Friday, June 15, 2012

The Frugal Book Promoter, Carolyn Howard Johnson

AUTHOR: Carolyn Howard-Johnson
BOOK TITLE: The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or partnering with your publisher to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher
PUBLISHER: HowToDoItFrugally Publishing
BUY LINK: For Kindle:

 1)    Tell me a little about your book and give a short synopsis.
The Frugal Book Promoter was born of necessity when I needed a through and UNtexty book for my students in my UCLA Extension Writers’ Program book marketing class.  It’s very practical and based on my own experience as a journalist, publicist, retailer and, of course, novelist and poet.

2) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I’m definitely full time—by choice. But I have to say that at least half of my time is allotted to marketing. There’s not much point in having a how-to series of books for writers if no one reads them. If no one reads them, no one is benefitting. (-:

3) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
When all the cute boys in high school joined the journalism staff.

4) What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
Well, we’re talking the how-to books here. So I guess the most important thing I’d like them to get is that authors must market their books—no matter who publishes them—if they don’t want them to die vain and inglorious deaths.  Once I’ve convinced them of that, I figure they’ll devour all the books in the series.

5) What types of writing do you prefer, and why?
I love my how-to books because they help so many, but my first loves are fiction and poetry.

6) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
Honestly, nothing. I just love writing. I don’t even know what it would be like to have writers’ block. I couldn’t possibly live long enough to write up all my ideas.

7) What kind of research did you do for this type of book?
Really, a lifetime of research. Being a journalist helped me understand what must be done to catch the interest of an editor who you’d like to write a feature story about you. Having owned my own retail stores gave me a sense of how to approach bookstore owners and event directors—you know. How to present them with the advantages of having me conduct a work shop or read or do a panel for them.

8) What about your book makes it special?
That it is so personal. The voice is light. But also that it is so practical. And I think authors trust me.
That’s very important to me, by the way. I take that seriously.

9) What is your marketing plan?
The answer to this question could fill a book, and may some day! (-:  The Frugal Editor ( won the Millennium Award in Marketing for it’s marketing campaign. And that entry was at least a short book. I’ve developed more techniques and ideas since then.

10) Where can people learn more about you and your work?
My Web site is and authors will find my blog valuable.  Those interested in grammar and editing (and shouldn’t we all be interested in that!) will also benefit from

11) What are your views on self-publishing versus traditional publishing?
I believe very strongly that there is a right way to publish each title—depending on the title. And the personality of the author, how much time she has and her budget.  No one right way. No wrong way, either.

12) Do you have an agent and do you feel an agent is necessary for non-fiction?
This, too, depends on the author and the title. I do have an agent. An adorable one. Her name is Terrie Wolf. She is shopping my memoir, Here’s How I Don’t Cook.  It also depends how the dreams an author has for her book. If she has always dreamed of a book published by Knopf, she will need an agent to get it over the transom.

13) Any tips for new writers hoping to write non-fiction?
Many say to research and then fill a niche. I think that would be terribly boring. I believe nonfiction should be a passion, just as fiction and poetry are. Otherwise, the lack of pizzazz will show.  That’s just me. But I really, really believe it.

For only a few cents a day The Frugal Book Promoter assures your book the best possible start in life. Full of nitty-gritty how-tos for getting nearly-free publicity, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, an instructor for UCLA’s Writers’ Program and former publicist and journalist, shares her professional experience as well as practical tips gleaned from the successes of her own book campaigns. She tells authors how to do what their publishers can’t or won’t and why authors can often do their own promotion better than a PR professional. The first edition is a multi award winner and this one is updated and expanded by more than 100 pages.

A recommendation from Feather Schwartz Foster, an author, September 9, 2004, 5 out of 5 stars
Packed With Wonderful Information! For anyone who has written a book of any kind - this is a must-have, and must-keep guide! Every chapter is filled with insights and how-tos and a whole bunch of where to finds!”


1 comment:

  1. I have this book. It was a great help when I self-published, and then again when I sold my book to a publisher. Full of excellent ideas. Thanks, Carol & Penny.