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Raul Ramos y Sanchez

Last Friday, award-winning author Raul Ramos y Sanchez, whose new book HOUSE DIVIDED launched in late January, made an appearance on CNN en español. Here is the subtitled video in case you misssed it. Yes, Raul, we LOVE your CUBANO accent! ¡VAYA!

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Raul Ramos y Sanchez

Great news for my dear friend and award-winning author Raul Ramos y Sanchez. The author of HOUSE DIVIDED and AMERICA LIBRE will be on CNN en Español today, February 23, at 6pm EST/3pm PST.

He will be interviewed by CNN en Español anchor Juan Carlos López.

Juan Carlos López

You can watch the interview on DirecTV Channel 419 and Dish Network Channel 859.

¡Enhorabuena, Raul!

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Social media is cool. It gets really cool when your networks interact with each other. This Saturday award-winning author of AMERICA LIBRE and HOUSE DVIDED, Raul Ramos y Sanchez, was on an Orlando talk show discussing his novels. And guess what? My dad, Julio Varela, who lives in Orlando, got a chance to talk with Raul. It was a fun conversation. Here’s to social media!

Here is the link to the talk show:

Raul Ramos y Sanchez on the Big 810

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A GUEST POST BY AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR

RAUL RAMOS Y SANCHEZ


Raul Ramos y Sanchez

The Franky Benitez blog has been a lightning rod for Latinos in the social media sphere, myself included, to vent their indignation about the disparaging talk by the hosts of the BBC’s show Top Gear. At the same time, there is a LACK of talk I find equally troubling.

There is still very little talk in the national media about the trial in the shooting death of nine-year-old Brisenia Flores, killed in Arizona during a home invasion by three people with ties to border vigilante groups. Shawna Forde, a former member of the self-appointed border patrol calling themselves the Minutemen, is accused of leading two men into the home of Raul Flores in the early morning hours of May 30, 2009 and shooting Flores, his wife and daughter in a robbery attempt. Reports say Forde and the others believed Flores was a drug dealer whose money the killers would use to fund their border security operations.

CNNNPR and the Washington Post have carried stories about the trial of Shawna Forde. But the trial — and Brisenia’s brutal murder — have failed to match the coverage in over 300 newspapers that followed the death of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz, whose killer was believed to be an illegal border crosser – but never arrested. The media frenzy following Krentz’s death was used by Arizona legislators to justify the passage of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, SB 1070.

As a Latino, I cannot help but feel a sense of bias by this disparity of media attention. And perhaps that’s what makes me especially sensitive to the disparaging words by the three louts on Top Gear.

Cartoonish jokes about national character may seem like frothy fun to the BBC. But the consequences of such talk take on a wholly different tenor in the U.S. today.

In 2010 alone, Hispanics were killed in hate-motivated attacks in Arizona, Maryland, New York and Washington. Each time these stories were published online, ethnic slurs like those on Top Gear have appeared in the comments section by those who apparently feel the victims deserved their fate. Even online reports on the case of Brisenia Flores — a nine-year-old shot in the face in cold blood — have drawn similar talk from those whose hatred seems to trump the bounds of decency.

Meanwhile, Top Gear host Jerermy Clarkson states in a public explanation for his comments: “I’m sorry … that you have no sense of humour.” To Mr. Clarkson, I reply:  It’s not that we don’t have a sense of humor, sir. It’s that you are a clueless, arrogant ass.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez is the award-winning author of the novels AMERICA LIBRE and HOUSE DIVIDED from Grand Central Publishing. For more information visit www.RaulRamos.com.

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We are excited to begin our #LatinoLit Author Series, where we will explore the issues related to the digital world, social media, and the printed word. Our series begins with Raul Ramos y Sanchez, the award-winning author of AMERICA LIBRE and HOUSE DIVIDED, which will launch in January 28. The books cover a world where extreme views lead to a civil war in the United States. We had a chance to interview Ramos y Sanchez about the role of social media in promoting an author’s work.

#LatinoLit Talks with Raul Ramos y Sanchez

Raul Ramos y Sanchez

#LatinoLit: Social media continues to grow in influence and scope. Can it be effective in selling books or do you think social media is sometimes overhyped?


Ramos y Sanchez: In my opinion, social media is not a magic bullet for authors but more of a “force magnifier” as the military is fond of saying. Social media allows the relatively small number of well-known authors at the top of the pyramid to leverage their fame through a channel that gives them direct access to their fans without the mainstream media. That’s very seductive — but it can also create thorny results (as you have so well chronicled in the continuing story of Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, Encanto and NBC). J.K. Rowling is another example of celebrity author primacy in social media. She follows no one yet has nearly 300,000 Twitter followers thanks to a total of five tweets, all of which essentially say “you won’t hear much from me, I’m busy writing.” (No disrespect to Ms. Rowling. She’s earned that privilege through her exceptional work.)


For emerging authors, who make up the base of the pyramid, social media is an entirely different animal. We are not guaranteed an instant following once we hang out a social media shingle.  All the same, emerging authors willing to work hard and be innovative will find social media provides an unprecedented opportunity to connect with readers and, perhaps just as importantly, network with influential people who can help create more exposure through other channels.

Social media is still a wide open field, ripe for experimentation for authors at every level. As part of the launch of my second novel, HOUSE DIVIDED, in late January, I’ve created a PDF Sneak Preview of the novel’s first chapter available by “liking” HOUSE DIVIDED on Facebook. I’m inviting my social media friends to read the first chapter, and if they’ve enjoyed it, to share the PDF Sneak Preview with their friends. It’s a social media variation of viral marketing that could become a staple for book launches if it works.  If not, well, there’s a whole new sea of opportunities still out there waiting to be discovered. We’re all still charting new waters in social media.


#LatinoLit: Your first novel, AMERICA LIBRE, earned a long list of awards mostly from Latino organizations and received considerable media attention, again primarily from Hispanic media sources. Do you think your novels are marketable to mainstream readers?

Ramos y Sanchez: I certainly hope so! But it’s important to recognize minority authors face a unique challenge. Most minority readers I know buy books from both mainstream and minority authors. But I sense many mainstream readers feel that minority authors are not really writing for them, that their work is exclusively for their own group. That’s a double whammy–especially for emerging minority authors who face competition from established mainstream authors within their own group but are at a great disadvantage among mainstream readers. I say this with well-known minority authors like Walter Mosley and Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez as the few exceptions which prove the rule.

My novels are written for a crossover audience, which reflects my personal history. I was born in Cuba, arrived in the U.S. at seven and have lived in the Midwest most of my life. English is my primary language and I eat beans and cornbread as often as black beans and rice. So when I write, it’s from a point of view steeped in both cultures. Still, I face the uphill battle of making mainstream readers understand my novels are written for them as much as for Latinos. Ultimately, it will take more mainstream readers willing to extend their comfort zone. If they do, I believe a number of minority authors will provide them with a pleasant surprise.

FOR A FREE DOWNLOAD OF THE FIRST CHAPTER

OF HOUSE DIVIDED “LIKE” RAUL ON FACEBOOK


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We love the Shorty Awards, a great way to honor and recognize some of the best people and organizations on Twitter and social media. In its third year, this user-generated awards event is a great way to honor those who “get” what makes a strong social media profile.

From ShortyAwards.com

@Raul_Ramos, @BeingLatino and @Latism

This year, we would we like you to consider nominating three very cool Twitter accounts we hold dear in our hearts. We think that is we can rally our social media network to submit nominations now, we can get these three profiles into the top 6 and into the next round of public voting in February. So here are our three:

  • Raul Ramos y Sanchez: Raul is the award-winning author of AMERICA LIBRE and A HOUSE DIVIDED. He is a true gentleman, a talented writer, and named of the the Top 2011 Latino Writers to look for by LatinoStories.com. He shares all the time on social media and is a model of how an author can market his works effectively. To nominate Raul in the #author category, just click here or on the image below:
     

    Nominate @Raul_Ramos in the Shorty Awards!

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

  • Being Latino: The largest and most active community of online Latinos on Facebook. Founded by Lance Rios, this group has over 52,000 members on Facebook. Being Latino promotes a collective world where Latino culture, news, art, politics and other topics can be shared and discussed. To nominate BeingLatino in the #culturalinstitution category, click here or click on the image below:

 

 

 

 

  • LATISM = Latinos in Social Media: The BEST online Twitter community ever. This group is always sharing, always connecting and always supporting. More profiles on Twitter need to be like LATISM. A first-class example of what social media should be for everyone. To nominate LATISM in #socialmedia category, click here or click on the image below:

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