Tag Archives: artist

Why Giveaway Your Talent?

Many authors, painters, and sculptors get asked this question: Why is it so much? Newbies, you will want to read this.

Coming from a very artistic family, my brother was often asked why his paintings cost so much? I have been asked to give books away for free.There are several ways to gauge a cost: How famous is the creator? How much time went into creating this work? How much were the materials to create this work?

The one people most commonly will understand is how much material went into the work. They are more apt to understand a higher cost of something if, say a sculpture, was made of copper. The one people don’t usually understand is the value of time.

Almost all people are paid by time;  by the hour. You put in 8 hours at work and you are paid for those 8 hours. Of course, the hourly wage will depend on the type of work. Let’s just say that any indie artist is paid minimum wage (in CA that’s $10). As an independent author, writing a novel may take me 300 hours (that’s being generous). In theory, I should make $3,000. But nobody is paying me. My income comes from sales of books.

On average, an independent author receives about $2.00 from the sale of a physical book and $1.75 from the sale of an e-book. Those prices fluctuate depending on how they went about publishing, so +-$1.00 in either direction.

Here’s the math:

At a $15 dollar book, making only $2.00 royalty per book, I need to sell 1,500 books to earn minimum wage for my 300 hours. the average indie author sells 10 books. It’s a labor of love.

Here’s some more math:

I pay an editor $1500 to edit my book. I pay $100 to buy an ISBN for my book to be sold. I pay $500-$1500 to have someone professionally format that book. Then, I either publish on my own (Amazon) or go through a vanity press, in which you can tack on another $1,000 to $5,000 dollars. So recoup those costs, I’ve got to sell another 3,ooo+ books.

But wait! There’s more.

A book lost in cyberspace is just that: Lost. Now I’ve got to let people know this book is alive. As an independent author, I’ve got a few devote friends and family, a loyal stalker or two, but no huge fan base that jumps for joy whenever a new book comes out. So I have to start marketing. My latest Facebook ad cost $38.83 to reach 2,300 people total. But that’s just reach. I need clicks. I need purchases!! Of those 2,300 reach 171 clicked through to see what I’m selling and about 7 downloaded the e-book. I spent $38.83 for 7 sales and made about $10.

The question again: why does a book, painting, piece of art cost so much? Why can’t you float me a book for free?

Because it cost more than I may ever recoup and nothing is ever really free. Even if I gave the book for free, it actually cost me my soul. See below for my October royalties. In total there were 9 books or e-books sold (ignore the 19 I had an author order of 10 books in there). Total gross sales were $68.83 and royalties paid to me were $15.40. I made about a quarter of the gross or $1.71 average per book. Who else would work for that?



So why do it? I get asked that quite a bit. Why? Because writing is in my soul. This is what brings me comfort and peace. And if i could write for a living, I would absolutely do it. Once a year, maybe twice, I’ll get a great review, or someone who says that my story touched them or made them think. One person said she picked up the phone and called her father after ten years of being estranged from him, after reading my book Be Still. Yeah. That’s why. Happy reading and happy writing.

Follow me at Facebook and Twitter. For more information on my books visit the author webpage HERE

Tania L Ramos RN BSN


The Artisan Project

This has been an idea in the making for quite some time.  The idea for Blackbird LSD’s (Literary Services and Development) Artisan Project has been on the table for about a year, but finding a venue and backing has proved to be difficult.  Not only did the Blackbird staff want the ability to hold one of the biggest shows in the Inland Empire, but they wanted to incorporate all of the arts, as they are not just lovers of indie authors, but of indie music and indie artists.

When Daniel, of Blackbird, landed himself back in college and on the school newspaper the opportunity had at last arose.  After hob nobbing with some of the college’s finest, and after making some crucial associations in both the literary, musical, and world of art, bringing his baby to life was becoming more and more attainable.

Of course any local vendor event benefits me because I don’t have to drive far, so I offered any services I could.  Note to self: always rethink volunteering for big projects.  But I digress, I am in charge of vendor booths for now because this event just keeps growing on itself.  On a great note: there are already several featured artists and authors on the line-up, and just days into the announcement.

So what will this “Artisan” Project have that not many other shows have? Everything! The point is to publicly display the independent arts in every form.  There will be indie bands on one side, displays of art on another, and the giant lake will be bordered by rows upon rows of indie authors.  Toss in a few vendors to make it a truly crowd gathering event and you have the ingredients for one powerful day and a plethora of talents!

For more info on the Artisan Project, or to be part of all the fun visit Blackbird LSD.  Event is held in Victorville, CA in March 2014.

artisan project

Branding by Book Cover

Daniel (Blackbird LSD) and I have decided to change-up the typical cover for my book.  No stock photos, no beautiful scenery, and definitely no models.  By the way, one Facebook survey asked the question how can you tell an indie book just by looking at the cover? The whopping response was that they have models on the cover.

So, to veer from the path we decided to go with a different concept: watercolor! One person has been commissioned to work on this concept, but it has been weeks since I heard from this artist . . . so, I’ve commissioned a new artist.  And you may be surprised as to who it is? Daniel Mariano, the brains behind Blackbird LSD and my great friend.  I always knew he was talented, but I’m super impressed by this work.


For the book Life by Chance (official title), this is artist rendition #2 for the cover art.  It is not complete, but I love where it is headed.  All my future fiction novels will have this kind of cover which will be my brand.  My hope is that if you were to come across a cover like this it wold be synonymous with a Tania L Ramos book.

Tell us what you think.









Tania L Ramos, Author Sharing the Arts

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I Couldn’t Do It

I wasn’t supposed to start writing until the end of summer.  I blogged it! I wrote it on my phone notes! I sticky posted it on my desk! I’m a LIAR!!!! I couldn’t do it.  I sat at the computer and said if the story with the character that is driving me mad doesn’t flow effortlessly, then she would have to wait until September.  Twenty-ones minutes (I timed it)and 1,098 words at the computer and this is what she had to say:




Watching him watch me causes my heart to race and bound so loud I want to cup my ears.  But I have to stand strong; he can’t see me falter or sense one moment’s hesitation.  This is my choice, though the sweat beading warm at the back of my neck is starting to cause me doubt.  No.  I clench my eyes tight and face away from him.  I must remain stubborn and resolved to finish what I started.  There is no life for me here, and deep down I’m certain he understands that.  I hope he understands that.

“You’ve hardly packed a thing,” he says, the slight sigh barely audible as he pushes a finger at the navy blue and white striped duffle bag strapped across my shoulder.  I don’t want to look at him for fear that I’ll expose the yellow cowardness of my soul and show the weakness that’s striking my knees.  He hasn’t asked me not to leave yet—not in so many words, but it’s there, in the dimness of his hazel eyes.  Because of that, I look away and say it’s better to pack light.  Only the necessities, I tell him.  There’s that pained sigh again, and it strikes me like a cow prod deep between my eyes as he replies, “I’ll miss you, you know?”

“I know.” It’s all I can muster between black dragging heart beats, and I know the words strike him like a blunt blow to the head.  The words I love you haven’t escaped my lips in days, but not because I don’t—because I do.  I love Tom with all my eighteen year old heart could possibly love another person.  His name is on my lips when my eyes first open, and sometimes even before they do.  It is him who occupies my deepest thoughts and sends my mind racing in swirls, causing many nights of insomnia.  And for all those reasons, the words—the pretty words—can no longer be spoken lest his heart be trampled a little more each time they are said.  Mine is darkened at the mere thought.

A tear is lost as I brush it behind my ear, out of his line of vision.  The spongy sound of the mattress tells me he’s sat on the edge of the bed.  I’m surprised he has stayed as long as he has, but Tom made a promise, and he is a man of his word no matter how much it eats at him.  Good souls like him are lost on the world, at least that’s what Mendy, my dad’s pretty awesome girlfriend, says.  I know she’s right, and I can’t help but replay the words, “nice guys finish . . .”  No.  I shake my head of the thought.  Tom doesn’t deserve to be some worn out, old cliché.  He sure doesn’t deserve the likes of me; some despondent, stubborn, misguided, loser of a girlfriend.  Hell, the world deserves better, but my heart aches for Tom.

“Do you know where you’re going?” he asks for the millionth time.  Through the reflection of the glass on a picture frame, it is easy to see him looking down, palm brushing heavy on the sandy blond hair I loved to mess up.  He never complained.  Not once.

“Yes,” I answer as vague as possible—for the millionth time.  I have no idea where I’m going.

He catches a glimpse of me in the reflection of the frame and I quickly turn away.  “You still won’t tell me?”

I suck down so much air it feels my lungs are going to explode.  It makes no sense that he would put himself through this over and over knowing the response would be the same.  Crazy.  I close my eyes and channel the fading courage to shake my head.  It makes no difference, I say through defiant exasperation.

The warmth of his breath lingers at my neck now.  It’s not fair.  All I want to do is fall in his arms and runaway to the place his pretty words can always take me.  He alone knows me and how to bring me out to be the person I truly am; how to take me beyond this world with nothing more than the expressions of beauty which slips passed his thin pale lips so easily.  Once he learned of my special attribute—hearing in color—he embraced it as a form of uniqueness and ran with the appealing words, forming linguistic prisms of color from his lips to my eyes every chance he had.  It was nothing short of magic, only shared before with my mother before she passed away.

“I love you, Raven.” He cheated.  The words floated on the air like a symphony of yellow ribbons increasing in radiance until the last word disappeared behind my eyes.  yellowI want to melt into his touch and hit him all at once, but he said the words again and so, I close my eyes to not see them in all their eloquence of flight.

“Stop saying them!” I shout.

“But I mean them,” he says, his breath tickling the soft spot behind my ear.  “I want to tell you all the pretty words every day.  I want to take you away to the places you get lost in when we talk.” He pauses, and I know there’s more.  “Stay with me, Raven.”

There were rules to my leaving, and in his panic, Tom is breaking them.  I pull away.  Not because I want to, because I have to.  This isn’t about Tom, it never has been.

My father doesn’t understand it—this lovely, miserable element that is me.  In the ugly world of fame and power built up like a sable fortress around his life, I am a challenge.  My gift of hearing words in color is a burden, once dismissed to friends as a possible brain tumor, is a disgrace; no more than an adolescent plea for attention from a daughter resembling nothing of what a prominent lawyer’s daughter should be.  I’ll never be free under his vice.  Worse yet, I’ll never see the pretty words in his world.


Looks like I’m writing again!

By the way, the reason I had such a hard time with thinking of writing this, is that I’ll be adding in graphics so readers can see what Raven sees.  Example: she sees the words I Love you floating from his lips to her eyes like a radiant yellow ribbon.  (for this purpose I just copied something off the net for effect).  I’ll add in a graphic of what this might look like, hence, I’ll need a graphic artist and know that this will never be an e-book and with full color will be a pricey physical book.  Oye vay! Somebody stop me now.

Tania L Ramos, Author Who Hears in Color (Synesthesia)

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