonians.  Perhaps someone stumbled upon a yard sale and had an epiphany.  Or perhaps it was started by a reader posing a simple, harmless question on the Amazon forum on Feb 11, 2011 asking, “Can I sell back my e-books from Kindle? Once I read them it seems pointless to keep them on my Kindle so I was just wondering if they will buy them back for a part of the money it cost to download on there? (Scarpetta)” (view original post)

This question has sparked over 43 comments, but there are many other forums with similar discussions.  The vast majority of responses state that this isn’t something that Amazon could afford to do.  However, the majority of these comments came long before Amazon retained the patent to be able to resell e-books.

Was it the Amazon think tank? Was it a yard sale epiphany? Or was it started by one of our readers? Obviously the question was out there, and if asked by one then it is okay to assume it is thought by many.  Sufficed to say, readers are very interested in this buy back program, and will likely be interested in purchasing a “used” e-book.  And why not? The economical deficit is everywhere, and so many are looking for ways to save.  It only makes sense that readers would jump at the idea of reselling an e-book and then purchasing a used e-book.  This is a money driven market and Amazon took the reigns on this one.

If the resell program were to go into effect, then it would be up to the authors to educate readers and the public.  But, will our pleas fall dead beside an advertisement for “used” e-books at a discounted rate? What else could we do? Take the poll

Tania L Ramos, author of Be Still and Surviving the Writing Apocalypse




www.WritingApocalypse.com Continue reading

Amazon to Resell Used Ebooks

This rumor has been running across the internet chat room and websites like wild-fire.  Have you heard about it yet? If you’re a self-published author strictly using Amazon (KDP) for publishing, this may affect you in a huge way.  And if you aren’t strictly using Amazon, it still affects you, but you may have options, such as not using their service.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling the literary world to take up their Kindle and storm the gates, but only that authors take time to consider the alternatives.

According to this article at The Dish (and other sites):


[A] U.S. patent that Amazon Technologies in Reno, Nev., received last week indicates that the mega-retailer has its sights on digital resale, including used e-books and audio downloads. According to the abstract, Amazon will be able to create a secondary market for used digital objects purchased from an original vendor by a user and stored in a user’s personalized data store.

What does that mean for e-book authors? Simple. It means that once John Q Reader finishes reading your e-book purchased through Amazon for Kindle or the Kindle app, he can resell the book back to Amazon at a lesser rate.  From there, Amazon can resell the e-book at a slightly cheaper price than “new” and the author will receive no royalties on the resell transaction.  And, considering a used e-book will always be in new condition, most readers would go for the “resell” book at the cheaper price.  Thus, Amazon makes a major profit on your book while you make nothing at all.

While a physical book would eventually have wear-and-tear, and the buyer would have the choice in purchasing a new or used physical book, the choice is pretty one-sided when buying a “used” e-book.  Buy a new e-book for $4.99 or used e-book for $3.99, which would you buy?

Consider this: how many e-books would have to be returned before the market for new e-books is dead? My best novice mathematical figure is just one. Here is my reasoning: Today I buy Be Still for my Kindle app and return it by next Friday. On average I sell one copy a week, so next week my returned e-book will resell at the used price.  And suppose for argument’s sake that the reader returned the book the following Friday and Amazon resold it that night.  And let’s say this continued for the year, which comes to 52 weeks, how much books did I sell? Answer: Just one, the original one.  And that one book will be all the profit I will ever see. Do you see how this plays out now?

This does not increase your rank either, as resold books do not count into the ranking system.  All it takes is one resold e-book to stop everything.

amazon clipWhat’s all the fuss? Physical books and CDs are resold all the time, right? Yes, but at the discretion of the consumer receiving used and worn goods.  Given the choice between a new and used book I will read for leisure, I buy the new one. Now if you’re talking about a textbook, then I buy used, and these days even textbooks are revised almost yearly so they can maintain their sales.

Is there a fix? None that I can really see, except asking people not to purchase your book on Kindle and to use another avenue like Barnes & Noble, iBook, or some other eReader.  But how long before the other distributors follow suit?

I have been told, and have blogged prior, on the topic of writing for fun or profit, in which I stated that I write for fun, but I’d love to be making a living from it.  It’s not easy holding a more-than fulltime job, and then coming home and writing after midnight.  Writing is my passion, my career is a job. Given the choice, I would write, but the dream of being able to support my family from this may be drastically suffocated to the e-book resell program, because 90% of my books are sold through eReaders.  What do you think?

Please give your thoughts and honest opinions on this discussion here.

Tania L Ramos


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