"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: 7/13/2006 8:24:47 PM
Subject: [Sharing with Writers] ZineWikis and Sonic Brands
July 14, 2006: Sharing with Writers:
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.
Note from Carolyn:
Dear Authors' Coalition Members and Subscribers:
Domain names have been on my mind. I am going to begin working on a special site (well, not me, a treasured friend--but more about that later) for The Frugal Promoter Series now that "The Frugal Book Promoter: How to do What Your Publisher Won't" will soon be the first in that series.
Many of you know that I lost my domain name because of my low TIQ (that would be Tech I.Q.). Of course, a third party got it and though they have no use for it, want to sell it back to me for a premium. I had been mulling over the possibilities -- very limited due to my limited expertise when one of the attendees at a seminar I was teaching, took me in hand, gave me a boot in the pants (hard to do) and I got started. Even though I will be juggling my websites in the next few months, this domain name will travel wherever it goes. Isn't that just a revelation.
Anyway, it isn't too different from what I had before. In fact it even includes that infamous dash in my last time. Here it is:
Now, if you don't have a site or a really good domain name, go out a get one. If I can do it, anyone can. I used godaddy.com. They're cheap and even I eventually learned to navigate the site well enough to get the job done!
No part of this newsletter is paid advertising.
I was so inspired by your latest newsletter, I created my first list. You can see it at http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/listmania/fullview/R3RV1SGQAZ5U0/102-0019062-6036158
Of course, later I'll have to make a list that includes your book(s). Thanks for the inspiration.
Also, your media release is one I'll be keeping as an example. I see that you promote three of your books in it and you come off as multitalented (which you are). You connect your novel to "Big Love"--brilliant--and the woman-of-the-year, while three paragraphs down, is highlighted, so I see that's highlighting is a great tool.
Chris Meeks, author of The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea
Editor's Note: If everyone used Chris' Amazon link and voted, that would be a wonderful gift for a fellow subscriber. Also, normally I would abbreviate the sweet raves in a letter like this, but Chris enumerates some ideas I use in my releases that many of you can use in yours.
Tip: Do you need a very short run for ARCS for a genealogy, a giftbook for relatives or a promotion? BookMasters communicates well with their customers and will do book runs starting at 50 books. Call them at 1-800-537-6727,or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book Promotion Radio:
Fran loves you to call in to her "Book Marketing with Fran." It airs live on Tuesday, noon to 1 p.m. (MST); 11 a.m., (PST), 1 p.m. (CST) and 2 p.m. (EST). During Daylight Savings Time, the show airs at 11 a.m. in Arizona, which does not change its clock.
1. Go to http://www.achieveradio.com
2. On left side, click "Shows, Hosts and Schedules" and scroll down to her show.
3. Or call toll free 800-920-3717 (Phoenix area - 623-772-9379).
4. Or e-mail. On left side of main page click "In-Quick Message or Call-In" (In-Quick only works during live shows).
Come talk to me Tuesday! And, yes! Share your own promotion idea and the name of your book while you're at it.
I'll be a guest on "Calling All Authors," a Global Talk Radio show (www.globaltalkradio.com/show/callingallauthors), Tuesday, July 18, 5 pm Pacific Saving Time (7 pm Central).
"Calling All Authors" was originated and is hosted by Valerie Connelly (also an author and publisher and founder of Nightengale Press) and I are both dedicated to getting authors to promote and cross-promote!
Calling in on 800-773-0355 (Outside the USA: 1-310-328-9300) to talk about promotion or This is the Place .That subject may interest you because "Big Love" has become such a hit on HBO. The novel is set in Mormon country.
Those interested can access past programs at www.globaltalkradio.com/show/callingallauthors .
G here to you
Blog Instead of Radio?
Recently I was asked to be a guest on a blog sponsored by Dawn Carrington, publisher at Vintage Romance. I copied some of what we discussed there because I thought it would be good learning beyond the borders of that day's blog. BTW, Dawn has some wonderful authors and if any of you write romance, you can find her blog at http://www.vrpublishing.blogspot.com/.
Here are some of the things we covered:
Good Morning Everyone!
How exciting. Several messages for me this morning. I'll address each one but first, Dawn asked me to tell you a bit about myself. I suspect you all would rather know more about THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER so I'll be brief.
You should know that I'm also a what my friend calls a "real" writer, like you. A novel, "This is the Place," which one reviewer called a "near romance." One reviewer even found a couple sexy parts I didn't know were there. Ha! "Harkening" is a book of creative nonfiction and "Tracings" is a chapbook of nostalgic poetry. What may be important to you is that by promoting these books (they were books that some promotion experts say are impossible to promote because they are literary or at least fiction rather than nonfiction). I learned about book promotion--the hard way.
I had been a publicist (fashion industry in New York and it IS just like The Devil Wears Prada depicts) and a journalist (The Salt Lake Tribune and Good Housekeeping Magazine). Even that kind of experience didn't help me with book promotion. That's how I knew that new (and old) authors needed THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER. I also spent an inheritance from an aunt on a publicist who did nothing.
Soooo. To answer your questions.
Diane asked what promotion I like best:
After that snafu with a publicist I tried about everything in my book and that's a lot. Of all the things in it that are truly free (excepting for time), I like the Amazon perks best. The reason? An author is spending her time targeting an audience.
As you work with Listmania, So You'd Like Tos..., Your About You page, even the newer Wikis, you'll learn how to toggle them to get the best exposure for your book. You'll find a whole chapter on this at the end of THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER. There are others, of course, but those are my favorite. I work a little bit on Amazon almost every day, have more than 80 Listmanias as an example. Ater I've finished answering you all, I'll go back and get the URL you can use to explore what I've done. This blog will take live links, won't it?
Patty designs covers for Vintage Romance:
Aha! A cover designer. I learned so much about cover design at a SPAN conference I spoke at -- I think it was 2002 or 2003. Anyway, I do address cover design in FRUGAL. Of course, I never design a cover -- that takes not only special talent but special understanding of the book market. I do think that authors should know about book design so they can work with their designer; a partnership has to work better than feeling at someone's mercy, don't you think? BTW, are any of your books fat enough so you can run your title vertically on the spine of your book. I'd love to be able to do that. Think how much more easily readers could find your book if they didn't have to crank their necks to read your title when it is upright on a bookshelf!
Another anonymous question who said he already had read FRUGAL:
Thank you so much for purchasing FRUGAL. I am always so pleased to know that I am helping someone else. Your question: How do you get the local media interested in you.
Yeah, I know. Bummer. Ridiculous as it may seem, I've had better luck with some press and lots or radio that is not local. That's exactly the opposite of what it should be but it happens. I chalked it up to a prejudice that's emerging that it isn't so special to be publishing a book any more. To counteract attitudes like this, frequency of contact helps. Mind you, only when you have something to say but as your contacts see you publisher more, get awards, etc, they may come around.
I can tell you've done all the footwork. One step many don't take is personally contacting (yes, the phone counts as personal) editors.
The other is finding those angles in their book and in their personal lives. One editor I called said he didn't use me (This was for my first novel, "This is the Place") because the Los Angeles Daily News already had. I told him that Glendale (the Glendale News-Press) had problems that very week with intolerance (a big todo about an ethnic group in our community) and that the underlying premise of the book is that even subtle prejudice is corrosive. He could see the community tie-in and jumped at it. So it wasn't BOOK that got him. It was another topic all together an I wouldn't have been able to counter with my idea if I had only sent him another letter or fax or e-mail.. Still the BOOK got featured! One can also make the book central enough to an interview that it is like to be integral to the reporter's story. Hope that little story helps!
Christa asked about branding:
Ahh, yes. My favorite topic. The above answer touches upon it. You see, we aren't selling books and we certainly aren't selling a single book (none of us wants to be a single book author, I'm sure, unless it happens to be a book like "To Kill a Mockingbird!"). Anyway, we are much better off if we start thinking of branding ourselves very early on. You think Stephen King, I think Stephen King, we all pretty much think the same thing.
Actually all of FRUGAL is about branding. Every bit of promotion we do should be working toward promoting the same brand. We should actually evaluate each thing we do with that in mind. That has been hard for me, even knowing a lot about it because .it's a bit jump from literary author and poet to THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER. Many people don't know about anything other than FRUGAL. It is hard to do one campaign that encompasses both. I've almost given up (but you notice I did tell all of you about my other books, right?).
Logos help with branding. Color can help with branding. There was something in the paper the other day. Barbie will have a two to five note tone (sound) that people will hear and think of Barbie and this is getting to be the rage. So, podcasting could even help with branding. And, yes, a single slogan OR a variety of related ones. (Coke doesn't have only one and they are masters!) One of slogans is:
“Careers that are not fed soon die as readily as any living organism given no sustenance.”
The bigger secret is to use these tools everywhere. I use them on fliers, on the handouts for my classes at UCLA, for my handouts at conferences, on some of my business cards. BTW, when was the last time you all invested in something that might help your career? Bought a book (obviously some of you), joined an authors' organization (Try NAWW or the one I founded, Authors' Coalition http://authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com ). You are all investing your time in learning something right now. I am always amazed at how many authors stop investing in learning more about their craft.
Carolyn is the editor of this newsletter. Learn more at http://carolynhoward-johnson.com.
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, their photos and titles listed among members, consideration for an interview or review in Yarnspinners and Wordweavers and with more in the works. Membership is reasonable, too. We're even planning a speakers' bureau.
Tell friends to visit our blog, too. There they'll learn how to spark generally insipid book fairs by using value-added promotions: http://redenginepress.com/chjohnson .
Gleaning Ideas from Others Authors' Successes:
Pinkie Parnya,author of Women of the Northland series says she is now one of the dot.commers. This after several books published.
One of the things I liked best about the new site is this feature, an idea for us all to emulate!
Attention Reading Groups
I am offering a free advance copy to any interested reading group moderator. If the group chooses my book, I will send laminated bookmarks and an autographed bookplate for the readers. Interested? Email me at email@example.com.
When was the last time you bought a book from an author you know? "Tracings" my new chapbook of poetry,
is available for that honor at
but any book mentioned in any one of your "Sharing with Writers" newsletters would be a nice gesture. If all of us directed more of our reading to newer authors who write in genres we love or genres we need to stretch into, we would do ourselves and the publishing industry a great favor.
For expert and up-to-date advice for writers from writers go to http://www.writeradvice.com. You'll find author interviews, reviews, contests and markets and more. The site, edited by B. Lynn Goodwin, is open to submissions.
Book Exclusives! Find insider news from authors, publishers, agents, editors and others involved in the book biz. Read excerpts, interviews and get in on the latest in promotions, sales and contests. http://pubproauthors.bravehost.com/
The Shy Writer: An Introvert's Guide to Writing Success - Author C. Hope Clark advises you how to "sell your words, not your soul" when you promote your work. http://www.theshywriter.com/
The Reading Tub is a charity that promotes family and children's literacy. They read every children's book that is sent to them to be reviewed. The books are then donated to community organizations. Go to www.thereadingtub.com.
Walter Brasch's America's Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government's Violation of Constitutional and Civil Rights. ) is a look at the history and effects of the USA Patriot Act upon the erosion of our civil liberties and violations of at least five of the Bill of Rights. It has been endorsed by liberals and conservatives.
The Scribal Press News Calendar. The news calendar of writer events around the world, no matter where you live. Find it at: http://www.scribalpress.com/thisnthat.html?
Star Publish offers near self-publish profits on your paperback; it is an alternative to unapproachable publishers. http://starpublish.com.
Do you want to hone your skills? Writer to Writer features tips on writing, marketing, submitting, selling and more. Regular no-f e e contests.
Authors' Coalition is for writers. Find support for authors--both emotional and material--at
Gather at QueenPower.com where women promote, support and encourage women. Start living your best life now! http://www.queenpower.com/
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."
For snappy marketing tips and the f~r~e~e report "How to Obtain Book Reviews," subscribe to the PR Postcard at
Spirited Woman, launches the Spirited Woman Circle, a monthly phone conversation series with bestselling authors. Learn more at http://www.TheSpiritedWoman.com/spirited_woman_circle/
Cynthia Brian, Media Coach, Writer, Author, Speaker, TV/Radio Personality, Spokesperson. www.star-style.com , www.goddessgals.com , and www.starstyleproductions.com
Francine Silverman, publisher of Book Promotion Newsletter, serves authors by e-mailing Expert Sheets to the media. Contact Fran at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. www.bookpromotionnewsletter.com
Read author interviews, market information, and more in WriterAdvice, www.writeradvice.com. To subscribe or to submit material for consideration, E-mail LGood67334@comcast.net Put "subscribe" in the subject box.
The Y&W newsletter sponsored by Red Engine Press brings authors, bookstores, publishers and reviewers together. Subscribers can write a short article of interest for publication. Send an email to email@example.com with "Y&W Newsletter" in the subject line.
Sun Signs for Writers: Learn how astrology can benefit (and entertain!) writers with a new Writers' Digest book: http://www.writersigns.info
Judith Woolcock Colombo: Author of The Fablesinger and Night Crimes: Learn more at: http://odin.prohosting.com/~night01
Discover a novel by Cynthianna Appel and receive another e-book at no cost. Go to http://pages.sbcglobal.net/cynthianna/promo.html today!
Read Joyce Faulkner's Celebrity Cafe.com column to learn about anything from aging feet to her favorite books on writing: http://thecelebritycafe.com/features/Columnists/The_Weekly_Shriek/
Fr * * Publicity Resource: Let this site send your media release to book trade professionals including Associated Press, Reuters, and more. http://press.heliographica.com/
Has writing lost its spontaneity? Find remedies in Milli Thornton's online writing course at: http://www.fearofwriting.com/creative-writing-course.htm
Discover a true-life philosophy about making marriages last a lifetime in Choose Love For Life, by Joe and Edwina Roady (http://www.chooseloveforlife.com/.)
Find a f * * *, database which details over 2,000 literary and genre magazines and publishers at Dee Rimbaud's site: http://www.thunderburst.co.uk/
The Complete Writer offers advice on writing, editing, proofreading, publishing and design. Published by Red Engine Press, a traditional press.
(Note: Each thank you may be set with a jewel of a resource for you to plumb for your book. Watch for them! Adapt them to your own publishing and promotion needs!)
To Leah Schizas, editor and list mom for the Muse It Up Club on the net. She published my release under the "release" link on the club's site:
Anyone interested in joining the fine group of helpful authors can be found on the bottom left on the homepage at:
To Bev Walton-Porter: Editor & Publisher of Scribe and Quill for giving a Quill award to this newsletter and Authors' Coalition in the S&Q. That newsletter features reviews (will your book one day be among them?), articles on writing and more. Subscribe by sending a note to Bev at: firstname.lastname@example.org . Tell her "Sharing with Writers" sent you.
To The Muse Marquee: For listing Authors' Coalition, this SWW newsletter and more, front page and center, on the heavily traveled Muse Marquee site for authors. http://themusemarquee.tripod.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!
In the News:
What Are Sonic Brands?
The LA Times (Monday, July 3) business page reports that Barbie (yep, that's Mattel's Barbie) will be getting a new branding treatment. It is called a sonic brand. It consists of a few notes that are immediately identifiable as belonging to that brand and Barbie, whose sales have been nosing downward recently, needs a brandlift. That may be sorta like a facelift but she is already plastic so there's not a chance that would help.
I thought all of you would like to know about this because podcasts are now within reach of many of you with a tekky bent. Imagine! Three or four notes that, as journalist Charles Duhigg says, "cuts indelibly into the brain." Just what we authors need!
McDonald's does it ("I'm lovin' it"(T)) and trademarks it in several different languages. Motorola has its "Hello Moto." Why not you?
Carolyn's Appearances and Teaching
I will be appearing on "Calling All Authors," Tuesday, July 18 at 7 pm Central, and 5 pm Pacific time (You can figure it out for other time zones) on Global Talk Radio. Call in or listen.
Outside the USA: 1-310-328-9300)
UCLA Class: Carolyn is teaching a one-day class at UCLA on Saturday, August 5th (summer quarter). Circle it on your calendar! Enroll to learn all you need to know about preparing a professional manuscript for submission to agents, publishers or to ready it for alternative presses. To enroll or to receive a free copy of UCLA's "Writers' Program Quarterly," contact Marcus Hennessey at email@example.com or (310) 825-9415.
Audio Classes: Allyn Evans, Joyce Faulkner, Kathe Gogolewski, Marilyn Peake and Carolyn Howard-Johnson's, audio classes cover writing skills, book promotion, and technology for writers. Access new audio classes regularly in MP3 or CDRom at
Learn more about the instructors and find a list of the coming classes at
To get a fr ^ ^ sample class called "Radio: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Promoting Easy and Cheap!" go to the Double Dragon Publishing (DDP) Website: Download at:
The Muse Online Writing Conference: Lea Schizas, editor of "The Muse on Writing," and Carolyn Howard-Johnson are sponsoring this first annual virtual writers' conference October 9 - 13. This conference lets writers -- published or not -- mingle with some of the publishing world's personalities. Choose from a huge selection of free online workshops.
Bookmark this site
Go back often to see the newest presenters and workshops. Agents. Subscriber Fran Silverman will be one of the presenters. Carolyn will be presenting on both book promotion and the craft of writing, specifically "Writing Sparkling Dialogue in 10 Easy Steps."
To check on the growing faculty and workshop session, go to:
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 a permanent spot (or as my list grows, semi-permanent) spot in this newsletter. I use only links that benefit writers
PENCILS™ - A Proofreading & Copyediting Company
"Improving the written word one letter at a time." Let Laura Kerley help you present your work in the best light possible!
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.pencilsproofreading.com
One of my favorite groups for meeting "Publishing and Promoting" peers is moderated by award-winning suspense novelist Diane J. Newton, http://dianejnewton.bravehost.com/
To subscribe go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/publishingandpromoting/ .
Dr. Bob Rich, freelance editor, finds the good things in your book and makes suggestions for improving it. Find him at http://bobswriting.com/editing.html
Success Literary Services offers complete book manuscript services. They were honored with twelve awards. References. http://www.successliterary.com / email@example.com
HUGS, HOPE, and Peanut Butter: Finding Light Behind Life's Storm Clouds is a book of humorous, inspirational essays illustrated by critically ill children. www.hugsandhope.org/pb.htm
The Compulsive Reader reviews books!. Find interviews, literary news, criticism, a no - c^st e-zine, and more. http://www.compulsivereader.com/html.
Do bookstores owe you money? Michelle Dunn's books help you get your checks in full and on time. http://www.michelledunn.com/
Erica Miner, queenpower.com's Queen of Journaling, edits a newsletter with an emphasis on journaling. Subscribe at: http://www.ericaminer.com/newsletter.php
Need help with your writing career? From coaching and ghostwriting to publishing and marketing,contact your Author's Advocate, Patrika Vaughn, at http://www.acappela.com/.
Dreams of Grandeur, a book of poetry by Amber A. Whitman is available at http://homebody2001-ivil.tripod.com/. A reader says "I'm impressed…a great deal of talent."
"Quark Soup" by Magdalena Ball breaks linguistic convention, using the strange anti-matter world of astrophysics and quantum physics to capture the bonds that tie human beings together."
Metaphors and Similes to Make You Smile:
(Every year, English teachers from across the country submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. I don't have the resource but I thought they might not mind if I published them one at a time. I also thought some of you might have some favorites you could contribute.)
Here is one of the teachers' favorites with more to come:
"He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse, without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it."
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!
Should Your Name/Book Be There?
This from Bev Walton-Porter, editor of Scribe and Quill:
ZineWiki is an open-source online encyclopedia devoted to zines and independent media. It covers the history, production, distribution and culture of the small press. Visitors to the site are encouraged to add their project, contribute additional information to existing pages, or to edit what's already published. Subjects should be explained in terms of their relevance to zines and independent media.
ZineWiki was created by Alan Lastufka and Kate Sandler in June 2006. Alan hopes the project will expand to not only cover recent events, but past projects as well.
ZineWiki is powered by the Wikimedia software engine, meaning anyone, anywhere can contribute directly to the site at any time.
As content grows, ZineWiki will become a catalog for zine librarians. The ZineWiki site is the first of its kind, in that any zinester or librarian could catalog a new issue/title as it becomes available, and the result would be instantly searchable, for free, from anywhere around the globe. Building a universal cataloging system would also assist the effort towards persuading public libraries to include zines in their collections.
The URL is http://zinewiki.com.
Essential Book and Record Keeping:
This letter is an entity of Authors' Coalition
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 newsletter lets authors share with each other.
To submit information for consideration, e-mail Carolyn at
If you do not care to receive this letter, unsubscribe at
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 or paperback at Amazon where it is discounted:
Tracings, a chapbook of poetry, may be ordered at
Carolyn's novel, "This is the Place," and book of creative nonfiction, "Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered," may be ordered at Amazon.com.