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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Standing Tall with Roots in Giving

Reviewed by Linda Ballou

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of The Frugal Book Promoter, and the Frugal Editor, comes from giving. She gives freely of her vast knowledge in marketing to an ever growing list of loyal readers. Whether you are considering subsidy publishing, self-publishing or a traditional publisher her books provide you with a roadmap and the tools to get your book into the public eye. A former publicist for a New York PR firm and a marketing instructor for the UCLA Extension’s Writer’s Program she tells us to put our best blossoms forward. “Think of your work as a bouquet that you arrange to its best advantage.”

The talk she gave at the San Fernanco Chapter of the Calfironia Writers Club (CWC) focused on how to create an effective media kit. Branding yourself, rather than your book, is critical in creating a lasting image and impression on editors. Collecting lists for distribution should be a part of your daily life. Developing an awareness of where opportunities to network lie will facilitate getting the word out about your book. Although she encourages creativity in presentation, editors do not want to search for information. They want it handed to them in an easy to use format that fills already established slots in newspapers and magazines. High points of her talk on how to build a media kit are detailed in the Frugal Book Promoter.

“Don’t be proprietary.” She warns us. “We want to share. We want people to know about what we think and feel.” Carolyn does not worry about people stealing her material. In fact, she invites editors to download articles off her site and to use them for free as long as they give her a byline. She gets more than dollars out of what she is doing. “Besides, she quips “Who wants to stay home watching I Love Lucy reruns?”
Reviewed by Linda Ballou –Adventure travel writer and author of Wai-nani—High Chiefess of Hawai`i—Her Ancient Journey

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