Showing posts with label AuthorsforAuthors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AuthorsforAuthors. Show all posts

Carolyn Howard-Johnson Shares Favorite Book Display Resource...


By Carolyn Howard-Johnson, poet, writer of fiction and author of
Multi Award-Winning Series of books for Writers

Just so you know, I used to have an authors group that displayed the books of authors who couldn't be present to sign their books.  I did it  for years at the LA Times book fair...ages ago when it was on the UCLA campus.  And I tried using similar opportunities over and over again.  I finally came to the conclusion that it wasn't the most frugal way to get exposure for books nor the most effective. I even advise against it in my award-winning flagship book in my HowToDoItFrugally Series of book for writers,  "The Frugal Book Promoter." Basically, I said do it but only if you can be there to baby tend it!  And then I tried the book fairs and writers conferences directed by Valerie Allen in Florida!  What makes her display opportunities work when others don't are the value-added benefits that she offers along with the extremely low per-book charge!  Here are some benefits that I remember from the years I have participated:

1. A picture of my books on display which I often use with my social network posts.
2. A list of fellow participants which I use to network--maybe with a special offer.
3. The ability to include sell sheets, book marks, or business cards to display with the books.
4. A Facebook book group (AuthorsforAuthorsj)  where I can chat up the fact that my books will be there to check out--you know, touch, turn the pages, get a few marketing ideas without even buying it! Ha!
5. Caveat: You'll do even better if you do it regularly (that's true of any kind of advertising or promotion!) Think about how often you see the same ad for a product on TV. is the form you can copy, paste, and and use to let your book be seen at the AuthorsforAuthors next writers' conference with Valerie and Marshall Frank.  Get ready, go!    

Join our Facebook Group Authors for Authors 
Valerie Allen ~ Marshall Frank

Opportunities to have your book(s) on display at our book and author events are available for those who cannot personally attend the venue.

Registration for book displays must be completed 15 days prior to each event. See Spring and Fall Event tabs for dates. 
FALL: "Meet the Authors' Book Fair" in conjunction with the ArtsWorks Festival will be  on November 18 and 19, 2023 in the Eau Gallie Civic Center,  Melbourne, FL 
SPRING: "Writer's Conference: Write, Publish, Sell!"  will on April 23, 2023 at the Hilton Rialto Airport Melbourne, FL 32901
There are also year-round displays at libraries and various other venues

Book Display Only
Opportunity to have your book(s) on display at book and author events.
No direct sales involved
Cost = $5.00 per book - cash only. 
Enclose your book(s), business cards, and fee(s) in a zip lock bag.
If you want your book(s) returned please include a SASE
Mail all to: Valerie Allen, P. O. Box 120053, West Melbourne, FL 32912-0053 

Contact: Valerie Allen  at

Registration for Book Display Only
Name: ______________________________________________________________
Address: ___________________________________________________________
City: ________________________________________
ST: _____ ZIP: __________
Phone: (_______) _____________________________________________________
 Web: _______________________________________________________________

EMail : ______________________________________________________

1) Book Title(s)  for Promo Flyer __________________________________________________________ 
Circle One:   Fiction      Non-fiction   Poetry    Children’s Book 

Book Title for Promo Flyer: _________________________________________________________
Circle One:   Fiction      Non-fiction   Poetry    Children’s Book 

Book Title for Promo Flyer: 

Circle One:   Fiction      Non-fiction   Poetry    Children’s Book 

 ~ Sponsored by ~ 
Valerie Allen, 
FALL; "Meet the Authors Book Fair,"  11/18/223& 11/19/23
SPRING: "Writers' Conference: Write, Publish, Sell!"  04/23/23


 Howard-Johnson is the multi award-winning author of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She is also a marketing consultant, editor, and author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers including the multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter (, now offered in its third edition by Modern History Press. Carolyn's latest is in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers is How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. She has two booklets in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series, both in their second editions from Modern History Press. Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers ( and The Great First Impression Book Proposal ( are career boosters in mini doses and both make ideal thank you gifts for authors. The one on writing book proposals is also available as an Audio Book. The Frugal Editor (, now in its second edition, is the winningest book in the series. Carolyn also has three frugal books for retailers including one she encourages authors to read because it helps them convince retailers to host their workshops, presentations, and signings. It 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 ( In addition to this blog, Carolyn helps writers extend the exposure of their favorite reviews at She also blogs all things editing--grammar, formatting and more--at The Frugal, Smart, and Tuned-In Editor ( Learn more and follow for news on her new releases direct from Amazon at

The Joy of Writing or A Story About Ash McGrath and Writer's Digest

This is a story about what I might have missed without Writer’s Digest and the kind of authors it inspires.

It is a story that might have never been told—or at least a story I might never have heard. It is a story about the great feeling of winning. It is a story applauding the kind of loyalty Writer’s Digest inspires (including me for I have been reading it for decades!) But mostly it is a story of just one of those readers.

My memories of this event are a bit fuzzy. It happened at least a year after I had entered my latest book of poetry, Imperfect Echoes, in a Writer’s Digest contest and probably a month or two after the Writer's Digest issue announcing winners had disappeared from the newsstands. I had received a beautiful critique from one of the contest judges and after that...well, nothing. I have learned not to mourn losses but to look for the positives in them. So, I excerpted a lovely blurb from the critique and moved on.

Enter Ash McGrath. She is a friend I have seen only in online images. I think she knew me because I have displayed my how-to books for writers in a book fair sponsored by Valerie Allen's AuthorsforAuthors group for years. As an author of marketing books, I understand that frequency is important to any campaign; as a realist, I know that one can't expect marketing for a series of nonfiction books for writers to cross genres for a book in another genre. So when I received a tag on Facebook from Ash that offered me her copy of the issue that announced winners of the contest I had entered my book in...well, I was puzzled. And thrilled. And appreciative.  I gave her my address but didn’t dare to expect to see it in my mailbox any time soon. These are busy times. Online friendships are often fleeting. Ash's writers group is mostly made up of writers who live 3,000 (at least!) miles from me. I had never presented at their writers' conferences--or even attended.

Shame on me! I underestimated the generosity of authors. I underestimated not the reach of Writer’s Digest but the loyalty of its readers. I underestimated the connection we writers often have with one another based the simple fact that we write. When I asked Valerie Allen, the director of several book fairs and conferences in Florida I mentioned before she said, “We call Ash our ‘Conference Ambassador’ because she volunteers at all of our events.”

I call her my writing angel. Her copy of Writer’s Digest is now my copy of Writer’s Digest. It means more to me because the memories it holds are layered. It lives on a bookshelf in my office I keep for writing successes. It’s a little like a vision board. I sometimes peek at what I have stowed on that shelf to keep me moving forward during my most discouraging times.

Let me introduce you to Ash.
She signs her emails: “Ash” Ashley McGrath

And then—to make us all aware of one very important thing in her life, she adds:
“UnabASHed by Disability”

I shall never underestimate the ties that bind author-to-author again. Or to include those ties among the many joys of writing.

My best to all Writer’s Digest’s grateful authors out there, And special thanks to Ash McGrath.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. The books in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers have won multiple awards. That series includes The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor which won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award.  

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