Tag Archives: promotion

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Carolyn Howard-Johnson, the Frugal Book Promoter!


Author interview with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, your Frugal Editor and Frugal Book Promoter (-:

Carolyn was raised by a depression-era mother, thus the Frugal thing. Her fiction is informed by The Place she grew up, beauty, warts and all. Utah. And, like Wendy, she loves to share and help writers promote their books. Find her frugal stuff at www.howtodoitfrugally.com and her fiction and poetry at www.carolynhoward-Johnson.com .

1. Tell us about your latest book.

It is 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 . It was launched at the National Stationery Show at Javits Center in New York (about the time of last year’s Book Expo America) and is based on my many years as founder, owner and marketer for a chain of gift stores. Find it at www.budurl.com/RetailersGuide.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

I thought the boys on my high school newspaper staff were cute. We said “cute” back then, not “hot.” I wouldn’t have known from “hot.”

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

I look like a toadstool growing out of one of those ergonomic chairs that sit in front of computers. In the afternoons I got to movies, a habit born out of the days when I reviewed film for the Glendale News-Press. Movies also inform my writing.

4. Describe your workspace.

Messy, very messy. If you’d like a photo, I’ll send it to you. It was taken a couple of years ago. It’s worse now. There is still room, however, for my Great Dane to spread out on the floor.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers).

Oh, so many. Wendy, I’m reading yours. Just got it. One of my favorites these days is an e-book by Larry Brooks on story structure. www.storyfix.com. It’s the best I’ve ever seen on that subject.

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you.

  • Mmmm. I dye my hair the same color it comes out at the roots. Go figure.
  • I was a redhead before I was a blonde. Wishing made it so. You can call it silver, or gray and get a swat. You can get away with “platinum,” though I still want to be “blonde.”
  • I was only 18 when I started my first writing job. You can learn how I got that job by reading the fictionalized account in my novel This Is the Place. http://www.amazon.com/This-Place-Carolyn-Howard-Johnson/dp/1588513521/

7. Favorite quote

“Careers that are not fed soon die as readily as any living organism given no sustenance.”

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

You’ll find it on my handouts for the classes I teach at UCLA, all over my Website, in th footers of some of my books, etc.

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

Oh, gosh. Best part. I love it. It cured me of cancer.

Truly, no worse part. Truly.

9. Advice for other writers

Read. Read in your genre. Read outside of your genre. Read how-to books on every subject related to writing and the marketing of books. Read more than one on each subject. Buy books for gifts.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.

I love your story. It’s hard to beat.  So I won’t try.

At that first job in journalism I wrote a cooking column for teenagers, using their recipes. I was also learning layout and had to write the cutlines (those little explanations beneath pictures) and it is hard to write them for one column headshots. One week I featured a brownie recipe that didn’t have to be baked from a teen in Salt Lake City. I wrote (name changed to protect the innocent), Diane Dotson . . . Easy to make while studying.” It ran in most editions. Editors caught it before the city edition hit the press. Luckily for me and for my job.

Where can people buy your books?

Oh, so many! Just know that I know my HowToDoItFrugally books will help authors make their dreams come true and that I consider even The Frugal Editor (www.budurl.com/TheFrugalEditor) important in marketing your book to a publisher, agent or anyone else. Editing is just so important. Your readers will find everything from my award-winning poetry to The Frugal Book Promoter (www.budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo) at www.howtodoitfrugally.com.

FREE Teleseminar: How to Be a Guest on National TV


“Discover The Three Big Secrets For Getting Free Publicity As A Guest On America’s Top National TV Shows” Wednesday, February 18, 2009 2 pm Eastern (11 am Pacific) OR 7 pm Eastern (4 pm Pacific) Do you want to appear as a guest on top national TV shows and networks like Good Morning America, Oprah, Today, The View, Fox News Channel, and CNN? Of course you do because there’s no faster way to promote your book, product, service, practice, or cause to millions of people across the country. David Riklan, founder of SelfGrowth.com, would like to invite you to a free 90-minute telephone seminar with publicity guru Steve Harrison, former Oprah guest booker Michelle Anton, and other veteran TV producers on… “The Three Big Secrets for Getting Publicity as a Guest on Top National TV Shows” On the call, you’ll discover things unknown to 95% of all publicity-seekers. To register for this call, which is free except for your normal long distance charges, go here now: http://www.selfgrowth.com/getpublicity.html On the call, you’ll discover things like: * How to increase your odds of getting on Oprah, Fox News, and other top shows. * Understanding the mindset of national TV producers and what gets them to book you as a guest. * The strategy a husband-and-wife team used to land a 7-minute Today Show segment.   * What you should send TV producers (and what you shouldn’t). * An important lesson from one author who got on Oprah and saw sales soar as a result. * The most important question you must be able to answer to land a TV appearance. * The biggest mistakes to avoid when pitching TV producers (including ones that could get you blackballed forever!). * Case histories of four other authors and entrepreneurs and the strategies they used to get on top TV shows. To register, go here now: http://www.selfgrowth.com/getpublicity.html

My Amazon Spike Day letter (feel free to copy if you do one)


Order Wendy’s new book on Dec. 1 and get a free e-book!


Dear Friends,

Have you ever thought of making money from your writing? Perhaps you’ve got an idea for a novel or nonfiction book. Or maybe you’ve got some magazine articles swirling around in your head. If you (or someone you know) would like to know how to sell your work, I invite you to buy my new book, “The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters” on December 1.

The 30+ samples of good and bad queries walk writers through the “must-have” and “don’t-even-think-about-it” points with a balance of clear instruction, examples and humor. Where similar query books just tell you to write a hook – it gives insight into what makes a good opening paragraph for an article, novel or nonfiction query. There are special considerations for book queries by genre (from Romance and Mystery to Speculative and Thriller – plus everything in between) and the FAQs come straight from the author’s experience as a writer, author, magazine editor and book copyeditor. The “what editors/agents/publishers like” and “what editors/agents/publishers don’t like” are incredible resources, offering a look into water coolers throughout the publishing industry. Plus, it’s funny.


Why December 1? It’s my official “Amazon Spike Day,” where I attempt to bump my book up the rankings. The better my book sells before its December 5 release date, the more often Amazon will recommend it to shoppers and the more likely bookstores will order extra copies.

Here’s a link to check out the book. (You can also buy it from Amazon through this link.)  http://www.GuideToQueryLetters.com

So what’s in it for you (besides knowing you helped an old friend!)? Everyone who orders “The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters” from Amazon on December 1 receives:

         1.  My free e-book, “3 Years of Ask Wendy; Your Freelance Writing Questions Answered” (a $9.95 value!) – featuring Q & As on everything from how to sell greeting card copy and fillers to making money from personal essays and short stories. (This e-book is compiled from my “Ask Wendy” column for WritersOnTheRise.com, one of Writer’s Digest Magazine’s Top 100 Web sites for Writers.)


         2. A chance to win one of 6 books:

         • “Get Known Before the Book Deal” by Christina Katz (author of “Writer Mama” and founder of WritersOnTheRise.com)

         • “Writer Mama; How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids” by Christina Katz (www.thewritermama.com)

         • “Work It, Girl! 101 Tips for the Hip Working Chick” by Wendy Burt and Erin Kindberg (our second book in the Hip Chick series)

         • “A Christmas Dozen; Christmas Stories to Warm the Heart” by Steve Burt  (award-winning writer and author of 12 books)**

         • “Odd Lot; Stories to Chill the Heart” by Steve Burt (winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award; winner of 6 Honorable Mentions for Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror; Honorable Mention Best Horror Book by ForeWord Magazine and Honorable Mention Best Genre Fiction from Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards)**

         • “Oddest Yet; Even More Stores to Chill the Heart” (Bram Stoker Winner!)**

**Steve Burt is not only my dad and mentor, but also an award-winning author. In fact, he won the Bram Stoker Award, the highest honor in horror writing!


         3. One winner will receive a free email or phone consultation and editorial feedback on the topic of their choice: writing for magazines, novel queries, greeting cards, nonfiction book proposals, freelancing for a living, etc..

         Just order the book from Amazon (there’s a link to Amazon through http://www.GuideToQueryLetters.com) on Monday, December 1 and email me your receipt. I’ll email you the e-book and enter your name in the drawing!

         Please don’t feel obligated to buy the book. But if you choose to, let me say “thank you” in advance!

         All my best,


         Wendy Burt-Thomas




marketing your book


Yesterday I finished my “Amazon Spike Day” letter, which I’ll be emailing in order to encourage friends, family and fellow writers to buy my book on December 1.


Why Dec. 1? Because the book is scheduled to hit Writer’s Digest’s warehouse on Dec. 5. By doing an Amazon spike early:

1) I increase the chances of getting bookstores to order extra copies because there were so many pre-orders (high demand before the book even comes out)

2) I increase the chances of Amazon recommending my book to customers who are buying similar books. “If you like X, you might also like Y.”

My good friend Christina Katz had an excellent response from her Amazon spike day so I figure why not?

I’ll have to keep you posted…after Dec. 1!z2703c_query