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The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't
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   A “how to” guide packed with resources!

Title: The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't

Author: Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Publisher: Star Publish; (July 2004)

Genre: How To

ISBN: 193299310X

Paperback: 248 pages



Rating: Highly Recommended


October 13, 2004


Need the tools to sell your book(s) more effectively?


Whatever path you chose for your book, whether it's published by a major publisher, co- publisher, self-publisher, Office Depot and Kinko's, or your handy lap-top and HP laser jet printer, no one will know about it unless you are ready to take the next step; marketing and promotion.


Marketing a book can be a very complex process. Author Howard-Johnson, a former publicist, award-winning author and instructor for UCLA’s world-renowned Writers’ Program shows you how to use promotional gifts, how to get an editor's attention, how to build relationships with the media, editors, readers and librarians. How to gain exposure through radio, television, magazine and newspaper book reviews. Included is a step-by-step guide to building a media kit.


THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER contains everything you need to write, print and promote your book-faster, easier and cheaper. This book will show you a clear, well-mapped path for distinguishing your work from the crowded clutter of the publishing industry. In fact, savvy individuals should take advantage of this author’s know how!


Reviewed by Betsie


Purchase your copy today!

An Interview with Carolyn Howard-Johnson



Betsie: To start this off, why don't you give an idea of what the book is about?


My newest book, THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER: HOW TO DO WHAT YOUR PUBLISHER WON'T, is my first nonfiction book and a labor of love.  I took time from my greatest passions, fiction and poetry, to write it and share it using both e-book format and paperback. I thought the inexpensive e-book would benefit both my UCLA Extension Writers’ Program students and emerging authors and, of course, a paperback is preferred by those who still like to have a book “to have and to hold.” 




Betsie: Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?


Betsie, that sounds like the theme of my second book, Harkening.  It’s a collection of short stories and explores how family legends affect lives and how each of us sees and tells them differently. 



Betsie: Who were your earliest influences and why?


My mother was a natural story-teller.  My father a natural marketer (they called them “salesmen” back then).  What better combination could one ask for? 



Betsie: What would a typical day be like for a writer?


I spend most of my day on the computer writing and promoting.  I don’t mind isolation at all; in fact I love to go away and for long weekends, play the hermit and get three chapters written in one sitting!




Betsie: How long have you been writing and in what capacities?


I was the youngest person to be hired as a staff writer by the Salt Lake Tribune (at that time, anyway)  I conceived my first novel about that time and it had a very, very long gestation period.  I’ve been actively writing fiction and poetry for only about five years but I’ve been a publicist/marketer for most of my life--both for others and for my own business.



Betsie: Which is more difficult to write - Fiction or nonfiction and why?


They are so different. I think what is pertinent here is that each requires different skills and that many who have been trained in one--usually nonfiction--assume they can move right in and do the other effectively.  I think that’s a mistake.  One needs to learn something about each in terms of craft. 




Betsie: Has there ever been a time when you wanted to throw in the towel and give up? And if so, how did you defeat those instincts?


Absolutely never.  When I didn’t write, I turned unhappiness in on myself.  I now I know that I simply must write and will write.




Betsie: What is the hardest part about being a writer?


Nothing is hard if we but tackle it with the urgency to call on others to help or to do the needed research on our own. 




Betsie: Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?


I have children, grandchildren, a writer/actor husband.  I love to read, and ski.  I stay in touch with old business associates from a former life (retail).  I teach and facilitate a critique group.  I love to associate with other authors.




Betsie: Articles and media alike make it sound as though the only way to rise to the top is to sacrifice. What do you find to be good sacrifices?


I’m not sure that a person who thinks writing as a sacrifice is in the right business.  I am not one who thinks sacrifice is good for a career or one’s health. Now, dedication is something else again. 




Betsie: What question do you get asked more than any other?


If I’m a Mormon.  I’m from Utah and my first book is set in that state. The answer is: culturally, yes.  Religiously, no.




Betsie: What’s the coolest thing a reader has said to you?


I actually keep a file labeled “fan mail.”  That term makes me laugh; it is the file I go to when I need an upper.  Here is an unsolicited quote that I absolutely love!


My (success with promotion) is all because of what I call the "Carolyn Factor." What's the "Carolyn Factor", you ask? Well, whenever I have doubts about doing/writing/promoting/putting myself out there -I think about what you would say to me.  You would show me how to do it and then, to borrow from Nike..... you would say, “Just do it”.......and then I do.


Leora G. Krygier, author of WHEN SHE SLEEPS, www.leorakrygier.com




Betsie: What has been your feedback from readers? What do they say to you about their interpretations of your book?


I’ll answer that about FRUGAL, because it is my most recent. But I also get amazing comments about This is the Place. Here’s a quote from a review that appeared on Barnes and Noble.com.


From Barnes and Noble:


Leora Skolkin-Smith, novelist, August 13, 2004,
A wonderful asset for the soon-to-be-published author I just spent the day reading this wonderful downloaded book. It's a life-saver. Just fabulous. Really. I'm a first- time novelist and petrified. The book gave me so many down-to-earth ways to understand how to proceed. It's hard to be facing publication and I know my publisher, a small but prestigious literary house, is not really going to be able to contribute much in terms of publicity. I'm much relieved to know now about all the positive steps I can take myself.





Betsie: Do you think that as a writer you are more prone to watching what goes on around you and observing behaviors than most people are?


No sense in couching this.  Yes, I do.  If not in observing then at least in the way I interpret what I see. 




Betsie: Who are some of the authors you consider to be "don't miss"?


Ray Bradbury, Joanne Harris, Fannie Flagg. I like the classics, too.  I like to feel I’ve gotten a bonus from my reading--that I know more when I close the book than when I started. I try to give readers that with my writing, too--fiction or nonfiction.




Betsie: If one were looking to start his/her own career as a writer, what would you suggest his/her first step to be?


Never lose the wonder of the world you had as a child.




Betsie: What kind of movies do you enjoy?


I like any movie that is entertaining.  I wrote a screenplay called “The Killing Grounds” and I love to dissect movies.  I can find something good in 95% of them.




Betsie: What is your favorite city to visit, but one that you wouldn’t want to live in?


New York, New York!!!  Traveling is a great love.  I have lived in New York.  Loved it.  But wouldn’t want to live there again.  I love Los Angeles’ sunshine and that's where I choose to live now.




Betsie: What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked in an interview?


I don’t believe there is such a thing as a stupid question; maybe I’m just lucky not to have ever been asked a strange one either!  (-:




Betsie: What’s the best part of being a writer?


I love to share that part of me that is similar to everyone else--the strain that runs through all mankind.  And I love to have someone notice that is what we are doing--sharing. 




Betsie: What's next?


I have the beginnings of a novel and a book of poetry hiding in the bowels of my computer. 



Betsie’s Literary Page thanks Ms. Howard-Johnson for her time and we wish her great success! If you’d like to learn more about this author just select any of the following links.



Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Author
is a best-selling e-book at
Purchase the paperback at
http://www.amazon.com/. Learn more at: http://carolynhowardjohnson.com/ .
Read a recent review by Jenna Glatzer at: