6 Must-Have eBooks for Authors

August 30th, 2014

Are you a new or struggling author? Do you need help or information presented in a clear and simple form?

You can now order one or all 6 of Patricia Fry’s “50 Ways” ebooks for authors for $1.99 each at http://www.matilijapress.com.

Titles

50 Reasons Why You SHOULD Write That Book

50 Ways to Prepare for Publishing Success

50 Ways to Establish Your Author’s Platform

50 Ways to Promote Your eBook

50 Ways to Promote Your Novel

50 Ways to Sell Your Book Using Your Personality

Each $1.99 at http://www.matilijapress.com

Orders the one that resonates with you or the whole set today.

Changes Coming to Matilija Press and Patricia Fry’s Books

August 28th, 2014

There are changes and updates coming to Matilija Press. Watch for the announcements. We’ll have a new home page featuring just Patricia Fry’s books that are current and relevant to authors and those that are of interest to readers of cozy mysteries and cats.

We are about to make three announcements. Catnapped, the first in the Klepto Cat Mystery series will be offered FREE at Amazon for a time. I’ll announce the dates soon.

The 4th book in the Klepto Cat Mystery series, Undercover Cat, will be published in print form.

And the 6th book in the series, Celebrity Cat Caper is scheduled for publication as a Kindle book within the next few weeks. Wait until you see the fabulous cover.

Stay posted.

 

Write While You Walk

August 23rd, 2014

There are as many writing techniques as there are writers. I used to write stories in longhand and type them out on a manual typewriter. Even when I finally bought a word processor, I couldn’t think into it. I still did my writing on a steno pad (or spiral-bound tablet). Eventually, I succumbed to the charms of the computer, however, and can now create using one.

But I still do a lot of work away from the office. I’m currently working on a new book for my mystery series and realize that the story is developing during my daily walks.

I’ve been walking regularly for forty years. I started out walking in order to strengthen my back muscles after an injury and a year-long recovery. I’ve used my walks for aerobic exercise, meditation, contemplation, stress-relief, and problem-solving. I’ve also used walking to enhance my writing, to come up with writing themes, to work through a story challenge, etc.

Yesterday, just before I set out to walk, I’d completed a scene in my most recent Klepto Cat Mystery. I wasn’t sure where to take the story at that point. So I spent my forty-minute walk planning the next scene. When I returned home, all I had to do was start writing.

If you’re curious about what I write, check out my Klepto Cat Mysteries at amazon.com. There are five of them now. All of them are formatted for Kindle. Three are in print. http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2

If you need help understanding more about the publishing industry, book marketing, or public speaking in order to promote your book, check out my books, Publish Your Book, Promote Your Book, and Talk Up Your Book, by Patricia Fry. Purchase the print, Kindle, or audio versions.

 

Timing, Tools, and Tenacity

August 22nd, 2014

This morning I was finally able to remove a splinter or maybe it was a thorn that had embedded itself into one of my fingers. I’ve been aware of this foreign object in my body for a couple of weeks. The spot would swell, turn red, fester a bit and boy was it tender. But the thorn wouldn’t come close enough to the surface that I could remove it, until this morning.

Today, I noticed that the tenderness level was high and there was that tell-tale sign that whatever it was had finally come to the surface. Armed with alcohol, a needle, and a pair of tweezers, I went to work poking and squeezing until finally a teeny tiny, almost microscopic foreign object appeared. My operation was successful and immediately, the annoying pain subsided.

When it was over, I couldn’t even see whatever it was that caused all of the discomfort. All I know is that it was there and it needed to be dealt with.

This reminded me of ideas and plots. As a writer, do you ever feel a story festering inside you, nagging to be brought to the surface? Sometimes the idea will nudge you for weeks, months, or even years before you ever allow it to see the light of day. And once it’s out and you can see it in word form dancing across your computer screen, you feel a sense of relief from deep inside and, perhaps, accomplishment.

Let me tell you, success won’t come without some discomfort. For a writer, this may be in the form of uncertainty and even rejection. I suggest, however, that if you stick with your project, use the right tools, approach it with knowledge, you are bound to experience the level of success you desire.

I write books that are designed to be tools for hopeful, struggling, and otherwise serious authors. Check them out here: http://www.matilijapress.com. If you’re not sure which one is right for you at this time, contact me here: PLFry620@yahoo.com

Should You Give Your Books Away?

August 19th, 2014

Today I want to talk about giveaways. Recently, one of my clients began planning a blog tour. She decided to make five stops where the blogger would either review her book, interview her, or she would be a guest blogger. Some of the blog hosts suggested that she participate in giveaways and she asked me what I thought.

It has been my experience that there’s more interaction at blog sites where there’s a book giveaway.

If visitors don’t leave a comment, you have no idea how many stopped by and read your review or blog post. And visitors aren’t apt to leave a comment unless they know the author, they are particularly taken by your book or the post, OR they have a chance to get something for FREE.

So what can you give away? I generally offer three of my Klepto Cat Mystery books on Kindle and, perhaps, a print copy. I specific that I’ll ship in the US only. When I don’t offer these books for free, there are very few comments left at the site. When I do, there are sometimes dozens more comments.

Amazon.com has a book giveaway program for authors. I know people who have gained tons of recognition through these giveaways. One author I know gave over 37,000 books away during one of these events. But I’m not sure it did him any good–in the present, anyway. This was his first and only book. I hope to do an Amazon giveaway–have a free-book day or two. But I have 5 books in the series. It makes more sense to give away book number one in hopes that readers will then purchase other books in the series.

Everyone loves a freebie. I saw people standing in long lines at a self-publishing company’s booth at a major book festival last Spring waiting to receive free books from authors they did not know. When we hand out little heart stickers from our booth that say “I love books,” we get visitors seeking us out in order to get one.  And people will sign up at your website for freebies that you offer. What is the percentage of people who ultimately purchase a book or tell others about your book, is unknown. I guess the closest we can come to determining the success of offering your books free is by the number of people who sign up and, in the case of the Amazon free-book program, the number of future orders.

To learn more about my books for authors and my new fiction series, The Klepto Cat Mysteries, visit my websites at http://www.matilijparess.com and http://www.patriciafry.com

I offer a freeby at my Patricia Fry website.

 

How to Make the Right Decisions for Your Book

August 14th, 2014

There are many ways to conduct research—lots of avenues to the material and information you desire or require for your writing projects. One is to ask an expert. I’m often inundated with questions from clients and I don’t mind responding, if I can. However, many of the inquiries are better satisfied through the author’s own research efforts.

I typically suggest that authors check with other authors of similar books to find out what’s working for them. This is a good way to choose an appropriate title for your book, website name, distribution method, promotional activities, book cover and so forth.

Study books within your book’s topic or genre. Visit author websites and do a thorough search. In order to discover how the author is marketing his or her book, for example, study their media page. Initiate dialog with other authors. Look at their Amazon pages. Google them to find out more about the author and the book.

I’m not suggesting that you copy anyone. Rather, you should study what works for others and use the premise for your similar book. For example, if successful authors of fiction are selling thousands of Kindle copies, put your book in the Kindle program. If most books in your book’s category use dramatic cover styles, consider following suit.

Who better to guide your success than others who are experiencing success with similar books?

If you are new to publishing, be sure to check out my book, Publish Your Book, Proven Strategies and Resources for the Enterprising Author. It’s available in print, audio, and digital at Amazon.com and elsewhere. Or order it here: http://www.matilijapress.com/PublishYourBook.html

 

 

Devise a Marketing Plan

August 11th, 2014

You should have some idea about how to market a book before ever getting involved in the publishing industry. And you can start preparing for this enormous task before your book is a book.

  • Study books, blogs, and articles about book promotion.
  • Find out how other authors of similar books are promoting them.
  • Determine what activities are most conducive to promoting your particular book.
  • Inventory your skills related to promoting your book
  • Adopt and develop those skills you’ll need.
  • Make connections with appropriate individuals and services.
  • Outline those marketing tasks you plan to pursue.

Book promotion is a huge part of successful publishing. Do not treat it as an afterthought or a hobby you might pursue occasionally. If you were ever going to be obsessive about any portion of the publishing process, it should be the book promotion phase.

For more about book promotion, study my book, Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author. It’s at Amazon.com in print, audio, and for your Kindle.

 

Why Do You Need an Editor?

August 10th, 2014

All writers need another set of eyes. If you haven’t figured out how to grow them, you’d better consider hiring an editor for your marvelous manuscript before considering publishing.

Sure, if you’re going with a traditional publisher, they will have their editorial team go through your book. But they expect your manuscript to be clean and accurate through and through before they will even consider it for publication. Always hire a good book editor before submitting your manuscript to any publisher or publishing service.

You’ve probably already found out that most pay-to-publish companies will edit your manuscript for an additional fee. But I have to tell you that from what I hear and observe, these editors do little more than run your manuscript through spell-check. I would not trust them with my manuscript.

Hire your own editor—someone who is accustomed to editing book manuscripts. Preferably hire someone who is also familiar with your topic/genre and the whole publishing field. You’ll get a whole lot more for your buck.

It’s not cheap to engage the services of a good editor. An editor will charge anywhere from $500 to $5,000 (or more) to edit a manuscript of 30,000 to 150,000-words depending on the shape of it. I suggest getting an estimate and a sample edit from several editors. Asking for references is always a good idea.

Hiring a good editor is so important that I recommend authors start saving up money before they start writing the book so they’re prepared when the time comes to shop for a good editor.

Be Prepared to Market Your Book

August 9th, 2014

Ahhh, book marketing. Now there’s a complex topic that every author who wants to experience success, must address. The truth is, no matter which publishing option you choose, you—the author—are responsible for marketing your book. Always consider yourself the CEO of your book, especially when it comes to book promotion.

So what does it take to promote a book?

  • An understanding of book promotion in this fiercely competitive industry.
  • Your undivided attention.

It also takes time, effort, and skills. Now the skills you have or choose to hone in order to promote your novel might be totally different from those required for the memoirist or the author of a business book. And your personality might come into play when considering the type of activities you’ll engage in.

I know authors who are outgoing and social. They love speaking before groups and teaching workshops in order to promote their how-to, informational, or self-help books, for example. Those authors with disabilities might do all of their promotion via the Internet. The promotional activities you engage in, might depend on the type of book you’re promoting. Thus, most authors come face-to-face with the learning curve when it comes to book promotion.

If you are unsure about and ill-equipped for book promotion, you really must get yourself up to speed. Keep in mind that no one will buy a book they don’t know exists. And no one else cares enough about your book to give it the marketing edge it needs in order to sell.

Here again, I suggest reading books on book marketing. I highly recommend my book, Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author. Subscribe to newsletters and attend conferences and lectures focusing on book promotion. See the resources list at my website: http://www.matilijapress.com/forwriters/resources.html

If you think that writing the book was a big deal—took a lot of time, energy, and effort—just wait until you’re faced with the task of book promotion. By the way, do you know how long you’ll need to stay in marketing mode with your book? Only for as long as you want it to sell. Yes, it’s ongoing and forever.

Your Publishing Options

August 8th, 2014

There are more publishing options today than ever before and it can be downright confusing to any author, let alone one new to the industry. My book, Publish Your Book, gives a concise and thorough overview of your options and the possible consequences of your choices. It’s at Amazon.com in print, audio, and for your Kindle.

Here’s a brief rundown. Basically, there is the traditional royalty publisher. Some of them require that you contact them through an agent, but most of them welcome and, in fact, prefer working with new authors with good projects. Traditional publishers invest in your book. They generally take over all costs. However, there are some creative contracts coming out of publishing houses. Some may purchase your book outright or offer you a co-publishing opportunity, for example.

There’s the self-publishing (pay-to-publish) company where you put up all the money and they arrange for a printer and book binder.

You can self-publish—establish your own publishing company.

If you’ve studied the publishing industry (highly recommended), you’ve learned the importance of choosing a genre and or subject that is popular with or needed/wanted by a large readership or a strong niche group. And you’ve learned the value of writing for that audience. Before

approaching any publisher or publishing service, make sure you have a salable product (a book that people want—a book with an audience). Then consider the pros and cons of each publishing option to discover which one is right for you and for your project.

You might want to self-publish (establish your own publishing company), so you have complete control. You may decide to hire a self-publishing (pay-to-publish) company and pay them to produce the book. If you do that, I suggest you thoroughly research those you are considering. And do not buy into their promotional packages. Most of these packages are worthless.

Perhaps you definitely want your book represented by a traditional publisher. But don’t make this choice simply because you want to avoid promoting your book, because you will still be the marketing agent for your book. Sure, a publisher will probably do some promotion, but he will expect you to do the bulk of it.

For marketing ideas and an understanding of book promotion, read my book, Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author.  It’s at Amazon.com in print, audio, and for your Kindle. Or order your copy here: http://www.matilijapress.com/PromoteYourBook.html