OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the award-winning author of several fiction books, as well as poetry and non-fiction works. She is best known for her Frugal Book Promoter series which we discuss in this podcast.
In this podcast, you will learn:
- How Carolyn started her creative writing journey after she got sick when she wrote the novel she always said she would write. How creative writing feeds her soul and is important to retain alongside business and marketing.
- Even with a background in corporate marketing, she found herself spending too much time and money on marketing her own book, so she learnt how to do it all herself and decided to help other authors promote books frugally.
- Frugal promotion is preferably free, which is why online promotion is so great. But it also includes being frugal with your time which can mean outsourcing or getting others to help. But in general you can do it yourself. Don't make the mistake of spending thousands on a publicist when you can just DIY.
- Don't give up too soon on a specific form of promotion e.g. blogging and social networking take longer than you might expect. You also need to promote your promotion. You need to have multiple promotional aspects that feed each other and tie together.
- Why speaking and teaching are great promotional activities but can also give you additional income. Join Toastmasters or a similar organisation to learn more about speaking. (More information on speaking here).
- Bartering your expertise for others is a good way to get technical help. You also need to embrace learning new technologies in order to compete in today's marketplace. Keep learning in order to stay current and take advantage of the changes in technology. Carolyn also recommends MaAnna Stephenson's Just the FAQs series.
- Carolyn's Twitter tip: Be useful. Her new book “Frugal and Focussed Tweeting for Retailers” also has tips for authors (after all, we are all retailers trying to sell our books!) She has found that she can tie sales to specific tweets, which is much better than most marketing which is nebulous in it's measurability.It is important to have some personal tweets so it is not all business.
- Networking and relationships are critical even in the online world. Marketing is caring, it's about being useful for people.
- Always be aware of your brand as an author/writer/business-person. Make sure you only do things that promote your brand and enhance it, and also go in the direction you want your life to. Help others and this will help your brand. Remember your grass-roots supporters even if you are chasing eyeballs.
Carolyn is also on Twitter @frugalbookpromo