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.
Here’s more about Patricia Fry ~
Patricia Fry is a full-time freelance writer and the author of 41 books, including 11 related to writing/publishing/book promotion. Her latest book for authors is Promote Your Book—Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author. She is executive director of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers’ Network), and speaks on such topics as successful book promotion and how to promote your books though article writing. She has more than 40 years’ experience marketing her own self-published and traditionally published books, consults with clients on issues of book promotion, edits manuscripts for authors, teaches an on-line course on book promotion, and writes a monthly newsletter that focuses on book promotion. http://www.matilijpress.com/publishingblog
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.
Thanks Sherrey for sharing this important message with your visitors. Things are changing so fast in publishing that resources, concepts, and statistics require frequent adjustment. For example, I read last week, that the percentage of authors who fail is currently estimated to be closer to 98%. Shocking, isn’t it? And mainly because we enter into the publishing field unprepared and uninformed. I’d also like to update my profile for blog visitors. I have 48 published books–8 of them are part of my new Klepto Cat Mystery series. All 8 are available for your Kindle. The first 5 are also in print. http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2 or http://www.matilijapress.com/Klepto-Cat-Mysteries
At http://www.matilijapress.com, you’ll also find a lot of information, books, and other resources for authors. Check out my series of “50 Ways” ebooks for $1.99 each. There are “50 Ways to Promote an Ebook,” “50 Ways to Promote a Novel” and more.
Again, thank you, Sherrey for providing an education for writers and authors.
Patricia, thank you for sharing your expertise and knowledge with my readers and me via my blog today. Like you, we are all experiencing the speed with which things change in the writing/publishing/marketing world. In your comment, you note how quickly with a stunning example.
Also, I appreciate your adding to the bio I provided. As I’ve mentioned, I must get to reading the Klepto Cat Mysteries. Love cats and mysteries!
Perhaps we’ll be in touch at a later date through Matilija regarding a potential working relationship. 🙂
Thank you , Pat for this comprehensive and practical review of how to find our audience. I think the sentence that stands out the most for me is “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.” Our ability to connect with readers will depend on our willingness to be proactive in getting our message out there. And thank you Sherrey for introducing us to Pat and Francine.
Kathy, as always, thank you for stopping by and reading Patricia’s post. I know in my heart that we have to put ourselves out there, but getting me outside of my box is the hard part. You have done so well with finding your audience and getting your book into print. You are my guidepost!
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