The Frugal Book Promoter, by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Carolyn Howard-Johnson is my unofficial writing mentor. I write 'unofficial' because I basically adopted her and her work as my go-to guides for improving and promoting my writing. Our paths crossed when we were both writing for MyShelf.com, a long-standing book review website.
Carolyn advocates for writers, particularly in helping them maneuver through the publishing and marketing world. She opened my eyes to viewing my writing as a business. She's also on my short list of authors whose books I buy as soon as they're published. I always know I'll learn something from her.
In case you don't know her name, Carolyn has an exemplary career spanning journalism, publishing, marketing, retail and teaching. She is an award-winning author and poet and a professor for UCLA Extension’s renowned Writers’ Program.
I've recommended Carolyn's books to many writer and author friends over the years. This series, The How To Do It Frugally, is one of my favorites. In particular, The Frugal Book Promoter is a valuable book for any writer or author struggling to get their work known to readers.
The book is jammed packed with the how-to's on book promotion. The advice delves into frugal methods of packaging and publicizing your work.
While I don't have a book yet published, I've gain a lot of insight on publishing and marketing. I've often used her advice to help author friends market their books. These tips aren't your run-of-the-mill guidelines, like 'start a twitter account' or 'send review copies'. Carolyn gives step-by-step guidelines on each area of marketing, based on her personal experience in publishing, retail and PR.
This second edition is over 400 pages. Yes, that's not a typo, and there's no fluff. I read through the book once from beginning to end and then went to certain chapters when I needed particular help.
Some of the topics include how to find reviewers, packaging and mail your book for less money, how to create buzz at book fairs, how to create a media package and how to market online. Each section talks about the cost of each step and offers advice on how to do it inexpensively or whether you should pay for an upgraded option. Carolyn makes sure you're spending your advertising dollars on ways that are most effective.
One of the sections touches on how to use Squidoo to promote your book and establish an author platform. I'm honored to say that Carolyn asked to interview me on Squidoo marketing for writers. My advice is included in this section, and I'm beyond thrilled to be included in such an invaluable resource.
If you're a new or established author, you'll find a ton of advice on promoting your books. Most authors realize their publisher doesn't have the marketing budget to promote their books. Once the book is written and published, authors need to step up and learn how to do their own PR. It's not as daunting, especially if you have this book as a guide. Plus, you won't need a huge budget to market your work.
The frugal way of marketing is the main focus on this book. Please don't mistake this for one of many books by so-called experts that promise you'll become a best seller author in no time. The Frugal Book Promoter is filled with solid advice by a well-established, award-winning writer with marketing expertise.
I keep this book close at hand while I promote my own writing, and it's the first book I recommend when I connect with a new author. Some of the sections I haven't used since I don't have a book to promote yet, but others are very handy for promoting my writing and freelance writing business.
I highly recommend The Frugal Book Promoter: Second Edition. I think you'll find it as valuable as I have.
Before you publish your book, be sure to read through the advice on how to edit your work. It's a professional step that shouldn't be skipped, and you can learn to do it frugally with Carolyn's help.
Watch these interviews with Carolyn Howard-Johnson as she shares tips on author platforms and book promotion.
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Last updated on January 18, 2014
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