Today it is my pleasure to introduce my guest, Patricia Fry, to you. Patricia is a writer, editorial consultant, and speaker. With over four decades of writing behind, Patricia has written many articles as well as 45 books. Her experience in publishing and editing makes her an ideal consultant for projects of many kinds. More about Patricia in her bio below.
Join me in welcoming Patricia Fry to the blog.
Before putting pen to paper, I always recommend that hopeful authors study the publishing industry before getting involved in this highly competitive business. Most new authors consider publishing an extension of their writing—something they can ease into once the writing is done. But while writing is a craft, publishing is a serious, complex business. Before ever entering into it, an author needs to know something about his or her publishing options, the possible ramifications of their choices and their responsibility as a published author. Nearly 78% of all authors fail—that is, they sell fewer than 100 books total. And the two main reasons are, they do not fully understand their publishing options and, either by choice or ignorance, they do not put enough effort into promoting their books.
By getting your stories published, you are creating a following – by landing an article writing assignment in appropriate magazines and newsletters you will get attention from your target audience. This is building the authors’ platform. The key is to become known in your field or genre so that when your potential readers happen across your book, they will be more apt to purchase it. If they read your published articles and stories and enjoy them—if they consider you credible in your field or a good storyteller in a particular genre—they will be more interested in reading a book you wrote. You can create a following (build your platform) in a number of ways—go out and speak on your topic/genre, run workshops, create and maintain an active blog site, and (my favorite) submit articles or stories to the publications and websites read/visited by your potential audience. Do my articles published in The Book Promotion Newsletter get my audience’s attention? Most certainly. But writing for just one publication probably isn’t enough. You want your name to appear alongside good stories (for a novelist) and credible articles (for a nonfiction author) in numbers of magazines, websites, newsletters, e-newsletters, blogs and so forth. Successful book promotion is a full-time job.
Many authors assume that all they have to do is write the book and people will find it. Some also believe that if the book is good, reporters, interviewers, radio personalities, etc., will come to them. The reality is, however, that, unless you put yourself out there in front of your potential audience numbers of times and unless you start contacting journalists and interviewers, you probably won’t receive any such invitations for interviews, reviews, etc. At least in the beginning of your author’s journey you will need to make the contacts. YOU must spread the word about your book. YOU must approach conference organizers and ask for a speaking platform. YOU will have to contact reporters and blog hosts to request publicity. It is up to the author YOU to get publicity for your book.
In the chapter heading, “Position Yourself As An Expert,” I note that because I’m the author of the most comprehensive local history book about my community I am known locally as an historian and am frequently asked to comment on an aspect of valley history. I have also been quoted numerous times about writing, publishing and book promotion, which have come about from my many published articles, active blog and book.
If your story is well-received by your particular audience, you are certainly gaining a name as a darn good writer in that genre. I’ve recently started writing fiction. I’m writing in the cozy mystery genre (or sub-genre). And my stories all involve cats. I know a lot about cats and have had a lot of experiences with them. But I’m not an expert on cats. However, I’m striving to become known within the realm of mysteries and cats. Along with the three Klepto Cat Mysteries I’ve published so far, I’ve written a book of cat stories and I have a blog featuring cats and fiction-writing. http://www.matilijapress.com/catscapades. This is in addition to my publishing blog: http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog I’m also on Facebook with fun things about cats and mysteries— http://www.facebook.com/KleptoCatMysteries
I’m coming up on my 2,000th post at my publishing blog http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog. I post every day most days. And I promote my blog through my handouts, bookmarks, brochures, in my new enewsletter (Publishing/Marketing News and Views), in the promo tag at the bottom of my articles and at Twitter and Facebook. And I talk about it when I go out and speak. While it is important to promote your blog, it is also critical to offer viable content. It isn’t enough to have a blog. In order to attract the audience you want, you must provide the information or entertainment that will draw them and, promote that blog so your readers know about it.
Note: I am a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due. I learned of Patricia Fry through Fran Silverman, who contacted me via email about Patricia appearing as a guest on my blog. Both Fran and Patricia waited patiently through my illness and subsequent surgery and recovery for me to firm up a date. I want to thank them for doing so.
And I want to share a bit about Fran here as well:
Talk Radio Advocate Francine Silverman is an onine publicist who gets her clients on the radio, a radio host, compiler of 16 ebooks of talk radio shows and editor of a bi-weeky newsletter for authors.