Sunday, May 18, 2008

Owning Up Results in Two Lessons: One in PR, One in Editing. And, Oh! A Template, Too!




My Humiliation, Your Benefit

Mea Culpa. I sent out a media release to my full contingent of media contacts and it had a boo-boo in the first line. The lesson here is that everyone (especially me!) should follow the advice I give in The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success.

The second lesson is a PR Rule. When you mess up, acknowledge it immediately. Admit your fallibility. Use a little humor to help ameliorate your situation. A grammar error is not (should not) be huge in some instances, but in others they are. An example of the latter is when authors are trying to get their manuscripts read by agents and publishers. Another is when an author has written a book on editing makes a gaffe in a formal media release!

I hasten to give you a disclaimer here! My newsletter doesn't count. I have a great little (but over-worked editor in Mindy Lawrence) and my newsletter is not my primary job so this is the warning that should come with all your issues of Sharing with Writers*; "You, dear subscriber, must be patient. My intent is to get resources and information out to you! To include YOU in the process. And to continue to do it weekly."

One can't, however, do that with a media release. So here's what I sent to my media list as an apology after I fouled up. You'll see I included the new, edited version of the media release. And you'll see that I didn't tell those on my media list what the goofy mistake I made was. YOU, however, can find out by going to www.thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com and scrolling to the bottom of the post. So here is the apology note and the release (which, I figure, you can use as a template for releases of your own):

In The Frugal Editor I suggest that everyone use an editor. On the occasions when they can't, I give a list of suggestions for avoiding humiliation. Well, I was so excited about the release you find below that I didn't follow my own advice.

The only aspect of this humiliating (see the subtitle of The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success) event is that in my book on editing I also assure everyone that the typos/grammar gremlins will one day get everyone no matter what precautions they take and that we should all be a little forgiving with our fellow authors and publishers. So, please forgive me. Here is the altered (read that edited) media release.

PS: I bet everyone but Krasna wants to know what trap I fell into. Well, I'm not going to tell you. (-: Thank you, Krasna.

Here is the media release (a basic one) to use as a template, if you wish. Note that I do not use bold face for important words. This is a media release and the traditions prefers that you don't either. (-:

M E D I A R E L E A S E
Contact: Carolyn Howard-Johnson
E-mail: HoJoNews@aol.com
Fax: 818-790-4299
Phone: 818-790-0502

For Immediate Release

Indie Book Awards Gives Carolyn Howard-Johnson a Double Honor

Chelsea, MI -- Good things come in twos as well as threes.

Awards administrator for Indie Book Awards C. Goulet announced that the marketing campaign waged for The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success won their Best Marketing Award.

In addition The Frugal Editor was a finalist in the how-to category of that same contest's Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

As a winner The Frugal Editor will be listed in the contest catalog which will be distributed at Book Expo America in Los Angeles later this month and will be featured on the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group website. The contest is designed to honor exemplary books and marketing efforts of small and independent publishers.

Actually good things do come in threes and even fours. This year The Frugal Editor also won first-place acclaim from USA Book News and Reader Views.

Howard-Johnson is the author of a novel, book of creative nonfiction and poetry, all award-winners. Her fiction, nonfiction and poems have appeared in national magazines, anthologies and review journals. She was named Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment by the 43rd and 44th Districts of the California Legislature. She speaks on Utah's culture, tolerance and subjects relating to writing and publishing and has appeared on TV and hundreds of radio stations nationwide. She is also is an instructor for UCLA Extension’s Writers’ Program. Her book The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't was named USA Book News' Best Professional Book and earned the Book Publicists of Southern California's Irwin award.

For more information on the book awards go to www.indiebookwards.com.

Howard-Johnson is also the founder of Authors' Coalition, an organization for writers (http://authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com).

Howard-Johnson may be reached at (HoJoNews@aol.com). Complete information is available in downloadable media kits in the media room at http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com.
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(Photos, book cover art and a full media kit are available electronically or by post upon request.)


*Subscribe by sending an e-mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line to HoJoNews@aol.com.



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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author THIS IS THE PLACE; HARKENING: A COLLECTION OF STORIES REMEMBERED; TRACINGS, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books, THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER: HOW TO DO WHAT YOUR PUBLISHER WON'T; and THE FRUGAL EDITOR: PUT YOUR BEST BOOK FORWARD TO AVOID HUMILIATION AND ENSURE SUCCESS.
Her other blogs include TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com and AuthorsCoalition.blogspot.com, a blog that helps writers and publishers turn a ho-hum book fair booth into a sizzler.

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