Friday, July 22, 2011

Making Marketing Lemonade Out of Controversy

In The Frugal Book Promoter I talk about making good lemonade out of a very sour fruit and here is a way to do that. It seemed easier to just include the entire release that explains a copycat of Maggie Ball's and my series.--intentional "borrowing" or not.  This way we all get some publicity for it.


Contact: Magdalena Ball
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery

Poets Take Borrowing in Stride If It Increases Poetry Readership

July 22, 2011: It was only a matter of time before someone stole the idea that Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball first meted when they created Cherished Pulse, the inaugural book in their poetry based Celebration Series.

Of course the idea of using poetry as a form of gift or greeting card isn't new. People have been using poetry to celebrate big events like marriage, wedding anniversaries, and milestones since Homer's day, but nowadays most of the expensive greeting cards in shops are so rife with platitudes that they've ceased to have any meaning at all and can hardly be called poetry. What was new was making chapbooks into a kind of carriage trade greeting card with real poetry grouped around holiday themes. They are genuine messages that mean something. Make the books as inexpensive as a card, and as beautiful as a gift book, and you've got a gift that provides sentiment that won't be thrown out with the wrapping paper.

That has always been the rationale behind Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball's Celebration series, which includes a range of chapbooks clustered around themes like Valentine's Day: Cherished Pulse ( ), Father's Day: Imagining the Future ( ), Mother's Day: She Wore Emerald Then ( ), Christmas: Blooming Red (, and the newly released feminist inspired Deeper into the Pond, suitable for any female birthday or celebration ( ). All of the chapbooks are as inexpensive as a high end card, attractive, featuring real art, and perfect for gift giving.

So it's no surprise that others are copying the idea.

This is what happened. Three years after the release of the Celebration Series. Relationships Australia, Australian Poetry Ltd, and artists/designers Gracia and Louise have just released their own father-themed book titled Dear Dad, promoted specifically as a great Father's Day greeting card/gift. It's a little dearer than the Celebration Series offered by Ball and Howard-Johnson, but it's a great idea featuring some excellent Australian poets, and probably the tip of the iceberg when it comes to real poetry as greetings. Why not? Poetry is always a good gift.

Learn more about Ball and Howard-Johnson's work at .

For more information on Ball and Howard-Johnson’s Celebration series and their Father’s Day entry, visit


Images and media kits available on request:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including 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. Some of her other blogs are, 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 . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog:

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