Attention Authors: Promo Idea

Businesses sometimes contribute a portion of sales to a charity or nonprofit to boost sales and to enhance community relations.

The recipient should be a logical connection for the business. For example, a veterinarian donating money or goods to an animal rescue shelter is a natural link up. And the cause should be something for which the biz owner, or in my case, the author has a genuine soft spot.

How can you tie in your book with a cause? Here’s a promo I’ve got going this month. I’m getting lots of “likes” on FB. We’ll see how sales go….


ken's war community courier

Ken’s WarWhen teen rebellion & culture shock collide.


 ken's war cover

Ken’s War is vibrant with authority … Fowler’s elegantly written novel risks exploring the full range of teenage behavior and emotion.” Nancy Springer, award-winning author of YA books.


Good Read: Good Deed


ken's war community courier

 Ken’s WarWhen teen rebellion & culture shock collide.


 ken's war cover

Ken’s War is vibrant with authority … Fowler’s elegantly written novel risks exploring the full range of teenage behavior and emotion.” Nancy Springer, award-winning author of YA books.

Get Paid to Travel

bali-570655_640Who wouldn’t want to travel the globe and get paid for it?

Before booking a flight to Bali, get grounded in the basics of travel writing press trips.


  1. The Rule of Hype: Teasers such as “Get paid to travel the world!” are usually ad copy written for companies selling courses and books. While it’s true that travel writers do go on paid press trips, known as junkets or “fam” (familiarization) trips, the road toward being wined and dined in luxury hotels is paved with contacts and publication credits.


  1. Develop Contacts: reveals the secret to receiving invitations to junkets — get your name on the press lists of national and regional tourist boards, airlines, tour operators, hotels and other organizations that regularly host trips for journalists.


  1. Join: Become a member one or more travel writers associations which receive calls for writers and hold conferences jointly with travel industry representatives. Every association I looked into requires applicants to have had a minimum number of travel articles (or photos or books) published in widely read media within a given timeframe. For details visit International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Organization, the Midwest Travel Writers Association, the Society of American Travel Writers, the Travel Journalists Guild, the Australian Society of Travel Writers, or the Travel Media Association of Canada


  1. Unglamorous Truths: Louisa Peat O’Neil, author of several Travel Writing books, contends that many travel writers hold other regular jobs and use vacations days for junkets. And not every trip is glamorous, as Jeremy Ferguson attests in his article that included the line “It’s a simple restaurant that serves dishes that usually surf on a tidal wave of grease.” (


  1. Ethics in Question: In “All Expenses Paid: Exploring the Ethical Swamp of Travel Writing”, Elizabeth Austin writes, “It’s true that the writers of most junket-based pieces generally sing the praises of their hosts’ accommodations… the greatest hazard of the press junket isn’t the implicit quid pro quo. It’s the controlled and sanitized travel experience it presents to the writers, with everything as perfectly planned and tidily gift-wrapped as those nightly presents left on our pillows. During our trip…we got the complete visiting rock star experience.” The likes of which Average Traveler won’t experience.


  1. Objectivity is Key: Tim Ryan (com/2001/06/24/features/story1.html) tells about the time Paul Theroux ( joined several travel junketeers for dinner at a luxury hotel. “In a pleasant tone that carried a knife-to-the-heart message, Theroux posed a question: ‘How can you possibly write something objective about a place when you’re essentially being paid to visit? I know I couldn’t.’ The room fell silent as most of the writers lowered their heads.” Writers who occasionally break away from the group can gather un-choreographed impressions and information.


  1. Integrity Intact: Disclosing that a trip was sponsored can put the article in perspective. Jeff Shelley writes, “I flew out to ‘the Flathead’ thanks to an invite from the Whitefish Convention & Visitors Bureau…Don’t tell anyone, but I don’t need a ‘fam’ trip to be sold on the Flathead Valley.” Writing about firsthand experiences and appealing to the five senses, rather than parroting adjective-laden brochure hyperbole, demonstrate integrity, too.


  1. Readers Trust Writers: Tourist attractions can get publicity with advertising campaigns, but at a high price. Austin explains that “a single full-page ad in ‘Condé Nast Traveler’ ( reportedly costs a whopping $50,000. And an ad lacks the credibility of a seasoned travel writer swooning over a resort’s breathtaking setting and lavish amenities.” Tourist attractions realize value for the dollar when they invest a fraction of that amount per writer per day. According to Jeremy Ferguson, “Travel agents don’t like to use their customers as guinea pigs. If an area of China, for instance, claims to be ready for tourists, the agents want to see it for themselves.” Writers participate in these PR junkets.


  1. Travel Writers’ Resources: Order the e-book “Guide to Become a Travel Writer” at Click on

If you’ve already had travel articles published, getting invited on a paid press trip could be your next goal. If you’ve dabbled in travel writing, you can follow L. Peat O’Neil’s recommendation. “No one starts at the top. Find your own level, work in it, then work up out of it.”

As you’re jetting to Bali, you’ll agree that travel writing is the best job in the world.

By the author of Ken’s WarWhen teen rebellion & culture shock collide.


 ken's war cover

Ken’s War is vibrant with authority … Fowler’s elegantly written novel risks exploring the full range of teenage behavior and emotion.” Nancy Springer, award-winning author of YA books.






Author Interview: From Chicken Scratch to Published Book

Read, Believe, Write!

Beth Fowler headshot

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  Marianne Williamson

Believe it!

Live it!

Beth Fowler, author of the beloved, fast-paced coming-of-age novel “Ken’s War.”


 ken's war coverWhen teen rebellion & culture shock collide. Shop here: Ken’s War

Ken’s War is vibrant with authority … Fowler’s elegantly written novel risks exploring the full range of teenage behavior and emotion.” Nancy Springer, award- winning author of YA books.




Love books? Visit York PA October 17th


Love books? Love animals? Save the Date for the fantastic first ever YORK BOOK EXPO on Saturday, October 17th. I’ll be there from 1-5 pm so please visit me at my table. Fun and free activities for the whole family! (there is a small fee to attend the keynote address)

Book Review: The First Earth Day – What Difference Did it Make

In “Before and After the First Earth Day, 1970: A History of Environmentalism, its Success, Failures and Errors” David M. Guion sets out to answer why do we observe Earth Day and what difference does it make that we acknowledge April 22 in this way?

Guion provides an overview of the American zeitgeist, as it pertains to environmentalism, from the time of The Great Depression when frugality was a virtue to the present when consumerism is a part of the American psyche too few people question.

This book is neither a bone-dry history lesson nor a guilt-inducing screed on how we’ve irretrievably screwed up our precious planet. The author has deftly woven together personal anecdotes, passages of quotations, summaries of seminal writings about the environment and more to make his point in an approachable, effective style.

A recounting of how we got this way is important to understand. In our hearts, surely we know there’s something whacky about being urged to recycle while we’re exhorted to shop more to prove our patriotism, about having to hop in a car to get a few groceries because there’s nowhere to shop in our own neighborhoods, about the myriad products in our cupboards and closets that didn’t exist a generation ago.

“Even as some people began to count the costs of America’s new prosperity on the environment, comfort with that same prosperity prevented them from thinking through their concern to its logical conclusion,” Guion writes. We’re living with the results of a disconnect “between the ethos of consumerism with the environmental problem.” Not to mention polarizing politicians, biased journalists, anti-corporate zealots and other non-scientists trying to foment fear and culpability with specious data and fright wigs.

Government policy and huge corporations can be blamed for some of the predicament we’re in today. We might just as well throw up our hands. The gov, big corps, et al are too big for us to influence. But then, as Guion sagely reminds us, governments, corporations, and other so-called faceless entities are made up of individuals. Individuals with faces. Individuals with families they love.

The last chapter “What Now? Who Is Responsible” gives readers a Here’s what you can do list. Some suggestions were novel to me, while others were what readers who are prone to read this kind of book in the first place might label as “common sense.” There’s no such thing as common sense. Just good sense. Fans of unconventional thinking will enjoy the section on using a problem to solve another problem.

Reading about how we’ve missed the mark in stewarding the natural resources of our planet can be disheartening. Even so, the overview “First Earth Day” provides is a reality check, an education, a look back that informs how we deal with day-to-day living now and in the days ahead.

Take heart. The choices individuals make do matter. While that sounds like a bromide, Guion’s thesis challenges readers to ask themselves how individual choices could not have a collective impact.

They have to. Don’t they?

(Beth Fowler is the author of the fast-paced YA Novel Ken’s War)

Authors interested in exchanging books for review can contact Beth via this blog.

Ken's War - a fast-paced books for teens and young adults.

Ken’s War – a fast-paced books for teens and young adults.