What are my secrets to success in fiction?
Study the Market.
Before entering into any new venture, it’s vital that you understand the market. What else is out there? What is selling? Who is your competition? What are they doing right? Wrong? Who are your customers/readers? Where are they and how will you approach them? Make sure your evaluation is complete, true, and honest and that your business plan is realistic. Avoid this step and you risk certain failure.
Prepare for Success.
Once you’ve chosen your topic or genre and you’ve identified your audience, sit down and write within the parameters of the genre and for that specific group of readers. If you want to attract readers of romance, write a romance novel. If you advertise your work as a mystery, you’d better be able to justify this in your writing. Most of all, write every word with your readers in mind. Continually ask yourself, “Will my readers be able to follow this scenario? Is this twist going to delight or confuse them? Will they be able to identify with my characters? Does this scene evoke emotion?” Let your readers guide your story and the way it is told.
Choose the Right Publishing Option.
Will you publish your novel in print or as an ebook? I decided to test the waters with an ebook. I’d heard good things about the Kindle Direct Program through Amazon. Even though this publishing program has an exclusivity clause, I went with it and I’ve stuck with it for all 17 of my Klepto Cat Mysteries because the books are selling so well. I highly recommend the KDP program for your novel. If you hate it, you can opt out after 90 days. In the meantime, if you price your ebook right (anything above $4.99 is too much), you’ll get 70% of sales. And I believe you’ll sell more books if you keep your price below the $3.99 mark. While I also produce these books in print form, the ebooks through the KDP program way outsell the print books. Note: I produce the print books through Amazon’s CreateSpace and I’m extremely pleased with the system and the services Amazon provides. They make it easy to be a successful author. I’m on the verge of using CreateSpace to produce audio books. Stay tuned.
Promote, Promote, Promote.
If you publish through Amazon, they will do a lot to promote your book to your readers. This is especially true if they see you working to promote your book. How do you promote fiction? Very much the same way you would promote nonfiction. My book, “Promote Your Book,” gives you over 250 ways to promote your own book. Order it here: http://www.matilijapress.com/PromoteYourBook.html or at Amazon.
In a nutshell, promotion means getting exposure for your book. You must somehow reach your audience and get your book title in front of them. How? Through email blasts like this one, a blog, your facebook pages, your informative and interesting website. If your books have a theme—gardening, baking, cats, small towns, millinery, military, fitness, etc., seek out appropriate events. Contact bloggers related to your theme and ask for reviews, offer to be guest blogger, etc. Handout bookmarks and business cards wherever you go. Arrange to speak at writers group meetings, book clubs, civic group meetings, church events, and so forth. Run contests. Enter contests with your book. Study books on book promotion—in particular “Propose Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author.”
What’s New in the Klepto Cat Mystery Factory?
Two more books for your Kindle. If you haven’t found and read book 16, order it for your Kindle today. Some say this is the best adventure story yet. In Cabin FURvor, a girls’ fun getaway weekend quickly becomes something that would rival any Fright Night flick. The women run into the infamous mountain monster, they’re visited by an escaped kidnap victim, and they’re privy to rumors of a deranged serial killer who may live secretly in their cabin. Just when Savannah, Aunt Margaret, and their two best friends think the worst is over, they make a grisly discovery that shakes up the mountain community. This thriller is also rich in hilarity and features plenty of cat action, as Rags and his tabby friend Dolly tag along on this fur-raising adventure.
Book 17 made its debut this week. In A MEOWvelous Witness, chaos seems to be the order of the day as Colbi and Damon plan their wedding. Colbi fears she has an incurable illness. In order to cheer her up, Savannah organizes a trail ride and Iris, Colbi’s future mother-in-law, joins in on the fun. Aunt Margaret’s surprise—to drive up and bring Rags and Dolly to the picnic—backfires when Margaret, the two cats, and their lunch go missing in the mountains.
In the meantime, an uninvited visitor shows up in town and starts threatening Damon and his mother. When the stranger is found dead, Iris confesses to the murder in order to save her son. But when Detective Craig Sledge goes out on a limb by inviting Rags and Dolly to a line-up, the two cats shock everyone when they paw the real killers. Available here: http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2
Three more Klepto Cat Mysteries in Print
If you’re one of the growing number of readers who prefer an actual book, you’ll be pleased to know that 15 of the books are now in print. The most recent are The Purrfect Lie, Meow for the Money, and Claws for a Cause. Order them here: http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2 or at http://www.matilijapress.com/Klepto-Cat-Mysteries/
Contact me: Do you want more about publishing and promotion in this min-newsletter?
Are you interested only in the Klepto Cat Mysteries?
Patricia Fry, author, book editor, consultant
Books by Patricia Fry
Author of the AWARD-WINNING Klepto Cat Mysteries
NEW: Book 17 "A MEOWvelous Witness."
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