"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: 9/25/2007 4:14:27 PM
Subject: [Sharing with Writers] Hear Ye! Your Third Semi-Annual AllTips Edition. Amazon Reviewer Scams and More
September 25, 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:
Here is the long awaited (you have been waiting haven't you?) Semi Annual AllTips edition of Sharing with Writers. Tips and more tips to help you with anything from promotion to the craft of writing. The more you know about all aspects of your writing career, the better you'll be able to manage it. That includes everything from knowing more about indexing to the printing process itself.
As an extension of this letter, those of you in the greater Southern California area, please come to the panel I am moderating at the West Hollywood Book Fair at 1 pm in the Writer's Pavilion! (For more details see below under appearances in this letter.) The panelists will sign their books after we chat. I promise you'll learn something you didn't know before! Or make a contact you didn't have before. Or . . . . (-: Learn more at: http://www.westhollywoodbookfair.org/
So, now on to the tips. And feel free to send me tips of your own. We have an AllMarketing edition coming up soon.
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 only $20. 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 .
Tip: Borders is beta testing a new online book site. It is likely that if you are published and on Amazon, your book is already there. Here's the tip: Have some of your reviewers post reviews on your book's page. Get a head start on the masses. Here's the URL. http://beta.bordersstores.com/online/store/SearchResults?view=1&rpp=25&type=1&kids=false&nav=5185&simple=true&book_search=Star+Publish
Tip: Jessica Kennedy sends this suggestion for editing: "I recommend a text reader. Nothing has helped me more than hearing what I've written read back to me. Let's face it you can't always find a willing victim to read your prose back to you. Learn more from Jessica's Blog http://jessicakennedy71.blogspot.com/ Go to the entries in and around July 28, 2007. In The Frugal Editor I recommend reading out loud to yourself and to find typos, reading backwards from the last word forward.
Tip: Anyone need a domain name? GoDaddy has a good price and they sell lots of other tekky services, too. Here are the steps for buying a domain name:
1. Make three choices of domains you like; number them from one to three
2. Go to GoDaddy.com or some other similar site.
3. Enter your first choice.
4. If it is available, buy it on the spot.
Why the rush? If you don't, some domain thug may grab you domain name and try to sell it back to you for many more times the few dollars GoDaddy will charge you for it.
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 for your blog, or newsletter, just ask. HoJoNews@aol.com.
TIP: From Scott Flora, SPAN's guru, here are resources for finding agents.
1. Writer's Net has a way to search for agents by topic - www.writers.net/
2. Agent Query also has a search function for agents - www.agentquery.com/
3. Publishing Central has articles and links pertaining to agents www.publishingcentral.com/subject.html?sid=16&si=1.
You'll also find a list of agents who were kind enough to contribute ideas to my The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. Not only a list but all their ideas for how to make your search for an agent more successful by submitting a more professional query letter! (-: It's available for pre-order at Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0978515870/ref=cm_arms_pdp_dp/104-4997450-6971141
Find SPAN at www.spannet.org.
Review Tip #1: When you are requesting reviews, you may offer the reviewer a choice of an e-copy or a hard copy of your book for some (not many) will prefer the cost-effective e-copy. Never, however, ask them to buy your book, and then review. Reviewers are giving you a gift. Often they do not get paid or their pay is very low. A copy of the book they are reviewing is their perk, your gift to them.
Review Tip #2: Someone who reviews for Amazon or B&N may ask for a review copy of your book. You may choose not to honor their request. After all, that is a practice that could get out of hand and everyone who reads and wants your book could promise to post two lines on Amazon. Not a good thing. Having said that, these are your readers and they may also have blogs. They may also spread the word about your book, as readers often do. The choice is yours. Weigh the cost of the copy and postage against your need for a review, your belief in the importance of creating a buzz, your belief in honoring anyone who wants to read your book, the good will a single book might bring to someone who cares enough to ask.
Review Tip #3: Amazon has a new program where they offer f r ^ ^ books to a select few reviewers (how select, I don't know) in exchange for a review on Amazon. If someone who says they are part of the Amazon Vine program asks you a copy of your book to review and offers more than 'just" a review on Amazon, don't swallow that offer whole. Weigh the offer as suggested in Review Tip #2 and decide. Beyond giving you an Amazon review, it is doubtful that a Vine Reviewer can move mountains for your book. I am one and it is a neat program, but not a magic one.
TIP: Protect yourself from literary contest scams with this URL from subscriber and poet May Lattanzio: http://windpub.com/literary.scams/
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). Authors' Coalition www.authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com is also accepting ads.
Book Trailer Tips: From Patrice-Anne Rutledge, author of The Web-Savvy Writer Book: Book Promotion with a High-Tech Twist and Video Book Buzz: Create a Book Video That Generates Publicity and Profits. (http://www.websavvywriter.com):
Three Favorite Ways to Promote Your Video Book Trailer:
1) Promote on video sharing sites. YouTube is the obvious choice, but don't stop there. Google Video, Yahoo! Video, and Veoh are other good
options. Also check out Revver, which offers a way to generate revenue from ads inserted into your video.
2) Include a link to your website AND to your book video in every email you send. This draws extra attention to your video and encourages clicks from people who might not otherwise discover it.
3) Promote on social networking sites. MySpace is popular with many authors whose books attract a young or general interest audience, but there are social networking sites for all ages, interests, and professions. Some sites specific to books include www.Bookmarket.ning.com and The Yack; both offer the option of posting your video.
Bestselling Author (24 books)
CeM-certified Online Book Promotion Expert
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 email@example.com with subject line, "101 Best Newsletters for Authors" and let them know what this newsletter does for you!
Reading Tip: Paperback Swap (PBS) is a site where you can find books. One of my Shelfari reading pals says it "is like a big 'swap meet' where you list books that your wanting to give away which in turn gives you credits for books you might want to read." Go to: www.paperbackswap.com, I'm thinking it might be a good place to list your own books, signed. Maybe even get additional exposure.
Editing Tip: When you're doing the last edit--the one on the galley your publisher sends you--watch the open space. Are the margins so narrow the pages looked cramped? Have they tried to save paper (maybe a good thing but only up to a point) by cramming your front and backmatter, leaving no white pages? In The Frugal Editor you'll find all kinds of things like this to watch for. And yes, you can ask for something better. (-:
Watch for the third annual All Tips Edition of Sharing with Writers coming in September. Send your favorite tip for inclusion to: HoJoNews@aol.com with "SWW TIP: in the subject line.
Tip: Walter Brasch,
http://www.walterbrasch.com, sends this link for the AP Stylebook: http://www.apstylebook.com/. Look for information on Associated Press approved formats for tons of stuff, but especially for media releases. Brasch is a humor columnist and writer of books on everything from literature to politics. And I recommend AP in The Frugal Editor and in the list of references in the appendices.
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."
Tip: Many are using blogs as part of their promotion campaign. When choosing a place to put your blog, consider its ease of use. I just finished a blog chain and found that four of the ten blog services made it so hard for me to sign up, get in, and STAY that I gave up. I recommend www.blogger.com . It's associated with Google and that means a huge number of people will already have accounts. That makes leaving a comment for you--and for people you hope to attract to your blog-- easy.
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 The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success that is now available for pre-order on Amazon. The excerpt includes some of the sidebars from the book that may help you with some tricky grammar. As a thank you, of course. HoJoNews@aol.com, the Frugal Book
Tip: Billed as the ultimate community membership website for writers, authors and industry experts is here. www.CallingAllAuthors.org is an organization that brings on-going, reality-based information and assistance to writers in a wholly interactive and innovative way. Writers can connect with one another and with industry experts. They can find out what they need to learn and share what they already know.
Articles from industry experts and innovative authors, the Great Links resources, polling on interesting topics, regularly scheduled teleseminars and webinars with Valerie Connelly (Nightengale Press Publisher and Global Talk Radio Talk Show Host) and a broad spectrum of expert co-hosts, will all bring the latest information and tips to writers and authors. Downloadable Audio Mini-Clip Libraries of useful writing, publishing and marketing tips, monthly 30-minute Publisher's Corner Lessons videos, as well as an on site daily newsletter, blog, forum, IM communications with other registered members, User Profiles, and much more.
Carolyn's Appearances and Teaching:
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. From 1:00-1:45 pm. 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. The conference, spearheaded by Valerie Coleman is held at the Dayton Urban League at 907 West Fifth Street Dayton, Ohio 45402. and sponsored by the Mark Baker Foundation and Pen of the Writer. It 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).
Carolyn Howard-Johnson will speak at the Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word (October 12-14) in Nashville, TN. The subject is Realize Your Dream: From Query Letter to Bestseller--Frugally!
The time will be announced later. And don't you just love the title of the fair? You'll find more information on this fair and others you might participate in at www.howtodoitfrugally.com. Click on the Resources for Writers page and scroll down. For more on this specific fair, go to
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 in your e-mail box. It is a focused blog on all things related to writing and publishing 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. http://www.humorwriters.org/
Carolyn Howard-Johnson will appear on Write On Four Corners with host Connie Gotsch on KSJE FM Public Radio from San Juan College. Access the broadcast at: www.ksje.com 10:30 am Wed. 2:30 pm Fri. Mountain Time. Click on listen live in your appropriate time zone. Connie is the author of the mystery suspense novel ‘Snap Me a Future’ as well as host of Roving with the Arts on KSJE and regular contributor to The Four Corners Free Press www.fourcornersfreepress.com
TIP: Save steps. Go to your Google Accounts page and set up a f r ^ ^ calendar. You then only have to do a calendar once. You set the RSS feeds on your website, your blogs, wherever. And people who want to know where your signings and other events are can find you. To see how it works click on my Google Calendar button to learn more about my upcoming UCLA Extension Writers' Program classes, my writers' conference and book fair appearances and more.
For those who are reading this in its plain generic form, copy and paste this instead. http://www.google.com/calendar/render?cid=hojonews%40aol.com&pli=1&gsessionid=Zo-8e2EmPF0
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tip: I don't know how effective booktour.com is. Like many kinds of marketing /promotion, it is difficult to trace results. But I like it and can see great potential for it -- especially if you let your readers know they can find you there. (-: And it fits with my Frugal slogan--it's absolutely f r ^ ^. Here's my page. I plan to go back and make it more effective. Any suggestions? http://booktour.com/author/carolyn_howard_johnson
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: Query for an interview at bookreviewsonline.com. It might get you on a one of several blogs. Learn about them at www.bestbooksreviewed.com.
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! You know you want it on your website!
TIP: Exposure is indeed part of marketing. Book Place is a Ning group (read that a networking group a la Facebook but more focused) that might work well for networking. You can pick and choose friends, invite friends use it for a blog and lots more. I'm new there and still exploring. http://morganmandelbooks.ning.com/
"AC is the current that powers your writing career." http://authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Authors' Coalition Founder
TIP: May Lattazino sends this link to those who might prefer to use a lower tech calendar for their masses of fans to see what they're doing. http://people.lulu.com/blogs/view.php?blog_id=562
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: Subscriber Jewel M. Sample, author of Flying Hugs and Kisses (http://www.authorstobelievein.com/flying.hugs.and.kisses.htm ) a book that teaches children and families how to deal with SIDS, suggests frequenting this blog where two authors fight the good fight against scams aimed at authors: http://accrispin.blogspot.com/
I use Vista Print for lots of my promotional materials. Be aware that shipping prices may fluctuate, depending on the deal of the moment. Even at that, the prices generally are good, the products they offer excellent quality and they do short runs. (I don't advise long runs on promotion material because your needs can change very quickly.) Please use this link:
Tip: Keep up with the publishing world on UCLA Writers' Program's blog http://www.uclaextensionwritersprogram.blogspot.com/ . Find links to many of that program's instructors' blogs there, too. One of Corey Campbell's recent joyous blogs on collaborating is especially interesting. (-:
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. This has been popular so please allow some time before your review will be posted.
E-Tips for E-Promotion
Run a contest and build your blog traffic at the same time. Nikki Leigh does this with both of her blogs,
And she does it in a way that benefits her own books and those of others. Nice. .
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.)
" Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it."
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 How To Do It Frugally Series of books for writers, www.howtodoitfrugally.com.
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, send an e-mail to HoJoNews@aol.com 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: 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/