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!

http://www.amazon.com/Propose-Your-Book-Persuasive-Nonfiction/dp/1621534677

http://www.allworth.com/book/?GCOI=58115104137700

 

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

 

There’s a Time to Hoard and a Time to Purge

August 3rd, 2015

I’m purging. It’s time to do an upgrade in my office—new paint, new flooring, new look. Ever try to move an office? It’s not an easy task. You probably accumulate more stuff in a home office than in any other room in the house. We stripped the kitchen and service porch a few years ago, repainted and added new cabinets. That was a huge job. But I’m afraid the office remodel will be even larger.

There’s a lot of stuff in here that no longer relates to the work I’m doing. And with technology, there are mountains of material I no longer need to hold onto. So, little by little, in preparation for the renovation, I’m purging. And I have to tell you, it feels good. Out with the old and in with what’s left and what’s still relevant to my current work.

Any tips for me and others who are considering such a project? Have you been there, done that? What did you learn from the process?

In the meantime, I’m now the proud author of my 12th Klepto Cat Mystery. The Purrfect Lie is now available for your Kindle.

Description: When the Iveys and the Sheridans find a deathbed confession letter, Savannah and her Aunt Margaret spring into action. Is Savannah’s imagination playing tricks on her or has she stumbled upon the unaware kidnap victim mentioned in the letter? In the meantime, there’s trouble at the Sheridans’ cat shelter and Rags, the kleptomaniac cat, leaps right into the middle of the tangled mess. Only the cat knows who’s putting his feline friends in danger. Meet some interesting new characters in this story and be prepared to laugh and to cry. The feel-good ending is worth the admission price of this book.

Order your copy now here:

http://www.amazon.com/Purrfect-Lie-Klepto-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B013AW5568/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1438600764&sr=1-13&keywords=klepto+cat+mysteries

Bonus Offer: Purchase a print copy of any one of the first 7 books and receive a set of note cards as a gift. (US residents only.) Order the book from http://www.matilijapress.com or email me a copy of your receipt from Amazon.com dated with today’s date or later. PLFry620@yahoo.com To order any of the Klepto Cat Books at Amazon, use this link: http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2

 

 

Is Writing a Chore or a Passion?

August 1st, 2015

Over the years, hopeful authors have come to me complaining, “I want to write, but I just can’t find the time.” They ask, “How do you find the time to write?” I tell them that it boils down to priorities. You have to want it badly enough to make it a priority. If the wannabe author persists with more questions—they want to know how—I sometimes give them an example from my own experiences.

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while, know this story—about how, at one point in my life I had to get a job and I became despondent because I missed writing so much. That’s when I realized I had to find a way to write no matter what else was going on in my life. However, if the author doesn’t have that sort of passion for writing, this story may fall on deaf ears (or blind eyes). Can you relate? Perhaps there’s something you’re passionate about—something that you pursue despite obligations to work and family. You’ve figured out a way to get your exercise at a gym after work; you’ve created a container garden where you have no dirt to work in; you go sailing every other weekend like it is a religion—because it feeds your soul. As I said, if you want it badly enough and if you value yourself enough, you will make it a priority.

For me, when I thought a traditional job would be my future, I began getting up at 4 every morning. I’d write for a few hours, take a power walk, then get ready for work. I wrote an entire book on this schedule. Then I built a freelance article-writing business on the same schedule so that I could eventually quite the job and write full-time.

Now I have another problem: all I want to do is write. I spend so much time writing that I’m neglecting this blog. I apologize to those of you who enjoy it and/or rely on it for information and encouragement. I’ll try to do better. Problem is, my Klepto Cat Mystery books are my priority now.

Here’s where I am with the Klepto Cat Mysteries. The 12th book in the series, The Purrfect Lie is scheduled for publication as a Kindle book over the weekend. I’ll make a formal announcement soon.

Seven of the books are also in print. We just came out with The Corral Cat Caper in print.

I’m working on book 13, a Christmas story. It is with beta-readers now. If you want to be a beta-reader—if you’d like to read the first draft of the book and give me feedback before it goes to the proofreader, let me know. PLFry620@yahoo.com

I’m selling note cards with the Klepto Cat Mystery book covers on them. They are so attractive. I’m excited to be offering them to those of you who love the series and would like to have these cards to frame or to send. I’ll announce here and on my facebook page when they are for sale at my website—I’m guessing it will be by the first of the week.

As for sales, they are still up. I’m selling over a thousand Kindle copies per month and there are reportedly thousands and thousands of pages being read through the lending arm of the Kindle Direct Program. There are readers who still prefer print books, but sales for print books are more sluggish. Keep that in mind if you plan to produce a novel anytime soon.

In order to publish that novel (children’s book, nonfiction book, etc.), you must write it. Are you passionate about writing that book? Have you carved out your time and space to do the actual writing? If not, maybe now is the time to reevaluate your schedule and readjust your priorities. If your project is important enough, you will find a way to proceed.

Good luck!

Websites

http://www.matilijapress.com

http://patriciafry.com

Catscapades blog

http://www.matilijapress.com/catscapades

Klepto Cat Mysteries—Amazon page

http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2

 

How Long Should a Book Series Continue?

July 13th, 2015

Book 13 of the Klepto Cat Mystery series is in the works. Book 12 is being formatted for your Kindle as we speak. The Purrfect Lie (12) should be available some time early next month.

At what point should a series end? Is there a typical or a logical stopping place for a series? It appears not. Some book series have continued for years and years. Sue Grafton’s alphabet mysteries, for example, is 21 strong and she plans 26 of them. Lilian Jackson Braun wrote 34 in The Cat Who series and the Perry Mason series is 82 stories strong.

It appears that as long as you have a story to tell and an audience eager to read it, your series does not have to die.

What are some of the challenges in writing a series?

  • The author might run out of ideas for fresh, new stories.
  • It becomes difficult to stay true to your characters.
  • You might need to establish new characters to move your stories forward.
  • The time element can get in the way when you produce books at a fast pace.

At what point should you veer into another direction or create another series? Presumably, when you burn out on the current series or when your audience appears to be bored with your characters and your storyline.

What are my plans for the future of the Klepto Cat Mysteries? This is a question most authors of a series are asked. I don’t have a cut-off number. Right now I’m focused on continuing to develop stories around Savannah, Michael and their klepto cat, Rags. I may continue on through a dozen more stories or I might decide at number fifteen to try something new. So far, I’m making the decision to continue by the seat of my pants. In other words, once I finish a book I sit down at the computer and, if another Klepto Cat story begins to form at my fingertips, I go for it.

If I were to sit staring at a blank computer screen for any length of time, I might consider conjuring up a whole new cast of characters. As it is, I’m gearing up to continue producing and supporting the Klepto Cat Mysteries. We just received new business cards featuring the series. I’ve had new bookmarks designed and we’re going into the stationary business. Yes, we’ll be offering note cards featuring some of the book covers.

If you like light reading and enjoy stories featuring interesting cats, consider adding the Klepto Cat Mysteries to your reading list. All 11 currently published stories are on Kindle. The first 7 are now in print. Order your copies at Amazon.com http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2

 

Mansion of Meows FREE July 7

July 6th, 2015

If you haven’t read any of the Klepto Cat Mysteries or you’ve read and enjoyed some of them, here’s an opportunity you might want to take advantage of. I’m doing a FREE promotion for the 9th in the series–Mansion of Meows. It runs for 24 hours on Tuesday, July 7. Order your Kindle copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Mansion-Meows-Klepto-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B00TJ9D7T4/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436183445&sr=1-5&keywords=klepto+cat+mysteries

Sell Books This Summer

June 24th, 2015

Are you taking advantage of the season? It’s summer, you know. And what do people do during the summer months? They travel, they take time off work and relax around the house, and they visit friends and family. Many of them use this down time to catch up on their reading.

Think about it, you see people reading in airports, on planes, at the beach, while riding in cars on the freeway. And we read in private, too—at home in our backyard while the kids play in their kiddy pool, in the den after dinner, and in bed before lights out.

I’m sure you’re thinking that at least a portion of those readers should be reading your book. And they will be if you’ve written a book in the genre they enjoy, if it is written well, and if they know about your book and can easily locate and purchase it.

Don’t think like a hopeful author who has no concept of business—who simply wants to write and be read with little effort. In order to sell books, you must take on a business stance and start thinking like the CEO of your book. In business, we consider our customers and our competition and make sure we provide a unique product or service that is needed/wanted by a large group of consumers. Then we spread the word, advertise, widely promote the product or service so the consumer is aware of it and becomes interested in making a purchase.

If you want to sell your book, you must promote it. If you want your book to sell widely and continuously, then you’ll need to keep on promoting it.

If you still don’t grasp the concept of book promotion, please do your summer reading with my book, “Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author.” It’s at Amazon in print, Kindle format, and audio. http://www.amazon.com/Promote-Your-Book-Techniques-Enterprising/dp/1581158572/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435146447&sr=8-1&keywords=promote+your+book%2C+over

Klepto Cat Update

We’re still cranking out the mysteries here in the Matilija Press offices this summer. My 11th Klepto Cat Mystery, PAWSitively Sinister debuted this month. And the reviews are stunning! Check all 11 mysteries out: http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2

As a reminder, the cats are ordinary cats—some of them doing extraordinary things. Only the people talk. These are cozy mysteries or light mysteries with a little humor and romance woven through. Try one this summer, you’ll probably get hooked.

 

How to Launch a Successful Book

June 18th, 2015

I teach and preach about the importance of marketing for authors. Here are a couple of examples from my own recent experiences. As you know, I’m currently promoting my Klepto Cat Mysteries. I’m also still working with other authors on their projects—editing and consulting.

When a new book in the Klepto Cat Mystery series comes out, I immediately go into high marketing mode. My book suddenly becomes a product and I am the CEO of the company that has produced the product. (This is the attitude authors should take whether they self-publish, become independent publishers or go with a traditional publisher.)

Here is one result of my promotional efforts for the latest Klepto Cat Mystery, “PAWSitively Sinister.” It’s an incredibly positive 5-star review. http://www.mikishope.com/2015/06/book-review-pawsitively-sinister-klepto.html

Fran Silverman is the founder of the Book Promotion Newsletter and she’s a talk radio advocate. She made a connection for me with Lana at Talk Zone and we did a radio interview yesterday. Listen here: http://www.talkzone.com/episodes/199/DBI061615.html

This morning, I had a note from a librarian in New Hampshire who has ordered all 6 of the print books and wonders when the other 5 Klepto Cat Mysteries (now on Kindle) will be available in print.

Next week, I’m being interviewed for a TV show. This invitation came about when a colleague mentioned my new venture in mystery-writing to a producer.

Folks, none of this would have happened if I wasn’t actively spreading the word about my books with every publication. It isn’t luck or happenstance. It takes thought and planning and action. Thought, planning, action.

For more precise and detailed guidance with your writing or publishing project, be sure to read “Publish Your Book” and “Promote Your Book.” Soon to join these books is “Propose Your Book, How to Craft Persuasive Proposals for Nonfiction, Fiction, and Children’s Books.” I’ll be making an official announcement soon.

 

Patricia Fry/Klepto Cat Mysteries–an Interview

June 17th, 2015

Rags and I have been interviewed over at the Socrates Book Review site. Be sure to check it out because we’re talking about the latest Klepto Cat Mystery, PAWSitively Sinister. http://socratesbookreviews.blogspot.com/2015/06/spotlightinterview-pawsitively-sinister.html

The new book has two Amazon reviews so far and both are 5-stars. If you like cats who get involved in intricate mysteries with an other-worldly flavor, you’re going to enjoy this story like crazy! See (and order) all of the Klepto Cat Mysteries here: http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2

If you are an author and you wonder how we’ve managed to get so much attention so quickly, stay tuned to this blog site as we often talk about book promotion. Read former posts under the “Book Promotion” tag. And order your copy of “Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author.” It’s at Amazon for Kindle, in print and audio. The print version is also at www.matilijapress.com/PromoteYourBook.html

 

Another NEW Klepto Cat Mystery!

June 10th, 2015

PAWSivitely Sinister is now available for download to your Kindle.

This is the 11th book in the Klepto Cat Mystery series and what a story it is: The Ivey family travel to San Francisco to help Arthur and his long-time friend, Suzette, clean out the mansion. News of the massive estate sale lures a variety of people, including former residents and long-ago visitors, each carrying stories of bizarre activities occurring there in the past.

When Rags and his pawtner Koko make some ghastly and ghostly discoveries, everyone goes into research mode and they’re stunned by what they uncover—evidence of people gone missing, a treasure-trove of loot, and spirits unable to rest. This is by far the most PAWSitively Sinister story in the series.

The cover is the most amazing, as well. It will soon be on notecards for you to purchase.

Order your Kindle copy of PAWSivitely Sinister ($2.99)  here: http://www.amazon.com/PAWSitively-Sinister-Klepto-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B00ZB5WHNC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433943188&sr=8-1&keywords=pawsitively+sinister

See all 11 of the Klepto Cat Mysteries here: http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2