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The Frugal Book Promoter, by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Updated on January 18, 2014

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.

Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers: The Ultimate Frugal Booklet for Avoiding Word Trippers and Crafting Gatekeeper-Perfect Copy
Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers: The Ultimate Frugal Booklet for Avoiding Word Trippers and Crafting Gatekeeper-Perfect Copy

An easy-to-read guide book on commonly misused words and phrases. A must-have book for all writers.

 
The Great First Impression Book Proposal: Everything You Need to Know About Selling Your Book to an Agent or Publisher in Twenty Minutes or Less
The Great First Impression Book Proposal: Everything You Need to Know About Selling Your Book to an Agent or Publisher in Twenty Minutes or Less

If you have a great book idea in mind, you'll want this resource to help you craft a winning proposal and grab the attention of an agent or publisher.

 
The Frugal Editor: Put your best book forward to avoid humiliation and ensure success (How to Do It Frugally)
The Frugal Editor: Put your best book forward to avoid humiliation and ensure success (How to Do It Frugally)

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.

Are you an author searching for marketing help?

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    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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.

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

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

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 3 years ago

      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.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 3 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      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.

    • profile image

      sszomahane 3 years ago

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

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 3 years ago

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

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

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

    • RPWag profile image

      RPWag 3 years ago

      The frugal book sounds great is it available on Kindle

    • MartiLawrence profile image

      Marti Lawrence 3 years ago from Grain Valley, Missouri

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

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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. :)

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @Diana Wenzel: Thank you so much, RenaissanceWoman!

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @Moviles-Baratos: Thanks!

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

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

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

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

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

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

    • Jeri Baker profile image

      Jeri Baker 3 years ago

      Interesting. Thank you for the resources.

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

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

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

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

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @Jeri Baker: Thank you, Jeri!

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

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

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

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

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

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

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 3 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      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
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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. :)

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      @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
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

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

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image
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      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

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

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

      Congratulations on your honor!

    • Aladdins Cave profile image

      Aladdins Cave 3 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      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

    • profile image

      Moviles-Baratos 3 years ago

      great

    • CampingmanNW profile image

      CampingmanNW 3 years ago

      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.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 3 years ago from Washington KS

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

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

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 3 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 3 years ago

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

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 3 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

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

    • profile image

      AngryBaker 3 years ago

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

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 3 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      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.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

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

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 3 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

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

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 3 years ago

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

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 3 years ago from Missouri

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

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 3 years ago

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

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      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!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 3 years 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.

    • profile image

      tonyleather 3 years ago

      Sounds like an excellent read!

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      congrats on lotd.. good info for me

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

      Great review, will have to check these out sometime!

    • evawrites1 profile image

      evawrites1 3 years ago

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

    • LoriBeninger profile image

      LoriBeninger 3 years ago

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

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 3 years ago from USA

      Carolyn is great.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 3 years ago

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