Thanksgiving for Authors

November 27th, 2014

This is not the only day when authors should be giving thanks. We ask for a lot and expect a lot when it comes to preparing a book for publication and marketing that book. There are people who help us all along the way. Don’t forget to thank them for their time and expertise.

Sure, you pay some of them for their skills. But a heart-felt “thank you” should also be extended to the individuals who participate in making your book better. Who should you thank?

  • People who help you during the research process.
  • Your editor and/or proofreader who helps make you look good.
  • Early (or beta) readers, who catch things before you publish.
  • Folks who give testimonials for your back cover and promo material.
  • Your formatter—page-layout person.
  • The professional who helps you promote your book.
  • The experts and professionals whose books, articles, and presentations have helped you along the publishing path.
  • Your cover designer.
  • Reviewers, bloggers, webmasters and others who mention or review your book.
  • Newsletter and magazine editors who post announcements about your book.
  • And, of course, the customer—your readers.

This Thanksgiving, if you haven’t generously thanked all of those who have been helpful in your publishing/marketing process, this is a good time to do so. I know I sure have a lot of people to thank, including thousands of readers and you. I am blessed.

A Book Review is NOT a Book Report

November 24th, 2014

As authors, the more we put ourselves and our books out there, the more we subject ourselves to criticism. In fact, we even ask for it. A major method of promoting our books is to solicit book reviews. If your book is at Amazon.com and it is doing well, Amazon helps you out by asking your readers to comment about your book. If you buy books (and other items) through Amazon, you’ve probably received emails from them saying, “How many stars would you give such-and-such a book (or item)?”

And this is a good thing, right? Sure! Except for the fact that you don’t know what sort of response you’ll get from the reader or the reviewers you contact. One possibility is the “book report.”

Some readers don’t know the difference between a review (a critique—a personal opinion) and a book report (a summary of the book). You don’t need reviewers to summarize your story; you’ve done that in your book description at Amazon. What you’re seeking is the reviewer’s impressions—their evaluation of the book.

I had a reviewer (probably a reader) give one of my Klepto Cat Mysteries a 5-star rating recently and, in her accompanying comments, she revealed one of the main mysteries in the book. In the story, I carefully and purposefully keep readers in the dark about one of the mysteries until the 80% mark. But one reviewer felt it was her duty to expose this mystery thread to my reading public. What’s up with that?

Rather than a critique or impression of this book, she wrote a summary, including a fact that was carefully hidden until the last ten pages of the book.

Have any of you had a similar experience? Maddening, isn’t it?

 

The Guest Blog

November 22nd, 2014

What fun it is to be an author. This morning, I woke up to a treat! I’m guest blogger at Jenai’s Bookingly Yours Blog, talking about how I came to write my Klept Cat Mysteries. Check it out here: http://www.bookinglyyours.blogspot.com

This is actually one of many blogs where I’ve posted or where my books have been featured or reviewed. I’ve participated in many other blog sites over my career. If you’d like this sort of publicity for your book, just do as I do–seek out appropriate blogsites related to your book topic/genre, study the format–what opportunities do they offer authors–and contact the blogger with an idea that will benefit you both.

Researching appropriate blogsites can be time-consuming, but often worthwhile. You may find some helpful directories of blogsites (also try book reviewers), but mainly you’ll be using search tools to locate blogs appropriate to your topic/genre–aviation, dogs, rodeo, cozy mysteries, grandparenting, parenting multiples, crafting, suspense, etc.

Remember, you can’t sell a book no one knows about. Being featured at appropriate blogsites can help to spread the word.

Good luck!

 

Book Promotion 101

November 21st, 2014

This is the last in my publishing series. See others in this series posted at this blog site November 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 14 and 17.

Today, we’re discussing book promotion. But what you read here in this small space is only a snapshot of the reality of the topic. There are entire books written on the subject, including mine, Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author. Order your print copy here: http://www.matilijapress.com/PromoteYourBook.html or purchase a print, audio, or Kindle copy at www.amazon.com.

So you’ve been reading each post in this series and you have a much better understanding of publishing and your responsibilities throughout the process. Perhaps you’ve chosen a publishing method and have started production with your book. (Hopefully, you took time out to have your manuscript edited first.) Now it’s time to start promoting the book. You must spread the word; let your particular audience know it exists. Here are the steps to promoting a book:

  • Know who your audience is.
  • Know how to approach this particular audience and be willing to do so.
  • Understand the concept of enticement—sharing the highlights and benefits of your book in order to pique consumer interest.
  • Be consistent and persistent in promoting your book.

What is the best way to promote a book? It depends on the author and the book. It also depends on the audience. It is vital to know your audience, their habits, their interests, where they hang out, how/where they purchase their books. You need to offer them something they want—that, perhaps, they can’t get anywhere else. Then you must find a way to reach them and tell them about your book in such a way that they take a second look. For genre fiction, you want to offer your readers a story similar enough to those they’re familiar with so you satisfy the aspects they crave.

Your promotion material should be in alignment with the theme of your book—crisp, clean, and to the point or light, fun, and enticing, for example. When promoting a book, it’s important to share benefits rather than features. Sure, some features are important, too. A cook will appreciate a cookbook that lays flat, a hiker will be more interested in a book of hiking trails that fits in his pocket. So mention those features, as they can also be considered benefits. What other benefits do you provide for the author? Will the reader learn something new, be entertained, laugh out loud or even become thinner, richer, prettier, sexier, etc after reading your book? What’s in it for the reader?

I’ve met authors with amazing promotional material and creative handouts, which they distribute helter skelter. As I said above, it’s imperative that you write your book for a specific audience and then approach this audience with your promotional message. Too many authors simply email a few friends and family members to tell them about their book, then rely on their publishing company or service to spread the word. The author might create a website or blog site around the theme of their book, but neglect to promote it.

So what are some of the best ways to locate and approach your particular audience?

  • Connect with organizations and clubs related to the topic or theme of your book. Speak at their meetings and conferences, run ads and/or articles in their newsletters, get involved in their discussion groups, ask to have your book featured at the organization site, use the member list to contact members individually and so forth.
  • Likewise, submit stories/articles to magazines and newsletters published for your audience.
  • Visit appropriate blog sites. Ask to be guest blogger, leave comments, ask to have your book reviewed, etc.
  • Contact book reviewers and ask for book reviews.
  • If your audience is among the general public—readers of historical fiction, caretakers of an elderly relative, parents of toddlers, pet owners, etc., go out and speak at civic club meetings, have a booth at local community events and, certainly, have your book for sale in local bookstores.

Book promotion today means reaching out. People buy books from authors they know and trust. So it is important that you mingle among potential customers.

I’m participating in a small neighborhood holiday boutique next month. I’ll have my Klepto Cat Mystery books (cozy mysteries) for sale. Although I talk about my books everywhere I go, I’m sure there are neighbors who don’t know about this series or who know about them, but haven’t had the opportunity to come face-to-face with the author (me) in a shopping environment. This is a good opportunity to sell books and to get additional exposure.

Now, go out and get that book of your dreams published. Remember the following:

  • Choose a topic, theme, or genre that is salable. (Do you actually have an audience?)
  • Study other books on this topic to make sure yours has something new and important to offer. Study other books in your genre to make sure you’re on track with your story.
  • Hire a good book editor. (Contact me for a free estimate and sample edit.) PLFry620@yahoo.com  http://www.patriciafry.com
  • Research your publishing options and choose carefully.
  • Read a good book and follow blogs related to book marketing.
  • Create your marketing plan early and expect to promote this book for as long as you want it to sell.

How Much Should You Pay For a Promotions Package?

November 17th, 2014

Most authors today sign with a pay-to-publish (or self-publishing) company. These companies have various options for authors, including the publication of a book in paperback and extra services for a fee, such as, editing, and various promotions packages. Some of those extras coming from these companies can be expensive and worth little or nothing.

I’ve talked to authors who said the editing services they paid for through their self-publishing company was nothing more than a mechanical spellcheck. Likewise, the promotions packages might consist of a generic press release sent to a generic list. Without a personal touch and without efforts to target the specific audience for a particular book, your marketing efforts can easily go astray. Turn this vital task over to a company whose primary purpose is to produce books, not market them, and you’re in for a huge disappointment.

So how much should you pay for a promotions package from your pay-to-publish company? Nothing. Marketing is not their business. If you want to pay for these services, hire a publicist, sign up with a book marketing company, hire someone you know who is a Cracker Jack promotions person, or manage this aspect of your business yourself (preferred).

I’ve spent a good portion of my career teaching and writing about how to promote a book without spending a lot of money. You might be interested in my most recent book on the topic, “Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author.” I maintain that the best marketing agent for your book is you and that you don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to promote a book.

Here are the basics:

  • Know who your audience is and where they are.
  • Write the book for your intended audience.
  • Discover the best way to approach this particular audience.
  • Put your book in front of them often.
  • Make it easy for them to purchase your book.

In looking over this list, I can see that each of them could be developed into stand-alone articles. Those of you who have been following this blog series and who have been studying the publishing industry know what these points mean. Authors new to publishing may not. Let me know if you’d like me to flesh each of these topics out in future blog posts.

So what is the message I want you to walk away with today? If you want to become a published author, I urge you to take full responsibility for your book, including the marketing aspect. If you are clueless, read my book, “Promote Your Book,” available in print here: http://www.matilijapress.com/PromoteYourBook.html. Also at Amazon in print, audio and for your Kindle. It’s $19.95.

I’m a Published Author; Now What?

November 14th, 2014

This is number five in my Publishing Blog Series. See the other four posted November 5, 6, 8, and 10, 2014.

So your dream is to become a published author. It could be because you have something to say or to share. Some of you want to produce a book as an added dimension to your business or profession. Others are infatuated with a particular genre. Whatever your reason for writing a book, if you’ve been following this blog series, and reading my book, “Publish Your Book,” you are learning that publishing is serious business and should be approached as such.

So what happens when you finally break through the barriers and become a published author? The truth is, it’s easier to publish a book today than ever before in the history of publishing. You can turn your book over to one of around one-hundred companies and pay them anywhere from $300 to thousands and thousands of dollars to produce your book and woo-la, you are a published author. But then what?

Then, it is time for you to shift into high gear. If you want to experience some level of success, you’ll be required to promote your book and promotion is, without a doubt, the hardest part of the publishing process. Ask any published author. You see, the thing is, no one will buy your book if they don’t know it exists. It is up to the author to locate the particular audience for his or her book, whether it is readers of crime novels, historical fiction, true dog stories, gardening books, travel books, or ?????.

Once you locate them, you need to know how to approach them and entice them to buy your book.

I’m often asked, “What is the best way to promote a book?” My response is always, “It depends on the author and it depends on the book.”

The key is to use what you have—the reputation, tools, and skills to promote your book. It may take some experimentation to discover what type of promotion resonates with your particular audience.

As you will notice, once you begin studying book marketing techniques, there are hundreds of ways to promote a book. What works for one author and one type of book, might not work for another. And it is important that the author choose methods of promotion that he or she will pursue. If you hate, hate, hate public speaking and refuse to take steps to remedy this aversion, then you should not make this your marketing activity of choice. If you prefer online marketing and you can discipline yourself to spend enough hours learning how to successfully promote online, then this is where you should focus.

Read books on book promotion and marketing. Visit some of the many websites related to book promotion. Subscribe to newsletters. Join organizations that offer information and opportunities related to book marketing. Here’s a good starting place: Read my book, “Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques For the Enterprising Author.” It’s available here: http://www.matilijapress.com/PromoteYourBook.html.

It’s also at amazon.com in print, audio, and Kindle.

Publishing/Marketing News and Views–Nov 2014

November 12th, 2014

Publishing/Marketing News and Views

Bringing you the information and resources you need to succeed.

November 2014, Volume 2, Issue 8

Editor: Patricia Fry

Why This Newsletter?

This newsletter has been a long time coming. With over forty years embedded in the world of writing, publishing, and book promotion and a good twenty years working with other authors, I’ve finally accepted the requests of many to launch a newsletter. As you can see, this is the eighth issue. See all issues here: http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog/?page_id=3081

What are my qualifications? I’ve listed them below. My first priority is to bring you the information and resources you need/want in order to become a more successful author. I realize that you are all at different stages and levels of writing, publishing, and marketing one or more books. Some of you are only interested in reading what others write. My goal is to address your concerns, interests, and questions related to writing and publishing books and to present you with a few surprises along the way.

Included in this issue:

  • What is a Book Review and Why Should I Care?
  • 7 Surefire ways to Get Your Book Reviewed
  • Book Review Resources for Authors
  • Your Book Review; For Better or Worse
  • Recommended Reading—Fiction (The Celebrity Cat Caper)
  • Resources of the Month—Recommended Books for Authors
  • Patricia Fry’s Bio Roundup

(If you do not wish to receive information from Patricia Fry and Matilija Press, please use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page.)

What is a Book Review and Why Should I Care?

If you’re an author, you’ve heard the term Book Review. A book review is a written evaluation or opinion of your book. Some of you consider a book review to be an honor bestowed only on the famous and fortunate or a privilege you must pay dearly for. Wrong!

There are thousands of free book review opportunities for authors at all levels and books of every type. In fact, if you’re in the process of writing a book, this is a great time to start planning for book reviews.

First, you must know who your audience is and where they are. Determine the best places for reviews of your book to appear online as well as in print media. When the time comes, choose credible reviewers whose reviews reach your potential readers.

Who Reviews Books?

Let’s identify the book reviewer.

  • Random readers may choose to post a review of your book at Amazon.com and, perhaps, their websites, GoodReads, Barnes & Noble and other places.
  • You may solicit book reviews from peers, experts in the field or theme of your book, professionals, and others.
  • There are also hundreds and hundreds of people who review books for the fun of it. Most of them review books they like to read—this might include thrillers, mysteries, and crime stories or young adult books or romance, for example. Many of these reviewers have review websites. They post reviews at their own sites and various other sites.
  • There are people with websites dedicated to horses, cats, a particular breed of dog, writing, sailing, parenting multiples (twins, triplets, etc.), antique-collecting, quilting…you name it. These site owners often review or feature books related to the theme of their site.
  • Many newspapers still run book review columns. See links to newspaper directories below.
  • Some magazines publish book reviews. Typically, the book must fit in with the theme or genre of the magazine.
  • Don’t discount the newsletter. There are newsletters on every topic imaginable. Locate those related to the theme/genre of your book and contact their editors about reviewing your book.

In most cases, you will seek out the reviewer, rather than the other way around. So it is important that you understand what a review is, who reviews books, where to find appropriate reviewers, and how to approach them.

7 Surefire Ways to Get Your Book Reviewed

1: Write a book that reviewers want to review. Now this sounds like a big fat no-brainer, doesn’t it? But think about it. What more could you do to make your book in progress more appealing to reviewers—more appropriate for a larger number of reviewers?

I advise authors to build promotion into their books—in other words, add wider dimensions to attract a larger audience. This practice will also attract a greater array of reviewers.

2: Seek out magazine book reviewers. Not every magazine runs book reviews, but many of them, do. Editors of some literary magazines review books. Some genre-fiction magazine editors publish book reviews—this might include science fiction, romance, horror, young adult, and children’s.

Likewise there are hundreds of consumer and association/trade magazines that run book reviews on appropriate books. My book on presenting a Hawaiian luau on the mainland was reviewed in dozens and dozens of cooking and foods magazines. My writing/publishing-related books have been reviewed in numerous writing and publishing magazines and newsletters. There are magazines in every category imaginable—business, child-rearing, pets and animals, public speaking, fitness and health, education, sports, hobby and craft, and on and on and on.

Again, the more aspects you have skillfully worked into your novel or nonfiction book, the more potential you have for getting your book reviewed.

Here’s an example: Write a book about a run-of-the-mill factory worker and his life after divorce and your book will likely appeal to a relatively narrow audience of reviewers. Add the fact that he (or another character) is dealing with an affliction such as deafness or ALS, for example, and they have a therapy dog that saved someone’s life, and you’ve expanded your options. Now you may get reviews in fiction and relationship magazines as well as those related to handicaps, ALS/deafness, therapy dogs, and animal heroes.

3: Make the most of what you have. Okay, your book is a done deal. How can you maximize your book review options? Get personal with your book. Dissect it and jot down what you find. For example, what city is the story set in? Pursue reviews in regional magazines in that area. Do you have a section in your budgeting book for teaching children money-awareness? Parenting magazines might be a good secondary review option for this book. Is your book clean and honorable? Consider reviews in religious magazines. Maybe your novel has a séance scene. This may provide an opportunity for a review in a metaphysical or New Age publication.

4: Locate appropriate publications and websites. You probably have magazines in your genre or topic on your own book shelves. Start there. Scan magazines at your local library and bookstores. Study Writer’s Market and other magazine directories to find additional magazines related to your book’s theme. Do a Google search to locate even more magazines and newsletters

5: Contact appropriate online reviewers. There are hundreds and hundreds of book review sites. Use the directories listed below under “Resources” to locate appropriate reviewers for books in your genre. Visit their websites, read their submission guidelines and comply. Most want to receive a description of your book. Give them what they want—no more and no less. Some reviewers are desperately overwhelmed with review requests and may ask you to hold off submitting your request for several months. Some reviewers accept only traditionally published books. Remember, when it comes to book reviewers, there are no standards, so it’s important to study each reviewer’s guidelines. (Submission guidelines are generally posted at the reviewer’s website.)

6: Locate specialty sites. Some site owners review only books related to the theme of their site—cozy mysteries, romance novels, chic lit, young adult, or nonfiction books for authors, horse enthusiasts, gardeners, etc. If your book fits into a specific genre or covers a certain topic, research related websites. Contact those site owners who review or feature books. This activity may be the most effective one that you pursue. The greater the site popularity, the more exposure your book will receive among your potential readers.

7: Keep accurate records. Log every review request and book that goes out and note any response. In this publishing climate, it is appropriate in many cases to send a PDF of your book or you can gift the reviewer with an ebook. Some reviewers, however, still accept only print books.

Unless your book is seriously obscure, you should be able to land book reviews in dozens of publications and websites. And the book doesn’t have to be hot off the presses. Maybe you neglected to solicit book reviews when your book was fresh. Don’t let that stop you from trying to get it reviewed now. Go ahead and contact appropriate book reviewers on and off line. If it is a worthwhile book, most of them will say, yes.

Book Review Resources for Author

5 Great Book Review Directories

http://www.bookrevieweryellowpages.com/reviewer-list.html

http://www.theindieview.com/indie-reviewers

http://karinafabian.com/index.php?name=Content&pid=28

http://robinmizell.wordpress.com/book-reviewers

http://www.ebookcrossroads.com/book-reviewers.html

http://www.acqweb.org/bookrev.html

Newspaper Directories

http://www.newspapers.com

http://www.onlinenewspapers.com

http://www.thepaperboy.com

http://www.50states.com/news

Newsletter Directories

http://www.newsletteraccess.com

http://www.newsletterdirectory.co/directory

http://www.ezine-dir.com

Your Book Reviews; for Better or Worse

If you have a published book, you may already know something about book reviews. You’ve received a few or many—depending on how aggressively you’ve researched and approached reviewers. If so, you know that not every reviewer thinks alike. If not, this is your wake-up call. Here are some of the review variations you might encounter:

  • The reviewer only describes your book or the plot and doesn’t give his or her opinion of the book. (It’s not the end of the world. It’s still publicity and your book is still getting exposure.)
  • The reviewer has a strict evaluation system and sticks firmly to it. (This may or may not benefit your particular book.)
  • The reviewer—generally a casual reader—gushes about the story and the characters and encourages sequels. (You gotta love this reviewer!)
  • The reviewer hates the story and says so. (It happens. Remember, it’s only an opinion.)
  • The reviewer nitpicks one aspect of the story—too many uses of “gosh,” too much (or not enough) romance, too much (or not enough) suspense, one character is unlikable (unbelievable, shallow, etc.). (Again, it’s only an opinion.)
  • The reviewer obviously doesn’t like this genre or an aspect of the type of story (animals, teens, Westerns, comedies, historical settings, etc.) (Avoid reviewers who don’t typically appreciate books like yours.)
  • The reviewer was negatively influenced by his/her own issues. He tried to read the book when he was tired, in a bad mood, distracted, upset…Had he picked it up at another time, he may have thoroughly enjoyed it. (Just hope he picks the book up again when he’s in a better mood.)
  •  The reviewer has a very different sense of humor and could not relate to your attempt at comedy or light-reading.

Seasoned authors can add to this list. The thing we need to remember is that a review is simply someone else’s opinion.

Recommended Reading—Fiction

Of course I will mention my latest novel here. You might consider it “tooting my own horn,” “singing my own praises” or “blatant promotion,” but, honey, that’s what it takes to get your book noticed. Listen and learn.

I’ve just introduced the 6th cozy mystery in my Klepto Cat Mystery series. Celebrity Cat Caper is formatted for your Kindle. Don’t have a Kindle? You can download the software to most any device from practically any page at http://www.amazon.com

In this story, Rags, the kleptomaniac cat, opens up a whole new bag of tricks, when he becomes a therapy cat in a children’s reading program. A documentary film crew arrives to capture the cat in action and they get more than they bargained for. Find out how Rags handles his sudden celebrity status.
Savannah and Michael Ivey invite strangers into their home during a torrential rainstorm and learn that one of them has a sinister past. Someone is murdered, Savannah is stalked, Michael’s life is threatened, and Rags helps to uncover an old mystery that, until now, has everyone baffled.
The Iveys’ baby Lily is three-and-a-half-months old and, along with nine-year-old Adam, provides some sweet and warm moments throughout this fast-moving story with many twists and turns. Order your Kindle copy of Celebrity Cat Caper here: http://www.amazon.com/Celebrity-Caper-Klepto-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B00NSBHB2S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414075806&sr=8-1&keywords=celebrity+cat+caper

There’s more news in the Klepto Cat Mystery factory. For those of you who have not adapted to the electronic way of reading books, we now have four of the series in print form. You can order Catnapped, Cat-Eye Witness, Sleight of Paw, and Undercover Cat in paperback. http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2

Recommended Books for Authors

Here’s a list of books that every author should read sooner rather than later:

Publish Your Book, Proven Strategies and Resources for the Enterprising Author

Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author

Talk Up Your Book, How to Sell Your Book Through Public Speaking, Interviews, Signing, Festivals, Conferences and More

By Patricia Fry.

Available at amazon.com in print, Kindle and audio.

You’ll also find these books at most other online and downtown bookstores.

Order your print copies here: http://www.matilijapress.com

New Blog Series

Today—November 4, 2014, I’ve started a new blog series you might want to follow. The first post is “Increase Your Chances of Landing Major Publisher.” This is to be followed by:

“Self-Publishing is NOT the Only Other Option”

“Keys to Choosing the Right Publishing Option”

“Submission Guidelines; How Important Are They?”

“What is the Author’s Most Important Selling Point?”

“I’m a Published Author; Now What?”

“How Much Should I Pay for a Promotions Package?”

“Book Promotion 101”

Patricia Fry’s Bio Roundup

I’ve been writing for publication for 40 years and I’m the author of 46 published books—most of them on publishing and book promotion. I maintain a publishing blog. The blog boasts over 2,000 posts to date http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog

My articles have appeared in over 300 publications, including Writers Digest, Publishing Basics, Book Marketing Matters, Writer’s Journal, Cat Fancy, Your Health, Horse of Course, Western Horse, The Artist’s Magazine, Woman’s World, The World and I and many others.

I work with authors on their projects from an editorial standpoint,

While I’ve been writing nonfiction for all of my 40 years, I recently dipped my toe into the world of fiction and have launched the Klepto Cat Mystery series. There are currently 6 in the series published for your Kindle. Four of them are in print. http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2

Mission Statement: The primary purpose of this enewsletter is to bring information, resources and encouragement to fellow authors both beginners and experienced. It’s an education for authors who want to become more successful in a highly competitive publishing industry.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the Author’s Most Important Selling Point?

November 10th, 2014

This is the fourth in the Publishing Series. Be sure to read the former 3 posts, as well.

We start out on the publishing path with dreams and expectations. Some of us crave the prestige that comes with authorship. We might long to tell our story, to be noticed, to achieve credibility in our field all through the publication of a book. And landing a major publisher is often part of the plan.

We even believe we know what the publisher wants. A good book, of course—well written, professionally edited… But there’s more. There are aspects of the author that publishers are interested in and few authors have what it takes.

Remember that, when a traditional publisher accepts a book for publication, he is investing money in the project. And in today’s publishing climate, a publishing project is more than just a book, it is a whole package. The publisher wants to know that the book is a viable product, but he’s also interested in what the author can bring to the table. Here are some of the things that will impress a publisher:

  • You (the author) have a marketing background.
  • You have a following—numbers of people who look to you as an expert in the field of your book or as the writer in the genre of your book.
  • You know who your audience is, where to find them and how to approach them.
  • You have already started promoting your book—spreading word that it is coming—talking about it everywhere you go.
  • You have a massive email list.
  • You send a newsletter to hundreds or thousands of people regularly.
  • You are comfortable with public speaking and willing to present programs around the theme or genre of your book.
  • You have collected hundreds of leads related to promoting your particular book—appropriate reviewers, sites, newsletters, magazines, organizations, etc.
  • You have a strong background in book promotion or in the field/genre of your book.

Yes, a publisher wants to know that you understand the concept and the process of book promotion and that you have what it takes to promote this book.

What if you aren’t seeking publication by a major publisher? You still need to take this post to heart. Whether you go with a smaller traditional publisher, hire a pay-to-publish (self-publishing) company, or produce the book yourself, you still need these attributes, skills, and tools. The only authors who can ignore this message are those who do not want to experience some measure of success.

Remember, it all starts with you. If you want a successful project, you must write a book that is needed/wanted by a segment of the population. Then, groom yourself to be the best agent to represent this book.

In order to better understand the publishing industry and how to successfully navigate within it, be sure to read my book, “Publish Your Book, Proven Strategies and Resources for the Enterprising Author.” For a great education on book promotion, read my book, “Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author.” Both are at http://www.matilijapress.com in print ($19.95 each). Or purchase them in print, audio, or for your Kindle at amazon.com

 

Submission Guidelines: How Important Are They?

November 8th, 2014

Just like dogs, horses, artists, fingerprints, personalities, no two publishers are alike. They produce different material, have different requirements, and their submission guidelines are different.

Why consider submission guidelines? Why not just present your material to the publisher of your choice?

Even though there are hundreds more publishers, there are also thousands more hopeful authors seeking publication. In order to save time and streamline their operations, most publishers have created guidelines requesting specific items from authors presented in a certain way. If you want to land a publisher in this highly competitive publishing climate, you are wise to seek out each publisher’s submission guidelines and follow them.

Locate Submission Guidelines

Excerpted from Patricia Fry’s book, Publish Your Book. http://www.matilijapress.com/PublishYourBook.html

Once you have found several appropriate publishers, visit their websites for more specific information. Print out a copy of their submission guidelines (or “editorial guidelines” or “writers/authors guidelines”).

Sometimes the guidelines are difficult to find. If you don’t see a link button to the submission guidelines, click on “About Us” or “Contact Us.” If you don’t see the guidelines on either of these pages, look for a new link on that page. Sometimes there will be more link options available to the left or across the top of that page.

No luck? Go back to the home page and search links within links. Put your cursor on the available link buttons and see if a menu appears. Read the selections on the menus.  Also check the links that sometimes appear at the bottom of the home page.

If you cannot locate the guidelines at all, email the editor and ask for a copy. Or send a letter of request for submission guidelines in the mail along with a self-addressed-stamped envelope (SASE). That is, an envelope with your name and full address as well as enough postage for the return trip.

Before you can attract a publisher’s attention, you should know what he or she requires. You have a better chance of being noticed when you send the publisher exactly what he wants in the manner he wishes to receive it. In today’s highly competitive publishing industry, it is not easy to stand out from the crowd. One way to do it is to follow policy. Each publisher sets his or her own policy and standards. While some are certainly lax, others want authors to jump through hoops. If it is important to you and your project that you land a publishing contract, you must conform to each publisher’s requirements.

 

 

Keys to Choosing the Right Publishing Option

November 6th, 2014

The first step to choosing the right publishing option for your particular project is to know what your options are. Here’s a link to an article I wrote that clearly and completely outlines publishing options and how to proceed through each. http://www.matilijapress.com/articles/pod-publishing-alternatives.htm

I suggest you study this article and let me know if you have any questions.

I also want you to take a close and objective look at your project to determine the best route to take. Ask yourself:

  • Is this book actually best-seller material?
  • Who is my market and where will I find them?
  • What is the best way to reach my readers?
  • What are my best marketing tactics?
  • How much help will I need to promote this book?
  • What kind of assistance will I require to get word out about this book?
  • Has my book been professionally edited?
  • Do I have a reasonable publishing and marketing budget?
  • Am I the best person to produce this book or should I turn it over to a publishing house?
  • Do I understand enough about the publishing industry to make the right choice?

If you are unsure about the answer to some of these questions, I recommend you continue studying the industry you are about to enter. It is more complex than you might realize. Read “Publish Your Book” for a greater understanding. Available at Amazon.com in print, audio, and for your Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/Publish-Your-Book-Strategies-Enterprising/dp/158115884X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415271146&sr=1-2&keywords=publish+your+book+patricia+fry