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Saturday, August 01, 2015

Britain's Schindler Dies at 106



I know a few of my SharingwithWriters subscribers and visitors are aware of some of my creative writing as well as my how-to books for writers and those who are probably know it often touches on the theme of tolerance. I was raised with intolerance all around me, a child torn between two families, neither one more accepting than the other. So I was touched anew when I learned that Nicholas Winton died at the age of 106 after a lifetime of doing for children what he thought was right at the risk of his own safety and reputation.

I first heard of him a couple years ago on CBS’s 60 Minutes. He saved 669 children from the holocaust. He was said to be “Britain’s Schindler.” Of Jewish heritage, he was raised a Christian. By dint of pure willpower and his own money, he convinced many British families to accept children in danger into their homes; each were paid 50 pounds for the expenses to return to their homes in Czechoslovakia for most were certain the placement would be only temporary. Toward the end of the program to save children, he lost 250 of them who were waylaid and never made it to Britain.


I try not to get too serious or political in this blog, but as writers we are all in a unique position to speak out about what is right. Political correctness is popular right now. In fact, it can be carried so far it becomes a deterrent to clear writing. But the greatest good is not working at trying not to offend but at acting when we see an injustice. Winton was an unsung hero most of his life. Though eventually knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, it was not accolades but a sense of Justice that moved and motivated him. He took action at a time when few believed him or trusted him and many still held long established prejudices against the people he was determined to save. He was so firm in his belief that he broke many laws to carry out his plan.

He will be missed, but writers can carry his torch for doing what is right. 

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 Carolyn Howard-Johnson's new book of poetry, Imperfect Echoes: Writing Truth and Justice with Capital tLetters, lie and oppression with small, will soon be published. She is author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Monday, July 20, 2015

Best SharingwithWriters Tip of the Year for Book Sales

I usually don't tread on the release of my own newsletter, but here it is: The Most Important Tip of The Year for the promotion of your new book. If you don't have a new one coming out, put this on your calendar with an alert for about 120 days before your expected
 the release. It's that important!

My Most Important Tip of the Year:
Did you know that you can now run a pre-order for your Kindle book in advance of its release—just like J. K. Rowling and Harper Lee did? (-:  

A pre order promotion gives you more time to do all the things needed in the 12 to 16 weeks before a release like get great reviews. (I describe the process for getting reviews--both the difficult-to-get and the accessible reviews--in The Frugal Book Promoter and even lead you to a page on my Web site of the top journals—meaning the journals most likely to get you noticed.

This link
will take you to Amazon’s description of how to make arrangements for a pre-order on their site it when you upload your manuscript:

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=AGSSZQVFKECO5&ref=86&ref_=pe_390220_143142980  Just think! 90 Days of sales are now available to use while you market your book and add buzz to your launch!

Though you already have this tip, there are lots more coming in my August SharingwithWriters issue and every issue after that (I've been doing this since 2003!). To subscribe and get a free e-version of my Great Little Last-Minute Edits booklet, go to http://howtodoitfrugally.com . There is a subscription form at the top right of almost every page. Great Little Last-Minute Edits is available as a slim paperback at http://bit.ly/Last-MinuteEditing   
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 Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Just Wonderin': About Those Expensive Writers' Organizations

When I was starting out in journalism at The Salt Lake Tribune, I often helped with the layout of some of the news pages. Part of that job was editing some of the column we got from news services like AP down to fit in the editorial space left after the advertising department had laid out their advertising for the day. That meant I was shortening some of the biggest and best known columnist of the time--and writing headlines for them. One of them was Ann Landers. Reading her advice was my favorite part of this duty. So now I include a similar column in my free #SharingwithWriters newsletter like the one below. You can get your full dose of writing advice by sending me an e-mail with "Subscribe" in the subject line to HoJoNews@AOL.com. Yes, I'll do it for you! I like to meet my subscribers "personally" when I can. 
 
 
Q&A a la Ann Landers

So, Just Why Should I Bother With Writing Organizations Again?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

QUESTION

Hi Carolyn,
I recently paid $100 to sign up to IBPA (Independent Book Publishers of America) and I am regretting it thus far. Am I missing something, or are all of the benefits they offer at an additional fee. It seems the only thing I get from them is their magazine. Hardly worth the price of admission. What do you use on their site, Net Galley? PR service. Do you pay to have them put your books at the book fairs?

I am curious because I have looked closely at the site and all of the member benefits are more money.

Thanks
Name Withheld

ANSWER

Each book and each author or publisher will benefit in different ways from IBPA and other organizations, but the Net Galley is wildly popular because it helps authors send out lots of review copies on a limited budget  The media release service discount helps anyone who uses them and, on occasion, news an author wants to disseminate is so newsworthy that they should try it (and discounts are always help!)

Also, you are good at writing content and I think you should keep submitting articles to them based on what you see (or don’t see!) in the magazine. They also like success stories from their members. Contact one of their regular contributors Linda Carlson and ask her what she needs. When I can contribute something positive and useful, I answer the questions Linda and others send me for the articles they are writing.  I have also written letters to the editor which have been published and sent releases of interest to writers for their online newsletter. And that is all at no additional cost. In general, to make any organization work for us, we authors need to get in there and make them know us.  

You’ll also want to check out their forum. Answer others questions and pose questions of your own. These are all important no matter what organization you join; it's not only a place to learn and help others, it's a place to gain name exposure. 

My husband Lance had good success with their library mailing for his What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z (http://amzn.to/ForeignersAmericaUS) but he carefully chose from among the many catalogs they offer just because they are expensive. I think librarians were interested because immigrants are in the news right now and his book is perfect for that audience.

In general, don’t let your membership go idle. Use this first year to dig in and see how much you can benefit from it. I haven’t been to their conferences, but I’ve never been to any conference that I didn’t learn something new or meet someone I need to know.

CHJ

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Valuable Reference for Writers from Midwest Book Review


I am honored that The Midwest Book Review added a link to this blog on their page of links for blog of value to writers:  I hope this quick little post gives you a resource that can make a difference in your writing career! 

While you are there, be sure to explore the extensive reading and review opportunities on the site.
Special thanks to B. Cox, Managing Editor, The Midwest Book Review
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 Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Friday, July 10, 2015

Passing It Forward: A Review Journal That Doesn't Discriminate

This is a bit of a brag, but it is also a mini lesson in going with the flow (basically not driving yourself crazy over all the marketing you know you should do but can't or all the writing opportunities that come to you that may or may not ever come to fruition).  And it's also an exercise in passing it forward.

Midwest Book Review has been around a long time and during that time it has supported indie authors and traditionally published authors alike. It has provided resources that can make a difference for writers free.  It just seemed to me that a a simple thank you for what they have done for me and others isn't enough to make those of you unfamiliar with what they do grasp the opportunities they offer.

So here's the story:

 The second edition of my multi award-winning The Frugal Editor is now available in paperback and because of my husband’s illness I have not been able to plan or execute a marketing campaign for it.  And because it is independently published, I have no one else to do it. And because of my caretaking duties, I have no time to hire someone who will.
 
Still, hit or miss, I consider its launch a success not in sales necessarily (people have to hear about a book--maybe hear about it seven times!-- to buy it) but in the support given it by the likes of James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief of Midwest Book Reviews who featured it in his online magazine Library Bookwatch, in his e-mail newsletter The Cox Report, and in the Writing/Publishing shelf of the Midwest Book Review itself. Two of his comments:

 

“. . .an absolute ‘must have’ for virtually all aspiring and practicing authors in these tough economic times.”

 

“Tips, tricks, techniques and do-it-yourself editing secrets will aid in improving one’s writing at every state of the process. . .”

 

And his managing editor Bethany Cox called it “exceptionally worthy” and included her own review in her newsletter. She also said it is a “complete course of instruction under one cover.  From editing, query letters to final manuscript.”

It is an honor to earn the respect of an institution and the people behind it who have for many years conducted a public service for authors and publishers by providing free reviews and always eschewing judging a book’s qualifications by its publisher or the kind of press it is printed on.
 
I am adding some tips that will help you in the review process excerpted from my book The Frugal Book Promoter in the July issue of my SharingwithWriters newsletter and some links to other resources provided by Independent Book Publishers Assn. If you don't subscribe to that letter, e-mail me at HoJoNews@AOL.com  and I'll send you a copy. Between generous and unbiased organizations like Midwest and others (organizations that don't judge a book by the press a book is printed on) and the information they regularly provide, you too will soon be in a position to pass it forward.
 


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .