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"Sharing with Writers" is from the desks of Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER (USA Book News' "Best Professional Book 2004" and an Irwin Award winner) and THE FRUGAL EDITOR, winner of USA Book News Best Book award and Reader Views Literary Award, and her writing friends. Writing friends. That's YOU.

It is a place where you'll find writing and promotion tips and where you can share your own writing sucesses with other writers.
Newsletter Dated: 6/17/2012 8:58:45 AM

Subject: [SharingwithWriters]BEA, Mindy on Pinterest & Is Someone Else Grabbing Down Your Book's Profits?

If you prefer to read this letter in its not - so - glorious full formatted version ( - : copy and paste this URL into your browser:

June 15, 2012
Sharing with Writers
A newsletter that is also a community. Share your ideas. Learn from theirs! Associated with the multi award - winning series of HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers,

From the Desks of
Carolyn Howard - Johnson
and Sharing with Writers Subscribers

In the spirit of the advice I give in the Frugal Editor - - that is to use an extra pair of eyes whenever possible - - this newsletter is voluntarily copyedited by Mindy Phillips Lawrence ~ ~ I also tell writers to be patient with other writers when they make editing booboos. We're all human. This letter comes out weekly (except when I'm traveling or on deadline) and it's long!
This newsletter is powered by
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Regular Features
~Note from Carolyn
~Letters - to - the - Editor
~Thank Yous (where you also find leads and great resources!)
~Tips and News Galore! (They're scattered, you'll just have to find
~Opportunities (You’ll find them in several places.)
~Accessible Contests
~On Poetry
~Author Successes
~Mindy Lawrence's Itty Bitty Column: Pinterest and the Idea Mill
~Carolyn's Appearances and Teaching
~Wordstuff ™

This Issue
~Feature: Criticism Turned to Self Reflection: What Style for Newsletters?
~A Little Book Signing Story and Tip from Carolyn

Join me
For more writers’ resources on Twitter:
For resources and more personal fun on Facebook:
For special help for fiction writers:
Trade repins of our book covers with me on Pinterest:
For writers’ resources of all kinds:

Note: You may have better luck with the URLs in this newsletter if you copy and paste them into your browser window. I leave the links long rather than use hyperlinks because the letter is available in plain text in your e - mail window as well as in a .pdf format.

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Note from Carolyn

Dear Subscribers:

Yes, I’m b - a - a - a - ck!
Book Expo America (BEA) was a blast, as always. My husband went with me this year to introduce his What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A to Z, so it was even more fun showing him how some authors get to sign at the back of the hall like I did for my novel This Is the Place (now available only used on Amazon,

Showing him how even the big publishers have people who go out and corral attendees (attendees include librarians, booksellers, and those with press badges) to stand in line for copies that will eventually create buzz. (Some of the approaches for doing this were quite creative—like one for the new Lemony Snicket book. Talk about branding!)

Showing him how the most important part of a tradeshow like this isn’t necessarily the marketing but the educational opportunities—the seminars, author lunches, etc. I love the author lunches for adult books. We saw Barbara Kingsolver speak and I have to tell you, she has it down to an art (a talent I suggest all authors nurture if they possibly can!). I also love the author breakfasts for children’s books, though we didn’t do it this year.

Reiterating the importance of making contacts (meaning networking) which is important in any industry. He took like a duck to water in this industry called publishing. And it looks as if he will be signing a contract with a publisher from Brazil for a translation of his book in Portuguese. That’s something we didn’t even have on our to - do list!

And it was fun showing him how smart authors continue to make BEA work for them long after they’ve put the books they’ve collected into a tote and flown home. Authors like Nina Amir and Stephanie Dale who took photos for Facebook and their Web sites, etc. And shared them. (Note: You won’t be able to see the images if you don’t click on the link at the top of this newsletter where it always is—the link that gets you a pdf copy.)

It’s kind of funny because when my husband and I were running our own retail businesses, we attended so many tradeshows they became part of our DNA. So why did he need me for this? Well, because each industry is different. And I can’t even imagine how lost an author who hasn’t at least read up on BEA might feel!
I hope that any of you who haven’t been to a BEA begin to consider it for the next big show. Don’t listen to those who say it isn’t as “good” as it once was. All industries evolve and BEA is in flux. It is a little different than it was. That doesn’t mean it isn’t exciting, useful, important.

And then there’s New York! Sighhh. How I love it.

Joy, Happy Writing, Editing, and Promoting

PS: I had so much fun doing BlogTalkRadio with Paula Krapf and Penny Sansevieri. I think if you are at all interested in the direction of Book Expo America, and lots of the basic secrets for making your promotion campaign work, tune in to - money - out - of - pocket - shooting - your - book - to - stardom

PPS:Next issue I'll tell you about the "big dichotomy." That is, what the big publishers do for their top, money making authors vs. what the big publishers (and other publishers!) do for what is laughingly called their midlists. (I think mud - crawling lists would be more accurate.) The case study will be the very fancy brochure printed for Stephen Colbert's soon - to - be - released America Again: Re - Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't. It was given to attendees of the adult book breakfast instead of a copy of the book like we received from the other speakers, presumably because the whole book wasn't yet in release. Just a hint: It included 3 - D glasses a la the old time movie theaters and sample chapters from his book.

Needing something more meaningful for the celebrations in your life? Something that stays within your budget? Check out Cherished Pulse ( ($6.95) for someone you love. Try Imagining the Future: Ruminations on Fathers and Other Masculine Apparitions for the men in your life. Sure, they like fusses made over them, too! ( ($6.95). She Wore Emerald Then ( ($12.95), for mothers and other women, Deeper in the Pond, for the feminists in your life—both men and women ( ($6.95) and Blooming Red (, to use as Christmas cards or incidental holiday gifts. Plan next Christmas early. And ask about my special price on chapbook/cards purchased in bulk! All these chapbooks are from the Celebration Series of poetry from Magdalena Ball and me.

Letters - to - the - Editor:

It’s been great reading your newsletter the last couple months. I’m glad we re - connected. A couple quick notes before I go to the reason I wrote. The gentleman who took exception to your views on BEA, although he had several salient points, missed the major issue. It’s your newsletter and reflects your opinions. To me, it’s like a radio or TV station. If you don’t like the programming, tune out. I attended BEA and was a signing author for Biblio when my children’s book, Miller the Green Caterpillar, had just been released. Lost in the crowd? Yes. Sold a lot? No. Worth being there and experiencing the “Big Time” world of publishing? Priceless.

Also, the group sponsoring the New York Book Festival and the 20 or so other festivals in their repertoire… useless. I too, received Honorable Mention for “Miller”. I didn’t buy in to their personal marketing ploy, submitted to another “Festival,” was ignored and decided it was not a good place to spend my marketing budget. Like the poetry competitions that will publish anything in hopes you’ll buy the anthology, methinks it’s a scam.

Parents’ Choice Foundation honored my CD collection of spoken word children’s poetry with their Gold Award in 2010 and offered to sell me stickers to enhance the value of the product but I, somehow, think Parents’ Choice Foundation has more legitimacy than “Fly by Night” book festival.

But I digress. The reason I wanted to touch base with you is to make you and your readers aware that Amazon Studios, expanding on the success of their call for screenplays a couple years ago, has recently requested scripts, ideas, and pitches for small screen television programs, including children’s shows. I‘ve submitted an idea I have had for several years about a variety type program called Grandpa House’s House and as of this week, it is rated the third most popular pitch out of nearly 70 submissions. In the spirit of supporting each other, I would like to request anyone interested to submit their own ideas while, possibly, viewing, rating and commenting on my pitch, script and mini - bible, . It may not be the best opportunity for writers to break into television, but it’s the best one we have available at the moment.

Thanks for all you do. Your insights, suggestions, and direction are a light in the darkness to all of us who toil on a daily basis to create, market, and hopefully one day share in some of that success we all desire…

Sincerely, Darrell House
Author of illustrated children’s books and musical CDs, Miller the Green Caterpillar,The King of Fish, Underneath the Cushions on the Couch, Makes Me Feel Like Singing, and Speed - B - B - B - Bumps – Spoken word poetry. www.darrellhouse
Blogging at

My review blog is my gift to authors. It’s a place for you to honor authors and books you’ve loved with a review. It’s a place to recycle the review of your own book, the one you love most. It’s f r ^ ^. Submission guidelines are in the left column at =============================================

Tip: Last issue Mindy Philips Lawrence wrote her Itty Bitty column on writing reviews. The Frugal Book Promoter has a whole section in it on using reviews to build writing careers and build exposure for one’s book. Now Magdalena Ball’s Art of Assessment is newly available on Amazon. Find it at

Please paste this little blurb - - perhaps with a little endorsement - - in your newsletter or Web site: To subscribe to Sharing with Writers send an e - mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line to or go to for an auto subscribe box. Let me know you did it so I can do something similar for you on my Resources for Readers page at

In the News: The LA Times reports that people looking for jobs (that includes writers looking for work) should prepare two categories of resumes, “one for humans and one of computers.” That’s because only 10% of resumes—those with lots of matches for the very specific skills they are looking for—will ever be seen by a human. Example: an algorithm will recognize work experience words like the names of specific skills a writer has and programs a writer is familiar with. A live person’s interest, on the other hand, might be piqued by words like “career successes” and “accomplishments,” which are far more general. Having said that, I think humans would also appreciate some gritty detail! ( - : That’s what we writers are good at doing.

This is the only site I know that can help novelists, screenwriters, and playwrights get noticed by directors and producers. It’s BooksToFilm and it’s run by iFOGO’s Gene Cartwright. It isn’t as frugal as I’d like, but there are times it pays to spend a little. One of those times would be if our investment leads to something big: .

Tip: Are you going to be doing a local event soon? Would you like to attract some new locals (read that people who have never read your work or heard your name) in addition to the usual list of local readers you send invitations to? Consider USPS’s Every Door Direct program. Check the cost of reaching the people within walking or busing distance from the little indie bookstore you’ll be at. Maybe the bookstore owner would share the cost. As guests enter the event area, ask them to sign a guest book and ask them where they heard about the event. That will help you measure your marketing success. There is tons more on contact lists and making events successful in The Frugal Book Promoter (

My blog, War, Peace, Tolerance and Our Soldiers is where I get to nag and rag and try to make things better for our troops and maybe for the world. It includes a segment of frugal ways to help our troops and veterans. I'd love to have you leave a comment or send me a guest post.

Author Successes

Only subscribers’ successes are listed in this section. Thus, I do not pick up news of new releases or awards from general media releases for there is usually no way for me to know those releases come from subscribers. If you have an Author Success, please identify yourself as a subscriber in the subject line of your e - mail. Something like: “MEDIA RELEASE: Subscriber’s Success.”

Scribal News Celebrating 100 Issue!
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In August, Sylvia McClain will have published her 100th Scribal News Calendar issue. You will want to subscribe to her calendar to know what is going on in the publishing world and to share with Sylvia the events you are doing so she can let her subscribers know about you! Subscribe on her Web site at,and visit her blog at to read an opinionated column called “View Points.”

Author Publishes Children’s Book
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Author, Jo Linsdell, just published a children’s book of rhyming text and colourful pictures about a fun day discovering different animals at the zoo. Virginia Jennings says, “Easy to understand and easy for children to read along with. It is filled with simple yet colourful pictures that even held my one year old's attention!”
Linsdell is originally from the UK. She now lives in Rome, Italy, with her husband and their two young sons. Buy the book on Amazon at - about - at - zoo - Linsdell/dp/1477446591/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1337772988&sr=1 - 2

Winning Awards Part of Robert Schaefer’s Marketing Campaign
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Robert W. Schaeffer’s book ( - Chechnya - North - Caucasus - International/dp/031338634X) recently won a bronze IPPY for the foreign affairs/military category of the Independent Publisher's Book Awards. That's two awards, a "Best of 2011" from Kirkus Reviews, a "remarkable" from The Economist, and an "enormously helpful" from the New York Times - - and so many good reviews that now they won't all fit on his Amazon page.

He says, "I also wanted to let you know that MY assessment of your abilities has been completely different [from the assessment by your anonymous letter writer] and that by following your advice, I've achieved great results (as evidenced above).

"So chin up girl! You've done great! The only people who don't have critics are the ones who don't have anything to say."

Robert W. Schaeffer, author of The Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus: From Gazavat to Jihad

Immigrant’s Memoir Used in Australian Schools
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This is a good example of how an author who uses marketing focused on the niches of his or her book can succeed in getting important exposure.

In the prologue of her book, The Immigrants' Daughter, a memoir, Mary Terzian ( ), depicts her quandary, when faced with the question "where do you come from?" Should she mention her country of origin, the culture she identifies with, or her adopted citizenship? Her perplexity over her splintered identity is not an isolated case. With an estimated 214 million immigrants worldwide (World Migration Report 2010), the question acquires substantial significance. Where do the first generation born abroad belong?

The Department of Education in Queensland, Australia, has been actively interested and has posted the first two pages of the book's prologue on their Web site, after clearing copyright requirements with the author. These pages are accessible to teachers and students in Queensland, possibly because of their particular relevance to Australia's population. Of the twenty - three million estimated residents in Australia, approximately 6 million are born in another country.

Terzian's award - winning and unforgettable memoir, "laced with the perfect mix of drama and humor," is primarily intended for displaced and underprivileged adolescents who have been held back from their full potential despite available opportunities. Fatalism, ignorance, language deficiency, and inability to assess the value of education are some of the reasons. The book strikes a particularly soft chord with women who have been held back because of outdated traditions or taboos. Per evaluations received, it inspires courage, by example, to overcome roadblocks to success. It has garnered fifteen five - star reviews on

The Immigrants' Daughter is gaining favor with educational institutions. Another publisher, dealing with school curricula, has requested permission to reprint an excerpt from Chapter Eighteen of the book in a college prep manual. It contains the principle quoted from an ethnic poem, to which the protagonist adheres. It translates to: "Always target the summit in trying to reach your goal. Even if you don't reach it, the effort prevents your fall."

The book is available at and in paperback, and at Kindle, Nook and ibooks in digital format.

~Mary Terzian ( is an Author and freelance writer, affiliated with the Writers Club of Whittier, California. Her first book, The Immigrants' Daughter, won Best Books 2006 Award in multicultural, non - fiction category and was finalist in Indie Excellence 2007 Book Awards, in the same category. Terzian contributes articles to various newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and online, and accepts invitations for interviews, book presentations and book club discussions.

Leora Skolkin’s Second Novel Gets Award
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I am so happy to report that my novel, Hystera, was a finalist in the category "literary fiction" awarded by the International Book Awards.
(IBA), fiction
It also was a finalist for this year's National Indie Excellence Award.

Leora Skolkin Smith,
Also note that Leora’s first book is in production for an independent film. Watch for her name in news from Hollywood! ( - :

Cheryl Carpinello Published with MuseItUp
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The King's Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table) released by MuseItUp Publishing.
A middle grade/tween Arthurian adventure novella

In medieval Wales, eleven - year - old Prince Gavin, thirteen - year - old orphan Philip, and fifteen - year - old blacksmith's apprentice Bryan are brought together in friendship by one they call the Wild Man. When an advisor to the king is killed and a jeweled medallion is stolen from the king’s treasury, the Wild Man is accused of the theft and murder.
Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a knight’s quest to save their friend’s life. To succeed, the three must confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all.
Join Gavin, Philip, and Bryan on their quest and share the adventures that await them in the land of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
Purchase from MuseItUp (multiple e - formats available) and receive the free 18 - page Teacher Guide in PDF:
Also available from Amazon Kindle:

Phyllis Zimbler Miller Pubs New E - Book
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller’s new novel CIA Fall Guy is now available on Amazon,
A woman whose husband was killed in a terrorist bombing is called to CIA headquarters to identify someone from her past. Fearing she may become a fall guy for the CIA, she sets off on her own to discover what is really going on. Her quest takes her to Europe and back again to the U.S., and pairs her with the man who may have been responsible for her husband’s death. Learn more at

It's book fair and trade show season: Here are a bakers' dozen of ideas to make BEA (Book Expo America) and other book shows easier and more productive: - dozen - work - bea - frugal - way.html Please leave comments with ideas of your own - - and links to your book's sales page.

Accessible Contests for You to Build Your Platform

Some Contests Offer Year Round Resources
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Here is a resource from one of the accessible book contests I recommend:

There is a trend among many book contests to provide value - added learning and networking opportunities for their honorees like this one from Next Generation Indie Book Awards. They say, "We wanted to let you know that we have created a Facebook page to give everyone an opportunity to connect with the other award winning authors, publishers, and some of the judges involved with the awards program. We will be posting some photos and comments from time to time on our Facebook page and encourage you to visit the Next Generation Indie Book Awards Facebook page at and click that you 'like' our new Web page so that you can become part of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards community. Also, if you have any comments you’d like to share about your experience with the awards program, we’d greatly appreciate you posting your comments at this Facebook page and we thank you in advance!"

Book Proposal Help: The Great First Impression Book Proposal: Everything
You Need To Know To Sell Your Book in 20 Minutes or Less is now an
e - book ($2.99) or paperback booklet (Only $6.95). The perfect giftlet for nonfiction writers. Find it at =================================================

Tip: Georgia Jones of LadyBugBooks has a growing group of resources for writers you might want to inspect. There is a special offer from me there at,

================================================= Social networking is one of the best ways to make valuable contacts and build a list of readers. The most supportive and interactive one I know with an associated site for displaying fiction to the movie industry is iFOGO. Subscribe at

Tip: Subscriber Gina Panettieri, President of Talcott Notch Literary (, sent me a link on Facebook to help with legal issues like the one I just experienced. It includes a great link to a template for a "Take Down Letter" provided by an IP attorney: - dmca - take - down - letter/id=4501/. She has to tackle the issue of piracy of her clients’ books and says she understands how "important it is to stay on top of protecting your copyright! I was used as a source in your Frugal Editor book, so naturally, I'm always interested in seeing it well - protected!"

Her offices are at
2 Broad Street, Second Floor, Suites 1 & 10, Milford, Connecticut 06460 and her phone is 203 - 876 - 4959. If you contact her for agenting services, mention me, please! ( - :

I’ve reworked my Web site. Please use the huge Resources for Writers section And please let me know if you find broken links. I need your help! =================================================

Tip: I’ve warned you about using attachments indiscriminately when you send e - mails to libraries, universities, editors and media of any kind, and on and on. Check this out for a little more on the subject: - big - media - to - read - your - e - mail.html

I am journalist in residence at Book in Sync, which means you can find my articles in their newsletter each month and even access old ones in the archives. Go to

Guest Post from Joan Stewart’s Newsletter

New Helps on Facebook!
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Two Big Facebook Changes

- - Facebook now gives users the option of having five different roles assigned to page administrators: Manager, Content Creator, Moderator, Advertiser or Insights Analyst. This is a great change for companies that have several people working on the same page. To assign roles, go to your Admin Panel > Edit page > Admin Roles > Assign roles.

- - Finally, Facebook is letting us schedule our posts to go out an hour from now, or whenever we wish, just like we can schedule them on Hootsuite. On Facebook, go to Status Updates and click inside the window. You'll see the little clock, second icon from the left. Choose the month, day and year, and the time. I found it buggy. I was able to choose a year, month and date, but it wouldn't let me choose a time of day. Others reported the same problem. It'll take time to work out the bugs.

These are only two of the several new things you can do on the "new" Facebook. If you missed Mari Smith's great explanation of the new Timeline and how she uses 10 Facebook techie tips, watch the video or read the 26 - page transcript. Or:

~From Joan Stewart’s Publicity Hound newsletter with permission. Do yourself a favor and subscribe! ( - :

Subscribers who have websites or newsletters of their own may be interested
in the F r ^^ Articles 4 Readers and Writers on my site, . I try to add new articles to it frequently. If you don't see what you need for your blog or newsletter, just ask.

On Poetry
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This is a running feature for the poets among us and those who would like to try writing poetry but feel . . . well, inadequate about the writing or the promotion. Please send in your poetry tips and resources for this section to

Suggestion for Poetry Submission
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…comes from Mindy Phillip Lawrence. See what you think of the Rusty Nail magazine for your own poetry. I like that they don’t require that you submit only unpublished poems.

Father’s Day Poetry Treat
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A Father’s Day poetry treat from Magdalena Ball’s blog: - monday - deciphering - earliest.html

Endorsement: “I started on FRUGAL and I went, ‘Whoa....damn good book!’ It is
so PROFESSIONAL!” ~ Dorothy Thompson, editor of The Writers Life

Tip: I picked up these tips at BEA. Use to offer your book digitally to reviewers. Its credible. You do not pay for reviews, just provide your book to the reviewer. And everyone is touting the “Like” feature on Amazon. If your book doesn’t have one yet, contact Amazon and get them to install one. Then “Like” people’s books and ask them to like yours. BTW, my Frugal Book Promoter is “likeable” at Liking a book is a gift authors can give one another even if they can’t find the time to read the book or the book isn’t quite right for their interests.

A general marketing rule is that a product must be seen seven times before it is purchased. That is just as true for books (because they are products, like it or not!). Let people see that book cover image! To do that, you are invited to advertise as a site sponsor at for only $35 a year. Yep, the frugal way! Click on the Advertising tab at the top of the page or contact me personally at

Tip: I know some of you are still pitch and marketing shy. Even though you subscribe to this newsletter. ( - : NPR (National Public Radio) ran a fun article called “Life’s a Pitch!” (catchy, no?) and Danushka Goska, editor supreme, told me about it. So, if I’m talkin’ ‘bout you, go by and read it. It may reason you into doing more of what your book needs. - art - of - the - sale - lifes - a - pitch

Ta Da! E - books are great tools for promotion - marketing/ta - da - e - books - are - great - tools - for - promotion/
The Anatomy of a Free (Read that Promotional!) E - Book - marketing/the - anatomy - of - a - free - read - that - promotional - e - book/


A Little Book Signing Story
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So, I’m dreaming about the importance of personal contact with readers—on blogs, through book clubs, etc. And I’m bemoaning that one can’t do that with e - books. And then I run into an entry in Dan Poynter’s newsletter about and it includes a link to a video ( I’m busy. I’m tempted to forget it, but I do it anyway. Then I can’t resist going on over to the Kindlegraph site and checking it out. So, I get suckered into it—for your sake. So I can tell you how easy it is, give you an idea of how it might work, and that, as nearly as I can tell, it is f r ~ ~ for the author. Find me at my own personal address (so far this signature feature is only for The Frugal Book Promoter): .

Here are the upsides I’ve discovered so far.
~It’s a personal way to reach readers.
~When you get requests for your signature, you can personalize it. I. e., you can include a personal message to the reader, just as you would if you were signing at a bookstore.
~It’s frugal.
~It’s easy to negotiate.
~It is my understanding that it is f r ~ ~ to the readers.
~Evan Jacobs, the genius author who did this for us gets an affiliate fee when people “order” a signature, but it doesn’t cost the author or the reader anything. Fair is fair.

Here are the downsides:
~It is difficult for me to get the hyphen in my name.
~Is is more than a little difficult to get a true impression of your real - life signature. A disclaimer here. I am left - handed. That probably exacerbated the problem, but I think it is inherent in the hand/eye/computer/mouse configuration. Thus I finally used an “adopted” signature, which is a whole lot better looking than the one I tried to do on my own using a mouse, but still not beautiful. And it is certainly very different from my true signature.

Here’s what I don’t know.
~I don’t know if it will work; that is I don’t know if many readers will use it or if many even know if it is available.
~I don’t know how easy it will be for an author to find your book on the site. Evan says there are 3500 authors with 15,000 books listed so far and he says, “Readers can find books and authors either by navigating directly to an author page [using the URL provided by the authors in his or her marketing] or by using the search box. I'm also working on implementing additional navigation methods for genres, categories, and groups.”
~I don’t know (yet) how much promotion I will need to do to make Kindlegraph work for me and for my author.
~I don’t know if I want Kindlegraph to get the affiliate fees I now sometimes earn when I use my own affiliate account to sell my books or those of others. If you don’t use Amazon’s affiliate feature, this will not affect you one way or the other.

Are you confused about how to credit facts or quotes when you write articles or nonfiction? Check out my Frugal, Smart and Tuned - In Editor blog: - la - ann - landers - academic - accreditation.html or the new edition of The Frugal Book Promoter, .

Tip: Twitter friend Todd Click has books on writing screenplays: Thanks! Here are my bestselling screenwriting books: . I always say learning from books is a frugal way to go!

Yes, I do consult. I tailor my fees to your needs - - everything from coaching to full edits (sorry no partial edits) to hour consultations to help you with your marketing campaign or your path to publishing.


Criticism Turned to Self Reflection: What Style for Newsletters?
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You may recall that I received a bit of, ahem, criticism that didn’t seem particularly constructive at the time, but it gave me something to mull over. The letter suggested I quit being so frugal and start using a service that prints newsletters all gussied up in color. Actually, I had considered that before, but times are changing and it had been awhile since I had visited the problem. At the time, I had read about a politician who published a flier and included the anecdote in The Frugal Book Promoter ( It went like this:
"Newsletters needn’t be fancy. In his column for Time magazine, Joe Klein told of Bryan Lentz’s choice of a simple flier to promote his run for Congress. Lentz said his staff '. . . wanted something splashy.' His simpler choice cost less and, he says, 'They look real. People open them and read 'em like a newspaper.' Klein notes, 'It was true, people [nearby] were reading the Bryan Lentz news.'

"That’s the way it can be for your newsletter, too. I once asked my readers about my plain - text Sharing with Writers e - newsletters and they voted overwhelmingly for keeping them long and simple rather than short, colorful, and in HTML."

But when I receive this not - so - kind suggestion that I was being cheap, I thought I should look again in case I should also reconsider my frugal advice to you, my readers. I mean, theoretically I am not saving much by publishing my newsletter the plain old generic way because AuthorsDen charges for the higher level of their service that includes newsletter distribution. So I could disregard the frugal aspect of my choice—something I will never give up completely because I hate, hate, hate seeing authors spend more on promoting their books than they need to with so many fr ~ ~ ways to do it out there—and change to something like ConstantContact if I wished. It’s never too early (or too late) to change one’s mind.

At first, I thought I’d poll members, but I did that before and most of you said to leave things the way they are with a plain text in their e - mail and a link to a pdf file for those who prefer something a little snazzier. Then I started looking at the newsletters I get in my e - mail box, my favorites. One that comes from Penny Sansevieri is long and anything but fancy, but full of all kinds of good pointers I can use every week. Another of my faves is from the legendary Dan Poynter who basically sends a link to his pdf file. It's also long and includes a lot of f r ~ ~ benefits for his readers like a review service. Another is from Joan Stewart (The Publicity Hound) who now uses HTML and it looks gorgeous but I liked it better before when I didn’t have to click on so many links to get at the good meat and potatoes she always has in her letter.

That’s when I decided I wouldn’t change. You are stuck with plain old vanilla pudding SharingwithWriters. Well, not really stuck. If I get a rash of people who complain about this decision, I may reconsider again. So do let me know!

I believe that newsletters are still one of the most viable ways to connect with writers. And I believe that two features make them or break them. One is content. The other is to offer ways for readers to contribute in some way. This one does both. And if you don’t know what those ways are, you need to go back and read this letter from top to bottom and start using those features as a prompt to help get the word out there about your book.

But just in case you have decided to use a gorgeous format for your newsletter, here are some services you might explore, especially since many of these services are also spam reducers.
1. Find vendors to consider at

Most price according the size of the list you have. Many offer free trials, but I would imagine you’d be loathe to change once you’ve gone to the trouble of setting up with one. Some have limits on the number of e - mails you can send in any month—a distinct disadvantage, I’d say, especially if your subscriber list grows beyond your wildest dreams. Some charge based on the number of e - mails sent daily—like $14.95 if you send no more than 250 which would, I think, discourage you from trying to grow your list.
Some good reasons to go with pretty:
 You letters look good—maybe even great.
 We know that images sell. You can include them in a pdf file but not in a plain text newsletter.
 These services may force you to keep your letters short (which may be bad for content, but good for style and your busy schedule)
 These services give you statistics like who pens your e - mail and who clicks on the links you provide.
Some big drawbacks of these services:

• If you already have a newsletter of considerable size, many services require your subscribers to re - opt in.
• They won’t let you provide the personal service of subscribing for people if they have given you permission. I consider that a service and wouldn't want to give it up!
• They also often won’t send to generic addresses like the ones that begin with info or editor. I’d hate to lose a single one of you—on the outside chance that you might benefit even if you only open one letter a year!

If you decide to stay old fashioned with me, watch next week for a list of things you shouldn’t do or say if you don’t want your newsletter to get caught in spam folders and other techy devices. If you decide to go with an HTML service, I’ll help you keep your letter free of S p ~m assassins that may make your newsletter show up DOA (dead on arrival).

I need editing questions and tips for my The Frugal, Smart, and Tuned - In Editor blog, Articles, too! With ample credits provided.

Tribute to Ray Bradbury

The Personal Side
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One of the things I remember most about Ray Bradbury was his generosity. He was speaker at several of the book fairs (both large and small) that I presented at and he often didn't charge. He was not young, even then, and he didn't drive. So I know it had to be somewhat of an effort for him to show up at these neighborhood affairs. But he was more concerned about his readers and about helping other writers. He was most charming and helpful when we had questions. At one point, he took my hand as he told me some of his marketing secrets. I don't remember the secrets. Just the intense look in his eyes. A great sharer, indeed!

Here is a list of small publishers for your consideration:

Thank Yous

These are, indeed, thank yous but it occurs to me that many Sharing with Writers readers are not using them as resources. Often the blogs, newsletters, Web sites, and other entities mentioned are perfect vehicles for exposing your books to new readers. It is up to you to click or copy and paste to see which might be suitable—and for inspiration on how to make what you do a match for them.

Thanks to Nikki Leigh... ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
. . . for featuring my how - to books on her Web site for her new program on learning how to love and accept yourself in 12 easy lessons. Find it (and her program on acceptance) here: - howard - johnson.html

Thanks to Zoe Potok (Brooks in English)... ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
…for the lovely review of Magdalena Ball’s and my chapbook for mothers, She Wore Emerald Then. How lovely to have a European perspective—which is, after all, no different from perspectives anywhere because we are all one at heart. Find the review at - Wore - Emerald - Then - Reflections/product - reviews/1438263791/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending#RPTHU2R8XTUCS

Fun and F r ~ ~: If you purchased the Frugal Book Promoter or the Frugal Editor, I'd love you to review it on Amazon or Make it simple; just tell what part of it you found most valuable. If you do, send me the review link (URL) and I will send you a 35 - page handout from one of my UCLA classes. As a thank you, of course.

Tip: Don’t price your e - book too cheaply. A book is more than the paper it is printed on. It is ideas. It is content. It is entertainment with as much value as a movie or play (all else being equal!). Thus, the price should reflect the paper savings but it should also reflect the value of the contents. Of course, that doesn't preclude price reductions as part of an overall marketing campaign.

Chaz DeSimone has a new f r ^ ^ way to get a great poster for your office or a gift. You subscribe to his fr^^ poster offer and newsletter on design (including book cover design) and a different poster will come to your e - mail box about every other week. Each is entirely different, all the highest quality in design and all associated with the ampersand and, by extension, our love of writing. Each also comes with directions for printing, framing, making this into a f r ^ ^ bie that lasts. To subscribe and see images go to:

Scam Warning

Your Book Given Away Free without Permission? ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
An online business,, seems to be in the business of giving away books—perhaps your book—without permission. I suggest you check out the site and see if your book is listed as well as subscribing to an Google Alert or some other alert program so that if it should be (and they continue to use your title), you will know about it. Here is a letter I recently sent to them (and copied my lawyer son!). Once is forgiveable. Twice is not. Twice YOU need to know about it!

Dear Sir or Madam:

You (and someone else) is offering my The Frugal Editor free without my permission at this URL:

This book is copyrighted material. If anyone would like permission to offer an excerpt complete with buy information and credit information, I would be happy to give them permission to do so at But I am asking that you immediately cease and desist offering a free download of the book at this site and not to publish anything of mine without prior permission.

Please note this is not the first time this has happened at My Frugal Book Promoter was also sold/given away without my permission recently.

Carolyn Howard - Johnson, author
Copyright holder

Aggie Villaneuva is a resource you need to know. So, go to my article on how to format your book for Kindle in just a few easy steps and while you're there, poke around for Aggie’s assortment of marketing aids including her app service. - formatting - made - easy - by - carolyn - howard - johnson/

Tip: BEA (Book Expo America) is over but that doesn’t mean the buzz doesn’t go on—one of the great advantages to participating in this huge tradeshow—and doing it any way you can. You may want to learn more about it and other publishing industry tradeshows in The Frugal Book Promoter or at this guest blog post for marketing whiz Tony Eldridge’s blog: - like - bea - may - not - be - what - you.html

The Publishing Insiders (Paula Krapf and Penny Sansevieri) and I talk about book promotion on their BookTalkRadio program. I know you’ll pick up some new tips or encouragement. - money - out - of - pocket - shooting - your - book - to - stardom

An Itty - Bitty Column on Writing

Pinterest and the Idea Mill
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By Mindy Phillips Lawrence

Several people invited me to join them on Pinterest. I’d seen a little about it and wasn’t sure it was my cup of tea. Well, I finally decided to join. I looked at my list a minute ago and it’s exploded! All of a sudden, there are pins of way - high shoes, crazy crafts, odd socks, and a pin that tells me how to make all sorts of seasoning mixes. There are pins from people I’ve never heard of and some from people I’ve known for forty years.

The pins that wind up on your board can give you some great ideas for characters and events in your stories. I have a pin for how to use fruits and vegetables to dye fabric. There’s got to be a story in there somewhere.

How can we use this for our work? Could we pin information about our books? Yep. How about pins of people we know who edit? Of course. Ugh, pins of contests? Betcha, yes. And how about authors we want to follow. Affirmative!

So go forth and pin. You’ll be amazed at what surfaces.


Pinterest (You’ll need an invite so ask me (mplcreative1 (at AOL (dot) com).

Natural Fabric Dyes Chart - fabric - dyes - chart

Liam Neeson and Baby - Neeson - liam - neeson - 4266344 - 1200 - 1794_thumb.jpg&imgrefurl=

How to Use Pinterest to Market your Book - blogs%2Fthere - are - no - rules%2Fhow - to - use - pinterest - to - market - your - book&ei= - ibdT_v - MIje9ATgx9yFCw&usg=AFQjCNHFc_ItB6U4hEF0CFRdUHJWUc8UUw

Young Adult Authors on Pinterest - authors - on - pinterest.html

Get Pinterest Tips for Authors
Hashmark #PinterestTip

~ Mindy Phillips Lawrence,, is the author of the poetry collections One Blue Star and Above and Below. She is co - author of The Complete Writer and a publicist. Her specialty is helping writers with their media releases. Reach her at

I talk about what QR codes are and how you can use them to promote your writing on my SharingwithWriters blog at - qr - code - for - iphones.html

Tip: Ever heard of a Blook? (That’s not a typo!). Learn more about making your blog work for you by going to Nina Amir’s blog and boning up on using your blog in a way you may not have thought of. She talks about this process for fiction writers, but I see no reason why it couldn’t work for nonfiction writers, too. ( - :

I have a series of retail books that authors could benefit from. The reason? Authors are retailers, too. They must sell their books. But A Retailer’s Guide to In - Store Promotion will be especially valuable because it will give authors insight on how to convince retail outlets that a partnership (like a book signing, workshop or seminar) with them will benefit their bottom line. Find this book at or more about the whole series at

Carolyn's Appearances and Teaching ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
 Calling all poets and, really anyone interested in awards and contests to promote a writing career! A free podcast of one of the Write On interviews with the publisher at LadybugBooks is now live. Please join us. A direct link to Write On page is: Click on my name with the little sound insignia by it.

 Those of you who live in Southern California will want to mark Tuesday, June 19, 7 pm to 9 pm, to hear me speak on Summertime Book Promotion for Author’s Corner a division of a women's entrepreneurial group out in the San Fernando Valley called Made in the Valley. It’s at the Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC), 5121 Van Nuys Blvd. (3rd floor conference room), Van Nuys, CA 91404. Park on the street or under the building, not at Burger King. They tow! Yes, it is a free event. Networking starts at 6:30 pm.

 July 8th, 6PM Eastern, 3 pm Pacific with The Funky Writer, aka Rob Batista. He’s been doing this for a while. This is my second appearance with him and it will be fun the second time around. If you’re interested in querying him, find him at thefunkywriter (at) More information to come. The website is: Rob also features his guests on his blog at a week before the show.

New!  July 20 - 22, The Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference will be at the Los Angeles Valley Campus. I’ll speak Saturday, the 21st at 12:30 pm. on Building a Platform and on Sunday the 22nd at 10 am on How to Develop a Relationship with a Bookseller. The same day at 3:15 we’ll talk about how It’s Never Too Early or Too Late to Promote Your Book.
The conference includes other speakers and panelists like Morgan St. James, Robin Quinn, and Dan Poynter. There will also be an exciting screenplay track. Find the entire schedule here:
Friday: - fri.html
Saturday: - sat.html
Sunday: - sun.html
And this conference is only $79 for one day and $199 for all three. Compare to some other conferences that run as high as $625!
And best news! My SharingwithWriters subscribers may save from $50 - $150 off the published registration. Go to and type in username: CAROLHJ
and password: mystory4000.

 As a co - sponsor of the Muse Online Writers’ Conference (and the first one at that!), I’d like you to put a tickler file on you calendar to register for the 2012 weeklong event in October. I can’t tell you how many of my subscribers have been disappointed that they can’t avail themselves of this f r ^ ^ conference (every year!) because they miss the deadline. August would be a good time to let your digital calendar remind you to enroll at

 I will be speaking on several panels at the Book ‘Em Book Fair in North Carolina in Feb of 2013. Go to for opportunities for your book and watch for more on my appearances there in this newsletter. It is headed by mystery writer p.m. terrell. The purpose of The Book 'Em Foundation and this event is to raise public awareness of the link between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. Proceeds from the Book 'Em North Carolina book fairs go directly to increasing literacy in Robeson County, North Carolina, and to reducing crime in the area.
New Info  Make plans for the 2013 Catholic Writers’ Conference now. I know many are disappointed when they can’t sign up for my chat after the registration deadline and if they knew what else they’d missed, they’d really be sad. So mark it on your calendar—maybe to register in December of 2012. The Conference is March 4 - 15 of 2013, with chats March 4 - 10 and forums March 8 - 15. I’ll be conducting a couple of chats on Secrets of Pinterest for Authors and One on To Italicize or Not to Italicize and Other Professional Editing Secrets.

Sign up to receive a copy of my Sharing with Writers blog in your e - mail box. It is a focused blog on all things related to writing and publishing. Go to Sign up in the left - hand column. Find related resources by scrolling to the bottom of the blog.

Wordstuff ™

Something to Make Writers Smile
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(Fun with language from The Washington Post and other publications.)

MISTY (mis - tee'): How golfers create divots.

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Essential Book and Record Keeping:

This is the place to share with others and learn from others.

Although I do attempt to verify information used within this newsletter's pages, Sharing with Writers does not guarantee entities or information. Subscribers should research resources.

To submit information articles, tips or other information, e - mail Carolyn at Please put "Submission: Sharing with Writers" in the subject line.

If you do not care to receive this newsletter, send an e - mail to with "Unsubscribe” in the subject line, but please, please don't tell me you've given up writing or promoting!

To subscribe to Sharing with Writers send an e - mail with "Subscribe" in the subject line to

Please pass this newsletter to friends or e - groups. It needn't be pasted in its complete form, but please credit this newsletter, and the individual contributors with anything you snip and paste.

Ordering Information

The HowToDoItFrugally Series for Writers

Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't
The e - book at

The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success

The Great First Impression Book Proposal: Everything You Need To Know About Selling Your Book in 20 Minutes or Less
E - book:
For Kindle:

Great Little Last - Minute Editing Tips for Writers: The Ultimate Frugal Booklet for Avoiding Word Trippers and Crafting Gatekeeper - Perfect Copy
E - book:

The Survive and Thrive Series for Retailers (Authors need to know about retailing, too!)

A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In - Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques
Order in paperback:
For Kindle:
Frugal and Focused Tweeting for Retailers: Tweaking Your Tweets and Other Tips for Integrating Your Social Media
Order in paperback direct from Amazon:
Order for Kindle Reader:
Order an e - book from the publisher:

Your Blog, Your Business: A Retailer’s Frugal Guide to Getting Customer Loyalty and Sales—Both In - Store and Online
Sponsored by Gift Shop Magazine
To Order:
To Order for Kindle:
Carolyn’s Fiction and Creative Nonfiction

This Is the Place:

Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered:

Carolyn’s Poetry

She Wore Emerald Then: Reflections on Motherhood. Coauthored with Magdalena Ball Paperback:
For Kindle:

Cherished Pulse: Unconventional Love Poetry. Coauthored with Magdalena Ball
For Kindle:
In print to be used as a greeting card or booklet:
For Nook: - the - future - magdalena - ball/1021152596?ean=2940000904893&itm=4&usri=magdalena+ball
She Wore Emerald Then: Reflections on Motherhood, a chapbook of poetry. Coauthored with Magdalena Ball.
Paperback and Kindle:
For Nook: - wore - emerald - then - magdalena - ball/1020032782?ean=2940000807408&itm=5&usri=magdalena+ball

Imagining the Future: Ruminations on Fathers and Other Masculine Apparitions. Coauthored with Magdalena Ball
To order as an e - book:
For Nook: - the - future - magdalena - ball/1021152596?ean=2940000904893&itm=4&usri=magdalena+ball
To order as a paperback or for Kindle:
Deeper into the Pond: A Celebration of Femininity, Co - Authored with Magdalena Ball. Artwork by Jacquie Schmall
To order as an e - book: To order as a paperback:
Tracings, a chapbook of poetry (Finishing Line Press)

Contact Information

For special help for fiction writers

Blogs:, a blog on all things publishing, all things grammatical and ungrammatical. On editing, formatting, and craft., a blog focused on YOUR reviews War. Peace. Tolerance. And Our Soldiers., a blog where you can learn to get some mojo behind your own booth by learning from the successes and mistakes of others. It is no longer active but there are lots of ideas you can use here, just the same.

Tweeting at:

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