My guest today is Carolyn Howard Johnson! She is an award-winning author and the master of frugal book promotions. Her book, The Frugal Book Promoter, is a must for anyone preparing to market a book and most certainly resides on my book shelf. (Well-worn, of course.) I asked if she could contribute something in the area of writing for my blog and online writer’s club. This is a little excerpt (an exclusive at that!) from The Frugal Book Promoter:
Mindshift: Getting Over Wrong-Headed Beliefs About Promotion
By Carolyn Howard-Johnson
We all know what negative thoughts can do to our writing. But we often fail to recognize that all the wailing we hear about promotion-- on the Net and in our critique groups--is destructive, too. It keeps us from doing what we must to build our platforms which in turn helps us get a good agent or publisher and sell our books.
We writers need to stop believing what we hear other writers saying about the horrors of promotion. Or what our little brains keep whispering to us. There is a way to promote that fits every writer's pocketbook, book title, and even every writer's personality.
As an example, writers love to write. . But there are many ways writer can use their writing to promote. Here is a list of ways to promote that require you to write. It comes straight from chapter headings in my multi award-winning Frugal Book Promoter:
Write and Recycle Articles.
Write a Column.
Syndicate Your Column.
Self -Syndicate Your Column.
Publish Your Own Newsletter.
Write for Anthologies.
Write Tip Sheets.
For those who moan most about the time promotion takes, well, you have a point. But see the first entry? That word "recycle" is important. Anything you write to promote can be recycled. It can be recycled from your blog to your newsletter to your Web site to your handouts when you speak or teach. And back again. In the Obama era, we're all getting into a green mode and green can include efficient time use, too. That means even the issue of time become less of an argument for avoiding promotion.
So, though your promotional writing must be balanced with your creative efforts, it's a lot easier to do than most think. Unfortunately, that balancing act is a topic all its own, but my favorite tip for that is to get up in the morning, put fingers to keys and write for one, two hours. Whatever you find you need. Don't turn on your e-mail program until after that time is up. Then it's promo-writing time. Go for it!
------Carolyn Howard-Johnson's first novel, This Is the Place, won eight awards. Her second book, Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, creative nonfiction, won three. Her chapbook of poetry Tracings, was named to the Compulsive Reader's Ten Best Reads list and was given the Military Writers' Society of America's Silver Award of Excellence. She just released She Wore Emerald Then, A Reflection on Motherhood, coauthored with Magdalena Ball and self-published in the time-honored tradition of poets everywhere. Those efforts on behalf of so-called hard-to-promote books lead her to write The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't which was named USA Book News' "Best Professional Book 2004." It is also an Irwin Award winner. Her Web site is www.HowToDoItFrugally.com and she blogs at Writer's Digest 101 Best Website www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com.