Put Your Best Book Forward

The Multi Award-Winning Frugal Editor

 The Digital Age Makes Everyone an Editor!
Bloggers. Web site copy, E-mail.

From First Edit
To Query Letter.

As featured in Library Book Watch
Midwest Book Review's online review magazine

"Editing is your first stop
on the path to selling
and promoting your book."

Second Edition
The Frugal Editor:
Top Ten in Its Category on Amazon
During Presales!

The multi award-winning second edition now available for
e-books and Kindle and
Paperback, too!

“Writers and editors have a true friend in Carolyn Howard-Johnson. Her word smarts, her publishing savvy, and her sincere commitment to authors and editors make The Frugal Editor a must-have resource.” ~ June Casagrande, author of The Best Punctuation Book, Period and Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies (Penguin)

Click here for reviews of The Frugal Editor
Click here for excerpts of The Frugal Editor

Click here for Carolyn's first person essay
 "Beating Time at Its Own Game."





The Frugal Editor was named best business book by USA Books News and Reader Views Literary. The Next Generation awarded the book a finalist medal and Carolyn's promotion campaign for this same book was given its top marketing award. The second edition in e-book format was a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards for e-books. And Global Ebook Awards gave it a nod for the 2nd edition e-book. It was also named #1 on Thornton Publishing's Top Ten List of books that assure a professional product for self publishers.





The second edition of The Frugal Editor is now available as a paperback.
The second edition of The Frugal Editor is available for
e-books and for Kindle.

Unsolicited Endorsements:

". . . a complete course of instruction under one cover...from editing query letters to final manuscript."
~ Midwest Book Review newsletter

"I'm so looking forward [to the arrival of A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions] and know that it will be as helpful as the books I already have from you. They are full of sticky notes and dog-eared like crazy."
~MaAnna Stephenson, author
and computer consultant

"I don’t know why I bothered to move Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s, The Frugal Editor from it’s place beside my computer to an out of reach spot. This will be the third time I retrieved it and consulted it’s many valuable pages. I dare say, it will be the last time I have to reach more than twelve inches for it. Without this book, my novels, would not have stood a chance in hades of being published. So…The Frugal Editor, once and for all will be stationed very close to my work in progress, which to this date is the third book in the Willow Walk series. Thanks Carolyn, for enriching my writing."
~ S.K. Hamilton, author


Why You Need The Frugal Editor
Editing a Query Letter is Your First Marketing Offense!

What People Are Saying about The Frugal Editor -- Unsolicited

"Carolyn, I can't put the book down. It's not a one time read. It will take several times for it to sink in.  Also I want to go to all the URLs' you mention. I feel like I'm back in school and I love it. "
~Sylvia K. Hamilton, author The Kahills of Willow Walk

"What a beautiful job . . . outstanding.
"You wrote this book, as you always do, in layman’s language. Since you’re speaking in my everyday vernacular, if I read your book, I won’t have any excuse for writing badly, will I? No more dangling whatevers, no more ineffective passives. You can make me the best-read writer in town."
Peggi Ridgway, Wordpix for Websites, Books, Flower Market Projects & More

"I have both The Frugal Editor and The Frugal Book Promoter, but I'm in edit mode on two books right now so I keep finding myself thinking the same thing over and over again: Thank Goodness for Carolyn Howard-Johnson's book The Frugal Editor.

I used The Frugal Book Promoter to promote my self-published novel Dead Witness, and guess what? I landed a contract with a publisher for my second suspense thriller Broken but not Dead. 
~Joylene Nowell Butler, author

Author Biography
With an Editor Focus

Carolyn Howard-Johnson's first novel, This Is the Place, and Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered are both multi award-winners. Her fiction, nonfiction and poems have appeared in national magazines, anthologies, and review journals. Both are out of print but available on Amazon's new and used feature--for a very frugal price.

She was an instructor for UCLA Extension's Writers' Program for nearly a decade and has shared her writing and editing expertise at venues like the Las Vegas Writers' Conference, The Muse Online Writers' Conference (of which she was a cofounder), The Sinclair Lewis Writers' Conference, and others.

She is a cofounder (along with Elizabeth Evans), and past facilitator of the Chevy Chase Critique Group (associated with the Glendale Public Library system),  She also consults and edits privately.

Carolyn  was awarded Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment by members of the California Legislature; her home town's Character and Ethics Commission honored for her work on promoting tolerance and the Pasadena Weekly named her to their list of "San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen" for literary activism.

Carolyn has had writing/editing experience at the Salt Lake Tribune, Good Housekeeping Magazine, and several online sites.  She edits a the Sharing with Writers newsletter  as well as several blogs including one the The Frugal, Smart, and Tuned-In Editor.

Carolyn has also judged national newsletter contests including one for the American Business Women's Association and ABWA also acknowledged her as a Woman of the Year.

Carolyn is the author of The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; it is the winner of a USA Book News award, the Readers Views Literary award and Carolyn's campaign for it won the New Millennium Award for Marketing. Cheryl Wright of Writer2Writer.com says, "The Frugal Editor will become a well-used reference for writers around the world."

Carolyn has edited books of poetry and fiction but is wise enough (through hard-earned experience) not to try to edit her own books
To know about her fiction and poetry visit the literary pages of this site or the published works almanac on this site.

Formal education includes a BA in English Literature from the University of Southern California (USC), a certificate of completion for instructors at UCLA, and courses at these universities in writing and editing:

          University of Utah

          Utah State University


          Herzen University, St. Petersburg, RU

          Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

          Cambridge University, Trinity College, Cambridge, UK

          Glendale Community College


For more information download Carolyn's general media kit as a .pdf file.

The Frugal Editor

Section III: Let Your Computer Do What It Does Best  

Section IV: Final Housecleaning  

Section V:  The Big Galley Edit  


Quote from The Frugal Editor: Language is a life form. To assume that because we once learned something one way, it will always be accepted is fallacious. To neglect researching the language we write in when we so assiduously research the facts for what we write is folly.

Endorsement for Carolyn's Newsletter
An extension of what authors need to know after the editing is done

"Sharing with Writers is a marvelous, information-packed newsletter that has helped me tremendously in my writing career.  Carolyn Howard-Johnson packs each issue with helpful promotion tips and links to various sites that keep me up-to-date on the publishing world and how to best promote my books.  She has wonderful tips and information for aspiring authors as well.  Please consider her site and newsletters for your award."
Linda Morelli, author of the award-winning author Fiery Surrender,  Shadow of Doubt and Lani's Challenge.  She contributed to “The Complete Writer’s Journal” from Red Engine Press.

 Send an e-mail with "Subscribe" in the subject line to HoJoNews@aol.com

Important Links on This Site

Learn more about Carolyn Howard-Johnson's
books, and other author services, all offered
with the welfare of authors in mind


Carolyn Is
A UCLA Extension Writers' Program Instructor

Carolyn taught at UCLA's world renowned Writer's Program for nearly a decade and still takes classes there from the carefully vetted instructors when she is tackling a new genre. She often teaches at writers' conferences throughout the nation.

Buy Links for Carolyn's Books

Great Fiction
HARKENING at Amazon in their new and used feature.
Both of these books are out of print. They are available only on Amazon's New and Used feature for about $1.

Great Poetry
Purchase TRACINGS (Finishing Line Press) at Amazon.
IMPERFECT ECHOES: Writing Truth and Justice with Capital Letters,
lie and oppression with Small

Give the gift of poetry with a chapbook from Magdalena Ball's
My Celebration Series

CHERISHED PULSE: Unconventional Love Poetry
IMAGINING THE FUTURE: Ruminations on Fathers and Other Masculine Apparitions
SHE WORE EMERALD THEN: Reflections on Motherhood
BLOOMING RED: Christmas Poetry for the Rational
DEEPER INTO THE POND: Celebration of Femininity
SUBLIME PLANET: Celebrating Earth and the Universe

HowToDoItFrugally Series for Writers
Second Edition

Survive and Thrive Series of HowToDoItFrugally Books for Retailers

Most of Carolyn's books are also available for the Kindle reader.
Did you know that with the Free app, Kindle can be adapted to any reader--even your PC!

"Careers that are not fed die as readily as
any living organism given no sustenance." 
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Studio photography by Uriah Carr
3 Dimensional Book Cover Images by iFOGO
Logo by Lloyd King


Frugal E-Book Tip

Kindle E-Books Aren't
Just for Kindle Anymore

Did you know that Amazon’s Kindle e-books are a low-cost/no-cost way to access books even if you don’t have a dedicated Kindle reader? You can read Kindle's e-books on smartphones, desktop computers and any e-device in between. You can even store the books on the Amazon cloud.

~ Quote from Diana Schneidman author and marketer

To subscribe to Carolyn's FREE online newsletter send an e-mail.

Learn more about Carolyn's newsletter and blog.

Read past issues of Carolyn's Newsletter.


Other Links


Carolyn's Commercial Acting


 Celebration Series of Poetry Chapbooks


This is the Place, a novel



Tracings, a chapbook and memoir in one

Harkening, true short stories

Carolyn's Poetry

Helps For Retailers

Helps For Writers

Full Published Works Almanac

Travels and Poetry

Published Books


Subscribe to
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 and educator

"A decade of bettering writers' careers with how-tos, tips, and publishing news."

Carolyn's HowToDoIt Frugally Series for Writers

Getting Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically New!

The Frugal Book Promoter

The Frugal Editor

Great Book Proposals in 30 Minutes

Last-Minute Edits and Word Trippers



for The Frugal Editor

". . .an absolute 'must have' for virtually all aspiring and practicing authors in these tough economic times."
~ James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief Midwest Book Review

"Nothing demonstrates professionalism like a well-edited submission. Follow Carolyn Howard-Johnson's clear, step-by-step self-editing approach for Putting Your Best Book Forward and you'll submit like a pro."
~ Gregory A. Kompes, conference coordinator, Las Vegas Writer's Conference

“Good editing is like honest business accounting: If you don’t have it, you end up with a mess.  The Frugal Editor is a must for the novice writer who needs to make that ideal first impression and the writer with a tenth book hitting the shelves who has become complacent about his brilliant prose.”
~ Kristin Johnson, author and writing consultant

"Carolyn Howard-Johnson has done it again! Whether you're writing your first book or tenth, The Frugal Editor, Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success is a must-read."
~ Tim Bete, director, Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop

"Congratulations on the release of The Frugal Editor. . . .Keep up the good work. You're an inspiration to many."
~  Kim Wilson, editor Write From Home

I wanted to tell you how your workshops, reading your newsletter, and just chatting with you has been a great help to me. I have a background in marketing from the fashion world and even though it has helped me get my foot in the door, I honestly have to say that after getting to know you, reading your books, and everything else I just said has truly helped me put Stories for Children Magazine on the map.
~VS Grenier, Founder and Editor-in-Chief Stories for Children Magazine

The Frugal Editor is about more than manuscripts; it's about branding -- how you appear to the likes of agents, contest judges, etc. --  from your first query letter to the final manuscript. Wow-WomenOnWriting.com lets me share ideas from The Frugal Editor.

"I am a writer, and definitely NOT an editor, but I believe that with this book as a guide, my books have great advantage over the other books that hit the shelves.  After EDITING properly and then PROMOTING properly with the help of your book series, I truly believe that any book can increase their profits by 100%!!!  By reading this as an author, I feel like my books are definitely better presented as a COMPLETE package!!!
~ Epstein LaRue, RN, BS, author of Highway Hypodermics

Endorsement for
Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips

By creating a guide designed specifically to get writers past gatekeepers, Carolyn Howard-Johnson has created something of unmatched value: usage advice that cuts through the contentious world of grammar to offer real help. Writers polishing their manuscripts and query letters will find Howard-Johnson’s guide more useful than Strunk and White."
~June Casagrande, author of Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies (Penguin).

Time to Kindle

Carolyn's how-to books and poetry books are available on Kindle.
Click here to buy the big, powerful Kindle I love with free (Frugal!) WiFi  (Now in Paperwhite!)


Editing Tip

Just because a commercial entity capitalizes one of their pet projects, you don't have to--not if it's a generic term. They say "Southern Fried Chicken." You say "southern fried chicken."

Germans capitalize their common nouns--English doesn't.

Find a tip on writing or promotion on every page of this Web site.

Website Sponsor

As Featured in Publishers Weekly

This unique book is the perfect book to help immigrants and those who need better English skills to deal with Americans. You'll love the chapter on language and accent reduction. And love even more how the author uses idioms throughout the book--and explains them!

Available on Amazon bookstores worldwide, at Vroman's in Pasadena and other fine bookstores.

Carolyn's Awards

Awards for Carolyn's Books, Blogs and More

The New Book Review
Named to
Master's in English.org Online Universities'

101 Essential Sites for Voracious Readers

Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites
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 (2011).


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


Gold Medal Award from Military Writers Society of America, 2010. MWSA also gave a nod to She Wore Emerald Then, a chapbook of poetry honoring mothers.

The Frugal Editor Named #! on Top Ten Editing Books list.

Finalist 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
the 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 around her.

The Frugal Book Promoter is runner-up in the how-to category for the Los Angeles Book Festival 2012 awards.

Glendale City Seal
Winner Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts
Glendale California's Arts and Culture Commission and the City of Glendale Library,

And more than a dozen other awards for Carolyn's novel, short story collection and poetry. See the awards page on this site.

The Ultimate Aid
for Writers

Carolyn's multi award-winning
Frugal Book Promoter takes you from the reluctant marketer stage to a fully participatory partner for powerhouse publishers or publicists. You'll also be equipped to go it on your own!