Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Neat Affirmation of an Old Marketing Principle

I can't resist telling you about the fun thing that happened on my vacation. It is a little more bloggy and a little less like an article than my usual posts but none-the-less it was a memorable event AND it illustrates one of the marketing principles I have the most trouble getting across to my clients. It's hard because everyone naturally wants to see results from their efforts and pinpoint them.

So here is the story:

I took a short cruise from Long Beach (near Los Angeles) to Mexico. On the last night I was stopped on the way out of the dining room by a young mother. She had two daughters in tow along with the others from one of those tables that seats ten.

"Are you an author?" she says. "My daughter says she thinks she knows you."

Of course like any good author (and marketer) I wanted to know how her daughter knew me. The girl, who was about 15, couldn't remember; she just knew she knew me.

Like any good marketer (and author), I told her that she is just the age bracket I am most interested in reaching with This Is the Place because I hope young women will see that even a short time ago things were not so good for women. I also hope that it will inspire them to reach for the gold when it comes to their own futures. I even had a couple business cards (mine are designed more like mini ads) in my purse and gave some to her and her friends.

Now, I know many of you have this happen to you all the time. Janet Elaine Smith, for instance. She recently moved from South Dakota where she was a real Star with a capital "s" in her community. In Los Angeles we have thousands of stars and, trust me, one writer with silver hair doth not a dent (or an impression!) make.

If you haven't had a similar experience, I just want you to know it is great. Not because of fame, but because it is an affirmation (one that could actually be identified) that promotion does work.

And for those of you who have had a similar experience, this is my plea to subscribe to my Sharing with Writers newsletter and to then share your secrets for making promotion work. I only wish my young new -- ahem! . . . fan, could have helped me identify the one specific thing I did that had made a difference. The fact that she couldn't emphasizes the point I keep making. Marketing is almost never one project. It is the accumulation of all you do that eventually makes a difference.

So yes, Keep promoting! And yes, writing and editing, too!


PS: Here is a picture from Mexico. I love traveling. Everything about it! Right down to the biology and rocks. This was a mango bush (tree?) with little pubescent fruits on it. (Those who read this newsletter in plain text will need to go to my blog, to see it.)

PSS: Don't forget that Patrika Vaughn, Allyn Evans and I are teaming up to present a free teleseminar titled "How To Write Your Life Story." to writers who want to tell their own stories, as memoir or as fiction. It is for genealogists, journalers and story tellers everywhere. Writers are invited to listen and come prepared with their questions at noon on July 12th EST. Call 1-218-936-7999. When prompted use this access code: 390175. If asked, participants may need this pin number: 2823.
The teleconference will be available as a podcast afterward at:
 Authors' Coalition, www.authorscoalitionandredenginepress/podcasts_&_radio.htm
 The ACapella Publishing site,
 Allyn Evans' site,
 On Allyn's Queen Power site, .
 And on Carolyn's Resources for Writers page at
Those with questions may contact Patrika at Please put it on your calendar!
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of 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. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal." Some of her other blogs are and, a blog that helps writers and publishers turn a ho-hum book fair booth into a sizzler.

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