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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please feel free to add to the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

"Twilight" Gal Stephenie Meyer Pitched In to Ensure Her Own Success

On the front page of their Calendar section (E1, Nov 29, 2008), the LA Times reports that Stephenie Myer, author of the movie-inspiring Twilight series of books, took up the slack when her big New York publisher Little, Brown got the promotion wrong. Those, of course, are my words. Theirs are the site LB set up for her "failed to pick up on the book's subtler themes—the bridled desire and self-deprecating humor . . . ".

So Meyer did her own thing. Times's Susan Carpenter pointed out that Meyer's success was at least in part due to a "brilliant and strategic use of the Web . . . " one in which she "directly engaged with her readers." This was back in the time when she first signed with LB, sometime around 2004. It worked then and it works now, folks.

Oh, I should mention that her Web technique included her efforts to go to others' blogs instead of waiting for her readers and prospective readers to come to hers, "writng posts and commenting on the things they had written."

If this story doesn't convince you that advice you get in my Sharing with Writers newsletter and from The Frugal Book Promoter doesn't work, I don't know what will. So much of promotion is about the author. So much is about caring. So much is about doing what doesn't cost; only a handful of people in the world can afford to risk trying to promote themselves to stardom with paid advertising and a whole lot of other paid services. Without the author's participation--participation in abundance--even the most creative, talented and well-connected publicist can do little for you.

And, as long as I'm on that subject, the best reason to pay for a service is to learn. As an example, pay to let someone help you with a blog tour if you don't have the time or the Web savvy to handle the learning curve. Then do it on your own the next time around. The people you use at the service you hired won't mind. Especially if you occasionally tout how well they did their job.

And speaking of blog tours, I know about three people who do excellent jobs at reasonable prices. I think you can do it on your own, but if you don't think you can, you'll be able to when they are through with you. E-mail me for my recommendations. HoJoNews@aol.com

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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, 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 TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com and AuthorsCoalition.blogspot.com, a blog that helps writers and publishers turn a ho-hum book fair booth into a sizzler. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at www.TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com.


  1. Good for Ms. Myer. The web is a fabulous way to start buzz and it sounds like she did it just right.

  2. Once again, great advice. I always love your down-to-earth approach to book promotion, Carolyn. Throughout the years, I've implemented many of your tips and can attest to their value. It always amazes me when authors think that their job is done as soon as their book is sold.

  3. Yes, so many authors think it's up to someone else to promote, but it's not!!! Their success is based mostly on THEIR efforts, not the publisher's.
    Great article!

  4. I love this article!Best one I've found regarding this topic.I will send you an email soon re; recommendations, if you don't mind.

    Check out my online approach to my book promoting. Genre young adults...not sure really!?

    " Her Apparitions & Other Human Longings"
    By me,
    Lisa Furtado

    Coming soon to Amazon.com books early 2009...

    My book blog;


Thank you for commenting at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick
www.SharingWithWriters.blogspot.com. You might also find www.TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com full of resources you can use and
www.TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog you can use to benefit your book or reading pleasure.