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

Ta Da!! Carolyn's
The Frugal Book Promoter
To the Rescue

"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 

The Frugal Book Promoter continues to garner great ratings on Amazon
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 it's lower Amazon ranks--
achieved with no artificial online launch or sales gimmicks.

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


The Original Multi Award-Winning Edition is the
Little Engine that Could.
The award-winning second edition (above) is updated, expanded and still going strong.

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




The Frugal Book Promoter

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




"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://budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo.
~ Reviewed by Leora Krygier, author of When She Sleeps (Toby Press).

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.

The Frugal Book Promoter


Section I : It’s Never Too Early To Think About Marketing.

Section I : It’s Never Too Early To Think About Marketing.

Section II : What Do You Do After You’ve Signed Your Contract?.

Section III   After Your Book Is Published And Ever After



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/UCLA 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, audios 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 marketing
  • Glendale Community College, overseas study and basic 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

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

  • Publicist Eleanor Lambert Publicity, New York (fashion)

  • Journalist. Staff writer for everal newspapers including Salt Lake Tribune. Columnist and Reviewer for papers like Pasadena Star News, 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 text-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

Sylvia McClain, editor of Scribal Calendar, talks about
how reading books  meant for other industries
can help writers on my Sharing with Writers blog.

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! Find it at http://ping.fm/bMnCb  or http://advancedbookmarketing.com/BookEditing.php.

 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!

  A Reader's Promotion Campaign

In The Frugal Book Promoter I suggest writing one great thank you letter a day as an part of a great promotion campaign. Here is an example of a one from one of my readers. All the elements for caring promotion (and, yes! etiquette!) are in it!

Can't tell you how much I have learned from your book.  My only lament is that my publisher didn't give it to me with the advance!  My ARCS comes out next month along with my galleys.  I'm so far behind the power curve, it almost funny.  None-the-less, your book is God sent and will make such a difference for me, thanks so much.  I've even talked my publisher into providing a copy of your book with each new contract. They are small, so I doubt that you be able to afford that new Lexus on
the difference, but what the heck.

My publisher has added me to the Author's page and Books page of the Web site. http://onstagepublishing.com/ .  The Advance Reader Copy (ARC) and Galleys will be ready in early March.  We plan a book release date of May.  More details as they become available. 

Here's my Web site: ( www.skyway-to-asia.com ), or you can Google - Flying Boats & Spies.  I realize you must be very busy but any comments you care to send my way, would be most appreciated. (Hey, in your book, you're the one who said to ask ... ;^)

My first blubs are below, I'm learning, but slowly...

"Delightful! Flying Boats & Spies is a welcome return to a glamorous age
of high-adventure and heroes and a tribute to the grand-adventure series
of yesteryear. Rollicking and great fun, this well-told tale of
international intrigue should appeal to every generation in a family. I
look forward to future volumes in this series."  -  Ralph Peters, author
of Wars Of Blood And Faith

"'Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear...'Flying
Boats and Spies pays stirring tribute to the classic adventurers of the
impossibly romantic pre-World War II period, adding depth, realism, and
charm in liberal measure." - Michael Dobson, co-author of Fox on the
Rhine and MacArthur's War.

Thanks again and feel free to use anything I wrote - if you'd like.

Jamie F. Dodson, www.skyway-to-asia.com

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

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"

Buy Links for Carolyn's Books

Great Fiction
HARKENING at Amazon.

Great Poetry
Purchase TRACINGS (Finishing Line Press) at Amazon.

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 the Planet and the Universe as Never Before

HowToDoItFrugally Series for Writers

Survive and Thrive Series of HowToDoItFrugally Books for Retailers

Most of Carolyn's books are also available for the Kindle reader and
using Amazon's app, other readers, too.


 "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

All Carolyn's Frugal Books Are Available on Kindle
As Well as Paperback

Helpful Books for Writers

  Helpful Books for Retailers

Poetry: The perfect inspirational gift

Fiction and Short Stories

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. 

Carolyn was an instructor for
UCLA Extension Writers' Program for nearly a decade.

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 Calendar

Please click on my Google Calendar button to learn more about my upcoming UCLA Extension Writers' Program classes, my writers' conference and book fair appearances, and more.

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

Carolyn's Recommendations

A highly Recommended Reading Companion to The Frugal Book Promoter :




Wasabi Club, a group of PR professionals, presents Carolyn in a teleseminar on editing We talk about the PR business, about finding the right editor, and more. Michelle Tennant Nicholson is the interviewer.

Award-Winning Podcast


Tip for Learning with Podcasts

Carolyn's podcasts are all n Authors' Access Top Ten LIsts, 2007, 08, 09.

Visit with the creative force behind the HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for writers. Carolyn shared her best tips and strategies for low-cost/zero-cost marketing campaigns and also talked about what NOT to do to market your books. She also talks about the value of editing and how it directly controls how your proposals, books, and marketing are perceived in the marketplace. Listen to the interview on Authors Access (visit link and click on the PODCAST button). Tune in each week as Irene and Victor interview industry luminaries on marketing, writing, editing, and publishing by subscribing to the RSS feed.

Podcast Endorsement

"...  I have no doubt this episode [of AuthorSuccess.com podcasts] will go on to be forever in our Top 10 list. Congratulations on a great show! ~Victor R. Volkman, cohost of AuthorsAccess.com

Find at least one tip on writing, promotion or tech on every page.


Time to Kindle

Carolyn's How-To and Poetry Books Are Available on Kindle.
Click here to buy the big, powerful one that I love:

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
Online Universities'

101 Book Blogs
You Need to Read

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
Nominated: 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.

Published Works Almanac

Other Interests


Carolyn's Poetry

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

Proud Member of. . .


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

Military Writers' Society of America

Honorary member of Publishers and Writers of San Diego.

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

A Selection of 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

Wisconsin Regional Writers Association
Presenter, Keynote 2010

Book 'Em in Feb. 2013.

Learn of more about "Carolyn's conferences" and other picks.

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Authors! I repin your books to my boards when you repin mine to yours!

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