Tag Archives: independent publishing

Starring in Her 1st Professional Interview

Back in January I wrote that someone from Iuniverse contacted me about doing an interview. They said I did a lot of social media work, really worked up the book, and made myself known across different platforms. Well, that’s what us indie’s do, right? Of course I agreed to do the interview. How amazing is that? In the world of indie authors, that’s a pretty stinkin’ big deal.

A month or so later, I did the interview. It was all very nicely done, and the interviewer was a real sweetheart. Once it was wrapped up there was nothing to do but wait. And wait. And wait. Okay, just so you all know–and maybe it’s just me–but when I have to wait for something more than a minute, I assume something is wrong.

OH MY GOD!!! The interview sucked! I sucked! I looked hideous and they just couldn’t put that for people to see. I sounded dumb, or made no sense. They decided nobody wanted to hear my story. The lighting was wrong. Did I have a huge zit on my nose? Did I just mortify them to the point that my interview was laying on some editing room floor?

Eventually, I simply repressed the memory of any interview ever happening. Yet, a piece of my soul was shattered (cue dramatic clutching of the chest). Then, Sunday night, I was searching the pages of Iuniverse to find some info, and when I landed on one page I saw a video clip and thought, “Hmm, that girl looks like me.” The name was wrong (Tonia Ramon), it was close but oh so very not me. I took a closer look and yelped. It was me. What I found was that they didn’t just make one video about using Iuniverse, but turned it into two videos with the other about the importance of editing. Worry? Who me? Pshhhhaw. I knew it would be awesome.

So, please watch my videos; show some love and support, leave a comment on YouTube and let Iuniverse know that I’m kind of a big deal. ūüėÄ Thank you all.

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author with 3 Minutes of Fame

Be Still by Tania L Ramos available on ebooks, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon
Life by Chance coming this holiday season

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Blog Tour Day 2 with Nerdy Book Review

Link to my interview by WordPress’ Nerdy Book review blogger:¬†Author Interview: Tania L. Ramos.

Day two, hip hip hooray! Today I come to you from beautiful and scorching hot Las Vegas, NV where it is my oldest son’s 18th birthday. We will be bringing in adulthood by paying for him to jump over 100 stories from the landmark Stratosphere Hotel. ¬†He may be pushed but I’ll never tell.

So day two is in full effect at Nerdy Book Reviews. ¬†I met Liv via WordPress and have read many of her book reviews…even the steamy ones that make me blush. ¬†She has had very honest reviews of books and was the only true book reviewer that I asked to join my tour. ¬†I asked for an honest opinion as I have of everyone. ¬†Unfortunately, she is a very popular gal and was unable to read the book in such short notice so she proposed an interview with a review at a later time and date. ¬†I will post the review when she writes it, but for now enjoy a small question and answer session and be sure to read some of her reviews.

Thanks to Liv for joining me on my tour.  Be sure to click her link to read the interview and be eligible for a giveaway.

Tania L Ramos

BeStillNovel.com

Facebook.com/TaniaLRamosBooks

 

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

Promising Headlines Not Geared Toward Indie Authors

Has anyone else been pulled into reading blogs that headline with words like, “10 ways to boost sales?” “Find out what the experts do to increase sales,” “Fool proof ways to market a book?” I have seen those plastered on search engines, web releases, and Twitter. ¬†I am sucked in every time, and why? Simple. ¬†Because I want to get my book out there. ¬†That is the point of publishing, right?

I have been through the discussion of writing for fun and writing to earn a living. ¬†yes, the two are quite different. ¬†I write because I love to write and it comes so easy. ¬†However, I published in hopes that others would read my book and love it. ¬†Last, I published so I can possibly make a living off it. ¬†There is nothing wrong with being a career novelist, but until that day I am a career nurse with a book on the side. ¬†I am trying to change that status, which is precisely why I click on the saviour links that read, “Boost your book to fame.”

Here is why I have come to so grossly dislike those links (though, I still click through):

  • They are geared toward writers with a large following
  • They are geared toward established writers
  • They are geared toward writers who have influential friends

What I read on those links are: ask all your followers to host a blog tour for you. ¬†But what if you don’t have a bunch of blog friends due to the fact that you are, “a fresh face?” ¬†Then what? Cross that top ten idea off the list. ¬†Next there is promote a giveaway on your blog (many things surround blogs) tour? ¬†Well, nifty idea, but refer back to my previous statement. ¬†Then we have, spam your friends on Goodreads. ¬†What if you don’t have Goodreads friends? ¬†Then there is the ¬†one where you ask a friend to host a book club night where they invite their friends over to, “meet the author.” ¬†Good plan, except many authors tend to be introverts and might not always have a close enough friend to do this. ¬†The list goes on and on.

I have read at least a hundred of these great ways to sell your book, but they all tend to say the same thing. ¬†The one I loved most was from a woman who said, “10 sure fire ways to promote your new book.” ¬†At the very end of her article she listed the countless books she had sold and the fact that two books were NY Times bestsellers, and I’m left to wonder: How does this pertain to someone ranked 605,489 on Barnes and Nobles’ website. ¬†She was also published through a traditional publishing house, giving advice to independent authors. ¬†By the way, I looked her up, she was never self-published. ¬†That is like a non-parent giving parental advice. ¬†Yes, those are my favorite people.

When I learn how self-published and independently published authors can find a niche in the literary world, I will be sure to post it under the headline, “Real advice for indie authors.” ¬†Until then, I am humbly yours, downtrodden on marketing, scheming a plan, constantly researching, and moving half a step forward every week. ¬†Any advice is welcomed as long as it has worked for you, and you are an unknown author too.

Also, don’t forget I am doing reasonably priced book trailers for independent authors. ¬†This is actually a great way to get noticed. ¬†Prices start at $575 (compared to prices starting at $3999), email me at author@tanialramos.com

Find your niche

¬†¬†¬†¬† I received news today that my loan was approved at 11.99% interest rate over 36 months through my credit union.¬† In some ways it is better than using my credit card in that it will be paid off in three years.¬† However, putting that same amount in my credit card will only yield a monthly payment of $100, significantly lower than the credit union.¬† But that has faults too, because making a minimum payment will mean I’m paying for 20 yrs and will end up paying double by the end of the term.¬† BUT, I get my cash bonus on the card which will return me $180 at the end of the year, which is a payment to the card.¬† Whatever, I went with the loan in the end and plan to pay it off in two years anyway, if not sooner.¬† I figure whatever royalty I make on my book will go straight toward the payment, and fingers crossed that I might just make enough to stipend the loan.¬† Fingers crossed very tight, losing blood circulation, nail bed looking kinda blue.

¬†¬†¬†¬† I was also informed, not by a real tax person, but thinks he is, that if I generate revenue from book sales that I can consider myself self-employed or a consultant or something, and that I can write off many things I spend on promoting my book.¬† This is awesome, and I made an appointment to speak with my tax consultant tomorrow in this matter.¬† if this is the case then I will hold off paying for the developmental edit until January¬†1st, because I have too many write offs already this year as it is.¬† We’ll see, but that would be terrific if it is indeed true.

¬†¬†¬†¬† So I spent last night updating my LinkedIn account and joined a few groups for nurses and writers.¬† I laughed because there are a few right-wing writers who have strong opinions on self-publishing.¬† They aren’t my opinions and I made no response because I would have to climb my skyscraper of an ivory tower to give my opinion, which is the exact opposite.¬† Some people say you should write for the accomplishment of writing, and I whole-heartedly agree.¬† To start and a finish a book is a wonderful and¬†self-fulfilling¬†achievement not to be frowned upon.¬† But the other part of that idea was that if you self publish it shouldn’t be through a third-party¬†firm such as iuniverse¬†or Xlibris.¬† The words double dipped were thrown around.¬† My opinion: I am getting more from using a third-party¬†than I could ever get on my own, because I don’t have the time, knowledge, skills, and connections the third-party¬†does.¬† Case and point: I write.¬† I am a much better writer than I am public speaker, so having to do PR and marketing just aren’t my forte.¬† Not that I couldn’t do it to some degree, but hey, I’ve seen surgeries and aided in procedures, it doesn’t mean I am qualified to do them.¬† Then they say, painters and sculptors do their work even if they never sell a piece of work.¬† And to that I say: I will continue writing even if I never sell a book, BUT wouldn’t it be a grand notion if I could be paid to do what I love.¬† Wouldn’t it be awesome if a painter or sculptor sold their work so they could quit their day job and only paint/sculpt.¬† That is not selling out! It is called making a living doing what you love to do, and I wish that for everyone whether it be writing, painting, building houses, cutting hair, or teaching calculus.

     We all have a niche.  Everybody has some calling.  Mine is writing and nursing; it is not marketing or public relations.  I will gladly pay the middle man to do that for me, because it is their niche and they have the contacts.  Not to mention, I do not want to spend all of my time caught up marketing, advertising, and relations.  I want to use my time to write my next bestseller.  Is this wrong? I mean, I would love to do signings and even speaking at high schools to motivate other young aspiring writers, but to spend two years in marketing? Wow.  I am not independently wealthy and have to work at some point so when will I market? See, you all got me in my ivory tower that balances precariously on my soapbox.   (taking a deep breath)

¬†¬†¬†¬† Okay … so I have my funding and January 1st will send it in and begin the process.¬† Until then I have decided to go ahead and start on my next book because my characters are reeking havoc in my brain.¬† They won’t stop talking, it’s maddening, so I have to get the words out on paper.¬† I am also proud to be a self-publisher even if i am using a middle man.¬† And I am thrilled to be pursuing my dreams.¬† Find your dream and follow it, even if you don’t get paid or recognized publicly.¬† Chances are there is someone in your life who will be proud of you, and if there isn’t anybody then shoot me a message and I will give you an, “atta boy/girl.” Find your niche, pursue your dream…it was given to you for a reason so don’t waste it.

Thank you for following my blog.