FREE Cozy Mystery With Cats!

April 23rd, 2015

FREE Cozy Mystery

Catnapped, the first in the Klepto Cat Mystery Series is FREE today and tomorrow. If you’d like to experience a cozy (light) mystery involving interesting people and pretentious cats, this is a good time to do it. Download your Kindle copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Catnapped-Klepto-Cat-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B00DAHFS1G/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1429622111&sr=8-4&keywords=catnapped

Be a Gracious Counter-Promoter

April 22nd, 2015

How many times have you worked hard on a promotional piece for your amazing book, only to have a recipient slam you back with his promotion? Perhaps you’ve made it a habit to respond to someone else’s book announcement with your own promotional blast. Not nice, in my opinion, and kind of a slap in the face, don’t you think?

Okay, here’s my take on this. We’re all working hard to have our books noticed. Those of you who’ve stepped into the shark-infested waters of publishing know that it’s not an easy swim. It’s a lot of work keeping sales up, maintaining an interest in your book, getting word out to new readers. In fact, it’s a rather constant activity. Keep in mind that other authors are going through pretty much the same struggles you are.

Most of us don’t enter into the big book promotion race with a marketing background. Many authors are downright timid, embarrassed, and even repulsed by the necessity of promotion. Others are so gung-ho they even step outside the bounds of courtesy.

Are you’re one of those (and I’ve met several) who, when you receive a new book announcement or other promotional piece, you immediately return the “favor” in the form of your own promotional material? Why not first acknowledge the sender? If you have the time and incentive to send something, why not make it generous—“Hey, congrats on your new book (accomplishment, award, milestone, etc.).” Maybe establish a dialog with the other author, “Love your title.” “Who did your cover?” “What’s been your best promotional ploy?” THEN, if you must, promote your book back. It’s okay, in my opinion, it’s just that I’d like to see a little more give as well as take—a tad of finesse—a more gracious approach. Wouldn’t you?

Yesterday, many of you received my promo piece announcing my 50th published book and the 10th in the Klepto Cat Mystery series.

PAWtners in Crime is now ready for your Kindle. Order it here: http://www.amazon.com/PAWtners-Crime-Klepto-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B00WFSE646/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1429620489&sr=1-11&keywords=patricia+fry+klepto+cat

Catnapped, the first in the Klepto Cat Mystery series is FREE April 22- 24, 2015. These Kindle books are selling at a rate of one- to three-thousand copies per month. Get your FREE Kindle copy of book number one—Catnapped—and find out what all the excitement is about. http://www.amazon.com/Catnapped-Klepto-Cat-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B00DAHFS1G/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1429622111&sr=8-4&keywords=catnapped

 

 

 

Times, They Are a-Changing at LATFB

April 20th, 2015

I attended the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (LATFB) as a visitor this year for the first time. Over the last nearly 20 years, generally, I’m either selling books from a booth or—most often—running a booth for SPAWN. This year I was simply a visitor: no schlepping of tables, clothes, extra chairs, books, sign-up sheets, etc. No long conversations with dozens and dozens of visitors seeking information and resources related to publishing. No quick meal breaks. No exhaustion at the end of each day. Instead, with a good friend, I roamed through the rows and rows of booths, sat down and took my time eating a fabulous lunch, sprawled out on a swatch of grass and chatted, and arrived home feeling fairly refreshed.

I must say that I missed the excitement of being in the SPAWN booth and the camaraderie among the members who participate. I missed meeting and greeting all the many authors and hopeful authors who come to SPAWN seeking guidance; and the wonderful feeling of having helped.

I guess once you’ve been a mentor (of sorts) through so many speaking engagements, workshops, articles and books, as well as by being available at numerous book festivals to teach and preach, the helping aspect kind of gets in your blood.

I hope all of you who attended the LATFB had a positive experience, met some fascinating authors, bought some great books, and stopped in at the SPAWN booth for some wise words of advice and inspiration. It was there, it just wasn’t me providing it this year.

If you do have questions about the crazy world of publishing, read my book: “Publish Your Book.” If you are an author with a book to promote, buy “Promote Your Book.” If you want to do some public speaking or need help in talking to potential customers, consider reading my book, “Talk Up Your Book.” All by me—Patricia Fry—and all available in print, for Kindle and audio at Amazon.com and most other online and downtown bookstores.

Give and Take, Then Give Some More

April 13th, 2015

Ever heard of networking? Of course, you have. Do you participate in this activity? Yeah, I mean, when you hear about a car for sale, do you text your friend who’s looking for a car? If you stumble across a great recipe, bit of advice, book marketing idea, good editor, etc., do you automatically share it with someone who might benefit?

Or do you just take from those who are good networkers—who are thoughtful and who reach out when they have something to share?

Networking—in order to be successful—is a give and take proposition. You probably have friends and colleagues who constantly or even occasionally send you something they think might interest you. What a gift! You may not use everything they send your way, but those bits of information and recommendations you do use to make your life easier, to move your career forward, etc., are priceless—wouldn’t you say?

Do you adequately acknowledge and thank those people who have your back—who think of you often—who share, share, share? You should. I should. Sometimes we get busy and don’t give appropriate thanks. With that in mind, I want to publicly thank my friend and colleague, Sandy for being such a great networker. She is constantly bringing something to my attention. And I’m pretty sure that I do not adequately thank you. She also always lets me know when I’ve posted a blog without crossing all of my t’s. Thank you Sandy. I really do appreciate you!!!

Now, let’s discuss the other part to networking. It’s called “giving.” This, for some, is hard. It means that when something crosses your desk or your path that you think might benefit someone else, the generous thing to do is to pass it on. Share. Give. Do something selfless. Think of someone else. Take time out to give back. Pay it forward. Yes, while Sandy and certainly others give to me, I might discover a great resource or idea for someone else I know. It’s okay—in fact, recommended—that one networks outside of his or her circle.

I remember, as a child, waiting near the mailbox in case the mailman would bring me a letter. My mother finally told me, the best way to receive a letter is to write one. It’s the same with networking. You’re more apt to receive help, advice, information, useful resources, etc. when you are in the habit of giving.

But don’t give with expectations. Oh, now there’s the downfall of the system right there. Thinking, “Well, I’m not passing this along to Derek because he never thanked me the last time I sent him a potential new client,” is counter-productive. No, no, no. Give without stipulations and without expectations. Just give. Be openly thankful. You will get something back immediately. Giving makes us feel good—don’t you think?

Today, consider looking for ways to give and just see what gifts you get in return.

The Strategies of Fiction-Writing

April 8th, 2015

Most readers (and even some writers) are not aware of the strategies that go into writing fiction. Many non-writers imagine that a novelist simply creates without much thought. They let the story flow through them and onto the screen as they type—tappity, tappity, tap. Perhaps you consider fiction-writing a heart thing—an inspired activity. And so it is for some authors, but only to a point.

There’s a lot of strategy that goes into writing a novel. The author must use his thought process along with his creativity. For example, the elements of the story must work. And this means the author must work to make sure they do. This is a relatively natural process for some. But many novelists today miss this concept altogether. It doesn’t come natural and they don’t have a clue as to how to implement it.

Here are some of the questions that must be considered when writing fiction.

  • Is the story logical? In other words, does the overall theme make sense in light of the genre you’re writing in?
  • Do the components of the story work together in order to get from point A to point B? Is there a logical flow. Now this doesn’t mean there can’t be surprises and suspense. But when you add these elements, is it still believable?
  • Are the details in order?
  • Do your characters stay in character? Are your characters so clearly defined that you could almost write your story without giving credit?
  • Is there enough suspense or conflict to attract your reader early on?
  • Is there a good balance of interesting (suspenseful, clever, humorous, action-packed) elements? Are these elements presented in a natural way or do they seem forced? An astute reader can tell the difference.
  • Do you know your subject or have you done the research necessary to give your story a quality of truth?

Many of you reading this could add tremendously to this list. Please do, either by sending your input to me here: PLFry620@yahoo.com or leave a comment at this blog site.

I’ve just finished the first draft of book 11 in my Klepto Cat Mystery series. Book 9, Mansion of Meows was published February 11, 2015. Book 10, PAWtners in Crime is with the formatter now and should be available for your Kindle within the month. Book 6, Celebrity Cat Caper will be available in print (as well as Kindle) today or tomorrow. Here’s the shortcut link to the Klepto Cat Mystery page at Amazon. http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2

 

Change Your Attitude and Sell More Books

March 29th, 2015

Something happened yesterday that made me think about the strong role human nature plays in our level of success as authors. While some authors do well, others fail to meet their own expectations. In fact, the majority of authors fail in this publishing climate and that has been the case for many years.

Why? Because most authors do not understand the concept of book promotion and are not interested in educating themselves. They are in denial and prefer to stay that way. But the core reason for their reluctance to conform may be more deeply ingrained than most of us realize. It may be an attitude some of us learn from childhood—stay close and private, don’t trust, and certainly avoid unnecessary interactions with others.

Yesterday, while I was walking, a driver acknowledged my wave of thanks for stopping at a crosswalk to let me pass. She smiled and nodded. I was rather shocked. Even though I step up my pace when I’m crossing while a motorist waits, and even though I generally wave in thanks, most drivers simply ignore my courtesy and my gesture and drive on.

Later during my walk, in an area where there are no sidewalks, I walked around the street-side of a parked car. When I saw a car coming toward me going east and heard another one coming from behind me heading west, I trotted quickly around that car to give the motorists room. The oncoming driver acknowledged my courtesy with a nod and a smile.

“That’s it!” I said to myself. That’s what’s missing with so many authors whose books are not selling. They are not engaging their readers through their marketing efforts and sometimes even through their writing. They are not considering the reader. They don’t know what their audience wants, where they are, and how to approach them. They aren’t communicating. They may be “speaking” but they aren’t being heard.

It’s like some of the authors I’ve observed in booths at book festivals. They sit quietly behind their stack of books in hopes that someone will come along and buy one. They don’t notice or, perhaps, they can’t relate to, the authors who are actually selling books by engaging passersby.

Folks, if you are an author or plan to become one and you want to sell books, consider your obligation to your reader. Forget about what you want. Think about what they want.

It’s sort of like dating. I’ve heard women say, “I just can’t find anyone I can connect with. All I want is a nice guy who treats his women right and who will take me to nice places…” Once that woman changes her tune and starts thinking about what she can bring to a relationship, she is more apt to make a love connection.

Today’s sermon…I mean post…should give you something to ponder. And while you’re at it, think about your behavior when you’re behind the wheel. Do you acknowledge the gentleman who eases back to let you enter a busy street? Do you give someone room to make a lane change where appropriate and safe? Do you give a walker a little extra space where possible? And when you’re walking, do you hasten your pace when crossing a street and thank the driver who stops for you? Do you walk as far away from the street as possible so as not to be in the way of traffic?

It’s all a matter of putting yourself in the other person’s place. Understanding his or her situation or perspective and respecting it. You can’t sell books if you don’t know your audience and care about them enough to accommodate them.

Patricia Fry has a series of books for authors. Be sure to order your print, Kindle, or audio copies of “Publish Your Book,” “Promote Your Book,” and “Talk Up Your Book” from amazon.com. Also available in print here: http://www.matilijapress.com

 

The Personality of Fiction-Writing

March 27th, 2015

Writing fiction is personal. Oh, we may take lessons, get involved in workshops, read books and articles on character development, plotting, and such. But we write using our own cache of skills, tools, and methods. And if those methods take us successfully from blank screen to finished product, we must be doing something right.

Many writers struggle, especially at first, with some aspect of the writing process. For most, it’s a matter of getting to work—butt in chair, fingers on keys. From there, it means finding your comfort zone. What approach makes sense to you? Do you produce your finest work when you just start writing or do you need to outline first? Can you flesh out your characters as you tell the story or are you more inclined to start with a circle like an artist might on canvas, filling in the details later?

Do you have the ability to visualize your characters and the scenes? This is a valuable asset and not every writer has it. Those who don’t must rely on pure logic. I believe that those who lack the ability to visualize are more apt to use index cards, mind-mapping or some other method of keeping track of their story, the characters, and the details of each scene. There are even aps for that now.

Probably the most successful stories come from writers who can feel the story—who become a part of it as they write—who know their characters and can make them identifiable just through their vocabulary and actions, for example. A successful story touches the reader in some way. Emotion is a connecting factor in fiction, whether that emotion is fear, anger, hate or joy and delight. A writer’s job is to make the readers care.

As you know, I’m a forty-year veteran in the writing field, but new to fiction. Like many of you, I’m easing my way through the process of fiction-writing and learning along the way. Currently, I’ve published 9 Klepto Cat Mysteries for Kindle—Mansion of Meows  is the 9th and was published last month. Book 10 just came back from the proofreader/editor and I’m doing my last edit. I’ve written 30,000 words of book 11 and we’re preparing book 6 for print. Over the last few years, my nonfiction writing business has become all about fiction and I’m having a ball.

 

 

 

What Inspires Stories in a Fiction Series?

March 19th, 2015

Ever wonder how writers of a fiction series come up with new ideas? Be sure to visit BookReaders Blog: Mum’s Writings, Mysteries, and More. I’m guest blogger today, March 19, 2015 and I reveal how I come up with story ideas. What’s really fun about this post is that I become quite specific about how I came up with the storylines for several of the books in my Klepto Cat Mystery series. It’s rather interesting how a whole book can emerge from a simple idea. Where do the ideas come from. You might be surprised.

Be sure to visit

http://bookread-mumswritings.blogspot.com

 

Comings and Goings in Patricia Fry’s World

March 19th, 2015

A few days ago I produced a list of possible titles for an upcoming cozy mystery I’m working on and asked for your opinion. Oddly, almost all of the titles were picked. Those who made suggestions, all liked a different title. There was no favorite! So I’m back to square one with which title to use.

What’s happening here in Patricia Fry’s writing room and the offices of Matilija Press? Good news, the blog tour caused nice spikes in sales for the Klepto Cat Mystery series—both in the Kindle and print versions. And I had fun meeting so many new readers at the blog stops. Two winners of free Kindle books are now happily reading Mansion of Meows.

We had a photo shoot here yesterday to produce new publicity photos for the series. Since the books feature a cat, I like to include one in my book cover and promotional photos and we have just one cat who is cooperative enough to do a photo shoot with. Lily was wonderful. We got some great shots. For those of you who don’t know cats, this is saying a lot–cooperation is not usually a word you would use to describe a cat.

Book 10 is with the proofreader and book 11 is being fleshed out as we speak. I have the story in my head. I have a meaty outline. I’m now starting to add the details of the story so that I can start the editing and research process. Gotta do the research to make sure the details of your story are realistic.

Every once in a while I take inventory. I ask, “Are we still having fun?” And every time I say a resounding, “YES.” Writing is still my passion and I am enjoying every moment of this new game I’ve entered called fiction-writing.

Just Wondering: Which One Would You Read?

March 16th, 2015

Every once in a while I come up with what I think is a great title. But otherwise, I pretty much struggle, fret, and lose sleep when trying to choose a title for one of my Klepto Cat Mysteries. So I thought I’d let you help.

Which titles below would make you look twice at a book, consider reading it, or immediately download it to your Kindle? Remember, these are potential titles for cozy mysteries with cats.

Meowy Mayhem

By Crook or By Cat

Pawtners in Crime

Two Cats’ Creepy Caper

The Almost Purrfect Crime

The AMewsing Adventure

Paws for Old Spirits

Ghastly Cat-astrophe

PLFry620@yahoo.com…or leave a comment here.