What Does Your Manuscript Need Most?

November 16th, 2015

Do you have a proposal ready to send to a publisher or a manuscript ready to publish? Don’t go it alone. Don’t be so confident or in so much of a rush that you neglect a very important step in your presentation—editing. I know it’s hard to let someone else read what you’ve written. You aren’t crazy about having your work critiqued. You’ve worked hard and don’t want to have to make changes. But I’m telling you—you need that extra set of eyes or four or six.

Selling authors hire editors. A good editor can make you look so much better than, perhaps, you are. She will notice mistakes and problems in your manuscript that you can’t see—until she points it out.

I remember, years ago, being told to read my manuscripts backwards—from the bottom to the top. That was in the old typewriter days, when you could get by with misspelling a word without a red line appearing below it. Looking at a manuscript from a different angle such as on the printed page or from the bottom up, helps us to see things differently and, perhaps, spot problem areas. So does reading it through from your reader’s point of view. Well, consider an editor someone who is viewing your manuscript from an entirely different angle than you are. Believe me, even someone with an untrained eye will see something you have not noticed.

Hire someone with a trained eye and editorial skills and you have given your work a much better chance of being published and of being enjoyed by the reader.

Don’t neglect this step in the process of preparing your manuscript for publication.

Now, where do you find a good editor? Through word of mouth. Join online and face-to-face writers groups and ask others who they hire to edit their work. Contact leaders within the publishing community for recommendations. Search online for an editor or online directories listing editors. Contact me at PLFry620@yahoo.com

Understanding Amazon’s KDP Program

November 7th, 2015

Have you published your books through the Amazon KDP program? Do you understand the statements/reports? I think I’m beginning to. I started getting confused when they introduced KOLL (Kindle Owner’s Lending Library) and now there’s KENP (Kindle Edition Normalized Pages).

Suddenly, I noticed that book sales for my Klepto Cat Mysteries were down a little, but my monthly payment from Amazon was staying steady and even rising some months. After studying some of my Amazon “reports” this week, I realized that fewer customers are buying the books outright, but more of them are borrowing books—and the author still gets paid. In fact we get paid based on the number of pages the borrower reads.

Now that’s an interesting fact on its own. How do they know how many pages are read? Technology! One of the world’s greatest mysteries. At least it’s a mystery to me. However, as long as the monthly payments from Amazon stay steady or increase, I’m a happy Amazon author. And, if you’ve been reading this blog and my books, you know that sales (even the KOLLs and KENPS) reflect the authors efforts in promoting the book. If you want to generate more income from your book, you need to do the work. Promote, Promote, Promote!

Learn more about publishing and book promotion through my series of books, “Publish Your Book,” “Promote Your Book,” “Talk Up Your Book,” and “Propose Your Book.” All available at http://www.matilijapress.com

Simple Holiday Book Promotion Day-by-Day

November 4th, 2015

Every author, entrepreneur, produce developer, artist, etc., is thinking ahead to the holidays—to holiday sales, to be more exact. If you’re on the ball, you’ve been planning your marketing strategies for months. You’ve ordered promotional materials. You’re ready to approach your audience/the consumer—or are you?

Some of you are already burned out on the marketing process. You’ve sent out an email blast and you’ve set up several events and without much response. Yeah, you’re ready to strut your stuff—start making those holiday sales, but your audience is not thinking about Christmas, yet. Most of them won’t give holiday shopping a thought until a week—maybe two weeks ahead of time, no matter how much pressure you put on them to order copies now! But that shouldn’t stop you from forging ahead with your message.

This year, I’m marketing a holiday story as part of the Klepto Cat Mystery series—“A Picture-Purrfect Christmas.” I’ve been involved with some kind of promotion every single day for the past two weeks or so and I’ll continue on this schedule until Christmas. So what am I doing in order to promote this book?

This week, I’m:

  • contacting reviewers who are new to this series.
  • reminding those bloggers and reviewers I’ve already contacted.
  • seeking guest blog invitations from appropriate bloggers.
  • addressing the Christmas cards I’ll be sending out to clients, colleagues, reviewers, etc.
  • blogging at both of my blog sites and being active with my social media accounts.
  • checking in with regard to tentative engagements—a signing and an open house where my books are being sold.
  • handing out bookmarks.
  • commenting at appropriate blog sites.
  • arranging for additional interviews for blog sites (I’ve done two already).
  • making sure I have plenty of print books to fill orders and to sell while I’m out and about.

That’s ten things I’m doing now and will continue to do over the next seven weeks. I’ll also:

  • send out 150 or so Christmas cards with bookmarks and maybe a discount coupon, free sample of our note cards, etc.
  • participate in signings and other local events.
  • write guest blogs for a variety of blog sites.
  • do another email blast promoting the book.
  • run a contest or two at my Catscapades blog site.

Believe it or not, while I’m involved in these tasks pretty much daily, I’m writing book 14 in the series and participating in everyday life with family and friends. I even clean house once in a while.

If you want to see sales spike during the holidays, it’s up to you to make it happen. Start now planning your strategy and putting it into action. We’d love to know how you did with it.

To learn more about the book I’m promoting, go to: http://www.matilijapress.com/Klepto-Cat-Mysteries

Plan Ahead NOW For Holiday Book Sales

October 26th, 2015

Authors must think ahead. We don’t just write a book and then market it. We must plan the book; consider the audience and their needs, think about the timing of the project, and design it to suit the purposes. Then we write the book with the audience in mind so that it is cohesive, well-organized, and/or entertaining. When it comes to marketing, it’s also important to plan ahead. Who will you market to, where are they, what strategies will attract this particular audience, and so forth.

In the offices of Patricia Fry and Matilija Press (home of many books for authors and the Klepto Cat Mystery series), I’m preparing for the holidays. And I have been since June.

I planned and wrote a Christmas story as part of the Klepto Cat Mystery series. And now I’m in promotion mode—yes, even in October. I’ve been announcing the book to fans, reviewers, bloggers, friends, clients, colleagues, and family, suggesting it as a sweet read for the holidays and a lovely gift. It’s early, but many people procrastinate. Bloggers and reviewers might plan a special holiday event and I want to be included. Reviewers often have a long list of books to read. I want to get on that list so they’ll review my book before the holidays.

I’m lining up events, signing up for events, as well as taking advantage of other opportunities. For example, I’ll bring books and accompanying note cards to a reunion I’m attending soon. In fact, I’ve presold a dozen books to attendees already. Naturally, I’m donating books and note cards for the raffle.

I’ve ordered extra bookmarks to insert in my Christmas cards. And, in fact, I’ve had Christmas cards made with the charming cover of the Christmas book, which I’ll send in late November or the first of December.

I tried to sign up for a large event that occurs this month locally, but was too late to get a booth. I’ve noted the sign-up date for next year. I may or may not have a new Christmas book next year. If not, I have a dozen other books in the series I can sell. By then, I’ll probably have close to seventeen books in the series—which is another way I’m planning ahead.

If you’re writing or marketing a book and it’s conducive to holiday reading and/or giving, don’t waste another second. Start planning your promotional strategies now. Consider:

  • Who is my audience?
  • Where are they?
  • What’s the best way to approach them?

Then move forward:

  • Plan activities and events. (Signings, home parties, give-aways, blog-a-thons, be guest blogger, use social media in creative ways, etc.)
  • Seek out appropriate activities and events. (This could take a whole lot of time and effort—but it’s worth it.)
  • Sign up for appropriate activities and events.
  • Design methods of getting word out about your book.
  • Offer something more—a free gift with purchase, additional merchandise, etc.

Learn more by studying my book: Promote Your Book by Patricia Fry (Allworth Press). You’ll find it at Amazon.com and MatilijaPress.com.

For sweet holiday reading—and gift-giving, order A Picture-Purrfect Christmas, a Klepto Cat Mystery. Available for your Kindle and also in print. http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2

Order autographed copies here: http://www.matilijapress.com/Klepto-Cat-Mysteries/Picture-Purrfect-Christmas.html.

Order Klepto Cat Mystery note cards here: https://matilijapress.com/shop/product/klepto-cat-mystery-note-cards


How a Story Takes Shape

October 19th, 2015

I’ve been penning fiction now for just two and a half years and I’m learning a lot about the process. I marvel at how a whisper of an idea can develop into a cogent story with the proverbial beginning, middle, and end.

I have to chuckle during the early stages of my stories as I create new characters and sculpt them into likable or maybe detested individuals. I laugh when I move characters or mess with their emotions on a whim. I wonder if other novelists feel a sense of power when they delete a scene, rewrite dialog, or even change the demeanor of a key player in the story.

There are a lot of decisions to be made as a story takes shape. There’s the who, where, why, and how elements, of course. But also hundreds of minute issues to deal with in every scene, every bit of dialog, every innuendo.

And once the story is told, there are details galore that still need attention. Was Savannah already standing when Colbi said that or was she still seated? Did I allow enough time in the sequence for the scene to play out the way I wrote it? Where are the characters standing when the action takes place? Is Rags (the cat) getting enough to do in this chapter?

Some say a story is never finished. This is true when you consider all the possible scenarios for the story you’re writing. You might finish it one day and do a major rewrite the next. Someone else reading it might suggest a very different conclusion or method of reaching that conclusion. I’ve known authors who worked on a novel for twenty years—continually changing the way they told the story.

While that isn’t me—I can finish a novel in a matter of a few months—I still spend a lot of that time massaging my stories. I mold and manipulate the characters, their emotions and their issues until they are telling what I believe is a poignant, important, or entertaining story.

How do you do it?

Learn more about my Klepto Cat Mystery series here: http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2



Book Promotion Mania

October 15th, 2015

For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been engaged in promoting my Christmas book—the 13th in the Klepto Cat Mystery series A Picture-Purrfect Christmas. What a wild, crazy, and busy ride. One thing that occurred to me as I journeyed down that bumpy marketing road this time is that my books—and probably yours—have more than one audience and more than one profile of people who should receive the promotional material.

For me there are readers/fans (gotta love-em); reviewers (so important); bloggers seeking guests posts, books to feature and so forth; magazine/ezine editors at large, for publications related to my topic, and those for organizations I belong to; and then there are family, friends, and acquaintances who may or may not now or in the future read one of my books. As I work my way through my email list of nearly 2,000 addresses and research new online opportunities by way of blogs, ezines, etc., I continue to meet new fans and reviewers and I continue to add to my lists.

Keeping it all straight can be a challenge. Maybe some of you have ideas for doing that. As for me, I keep changing my way of organizing this process.

I also prepare different material with unique messages for each group of people I approach. While I want to invite reviewers and bloggers and editors of appropriate sites and publications to request a review copy or consider interviewing me, for example, my readers/fans receive something designed to entice them to scramble to Amazon and purchase the latest book. I send something more personal to reviewers and bloggers who’ve embraced the Klepto Cat Mysteries in the past and have given me lots of press. I present a more formal pitch to those who haven’t responded before, offering another brand of enticement and, of course, all the information they need. Likewise, I try different approaches with each book for potential readers at large—hoping this one will cause them to order a book for themselves or consider buying one as a birthday gift or for Christmas giving. An enticement might be a discount or a special gift.

This year, since I have a Christmas story to share, I ordered Christmas cards with the book’s cover on them and I’m collecting mailing addresses for key people—reviewers, colleagues, organization heads, and so forth. That has been a complex and complicated research project. Do you know how many people do not have a street (or even POB) address on their websites/blog sites? The process is taking some creative maneuvers along with some straight-forward activities such as emailing the individual asking for an address.

That’s working out nicely, especially since several of the people have asked for my address in return. How nice, now I have something to look forward to in my mail box come December, as well.

Yes, my Christmas card is more than a heartfelt greeting. It is also designed to prod the recipient to consider purchasing my Christmas edition of the Klepto Cat Mystery series as a gift for someone or several someones on their holiday list.

Let me know if you’d like to receive my special Christmas card offering this year. It may also include a bookmark. PLFry620@yahoo.com


From Rejection to Success

October 14th, 2015

If you want to know about rejection, ask an author—any author. Others may see authors as confident, successful, and living a charmed life. What the casual observer doesn’t see is the constant rejection from editors, publishers, reviewers, even readers. (Even though the majority of readers may love the book, there are always those who are have a different opinion.)

Non-writers don’t know about the time and energy spent trying to identify and locate the right publisher, promotional opportunity, and audience. They don’t understand the stress and work that goes into creating the perfect avenue of communication designed to engage these entities. They aren’t aware how many times in a week or even a day our attempts to be published and/or our promotional efforts are rejected or ignored.

But this is only true of those who work consistently and work hard. Hats off to those who put a lot of energy and effort into their publishing ventures. Only there’s one more element that might make life easier for authors—and that is to also work smart.

I think most of us waste a lot of time. We tend to disregard unfamiliar activities—those that make us feel uncomfortable. We get discouraged and consider quitting. We say “no” when we should say “yes” to opportunities. I know authors who won’t go out and speak to groups, even though their book is highly conducive to this type of promotion. Some authors refuse to establish a web presence. They rely on their publisher to market their book. Any reader, bookstore owner, radio or podcast host, blogger, magazine editor, etc. who wants to tout the book can’t easily reach this author. Just think of the opportunities missed. And plenty of authors can’t or won’t think outside the box, which is essential in this publishing climate.

Sure, we should follow the footsteps of successful authors with projects similar to ours, but we must also break new ground when the old ways aren’t working. Creativity, for a successful author, doesn’t end when the writing is done.

It’s not easy going from homemaker, executive, retiree, doctor, librarian, teacher, factory worker, etc., to author. It may look easy from the outside, but publishing is a highly complex business that one, if you are to experience success, must prepare for.

Let me introduce my series of books to get you started or to give you a boost toward the success you hope to attain.

  • Publish You Book
  • Propose Your Book
  • Promote Your Book
  • Talk Up Your Book

All are available at Amazon in print, ebook, and audio and at Allworth Press. allworth.com



Want Publishing Success? Join Webinars and Seminars

October 9th, 2015

Yesterday I had a ball joining Brian Jud for one of his Book Marketing Matters webinars sponsored by APSS (Association of Publishers for Special Sales) and the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. I spoke on “How to Craft a Persuasive Book Proposal for any Genre or Topic.” What an enjoyable way to spend ninety minutes.

I want to thank those authors and hopeful authors who took time to listen and I sincerely hope some of my information and concepts were helpful. There’s a lot that goes into successful publishing. And there’s a lot of information out there for authors to sort through. But it’s terribly important that they do just that and attending seminars in person or online is a good way to start the process. I suggest you sign up for some of Brian’s webinars. Learn more here: www.bookapss.org

My presentation was taken from my latest book for authors—“Propose Your Book.” Here’s something I shared from the book yesterday: One aspect of a book proposal is the competition section or market analysis. For nonfiction, you want to know, are there already-published books like yours? What makes yours different? Better? Is there actually a market for your book or are there already enough or too many books like the one you suggest? If you learn that the market is inundated, how can you change the focus of your book to make it a more viable product?

For fiction, you want to find out if you’re writing in a popular genre. You’ll want to find books that are selling well. If you’re bent on writing within a certain genre regardless of popularity, you’ll seek out books in that genre or sub-genre and learn what elements go into them.

So how do you find out if books in your area of interest are selling?

  • Ask bookstore managers.
  • Check the Amazon rankings.
  • Read the reviews on the Amazon book pages.
  • Visit the publishers’ or authors’ websites.
  • Read the testimonials at the authors’ websites
  • Read press releases and other promo at the authors’ websites.
  • Study the authors’ social media pages.

You’ll find “Propose Your Book, How to Craft Persuasive Proposals for Nonfiction, Fiction, and Children’s Books” at Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Propose-Your-Book-Persuasive-Nonfiction/dp/1621534677/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1444395514&sr=8-1&keywords=propose+your+book+fry

My Fiction

Special announcement: The 13th Klepto Cat Mystery has been appropriately published during Halloween month. But it is also appropriately published in time for holiday giving.

“A Picture-Purrfect Christmas” is now available in print and for your Kindle here: http://www.amazon.com/Picture-Purrfect-Christmas-Klepto-Cat-Mystery/dp/0996673202/ref=sr_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444395656&sr=1-12&keywords=klepto+cat+mysteries

What Makes You Write?

September 25th, 2015

There are basically two types of writers. There are those who can’t get enough of it—who are so motivated to write that they miss appointments, avoid household chores, and forget to feed their cats because they’d rather be writing. Others struggle to finish a manuscript. Butt in chair is a difficult concept for them to embrace. They arrive early for appointments to avoid writing. They have a wonderfully organized office and their cats are not only fed, but groomed, manicured, and trained.

Do you struggle to complete a piece of writing you’ve agreed to do…that you really want to do? Does life get in the way of the writing you’d like to complete? Are you torn between outside tasks/activities and writing a chapter or article? Try bribery and reward. Yes, bribe yourself to write and reward yourself for doing it.

What are the things you love, love, love doing? What do you really want to accomplish around your house with your job? What obligations mean a lot to you? Use these to bribe yourself to get some writing done. Think about it, don’t you feel good when you finish a chapter or a page of your book? After all, you’ve decided to write it because you want to, right? It’s something you truly want to do. But you’re discouraged because it’s going so slow—because you can’t discipline yourself to sit at the computer long enough without playing games and sending emails to make much headway.

So, do something different. You know the drill, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. If you don’t like the way something is going, stop using the same methods. Here are some of the things I and other writers have done in order to complete a writing project.

  • Sacrifice an hour or more of sleep to work on your project.
  • Give up something (TV, clubbing, a nap, etc.)
  • Create a schedule and stick to it.
  • Determine that after an hour of strict writing, you get to check your email, take a walk, have a rootbeer float, do some gardening, run an errand or…
  • Make your work area pleasant—decorate it to inspire and delight.
  • Surround yourself with confidence-building items—pictures of family and yourself involved in interesting activities, awards you’ve won, etc.

I’ve been writing full time for decades and I still follow most of these practices. I just looked them over again and I have to say, I follow all of them. I recently remodeled my office (after 25 years). It’s lovely. I love being in here. I have framed many of my published book covers attractively and they hang on my walls. I have photos of family and my kitties around me, and some of the wonderful photography I’ve done (a pair of eagles, a wild horse, etc.) I’ve displayed a large ribbon I won at the county fair for one of my photographs and some of my awards for public speaking are tucked in here and there. Until I did the remodel, I also had a photo of me modeling with my granddaughter for a fashion show, one of me swimming with stingrays, and some memorabilia from my trip to Dubai for a speaking engagement.

It’s going to be hot today—into the triple digits—again…and I want to finish some writing work I started earlier in the week. I also want to get a good walk in. I got up this morning at 4:30 with plans to write for two hours. Then I’ll take my walk while it’s still cool before returning to my office to finish writing.

At some point today I plan to tackle a rather difficult (for me) challenge. I’ve been writing fiction for only 3 years—cozy mystery books. I’ve decided I’d like to try writing a short story. I’m a little apprehensive and a bit nervous. As is human nature, I would typically procrastinate—work on what I know, instead—what is familiar to me and within my comfort zone. So I will be using some of the tactics above today in order to nudge myself to start the short story. I’ll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, we’re close to completing the work on my first Christmas story in the Klepto Cat Mystery series. I’ve scheduled it for publication October 15. Although, we’re ahead of schedule and I might jump the gun with it. I will be making the announcement soon. Check out all 12 of the Klepto Cat Mystery series here: http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2

And if you are writing a book—no matter where you are in the process—be sure to check out my brand new book, Propose Your Book, How to Craft Persuasive Proposals for Nonfiction, Fiction, and Children’s Books. http://www.amazon.com/Propose-Your-Book-Persuasive-Nonfiction/dp/1621534677


Webinar–How to Craft a Persuasive Proposal for any Genre/Topic

September 22nd, 2015

Join Patricia Fry, the former Executive Director of SPAWN in a webinar with Brian Jud October 8 at 3:pm, PST (6:pm Eastern).

Title: How to Craft a Persuasive Book Proposal For Any Genre or Topic.

The webinar will be based on the content of Patricia’s latest book, Propose Your Book, How to Craft a Persuasive Proposal for Nonfiction, Fiction, and Children’s Books.

Sign up here: http://tinyurl.com/ov6bv2w

Learn more about Patricia Fry and her career here: