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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Focus On...Patricia Fry

Today's guest is  dedicated writer, publishing guru, and Executive Director of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) Patricia Fry. Welcome, Patricia!
I’ve been hanging out in the world of writing and publishing since 1973 when I submitted my first magazine article. That article was accepted as was the first book I wrote, “Hints for the Backyard Rider.” 
I wrote for publication for many years before ever meeting another career writer or author. Now just about everyone I know writes to be published. I separate authors into two categories: those who, like me, can’t not write (I call us Writing Fools) and those who simply have one concept, story or theme they want to share. I consider them One Book Blasters. Those who write for the love of writing may produce books in many genres and categories, which was my mode of operation for many years. Of course, I wrote on subjects that were close to my heart—horse care, long-distance grandparenting, youth mentoring, cats, how to present a Hawaiian luau, the history of my home town and journal-keeping for teens, for example. I also penned a situational memoir during the late 1980s. And I established my own publishing company in 1983, before it was fashionable or even convenient to do so.
I’ve observed many changes over the years. I wrote my first book on a manual typewriter. Those of you who were born post 1975/80 have no idea how cumbersome the process of writing was. You would handwrite and then type your manuscript. Then you would make corrections by hand and retype it again and again and again. And when you submitted something, you did it by regular mail after which you waited and waited and waited for a response. Now you might receive an acceptance or a rejection within minutes of typing “send.” And if there are any revisions needed, you can complete them with relative ease.
About twenty years ago, I finally caved in and accepted my first client. I set my own writing projects aside in order to work with an author whose book needed editing and who needed guidance in how to proceed through the publishing maze. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with many, many authors since. And one way I contribute to the success of other authors is through my books on publishing and book promotion. It’s obvious that some aspects of writing and publishing are definitely simplified compared to the earlier models. However, the fact that it’s easier to produce manuscripts has created challenges of a different kind. The competition for a publisher as well as for readers is more fierce than ever before. The options for authors are more numerous than ever. And the responsibilities of published authors are greater. As a result, publishing just isn’t as straightforward as it once was.
The thing is, without an understanding of the publishing industry, your options, the possible consequences of your choices and your responsibilities as a published author, you will not survive in this business. My goal is to educate authors and provide the information and resources they need in order to make the best decisions on behalf of their particular books.
Allworth Press recently released my latest book, Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author. This book is designed to help the new, the struggling and the veteran author to devise a more sensible, workable marketing plan for his or her book. It pleases me to come to the point in my career where I can give back. Heaven knows that I have been blessed to be able to establish a career doing what I love most and rely on it to support me for all of these years.
Patricia Fry is the executive director of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) http://www.spawn.org. She is also the author of 34 books, most of them related to publishing and book promotion. Learn more about Patricia and her work at http://www.patriciafry.com and http://www.matilijapress.com. Check out “Promote Your Book” at http://amzn.to/oe56Ia
Thank you for such an interesting blog, and for so kindly re-scheduling your blog, Patricia!