Tag Archives: book trailer

Why Would He Kill His Son?

I’ve been talking with a few other authors about the Young Writers Online Program. We went back and forth with questions and answers about a starting age, and just how much a young person of, say 13 years old, can create. I’m proud to say my six year old daughter put all my fears to rest tonight.

We were watching the book trailer for Be Still. Usually, she doesn’t like watching it because the music scares her, but this time she asked me to play it so she can see it. She read the words, because … well … she’s kind of a genius (yep, biased). When it was over she said this, “Why didn’t the dad just kill his son?”

And of course I’m like, “What?” My eyes kind of bulging and scooting a bit away to create some distance between my prodigy child and I. “Why would he kill his son?” I asked from across the room, sans crucifix, silver bullet, or priest.

She answered, “I know he loves his son, but he misses his wife and daughter. Well if the wife and daughter are dead and the father is dying, he can kill his son, and then they can all live together in heaven. Or the place that you put his dad with the magic and stuff. You know, so they can all be happy.  And a family.” (on a side note, my daughter has sat through the reading of several chapters, and questions all of it.)

Not that I was looking for an alternate solution to the enigma of my story plot, but that kid kind of made sense–in a twisted, sleep with one eye open, and hide the knives kind of way. Ah, just a chip off the ol’ block.

In answer to the question: Can a 13 year old come up with good material? I don’t know. But I’m certain they can definitely come up with some great alternate endings. 🙂

jorja rayne

This is what a beautiful mind looks like


For more info on the Young Writers Online Program, email authortanialramos@yahoo.com




Tania L Ramos, RN and Author With Hugs From Across the Room

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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)

Do You Need A Book Trailer?

I post this because I am currently working on a trailer for someone’s book. Yes, I am a jack of all trades. Actually, my son is the brains behind the magic, I just do the grunt work of looking for clips and music.

Is a book trailer important? I blogged on this last year, but things have changed since last year.  Trailers have become a near necessity at this point. When you put out a book there is always a checklist to create and complete: get all my friends & family to purchase a book (check). Put out a press release (check). Email everyone who has ever sent me an email and promote my book (check). Start a Goodreads account (check). Buy marketing material (check). Take a closer look at my budget (check). Create a book trailer….a what?

A book trailer is a commercial for your book and created just like a movie trailer. Some are simple: a picture of the book, a quick synopsis, picture of author, and end. Some are more detailed: pictures scrolling across the screen, overlapping, fading, words, picture of the book and end.  Others are more detailed: video clips, pictures, scrolling words, advertise pic of book and end. And some people shell out thousands to have actual actors and voice overs do scenes from the book.

Why are they important? Because it is a commercial and point of advertising. And once you post it to YouTube, it is there forever, so will be forever advertising.

Do people buy based on a trailer? yep. One woman who was doing research for her trailer watched book trailers for over three hours.  When she was all done, she had a list of ten books to buy based on the trailers alone.  In my own personal experience, I have had a few people contact me based on my video. It works.

Who sees it? Anyone searching for trailers based on your meta tags.  Search, “Be Still trailer Tania” and my video will pop up on YouTube. Use as many relevant meta tags as possible.

How much does it cost? That’s tricky. If you have a basic knowledge of WMM then it can cost you nothing. If you want video clips and pictures then you will pay accordingly. To have one created starts at about $1,000 and can go up to the cost of a small production studio at $25,000. I did mine just under $500, and the one I am working on for a friend will cost about $500 unless she wants more clips.

Can you do it on your own? Yes. Most computers have some form of video editing applications. Play with it.

Does it have to be full of bells and whistles? No. Michelle Proulx had an epiphany one night.  There was a thought in her head about creating a trailer that wasn’t too serious, but got the point across.It was simple, and it works.  Here is what she came up with: 

Yes, you can do it all on your own. From simple to elaborate, from cheap to expensive, you should have a book trailer. If you need help, let me know and i’ll give you some detailed pointers, or you can ask my son (the movie wizard) to create one for you.  Here is my trailer for Be Still.  This one cost about $500, and the views continue to go up everyday. Remember, it is eternal advertising. Once you list it, it is there for millions to see.

Advice: Keep it under 1 minute. One poll states most people will skip to the next video after one minute. If you are only using words, keep it moving or add diefferent pictures behind it.    Don’t add too much crazy scene changes, like using fan out, pan up, pan down, circle in, etc. Fade to black works great.

Book commercials? Marketing genius. (update)

Please note a change has made 06/19/2012: PitchYourWork.com requires that an author must submit their own work to the website. 

They are called book trailers and rapidly growing in importance to marketing a book.  What is a book trailer? My book trailer for, “Be Still,” is in the Daily Motion link to the right of this screen for your viewing pleasure.  A book trailer is a commercial for your book much like watching previews at a movie theater or on television.

Have you ever heard the expression Don’t judge a book by its cover? Well why not? I look at a cover and if it grabs my attention then I read the jacket and form a decision from there.  But what if a reader isn’t standing in front of a book at a bookstore? What if he or she is on the internet? Sure there are book reviews to be read, but some are very diverse and there are usually several at opposite ends of the review spectrum.

Have you ever sat for a movie and seen a movie trailer and thought, that looks exciting, or, that looks stupid? Same with a book trailer except this is obviously for a book.

What a book trailer does is give a reader a visual glance at what your book is about.  It is like taking your blurb or pitch and putting it on screen.  It can be fast paced, slow paced, dramatic, humorous, filled with video streams or still photos, or be as simple as a picture of the book with a voice over.  In creating a book trailer the sky is the limit, but so is the cost. Some people pay up to $15,000 to hire professional actors, use sets, and film on location, which is all fine and good if you can afford that, but I’ve seen James Patterson commercials where he stands there holding his book only and that is just as effective.  It all depends on what you as the writer desire to show the world.

Can a writer double as video producer of a book trailer? Why not! As writers we tend to see our story as a movie playing out before us, right? Why not put that on video and let the world see what you see? This effective tool gives readers the chance to jump into your story, and if done correctly, and geared toward their genre, hopefully lead them to purchase your book or spread the word.  One writer was asked how she would do her book trailer, something she had never heard of before, so she researched book trailers and from spending the day watching them, purchased four books she was very interested in then went off to create her own.

With Windows Movie Maker (WMM) you can easily create your own book trailer.  Search royalty-free-videos and purchase to your hearts content (make sure you give credit in your review section and remember the infringement laws), search royalty-free-music and find something there (also give credit), drag and drop to WMM and play.  There are more expensive movie making programs, I enjoy Sony Vegas but my trailer to the right was done on WMM to start.  I have received rave reviews and people asking which program it was done on.  I hear gasps when I say WMM.  The program doesn’t have to be snazzy, its your vision that has to catch their attention.

Go to YouTube and search, “book trailers,” see how many pop up, then sit and watch a few.  My personal belief is that anything running 6o – 90 seconds is best, and anything over 2 minutes is too long.  This is a very effective tool for product placement to all you authors.  And, it keeps a running tab of how many people have watched the video, so you know how many people have been exposed to your story, your name, and your book cover.

Where are book trailers placed? YouTube, Daily Motion, Metacafe, your personal website, book website, Facebook, Twitter, press releases and more.  Get your exposure out there.  If you are self published I would not suggest paying thousands of dollars because the trailer is given to you and you place it on YouTube.  It is your responsibility to publicize it, so as an unknown you may get a hit a day or a thousand a day, but don’t break the bank unless you can afford it.  This is product placement not guaranteed sales.  It is a weapon in your marketing arsenal not the atomic bomb of publicity.

Research!!! If you need help in creating a book trailer please contact me at booktrailer@tanialramos.  I can give you tips or suggestions or help you create a low cost book trailer.  Period themed books are a bit more difficult, but don’t hesitate to find out what we can do.  For trailers with paid actors, exclusive locations, and wild effects seek a reputable company and look at book trailers they have created.  But if you are on a budget, for under $200, I can create a simple book trailer, BUT, I can also create ones like mine for about $500.

What I offer: I will place it on YouTube, Facebook company page, as well as one standard press release through PRlog all standard and inlcuded in the price. And for $100 extra, Twitter exposure for one week, Daily Motion, Metacafe, and two days press release on PRlog on top of the standard package.  The video is yours and you have the right to market however you see fit beyond our services (according to the standard contract). This fee can change at anytime but not while you are under contract. Once a contract is made the fees can not change on you without acquiring a new contract.

If you read this post previously, you will note that I have removed PitchYourWork.com from my list of services as they require the author to submit their own work for authentication.  This is not something a 3rd party can do. You will need an audio file to upload to them so please see their website for terms of use and help in uploading your audio pitch. Thank you, and I apologize for any inconvenience.~Tania

See the book trailer for, “Be Still,” now available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DkQ5DJdQ7HU8&v=kQ5DJdQ7HU8&gl=US

Buy the book here: Amazon                      Barnes & Noble

Creative Introversion

I read a great article today on how introverts spend time alone gathering energy to go out in public and how extroverts gather energy from crowds for time they are alone.  If that is the case then I need a lot of alone time.

I am officially on the road to marketing success (I’m being positive here).  All of my ducks are in a row and only need be set out onto a great big pond to float away and spread the word of this, “rising author who will be a household name soon.” I read another article that says it is okay to make profound speculations about ones-self (still feels vain to me) as long as you believe what you write.  I suppose watching a days worth of informercials has proven that theory correct.  I can’t begin to tell you how many, “world’s best stain fighter,” “next big thing,” “best of the best,” tag lines were thrown around.  They are all set in place to get a reader (viewers) attention.  Maybe I will be a household name, I mean I am in my own home…I know, that’s a stretch.

I’ve been searching online for book competitions that I could participate in, but seems many started at the beginning of the year, so I’ve missed that mark.  Not many book shows in my community and too late to grab a booth at our local fair, so I’m left to wonder what else I can do.  Something that feeds my basic nature of introversion? It has to be creative yet catchy…and legal, which is most important.

Today my boyfriend sent me this link on YouTube, please watch it before proceeding with the rest of this blog as you have to see it to know my comment: Commercial For Drama Button

Okay, did that commercial catch your attention? Make you smile? Make you giggle? Make you wonder what the heck was happening? In the end did you say, “Oh! I get it?”  THAT’S WHAT I NEED!!! I need a drama effect to the things I can create at home, and don’t think for one moment I didn’t consider doing a similar thing at our neighboring (big city) shopping center court.  Reenact the dramatic scenes from book? Oh that would be fabulous, but that takes a lot of time and at least three actors willing to VOLUNTEER their time, and someone willing to be hit by a car…at high speed.

I have read tens if not hundreds of websites telling me they know how to make an impact to be seen, but I look at them and wince, not sold on their product.  I keep thinking I can do better.  I am by no means a perfectionist or A-type personality that has to have full control, believe me I would relinquish it gladly if I knew that it would make a stand, but I haven’t found that on any website.  Some sites headlines make great promises but the site does not deliver.  You can’t expect me to purchase your product that will dazzle the literary world when their website looks like a second-rate, chop-and-drop magazine add.  I haven’t been impressed yet, which means I have to find my own creative introversion.  I have to find those tag lines that will catch a reader, and literary world, to have them think, “what happens next? Inquiery minds…”

So, short of reenacting a high speed car crash, a man traveling to a world caught between life and death, an afterlife wife with a deadly secret, and exploding coffins what more is there? That is my plight.  So far I have a blank piece of paper, a cup of iced green tea, B12 5,000units in, and a cat who still smiles when I talk to myself.  I’m set! Time for this introvert to get creative.  Today’s agenda: Send out at least one press release and learn how to create an app for Ipod. Any suggestions? Feel free to send them in and I will post them or their link.

And if you haven’t seen the book trailer for, “Be Still,” please watch it here: YouTube, and then buy the book now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble online and Kindle.  And, again, send me a picture of you with your book for a chance to win a free, “Be Still,” gift package.  Send emails to author@tanialramos.com.  Any pics sent are subject to be posted on my website or blog.  First picture in wins the gift package.

Video Book Reviews Offered

I have been racking my brain, trying to think of something fun that I can do relating to reading, writing, and my new found appreciation of video blogging (Vlogging).  And so I have decided to try my hand at video book reviews that I can post to YouTube.  My first review will be of a book I was given at the LA Book Fest (Check out my video blog of that here).  I think this will be exciting, in fact, I know it will be.  It combines my love of reading with my love of playing with videos.

So, if anybody has a book for me to review or knows a friend who needs a little publicity, please send me an email at author@tanialramos.com.

What I will do:

  • I will read the book along with one other person who is interested in that genre.
  • We will review the book on video and post it to YouTube
  • You get your choice of add-on options: High Def, link to website(s), link to book trailer, book club style review or basic book review
  • Link to video on my blog
  • Rights to quote any review mentioned on the video
  • Copy of video may be purchased, may be used on personal website only
  • Author interview can be added
  • Link posted to my Twitter account and tweeted daily for one month
  • Book added to my Facebook page dedicated to this venue

What this offers is an inexpensive platform for new authors who seek exposure.  I am gearing this toward self-published and indie authors at first, but am open to every book.  The cost will be reasonable, far less than going through huge review companies who don’t offer video reviews and exposure. The cost is mainly to cover my time in editing and pay off the kid who will be forced to work at minimum wage doing so.

Lastly, at the end of the year I will compile a list of the books and list them on my blog and YouTube video.  I will also host a Vlog Book of the Year award and feature a special video on why that book was chosen as well as a link on my blog and Twitter.  There will be multiple exposure.  The first person to respond will get this service free.  All I ask is that you spread the word.


I won Editor’s Choice & Iuniverse review update

I received word two days ago (I’ve been very busy since then), late afternoon that I did receive the Iuniverse designation for, “Editor’s Choice.”  I was so happy, but no happy dance video due to the fact that I was at work with recovery patients when I received the email.  But I was dancing up a storm on the inside.  This designation will be placed on the back of my books as an icon with the words, “Editor’s Choice,” on it.  This makes it a bit more distinguishable, but more so than that, and on a personal note, it’s an honor to have received this designation of recognition on my very first indie book.  It will also be featured in a special section in the Iuniverse catalog of book.

What does it mean? Well, it is a symbol that Iuniverse editors feel this book is up to mainstream market standards and has the qualities of a professionally published book.  So this is kind of a big for me deal, if you read my first book, “When I Thought I Was Tough,” (free read on bookemon.com), then read, “Be Still,” (due next month, fingers crossed) then you will see I have come a long way, and to receive this designation is only comparable to being given a diploma.  I had so many changes to make, most were in point of view since I was head hopping the entire initial manuscript, and I had to rewrite it all.  But I learned valuable lessons (at a cost), but mistakes I will not make again, so I take it as a learning experiences, and I can only hope my pocketbook will recover as nicely as my ego has.


     What comes with Editor’s Choice designation?

  • The opportunity to move up to The Rising Star, Reader’s Choice, and Star programs … the higher up you move, the more publicity is given to the book to the point they will pitch the book to mainstream publishing houses
  • Free icon placement on the back of the book
  • Free professional art direction for the book cover … meaning they bring it up to the standards of a professional looking book
  • Featured in a separate placement under Editor’s Choice section on the Iuniverse website
  • Invitation to send contest entry forms and books to iUniverse publicity staff for entry into writing contests that authors cannot enter on their own.

After you sell 500 books, and at least half of those can not be purchased by the author, you are eligible to move up the ranks to the Rising Star program or Reader’s Choice.  The reason they have these stepping stones is to see how well the author markets the book.  In fact, to get into one of these programs, one must fill out an application that clearly states a marketing plan or strategy…it doesn’t have to be complex or expensive, either.  I spoke with someone in regards to that and his stance was that Iuniverse wants to make sure they do not put extra resources, money, and time into a book that the author is not himself/herself working for.  Okay, I’m comfortable with that response.

Today I received an email that I am moving into cover copy polish: This is where they make sure my bio, tag line, and synapse is relevant and free of grammatical errors.  They make it look professional with professional and industry standards to stand up to the quality of books currently on the shelf.   They say it should stand out in a positive way, not look like a sore thumb on the shelf.  This process takes two weeks then it moves into cover production.

By the way, on a kudos to Iuniverse note, the free editorial markup they completed was A-mazing! There were so many errors the first editor did not catch, and many would have been obvious to the reader.  But Iuniverse saw that this was a problem that should have been caught in my paid editing, and instead of telling me to pay again, they recognized the error and fixed it free of charge.  I am impressed, it would have been so easy to say I had to pay another fee and they make money … which I have been told, many of their editors are outsourced and the payment does not go entirely to iuniverse.  Either way, thank you all for having amazing ethics.

In closing, my overall opinion of Iuniverse to date is a resounding, “Woo hoo!” that’s a ten by the way, or five stars or however the scale works.  I would highly recommend them and this month they are offer 43% off their publishing package, which is cheaper than I paid for mine, and once you purchase it, it is yours whether you submit a manuscript today or next year.  I’d look into it or simply browse the website.  And don;t forget to check out my book trailer on YouTube, I am up to 125 hits in a little over a month, which is also a big deal for an unknown author, so you all are really helping me get the word out.  Please, as always, feel free to ask me anything about the self-publishing experience (scary, yet hopeful), creating a book trailer, and/or my experience with Iuniverse.  Happy a great weekend everyone.