Friday, March 26, 2010

C. Howard-Johnson's New Booklet!

I’m pleased to announce that my guest today on the Virtual Book Tour is Carolyn Howard-Johnson. Carolyn is a multi-published, successful author, poet and guest lecturer. She freely admits to loving words and grammar. She speaks on Utah’s culture, tolerance and book promotion and editing and has appeared on TV and hundreds of radio stations nationwide. She is an instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program and her The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success won a nod from USA Book News and won Readers' Views Literary Award. Her marketing campaign for that book won the marketing award from New Generation Indie Book Awards. She also loves to travel and has studied at many prestigious universities.

Carolyn has written a new booklet, a 55 page gem, entitled Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers: The Ultimate Frugal Booklet for Avoiding Word Trippers and Crafting Gatekeeper-Perfect Copy.

Endorsement for Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips

“By creating a guide designed specifically to get writers past gatekeepers, Carolyn Howard-Johnson has created something of unmatched value: usage advice that cuts through the contentious world of grammar to offer real help. Writers polishing their manuscripts and query letters will find Howard-Johnson’s guide more useful than Strunk and White."~June Casagrande, author of Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies (Penguin).

Katie: Wow, Carolyn, that title’s a mouthful! This is a great companion to your other “Frugal” books. What led you to writing this booklet?

Carolyn: Katie, long titles with lots of keywords are important in today’s book market when so many are purchased when people search for topics online.

As to your REAL question, I wanted authors to know more about the tricky, sneaky homonyms than the ones I included in The Frugal Book Editor ( and I wanted them to have some fun with them at the same time. A full size book or reference is way too intimidating. This is mean to pop in the purse and refer to when you’re on the run.

Katie: What kind of marketing do you plan on doing for this new booklet?

Carolyn: It has to be casual. I am on deadline for two more books. One can only do what one can do. In this case, I’ll fit promotion for it in when I can.

Katie: How do you approach marketing for this booklet--with trepidation, a grab-the-bull-by-the-horns type approach, a resigned approach, what?

Carolyn:Well, it’s a booklet, not a full book. So the selling points are going to be a low price and lots of benefits for any writer--from writers of business letters to writers of books. That shouldn’t take a whole lot selling, you know?

Katie: I have both of the “Frugal” books on my bookshelves, and they are heavily marked and dog-eared. How does this new booklet dovetail with the advice given in your other “Frugal” books?

Carolyn: Ooops. I think I sort of addressed this earlier. It is a kind of companion to the Frugal Editor. But then, I consider great editing as an authors’ most important marketing tool. I mean, things like query letters and cover letters are the first thing an agent, editor, or publisher sees. They’d better be edited well. And by editing, I don’t mean just typo free.

Katie: Do you plan on continuing to write other “Frugal” books?

Carolyn: I just can’t help it. I love to help other writers. In spite of my yearning to write more fiction and poetry.

Katie: I noticed that your books are published with “How to Do It Frugal Publishing.” Is this a publishing house you have created to self-publish your “Frugal” books? Do you use it for any of your other writing?

Carolyn: This booklet is published by me using my Web site name. But all of my books aren’t. There is right kind of publishing for each title and each author. I consult to help writers find what is right for them. Self publishing--true self publishing, not subsidy publishing--is working best for my HowToDoItFrugally books.

Katie: Is there anything else you would like to share about this newest in the “Frugal” line?

Carolyn: Well, I’m sure glad to hear your copies of 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 are dog-eared and Post-it noted! It’s the best compliment the writer of how-to books can have. (-: And thank you for having me.

Carolyn’s booklet, Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers: The Ultimate Frugal Booklet for Avoiding Word Trippers and Crafting Gatekeeper-Perfect Copy can be found at Find out more about Carolyn through her website at and email her at


Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Excellent interview, Carolyn and Katie. What you do, Carolyn is inspiring. Thanks for helping me make sense of the blogging world.

Debra Eckerling said...

Great interview, Katie.

Carolyn, you so rock! Congratulations on your latest book, helping writers on their path to success!

All the best to you both,

Vivian Zabel said...

Katie, good interview with an interesting author. Carolyn always adds some spice to anything she touches, doesn't she?

Paul and Karen said...

Love Carolyn. I have her frugal editing book and looking forward to this one. Karen

Donna McDine said...

Yet another fantastic interview of Carolyn! She is a constant wealth of information.

Carolyn: What is the biggest mistake writers make in the editing process?


Anonymous said...

Great interview Katie.

I definitely have to get all of Carolyn's frugal books. They are on my ever growing list of books to get.

Unknown said...

Great interview, and thank God for people like Carolyn who take the time to help their peers. :)

Karen Cioffi said...

What a wonderful interview. I have The Frugal Editor and The Frugal Book Promoter. I use them both all the time. I also reviewed Carolyn's new booklet, Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers and it's another great tool for us writers.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

What a nice interview and presentation, sweet Katie. Thank you so much.

Donna, it isn't ALWAYS the biggest editing mistake authors make but it is sometimes. That is, asking an English teacher to edit their books for them. Most English teachers know little about creative writing and nothing about formatting, layout, the organizing principles behind nonfiction books and on an on.

Then, of course, there's doing it all by yourself. Having said that, The Frugal Editor and Geat Little Last-Minute Editing Tips are designed to help writers who are going to go it on their own anyway.

Also, they'll help with all that writing we do that isn't a manuscript. Like query letters!

Thank you too all of you have read my how-to books. I take time away from my fiction and poetry to write those books, so it makes me feel good that they are being read.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson who is planning a Roman Retreat for writers in October,

Margaret Fieland said...

Katie, thanks for the great interview. In my programming life I've learned that to make sure things are correct I have to go over everything twice without finding any errors. Carolyn, do you have a similar rule of thumb when you go over your own stuff?

dana e donovan said...

Carolyn, I hope the advice you gave in your comment is in the book too, because you are right on. English teachers or those who majored in English are seldom the best choice for editing. They may know punctuation, grammar and spelling, but the fundamentals of a good writing go deeper than that. I like your idea of the pocket-sized help book for quick reference. Nice Job.

Unknown said...

Thanks Katie and Carolyn for a fine post. I'm looking forward to reading this new frugal book.

Martha said...

Great interview. Congratulations on the new book
Martha Swirzinski

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Thanks for a super interview, Katie and Carolyn. Adding this book to my list to read. It sounds exactly what I need. :)


Accountant, Author & Freelance Writer said...

Carolyn, You are Amazing! I love reading about your journey.

Dallas said...

Congrats on your new booklet, Carolyn! I loved this interview. Your enthusiasm and warmth shine through in whatever you do!


Liana said...

Great advice Carolyn, and your latest book looks very interesting to read!About editing...yes it's tricky and I've given up editing my work on my own since English is L2 for me and ...inevitably I need more help than all of you. Good luck!

Katie, great post!

Mayra Calvani said...

Great interview, Katie and Carolyn! Thanks for the tips!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the interview. I need to get a copy of this booklet. Sounds like a long-term resource!