The Frugal Book Promoter, by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Ranked #3,281 in Books, Poetry & Writing, #89,380 overall

Carolyn Howard-Johnson is my unofficial writing mentor. I write ‘unofficial’ because I basically adopted her and her work as my go-to guides for improving and promoting my writing. Our paths crossed when we were both writing for MyShelf.com, a long-standing book review website.

Carolyn advocates for writers, particularly in helping them maneuver through the publishing and marketing world. She opened my eyes to viewing my writing as a business. She’s also on my short list of authors whose books I buy as soon as they’re published. I always know I’ll learn something from her.

In case you don’t know her name, Carolyn has an exemplary career spanning journalism, publishing, marketing, retail and teaching. She is an award-winning author and poet and a professor for UCLA Extension's renowned Writers' Program.

I’ve recommended Carolyn’s books to many writer and author friends over the years. This series, The How To Do It Frugally, is one of my favorites. In particular, The Frugal Book Promoter is a valuable book for any writer or author struggling to get their work known to readers.

The book is jammed packed with the how-to’s on book promotion. The advice delves into frugal methods of packaging and publicizing your work.

While I don’t have a book yet published, I’ve gain a lot of insight on publishing and marketing. I’ve often used her advice to help author friends market their books. These tips aren’t your run-of-the-mill guidelines, like ‘start a twitter account’ or ‘send review copies’. Carolyn gives step-by-step guidelines on each area of marketing, based on her personal experience in publishing, retail and PR.

This second edition is over 400 pages. Yes, that’s not a typo, and there’s no fluff. I read through the book once from beginning to end and then went to certain chapters when I needed particular help.

Some of the topics include how to find reviewers, packaging and mail your book for less money, how to create buzz at book fairs, how to create a media package and how to market online. Each section talks about the cost of each step and offers advice on how to do it inexpensively or whether you should pay for an upgraded option. Carolyn makes sure you’re spending your advertising dollars on ways that are most effective.

One of the sections touches on how to use Squidoo to promote your book and establish an author platform. I’m honored to say that Carolyn asked to interview me on Squidoo marketing for writers. My advice is included in this section, and I’m beyond thrilled to be included in such an invaluable resource.

If you’re a new or established author, you’ll find a ton of advice on promoting your books. Most authors realize their publisher doesn’t have the marketing budget to promote their books. Once the book is written and published, authors need to step up and learn how to do their own PR. It’s not as daunting, especially if you have this book as a guide. Plus, you won’t need a huge budget to market your work.

The frugal way of marketing is the main focus on this book. Please don’t mistake this for one of many books by so-called experts that promise you’ll become a best seller author in no time. The Frugal Book Promoter is filled with solid advice by a well-established, award-winning writer with marketing expertise.

I keep this book close at hand while I promote my own writing, and it’s the first book I recommend when I connect with a new author. Some of the sections I haven’t used since I don’t have a book to promote yet, but others are very handy for promoting my writing and freelance writing business.

I highly recommend The Frugal Book Promoter: Second Edition. I think you’ll find it as valuable as I have.

Watch these interviews with Carolyn Howard-Johnson as she shares tips on author platforms and book promotion.

Are you an author searching for marketing help?

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  • JaguarJulie Apr 06, 2014 @ 4:09 pm
    I must admit that it took me a long time to get here to where I'd be interested in frugal book promoting. Great advice for us writers.
  • JenniferAkers Apr 12, 2014 @ 4:01 pm
    You may think it took you awhile, but I think we arrive at solutions at just the right time. :) I've always admired your writing, Julie - would love to hear how you're doing, and if the book helped you.
  • leahjsongs Jan 23, 2014 @ 12:12 am
    That's so cool that you got interviewed! Good recommendation lens. I am collecting all the info I can get on marketing and self-publishing or small-house publishing.
  • JenniferAkers Apr 12, 2014 @ 3:59 pm
    Leah, thank you so much! I was thrilled to be interviewed (in case it's not obvious on the page, LOL). I hope this book helps you - Good Luck with marketing your books. Stop by again and let me know how you're doing. If you'd like to contact me privately with your book URL, please feel free! I love sharing other authors' works!
  • sszomahane Jan 21, 2014 @ 12:25 am
    Fantastic lens, this is indeed a great way to spread the word about your book. Well done.
  • JenniferAkers Apr 12, 2014 @ 3:57 pm
    Thank you for visiting and commenting. I hope you find the book helpful in future projects.
  • DebMartin Jan 20, 2014 @ 9:34 pm
    I'd love to learn how to market my writing.
  • JenniferAkers Jan 20, 2014 @ 10:31 pm
    Hi Deb, I think you'll find great marketing help with Carolyn's book. Also, check out her website, where she offers lots of free resources for authors.
  • carknack Jan 20, 2014 @ 6:00 pm
    The frugal book sounds great is it available on Kindle
  • JenniferAkers Jan 20, 2014 @ 6:52 pm
    Yes, it is available on Kindle. :)
  • Marti Jan 19, 2014 @ 3:05 am
    I like Carolyn and her information is great. Very nice lens - congratulations on Lens of the day!
  • JenniferAkers Jan 20, 2014 @ 12:28 am
    Thank you so much, Marti! That means a lot to me -- you've been a great Squidoo mentor and friend.
  • Cercis Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:34 pm
    Excellent review! An author that, unfortunately, I've never heard of before. However, I'll be checking out some of your suggestions.
  • JenniferAkers Jan 19, 2014 @ 12:02 am
    That's terrific, Cercis! I'm so happy to be able to introduce Carolyn and her work to you. Let me know what you think. Thanks for visiting and commenting. :)
  • RenaissanceWoman2010 Jan 18, 2014 @ 9:10 pm
    Congratulations on your honor!
  • JenniferAkers Jan 19, 2014 @ 12:01 am
    Thank you so much, RenaissanceWoman!
  • Aladdins-Cave Jan 18, 2014 @ 7:03 pm
    Found your lens via Twitter. Thank you.
    I wrote a book & self published a paperback sometime ago.
    Road Trip Australia to Germany.
    Now I'm trying to find ways to promote sales. Squidoo is not working for me. Not one sold in 4 years.
    Cheers from DOWNUNDER
  • JenniferAkers Jan 19, 2014 @ 12:01 am
    So sorry to hear that Squidoo did not work as a sales tool for your work. Carolyn's book is very helpful on all the ways you can market - best of all, they're free or low cost.
  • Moviles-Baratos Jan 18, 2014 @ 6:38 pm
    great
  • JenniferAkers Jan 19, 2014 @ 12:00 am
    Thanks!
  • campingman Jan 18, 2014 @ 5:34 pm
    I must apologize for the fact that I have never herd of Carolyn Howard-Johnson nor her writings. Your enthusiasm for her book the Frugal Book Promoter, makes for an interesting sideline as something to buy and read. Thanks for sharing.
  • JenniferAkers Jan 19, 2014 @ 12:00 am
    I'm so happy I'm able to introduce you to Carolyn and her work. She's written several books, including poetry chapbooks. I can't wait to hear what you think of her work, campingman.
  • lollyj Jan 18, 2014 @ 5:32 pm
    Interesting, helpful lens for any writers trying to navigate the many pitfalls.
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:58 pm
    So true. It's helpful to have a guide when you take on promotion. Thanks for your kind words and visit!
  • rauspitz Jan 18, 2014 @ 4:20 pm
    A very useful service for emerging writers. Congratulations on getting LotD!
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:57 pm
    Thank you for your kind words and your visit! I'm thrilled on getting LotD!
  • d-artist Jan 18, 2014 @ 3:27 pm
    Congratulations on LOTD! Well written and interesting lens...I'm not a writer, just a story teller without proper writing skills. I wish I could write a book, but the only way that will happen is someone else writes it...I have been approached but I'm leery.
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:57 pm
    Thank you so much for visiting and for your kind comments. Don't sell yourself short - story telling is a gift. I think many people see the act of writing a book as something out of reach - it doesn't have to be, especially if you think about how much you write in general. I'll be cheering for you!
  • getmoreinfo Jan 18, 2014 @ 2:34 pm
    Wow this sounds like an interesting way to get publicity without breaking the bank, thanks for the review.
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:55 pm
    Absolutely! Be sure to check out Carolyn's web - she shares a lot of free and low-cost publicity ideas for authors.

    www.howtodoitfrugally.com/?
  • LindaJM Jan 18, 2014 @ 2:15 pm
    This is really helpful... thanks so much!!!!
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:53 pm
    Thank you, Linda! I'm so happy you found the lens helpful.
  • AngryBaker Jan 18, 2014 @ 2:07 pm
    Sounds like I book I need on my desk.. thanks for introducing me.
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:50 pm
    Yes, I think so. :) I'm so happy to be able to share this resource. I've found it to be invaluable.
  • nightcats Jan 18, 2014 @ 2:06 pm
    I have never heard of this writer before, or her books. It may be something I want to look into. I have retired from a career as a free lance writer (among other things), but you never know.I may want to revisit writing again some day.
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:47 pm
    That's wonderful I'm able to introduce you to Carolyn and her work. And thank you for sharing about your freelancing. I guess you never know when the words will call you back, right? :)
  • Brite-Ideas Jan 18, 2014 @ 1:25 pm
    This is a wonderful review, and because of it, I plan to get this book
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:46 pm
    That's wonderful news! I think you'll find it helpful. I'd love to hear your thoughts after you buy it. :)
  • scarlettohairy Jan 18, 2014 @ 1:23 pm
    I remember working with Carolyn years ago on an e-cookbook with a bunch of other writers.
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:45 pm
    How neat!! Small world, isn't it? I love hearing how everyone connects, especially with different writing projects.
  • RoadMonkey Jan 18, 2014 @ 1:09 pm
    Sounds interesting. Am going to share this on Facebook for those aspiring writers I know.
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:44 pm
    That's wonderful news! Thanks for sharing the review of The Frugal Book Promoter. I think your writer friends will find it helpful.
  • GrammaLinda Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:42 am
    I look forward to reading this. Thanks for the information.
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:43 pm
    My pleasure, GrammaLinda! I'd love to hear what you think of the book. Enjoy it!
  • BarbaraCasey Jan 18, 2014 @ 10:48 am
    Cool... another resource to check out. Thanks!
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:48 pm
    So happy to share it, Barbara! Thanks for visiting and commenting.
  • JeriBaker Jan 18, 2014 @ 10:27 am
    Interesting. Thank you for the resources.
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:42 pm
    Thank you, Jeri!
  • StephenJParkin Jan 18, 2014 @ 10:19 am
    I really appreciated this lens as I have been giving considerable thought to writing and publishing a few book and have the ideas, but no method of promoting my work yet!
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:42 pm
    That's super, Stephen! I know you'll find the book to be invaluable as you market your books. Good luck to you!
  • Ruthi Jan 18, 2014 @ 9:29 am
    Carolyn-Howard Johnson seems like an author whose books I need to become familiar with as I continue to write. I plan to self-publish a chapbook of poetry and prose this year.
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:41 pm
    Definitely, Ruth! Oh, and Carolyn has written some beautiful poetry and a few chapbooks with another brilliant author Magdalena Ball. Be sure to check out Carolyn's website for more author resources. I can't wait to hear about your PUBLISHED poetry chapbooks - I love your work!
  • tonyleather Jan 18, 2014 @ 8:38 am
    Sounds like an excellent read!
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:36 pm
    I think so, Tony! I hope you and others will find it helpful too. :)
  • Merrci Jan 18, 2014 @ 7:38 am
    Sounds like a must have for authors! Great review, and congratulations on LotD!!!
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:36 pm
    Thank you so much, Merrci! It's been on my must-have list for authors. Happy to see it awarded LotD!
  • Jan 18, 2014 @ 6:41 am
    congrats on lotd.. good info for me
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:35 pm
    Thank you, Ailyn! Happy to hear it will help you.
  • DaisyDixon Jan 18, 2014 @ 6:07 am
    Great review, will have to check these out sometime!
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:35 pm
    Thanks so much, Daisy! After you check them out, let me know what you think. :)
  • eva_writes Jan 18, 2014 @ 4:18 am
    Thanks! Maybe I should buy this book, it sounds great!
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:33 pm
    Thanks for visiting and commenting, Eva! I think you'd find a lot of helpful information. Let me know what you think when you buy it. :)
  • lhbeninger Jan 18, 2014 @ 12:07 am
    Congratulations on your LotD honor. Is the focus of the book non-fiction or will I find a lot of suggestions for fiction promotion?
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:32 pm
    Thank you so much! Yes, the book is for non-fiction and fiction book promotion. Sooo many ideas, I doubt anyone could do them all, but the book does cover marketing, steps A-Z, so to speak.
  • rms Jan 17, 2014 @ 6:23 pm
    Carolyn is great.
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:30 pm
    Yes, she is. Love all her work. I've learned so much from her.
  • bloomingrose Jan 01, 2014 @ 12:30 am
    Really excellent review. So many of us are budding or actual authors, this is very helpful.
  • JenniferAkers Jan 18, 2014 @ 11:27 pm
    Thank you so much for visiting and for your kind words, bloomingrose. I've found it to be an invaluable resource.