Sunday, May 16, 2010

ON BEING A FRUGALISMO – Self Promotion I: DATABASING

Mindy Philips Lawrence writes a regular Itty Bitty Column for my newsletter, Sharing with Writers, as well as serving as line editor for it. This column received lots of response from readers (in spite of the fact that list building is the core of the plan I outline in The Frugal Book Promoter!). At least--one way or the other--Mindy and I are getting people to hear this message!


Cheap is a word with bad connotations. I’d say “frugalista” except I hear the word is now trademarked and I don’t want the legal system sending me cease-and-desist letters, so I will use the term “FRUGALISMO” to define doing things effectively but with as few monetary resources as possible.

Recently, I received an e-mail wanting to know if I was the publicist for Norris Church Mailer. I have no idea why anyone thought this but it made me drool to think that she has a new book out, a memoir called A Ticket to the Circus, and that anyone thought I had anything to do with it. Our only connection is that we are both from Arkansas. But it made me think. I began to wonder, if I WERE her publicist, how I would promote her work, a hypothetical dream job. From there I thought of how writers without Mailer’s resources could promote their creative work and still get the job done.

So, in the same vein of our fearless leader, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, here are some “frugalismo” ways to promote your work.

[If you have ideas, PLEASE forward them to me and I will post them in the Itty Bitty with your name and the title of your work (or work in progress).]

BUILD YOUR OWN DATABASE: Draw a radius around where you live. Stick a compass in your hometown and decide how far you are willing to travel to promote your book or other creative work. When you’ve done this, use the Internet to list every single media outlet within that radius. Build a database either in MS Excel or another database system such as ACT 2000 or FileMaker Pro. Include in this database Internet Web sites and phone numbers and e-mail addresses for local radio and television stations, newspapers, and magazines that might help get the word out on your work. You can branch out as your promotional plan begins to work, allowing you to travel farther cause you are selling your work.


USE A GOOD RESOURCE such as The Frugal Book Promoter, an Internet search, or both, to learn how to write an exceptional press release and query letter. You’ll have to do this in an incredibly professional way so go to school on professional releases you find from other writers and publicists. Go to publicists’ Web sites and see how they do what they do. LEARN!



KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU DO and when you do it. Make certain to update your contacts every six months. People move around in publishing and media often. Just call and ask if the person you have as your contact is still there and, if not, who has that position now. You’ll need to send a new letter to a new person to introduce yourself. This can be an e-letter or one by the good old US Mail, according to what the publisher wants.


IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE PROMOTING YOURSELF, as some do, think of yourself as a hypothetical big-name writer and promote that person. Of course, this person is actually YOU. You are worth promoting. Your work is worth promoting.

Writers like to write. Often, they don’t enjoy promoting their own work but it’s necessary. Unless you can afford to pay a publicist $1000 a month, it behooves you to learn to do this. And you want to be successful, don’t you? Of COURSE you do!

This is post number one in a series on self-promotion. In the next issue, I’ll have other ideas and, hopefully, some that others have sent me to put here. It’s spring. Let’s bloom! If you want to get in on the coming columns, send Carolyn an e-mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. Her address is HoJoNews (at) AOL (dot) com.

Mindy
“Into Words ~ Into Print ~ Into Minds”

Link-A-Dinka-Dos



The Frugal Book Promoter

(if you don’t have this book, what are you doing without it?)
http://www.amazon.com/Frugal-Book-Promoter-What-Publisher/dp/193299310X

Be Your Own Publicist http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1563/is_n12_v8/ai_9685405/

How to Be Your Own Publicist

Publicity Hound: Free Publicity

How to Write a Press Release

Press Release Writing

Building Blocks to a Powerful Press Release

How to Write a Successful Query Letter

The how-to-write-a-great-query-letter chapter in The Frugal Editor--straight from the mouths of high-powered agents. Also find sample query letters in this book and The Frugal Book Promoter.

Sample Query Letter: Charlotte Dillon

Self-Promotion Guide: The Promotional Jigsaw

About the Guest Blogger:
Mindy Phillips Lawrence has written two poetry collections (One Blue Star and Above and Below) and co-authored The Complete Writer The Complete Writer's Journal(Red Engine Press). She writes the "Itty Bitty Column on Writing" for Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Sharing with Writers newsletter and is a publicist, editor and literary agent for the fiction work of Bev Sninchak (Star Ferris). She lives in Springfield, Missouri and is working on her first novel. She blogs at MPLCreative. You can find her online.



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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 two how to books for writers, 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 FRUGAL book for retailers is 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. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". 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 .

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