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.

Watch these interviews with Carolyn Howard-Johnson as she shares tips on author platforms and book promotion.

Are you an author searching for marketing help?

  • Yes, I'm researching book promotion resources
  • No, I have my marketing methods in place
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 Last updated on January 18, 2014

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Guestbook 68 comments

Gypzeerose profile image

Gypzeerose 8 months ago Level 5 Commenter

Really excellent review. So many of us are budding or actual authors, this is very helpful.


aka-rms profile image

aka-rms 8 months ago from USA Level 3 Commenter

Carolyn is great.


LoriBeninger profile image

LoriBeninger 8 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area Level 2 Commenter

Congratulations on your LotD honor. Is the focus of the book non-fiction or will I find a lot of suggestions for fiction promotion?


evawrites1 profile image

evawrites1 8 months ago Level 3 Commenter

Thanks! Maybe I should buy this book, it sounds great!


Zeross4 profile image

Zeross4 8 months ago Level 6 Commenter

Great review, will have to check these out sometime!


anonymous 8 months ago

congrats on lotd.. good info for me


Merrci profile image

Merrci 8 months ago from Oregon's Southern Coast Level 8 Commenter

Sounds like a must have for authors! Great review, and congratulations on LotD!!!


tonyleather 8 months ago

Sounds like an excellent read!


Ruthi 8 months ago

Carolyn-Howard Johnson seems like an author whose books I need to become familiar with as I continue to write. I plan to self-publish a chapbook of poetry and prose this year.


Dressage Husband profile image

Dressage Husband 8 months ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada Level 5 Commenter

I really appreciated this lens as I have been giving considerable thought to writing and publishing a few book and have the ideas, but no method of promoting my work yet!


Jeri Baker profile image

Jeri Baker 8 months ago

Interesting. Thank you for the resources.


BarbaraCasey profile image

BarbaraCasey 8 months ago from St. Petersburg, Florida Level 3 Commenter

Cool... another resource to check out. Thanks!


Linda Pogue profile image

Linda Pogue 8 months ago from Missouri

I look forward to reading this. Thanks for the information.


RoadMonkey profile image

RoadMonkey 8 months ago Level 4 Commenter

Sounds interesting. Am going to share this on Facebook for those aspiring writers I know.


Scarlettohairy profile image

Scarlettohairy 8 months ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. Level 3 Commenter

I remember working with Carolyn years ago on an e-cookbook with a bunch of other writers.


Brite-Ideas profile image

Brite-Ideas 8 months ago from Toronto, Canada Level 7 Commenter

This is a wonderful review, and because of it, I plan to get this book


junecampbell profile image

junecampbell 8 months ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada Level 5 Commenter

I have never heard of this writer before, or her books. It may be something I want to look into. I have retired from a career as a free lance writer (among other things), but you never know.I may want to revisit writing again some day.


AngryBaker 8 months ago

Sounds like I book I need on my desk.. thanks for introducing me.


Linda BookLady profile image

Linda BookLady 8 months ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA Level 4 Commenter

This is really helpful... thanks so much!!!!


getmoreinfo 8 months ago

Wow this sounds like an interesting way to get publicity without breaking the bank, thanks for the review.


delia-delia profile image

delia-delia 8 months ago Level 5 Commenter

Congratulations on LOTD! Well written and interesting lens...I'm not a writer, just a story teller without proper writing skills. I wish I could write a book, but the only way that will happen is someone else writes it...I have been approached but I'm leery.


anonymous 8 months ago

A very useful service for emerging writers. Congratulations on getting LotD!


lollyj lm profile image

lollyj lm 8 months ago from Washington KS Level 1 Commenter

Interesting, helpful lens for any writers trying to navigate the many pitfalls.


CampingmanNW profile image

CampingmanNW 8 months ago Level 4 Commenter

I must apologize for the fact that I have never herd of Carolyn Howard-Johnson nor her writings. Your enthusiasm for her book the Frugal Book Promoter, makes for an interesting sideline as something to buy and read. Thanks for sharing.


Moviles-Baratos 8 months ago

great


Aladdins Cave profile image

Aladdins Cave 8 months ago Level 3 Commenter

Found your lens via Twitter. Thank you.

I wrote a book & self published a paperback sometime ago.

Road Trip Australia to Germany.

Now I'm trying to find ways to promote sales. Squidoo is not working for me. Not one sold in 4 years.

Cheers from DOWNUNDER


Diana Wenzel profile image

Diana Wenzel 8 months ago from Colorado Level 6 Commenter

Congratulations on your honor!


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@Gypzeerose: Thank you so much for visiting and for your kind words, bloomingrose. I've found it to be an invaluable resource.


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@aka-rms: Yes, she is. Love all her work. I've learned so much from her.


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@LoriBeninger: Thank you so much! Yes, the book is for non-fiction and fiction book promotion. Sooo many ideas, I doubt anyone could do them all, but the book does cover marketing, steps A-Z, so to speak.


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@evawrites1: Thanks for visiting and commenting, Eva! I think you'd find a lot of helpful information. Let me know what you think when you buy it. :)


GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

GeorgeneMBramlage 8 months ago from southwestern Virginia Level 4 Commenter

Excellent review! An author that, unfortunately, I've never heard of before. However, I'll be checking out some of your suggestions.


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@Zeross4: Thanks so much, Daisy! After you check them out, let me know what you think. :)


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@anonymous: Thank you, Ailyn! Happy to hear it will help you.


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@Merrci: Thank you so much, Merrci! It's been on my must-have list for authors. Happy to see it awarded LotD!


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@tonyleather: I think so, Tony! I hope you and others will find it helpful too. :)


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@Ruthi: Definitely, Ruth! Oh, and Carolyn has written some beautiful poetry and a few chapbooks with another brilliant author Magdalena Ball. Be sure to check out Carolyn's website for more author resources. I can't wait to hear about your PUBLISHED poetry chapbooks - I love your work!


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@Dressage Husband: That's super, Stephen! I know you'll find the book to be invaluable as you market your books. Good luck to you!


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@Jeri Baker: Thank you, Jeri!


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@Linda Pogue: My pleasure, GrammaLinda! I'd love to hear what you think of the book. Enjoy it!


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@RoadMonkey: That's wonderful news! Thanks for sharing the review of The Frugal Book Promoter. I think your writer friends will find it helpful.


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@Scarlettohairy: How neat!! Small world, isn't it? I love hearing how everyone connects, especially with different writing projects.


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@Brite-Ideas: That's wonderful news! I think you'll find it helpful. I'd love to hear your thoughts after you buy it. :)


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@junecampbell: That's wonderful I'm able to introduce you to Carolyn and her work. And thank you for sharing about your freelancing. I guess you never know when the words will call you back, right? :)


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@BarbaraCasey: So happy to share it, Barbara! Thanks for visiting and commenting.


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@AngryBaker: Yes, I think so. :) I'm so happy to be able to share this resource. I've found it to be invaluable.


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@Linda BookLady: Thank you, Linda! I'm so happy you found the lens helpful.


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@getmoreinfo: Absolutely! Be sure to check out Carolyn's web - she shares a lot of free and low-cost publicity ideas for authors.

www.howtodoitfrugally.com/â


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@delia-delia: Thank you so much for visiting and for your kind comments. Don't sell yourself short - story telling is a gift. I think many people see the act of writing a book as something out of reach - it doesn't have to be, especially if you think about how much you write in general. I'll be cheering for you!


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@anonymous: Thank you for your kind words and your visit! I'm thrilled on getting LotD!


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@lollyj lm: So true. It's helpful to have a guide when you take on promotion. Thanks for your kind words and visit!


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@CampingmanNW: I'm so happy I'm able to introduce you to Carolyn and her work. She's written several books, including poetry chapbooks. I can't wait to hear what you think of her work, campingman.


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@Moviles-Baratos: Thanks!


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@Aladdins Cave: So sorry to hear that Squidoo did not work as a sales tool for your work. Carolyn's book is very helpful on all the ways you can market - best of all, they're free or low cost.


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@Diana Wenzel: Thank you so much, RenaissanceWoman!


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@GeorgeneMBramlage: That's terrific, Cercis! I'm so happy to be able to introduce Carolyn and her work to you. Let me know what you think. Thanks for visiting and commenting. :)


MartiLawrence profile image

MartiLawrence 8 months ago from Grain Valley, Missouri Level 1 Commenter

I like Carolyn and her information is great. Very nice lens - congratulations on Lens of the day!


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@MartiLawrence: Thank you so much, Marti! That means a lot to me -- you've been a great Squidoo mentor and friend.


RPWag profile image

RPWag 8 months ago

The frugal book sounds great is it available on Kindle


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@RPWag: Yes, it is available on Kindle. :)


DebMartin profile image

DebMartin 8 months ago Level 3 Commenter

I'd love to learn how to market my writing.


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 8 months ago Hub Author

@DebMartin: Hi Deb, I think you'll find great marketing help with Carolyn's book. Also, check out her website, where she offers lots of free resources for authors.


sszomahane 8 months ago

Fantastic lens, this is indeed a great way to spread the word about your book. Well done.


captainj88 profile image

captainj88 8 months ago from East Berlin, PA, USA Level 4 Commenter

That's so cool that you got interviewed! Good recommendation lens. I am collecting all the info I can get on marketing and self-publishing or small-house publishing.


julieannbrady profile image

julieannbrady 5 months ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA Level 6 Commenter

I must admit that it took me a long time to get here to where I'd be interested in frugal book promoting. Great advice for us writers.


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 5 months ago Hub Author

@sszomahane: Thank you for visiting and commenting. I hope you find the book helpful in future projects.


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 5 months ago Hub Author

@captainj88: Leah, thank you so much! I was thrilled to be interviewed (in case it's not obvious on the page, LOL). I hope this book helps you - Good Luck with marketing your books. Stop by again and let me know how you're doing. If you'd like to contact me privately with your book URL, please feel free! I love sharing other authors' works!


JenniferAkers LM profile image

JenniferAkers LM 5 months ago Hub Author

@julieannbrady: You may think it took you awhile, but I think we arrive at solutions at just the right time. :) I've always admired your writing, Julie - would love to hear how you're doing, and if the book helped you.

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