Tag Archives: self publish

Insight into Amazon’s Resell: Did We Do This?

So many questions have been posed about why Amazon has decided to look into reselling e-books. There have been great comments made, and some interesting comments sent to my email direct, and they weren’t all nice.  With so many strong opinions it is clear that there can be a potential war on the horizon.  Again, I state, I’m not asking people to take up arms and fight the machine.  Rather, I’m trying to educate the self-publishing masses as to something that can  happen, and I’m not saying it actually will.

Where did the idea for reselling e-books stem from? Perhaps the Amazon think tank of Amazonians.  Perhaps someone stumbled upon a yard sale and had an epiphany.  Or perhaps it was started by a reader posing a simple, harmless question on the Amazon forum on Feb 11, 2011 asking, “Can I sell back my e-books from Kindle? Once I read them it seems pointless to keep them on my Kindle so I was just wondering if they will buy them back for a part of the money it cost to download on there? (Scarpetta)” (view original post)

This question has sparked over 43 comments, but there are many other forums with similar discussions.  The vast majority of responses state that this isn’t something that Amazon could afford to do.  However, the majority of these comments came long before Amazon retained the patent to be able to resell e-books.

Was it the Amazon think tank? Was it a yard sale epiphany? Or was it started by one of our readers? Obviously the question was out there, and if asked by one then it is okay to assume it is thought by many.  Sufficed to say, readers are very interested in this buy back program, and will likely be interested in purchasing a “used” e-book.  And why not? The economical deficit is everywhere, and so many are looking for ways to save.  It only makes sense that readers would jump at the idea of reselling an e-book and then purchasing a used e-book.  This is a money driven market and Amazon took the reigns on this one.

If the resell program were to go into effect, then it would be up to the authors to educate readers and the public.  But, will our pleas fall dead beside an advertisement for “used” e-books at a discounted rate? What else could we do? Take the poll

Tania L Ramos, author of Be Still and Surviving the Writing Apocalypse




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Death Match: Self-Pub v. Vanity Pub

Catchy right? Okay, so this morning I read a blog post on Facebook posted by author CJ Peterson, whom I follow.  So the post was the latest rant coming from someone going on about how Amazon is trying to squeeze out the indie authors, and how Simon & Schuster are starting their own vanity press company.  I get it, big bad Amazon is selling out to the man because traditional best selling books have taken a huge back seat (or least passenger seat) to the uprising of indie books. Well, hey, score one for us, right?

Apparently , not.  The tangent goes on to bash Amazon for making decisions in their best financial interest, and I’m left to think, “Isn’t that the point of running a company?” But, I digress.  More and more Amazon is bashed for recent decisions revolving around the review removals, KDP select company, and now the new issue with bowing down before the “Big Six.” It all sounds like a mindless rant to me, or someone’s agenda to bring down the big enterprise which dominates blah blah blah.

Next, it gets into self-publishing (indie) versus vanity publishing. Oh, I love reading about this, because it really gets me riled up, and at six thirty a.m. I could use a good riling.  Okay, this is the gist: self-published authors have taken the time to turn a manuscript into ebook formats with Kindle Mobi, Epub, Nook platforms, Ibook platforms, and others and then took the time to find a distribution house for the physical copies of books etc etc.  Apparently, that is what a real “indie” author does.

Vanity published authors tend to get a bad rap for using assisted publishing (Iuniverse, Xlibris, Tate, etc).  The biggest argument is that the author has lost control of their rights to a vanity press.  By the way, this is called vanity press because it is a service in which an author has paid for. That makes it vain.

Help me out here, because I really don’t see much difference between true self-publishing and vanity press except one may cost more money and less effort on the author’s part (vanity press), while the other (self-pub) takes more time on the author’s part and maybe less money.  Vanity press=less royalties.  Self-pub=more royalties.  I get it, if I had done the leg work I could have made $250 as opposed to $54 in royalties.  Of course, I would have lost precious time writing my next book to get all this done, and who’s to say those companies you’re uploading your ebook to are giving you an accurate sales count.  Unless you are selling out of your garage, you never really know.

Here is my opinion and take it for what it’s worth: putting out a book is not a literary death match! Who cares if Author A paid a middleman to do the work while Author B did it all himself.  I respect both equally, and why? Because both of them followed through.  They are both published authors.  The end result is the same: their book is available for readers.  And isn’t that what writing and publishing a book is all about?

It took me three days to get to San Fransisco from Los Angeles, where so many people told me it should have only taken half a day and called me crazy.  I hate driving! So I took the scenic route and made some pit stops and found some awesome pizza on the way, but you know what? I still made it to San Fransisco.  Whether you take the direct route or indirect route in publishing, the point is to publish. Enough with the grudge matches already.  Enough with putting an author down for paying for assisted publishing or for wasting time by doing it all on their own, or whatever the opinion may be.

And as for the whole, Amazon is the new self-publishing Anti-Christ, let me say this: if you have a problem with them then remove your book! Until then, their game, their rules.  And yes, it is all about the profit margin, because the last time I checked they weren’t a charity.  Oye, now I gotta go plant a tree to get my anxiety level back down.

Please stop author on author violence. Do it for the books.

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




Blog Tour Day One

My first blog tour is officially in full swing. My first tour date is today July 19, 2012. Please be supportive of all those bloggers out there who worked to put this together.

What is a blog tour? Each day a different blogger will feature a post about my book, Be Still. There will be something new everyday and giveaways.
Today is opening day and will be hosted by Katherine Nader at KatherineNader.tumblr.com. Please visit her site to read an interview.
I met Katherine via an iUniverse connection. We have been emailing and giving publicity and marketing information to each other which has been great since she has Canadian connections and I have California….well, sun I guess. Keep an eye out for her, she will be releasing her book, nThe Deadly Mark very soon.

July 19, 2012

Tania L Ramos is an independent author who is currently promoting, Be Still, which can be purchased through most major online bookstores…and now at Chapter/indigo. Also available for most ereaders.

Writer’s Blues

Every time I turn on my computer I follow the same routine (beware, shameless plugs this way —>), stats on “Be Still,” book trailer, stats at Bookemon for my first book, “When I Thought I Was Tough” which has found its way into the #3 spot for most liked fiction books and #7 for most read fiction book all thanks to you all.  Then I check my email to see if my “live” date has been posted, then I check Twitter to see the news on books, authors, writers, up coming seminars and marketing strategies (great finds on there).  All the while I’m doing this there is a small tab on my home page that mocks me.

I move on to check my personal website TaniaLRamos.com and now I have to check the book website BeStillNovel.com.  Each time I flip between screens that tab on my homepage does its little dance to catch my attention.  I wince and move on.  Time to google search,” marketing cheap,” “marketing on a budget,” “marketing made easy,” “marketing for dummmies,” etc.  And I realize there are a million strategies, but only few that pertain to books, which is quite defeating.  I lower my screen and smile at that little icon on my desktop, “Soon,” I say, knowing that’s not true.

Time to learn what a podcast is and how it will benefit me.  Continue to research video book review services to see if I can match what they offer and what more I can offer to sweeten the deal.  I sigh.  This marketing business is time-consuming, but I’ve made wonderful connections and had a memorable experience just getting to this point.  So, I’m determined to persevere on past my writer’s blues, because for as much time and energy–what little I have left after a 12 hour shift at work–all that goes into my current book waiting to be, “printed-on-demand,” while that little, bashful, waiting its day in the spotlight icon on my desktop for book number three, “A Man’s Worth,” is completely neglected.

A week and a half have passed since I last opened that anxious icon, and when I did, I typed my heart out and felt wonderful.  Three chapters completed in one day.  Then I felt guilty that I wasn’t working on structuring a marketing program for, “Be Still.”  I’m caught between two loves.  They both beckon me, “Tania? We love you.  We need you.  We will die without you.” A love triangle if you will.  Bitter sweet.  And so the writer’s blues continue, as I prepare to shove off to work for 12 hours, come home at 11pm only to sleep and move on again at 7am tomorrow…but Saturday, “Saturday, my sweet books.  Saturday I promise to devote half a day to each book…right after I work on my spring garden some more, clean the room, pay the bills, dye my hair–I’m sorry, Books, I’m a woman and I have needs too–take dogs a bath, wash and vacuum the van, and clean the girl’s room.  Then.  Then I promise I will get to you both.  Until then, I remain your humble marketer with the writer’s blues.”


I won Rising Star


This just in…I won the recognition for Rising Star on Iuniverse.  The Editor’s choice I had previously won was based on the sole decision of the editors, while this one is based on the judgment of marketers and designers.  This was the one I went berserk over having to fill a survey out for.  The one that asked my marketing strategies, and I ranted to my WordPress family how I was a writer not a marketer and how my measly, piddly  marketing budget was laughable.  Well, I guess they still saw it fit to see my book as marketable and liked my ideas on a budget.

I also received a timely phone call from the “somebody” of marketing who told me Iuniverse would pay for half a marketing package of my choice.  I went with the Trifecta, which sends my book out to three different review companies including Kurkis for professional reviews.  The turn around time is approximately a  month, but it is my understanding that I will be able to have these reviews printed on the back cover of my book at no additional cost for the reprint.  I am stoked.

My book should go live any day now, and that is my new pins and needles situation, because at that point this will all be real.  The scary part is that I will have to flip over into marketing mode.  Not my forte (I grimace).  But I’m ready for the challenge and look forward to a whole new set of stats to follow.  In the meantime I will continue to shamelessly plug, “Be Still,” to anybody who continues to read, and learn more about Twitter, which I have discovered is quite different from FaceBook, whereas Facebook is for friends and Twitter is more geared toward making connections…although I follow Ellen DeGeneres for fun…not that I would mind connecting with her people.

Mom promised to make me a cake in celebration of my new award, but I don’t smell the tasty scent of pastries so I may have to run out and do a banana split revival.  In conclusion, and commentary toward the Iuniverse service, I still give it two thumbs up and would recommend them.  I have been told my one rep that I am being given special service due to my “status,” (and the sounding snobbish begins), but before all this, going way back to the beginning, they have been honest, upfront, and very timely in responding to questions.  They only advised services I needed and never pushed the services I didn’t.  To this day, I would recommend them for self-publishing with a boost.  It’s like a ordering Jamba Juice with a boost, but a little more costly.  Oh yeah, and every month they offer new deals…can’t wait to see what May offers are out.

I Have More To Say

This blog was supposed to be exclusively about my experience with Iuniverse.com, but after reading through my blog history, I have discovered this: I have more to say.  I have shameless plugs, books reviews, self-publishing information, contests, rants, and writing on the inner workings of my mind.  And so, this morning, I decided to do some WordPress reorganization and house cleaning.  I have added two new categories, “Book Reviews,” which I plan to do more of, “and Iuniverse Experience,” which deals only with my Iuniverse interactions.  I’m not sure if there is another category somewhere in there, but for now some organization is better than no organization.

Last night I spent countless hours doing countless research and found something troubling . . . everybody wants you to sign up, join their email address, or pay to subscribe.  So it occurred to me that since I have done all this research, visited all these pages, then maybe I would review them too and start a list of valuable websites . . . you just have to join my service, buy my book, host a blog tour date, and guess the name of my imaginary friend.  Not too difficult.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  I’m going to get nerdy and think how to come up with my new information page for self-published writers . . . or anyone who needs some quality information.