for the betterment of your
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"A decade of bettering writers'
how-tos, tips, and publishing news."
"Please do your writing friends
a favor and encourage them to subscribe."
For great tips and how-to articles
click on the link below to download your .pdf copy! If you prefer to
read it in Word, let me know at
February 22, 2017
This seems to be
new scam and kinks-in-old scams week! And if you have been putting off
doing visitors because you've never uploaded a video, subscriber Heln
Dunn Frame has the perfect tips for you! Oh, yeah. I know you'll want to
read my rant. Sometimes I just can't help myself!
January 21, 2017
Read right away (expiring
opportunities!). Why you shouldn't
worry about Amazon's new review guidelines. Grace Allison gives us a
Webby tutorial on letting Amazon (easily!) promote our books with an
e-mail! And Midwest Book Review gives you a tip on timing your review
query submissions! Yep, I'm celebrating the release of
How to Get Great
Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically
even more tips of utilizing Amazon in our
book review campaigns
December 5, 2016
You know you want to know the 15
Commandments for more book sales in 2017. You know you can't miss my
favorite tip for December.
November 11, 2016
Renewed enthusiasm for the people who are
the publishing industry with the release of
How to Get Great Book Reviews
Frugally and Ethically,
how to choose the best book tour operator and my fave Twitter tip.
Oh, yeah. How to get a free e-copy of my new book--courtesy Bookbaby.com
or Amazon Prime.
Please give it a review, too! At
October 10, 2016
A new contest scam for you to avoid. Q&A
a la Ann Landers helps readers work with bookstore "appearances" without
being there. And, yes! The cover reveal for my
How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically.
May 20, 2016
Forget Christmas in July! Get your
holiday promo ideas in May! Mindy's Itty Bitty column at its most
memorable. Generous Marketing. A short list of agents. Another short
list of library resources.
April 10, 2016
Come listen in on a conversation I had
with Amazon! How I put a smiley face on a rejection and you can,
too! What to say to get FREE publicity. A prepublish peek at the
third book in my multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books,
Getting Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically and lots more!
February 20, 2016
Amazon is now a book scout! So saeth
guestblogger Beth Cox. I love this week's feature, How to Handle #bookbigotry.
Your book may be right for spinoffs, even if you don't think so and you
know you want to know how Dr. Bob Rich makes life easier for his
January 22, 2016
Amazon reviews when you publish a second edition. And does "corn"
mean what you think it means (a little editing tip!). Yep, and tis the
season for more contest news, too!
December 5, 2015
Barbie (Well, OK, Mattel!) gives us a
marketing lesson we all can use! Editing guru Barbara McNichol gives
SharinwithWriters subscribers the lowdown on "such as," and in the
interest of free speech and free press, SWW copy editor Mindy Lawrence
tells us what she thinks in her Not-So-Itty-Bitty column!
November 9, 2015
Attack on Fake Reviews: The more you know
about reviews and Amazon, the better prepared you'll be to share your
book with readers! Why Op Ed and Major Media Outlets Made Me Think of
V8! And some specifics on writing a query letter that's a pitch!
September 15, 2015
You probably knew
you could upgrade your e-mail signature with Bookbuzzr's amazing
flipper, but do you know the other benefits? And here are the secrets
for giving away your book on a large scale straight from my personal
experience. And, oh, yeah. Here's a tried-and-true way to get your book
into college bookstores! Plus all the usual SharingwithWriters features
except for Mindy's regular Itty Bitty column; she deserves a rest!
August 10, 2015
Lots of freebies in this one! The way to
a frugal promoter's heart! And do you know what a Midori is? Mindy
Phillips Lawrence will show you. And Scott Lorenz gives you step-by-step
for making Goodreads Listopia work for your book. And, yeah, the usual
resources, tips and inspiration.
July 10, 2015
I'm on an image roll! But we'll also talk
about Taylor Swift, assertiveness, and promotion; a case study of a
Saturday Night Live writer's promotion campaign, and another one on
getting the future right.
June 18, 2015
Mindy's Itty Bitty column is a little
piece of flash fiction for your enjoyment this month! I know you will
enjoy at least one of the freebie offers. Do you know about the "do"
dummy? And last call for WinningWriters.com first ever North Street Book
May 29, 2015
Scott Lorenz on what writers can learn
from Motown. Really! Nina Corbett inspires your first documentary. Mindy
Lawrence on the nostalgia of real ink. And, of course, tons of tips and
May 1, 2015
Are writers and publishers
organizations like IBPA any good? What is a Published Works Almanac and
how can I use one? Karen Cioffi deconfuses editing terms and a whole lot
March 19, 2015
Jim Cox of Midwest Reviews tells
you how to entice reviewers to accept your book for review. And how
about a public TV documentary to expand exposure to what is near and
dear to you? And Linda Ballou on combating Internet nasties.
February 13, 2015
Terry Doherty shares her bookmark
secrets. I'm taking a certain Valentine (you?) to The Big Story
Conference at Valley College on Feb. 20, 21, 22 FREE. And you know you
want Mindy Lawrence's tips on freebies that you'd normally have to pay
for at your library. Plus the usual Tips and In the News stuff that
helps your writing career!
Telling stories about catercorner,
kitty-corner, and catty-corner; Scott Lorenz shares PR tricks with you;
new Tricks of the Trade radio show for learning and a resource for your
own promotion; and what the heck is the subjunctive mood, anyway?
December 15, 2014
Children's author advocate Terry Doherty
tells he how to Drip, Drip, Drip to find success in the publishing
world. Mindy Philips Lawrence somehow makes us feel special by lauding
the authors we lost in 2014. Valerie Allen and other book fair gurus
tell you how to keep the book fair magic going. And oh those tips and
November 12, 2014
Your Sell-Your-Book Expertise with Carolyn’s Quiz, Nurturing Your
Industry and Your Career, and SharingwithWriters perennial favorite Q&A
a la Ann Landers: Scammed by Bad Publishers
Plus My Best NEW
Marketing Tip for 2014
October 8, 2014
Never knock yourself out writing an inconsequential scene again (guest
feature by K.M. Weiland); the skinny on lighting and background for your
home videos; and why the "perfect" review may not be so perfect after
September 16, 2014
Ampersands may not be nearly as clever as
you think they are. Time magazine tested me on initialism and I lost.
How our covers--even the pretty ones--can keep our books off of
August 18, 2014
Do you know what elastic pricing is for your book? It can make you feel
more comfortable about discounting and even freebies! Also news about
the new Amazon List Network, brassy poetry promotion, and using booklets
to partner with charity for the promotion of our work.
July 14, 2014
How to get reviewers to let you reprint (recycle) their reviews. So why
exactly is it you don't want to give your books away? And about that
title "content writer?" You deserve better!
June 24, 2014
Lots on the Hachette
drama, Amazon's new bookselling feature #AmazonCart, and my Q&A a la Ann
Landers on How Do You Get a Reviewer to Let You Reprint Their Review.
June 1, 2014
Don't let scammy marketing ideas derail you! And what are those funny
numbers we see on copyright pages, anyway?
Mother's Day Offer
May 5, 2014
This is really my April newsletter but I was playing on a transatlantic
cruise. Loved Cape Town! In this issue I'm sharing tips for
decorating your writing space and Penny Sansevieri's guest contribution
on Are New York Publishers Still Relevant? Oh! And check out those
March 16, 2014
Lots on perfecting your campaign for keeping your book alive with
reviews and a lovely new Itty Bitty by Mindy Lawrence on using the new
Cosmos as inspiration and for better writing.
February 14, 2014
Ragging a bit on Barnes and Noble. Is
English a conceited language. What to do when someone beats you to being
being the featured expert.
February 1, 2014
Midwest review's new policy benefits indie writers, a little on solitude
by Mindy Lawrence, and how fiction writers can use paid-for advertising
to benefit their books.
January 4, 2014
Tons of tips on reviews and one article on making more money using niche
publishing. Oh! A few tips on making online blog book tours more
December 10, 2013:
Ohhh, la, la. Carolyn on public radio
with Lois P. Jones talking promoting the hard-to-promote genres and
reading poetry, the craziness (and loss) of some politically correct
rules, and what a tip on learning more about Google Plus hovercards from
November 19, 2013:
Mindy Lawrence wishes Doris Lessing a
good journey, Joan Stewart wants you to use hashtags more effectively,
and I want authors to consider using the free fine art now available
from the great museums of the world. And lots of tips as usual!
October 17, 2013:
A Better Sellsheet: Borrowing an Idea from the Smithsonian Magazine and
September 30, 2013:
Amazon's new BookMatch, Why I Love It and How To Do it and Karen
Cioffi-Ventrice's Pass It Forward.
August 30, 2013:
Let Amazon Work for You,
Getting Better Results for Your Freebie Offers by Karen Cioffi, and
Letting Kindle Make More Money for You.
July 31, 2013:
SharingwithWriters special AllTips
edition. Scams, motivation and more.
June 27, 2013:
What makes Amazon think they can
discount my book without my permission? And a rant: Who
says we can't write from the POV of someone very unlike us?
May 30, 2013:
Give-Away Book Promotions: The
Other Side of the Coin; Getting Published is Good Business; and
Getting Too Darn PC for the Good of the Language.
April 30, 2013:
Get your FREE Mother's Day gift and the first in a series of why
free is good or bad, some more convincers and how-tos on Pinterest,
and how not to fall into a tender (but-no-so-great) trap from Google
April 10, 2013:
to use Pinterest for storytelling with tips on how to useit to
market your book, too. There's also help in getting blurbs for your
book the easy way.
March 15, 2013:
You Want People to Accidentally Discover Your Book On
The Web and Joan Stewart Nixes Alphabet Bios
"Careers that are not fed die as readily
as any living organism
given no sustenance."
"A newsletter that is also a community. Share your ideas. Learn from
Sharing with Writers and Readers
cheap ways to promote your book? Carolyn
Howard-Johnson shares tips to get your book
out to the world at a low cost. Sign up for
her free e-newsletter to have most of the
information delivered right to your inbox."
~ Writer's Digest
"This is a
thank you and a love note. I've been copying your
newsletters each week and I have them strewn all over
the place with pages turned back and stuff marked etc.
So much good information, some I may never get to." ~Norma
J. Sundberg author of An Odd Fable, with Esther
"Your newsletter is
chalk full of valuable tips and I'm happy to be privy to it,
Carolyn. For one thing, I had no idea Amazon offered the writer so
much. I had no idea about a lot of good things until reading the
letter for the first time. Guess I better get busy utilizing the
tips in order to be ready for the next letter. LOL Thanks for giving
me a boost and a chance to gain momentum in my writing.
Pee Wee (S.K.
Hamilton) ~ author
The Kahills of Willow Walk.
Here are some tips on the
advantages of editing your own
newsletter. The Frugal Book Promoter also tells you
how you can use a newsletter to network for better
results in getting free publicity.
of Reno Lovison of RenoWeb.net.
Subscribe to SharingwithWriters
"A decade of bettering writers'
careers with how-tos,
tips, and publishing news."
You are invited to subscribe to my newsletter. It is
published semi-monthly except when I'm on deadline for a book or traveling (a
girl has to live, after all!) It is a place where authors come to
learn, to share what they know .
Subscribe by clicking here.
You know you want to!
Bonuses include semi-annual editions of the popular AllTips editions and
occasional special AllTips editions on targeted subjects like writing
craft, book marketing, and editing--even tweeting!
Sharing with Writers
is proofed by Mindy Phillips Lawrence of MPL Creative Resources (www.freewebs.com/mplcreative).
Contact her at email@example.com for editing help.
What People Are Saying
Printed with permission
of the writer, Joe Kelley
One of the reasons I like you so much is this
incredible e-mail [Sharing with Writers].
This kind of information is not only tantamount and
compelling...it reveals your secrets, the secret of all of your success(es). It basically tells us, "This is how you can win."
Almost everything from you and about you, if
scrutinized closely enough, will be hints, ideas, thoughts, etc. that tell us either
how to START winning or how to train our minds to think more like yours.
The single most important
thing you can do with your newsletter is encourage your
subscribers to participate by writing an article for you or
sending you a tip. Reward them with a liberal credit line
that links to the buy page of their book or to their own
newsletter or blog or Web site.
Find at least one tip on writing, promotion or
tech on every page of this Web site.
I've always considered you a marketing and
promotional genius. It not only seems to come naturally, but it
involves the tons and tons of footwork you've always been willing to do.
So when I get a missive from you, any missive, I
study it and it always teaches me.
I've yet to meet you. But you've taught me more about the business than
anyone else I've ever met, and I've met/know a lot of successful
writers and show business people.
The fact that you're so willing to share with us
makes you even more incredible to me. Lots of people with your information prefer to
keep it to themselves.
Frankly, I've been one of them.
You've encouraged me to start giving back. In this vein, I contacted the LAPL [Los Angeles
Public Library] about leading a writing group on a volunteer
basis. It's going through the administration as I write
but it's been pre-approved.
I've also offered to lead or teach writing groups
at a few Northeast Los Angeles senior centers, because I've always felt
seniors had so much sensational material buried deep within. Once they begin writing, seniors find it a joyous
and fulfilling thing . . . .~ Joe Kelley, screenwriter.
Editor of the Wisconsin Writers' Journal
on the Effectiveness of
Sharing with Writers
Thanks to a favorable mention of
the Wisconsin Writers’ Journal
in an earlier edition of Carolyn's newsletter, Sharing with
Writers, we’ve already had two new memberships. She noted the
importance for new writers trying to break into publication
of clips from Journals such as WRWA’s. That led two people
in Wisconsin! who’d never heard of WRWA to write me and request
It’s called networking,
people. Bread cast upon the water doesn’t always become soggy and
sink to the bottom. Networking is a vital writer’s tool.
Boyd Sutton, editor of the
Wisconsin Writers' Journal
When you send out
a media release to your personal list
(not via press press release distributors), mention that you'd
like to link to whatever they might use from your newsletter and
your blog. It never hurts to offer to write a guest post for
their blog or article for their newsletter on the same subject,
a list or media
(press) release distributors see this in the
Writers Resource section of
this Web site.
Find at least one tip on writing, promotion or tech on
every page of this Web site.
Newsletter How-To Article
Love Letter to Newsletters—and You
Adapted from the second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter (http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromo).
I believe in newsletters.
I continue to
read a handful of the best out there from leaders in the industry. I
do it to stay on top of the industry news, to remind me to do things
I've known I should for a long time, to network with others who
publish newsletters (often industry leaders), to stay on top of tech
and networks on a need-to-know basis and even to remind me to
occasionally submit articles to those who edit newsletters which
extends my reach to targeted audiences in any of the genres I write
I also believe every writer should distribute a newsletter.
You should distribute one to
promote your book and keep readers involved until your next book is
released and to continue to grow a platform for your writing career.
If your book hasn’t yet been published, your readers will enjoy
following the publishing process and your agent will like that they
can point out your proactive approach to marketing to possible
publishers for your book.
needn’t be fancy. In his column for Time magazine, Joe Klein
told of Bryan Lentz’s choice of a simple flier to promote his run
for Congress. Lentz said his campaign staff wanted him to produce
“something splashy.” His simpler choice cost less and, he says,
“They look real. People open them and read ’em like a newspaper.”
Klein notes, “It was true, people [nearby] were reading the Bryan
That’s the way it
can be for your newsletter, too. I once asked my readers about
plain-text Sharing with Writers e-newsletters and they voted
overwhelmingly for keeping them long and simple rather than short,
colorful, and in HTML. Presumably they'd rather get information they
need than luxuriate in the beauty of the thing.
prefer to skip a newsletter and contribute to others’ letters
instead. The trouble is, there are benefits that come with having
your own newsletter that you can’t get by playing someone else’s
game. Shel Horowitz recently reinstated a newsletter
he dropped for just that reason.
the award-winning romance and mystery writer, swears by her
newsletter. She says, “I have more fun with my quarterly newsletters
(than other forms of promotion). I personalize each with news about
what’s happening in my world, my latest reviews and book signings,
my current contest, and even my favorite recipes.” Although she
sends out about 100 letters by USPS to fans who don’t have e-mail,
she posts electronically to a much larger list.
It may be easier
for romance writers like Linda to fill their letters with material
that will be of interest to their readers, but it can be done for
any genre. Here are some tips on how to start:
goals in mind. Entertainment? Staying in contact with readers?
Garnering support? Book sales?
time it takes to produce a letter. Consider the cost if you
choose to distribute a snail-mail edition.
letter reflect your personality. Most letters start with a
chatty piece from the author. C. Hope Clark includes a snapshot
of herself doing something fun in her Funds for Writers
and keeps readers.
readership, encourage readers to contribute articles and
general and fun features to entertain your readers. Crossword
puzzle using keywords from you nonfiction or novel, anyone? I
can visualize a really sexy one for a book in the chick lit,
erotic or romance genres. Sex sells.
readers for suggestions on content they would like to see
newsletter on your Web site. Some of your regular subscribers
will revisit your archived letters and the sites you link to in
your newsletter, including your own.
Use a signup
window on your Web site and blog so visitors can subscribe to
your letter easily.
feature articles and tips onto your blog and vice versa. Allow
plenty of time between each appearance. Recycle again to others’
letters and blogs.
calendar of your events.
readers to scroll to the end of the letter, end each one with
something amusing. I use pun-oriented jokes because they relate
to the fun of words. Publicity Hound Joan Stewart uses doggy
jokes and solicits new ones from her readers.
Are you convinced? To keep yourself inspired and to get ideas and to
utilize opportunities offered to expand your own marketing by
newsletter editors read the ones that come from Jim Cox of Midwest
Reviews, Dan Poynter, Penny Sansevieri, Joan Stewart…and..yes, mine.
It won't be long before you'll see how important a newsletter of
your own can be to your book but also to your entire writing career.
When you send a query letter mention that if the editor
or producer uses your feature idea (or whatever it is you're
querying about), you'd love to keep the promotion going by
mentioning it with a little pitch and link to your
newsletter subscribers. If you have thousands of them, it
doesn't hurt to throw that tidbit in there, either.
Find at least one tip on writing, promotion or
tech on every page of this Web site.
Carolyn's Blogs, too!
Buy Links for
Give Your Books
With Display Stands
Enter code FRUGAL for a 15%
As featured in
Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Sharing with Writers Newsletter
and get a FREE copy of
Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers
"I have been a professional writer 40 years, and am also a
tenured full professor of journalism. Carolyn's Sharing with
Writers newsletter is most useful for me--and for my
students. I emphasize to them that while research is 90% of
writing, and the actual writing is about 10%, there's another
100% out there called promotion. Carolyn shows numerous ways to
get the message to the mass media."
~Walter Brasch, author
The Ultimate Aid
Carolyn's newest book from her multi award-winning #HowToDoItFrugally
Series of books for writers!
How to Get
Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically
is now available as an e-book and paperback on
are the way to get the launch off to a great start and
to keep all your books alive. And there's a lot more to
it than you think and it is (or should be) very nearly
Sharing with Writers
All things publishing with
an emphasis on book
promotion. Named to
101 Best Website list.
The New Book Review
Great way for readers, authors, reviewers and publicists to get more
mileage out of
a great review.
The Frugal Editor Blog
This is the Frugal, Smart
and Tuned-In Editor blog.
Covers editing, grammar, formatting and more.
Get the answers you need.
You will find at least one promotion, writing
or tech tip on every page on this site. Sometimes you'll find, two or
three! Happy browsing and collecting.
..it was your conference workshop and newsletter that got me started
Stories for Children Newsletter for Writers
and all my other writing endeavors. It's the least I can do to repay you
for all the help and support you've given to me.
, founder &
owner Stories for Children Publishing, LLC
"Even though I'm not
on the 'author' side, I find the information [in the Sharing with
Writers newsletter] incredibly valuable ... as well as a great way
to keep my sense of what's going on in the literary world!
Terry Doherty, editor of
The Reading Tub
[in Sharing with Writers] are so supportive and encouraging to
aspiring writers and experienced ones. I subscribe to many
newsletters and find yours unique, in a most positive way, amongst
them. "Sharing" with writers has certainly become your trademark in
my view. Thanks for all your efforts in putting out the newsletter
author of Silent Battlefields
"After I bought
the Frugal Book Promoter, I had the privilege of meeting
Carolyn Howard-Johnson at an authors' event. Later I subscribed to
her newsletter, Sharing with Writers, and watched her Web site
... grow. Through her advice, recommendations, hints and leads one
can tell that Carolyn ... revels in sharing her acquired wisdom with
the world. Her newsletters contain tons of practical and useful
information, keeping pace with technology... the quintessential
teacher reveling in the development of her students. I often benefit
from her leads and make time to read Sharing with Writers to
the last sentence, sometimes copying paragraphs for future use.
Carolyn conveys ideas much faster than I can implement them. She is
to be commended for carrying on an Internet classroom for a smile."
Liz Babcock, editor of
Ridgecrest California Writers Club's newsletter says, "As
always, I enjoy your newsletter, which invariably has something in it
that gives me fresh ideas, contacts, or viewpoints."
Awards for Carolyn's Books, Blogs and More
The New Book Review
Master's in English.org Online Universities'
101 Essential Sites for Voracious
Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites
for Sharing with Writers blog.
Best Book Award for The Frugal Book Promoter (2004) and The Frugal Editor (2008)
and the Second Edition of The Frugal Book Promoter
Reader Views Literary Award for The Frugal Editor
New Generation Award for Marketing and Finalist for The Frugal Editor
Book Publicists of Southern California's Irwin Award
Military Writers Award of Excellence for
Tracings, A Chapbook of Poetry.
A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotion wins author Military
Writers Society of America's Author of the Month award for March, 2010
Award from Military Writers Society of America, 2010.
MWSA also gave a nod to
She Wore Emerald Then,
a chapbook of poetry honoring mothers.
Named #! on Top Ten
Editing Books list.
New Generation Book Awards 2012,
The Frugal Book
Promoter; Finalist 2010
The Frugal Editor;
Winner 2010 Marketing Campaign for the Frugal Editor
The Oxford Award
alumna who exemplifies the Delta Gamma precept of
service to her community and who, through the years,
devotes her talents to improve the quality of life
Book Promoter is runner-up in the how-to category for
Los Angeles Book Festival 2012
Winner Diamond Award
for Achievement in the Arts
California's Arts and Culture Commission and the City of
And more than a dozen other awards for Carolyn's novel, short story collection and poetry.
See the awards page on this site.
Click on the logo to
see the trailer in action!
Broadcast for reasonably priced and thoroughly professional
video book trailers.
Online marketing is among
the most frugal means of marketing for books, retailers, or
anyone with a product or service to sell. Learn how to make
blogging work for you, no matter what business you're in
Your Blog, Your Business.
Learn more about other
marketing techniques with
Find at least one tip on writing, promotion or
tech on every page of this Web site.
ABWA is a group of highly
skilled networkering women in business.
Military Writers' Society of America
Also, honorary member of
Writers of San Diego, Greater Los Angeles Writers Society
(GLAWS), IWOSC, and Publishers Association of Los Angeles (PALA)
Book Publicists of
(BPSC) Pix: Proud Irwin Award Winners
Carolyn and Janet
As Featured in Publishers Weekly
This unique book paints a revealing picture of
America for those foreigners who will benefit
from a better understanding of America. Endorsed
by ambassadors, teachers and editors, it even
examines our culture, customs and language.
Amazon bookstores worldwide, at Vroman's in
Pasadena and other fine bookstores.
Awards for Carolyn's aid to
better writing and
Winner Reader Views Award for Best
Winner USA Book News Award
Finalist Next Generation Book Awards
Winner Next Generation Book Awards for the
Marketing Plan for that book
Honorable Mention from Dan Poynter's Global
Book Publicists of Southern California (BPSC)
coveted Irwin Award
Selection of Carolyn's Past
2008, 09, 10, 11
Panel moderator, 2007
National Span College
Fellows presenter, 2007,
Co-sponsor and presenter,
2007, 08, 09, 10, 11
University of Dayton Erma
Bombeck Writers' Conference, 2006, 2008
Sisters in Crime,
Los Angeles Valley College Campus 2012, Rancho
Valley College Spring 2014
Wisconsin Regional Writers Association
Presenter, Keynote 2010
Three Panels 2013
Seminar Speaker, 2014
Keynote, 2013; 2014
Secrets of Great
Digging Up Memories and Bringing the Dead Back to
Judith Briles' Extravaganza,
Denver, CO, 2016