The Frugal Book Promoter
Excerpt

For a little over 2 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 shares her professional experience as well as practical tips gleaned from the successes of her own book campaigns.

For  Frugal Book Promoter reviews.
For
Frugal Book Promoter contents
.
For author's marketing credentials.
 For Carolyn's first person essay, "Beating Time at Its Own Game."

 

Excerpt

Such a Decision!

Where or Where is the Excerpt from

 That Will Help Your Promotion Most?

Oh, here it is!

15 Commandments for Getting FREE Publicity

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

An Excerpt from THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER:

HOW TO DO WHAT YOUR PUBLISHER WON’T

This article may be published without permission as long as the bylines and taglines are used intact and it is not altered in any way. If changes are needed, please request permission.

A huge retailer once said that advertising works, we just don’t know how, why, or where it works best.

What we do know is that advertising’s less mysterious cousin, publicity, works even better. It is the more reliable relative because it is judged on its merit alone and carries the cachet of an editor’s approval. It also is surrounded by the ever-magic word “free.” The two are easily identified as kin.

These two often walk hand-in-hand and yet they can be incompatible. The editors of good media outlets will not allow the advertising department to influence them. Still, in an effort to be completely impartial they reserve the right to use advertiser’s stories editorially if they deem them newsworthy.  That is why it is helpful to use advertising in a vehicle that plays to the audience you would like to see standing in line for your book. This paid-for exposure then becomes an entrée to the decision-makers. A contact in the advertising department may be willing to put a news release on the desk of one of his editors, maybe even encourage her to look at it.  There are no contracts, but it does sometimes work. If you’re going to try this route, choose a “little pond”, a bookish brochure or an “arty” weekly so that the dollars you spend will be noticed.

Sometimes a magazine or newspaper will run a special promotion called advertorial.  These are sections where you pay for an ad and then the newspaper assigns a reporter to cover the story you want told. The article carries some of the prestige of editorial copy—that is the general reader may assume the article has been chosen only on its merits because of its copycat character. The writer or editor you meet will can be approached when your have something exceptional.

 Fellow author Erin Shachory (Eshachory@aol.com), who handles consumer publicity and consults on advertising strategies, knows that her clients hire her—at least in part—for her great database. It is something that, over time, you can build for yourself.

Still, advertorial isn’t exactly FREE. If FREE sounds more like the fare that will serve your needs, carve out some time to do it yourself and follow these 15 commandments:

Educate yourself: Study other press releases. Read a book like Publicity Advice & How-To Handbook, by UCLA Marketing Instructor, Rolf Gompertz, a SPAN member.  Order it by calling 818-980-3576.  Join publicity oriented e-groups.

Read, read, read: Your newspaper. Your e-zines. Even your junk mail, a wonderful newsletter put out by the Small Publishers of North America (www.spannet.org) and one called The Publicity Hound (www.publicityhound.com.)  My daughter found a flier from the local library in the Sunday paper stuffed between grocery coupons.  It mentioned a display done by a local merchant in the library window. My second book, HARKENING: A COLLECTION OF STORIES REMEMBERED, became a super model in their lobby and I became a seminar speaker for their author series. Rubbish (and that includes SPAM) can be the goose that laid the golden egg.

Keep an open mind for promotion ideas: Look at the different themes in your book.  There are angles there you can exploit when you’re talking to editors. My first book, THIS IS THE PLACE is sort of romantic (a romance Web site will like it) but it is also set in Salt Lake City, the site where the winter games were played in 2002 and, though that’s a reach, I found sports desks and feature editors open to it as Olympics © fervor grew and even as it waned because they were desperate for material as the zeal for the games wound down.

Cull contacts: Develop your Rolodex by adding quality recipients from media directories. The Web site http://www.gebbieinc.com/ has an All-in-One Directory that gives links to others such as Editor, Publisher Year Book, and Burrell’s. Some partial directories on the web are free and so are your yellow pages. Ask for help from your librarian—a good research librarian is like a shark; she’ll keep biting until she’s got exactly what she wants.

Etiquette counts: Send thank-you notes to contacts after they’ve featured you or your book. This happens so rarely they are sure to be impressed and to pay attention to the next idea you have, even if it’s just a listing in a calendar for your next book signing.

Partner with your publicist and publisher: Ask for help from their promotion department—even if it’s just for a sample press release.

Publicize who you are, what you do: Reviews aren’t the only way to go. E-books are big news right now. Katy Walls, author of “The Last Step,” coordinated an “anthology” of recipes from authors who mention food in their books (yes, some my family’s ancient recipes from polygamist times are in it). It is a free e-book, a promotional CD, and great fodder for the local newspapers. Use it as a cookbook and as a sample for your own e-book promotion.

Think of angles for human interest stories, not only about your book but about you as its author. Are you very young? Is writing a book a new endeavor for you? Several editors have liked the idea that I wrote my first book at an age when most are thinking of retiring, that I think of myself as an example of the fact that it is never too late to follow a dream.

Develop new activities to publicize: Don’t do just book signings. Use your imagination for a spectacular launch. Get charities involved. Think in terms of ways to help your community.

Send professional photos with your release: Request guidelines from your target media. Local editors won’t mind if you send homey Kodak moment--properly labeled--along with your release. Some will use it; it may pique the interest of others and they’ll send out their own photographers. It’s best, however, to send only professional photos to the big guys.

Frequency is important: The editor who ignores your first release may pay more attention to your second or twenty-fifth. She will come to view you as a source and call you when she needs to quote an expert.  This can work for novels as well as nonfiction. I received a nice referral in my local newspaper because I am now an “expert” on prejudice, even though my book is a novel and not a how-to or self-help piece.

Follow Up: Shel Horowitz, author of Marketing Without Megabucks (http://www.frugalfun.com), reports that follow-up calls boost the chances of a press release being published. Voice contact builds relationships better than any other means of communication.

Keep clippings: Professional publicists like Debra Gold of Gold & Company do this for their clients; you do it so you’ll know what’s working and what isn’t.

Evaluate: One year after your first release, add up the column inches. Measure the number of inches any paper gave you free including headlines and pictures. If the piece is three columns wide and each column of your story is six inches long, that is 18 column inches. How much does that newspaper charge per inch for their ads? Multiply the column inches by that rate to know what the piece is worth in advertising dollars. Now add 20% for the additional trust the reader puts in editorial material.

Set goals: You now have a total of what your year’s efforts have reaped.  New publicist-authors should set a goal to increase that amount by 100% in the next year.  If you already have a track record, aim for 20%.

Observe progress: Publicity is like planting bulbs. It proliferates even when you aren’t trying very hard. By watching for unintended results, you learn how to make them happen in the future.  

Howard-Johnson is an award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction and former publicist for a New York PR firm and a marketing instructor for UCLA's Writers' Program. THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER tells authors how to do what their publishers can’t or won’t and why authors can do their own promotion better than a PR professional. Purchase it as a thick, full-size and #1 selling e-book at Star Publish or as a trade paperback at Amazon.com.

 For reviews of the Frugal Book Promoter

For the Contents of the Frugal Book Promoter

Click here for Carolyn's first person essay, "Beating Time at Its Own Game."


Tip
Resource for Your Book Launch

Promotion Tip:

Notice how the excerpt from The Frugal Book Promoter on this page is offered to bloggers and editors free of charge? When editors take an author up on such an offer, the  author can gains visibility for his or her major published works.  There are even article banks where your nonfiction can be posted. You post. Site editors utilize your work for their needs. You get publicity. They get content. Even freelancers who may get paid well for their writing may use this method come publishing time.

  Find tips on writing, promotion or tech on
every page of this Web site.
 


Buy Links for Carolyn's Books


Great Fiction
Purchase THIS IS THE PLACE
and
HARKENING at Amazon in their new and used feature.
Both of these books are out of print. They are available only on Amazon's New and Used feature for about $1.

Great Poetry
Purchase TRACINGS (Finishing Line Press) at Amazon.
IMPERFECT ECHOES: Writing Truth and Justice with Capital Letters,
lie and oppression with Small

Give the gift of poetry with a chapbook from Magdalena Ball's
and
My Celebration Series

CHERISHED PULSE: Unconventional Love Poetry
IMAGINING THE FUTURE: Ruminations on Fathers and Other Masculine Apparitions
SHE WORE EMERALD THEN: Reflections on Motherhood
BLOOMING RED: Christmas Poetry for the Rational
DEEPER INTO THE POND: Celebration of Femininity
SUBLIME PLANET: Celebrating Earth and the Universe
 

HowToDoItFrugally Series for Writers
Purchase THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER,
THE FRUGAL EDITOR
Second Edition
GREAT LITTLE LAST MINUTE EDITING TIPS FOR WRITERS
GREAT FIRST-IMPRESSION BOOK PROPOSALS
HOW TO GET GREAT BOOK REVIEWS FRUGALLY AND ETHICALLY

Survive and Thrive Series of HowToDoItFrugally Books for Retailers
A RETAILER'S GUIDE TO FRUGAL IN-STORE PROMOTION
FRUGAL AND FOCUSED TWEETING FOR RETAILERS
YOUR BLOG, YOUR BUSINESS

Most of Carolyn's books are also available for the Kindle reader.
Did you know that with the Free app, Kindle can be adapted to any reader--even your PC!

"Careers that are not fed die as readily as
any living organism given no sustenance." 
~
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Studio photography by Uriah Carr
3 Dimensional Book Cover Images by iFOGO
Logo by Lloyd King

To subscribe to Carolyn's FREE online newsletter send an e-mail.

Learn more about Carolyn's newsletter and blog.

Read past issues of Carolyn's Newsletter.

 

Frugal E-Book Tip

Kindle E-Books Aren't
Just for Kindle Anymore

Did you know that Amazon’s Kindle e-books are a low-cost/no-cost way to access books even if you don’t have a dedicated Kindle reader? You can read Kindle's e-books on smartphones, desktop computers and any e-device in between. You can even store the books on the Amazon cloud.

~ Quote from Diana Schneidman, author and marketer

 

Most of Carolyn's books are also available for the Kindle reader.
Did you know that with the Free app, Kindle can be adapted to any reader--even your PC!
 

 "Careers that are not fed die as readily as
any living organism given no sustenance." 
~
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Studio photography by Uriah Carr
3 Dimensional Book Cover Images by iFOGO
Logo by Lloyd King

To subscribe to Carolyn's FREE online newsletter send an e-mail.

Learn more about Carolyn's newsletter and blog.

Read past issues of Carolyn's Newsletter.

 

Frugal E-Book Tip

Kindle E-Books Aren't
Just for Kindle Anymore

Did you know that Amazon’s Kindle e-books are a low-cost/no-cost way to access books even if you don’t have a dedicated Kindle reader? You can read Kindle's e-books on smartphones, desktop computers and any e-device in between. You can even store the books on the Amazon cloud.

~ Quote from Diana Schneidman, author and marketer

 

 

Other Links

 

Carolyn's Commercial Acting

 


 Celebration Series of Poetry Chapbooks
 

 

This is the Place, a novel

 

Speaking

Tracings, a chapbook and memoir in one

Harkening, true short stories

Carolyn's Poetry

Helps For Retailers

Helps For Writers

Full Published Works Almanac

Travels and Poetry

Published Books

 



Subscribe to
Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Sharing with Writers Newsletter

and get a FREE copy of
Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers

"I have been a professional writer 40 years, and am also a tenured full professor of journalism. Carolyn's Sharing with Writers newsletter is  most useful for me--and for my students. I emphasize to them that while research is 90% of writing, and the actual writing is about 10%, there's another 100% out there called promotion. Carolyn shows numerous ways to get the message to the mass media."
~Walter Brasch, author and educator

"A decade of bettering writers' careers with how-tos, tips, and publishing news."


Find Carolyn on the Web

  writers retailers

Your  Companion...

...to the Frugal Book Promoter.

The Frugal Editor, second in the How to Do It Frugally series, is the right desk companion to the Frugal Book Promoter for smart, professional publishing of any kind.  If we played the publishing game like football, we'd know that great editing is a great first offensive!


Endorsements

"I thought I knew all there is to know about promotion but you have taught me so much."
~
Mary Anne Raphael, author of How to Survive as a Freelancer

 


Unsolicited Endorsement


"I am a subscriber and an avid reader of your newsletter and purchased your
book: The Frugal Book Promoter.

"It took me a long time to realize just how important it was to start marketing myself even before completing my book (that's right, I've not finished it yet) until I came across some of the secrets you share. I stopped obsessing over finishing my book and followed your step-by-step directions in building my own mailing list, how to best sell myself to the media by learning how to write a simple press release even without a finished book, and getting my name out there in the community.

"As a result, I was written up in my local newspapers and featured on a major television network - all of this within a few short weeks of taking your advice. Now when I complete my book this year I will not only have a list to announce it to but the know-how and the experience to maximize its' marketing potential.

"I hope that my example will inspire others to see that they, too,can do it. All they will need to do is read your book and stick to the easy-to-follow blueprint you have laid out for us. I believe that once doing so they will be thoroughly equipped to fight the fear monster that holds so many of us back. It's only a matter of time before they too, find the success that you have helped me to find. Thank you
so very much!"

~
Yves Marie Danie Baptiste

 


"Just wanted you to know how helpful your book, The Frugal Book Promoter has been! You did a marvelous job. My latest book is now on the market and I am putting to good use a lot of the tips you give. Thank you! "
~
Chloe Jon Paul, author of
Entering the Age of Elegance: A Rite of Passage & Practical Guide for the Modern Maturing Woman.


While You Are Browsing...

...find at least one promotion, writing, or tech tip on every page on this site. Happy browsing and collecting!


Carolyn's Blogs

Sharing with Writers
All things publishing with
an emphasis on book
promotion. Named to
Writer's Digest
101 Best Website list.


The New Book Review
Great way for readers, authors, reviewers and publicists to get more
mileage out of
a great review.


The Frugal Editor Blog
This is the Frugal, Smart
and Tuned-In Editor blog.
Covers editing, grammar, formatting and more.
Get the answers you need.



Carolyn's Awards

Awards for Carolyn's Books, Blogs and More

The New Book Review
Named to
Master's in English.org Online Universities'

101 Essential Sites for Voracious Readers

Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites
for
Sharing with Writers blog.

 


Best Book Award for The Frugal Book Promoter (2004) and The Frugal Editor (2008) and the Second Edition of The Frugal Book Promoter (2011).

 

Reader Views Literary Award for The Frugal Editor

New Generation Award for Marketing and Finalist for The Frugal Editor

Book Publicists of Southern California's Irwin Award

Military Writers Award of Excellence for
Tracings, A Chapbook of Poetry.


A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotion wins author Military Writers Society of America's Author of the Month award for March, 2010

 

Gold Medal Award from Military Writers Society of America, 2010. MWSA also gave a nod to She Wore Emerald Then, a chapbook of poetry honoring mothers.

The Frugal Editor Named #! on Top Ten Editing Books list.

Finalist New Generation Book Awards 2012, The Frugal Book Promoter; Finalist 2010 The Frugal Editor;
Winner 2010 Marketing Campaign for the Frugal Editor


The Oxford Award
recognizes
the alumna who exemplifies the Delta Gamma precept of service to her community and who, through the years, devotes her talents to improve the quality of life around her.

The Frugal Book Promoter is runner-up in the how-to category for the Los Angeles Book Festival 2012 awards.

Glendale City Seal
Winner Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts
Glendale California's Arts and Culture Commission and the City of Glendale Library,
2013

And more than a dozen other awards for Carolyn's novel, short story collection and poetry. See the awards page on this site.






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