Tag Archives: pinterest

Book Sale Advertising Cost

Not many things cause me to jump for joy, but today as I looked at my book stats on Amazon ranking, I noticed Be Still was ranked higher. How did I get sales? Facebook advertising. But that came at a cost of $30.00. One sale with a royalty of $1.75 at the cost of $30. This is marketing! Welcome.

I’m still not being condescending. As an author and entrepreneur, and non-marketing expert, I have had to experiment with several avenues of advertising. Next month I will try Pinterest as I have found that Twitter has not panned out at all (and was very expensive). Another marketer contacted me today stating they could get my books into the hands of 100 bloggers and reviewers and would only cost $3,500. I asked how many they would guarantee would actually leave reviews and/or blog review, they had no answer. Again, buyer beware.

As an independent author, I will continue to try different avenues of marketing. For now I will set my sights on preparing for the 2017 L.A. festival of Books coming up soon. I did find this venue to be great for making contacts and creating an email list. Sales weren’t fantastic, and I didn’t recoup my costs, but the exposure was fantastic.

Sales to date have been good however, much of that has come at a cost of trial and error. I try and bring what I learn back to my blog but I still haven’t found that ultimate trick to “find readers.” If you have advise on Pinterest advertising, I’d love to hear from you.

Tania L Ramos RN BSN


A Writer’s Missing Link

Man is in constant search of the missing link! Okay, not necessarily the “missing link,” but that one thing that bridges the gap between point A and point B. In my last post, I wrote that if you wanted to sell a million books, then write a million books and sell each one once. It was sarcastic, yes, BUT the point was that you have to think outside the box.

In my last post [An Empire of Books], I also said that you have to be prepared to become a marketer and publicist. This is true no matter what avenue your business is: writer, home-based business, even a non-profit organization. You may have the best to offer, be the nicest person, or wrote the book that will change the world, but if nobody knows then . . . nobody knows.

Case and point: In 2012 my book, Be Still was published and I became a marketing and advertising fool! I hit every media and outlet and sold lots and lots of books. My efforts continued into the first part of 2013 and I, of course, continued to see sales. Then I stopped. It was exhausting and I needed a break, and wanted to write. The results: one book sold in the third quarter.

Dilemma: I am flat broke! The economy is a bust. I no longer have droves of cash to toss into publicity, book shows, or buying ads. All my numbers were stagnant during my period of absence. My name was no longer out there and I was just another writer under the tag of One Hit Wonder. You see, when you fall off the planet as a new writer, so does your name.

Fix: Since I haven’t been at work, I decided to market and chat up my books again. I can’t always tell sales numbers until the quarter ends, but I can see numbers of hits to my YouTube trailer and book When I Thought I Was Tough. I used those numbers to gauge the results of using free social media. Keep in mind, my numbers had been the same for all of November and December 2013.

                         Before Social Media                   After 2 Days of Social Media

Book Trailer:        1,376                                            1,405
“Tough”Reads:    10,965                                         10,997
“Tough” Likes:     339                                              345
Blog Follows:        224                                              231

You be the judge. I worked day and night to post to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, and this blog. I wanted to see how much of social media caused a real effect on the numbers. Granted, number of views & likes do not equate to sales. However, it does equate to how many times somebody saw your name, your product, or service. I put in fulltime hours to boost those views, but I think it proves to show that you have to actually put in the work.

Is social media the missing link? Not at all. Hard work is. Go get your audience.

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author Who Found the Missing Link

Have You Met: Blackbird LSD

I have been posting blogs about people I have met during my two years in publishing.  First I introduced you to Michelle Proulx, author, then Blue Harvest Creative, graphic designers, and now I introduce you to Blackbird LSD, freelance publicist and social media promoter

How did I meet Daniel at Blackbird LSD? Easy, he’s my best friend, and when I said I needed a publicist, marketer, and someone to run some of my social media when I’m at work, he stepped up to the plate.  This is why we connect so well.  I tell him I have a need, he fills the need.

So what does Blackbird LSD, currently comprised of two members, do? Well, Patty is the senior editor, and you know she’s good when she won’t give you back your manuscript because she doesn’t want to miss anything, but she doesn’t miss much.  She’s also a psychiatrist, so you’ve got a person to cry to when your manuscript is covered in red ink.

Then there is Daniel, who does some editing, but concentrates on the publicity and social media aspects.  There are many authors out there who pay out way too much money to have someone create a website and set up and manage their social media accounts.  Well, this is what Blackbird LSD does, but they do pride themselves on their reputation, so they do amazing work and at freelance prices.  And yes, in this day and age, there are so many authors who don’t want a hand in managing social media because it takes so much time.  Daniel handles all this and more.

blackbirdBlackbird LSD are also the co-administrators for the Writing Apocalaypse website.  They have a huge say in what makes it to the website and what doesn’t.

So, if you are an author who needs someone to handle their social media, create a webpage, represent them at a So. Cal book event, or do editing, I would highly recommend them.  Not only because one of the members is my friend, but because they deliver results.  Trust me, I have no qualms with firing a friend, and he has no issues with telling me some of my ideas are not very smart.  It is a great relationship and one I trust.

Please visit their current website, as they have a new one in the works but not up yet at BlackbirdLSD.com or their facebook page at Facebook.com/blackbirdlsd and tell him Tania sent you–then maybe i’ll get better prices 🙂

Tania L Ramos


The Social Media Post

Maybe it’s more of a rant, or perhaps even a vent, or just a disturbance I feel in the force.  Who knows, but something doesn’t add up.  All the reports, blogs, and newsletters, I read on how to improve your market all say the exact same thing: social media presence. Have you read that, too?

Okay, here are my stats:

linksFacebook Fan Page: 279 Likes

Twitter under @TaniaLRamos: 1,890 followers

Twitter under @writingapocalyp 1,229 followers

LinkedIn to 24 people (I think)

Pinterest: 26 followers

Goodreads: exponential

Blog: 111 followers

YouTube book trailer: 894 views, 17 subscribers (a must see)

That’s a lot of numbers, yet the book sales through retailers are lower than my personal sales. I’m not complaining, don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t care if I sold a million out of the trunk of my car and only 6 through retailers, but that isn’t the case.  If social media is the be-all-to-end-all in building sales, then I am doing something terribly wrong here!

I’ve Tweeted, blogged (but this I do because I really do love it, maybe because it’s writing), I post, and try to stay LinkedIn, and occasionally try to have fun with my pinning on Pinterest. I have followers, I follow, and I engage, but none of this correlates with book sales.  However, it does correlate with book trailer views. So, I ask again, what am I doing wrong?

Late last night, when I should have been getting eye rest, I read several posts on utilizing social media to its fullest potential.  Apparently, I am doing everything right.  Or at least for the amount of spare time I have.  I now understand why so many people are doling out hundreds of dollars a month to have someone take care of social media for them. But does it build followers or a fan base? Or does it simply look good on the stats?

The more stats, the more credible a person may appear, which is why so many people are purchasing followers.  But does a paid follower care about your work? Do paid followers even exist, or are they fictitious followers? Are you simply paying for numbers? And if that is all it is, then what are the numbers worth?

I don’t know!

I do know, I am not willing to pay for followers who don’t care about books or may not even exist.  So what is with the social media hoopla? This much I do know: those people who follow me because they are generally interested in my books and future writings are the ones who interact the most. So is social media a way to gain followers? Sure, because we all love the numbers.  But does it equal to sales? I don’t think it does, or at least not at the out-of-the-gate, first time, self-published author stage.

Let me put it this way: I really don’t care that Tom Clancy has a fan page, because I’m not a huge Clancy fan. I do however, follow Chuck Palahniuk because I’m a fan. If i followed Clancy just for the number aspect, does it mean as much as following Palahniuk? Nope. In the end, I would likely never buy a Clancy book, but I do get excited when I here a new Palahniuk book is in the works. So what does that say about followers who aren’t fans?

Now, am I saying I will delete all my social media accounts? Hahahaha … catching my breath … NO! It simply means I will not devote all my free time to it, and instead devote my time to writing novels which is what all ten of my real fans want to see more of. Just kidding, I have more loyal followers, but this time last year I only had a whopping ten.  Oh, I’m sure they’re interested in updates, and fun facts, but my fans are readers, not numbers.  So, I made a command decision to cater to my true fans rather than numbers. I’ll still update, still tweet and post, and definitely going to blog (because I love it!), but I’ll give the majority of my time to writing.

Someone once said that the secret to becoming a successful author and to selling more books is simple: write more books. Fans want books. Let that be a lesson to all of us writers. Ignore the stats. Use your time wisely to go after the true readers, the fans who love your writing.  Stay engaged with them through social media, but keep writing on the front burner not the back.

As always, thanks for lending me your attention.  And if you don’t have the time to keep up with your social media accounts, or the time to set them up, email editor@blackbirdlsd.com. He does my publicity, but he has also been helping people to set up and maintain their social media. Remember, I’m not saying not to have these items in play, I’m only suggesting that it shouldn’t dominate all of your time. Social media is huge and shouldn’t be overlooked for those true fans who want to stay involved with what you are doing.

Update: 12/12/12 2:51pm PST

Facebook fan page now has 280 followers . . . LOL. Just thought I’d put it in there for reference.