Tag Archives: social-media

But Where Are the Readers?

After publishing, the real hard work begins. Post a link to your newly published book and you’ll get the obligatory responses and purchases from select friends and family. But there are well over three million books in publication, ready to be purchased or downloaded at any given time. What makes yours stand apart?

Of course you’ll need a social media presence, but be ready. Despite social media interaction, which may devour hours of the day, you may receive one or two, Hey wanna book swaps? Great to at least get ratings, maybe readings, perhaps a solid review, but those are few and far in between. Not to mention you are either buying their book or buying yours and gifting it to them. I’ve had sales off FB and Twitter, and lots of to be reads off Goodreads. Most of those well intentions come from other authors looking for reciprocity.

Where do you get the readers? The following? Some companies offer marketing. I have tried several and gained several new authors as followers. But where are the readers? Your best bet is book bloggers, but good luck getting on their reading list any time soon. The good bloggers are backed up at least nine months. I have tried independent small marketing firms, mostly because I like to support the Mom & Pops out there. However, I have been burned by a few of those and recently disputed a fee through PayPal for one such company claiming they will publicize my book to over 15,000 readers on their blog and even more across social media for $14.99/month. I paid and never heard from them again.

Being listed as a writer on Facebook, I quickly realized that I am now targeted for sponsored ads relating to writing, editing, publishing, and anything interconnected to the industry. I look through the ads, do my research, read the comments, look for reviews and find that most authors are greatly displeased with these services. After all, they can only guarantee exposure not sales. Writers have been targeted by pop-up companies and services in mass this year. Authors are a consumer targeted group.

Then there are free books. Many authors boast, and rightfully so, about giving away 10,000 books on a KDP free day. It’s all for exposure and the cost (but no profit) of gaining exposure. And somehow, and this is just me, I feel like the adage: Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? I know those readers too. Many only look for free books and will not BUY anything indie. Many readers download free books from unknowns and don’t read them (bless the ones that do AND leave reviews…they are few). One friend shows me her Kindle with hundreds of free downloads, but she admits to rarely reading them, and often erases them to free up memory to download new free books. I ask why she downloads them and she proudly says, “I really do have good intentions.”

baseball1Writers beware! You will pour your heart and soul into birthing characters, plot, and story line. Some writers have only a family following. Some have a very small dedicated following. The greater majority sell under twenty books. This is in no way meant to be a downer but an insight into a whole new world that will take your hope and dreams and make you work harder than you ever thought possible. Many writers give-up, because marketing can consume your day, which in turn means you aren’t writing, which causes a bit of writer depression. There is a vicious cycle that consumes even the brightest of eyes. Those that succeed do so by sticking with their talents: write, publish, market, repeat. As Tom Hanks said in a League of Their Own, “If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. The hard is  what makes it great.”

The best advice I have come across to date to sell more books is: WRITE MORE BOOKS.

If you have any great advise for indie authors or have a service you’d like reviewed, leave a comment below.

Tania L Ramos RN BSN

Follow me on TWITTER and FACEBOOK or visit my WEBSITE

New Amazon Feature Can Help Authors

Here’s a new take on two things already in our author superhero utility belt: the #AmazonCart. This is a new tool, courtesy of the powers at Amazon, that allows Twitter users to add your book (or any other product)from Twitter directly to their Amazon shopping cart. Fancy that! Readers no longer have to leave their Twitter feed and get redirected. Can this new feature help published authors?

Here’s how it works:
Simply post a tweet that has your Amazon link and ask the reader to reply with #AmazonCart. This will not only alert you that someone has put your book in their cart, but it will also directly add your product into their shopping cart. The next time they log onto Amazon your book will already be there.
This appears to be a pretty novel concept. How many times have I scrolled across books that looked interesting, but didn’t want to be redirected, and later forgot what book that was? Oh so many. With this new option the book will automatically be in their cart. I always said Amazon was the devil, now they entice us with these wonderful new resources. Devil indeed.

The down side: The Twitter user must have their Twitter account linked into their Amazon account for this to work. It’s a new idea so I’m unsure how many people have their accounts linked.
What are your thoughts? Is this a method you will try? Do you think it has merit?

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author
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Is it Time to Walk Away From Advertising?

After the high of writing and completing a manuscript comes the tedious task of deciding how to publish. Once that task is complete, and if you went indie or small press, next comes the crucial stage of marketing and advertising. I think many indie’s hit this strong and with so much excitement, but most would agree that they are writers not marketers. Short of  having the money to dish out into marketing/advertisement many of us are left to figure it out on our own.

At what point does an author step back from the day consuming chore of marketing/advertising to become a writer again? And is there a point at which an author gets marketing fatigue and goes on marketing disability?

A book will not advertise its self. When I’m not actively marketing my book it is not actively selling. I’m not of a name yet where people search me out. After life got in the way I took a moment to go back and look at my royalties for one book. I sold three in the first two quarters of this year sans marketing. In two weeks I revamped my energy and went back on the social media road. In two weeks I sold more than I did in the first two quarters.

When is it time to walk away from advertising and marketing? When is it time to say you gave it your best and now its on to the next project? How much do you promote older books when you release a new book? The answer: You are always selling. Your new life title is Author and Director of Marketing & Sales. If you want to sell it, you need to promote it!

trinity-college-old-library

With over 3,000,000 books available online, you need to make sure people see your name and titles.

Tania L Ramos, RN & Author

Be Still on Amazon & BN

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

The Interaction: A Bungee Jump into Extroversion

Someone asked me today, “What’s the best part of writing?”

It didn’t take me long to answer, “The interaction!”

If you know me at all then you know I am the biggest introvert ever. Sure, I have extrovert fantasies of becoming a ninja assassin stripper pole dancer, but they are fantasies for a reason. In a crowded room of penguin suits and black gowns, if I wore a red dress with three inch red Stillettos . . . you would never notice me. I fade in the crowd if it is not my crowd. I blend into wallpaper wallflowers better than any Gieco Gecko ever could.

And, although it may sound like fun being a ghost that no one sees, or being the fly on the wall that people whisper secrets in front of, it does nothing to boost my sense of accomplishment. I read this once: Johnny Carson was a huge introvert, so in order to perform on television he would stay secluded until show time, because appearing to be an extrovert took so much energy. I can fully understand.

Here’s the thing: I love to speak in public. Now I know so many people just turn pasty white and sweaty at the very thought of it, but I love it. Yes, I get nervous and need to consume massive amounts of water, but even as an introvert I love speaking to people when it is something I am passionate about. I am passionate about writing and encouraging people to follow their dreams, which is why these are the two biggest things I speak about in public.

Why do I love this? One, its way out of my comfort zone, so for me it is like jumping off a bridge with nothing more than a bungee cord keeping me from death. Yes, its like that! An excitement and panic all at once, and when it is all over it feels like an accomplishment. I survived. But the real reward comes when I get to interact one on one and face-to-face with people. I love when someone says that I inspired them, because it makes me feel like I made a difference. And I think deep down everyone needs to feel like they made a difference somehow. It is the interaction that refuels me and gives me energy, so it is the part I love the most.

I love to write! I love to speak! I love imagining that one day my dream of ninja assassin stripper pole dancer will come to fruition. But it is the interaction that makes me want to write more, speak  more, and pursue my dreams more. Whether it be through social media or in person, I want to thank everyone who has refuel me these past three years and made a difference in my life. You are all my bungee cord jump.

interaction

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author Refueled.

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

The Great Escape: Las Vegas, NV

It has occurred to me that I can not finish my next book while at home.  The endless noise, questions, stares, and distractions make this a near impossibility. But, Tania, you wrote 95% of the book at home, so what’s your problem, you ask?

Answer: Although the beginning and middle are all great, I think the end deserves a special kind of finesse and must be done with tact.  It is hard for me to wrap my head around this concept with so much going on around me all the time.  Did I mention before that my home was a hostile? Okay, not really. I love my family, but it’s time for the big escape to finish this book without any distractions.

lasvegas

My plan: The mission I have accepted is to spend four days in beautiful Las Vegas at a wonderful resort courtesy of my expiring timeshare. Each day I will wake-up and spend my time divulged into finish the book. I have 2 days to do this. TWO! The next two days will be spent on doing a quick go over, before submitting it for editing.

Agenda: Wake-up and do some social media for Be Still and Surviving the Writing Apocalypse (available in print soon). I am allowing only one to one and half hours to do this then …

9am: write

12 pm: snacks, smoothies, nurishment

1 pm: reading (for http://www.WritingApocalypse.com books for review)

2:30pm: more writing

5pm: dinner

6:30pm: poolside reading for reviews

7:30pm: more writing

9pm: frozen cucumber slices on my eyeballs because they are going to hurt

Goal: Finish writing and first round editing

Milestone: I’ll be ecstatic if I just finish the book!

If anyone is in the Las Vegas area and wold like to meet for coffee, tea, lunch, or dinner let me know. It would be nice to mingle with some authors during my tentative breaks. I’ll be there early April

Tania L Ramos, Author With a Plan

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By the way, The Writing Apocalypse website is accepting submissions for books for review to be accepted onto the website. The March cost is $25, and you get a full content review along with a basic review to be posted on Amazon and here. If your book is accepted we place it on the website with a link directly into Amazon and share you across all our social media sites. Plus you’ll be eligible for Book of the Month and Book of the Year. That’s a huge package for a small cost. (we only charge because it helps us keep the website up and one of our guys does this job full time) Click for info: SURVIVOR All reviews are honest! Just because you pay does not guarantee a good review or acceptance onto the website.