"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: 6/30/2007 9:43:53 AM
Subject: [Sharing with Writers] RESEND. Some say nothing came to them. Sorry to those who did get it.
Please Scroll to read the second try on this newsletter this week! Yikes!
June 29, 2007
Sharing with Writers
A newsletter that is also a community. Share your ideas. Learn from theirs!
From the Desks of
Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Authors' Coalition Friends
"Sharing with Writers" is the official newsletter of Authors' Coalition,
an organization of writers who help writers.
To read this letter in plain vanilla text, scroll down. To read this newsletter with a bit more pizzazz (not much, though!) at Authors Den go to:
Note from Carolyn:
My fellow AC Members and SWW Subscribers:
You know I'm not above bragging but in this case, you're going to benefit, too. So, listen to me crow and then read farther to see what we can all learn from this.
Paulette Ensign, Board Member of the Publishers of Writers of San Diego (www.tipsbooklets.com), and Andrew Chapman (http://achapman.com/) and Karla Olson (http://bookstudiobooks.com/), PWSD copresidents, recently made me an honorary member of their group.
They say, "PWSD has become more knowledgeable in the publishing industry, grown in numbers, and increased in professional enthusiasm as a direct result of
I have to tell you I was touched. But my next thought (you know how I am) was, how smart they were to promote this way because good PR is, after all sending out as many good vibrations as possible.
Now, how can you use awards effectively in your promotion campaign. too. I've used them a couple times. You'll find the winning ideas of one promotion contest assembled in a f r ^ ^ book at www.authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com on the F R ^ ^ E-book page. You'll find my Noble (Not Nobel!) prizewinners for literary achievement in the archives on my "Back To Literature" page at www.myshelf.com. MyShelf gives out awards to one great publisher's and one great writer's site each month and I often nominate people for that. You, too, can spread some love and in doing so give someone else the right to brag a bit! (-:
To learn more about the group that so generously honored me (especially if you live in the San Diego area) go to http://www.PublishersWriters.org.
Happy, happy writing and promoting!
Websites: http://carolynhoward-johnson.com and www.HowToDoItFrugally.com
http://authorscoalitionandredenginepess.com Blogs: A blog focused on book fairs at
http://redenginepress.com/chjohnson and another blog that is about writing and reading at www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com and
New members will help Authors' Coalition serve all its members better! Ask your writing friends to join at http://authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com. Paid members get a favorite review posted, consideration for an interview or review in Yarnspinners and Wordweavers and ditto for The Fiction Flyer. Membership is reasonable, too.
Tell friends to visit our blog. There they'll learn how to spark generally insipid book fairs by using value-added promotions: http://redenginepress.com/chjohnson .
Thanks for including [The Reading Tub in Sharing with Writers] Carolyn . . .
About mid-week I started getting queries from authors interested in book reviews for children's books, several of whom mentioned your name ... Two of the books have already arrived. I love the opportunity to help families find great books ... and get their books in libraries, too. I just had an author call me this week asking to use the review we did because the distributor she is working with wants to see reviews. Anything we can do to spread the word, whether it comes from the "left" or "right" brain!
Hope it's a nice sunny, California day!
President, The Reading Tub, Inc.
We use Goodsearch (powered by Yahoo!) Make Goodsearch your default toolbar and with every search donate 1c to The Reading Tub®
Reading Fact: The average kindergärtner has watched 5,000 hours of TV before s/he gets to school That's more time than it takes to earn a Bachelor's degree.
Subscribers who have websites or newsletters of their own may be interested in the Free Articles 4 Readers and Writers on my site, www.howtodoitfrugally.com. I try to add new articles to it each week. If you don't see what you need, just ask. HoJoNews@aol.com.
(There are leads here, just as you'll find in all the most innocent-looking areas of this newsletter. You never know when you'll find a name or a site that will help you network or write better!)
To Billie Williams (www.billiewilliams.com) for including a banner for the Frugal Book Promoter on her site at http://www.billiewilliams.com/STARPUBLISHLINKS . This is a great promotion idea. Ask your publisher to do links for their authors and encourage each author to do the same on their sites. A plan like this can kick start a website to the top of Google searches.
No part of this newsletter is paid advertising. If you would like to advertise to subscribers, display ads are available at www.howtodoitfrugally.com at less per year than most sites charge for a single month (see the advertising tab at the top of the page) or at www.authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com.
Tip: I'm trying to add at least one new
f r ^ bie article to my F r ^ ^ Articles 4 Writers & Readers page each week. This week you'll find "Breaking Old Reading Habits: 10 Ways to Learn to Love Literary" 618 Words for your use on your blog, in a newsletter or whatever at no charge. No rules against learning something new just by reading them either. Go to www.howtodoitfrugally.com and click on the F r ^ ^ Articles 4 Writers & Readers page.
If you enjoy "Sharing with Writers" please nominate it for Writer's Digest's 101 Best Newsletters for Writers. We aren't big, we aren't old. So it would take a huge outpouring from subscribers to make a dent. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line, "101 Best Newsletters for Authors" and let them know what this newsletter does for you!
NAACP Fair: The NAACP is sponsoring a televised funeral for the "N" word on July 9, 2007. Two AC members are looking for fellow authors with books related to world issues to share a booth there among booths by the likes of Honda, Target, Toyota, Ford, Sprint. Authors' Coalition members Dr Salma Rashid and David Merritt invite fellow authors to participate at this convention from July 7-11 in Detroit. AC members may participate in their booth by sending them marketing materials and twenty (20) books to be given (not sold) out to NAACP convention goers. You need not attend to make this work for you. There shall of course be politicians mingling throughout, but also others committed to bettering the world.
Anyone wishing to participate can send $50 (for paid AC members) and $80 for non-AC members (and that fee will then cover AC membership). Contact email@example.com or call 408 469 5584 for more information.
West Hollywood Fair Booth Space
Authors' Coalition is sponsoring a booth at the West Hollywood Fair. The cost is less that the LA Fair because it is a smaller fair. Smaller means fewer attendees but it also means less competition for attention and West Hollywood also means it will be attended by some Hollywood types.(-: I will be moderating a panel there and that should help drive some traffic to our booth, too. So, to learn more, e-mail me with BOOK FAIR in the subject line at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the new blog on fairs (got a new one that works!) at www.authorscoalition.blogspot.com. By the way, this is a cross-promotion effort. Participants need to plan to send out media releases (with my guidance) and invitations. (-:
Check out the fair at http://www.westhollywoodbookfair.org/
Tolerance and Politics
Available Article on HowToDoItFrugally.com
The Romney Question and Why Time Magazine Goofed
How nice that Mitt Romney is willing sacrifice himself so this nation can examine its soul.
The trouble is that isn't what we are doing. Instead, on its front pages, the LA Times is scrutinizing the nature of Jesus and how differing views on Him might influence the votes of many.
There are bright spots, of course. In Time magazine, Pam Wright of Pasadena, CA is quoted: "We can't begin to explore the issue of religious bigotry in this country until we ask, 'Would you vote for an agnostic or an atheist.'" Questions of this sort might bring into focus how far this country has strayed from its ideals of religious freedom, an individual's right to pursue happiness even if that includes the Presidency. Even if that office is pursued by someone outside the religious mainstream—or worse, outside the group of those who believe that our country should be governed by God through a President who believes in Him precisely the same way they do.
It is not news that our country has become radicalized . . . ~Finish reading this article at www.howtodoitfrugally.com. Click on the Free Articles 4 Writer, Readers at the top of the page and scroll down to articles on tolerance.
Vocabulary: In the 50s posterization was born. It is a layer-looking type or fond design in which the letters appear multidimensional. Martin Weber created logos in the 50s using them including memorable ones like Dunhill and Old Gold cigarettes and Nash (for those of you under 30 or 40, that's a brand name for cars!).
Please pass this letter on to others. Unlike many others, I do not mind if you use only portions of it as long as you credit the writers and include this subscribe information. "To subscribe to 'Sharing with Writers' send an e-mail to HoJoNews@aol.com with 'subscribe' in the subject line."
(You are invited to send me news about your successes. New books, awards and more. If you read about others' successes you'll not only be inspired, you'll glean resources for future successes of your own. Please get in the habit of using subject lines, though, lines that will not be interpreted as spam.)
Jill Ronsley (www.suneditwrite.com) edited Sad Sam and the Magic Cookies by Stacy Quest and it won First Runner Up at the 2007 New York Book Festival (www.newyorkbookfestival.com) in the Children's Section.
Betty Dobson (http://inkspotter.com): "In the wee small hours of the morning on Friday, June 22nd, my short story 'Baby Angels' hit #5 on the Amazon Shorts bestseller list! (And it's at #3 for the Literature & Fiction subcategory.)
And all because I joined in on a forum conversation on Amazon.com. Not only did I sell a few copies (bonus), I also made some new friends (which was the main goal going in). See it at: http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Angels/dp/B000JMK8KQ (See more on these Amazon forums below!)
If any of you don't know about shorts, yet, explore them at Amazon.com.
Fun and F r * *: If you purchased The
Frugal Book Promoter in the past, I'd love for you to review it on Amazon or BN.com. 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 an excerpt from my soon-to-be-released The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success that includes some sidebars from the book that will help you with some tricky grammar. As a thank you, of course. HoJoNews@aol.com, the Frugal Book
Carolyn's Appearances and Teaching:
& Carolyn is sharing her secrets again. This time with hose who tune into Yvonne Perry's Writers in the Sky podcast July 13, 2007. This 3-part interview will give you tips on editing, publishing and marketing your book. It is worth your time to listen and learn. This weekly podcast is available on iTunes.com and may be accessed on Yvonne’s blog http://yvonneperry.blogspot.com .
& Carolyn will moderate a panel titled
Reach for Your Dream: Prepare for Publication the Professional Way
at the West Hollywood Book Fair on September 30. Circle your calendars. It's f r ^ ^ Even those who are old hands at publishing will learn something new, I promise!
West Hollywood Park
647 N San Vicente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Learn more at http://www.westhollywoodbookfair.org/
& Carolyn will speak at the fourth Annual Pen to Paper Literary Symposium October 6, 2007, Dayton Marriott, 1414 S. Patterson Blvd Dayton, Ohio, 45409. The conference, spearheaded by Valerie Coleman, will include tracks for music and screenwriting, in addition to writing and publishing books. Start planning now to attend this elite event and take advantage of the early bird special (www.penofthewriter.com/pentopaper).
New! & Carolyn Howard-Johnson will speak at the Southern Festival of Books (October 12-14) I in Nashville, TN. Time and subject to be announced later.
Here is info on the fair. During the second full weekend of October each year, more than 200 authors converge in Nashville to celebrate books with book-lovers at the Southern Festival of Books. It is held on the Legislative Plaza that surrounds the Capitol building in downtown Nashville. It is like a huge carnival of books. Speakers (including me in 2007) present in meeting rooms at various locations around the plaza. http://tn-humanities.org/festival.
& The f r ^ ^ Muse Online Writers' Conference, sponsored by Lea Schizas and Carolyn Howard-Johnson, is accepting early registration. More than 1,000 attended last year and openings are limited. Learn more about this year's conference, October 8 to 14, and how you can assure your spot in 2007. We will present an all-new program soon. Go to:
To see the growing list of presenters go to: http://www.freewebs.com/themuseonlinewritersconference/2007workshops.htm
Sign up to receive a copy of my Sharing with Writers blog. It is a focused blog on all things writing and publishing related, from scolding Oprah to free speech. Go to www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com. Sign up in the left hand column. Find related resources by scrolling to the bottom of the blog.
Carolyn's Appearances and Teaching for 2008:
& As you can see 2008 is already beginning to fill. I will be sharing with the nation's humor writers again in the spring of 2008 at Dayton University's Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop. I'll speak twice at the Kennedy Union on campus.
Booth opportunities at the West Hollywood Book Fair. E-mail me now. They're filling up fast.
On Finding a Promotion Angle
From subscriber Max Elliott Anderson (http://www.maxbooks.9k.com) comes an example of how you can find new promotion angles in your book by watching current events:
"With all of the coverage surrounding The Dangerous Book for Boys, I've sent a press release entitled, "More Dangerous Books for Boys." My action-adventures and mysteries, written especially for boys 8 - 13, include some of the same issues that this popular book reports are of interest to boys.
"The release can be found at:
"From this promotion I received several review requests for my 7 published books. There have been mentions on a number of web sites, and there will be additional reviews in print and online. A few sales have resulted directly from the promotion as well. But the best response came from a publisher. They have now been sent proposals for two of my manuscripts."
It is also worth while to study Max's logline:
Now, from an author who hated to read...comes books kids hate to put down.
A general marketing rule is that a product must be seen seven times before it is purchased. That is just as true for books. Let people see that book cover image! So, you are invited to advertise as a site sponsor at www.howtodoitfrugally.com. for a year at the same price many sites frequented by readers and writers charge in a year. Yep, the frugal way! Click on the Advertising tab at the top of the page or contact me personally at email@example.com.
Writers' Tech: There's a new geeky approach to self-improvement out there. It's called life-hacking. You can go to blogs or sites commited to it like 43 folder, LifeHacker, and lifehacker.org and you can even read books on it like Gina Trapani's Lifehacker: 88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day. I must admit that I find most of the tricks less that earth-shattering (like "check e-mail only once an hour to preserve your concentration." I mean, duhhhhh!) but I did like the idea of text or e-mailing yourself something that will brighten your day later. I've done something like this for a long time. I save e-mails that say something nice about my work. Then, if I need an upper (after a rejection, say), I go back to it. This file is also a good source of blurbs for my website, my media kit and even book covers.(-: See my answer to the tekkies below under the next TIPS entry.
Available: Audios from Audio Divas on many aspects of building a writing career are published by Double Dragon Press. Here is the page where you'll find the full list (http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/glist.php?imprint=AUDIO) including one on "Do It Yourself Indexing." The first audio, "Promoting Easy and Cheap!" is a
F R ^ ^ sample you can download. Each comes with a resource guide. Here is an example of a guide for the audio-lesson Your Divas did on "Contests": http://www.derondouglas.com/audiosample/AwardResourceGuideContests.pdf
TIP: Even the author of Lifehacker (See above) carries around a stack of index cards. That's the old fashioned way. I carry a small note book. That's just as old-fashioned. But sometimes just tear a page out of the magazine or newspaper I'm reading. That will remind me to do all kinds of things including giving you a tip like this one: If you aren't a geek, don't sweat it. We've gotten along with paper for a very, very long time.(-;
Authors' Coalition members! For credibility, use the AC logo on your promotional materials. Ask for it by sending an e-mail to HoJoNews@aol.com or download it with a click from the AC site http://authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com.
Be sure to link it to the AC site, too!
TIP: Nadine Laman (www.nadinelaman.com) sends her fellow SWW subscribers this link on the value of a podcasting with a few guidelines thrown in for good measure: http://smallbusiness.aol.com/grow/marketing/article/_a/podcast-news/20051213183709990002
"AC is the current that powers your writing career." http://authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Authors' Coalition Founder
From Elizabeth Lucas-Taylor
(Elizabeth contributes at least one valuable paying resource per SWW issue--either a great place to sell material or find writing craft or promotional idea--and sometimes throws in a resource for you.)
ON FREELANCERS' RIGHTS: Freelancers selling to the American periodical market should be aware of the recent court decision in Tasini v. New York Times, 93 Civ. 8678 (S.D.N.Y Aug. 13, 1997). In Tasini, District Court Judge Sotomayor ruled that in the absence of a contract that publishers are entitled to place all of the contents of their printed publications into an electronic database such as Lexis/Nexus or onto CD-ROM without the freelancers' permission and without compensating them for reprints forever. Judge Sonia Sotomayor based her decision on the U.S. Copyright Act, which allows reprints without freelancer's permission or compensation if the freelance work is part of a "collective work". The ruling applies ONLY in cases where there is no contract between the freelancer and the periodical. All the more reason to have a contract for your work. This is not a maybe. This is a must do to protect your work and your rights.
Find Elizabeth at http://www.authorsden.com/elucastaylor or her new blog at http://www.elucas-taylor.blogspot.com/ or at MySpace http://www.myspace.com/elucastaylor
where you will find a writers' community.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Reciprocal Links: Many subscribers are in a position to cross-promote. Let me know if you would like to trade some recommendation or promotion for any of my books -- the HowToDoItFrugally Series to my chapbook of poetry -- for a place on my Resources for Writers or Resources for Readers pages on www.HowToDoItFrugally.com.
TIP: Many of you have heard about the "death of links" as an effective way to drive traffic to your website. Yes, things have changed but use this advice judiciously. From a marketing standpoint (not a tech standpoint) it's still a good thing to have your name, book cover and, yes, link on sites that are pertinent to the subject matter of your book.
Q&A a la Ann Landers
Carolyn Addresses Increased Book Sales
As you know, I rarely talk sales. I talk branding and marketing and targeting and lots of other things. The idea is that sales will then follow. This question is directed at sales, though, so here goes:
Patricia Drischler (find her profile at http://bookmarket.ning.com/profile/KIDBIZ) asks:
Hi Carolyn, I've read your book, joined the Authors' Coalition and receive your newsletter - so I knew you were the person to go to with my question! I read recently of an author who "joined a forum conversation at Amazon" and saw a rise in their book sales. I've been to Amazon and searched for "forums" and came up empty. Do you know how to find them? Could he have been talking about a blog? Love to get your expertise on this! Thanks also for the tip to join this networking group, it's been a wealth of information!
I'm glad you took my advice to join John Kremer's Book Marketing Network (www.bookmarket.ning.com). The reason his group works so well, of course, is that it is a focused group. There are many similar places out there (MySpace, Facebook, etc.) that can make a difference to your book but my fear is that authors are scattering themselves too much, can't possibly pay attention to all of them and that the kinds of friends they make are nice, but their interests are way too broad to make a difference to their marketing campaign.
Now, on to your question on forums.I have heard of this Amazon feature before but haven't participated. Here's some information on them from Steve at http://weberbooks.com/plug.htm and a handful of other ideas for increased book sales, too . . . ~To finish this article go to http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A3JH18T58CY65P/002-3692730-7456014. Please take the time to do it. I've included some excellent (and free) tips. And, for heaven's sake, leave a comment while you're there (and include your URL!).
TIP: Try listing your book with Michael Walker at DREAMWalker Group, a site that provides free profiles and information to, for, and about creative people (like writers and artists. Here is what Michael did for me: http://dreamwalkergroup.com/bio/c/carolyn_howard_johnson.htm
Michael says, "We currently have over 2,950 authors and artists listed ... and we try to provide a historical listing of all their books . . . book listings are linked directly to Amazon.com -- and the money we make (currently about $400 per year) helps pay for the maintenance of this site.)
Learn more at
====================================The New Book Review is a service of this newsletter and Authors' Coalition. It allows authors to get more exposure from their favorite review and reviewers a chance to have more readers see their reviews--with links, of course. Please check the guidelines on the blog site at www.TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com. ====================================
E-Tips for E-Promotion
Answer your e-mail. It sounds simple enough but think of the celebrities and stars who brush off their fans. Think of what it does for their reputations. If you have such a following that you can't do this, get help or use a template and adjust it slightly with each e-mail to make it feel more personal
This is a regular Sharing with Writers feature by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of USA Book News' Best Professional Book THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER: HOW TO DO WHAT YOUR PUBLISHER WON'T and the soon-to-be released THE FRUGAL EDITOR: PUT YOUR BEST BOOK FORWARD TO AVOID HUMILIATION AND ENSURE SUCCESS. (E-tips for E-promotion was originally a regular feature of SellWritingOnline.com.)
"www.HowToDoItFrugally.com , by Carolyn Howard--Johnson [is] a top website for writers . . . I'd say my ROI is over 1,000%. The advice is particularly strong in addressing the new author where they are in learning the publishing/selling process. Very practical. The site is excellent." ~ Hill Kemp, author of Capitol Offense, http://www.capitoloffense.com/, and contributor to Secrets, Fact or Fiction? I, ISBN 0-9737282-5-6 and Secrets, Fact or Fiction? II, ISBN 1-59594-062-6, LOC 2006904627, http://www.secretsfactorfiction.com
Something to Make Writers Smile
(Every year the Washington Post conducts a neologism contest. These are the winners, one at a time. You might have some favorite neologisms metaphors or similes that make you smile. If so, please contribute.)
"Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out."
Essential Book and Record Keeping:
This letter is an entity of Authors' Coalition http://authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com
Edited and distributed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson,
author of This Is the Place, Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, Tracings, and The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't, this is a place to share with others and learn from others.
Though 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 HoJoNews@aol.com . Please put "Submission: Sharing with Writers" in the subject line.
If you do not care to receive this letter, unsubscribe at HoJoNews@aol.com
Include "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: HoJoNews@aol.com
Please pass this newsletter on to friends or e-groups. It needn't be pasted in its complete form, but please credit this newsletter, Authors' Coalition and the individual contributors with anything you snip and paste.
Order the Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't
at stores like UCLA, Dayton University and San Diego State University's bookstores. Order it as an e-book at http://starpublish.com/carolyn_howard-johnson.htm
or paperback at Amazon where it is discounted:
Tracings, a chapbook of poetry, published by Finishing Line Press may be ordered at www.amazon.com/gp/product/1599240173/qid=1139084827/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-7824821-4156653?s=books&v=glance&n=283155