Tag Archives: iuniverse

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
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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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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. 😀 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

Has it Been that Long

Okay, so I wrote out this huge post and my computer did something awful. Next book: When Good Computers Go Bad! So where have I been? In a place where free time no longer exists.

I started my Bachelor’s program in nursing through GCU. It is a rigorous thirteen month course that has occupied every last bit of free time I have had, and has even snuck into my not so free time. By this time next year, and $16k in debt, I will have a BSN and a government loan. Exciting, yes I know.

Any time for writing has been shot out the window, and the rantings of characters has been quickly drowned out by rantings of health care essays and deadlines. But I need some sanity, and the characters of Life by Chance started invading my brain even through medical papers. They were tired of being on the electronic shelf; tired of the promise of fruition; and tired of being unheard.

Blackbird Press and I had gone round and round on publishing prospects. I looked at some indie presses, but most either worked only in press or only in e-books. Some weren’t a right fit, others made me nervous, and still others didn’t offer the variety I desired. We talked about sending out queries to agents, but my time was already being strangled. It looked Life by Chance might spend another bout “shelved.” Then I received an email that Iuniverse was having a 50% off sale, and I thought about it.

On June 30th, the last day of the sale, I made the call and chose to go with Iuniverse. I used them for Be Still so I’m familiar with the process; I know what is important and what isn’t. Of course my only complaint is the low royalty payout and the timeliness of the payout, but all-in-all it isn’t breaking the bank. My spirit is renewed! Yay. If all goes well, Life by Chance should be out by the holidays.

While I haven’t spent much time promoting the book these past few months, except in blurbs on social media, the artist has been promoting the art work. “Life by Chance” has been accepted into several mainstream contests, and was displayed at an art show in Hollywood, CA. It is currently a submission in the Bombay Sapphire art contest, and has received honorable mentions in other events.

Tania L Ramos, RN and author

"Life by Chance" Artist: Mariano Daniel

“Life by Chance” Artist: Mariano Daniel

1st Professional Interview

Yesterday was the big day! A videographer contracted by Iuniverse came to my home today (my clean home), and did a professional interview. It was a lot easier than I expected, and much more fun than anticipated. There were a few snags: barking dogs, tap dancing six year olds, fire engines roaring by, and ringing house phones.

It was fun doing takes and having to clap because the scene sign didn’t have the clapping thingy. Wow! Shows how much I know about all this stuff. I answered some pretty standard questions about the book, about being somewhat indie, and of course about using Iuniverse. What I loved best was being able to tell why I chose to use Lou Gehrig’s Disease as the disease my main character has.

Running a close second in excitement was being able to bring my daughter in on some of the action for B-roll footage. Yes, I now know what B-roll footage is. Heck, I’m practically on the Hollywood inner circle. 😉

All-in-all, this was a fun day. The make-up, the light checks, the mic checks, and the B-roll footage scenes. Matt was very professional, and made me feel very comfortable. Let’s do it again!

Thanks to Iuniverse for affording me this great opportunity. By the way, I had already created my own author interview awhile back using an HD GoPro cam and Windows Movie maker. If you haven’t created your own interview, you should. It is a great tool in your box.

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author Celebrating her Fifteen Seconds

The interview look was purple

The interview look was purple

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Yay Accomplishments

A few posts ago, I announced that Iuniverse contacted me to do a video interview at their expense. That was a wonderful surprise. Today, I was contacted to set up a video interview date, which will be in two weeks, and I couldn’t be more excited. Hopefully, I will be over this cold. Can you imagine sounding all nasally and hacking during your video interview? Heaven forbid.

Then, again tonight, I received news that Surviving the Writing Apocalypse is a finalist for Education & Reference Book Cover of the year 2013 over at Authors DB. I was ecstatic! This is fantastic news and couldn’t make me more proud of the team that helped on that project: Blackbird LSD for publishing the book and Blue Harvest Creative for doing my cover design. So much appreciation to everyone.

People say awards aren’t everything, and it is certainly true. But being able to give a shout out to all those who helped me along the way makes it a wonderful opportunity. So to all of you who have in some way been involved with the publishing process of Be Still [Iuniverse] and Surviving the Writing Apocalypse [Blackbird LSD], thank you from the depths of my heart.

Surviving The Writing Apocalypse 2013 Finalist

Surviving The Writing Apocalypse 2013 Finalist

Recognition to:
Blackbird LSD who celebrates the arts
Blue Harvest Creative for having a gift with design
Iuniverse for their services
Authors DB for their fantastic author database

Tania L Ramos, RN & Author Proud of Her Accomplishments

An Empire of Books

This is a public service announcement for all you future authors, writers, and teller of stories. Reader beware!

When I started on this journey way back in Februray of 2011, I did so to fill a void. I was on state disability and had time to pick at a few dreams. I wasn’t about to run off and try to join the ranks of megastardom in motion pictures (yet), because I had a dream most of my life to write. I wrote all the time, so let me clarify: I had the dream to start, finish, and publish a book. And so I did, in three short months. From my brain came When I Thought I Was Tough, and I quickly published it to the free website, Bookemon.com.

I was ecstatic and walked on cloud nine for a few days. Then another story pelted me like a wild snowball smack in my face. When I finished Be Still, I knew I had to do this one better. It had to be available on more than one website and I wanted it to look professional. After lots and lots of research, I chose Iuniverse to publish my book. I’ve received tons of criticism for this choice of “vanity press,” but I stood and stand by my decision. For a nominal fee (not cheap), my book was put out on every ebook source known to man, plus made available in hardcover and softcover through most major bookstores. The book sold well, but this is where the warning comes in …

Regardless of how or where you publish your book, you must be comfortable with the decision. Other authors will come at you with why their choice was better and how you were “screwed.” I hear it to this day, but I stand by my decision to be made available on more platforms than just Kindle, or only ereaders. I also know that with my limited time I was unable to do the brunt of the work in publishing on my own. Research is key, and can take up a great majority of time.

But if publishing is key then publicity is the door. Without publicity there is a book sitting on shelf that noone will know of. Be sure to budget for your publicity, marketing materials, and editing. Oh lord, please don’t forget to edit. I can say, I have easily put out far over $1500 into marketing materials, and add another $1000 into booking events/shows.

Be prepared to launch a second career in the art of marketing and publicity. Be prepared to sell the farm and maybe not make the money back. We all want to be the next J.K. Rowlings and write the next 50 Shades of Best Selling Books, but the reality is that a majority of us will find our place on the shelves of friends, family, and those we swapped books with on social media. The more you publicize the better the market.

So how do you sell a million books? Write a million stories and sell each one once. The bottom line is this: you are a writer, and if one person leaves one review–good or bad–someone read your book. That is the first step and its the one you’ll remember. Don’t work toward selling one million books, work toward touching one reader. And if you make a few friends and grow a fan base along the way, then you’re indie, and indie is a wonderful experience.

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author Building an Empire of Books

My 1st Book Party. About five people weren't in the picture :-(

My 1st Book Party. About five people weren’t in the picture 😦

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Iuniverse Fails Royalty Report Card

First of all I’d like to thank everyone for making Epic Ode to Pinkie Toe the most viewed and liked post on my blog. I suppose every once and a while we all need a good laugh.

On to bigger topics. . .where is my royalty? Okay, since I started using Iunivierse, oh way back in 2012, my royalties were sort of paid on time.  The first one was paid to the date, the second was paid out a day late, the third about a day late. This year, the first quarter was almost a week late, now this second quarter is twenty days late.

It’s not like my life hangs in the balance of my payout. Lord knows I haven’t done any real promoting of the book over the summer so I could take a hiatus from social media a bit, but it goes without saying that as an author I’m pretty darn curious about my sales. Wouldn’t you be? The only way I know what I sell is to see my royalty sales figures and I wanna know.

My best guess was that I’d be using Iuniverse again for Life by Chance, since I have zero or less time to jump on and put my book up to every site out there. And if you’ve read my rants about Amazon then you know I won’t go the KDP route or Create Space route. Heck, I’m still waiting on them to post my book on my author’s page so I can see ranks & sales, etc. I digress, it’s a learning experience.

I never had any real problems with Iuniverse. They were polite, friendly, not overbearing, and did a fantastic and professional job with my book. They placed it on every market from Nook, and Kindle, to Kobo and iBook. It’s on every platform and bookstore for purchase worldwide. Their potential to be so strong is so huge, but it fails when it comes to payouts and reporting monthly royalties in a timely manner.

If I were selling books by the droves I know I would want my payout in a timely manner. On the iUniverse report card for reporting royalties in a timely manner they get an F.  Sorry Iuniverse, this area has become worse as time goes on. I’m sure I’m not the only person to rant about this.

Tania L Ramos, Author Waiting and Waiting and Waiting