When Your Publisher Does Nothing
Or Not Enough, You, The Author
Must Be Its Savior!

Here's the New Edition

Carolyn's Multi Award-Winning
Frugal Book Promoter
The ultimate guide to selling your book to an agent, a publisher, and--after it's published--the media!


Cover by Chaz DeSimone
3D book cover image by iFOGO

Special thanks to Dan Poynter . . .  for including the second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter on his library list of recommended books for writers. It seems to be a short but essential list, so I am especially honored! .And, of course, I'm honored that he contributed a blurb for the back of this edition, too.

The Kindle edition of The Frugal Book Promoter was given Global Ebook Awards'
Honorable Mention, 2012.

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


The Frugal Book Promoter is a finalist in the Indie Book Awards, 2012




As a new author with limited funds, I quickly became frustrated while searching for ways to promote my work on a shoe-string budget. Realizing too much time was spent learning how and where to promote, I hit the goldmine when Carolyn’s book THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER was thankfully recommended to me by a seasoned author in my writer’s critique group. Thank you, Carolyn Howard-Johnson!
~ Sheri Fredricks, award-winning fantasy romance author.

"The most expensive parts of book promotion are the mistakes. The Frugal Book Promoter will save you time and money."
~ Dan Poynter, The Self-Publishing Manual.

"I love this book...it is the answer to an author's prayer. Most authors are shocked and unprepared for the marketing that goes into having a successful book. Carolyn creates a resource that you'll go to again and again for advice and instructions on promoting. My advice is to get both the physical and e-book editions. You'll want one to be within arm's reach in your briefcase and the other as a backup when you wear out the pages from use. Seldom do I see a resource pack with as much practical information as I see in The Frugal Book Promoter II."
~ Tony Eldridge, author and blogger at Marketing Tips for Authors

Unsolicited Endorsement

"I love how you put in the section on writing for anthologies. I recycled and got paid twice for my story "Old is New Again" for Chicken Soup for the Soul in Menopause and a local magazine titled Strut. New writers need to learn their stories can be recycled. Good Work girlfriend!"
Sylvia McClain, Book Reviewer, MyShelf.com and Atlantic Publishing House and editor of Scribal Calendar

The first Frugal Book Promoter garnered great ratings
on Amazon, even years after its release--
an unusual record in publishing.
The Frugal Book Promoter:
How To Do What Your Publisher Won't

A Sample of one of its lower Amazon ranks on all of Amazon,
not just its category--
achieved with no online launch or sales gimmicks.

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #13,719 in Books

Carolyn's Promotion Campaign for The Frugal Editor won the New Generation Indie Book Award for Marketing and the book was a finalist in the How-to book category in that same contest.

Two Reviews 
The Frugal Book Promoter
Second Edition


Review by David Menefee for Book Pleasures

Title: The Frugal Book Promoter

Subtitle: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher

Second Edition

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Genre Nonfiction: How-to for writers
Publisher HowToDoItFrugally Publishing
ISBN 9781463743291

Available as paperback and e-book on Amazon

Reviewed by Dave Menefee, originally for BookPleasures.com


Would you spend a nickel for the best advice you could ever receive?


If you are a writer, spending 5˘ a page for a 395-page book packed to the seams with the most comprehensive collection of established, helpful advice ever compiled would be well worth the investment. In The Frugal Book Promoter, author Carolyn Howard-Johnson details how to get nearly free publicity on your own by partnering with your publisher. Spend the $17.95 for the huge book and get your career on track for success. Carolyn not only shows you the way, she lights the trail to triumph with a blazing torch.


The book’s title may seem misleading, once you dig deeply into the thirty-two chapters and find that Carolyn’s suggestions often hinge on either the author or the publisher spending money on touting a tome. Don’t let this throw you. The Frugal Book Promoter does not pretend to be a book for an author wishing to succeed on a shoestring. Instead, Carolyn shows you how to wring the most out of your advertising, marketing, and promotional budget. For example, staging a book signing event usually entails purchasing books to sell, travel expenses, signage charges, giveaway costs, buying business cards and brochures, and laying out money on a long list of other sundry expenditures that add up to a tidy investment gamble. Here’s where Carolyn’s expertise gleaned during years of trial and error pays off: she reveals all the little tricks of the trade that can spell the difference between failure and loss or an ample return on your investment. As your mother might say, “Listen to her! She knows what she’s talking about!”


Carolyn’s massive set of revelations are divided into seven sections:


  • Getting Started and Getting On With It: dealing with typical author angst.
  • Plunging In: Publicity Basics Now: all about the business of promotions
  • Do-It-Yourself and Partner Publicity: media releases, book reviews, media kits
  • Promote Your Book by Doing What You Love: extra writing opps that can fan your flame
  • You and the Media: how to handle interviews, and using the Internet
  • Well Traveled, Oft Forgotten: wading into the world of retailing
  • Onward and Upward: stoking the stove for even more success

In addition, the back matter contains a set of Appendices containing sample query letters, media releases, blog entries, trade show invitations, a phone pitch script, an autosignature for e-mails, and a tip sheet example.


For an experienced author who may be battle weary from years of tooting their own horn, Carolyn’s sage recommendations will enlighten him or her to hundreds of steps they may have missed that will prove more encouraging during their next tour through the trenches. For the beginning author who may feel baffled and intimidated by the mere thought of selling during a dreadful economy, Carolyn’s clever counsel should seem like a Godsend. “This book is for authors who want their books to soar and do not want their careers to languish,” she writes. “It is structured so authors can select chapters that address aspects of their marketing plan most needed at any given time.” Indeed, the book features an extensive Index that will make looking up topics a second time a snap. This is not a mere book to read; this is a guide to refer back to time and again—a battle plan for victory.


If you are an author, or if you know an author struggling over how to build buzz for their book, The Frugal Book Promoter outlays literally thousands of nitty-gritty how-tos for obtaining a foothold in a niche. As the old saying goes, “When you find your niche, scratch it!” With The Frugal Book Promoter, you can light a fire under your ambitions, pick and choose from ideas extensively developed and refined through endless campaigns, and match up your pocketbook and personality with hundreds of Carolyn’s angles for accomplishment.


~Reviewer David W. Menefee is the author of
Can't Help Falling in Love

Secret Soldier Master of Disguise
Sweet Memories
Sarah Bernhardt, Her Films, Her Recordings
(Foreword by Kevin Brownlow)
Wally: The True Wallace Reid Story
(Foreword by Robert Osborne)
The Rise and Fall of Lou-Tellegen
Richard Barthelmess: A Life in Pictures
The First Female Stars: Women of the Silent Era
The First Male Stars: Men of the Silent Era
Brothers of the Storm
"Otay!" The Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas Story
(with William Thomas, Jr.)
Charlie O’Doone’s Second Chance
Margot Cranston The Voice in the Shadows
Margot Cranston The Secret of St. Laurent Lighthouse
Margot Cranston The Mystery at Loon Lake
Margot Cranston The Quest for the Jade Dragons

Falling Stars 10 Who Tried to be a Movie Star
George O'Brien: A Man's Man in Hollywood
A Craving for Travel II
(with Jim Strong)
How to Write, Format, and Market a Kindlebook on a Shoestring Budget

His newly released book, Master of Disguise, is about secret soldier Isador Messing who lives up to the title of the book. Terror strikes when Hitler's SS troops arrest Messing's fiancé on the day they plan to escape Nazi occupied Berlin. Alone and stoic in the face of utter malevolence, he launches a bold, daring, and desperate plan to liberate her. Can the remarkable Mr. Messing's one-man army triumph against all odds and win in a war-torn world gone mad?

Review by Magdalena Ball for the Compulsive Readers

If you're looking to do your own publicity, or to augment your publishers and don't have the kind of budget that can support a publicist, or you simply want to do the legwork, connect with your reading public, and do your best to ensure that your wonderful work of art reaches a maximum audience, then this book is really the self-promoter's bible

Reviewed by Magdalena Ball

The Frugal Book Promoter
Second Edition: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher
by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
HowToDoItFrugally Publishing
Paperback: 416 pages, August 25, 2011, ISBN-13: 978-1463743291

It doesn't matter how many books you've published. Self-published or traditionally published, gaining publicity is always tricky, always critical, and always a moving target. If your budget is limited, it's even harder, and perhaps, even more imperative. Enter Carolyn Howard-Johnson, the queen of frugal promotion. Her frugal books are pitched at the modern writer: time poor, financially parsimonious, and publicity hungry. The Frugal Book Promoter is the jewel in the crown. As with the first version, The Frugal Book Promoter is full of ideas, strategies, and tips for promoting your book cheaply, in innovative and effective ways, but it has been updated with a much greater focus on new technologies, the all-important social networks, and a range of strategies designed to help authors with less commercial offerings such as poetry and fiction.

Of course the book is rich with classic techniques too, such as media releases, query letters, and a whole fantastic chapter pulling together a media kit. There's information on using bylines, writing a biography, obtaining endorsements and blurbs, distribution of releases, obtaining reviews, tradeshows, book fairs, setting up a website, and many more 'must-do' items that have really become part and parcel of any author's promotional toolkit. Ignore this kind of stuff and unless you win some kind of book lotto, your book will almost certainly fall into the obscurity that is an ever-present risk of modern authordom. What I like best about Howard-Johnson's book is the simple, informal prose which is both warmly reassuring ('of course you can do this'), and deceptively intelligent. The reader is encouraged and reminded of his or her own innate capabilities even as they're goaded onto to raising the bar:

You’ve been practicing PR most of your life. Getting along with family. Impressing a new boss. You’ve been a customer and know why you like some products and businesses better than others. All it takes is some examination of the processes that influence you to get a grip on public relations—even on marketing as a whole.
The new version also contains a chapter on some of the most current topics, including information on blogging, working Amazon, using social networks, and even some common pitfalls to avoid in blogging and networking. Howard-Johnson totally practices what she preaches, so her advice comes directly from her many years of experience, and is rich with innovative ideas to minimise the time involved and maximise the input through such things as integration and cross-linking, clever use of soundbites and re-tweetable tweets, setting up a "Quotable Quotes” page on your Web site (I love that one), using RSS, and many other novel ideas. Throughout the book there are links, anecdotes, worked examples, and excellent templates including queries, a sample media release, blog entries, invitations, and even a tip sheet.

No, you don't really need a copy of The Frugal Book Promoter. You could hire a publicist for $100 an hour, or organise a retainer for anywhere from $1,500 to $20,000. But if you're looking to do your own publicity, or to augment your publishers and don't have the kind of budget that can support a publicist, or you simply want to do the legwork, connect with your reading public, and do your best to ensure that your wonderful work of art reaches a maximum audience, then this book is really the self-promoter's bible. You don't have to read it cover to cover, although it's certainly accessible and enjoyable enough to do so. The book is well-referenced and perfectly designed to enable the frugal author to dip in once a week and pull out a new publicity idea to try, or to use as a reference when it's time to pull together a marketing plan for your book, or at that moment when you need to write a press-release and want a template and guide, when you're looking for ideas to maximise your book signing. Whatever kind of promotions you want to do for your book, you're sure to find it in The Frugal Book Promoter. Howard-Johnson makes it all sound simple, and provides such easy instructions, that you'll want to go out straightaway and get to it. Put simply, The Frugal Book Promoter is the best guide around for create interesting, fresh, inexpensive, and relatively easy promotion for your book, whatever the genre.

~Magdalena Ball runs the popular review site Compulsive Reader and is an award-winning author and poet in her own right.


New Book Helps Authors
Conquer the "Black Hole" of Promotion

Reviewed by Leorga G. Krygier

"Where does a new author turn for help on promoting her book? Sure, there's the usual word of mouth, advice from fellow writers, close-your-eyes-and hope-for-the-best reliance on agents, publishers and publicists. But if you really want to understand the process, and make educated decisions with regard to what most authors feel is the "black hole" of promotion, read award-winning Carolyn Howard-Johnson's The Frugal Promoter.

Howard-Johnson's fertile brain has delivered for us a book that manages to surprise in all its specificity and breadth of information. She's translated her hard-earned experiences, the ups and downs of promotion, into a highly readable how-to, a master blueprint for novices and veterans of the PR wars alike. Don't be fooled by the word "frugal." It belies the generous spirit in which this information is offered up to the reader. This is a colleague who truly wants others to succeed. But it at http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromo.
~ Reviewed by Leora Krygier, author of When She Sleeps (Toby Press).

Unsolicited Praise
The Frugal Book Promoter

Your book is simply the best business book for writers that I have ever come across and I LOVE marketing books.
As a result of reading the FIRST FEW CHAPTERS of The Frugal Book Promoter, I created (with a very small team of volunteers) a full-day writers' conference with great speakers, an award for our fabulous keynote speaker, book signing tables, a beautiful buffet luncheon and a raffle to benefit Catholic Relief Services' work in Haiti--all accomplished in only 3 months time--and we had about 150 people (professionals, students and hobbyists in editing, publishing and writing fields in both traditional and new media from the NY/CT/NJ tri-state area, PA and as far away as Boston) in attendance. Their feedback was a resounding thumbs-up. I got many emails and FB messages from people who couldn't come and wished they had, or found out about it too late. I have since had name speakers contact me requesting to be considered for future events.
We were covered by both print and television media before, during and after the event and we got a nice list of bloggers to promote us in exchange for a mention in our program. We e-mailed and called every diocesan newspaper in the tri-state area, called and e-mailed all 140 parishes on Long Island, used all our social media outlets and e-mail lists to promote and get others to spread the word. We put out media releases all over the place. We printed all the pre-registered attendees' professional bios and contact info in our program to help them network, which they loved. Networking was a big draw. The event was a tremendous success that created a lasting buzz well beyond the borders of Long Island. I sent out beautiful certificates I made very inexpensively on my computer (with certificate paper from Staples) to all our donors and sponsors. Now, instead of just being a first-time author, I'm seen as someone who makes things happen, does good in the community, acknowledges the work of others, and provides opportunities for others to learn and get connected professionally. Where did all these ideas come from? Your book and only your book.
My network has exploded and my publisher is very happy. I have just written a second booklet for them. As a result of my first event, I am now the president of a new and exciting organization--Catholic Writers of Long Island--that continues to draw new members and has over 170 people on it's e-mail distribution. I have a much greater platform both locally and nationally/internationally in my niche market because of my wonderful new friends, one of whom--after the conference, where we first met--hired me to write a weekly column at a major religion website (Patheos.com --Catholic portal). My presence online and in the Catholic writing community at large is expanding all the time and I'm getting more radio and TV interviews and public speaking engagements as a result.
Yes, I'm a VERY satisfied customer and I can't WAIT to read this latest work of yours, Carolyn!!! You're the BEST!!!
Affectionately your grateful fan,
Lisa Mladinich
Author, "Be An Amazing Catechist: Inspire the Faith of Children"
Founder, Amazing Catechists

Three More Unsolicited Comments

There couldn't be a better time to get my copy of The Frugal Promoter, Second Edition. As I assemble my new e-book, The Itty Bitty E-book on Writing, I realize that I need the information you offer in your book to update my media kit, put out releases, and plan the promotion of my work. I also need the wonderful information in The Frugal Editor to make sure my copy is clean and well written. As I update and expand my Itty Bitty columns dating from 2008 until 2011, I am grateful to have the help of someone who knows the ropes so well.
~ Mindy Phillips Lawrence


I have read through the first edition of The Frugal Book Promoter so many times so I know I'll learn even more from your updated edition. Just the section about book signings was a great eye-opener! I realize now that there were many things I could have done better to promote both of my books when they were launched...especially my most recent dog and cat photo book. There is still time! For example, I had about 1000 18x24 inch posters that I give away a lot at my talks and workshops, but I didn't think of promising them to people with purchases of my book at bookstores. 
~ Andrew Darlow, Award-winning author of Pet Photography 101 and 301 Inkjet Tips and Techniques


Your book is a tremendous help to me as a first time published author, and the discount for Display Stands 4 You in the back of the new edition was very nice too.
~Ginger K. King, cookbook author and blogger

from the first edition of the
The Frugal Book Promoter


It is said that business and art don’t mix. Actually they mix very well. The chances of success for artists who are natural promoters (Think Warhol. Think Dickens. Think Stephanie Meyers.) grow incrementally compared to artists who prefer to remain cloistered.

The reasons that authors tend to fail at promotion are two-fold. They think they must only show up at bookstores with a good pen because that’s all that is expected of Hilary Clinton or J.K. Rowling. They may be frightened by the magnitude of what they suspect they must do to give birth to this book of theirs—their baby—and so they dig in their heels and go into a severe state of denial.

This book addresses both groups. That you, the author—experienced or just blooming—hold this how-to book in your hands means that you know you need to hone your marketing skills in order to put this child of yours on the path to success. This book will, indeed, help you plan a campaign suitable for the realities of the publishing world.

THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER will lead you up the publicity rungs of the publishing ladder. You’ll learn what you might do before your book is published, what you must do soon after it is published and beyond. Consider everything offered, as if you were testing desserts at a smorgasbord; then select what suits your book, your personality and your pocketbook.

This book is designed so that authors who already have experience with publicity can select chapters that address aspects of their marketing plan that are weak. If a reference is made to something covered in more depth elsewhere, the reader is given a prompt.

Hint: Do not skip the chapters on mailing lists even if you already have one. An effective campaign is only as sound as this essential database and the hints therein are the product of more than three decades of publicity experience in the fashion, retailing and publishing industries.

Most ideas are presented in practical, easy steps; you’ll also find hints and caveats in bold face for easy review.

When you finish this book you’ll know what it took me three years to learn—with a publicity background. Publicity for authors is a specialized arena of public relations. I tripped and fell into many PR potholes; negative experiences can be good teachers but learning from a book like this is less painful.

THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER is not a text. It contains many opinions—some as black and white as the page you find them on. You may also notice omissions. I avoided topics that have been covered ad infinitum and for which I have nothing new to add but you will find some new (or rarely used) ways to promote that have not been scorched, stirred, and then warmed over.

Thanks to Reno Lovison for synthesizing some of the tips
on the advantages of marketing with newsletters from
The Frugal Book Promoter in this slideshow/video:

The Frugal Book Promoter
Second Edition

Section I:
Getting Started and Getting On with It                   

One: Excuse Me! I Have To Do What? 25
WORRY NUMBER ONE: Plagiarism 27
WORRY NUMBER TWO: Oops! Swiping Others’ Work 35
WORRY NUMBER FOUR: Success or Rejection 37
WORRY NUMBER FIVE: I’m Not Enough 39
WORRY NUMBER SIX: Fear of Marketing 41

Two: Marketing Basics: The Short Course 43

Three: To Hire or Not to Hire a Publicist 51

Four: Promoting Ethically 57


Section II: Plunging In: Publicity Basics Now         59

Five: The Three Ps and Your Writing Career 61

Six: Public Relations: Publicity’s Granddaddy 65

Seven: Free Publicity Isn’t Really Free 75

Eight: Branding: Publicity’s Cornerstone 77

Nine: Advertising: The Weak Partner 83

Ten: Your Now-and-Forever PR Skills 87

       YOUR BYLINES 91
       SOUNDBITES 97
       YOUR PITCHES 98
       YOUR PHOTO 111
       TUNING IN 116
       THANK-YOU NOTES 118


Do-It-Yourself and Partner Publicity                      121

Eleven: Media Kit Preparation Now 123

Twelve: The Media Release 129

Thirteen: The Rest of Your Media Kit 143
        YOUR BOOK REVIEW 149

Fourteen: Your Query and Cover Letters 169

Fifteen: Your Reviews 173

       REVIEW SCAMS 188


Section IV:    
Promote Your Book  by Doing What You Love    191

Sixteen: Loving Writing and Recycling 193
        WRITE TIP SHEETS 210
        WRITE OP-ED ESSAYS. 212

Seventeen: Learning to Love What You Need to Love 221


Eighteen: Publishing Dreams vs. Marketing Needs 241


Section V: You and the Media                     271

Nineteen: Radio and TV: The Ageless Pair 273


Twenty: The Old Internet 287
       YOUR WEB SITE 287

       NEWSLETTERS 291
       E-MAIL 292

Twenty-One: New Net Game Changers 299
       BLOGS 299

Twenty-Two: Using Social Networks 323

Twenty-Three: The Dangers of Online Promotion      329


Section VI: Well Traveled, Oft Forgotten    333

Twenty-Four: Reading Groups            335

Twenty-Five: Catalog Sales 337

Twenty-Six: Corporate Sales 343

Twenty-Seven: Retail Is More than Bookstores 347

Twenty-Eight: Library Sales 351

Twenty-Nine: Postcards 353

Thirty: Get Quoted 357


SECTION VII: Onward and Upward                        359

Thirty-One: Success as a Motivator 361

Thirty-Two: Book Sales Getting Musty? 363


Appendices                                                              373

One: Sample Query Letters 375

Two: Sample Media Releases 381

Three: Sample Blog Entry 387

Four: Sample Invitation for Tradeshow 389

Five: Sample Script for Phone Pitch 391

Six: Sample Autosignature for E-mails 393

Seven: Sample Tip Sheet 395

Index                                                                          401



Carolyn Howard-Johnson was one of the best presenters at the 2008 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. Her advice was both plentiful and practical, and I’m still relying on some of her tips [from The Frugal Book Promoter] today.
~ Mindy Hoffbauer blogs at “Perfection in Moderation”

"This book is like the Energizer Bunny . . .it just keeps going and going and going. . ."
~ Kristie Leigh Maguire, CEO of Star Publish.

"The Frugal Book Promoter, is excellent. . . . It has given me ideas that would never have occurred to me before and has changed the way I think about book promotion."
~Mark Logie, poet and short-story writer and winner "most promising author"
prize from CanYouWrite. com 



Even The Frugal Book Promoter popped for this banner and stand after watching fair-goers go ga-ga over authors using them
when we did a test at the
LA Times Festival of Books.
E-mail me if you'd like details on them. HoJoNews@aol.com

Find at least one tip on writing, promotion, or tech on every page of this Web site. 

Here are links on this site where you will learn more about Carolyn Howard-Johnson's books, podcasts, and more--written with the welfare of authors in mind:

Carolyn's Marketing Credentials

University Study Conference/Teaching Expertise  Marketing
  • University of Utah, journalism
  • Arizona State University, English literature
  • University of Southern California (USC), BA in English Literature, classes in public relations
  • Glendale Community College, overseas study and computer classes
  • Cambridge University, Trinity College (UK), post graduate study
  • Herzen University (St. Petersburg RU)
  • Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic),
  • Certificate in Education from UCLA's Instructor Development Program, 2006
  • Speaker and learner at many writers' conferences throughout the US
  • Instructor for UCLA Extension Writers' Program since 2004
  • Cosponsor and director of the Roman Retreat, 2010
  • Cofounder of the free Muse Online Writers' Conference
  • Presenter at conferences nationwide
  • Workshop leader at bookstores, expos, tradeshows, etc.

  • Owner of a chain of retail stores/ VP Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations

  • Publicist Eleanor Lambert Publicity, New York (fashion)

  • Journalist. Staff writer for several newspapers including Salt Lake Tribune. Columnist  Pasadena Star News. Reviewer for papers like Glendale News-Press.

Recent media releases.

Please see "Published Works Almanac" on this site for others.

Sharing with Writers Newsletter
n Extension of the HowToDoItFrugally Series
of Books for Writers

Endorsement for Carolyn's newsletter:

"The .pdf based Sharing with Writers e-newsletter published by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the Frugal Book Promoter and other truly insightful tomes, is probably the best electronic publication that comes across my screen.

"Sharing with Writers is always loaded with practical tips and advice. It takes me only seconds to implement the ones that hold promise for my books, and many of those I’ve tried have led to definitive results like more traffic to my Web site, participation in a new online venue or more exposure to libraries and the book buying trade. The newsletter provides a by-product of camaraderie with other authors and promoters in the community that reads Sharing with Writers, sharing motivation among the members."
Peggi Ridgway, author, Successful Website Marketing and Wordpix Solutions,
Web Design & Hosting, Brochures, Newsletters & Books

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

Learn more about Carolyn's SharingwithWriters Newsletter.
Read back issues of Carolyn's SharingwithWriters Newsletter
Serving Writers Since 2003

Measuring Marketing Success

Getting alerts is a miraculous thing. I woke this morning to an alert from Social Oomph that Thornton Publishing had named The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success #1 book for authors who want to put out a professional self-published book. Boy, was I all puffed up and happy. What a gift to be able to help so many of their writers. 

 But it is a gift I might not have known about were I not using the alert functions of services like SocialOoomph.com and Google Alerts. Measuring Marketing Success--the results of techniques I espouse in The Frugal Book Promoter as an example--is not easy. Authors who are disappointed in the results of their marketing are often the same ones who don’t use alerts to let them know when their name or title is being mentioned on the Web. So, if you aren't doing this, go to your Google account and sign up for their Alerts. Then hustle on over to SocialOomph.com and let them alert you when people are tweeting about you!

Buy Links for Carolyn's Books

Great Fiction
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
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
Second Edition

Survive and Thrive Series of HowToDoItFrugally Books for Retailers

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


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



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


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. 

Publisher Nancy Cleary's Photo of her porcupine copy
of the first edition of The Frugal Book Promoter
a multi award-winning classic.


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

Find Carolyn on the Web

  writers retailers

Carolyn's Tips

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


"Howard-Johnson has the comforting tone of a mentor and writes with the precision of a surgeon."
Francine Silverman, editor Book Promotion Newsletter

"When I finished my first novel, Edges, O Israel, O Palestine, I was in tears. Not my usual tears about letting go of my creation, but tears because the world of publishing, promotion, publicity was a hostile enemy camp, I was lost in anxiety bordering on paranoia bordering on terror.  How in the world does a novice author navigate this guerilla warfare without a bankroll? There were so many promises made by publicist charging over $5,000 a month.
~From The Jewish Press, Letters to the Editor

"Carolyn, as your excellent review has noted, DOES make you feel as if you've earned an PhD in publicity. she gives your confidence and arms you well, like a good pacifist. Her non-violent approach is about frugal, common sense practical ways of  making your book visible and read.

 "As you also say in this review.. "In this era of cash-crunched PR budgets and time consumed publishing house staff members, The Frugal Book Promoter is an important item for empowering any author’s publicity planning. "

"Thanks for letting others know about our dear Carolyn Howard-Johnson (uh..yes, that is her real name)."
~ Leora Skolkin-Smith

"...you can't go wrong in faithfully following Carolyn Howard-Johnson's advice in her INVALUABLE eighteen page book proposal [The Great First Impression Book Proposal from Amazon Shorts.]"
~ Frances Lynn, author of Crushed

Sponsoring Site

If you love my 3D book images, you can have one done for your book, too!

Try Gene Cartwright's iFOGO
village and Amazon List Network
3D book cover service.

Carolyn's Blogs

The Frugal Retailer Blog
Carolyn shares nearly three decades of retailing experience   with
an emphasis on marketing.

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
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
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,

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

Other Social Media

Find my favorite social media on the
social media page.

Easy Access to Resources for Writers

Yes You Can Get Reviews

Other Interests



Easy Access to Resources for Writers

Carolyn's Poetry

Imperfect Echoes
Celebration Series

Carolyn's Literary Works

This is the Place
Published Shorter Works

Carolyn's How to Do it Frugally Series

For Writers
For Retailers

Easy Access to Resources for Writers

Carolyn's HowToDoIt Frugally Series for Writers

Getting Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically New!

The Frugal Book Promoter

The Frugal Editor

Great Book Proposals in 30 Minutes

Last-Minute Edits and Word Trippers


Proud Member

Honorary Member

ABWA is a group of highly skilled networkering women in business.

Military Writers' Society of America

Also, honorary member of Publishers and Writers of San Diego, Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (GLAWS), IWOSC, and Publishers Association of Los Angeles (PALA)

Book Publicists of Southern California (BPSC)  Pix: Proud Irwin Award Winners
Carolyn and Janet Goliger.

Carolyn Consults

For a variety of reasons, I've been using CreateSpace.com to publish many of my how-to books and poetry chapbooks.  I can help you find the right way to publishing your book, too, even guide you through the publishing process. Learn more on my consulting page.

Promotion Tip

Don't wait until your book is published (or even until you have a contract in hand) to start building your brand. Now is the time for all good authors to promote. It's never too early or too late (unless you waited until your traditionally published book has gone to the shredder!).  One way to start early is to write book reviews for Amazon and other places -- online or or in print.

Find at least one
tip on promotion, writing, 
or tech on every page
of this Web site.

Promotion Tip

Learn how to direct your promotion efforts to your audience. Amazon is a great place to start. The perks offered to authors there are free and Amazon is where readers hang out. The chapter in The Frugal Book Promoter on Amazon benefits will help you do it right.

Find at least one
tip on promotion, writing, 
or tech on every page
of this Web site.

Promotion Tip

Most writers' conferences are expensive. Carolyn's The Frugal Book Promoter may be the only book that presents a step-by-step system for getting the most out of one. There are alternatives to books for frugal learning, though. Check the Muse Online Writers' Conference cosponsored by Carolyn and Lea Schizas.

Find at least one tip
 on promotion, writing, 
or tech on every page
of this Web site.

Promotion Tip

Trade shows are different from book fairs; for authors with restricted budgets can find a publisher or organization that have booths. An appearance at one will helps you start a buzz for your book. They are most effective when you plan to attend (and sign!) just before or just after your book is published.  Check out Book Expo America for USA's biggest.

Find at least one
tip on promotion, writing, 
or tech on every page
of this Web site.

Promotion Tip

Don't wait until your book is published (or even until you have a contract in hand) to start building your brand. Now is the time for all good authors to promote. It's never too early or too late (unless you waited until your traditionally published book has gone to the shredder!).  One way to start early is to write book reviews for Amazon and other places -- online or or in print.

Find at least one tip on promotion, writing,  or tech on every page of this Web site. 

A Selection of Carolyn's Past Speaking Engagements

National Stationery Show May 17-20, 2009 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY Consider this a business essential.

Presenter 2009, 2010

Presenter, 2008, 09, 10, 11

Panel moderator, 2007

National Span College
presenter 2002

Fellows presenter, 2007, 08

Co-sponsor and presenter,
2007, 08, 09, 10, 11

University of Dayton Erma Bombeck Writers' Conference, 2006, 2008

Sisters in Crime,
Pasadena, 2009

On the Los Angeles Valley College Campus 2012, Rancho Library 2013,
Valley College Spring 2014

Wisconsin Regional Writers Association
Presenter, Keynote 2010

Book 'Em, NC,
Three Panels 2013

Presenter, 2013

Seminar Speaker, 2014

Keynote, 2013; 2014

Secrets of Great
Dialogue, 2015

Digging Up Memories and Bringing the Dead Back to Life

Frugal Book Promotion.
Judith Briles' Extravaganza,
Denver, CO, 2016

Learn more about Carolyn's conferences.

Proud to Support

World Wild Life

with Sublime Planet
book of poetry
Earth Day

Featured in
Pasadena Weekly
Arts and Entertainment Section

All Proceeds to be donated to the World Wildlife Fund

Carolyn's Poetry

Cover art by Vicki Thomas, Poetry by Magdalena Ball and Carolyn Howard-Johnson

"Cherished Pulse is full of poems that describe love from the eyes and hearts of young and old. We see love in its youthful stage, stirring the hearts of man and woman alike and tying a bond that even death cannot break. As we continue reading, we understand that love deepens into an awesome, but quiet joy as the couple grows older. These poems renew our faith in love as they remind us of our own experience with this most sought after emotion."
~ Lucille P Robinson for Alternative-Read.com


Third in the Celebration of Chapbooks with Magdalena Ball, Imagining the Future is written expressly for fathers "and other masculine apparitions."

She Wore Emerald Then is a book of Moods of Motherhood: thirty poems by award-winning poets Magdalena Ball and Carolyn Howard-Johnson, with original photography by May Lattanzio. A beautifully presented, tender and strikingly original gift book, ideal for Mother's Day or any day when you want to celebrate the notion of motherhood in its broadest sense.  Share this collection with someone you love.

More on Blooming Red: Christmas Poetry for the Rational on this Web site.

Sublime Planet is an e-chapbook and paperback published in the time-honored tradition of poets everywhere. This collection of ecologically oriented poems traverses a wide terrain, moving from the loss of species to the beauty of the natural world, from drought to the exploration of alternative planets. It's an exhilarating collection that breaks boundaries and leads the reader deep into the personal heart of perception. Released by award winning poets Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball to celebrate Earth Day, this is a collection of poetry that weaves the personal with the universal. Photograpy by Ann Howley.

“Whatever your age these poems celebrating women will speak to you of times to look forward to or to remember. These are not poems to be read once. They will stay with you forever.” ~ Nancy Famolari, author.

Also by Carolyn:

Tracings is winner of the Military Society of America's Award of Excellence and named to the Compulsive Reader's Ten Best Reads of 2005

Imperfect Echoes is Carolyn's newest poetry book. Writing Truth and Justice with Capital Letters, lie and oppression with Small. 

Cover and interior art by Richard Conway Jackson
All proceeds go to Amnesty International

Site Sponsor

As Featured in
Publishers Weekly

Gold winner for Readers Favorite Nonfiction/ Education

And a silver
Global E-Book Award

Marketing Tip

Carolyn Loves Author Learning Center. She even recorded a tip for their free Learning Center tutorials on finding something in your past that will add credibility to your query letter and bio--even if you haven't yet published!



"Careers that are not fed die as readily as any living organism given no sustenance." 

~ Carolyn Howard-Johnson