Authors who help, support and educate other authors are to be admired. This is the aim of the Book Publicists of Southern California IRWIN Award-winning book The Frugal Book Promoter by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a wonderful author and friend to authors who understands the need for authors to maximize their resources, especially in today’s economy.
I had the honor to review the book for MyShelf.com, and the review, reprinted for this blog, has become popular. MyShelf.com, founded in 1998, is a high-traffic and award-winning Web site that does a tremendous service to reading, literature, readers and writers. The dynamically designed and attractive site offers a plethora of thoughtful and thorough reviews (by a passionate corps of volunteers, several of whom have publishing credits and a desire to contribute their talents) and Holiday Reading Lists, as well as monthly columns that explore literary genres and subgenres. Each month it brings the love of the written word into homes and businesses with a newsletter and a network of discussion lists that are no doubt eager for their dose of MyShelf.com’s literary magic. Many thanks to MyShelf.com and to Carolyn Howard-Johnson!
The original review also included an Author of the Month interview.
How To Do What Your Publisher Won’t By Carolyn Howard-Johnson
When Joyce Spizer’s Irwin Award winner Power Marketing Your Novel debuted in 2000, writers everywhere realized how much they didn’t know about book promotion. How effective is Spizer’s book? Even stellar promoter/self-publisher Dan Poynter gave it raves. After reading Spizer’s book I thought I’d need no other book on book marketing.
I was wrong.
Novelist/poet/columnist/reviewer Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s new book, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won’t, picks up where Spizer leaves off. Armed with both Spizer and Howard-Johnson, writers can actually capture book sales.
Do you know about writing book reviews and articles–often for free–to get your name and your book out there in the press and, more importantly, into the minds of the vampire fans/bodice-ripper devotees/true crime aficionados you want to capture?
Harlan Ellison once famously said, “Don’t give it away!” As Howard-Johnson explains, you aren’t giving anything away, although with mailings, you’ll be spending your own money. Oh, and creating a press kit. And doing your own Web site. Don’t have one yet? Get one. Send out advance review copies–your publisher won’t. For that, you’ll need your own media contact list.
Howard-Johnson offers a hot tip that even seasoned writers forget: Meet the media face to face, from the crime beat reporter to the lady who writes a gardening column–for that matter, you can start your own column. Or blog. (If you’re working up to that, Howard-Johnson advises doing the next best thing, using Amazon.com to promote yourself, by writing reviews, lists in Listmania, and “So you’d like to…” guides, features I only began using as marketing weapons after my third book came out). But when you take a breather from all this promoting, invite your neighborhood reporter to lunch. Howard-Johnson makes the point that relationships sell books.
Oh, and when you’re writing articles and reviews, don’t forget to add your tagline with information about your book, like my sample tagline in this review. Free publicity may not be free, but you can start spending your publicity dollars wisely by buying The Frugal Book Promoter.