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:



You Should Write a Book!

September 20th, 2015

Is this something you’ve heard from friends, colleagues, family members? Probably it’s because these people believe you’ve lived an interesting life and they’d like to see you document it or share it.

Some of you have written or are writing your memoir, but you might be doing it for all of the wrong reasons. I’ve worked with many memoir writers. A large number of them never made it into print. Most of those who did, sold very few books. Their books were not well received. And that was mainly because they and their books were not well known. Those authors who did well kept their audience in mind while writing, they understood their responsibility to promote their books, and they took it upon themselves to strengthen the skills and obtain the tools they needed to do so. Before setting out to become the next Frank McCourt or Anne Frank, consider this:

  • Memoirs by ordinary people with ordinary stories rarely do well.
  • Great—I mean great—writing can sometimes trump this fact.
  • Publishing is a business and must be approached as such.

Here’s what I want you to consider if you yearn to write a memoir. If you aren’t a seasoned writer and/or you’ve never written a book or story in the style of the book you wish to write, get help.

  • Read dozens and dozens of books like the one you want to write.
  • Solicit feedback from good editors and avid readers early on. Let professionals and other savvy people guide you toward a more successful experience.
  • Read books on memoir writing and take workshops and classes.
  • Study the publishing industry so you understand the business side of producing and promoting a memoir.

One book you should read right off the bat is Propose Your Book, How to Craft Persuasive Proposals for Nonfiction, Fiction, and Children’s Books.

If you borrow the book from your library or a friend, at least read the first 50 pages so you understand more about publishing and the value in preparing a book proposal before you ever put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Then read the chapter on preparing a book proposal for your memoir—pages 107-120.




What’s the Most Important Part of a Book Proposal?

September 18th, 2015

Most authors, as they strain and stress through their proposal will wonder, Where should I put the most effort?

I’m the author of two books on book proposal-writing. And a couple of my other books have sections on the all-important book proposal. I’ve also written numerous articles on aspects of the book proposal and I’ve devised several of these daunting documents myself. So what is the most important part of a book proposal? Which section is most instrumental in swaying an agent or publisher? Which aspect of the book proposal will help the author experience publishing success? Well that all depends.

Not the answer you wanted from me, is it? But if you hang with me, you might discover the keys to your publishing success.

First, the fact that you’re interested in writing a book proposal is an excellent first step. The book proposal is to an author what a business plan is to an entrepreneur. And it’s just as important. But you already know that. And there may be a section in your book proposal that is more critical or significant, but it may not be the same for all authors and it might not even be what you think it is. Here are a few examples that might help you strengthen your proposal.

  • The most important part of a book proposal that’s been requested by a publisher is the part he asks for. Not all publishers require a complete or formal proposal—there’s certain information they want and I suggest the author put a lot of energy into that particular material.
  • If you are a professional related to the theme of your book, then the proposal would lean heavily toward your platform—what you can bring to the table in terms of book sales.
  • If you’re a first-time author of a novel, the story must shine above all else. But you’d better also be able to convince a publisher (and yourself) that you understand marketing and you have the time, willingness, and know-how to promote this book far and wide.

For more about how to write a book proposal for your memoir, your book of poetry, a novel, children’s book, how-to, inspirational book and so forth, read my new book, “Propose Your Book, How to Craft Persuasive Proposals for Nonfiction, Fiction, and Children’s Books.”




Authors Need Readers Who Know How to Research

September 15th, 2015

Wouldn’t it be nice? We go to a lot of trouble to put ourselves out there—to be noticed by readers of our topic/genre. And still you meet people and hear from people who have never heard of you or your book, even when you write in their favorite genre or on a topic of their interest. That’s one of the biggest frustrations of authorship! When a potential reader says they just learned about my book, I want to shake him and ask, “Where are you looking for books on writing a book proposal or where are you looking for cozy mysteries?” I feel like I’m covering my promotional bases, yet there are still people who don’t know about my books. Why?

Maybe it’s because they neglect to open the email they’ve signed up to receive. They ignore the Amazon notices announcing new books they might be interested in. They don’t know how to do simple research to locate the books they want. Heaven knows many authors are in-your-face promoters.

We go where we’ll find our audience. We have websites and blogsites related to the theme/genre of our books. We’re involved in social media. We send announcements to our potential readers. We produce newsletters. We write articles for appropriate newsletters, guest post at other blogsites, solicit book reviews. Why aren’t avid readers and those seeking specific informational books paying attention?

Don’t get me wrong; I love meeting readers new to my work. They’re usually thrilled to have found my books. We all want to entice more and more readers for our fiction and nonfiction. But it’s disturbing to know they’ve been out there all along, wanting a book like yours, and never noticed your webinars, podcasts, radio spots, web interviews, blog book giveaways, articles, amazing blog, live presentations and so forth.

Maybe we need to provide reader research seminars. I wonder if anyone would attend.

In the meantime, if you happen to stumble upon this blog post and you’ve never heard my name before, I’m Patricia Fry. I’ve been writing for publication for over 40 years and working with authors on their book projects for fifteen years or so. Many of my books are for authors. The latest one is “Propose Your Book, How to Craft Persuasive Proposals for Nonfiction, Fiction, and Children’s Books.” If you’re on my massive email list, if you’ve visited Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s website, if you read the “Freelance Writer’s Report,” “SPAWNews” and other publications for authors, if you’ve visited Amazon lately looking for a book on book proposals, or if you’ve done a Google search for such a book, you’ve had the opportunity to know about me and the book. Learn more here: http://www.amazon.com/Propose-Your-Book-Persuasive-Nonfiction/dp/1621534677/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442333826&sr=8-1&keywords=propose+your+book+fry

I’m also the author of the Klepto Cat Mysteries. There are now a dozen books in this cozy mystery series formatted for your Kindle. Eight of the books are also in print. http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2

Table of Contents for NEW Book Proposal Book

September 9th, 2015

I’ve been talking about my new book–Propose Your Book, How to Craft Persuasive Proposals for Nonfiction, Fiction and Children’s Books. Well, here’s the proof in the pudding showing what’s actually included in this book–the Table of Contents.  As you can see, it’s got it all. Wouldn’t you agree? Order your copy of the ebook or print book at amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Propose-Your-Book-Persuasive-Nonfiction/dp/1621534677

Propose Your Book

How to Craft Persuasive Proposals for Nonfiction,

Fiction, and Children’s Books

By Patricia Fry


Part One—The Book Proposal Explained

Chapter 1—What is a Book Proposal and Why do You Need One?

Chapter 2—The Psychology of a Book Proposal From the Publisher’s POV

Chapter 3—Elements of a Successful Book Proposal—Editorial Portion

Chapter 4—Elements of a Successful Book Proposal—Marketing Portion


Part Two—The Nonfiction Book Proposal

Chapter 5—Sell Your How-to or Self-help Book

Chapter 6—How to Represent Your Business Book Through a Book Proposal

Chapter 7—Pitch Your Cookbook Through a Hot Book Proposal


Part Three—The Personal Book Proposal

Chapter 8—How to Write a Book Proposal for Your Memoir

Chapter 9—Your Travel Book Proposal

Chapter 10—How to Best Represent Your Inspirational/Spiritual Book


Part Four—Book Proposals for Fiction

Chapter 11—Sell Your Novel Through a Fab Book Proposal

Chapter 12—Novel Ways to Promote Your Novel


Part Five—Pitch Your Children’s Book

Chapter 13—Yes, Your Children’s Book May Require a Book Proposal

Chapter 14—The Young Adult Book Proposal


Part Six—It’s Time to Submit Your Amazing Proposal

Chapter 15—How to Locate and Approach a Literary Agent

Chapter 16—How to Land a Publisher for Your Amazing Book

Chapter 17—Tips For Surviving the Dreaded Rejection


Part Seven—Resources for Authors

Sample Book Proposals


Why Write a Book Proposal?

September 7th, 2015

At some point during the process of writing a book, you may realize that you need a book proposal. Maybe you’ve finished writing your memoir, travel guide, business book, cookbook, mystery, or historical novel and you’re seeking publication. You approach a publisher or an agent who says, “Please submit a complete book proposal.”

Perhaps you’re just thinking about writing a children’s book, a how-to, or an inspirational book and you’ve recently join a local writers’ group or attended a writers’ conference. Surely, during a workshop, a presentation, or even casual networking, the term book proposal will come up.

You wonder, “What is this thing called a book proposal?” And some of you will resist finding out for as long as you can. You’ll go ahead and write your book to please yourself. When you start receiving rejection slips from publishing houses every time you submit the finished manuscript, you may realize that you should have written a book proposal. You eventually learn that, in some cases, this formality can make the difference between a publishing contract and that dreaded rejection letter.

Not only is a book proposal required by most publishers of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books today, you (the author) should consider it a mandatory part of the book writing/publishing process. Why? A complete book proposal can help you to make better decisions on behalf of your book project, thus experience greater success.

If you’ve resisted the task of writing a book proposal or if those you’ve submitted have been rejected, this book is for you. If you’ve just entered into the world of authorship and you’re faced with the prospect of writing a book proposal, keep reading.

Propose Your Book is designed to take the mystery out of the book proposal. I know how overwhelming writing that first one can be. I was introduced to the book proposal over three decades ago and I didn’t take too kindly to the idea. After dodging the bullet for as long as I could, there came a time when it was inevitable. I had to bite that very same bullet and write my first book proposal. I’ve since written dozens of my own book proposals and I’ve coached many other authors through the process of writing theirs.

Keep in mind that today’s book proposal is not the same document required by publishers in the 1980s and ’90s. Over the years, as the publishing industry has changed, the book proposal has taken on a new significance and form. The online courses I taught throughout the early 2000s, and the subsequent book I wrote featuring tips for writing a book proposal (2004), are no longer in alignment with industry standards.

While there are hundreds more publishing options and opportunities for authors today, there is also an enormous increase in competition. What does this mean for you, the hopeful author? It means that you need all of the ammunition you can muster in order to succeed with your project. Educate yourself about the publishing industry and enter into it only after you are entirely and completely prepared.

In order to succeed in the highly competitive publishing business, it’s imperative that you strive to keep up with the trends and requirements of the industry. Part of that requirement for most authors involves writing a book proposal.

If you’re stressed just thinking about this daunting task, the information and suggestions in this book may provide the antidote you need. Herein, you’ll learn to successfully meet the challenges of writing the all important and necessary book proposal with elevated understanding and purpose. Order your copy here:



New Book for Authors Getting LOTS of Attention

September 6th, 2015

I’m busy promoting three books this week. I’m sending out press-releases and notices to my email list, writing articles for key publications, setting up presentations, and I’ll try to keep up with my blogs (one for authors and one for readers of cozy mysteries with cats).

If you’re not on my emailing list and would like to be, please send me your email address: PLFry620@yahoo.com.

In the meantime, I’d like to point you in the direction of Carolyn Howard Johnson’s blog. She’s featuring my latest book for authors—Propose Your Book, How to Craft Persuasive Proposals for Nonfiction, Fiction, and Children’s Books. (Allworth Press) http://sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com/2015/09/book-proposal-reading-for-success-of.html

NEW Book on Crafting Your Book Proposal

August 26th, 2015

It’s here! My brand new book for authors launched yesterday. Propose Your Book, How to Craft Persuasive Proposals for Nonfiction, Fiction, and Children’s Books (Allworth Press).

Propose Your Book provides all the basics of crafting a successful book proposal from a fresh, yet professional perspective, but it delivers more—much more. This is the only book proposal book I’m aware of that speaks specifically to each author no matter your book’s genre or topic. I’ve included chapters for authors of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books as well as several specific genres and topics: memoirs, young adult books, travel books, inspirational, how-to, self-help, cookbooks, and more.

Are book proposals still necessary? Yes! As an author, you are the CEO of your book, and the book proposal is your business plan. A book proposal is a crucial element to getting published. Most agents and publishers require a proposal before they will ever set eyes on a manuscript. Writing a proposal can help you to more successfully pitch your book to the right agent or publisher and it can ensure that you write the right book for the right audience. A book well-thought out proposal also guides you in devising a smart marketing plan for promoting your book to your audience. Don’t be fooled. No matter which publishing option you choose, it is up to you to promote your book.

Propose Your Book offers a clear understanding of the book proposal process in today’s fiercely competitive publishing climate. It includes:

  • The most up-to-date concepts in writing a book proposal
  • Insider tips from the agents and publishers
  • Examples of actual proposals from publishers’ files
  • Separate chapters for authors of specific topics/genres

What are the experts saying?

“Patricia Fry’s book on how to craft persuasive proposals is the first I have seen that tailors ideas for specific genres—travel books to young adult novels—in very specific ways! And the chapter on ‘The Psychology of a Book Proposal from the Publisher’s POV!’ is absolutely breathtaking! After reading this book, authors everywhere will suddenly start taking the writing of a proposal more seriously!”

~ Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning Frugal Book Promoter and Frugal Editor

“To learn a skill like book proposal creation, I want to turn to someone like Patricia Fry who is aware of the current market needs, authoritative, detailed and honest. Read this book and follow the instructions, then an editor or literary agent will want to champion and sell your submission.”

–W. Terry Whalin, bestselling author of more than 60 books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams

“A valuable ‘how-to’ book filled with practical, uncomplicated information that will transform an ordinary proposal into a powerful, persuasive document. This is a must read for any author who is serious about getting published.”

–Brian Jud, author of Beyond the Bookstore and How to Make Real Money Selling Books

Order your print or e-copy now!




Book Promotion is a Frame of Mind

August 7th, 2015

Authors often contact me after their book is published and say, “Help! My book isn’t selling. What’s wrong?”

What’s wrong is that the author didn’t consider sales before deciding to write the book. Sure, he probably imagined his books flying off the shelves at bookstores and being delivered to homes and businesses all over the world via millions of Amazon drones. But what he didn’t do was fill in the blanks in the middle—between the imagination and reality. I tell authors that book promotion is a frame of mind. It’s a mindset more than a happenstance. It depends on the author more than most will admit because most authors are focused on writing what they need to write, feel is important to write, or simply want to write.

A large and growing percentage of books in the marketplace today fail and the main reason is the author’s frame of mind. He looks at his book project as a creative endeavor instead of a business venture. He sees publishing as the end of his responsibility—“Okay, my book’s published. I’ve accomplished my goal.” They don’t realize that publishing is only the beginning of a very long journey into the world of publicity and promotion—that is, if he wants to sell those books he’s produced.

Let’s back up the pony for a minute. Yes, for the most part, the process of promotion comes after publishing. But I maintain that marketing and promotion should be foremost in the thoughts and plans of the author before he ever starts writing that book. This is the point where you—the author—need to be asking:

  • Why do I want to write this book?
  • What is the purpose of this book?
  • Is there a need or desire for this particular book?
  • Who is the audience for this book and how many readers does this comprise?
  • What’s the best way to approach my audience?
  • Do I have the skills to promote this book to this audience? If not, am I willing to hone those skills?

I suggest to authors that they are the CEO of their book and should think like one from the very germ of the book idea. What, exactly, do I suggest an author do? First, realize that when it comes to book promotion one size does not fit all. However, there are some steps all hopeful authors should take:

  • Study the publishing industry so you have a bit of a handle on what to expect. Way too many authors enter into the publishing world with warped expectations and, too often, no concept of the realities. My book, “Publish Your Book, Proven Strategies and Resources for the Enterprising Author” is a good place to start the study I suggest.
  • Write a book proposal. This will guide you in determining if your book idea is actually a good idea, who your audience is, and the best way to reach them once your book is a book.
  • Write for your audience, not for you.

Authors often ask me to tell them in 100 words or less how to generate more sales. What they don’t understand is that book promotion is not a cookie-cutter proposition. It’s personal to the project and the author. It is important that the author keep his readers in mind throughout the writing process. If the book is nonfiction, is it organized logically, are the steps and instructions written clearly, does it cover every aspect of the topic in a cohesive manner? For fiction, does your story flow, are you staying true to your characters and the theme/genre of your book, will your readers be able to follow the storyline?

So the way the book is written is actually the first step in promoting that book. It’s part of your plan to write the right book for the right audience. Once your book is finished, the next phase of promotion kicks in—understanding that a book that no one knows about will not sell and that it is up to you to know who your audience is and how to approach them. For more on book promotion, read my book, “Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author.” And remember that my goal and those of other professionals is to guide you in taking charge of your business venture (your book project) because you are the CEO of your book.

Questions? PLFry620@yahoo.com