Reviewed by Magdalena Ball
The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or partnering with your publisher
By Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Modern History Press
2019, ISBN: 9781615994700,
I first read, and reviewed Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s The Frugal Book Promoter in 2011, when the first edition came out. Since then it has been my go-to for ideas on ways to promote my books cheaply – which is, of course, what every author needs these days. It’s a noisy world, and no matter how well-written, or what kind of publisher support you may have, if you don’t promote well, it’s unlikely that your books will attract notice. Few of us have big budgets for promotion, and most of us have a budget close to zero. Creative and effective ideas for book promotion are more than just nice-to-haves, they’re critical, and Howard-Johnson is about as knowledgeable as it gets on the subject. Of course books like this go out of date quickly, so the re-releases are also vital, as they allow for technological and cultural change. The 3rd edition came out in September 2019, and is right up-to-the-minute, exploring new ways of branding, developing a platform, and getting your work out into the world. Howard-Johnson’s prose remains utterly clear, accessible, and warm–like having a very helpful, clued-up conversation with your best friend–and the book is as inspirational as it is practical.
The latest version of the book contains nearly 300 pages (quite a lot more than the first edition!) of high quality information on every thing from how to promote your work ethically, public relations, creating media releases and a media kit, querying for reviews (and believe me, this is a much needed skill!), making use of radio and other media, using the internet and social media (and how not to use it), including ensuring that you use online bookstores correctly, making the most of reading groups, revitalising old titles, recycling your work, and so much more. As with the original version, the book comes with a number of handy template, scripts, codes and examples, but these have been updated so that they continue to remain relevant to a modern author. The book is beautifully structured and well indexed, so you can find what you need when you need it fast. Howard-Johnson has created a number of mnemonics to help simplify the overall promotion process.
Read the rest of the review on The Compulsive Reader