Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s several careers prepared her for promoting her own and others’ books. She was the youngest person ever hired as a staff writer for the Salt Lake Tribune—“A Great Pulitzer Prize Winning Newspaper.” Writing features for the society page and a column under the name of Debra Paige gave her insight into the needs of editors, the very people authors must work with to get free ink. Being familiar with the way news is handled helps her see how different books fit into different news cycles.
Later, in New York, she was an editorial assistant at Good Housekeeping magazine. She also handled accounts for fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert who instituted the first Ten Best Dressed List. There she wrote media releases (then called press releases) for celebrity designers of the day, including Christian Dior, and produced photo shoots for Lambert’s clients.
She also worked as columnist, reviewer, and staff writer for the Pasadena Star-News, Home Décor Buyer, the Glendale News-Press (an affiliate of the LA Times), MyShelf.com where she has written a “Back to Literature” column for more than two decades and others. She learned marketing skills both in college (University of Utah, Arizona State University, and University of Southern California) and as founder and operator of a chain of retail stores including the signature gift shop at Santa Anita Racetrack. That shaped her understanding of how authors might best partner with retailers to affect both of their bottom lines.
Carolyn’s experience in journalism and as a poet and author of fiction and nonfiction helped the multi award-winning author understand how different genres can be marketed more effectively. She was an instructor for UCLA Extension’s renowned Writers’ Program for nearly a decade and earned a certificate from that same school’s Instructor Development Program. She also studied writing at Cambridge University, United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University in Prague.
She turned her knowledge toward helping other writers with her multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers, including her flagship book The Frugal Book Promoter and her favorite, How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. Her marketing campaign for the second book in that series, The Frugal Editor won the Next Generation Indie Best Book Award. She also has a multi award-winning series of HowToDoItFrugally books for retailers.
Howard-Johnson was honored as Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment by California Legislature members Carol Liu, Dario Frommer, and Jack Scott. She received her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing and the Diamond Award in Arts and Culture from her community’s Library and Arts and Culture Commission. She was named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of fourteen women of “San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and Delta Gamma, a national fraternity of women, honored her with their Oxford Award.
Carolyn is a popular presenter at tradeshows (retail and writing) and writers’ conferences and has lost count of her radio show guest spots. She is an actor and has appeared in TV commercials for the likes of Time-Life CDs, Chinet, Blue Shield, Apple, and Disney Cruise Lines (Japan).
Born and raised in Utah, Howard-Johnson raised her own family in sunny Southern California.
Author Photo by Uriah Carr