Tag Archives: indie

The Human Prospect

Social media is changing. Better? Worse? Every time I look at how to market there is some new media out there. I couldn’t possibly keep up, not with all the current changes. Read on how to market for indie authors and you will undoubtedly get Facebook, Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, Reddit, and more.

Many years ago when this was all new it was easy to market on these social media avenues. You were among the first which meant you topped the market when these sites went ginormous. It was like investing stock at pennies and hitting the payload a short time later. But now, you are a small fish in a huge and crowded ocean.

Why stick with social media? Its one of those hideous necessities. In all honesty, outside of blogging the rest of it for me is tedious work. I’m a writer, and I’ve said it before but allow me to say it again: marketing is not my forte. Does it work? Yes, it works as far as numbers go. I posted a few weeks ago how I hit these sites hard and fast for a week and saw major spikes in my numbers, but they did nothing for sales.

Is there a human aspect? Yes. I handed out flyers, bookmarks, and did a few small “vendor” events. These weren’t bookie type events, but more geared toward direct marketing vendors. At times when I’m late on the list to sign up as an It Works vendor, I’ll ask if I can set up a book booth. Most people want their money and allow me in. For the most part, I get to talk with people and interact and hand out tons of material. Most say they use some electronic device now and will order it online. Some do, most don’t, but in the mix of things I am able to sell a few books here and there. Depending on the booth cost, I rarely make my money back, but I sell books, gather an email list, and get information out.

The human aspect of one-on-one interaction seems to fair better than social media sales. Can’t say this is true of all writers, of course when Sparks or Palahniuk posts a new book online I’m all over it…but they aren’t indie. They are whales swimming in a sea of millions of indie writers. Maybe someday I’ll be a whale and my mere presence will command sales, but until then fellow indies, don’t forget to step out of your little writer’s cove and try a new aspect of sales marketing: the human aspect.

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Tania L Ramos, RN and Author Meeting Other Humans

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Read “Be Still” on Nook, Kindle, paper & hardback

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Something Amazing Happened

Life by Chance has been sitting on the cyber shelf for months now. I’ve complained for sometime that my own life has gotten in the way of my budding writing career. I was able to put two books out in ten months when I was staying at home and my only written doctor’s orders were to not get fat and not eat Oreo cookies in bed. As if! Mmmmm, cookies–

So, I opened my cyber shelf and pulled out the book to start edits.  I had already edited the first so many chapters a few months back, so I started where I left off. Something amazing happened! I was so enthralled by this story line that I forgot to edit. Two chapters in, I was blubbering like a wounded child. My own story made me cry. Holy cow.

It had been so long since I wrote it that I forgot just how intense and wonderfully dark it was.  I text Glenn just to announce that I was an amazing writer.  Not  to toot my own horn but beep beep.

Once I wiped my eyes dry, I went back to do the editing. Something amazing happened! I realized that my grammar and my creative writing skills were at the opposite ends of the “amazing” spectrum.  I was blubbering like a wounded child. My own story made me cry . . . at just how much professional editing is going to cost me.  Holy cow.

How do you feel after rereading your manuscript that has been shelved for a while? I’m loving all the Twitter and FB responses so far.

Tania L Ramos RN, Author whose day job pays for editing

FB              Twitter                    Books

Cover design concept by Mariano

Cover design concept by Mariano

I’m Featured!

Through all the social media piles of ads and production, I have been blessed to encounter several amazing people, authors, musicians, and artists. One woman I met across the Facebook platform is CJ Peterson who is an author but also a lover of authors.  Is there a difference? Absolutely.

I have come across authors who are only in it for themselves.  They have the blase attitude of, “What can you do for me?” These people usually turn me off in an instant.  But there are those like CJ Peterson who also love to  show off and help elevate other indies out there.  What a beautiful soul, in my opinion.

A few months ago CJ asked if she can feature me as an author on her page, and of course I was giddy with excitement. I’m not sure if she understands just how excited some of us get at what others call these little things.  I do a happy dance and run out and tell my family anytime someone so much as asks if i’ll tell them if I liked using Iuniverse.  These little things bring me such joy and happiness because two years nobody knew my name, let alone asked me for an interview.  In my eyes, and my overactive imagination, any interview makes me feel like a rock star.  Seriously, I put on my rock star glasses and a pretty pink boa while sipping my green tea pinky up, while writing my responses.  SUPERSTAR!

Well CJ made me her August Featured Author, complete with interview, book links, book covers, book synapse, and author info. That’s a lot of work to do, especially when doing it for someone else’s benefit. Like I said, a beautiful soul.  Oh, and I was SUPERSTAR for an entire month! So thank you CJ Peterson for noticing this little shiny fish that swam against the current and took time to ask me why.  You filled my glass when it was beginning to run on empty.

So please blow up her website with hits, and while you’re there read the interview. I’m sort of an interesting person at times 🙂

http://cjpetersonwrites.com/Featured_Author.html

And to pay it forward on my part, please go like these other wonderful authors who always show so much support for other authors.

Michelle Proulx: FB

CJ Peterson: Website  FB

Kimberly Biller: FB

Blackbird LSD: FB

payitforward

It’s Done Now What?

Many of you who follow the blog or any other of my various media sites are completely aware my book is complete.  It remains without title until something truly pops out at me, and also remains without a cover.  I’m not hurrying either one at this point; there is still plenty of time since I remain in editing for some indefinite period as life has a way of bombarding me with twenty other “due now” tasks. Ah, I know the back burner all too well . . .  and so the story without title remains on a nice simmer until I light a large flame under my . . .

As I sat on the couch at 2 a.m., deliriously staring at my associate, Daniel, working on an ad for Surviving the Writing Apocalypse (out soon in tradeback), I began to wonder, “Why am I awake at 2 a.m.? Do business meeting know no time frames?” Oh, because there is much to be done and I was busy watching Good Will Hunting, avoiding my duties.  If you ever suspect someone of procrastinating look no further, I am a suspect at large and my associate works best at 1 a.m., a bad combination.

Am I procrastinating the edit on my book? Nope. That’s too easy. I’ve all the time in the world for that one (out this Summer). I’m putting off something new; a thought lulling and slowly eating at my brain.  Oh, I remember when the stories came so quickly, and I used to write at least the first chapter when an idea would come.  Every idea was a possibility, but most never made it passed ten chapters and so I have a flash drive filled with ditched thoughts.

This book is done, now what? I’m at a loss. I feel my standards have been raised for what I will and will not write.  Each book has to be better than the last.  I’m on such a daily schedule of interviewing characters and telling them, “i’ll keep your resume on file,” yet haven’t found the one.  Scratch that. I have found the one, but know the cost of production would be insane as it would have to be printed in color and likely would never make an ereader format. This irks me, and so here I am: Sunday morning running on 5 hrs sleep on the couch, procrastinating, thinking of new characters and wondering if I’ve got another book in me?

Two characters are very antsy, sitting across from me with hands raised high, bouncing in anticipation, desperately wanting to be called on. Pick us. Pick us! And yet it is their story that frightens me.  I’ve said it before and I tell them again, “I don’t do indie teen drama! Go haunt someone else’s mind.” They smile, and I know they’re mocking me, because the answers to my question of it’s done, now what, are sitting across from me wearing Chucks, baggy jeans, hoodies, confident smiles  with wide doe eyes and hope.  I just don’t know about this one. I’m not certain, I can pull it off . . .

indiekids

 

 

 

 

 

Tania L Ramos, Author Simmering on the Back Burner

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Follow me at

https://www.facebook.com/tanialramosbooks

For more information on all my books: https://BeStillNovel.com

The New Voices: 3 a.m.

When I start nearing the end of a book, I clutch my chest and start bracing for the palpitations: do I have another story in me? I recall always having some story lined up, always having something to write, but since I started seriously writing it seems the brilliant award winning ideas have derailed into the vastness of my endless thoughts.

Do I have another story? This plagues me into insomnia. What if I never have another creative thought in my life? What if there is nothing beyond this? What if all i’ll ever be is a nurse who wrote a few things? Ugh, hello 3 a.m. and hopeless thoughts of being a has-been writer.

 

Alas, the clouds break and the rain goes away and smack dab near the end of writing this current book a new set of voices break through. Bad timing, I tell them . . . but hold that thought.  The longer it takes me to finish this book the louder the new voices get.  Hello 3 a.m.! Hello new characters that wake me from a dead sleep with their incessant muttering about art and music. Damn, their teenagers! Nooooooo, not a teenage book. You aren’t my genre, I tell them.

“Then why are you already creating a plot line?” She says.

Crap! I can’t escape this. I let her play out the beginning and end of the story, somewhere along the lines of teenage angst at a crossroads of you can never go home again, mixed with some synethesia (hearing words in color) and the cute ruffian kid rebelling against the machine and I tell her, “A cross between Juno, Lars and the Real Girl, and Scott Pilgrim Versus the World mixed in with some Blake Shelton music? 

She claps and jumps up and down with joy.  Obviously, I get it. *sigh*

“Bet you have a title?” I ask

” The Pretty Words,” she says

I think about the implication and how it ties in with hearing words in color.  Great, this is about as indie as it gets.  I give a reluctant nod.

She replies, “When can we get started?”

indie

 

 

Tania L Ramos, Author Who Talks to Herself

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Current writings found at BeStillNovel.com

Be Still: It’s not your ordinary romance, the main character is in a coma

Getting to the Distributor

For those of us living in the U.S. and working, odds are you have seen a substantial change in your paycheck.  It is awful, and to someone like myself who is not on the full-time payroll but works full time hours without benefits and accrued paid time off, it is worse. Since I am not guaranteed hours it difficult to judge what my next pay check will look like.  Then enter the costs of publishing and marketing which takes from said paycheck.

I wake up on a daily basis and ask myself what I can do different.  If invention is the mother of necessity, then I must find something to necessitate.  Ugh! Then I started looking into publishing The Surviving The Writing Apocalypse manual in physical print.  Which channel to go through? Createspace? Vanity press? Staples and spiral bind it? Bookbaby for personal sales? There really are a lot of avenues.

But what about micropress? What is a micropress? These typical have book runs of less than 5 books, which is more like self-publishing to the bare bones.  You do it all yourself. Impossible? No.  Hella difficult? Yes.

First you have to find a distributor, like Lightning.  next you have to learn all their formatting rules not only for the book, but also for the cover.  It couldn’t be as easy as a Word doc though, no they use some bizarre PDF thingy that looks more like the name of some Matrix movie than a program.  Luckily, they have a manual.  Brilliant! Yeah, about as brilliant as reading an Ikea how-to-build-your-bookshelf guide in Swedish.

All sarcasm aside, after reading the manual ten times and deciding I would have to buy at least two new programs, it isn’t impossible.  You follow the instructions, they give you a format, you follow that, upload all the finished products, submit some basic payment info (for your royalties) and they place it in their catalog.  Whala, self-published book that places such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and others can place in their catalog. The retailer takes their cut, the distributor takes manufacturing costs, and you reap the rest of the royalties.  Since you are the publisher, you take all royalties and don’t have to share with agreggators or publishers.

ls_logoPhew. So, if you are truly looking to be self or independently published, it looks to be worth the work. I am going to try this with my manual just to test the waters and report back with more info, pros and cons alike.

By the way, the break down is like this:

$0.90 per unit (book), add $0.013 per page and you get the manufacturing cost. (example at 150 page book is $2.85)

Next, take the cost of the book retail, say $15.00 for paperback and subtract the retailer discount (Amazon asks 55%, most don’t ask more than 20%). So at worst, Amazon takes their 55% off $15.00 which is $8.25, then add the manufacturing cost of $2.85= $11.10. You then get the full rest of the royalty of $3.90, which is much better than my $1.25 with a vanity press.

All books are returnable, so if you are paying for a return program it is bogus.  Any returned books will be deducted from the author’s royalty payment.

Look into it authors.

Tania L Ramos

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Follow me at

Facebook.com/TaniaLRamosBooks and Facebook.com/WritingApocalypse

Twitter @tanialramos and @writingapocalyp

 

Scrapped. In Editing. In Creative Stages.

Scrapped:

I tried to read the manuscript I was working on so I could jump back into it.  That’s not going to happen. I wrote some notes for future reference in case I ever get back to that story, which I’m sure I will someday.  The problem is, that story is so far out of my head that I can’t seem to jump back in.  This is what comes from almost two months of not writing it.  The pace and focus are beside me, so I felt it was best to scrap the book and come back to it later when I am not so distraught over being so far behind. I wonder if I am the only one who has ever felt that way? So, my latest tear-jerker that was so dear to my heart is now scrapped.

In Editing:

The self-help guide for new authors however, is complete and going through the final editing stages.  We finally decided on a title, How to Survive the Writing Apocalypse: the 21st Century indie authors manual to content & mechanical editing. It may also be: How to Survive the Indie Author Apocalypse: A 21st Century guide to content & mechanics.  The book was supposed to be out by early Spring on ereader, soft and hardcover, but with financial restraints and time constraints, I have chosen to print through Booktango for ereaders first.  This will be a beta run to see how well the book does.  If there is  a desire to have to tradeback version then we will add that route next Spring and hope for a summer release.

The book covers many aspects for new indie authors as well as authors who are looking to send in queries to mainstream publishing houses.  It covers point of view, head hopping, staying in character, use of bold/all capitals/and italics, period based writing, foresight, characterization, back story, branding, and much more. I wrote it with the intention of being easy to follow and understand (some books are just too wordy and difficult to follow).  There is a checklist at the end along with a “Do’s & Don’ts” page.  This is all the stuff I spent months researching when Iuniverse told me to drop crazy money on a book doctor and then another round of editing. That was beyond my budget, so I did all the mundane research, compiled a very comprehensive list of content & mechanical guidelines, and rewrote my book, Be Still.  Since then I have shared my notes with others so they wouldn’t have to spend days researching, and finally someone asked if I would just put it in a book she could carry for reference. Clever idea. So, I did. Keep an eye out for it on ereaders.

In Creative Stages:

Since my tear jerker was scrapped, I continue writing my YA scifi book on aliens.  That is more or less a side project, but my creative juices flared when I overheard a couple talking and the guy tells his girl, “You know I would die without you.” Bling!!! <–the sound of my creative lightbulb turning on.  I asked myself, what if it were true?  No, not like a suicide kind of thing, but more like a, “What if someone actually died without their other half.  Oh man, my mind went racing, and before I knew it, I had a beginning, middle, and end. Time to write.