Marketing with Newsletters and Blogs: Your Own and Others


Contributed by  Carolyn Howard-Johnson

I don't think using others' newsletters and blogs a panacea for easy promoting. Newsletters and blogs that belong to other people are a great way of promoting but they do lack some of the benefits that you have if you run your own. That would be:

1.   The independence you have with your own.

2.   Using your own as mini way to reward those who do something nice in terms of publicity for you. See the Thank You section in my SharingwithWriters newletter for examples of this.

3.   Networking by offering guest features, guest posts, and other ways to link to people who—if they're savvy marketers—will reciprocate. If not today, then later.

4.   The ability to drive traffic to your Web site, online bookstore page, of anywhere your little heart desires.

Having a newsletter and blog of your own is a lovely way to share what you know. And having one doesn't discourage doing that in others' newsletters and blogs, anyway!

Here's an example of a tip I submitted to Penny Sansevieri's "A Marketing Expert" newsletter.

Reader Tip: Include Action Shots on Your Website

When you're updating your website as suggested by this Book Marketing Expert newsletter, be sure to include at least one action shot of you doing something. Many bloggers and online folks like plain old generic headshots but print media still need a whole lot more than someone holding his or her book or accepting an award. And TV producers need to see some possibilities for action in the still photos or videos you offer. Use my media room as a very basic example ( and Penny's as an example of what you're aiming for: And read more on why you need to relate to the media and how to do it in The Frugal Book Promoter at

Tip offered by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of how-to books for writers. 

Here's an action shot like the one I suggested (see left). You just have to think of shot that is somehow associated with your book.
Having said that, any image is better than none at all. So a picture of you with your book at a book fair works, even though it may not qualify as a real action shot. Grab your book before the shutter snaps and take a picture anyway. But grab a fellow book fair participant to be in your shot with you because he or she may be willing to help you promote. Two marketers/publicists are better than one.
For more information on newsletters and blogging use the index of your Frugal Book Promoter ( to find help, ideas, and tons more references.

Providing tips for others is a great way to extend your reach. But it's limited. You own blog and newsletter issn't. That's why I can include this additional tip in this blog post without considering word count (or just being a real pest to the newsletter editor!).  Here it is:
Re-use your action photo. Repetition is good for sales. That's why you have a book cover. I use this one in the image feature of my marketing books on my Amazon buy pages (see the images I posted on my Buy Page on my Frugal Book Promoter page), on my Web site, and sometimes send it to feature editors after I've been interviewed. Especially if they don't mention sending a photographer to take a picture. It's part of our jobs to make it easy for editors to do their jobs easily and well.
If you'd like to be sure you see all my favorite marketing and writing tips subscribe to my SharingwithWriters newsletter at The subscribe button is in the right of almost every page. And you'll get a free little e-booklet on wordtrippers when you do it. And, yes. I encourage you to submit your own favorite tips to that newsletter and to include credit lines with links to your book's sales page.   


Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Ooops. Sorry my action shot didn't come through. My friend and I went up to Mulholland Blvd to find a "Dangerous Curves Ahead" sign. I took a homemade sign of my own, "Promote or Perish." I hope it encourages authors to do what they need to do to make their book a success--and learn what they need to learn! (-:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Loving helping writers get read with my HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers including the multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter ( .

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Carolyn,
I see by your note, that you know you image didn't go through. We can use our imaginations! I visualize you jumping up and down with excitement because you sold 10 books to one person!

Thanks for sharing your cool ideas.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Or, Joan. Just getting another author to promote their books better. (-: Thanks for the input, BTW!

Magdalena Ball said...

This is so true, Carolyn. A newsletter can also form the core of developing your online posse or tribe of like-minded people, as your certainly does.

Shirley Corder said...

Sigh! I left a comment and it turned out as clear as your missing image. Blogs? I luv 'em. I agree that an image is of tremendous value. I have to admit I spend hours that I should probably be using on writing, playing with graphics, to get them "just right". Creating images for my posts is when the OCD side of me shows up!

EsterShifren said...

As usual, full of important tips and info. Thanks! I have to start eating my elephant—one bite at a time!

Karen Cioffi said...

Carolyn, what a great post. I really need to get a more active image of my own up!

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Great post Carolyn.

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