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SPAWNews, January, 2007

Wendy Dager, Editor

For contributions to the newsletter and Letters to the Editor, please e-mail the editor of SPAWNews:

Those of you who are SPAWN members, be sure to go to the first page of the site, and click on the "Visit Member Area" button. You will be asked to log in.

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Table of Contents

- Editor’s Note

- Letter From a SPAWN Member

- Join SPAWN at the LA Times Book Festival!

- Market Update

- Help Us Improve Market Update!

- ISBN Changes

- Book Reviews

- Book Marketing Idea

- Ask the Book Doctor

- Member News

- Opportunities

- Contests

- Events and More

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Editor’s Note

By Wendy Dager

Last month was another step on that "path up the mountain," a phrase I heard writer/teacher/lecturer Phyllis Gebauer say many years ago, and have never forgotten. It certainly applied in December, when my novel was chosen as a top five finalist in Court TV’s "Search for the Next Great Crime Writer" contest.

As this issue of SPAWNews goes to press, I have no idea if I won the grand prize—$1,000 and a possible book deal. While of course I am off-the-chart excited, I’ve also been quietly contemplating something crucial to the professions of writing, publishing and art: one’s "voice."

I’ve heard the word used many times during my career, but I never sat down and considered its meaning in the context in which it was intended. I always just—well—wrote.

Then, after my novel was chosen, I was able to compare my entry with the other finalists’ sample chapters. Our "voices" were so markedly different that I can only imagine how difficult it was for the judges—among them, well-known crime novelists—to narrow the field to these particular five.

We authors were also given the same questions in separate online interviews for Court TV’s blog, and you can see definite differences in our personalities; our ways of thinking; our life experiences. It finally became apparent to me that all of these things contribute to our unique creative voices.

Our personal path up the mountain is difficult, but it’s nice to know that it occasionally intersects with other people’s paths, giving us greater respect for those who are poles apart in styles, but, at the same time, quite similar in goals.

–Wendy Dager is editor of SPAWNews. Her Web site is

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Letter From a SPAWN Member

Every month I print out my copy of the Market Update, take out my highlighter and light up pearls of wisdom, writing opportunities, contests and contacts that can only be found together in this one magical place. For me, the SPAWN Market Update has formed the spine of my quest with a multitude of avenues for my journey. In other words, get it, use it, have fun and succeed! I cannot think of a way to improve upon something that is just that good. If someone does, all the better!

Linda Simon

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Be in the SPAWN Booths at LA Times Book Festival!

SPAWN Members:

Present your books to 133,000 people at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. The festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29, 2007. The SPAWN booths will have very limited space for authors and publishers, so sign up as soon as possible to guarantee a seat. We are accepting paid reservations only.

Cost: $200 per day for 1/3 of one booth, or $360 for two days. You will be sitting at a table in the front of the booth, and you can exhibit/sell up to three titles. In addition to your table area, you will have room for one poster on the back wall.

If you are a SPAWN Member, sign up online now at If you aren't a SPAWN Member yet, you must join first by filling out the member application at ../join.htm.

The Los Angeles Times Book Festival is an exciting event and a great way to get your book before the reading public. Be sure to take advantage of this economical way to participate in the festival. Go directly to the secure signup form:

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Market Update

By Patricia Fry

We've compiled nearly 75 tips, resources, information bites and opportunities in the January 2007 edition of the SPAWN Market Update. Who will benefit from this meaty edition?

  • Authors who need solid book promotion ideas and resources.
  • Freelance writers who want to make some real money this year.
  • Anyone who is interested in learning more about the publishing industry.

In this issue, not only do we provide numerous magazine listings, we give concrete ideas that authors can use to promote their books through those magazines. You won't see this service offered in any other writing/publishing newsletter or magazine.

In this month’s January 2007 Market Update:

  • Learn which book market is one of the fastest growing in America
  • Fiction just for men? Who’s accepting submissions
  • Where you can find a new FREE site showing writing jobs
  • How just the right hook and angle can score you great writing opportunities
  • An artist who can also write? This magazine has an opportunity for you
  • ¿Escribe en español? The name of the largest Spanish book distributor in the U.S.
  • Which web site’s database is the only one that includes editorial calendars for magazines
  • Valuable tips on how to promote your book through magazine articles

Note: If you are a free newsletter subscriber only, you must join SPAWN before you can log onto SPAWN’s "Members Only" page.

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Help Us Improve Market Update!

We read many writing/publishing-related newsletters and we think that we are offering something quite unique and special to SPAWN members. If you think so too, or if you have suggestions for making it BETTER, please let us know.

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ISBN Changes

Did you know there are new rules regarding ISBNs? See the December 2006 issue of SPAWNews for details!

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Book Review

By Patricia Fry

Writing in Retirement

By John L. Campbell

Cera, Inc., 2006


150-pages -- $15.95

John Campbell, of Brookfield, Wisconsin, spent most of his adult life in marketing and sales. In retirement he writes, and has discovered there are numbers of other retirees who are writing as a creative outlet or a serious career. This book features fifteen retired men and women who have discovered writing as a way to survive financially or who write purely for pleasure.

If you’re retired or contemplating retirement and you’d like to compare notes with other retired writers, pick up this book.

To read the full review of Writing in Retirement, go to

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Book Review

By Patricia Fry

Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace

By Sarah Bolme

Foreword by Sally E. Stuart

Crest Publications, 2006

ISBN 0-9725546-5-3

192-pages, $17.99

According to author Sarah Bolme, this first of its kind guide to book marketing in the Christian marketplace is a timely addition to the Christian author’s reference library. With the Christian genre one of the fastest growing in the publishing industry today, she says authors need more resources and more information than is currently available in general market guides. And who better to write this book than the cofounder and director of the Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA)?

Called the "essential handbook for marketing books in the Christian marketplace," this book certainly seems to cover everything the Christian author needs to know about the industry and the opportunities within it.

To read the full review of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace, go to

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Book Review

By Patricia Fry

Over 101 No Cost (And Low Cost) Techniques to Turbo Charge Your Freelance Income

By Beth Ann Erickson

Filbert Publishing, 2006

132 pages, $29.95 (includes a CD)


Erickson actually provides 113 ideas for making more money writing and they’re all doable. She starts by suggesting you prepare mentally and physically. She urges readers to write a business plan and helps readers adopt an appropriate mindset. For example, she says, "Accept that you’ll have to ALWAYS promote."

This book covers virtually all of the freelance areas that a writer might pursue: articles for consumer magazines, Web zines, trade magazines, brochure work and even sales letters.

To read the full review of Over 101 No Cost (And Low Cost) Techniques to Turbo Charge Your Freelance Income, go to

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Book Marketing Idea of the Month

Seasonal Promotion

By Patricia Fry

What are you doing to increase book sales this holiday season?

Sure, Thanksgiving and Christmas 2006 are behind us, but we’re embarking on a brand new year. It’s the season of fresh starts and resolutions. It’s winter. We celebrate Martin Luther King Day in January. It’s the month for the Tournament of Roses and the Rose Parade. Why not use these and other seasonal events and observances to promote your books this year? If you can’t think of any way to tie your book into these things, read on!

Read more about great ideas for seasonal promotion at

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Ask the Book Doctor: About the Steps of Editing, Contacting Editors, and Timelines

By Bobbie Christmas

Q: I just finished my first draft of a paranormal romance, and now I need to go back and edit it. What are the steps of editing? What things do I need to look for as I go back through it?

A: This question is too broad to answer in a simple way, but I’ll give some general suggestions that will help.

First, let the book rest, if you can, before you go back and edit it. Once a little time has passed, you will have a better perspective and more objectivity about the editing phase. If you can take a break from your manuscript for a month, do so, but at the very least, give it a week to breathe before you tackle the editing.

In the first pass or two, look for extraneous things that can be deleted, including wordy phrases, weak scenes, unnecessary chapters, and redundant information or words. Look for ways to tighten, tighten, tighten. If the novel is more than 100,000 words, read Sol Stein’s book, Stein on Writing, to learn how to identify weak scenes and chapters and delete them.

Watch out for inconsistencies, disorganization, and unclear sentences. Also check for weak or missing transitions between scenes or subjects. Make sure the main characters stay in character yet grow or change because of the events in the story. Make sure that not too many sentences begin alike or that certain words are overused. The second or third edit is also a perfect time to apply my Find and Refine Method, explained and detailed in my book on creative writing, Write In Style. The book tells you exactly what to look for and delete, revise, or repair to give your writing more power. It also addresses the most common flaws in manuscripts, so you can avoid them.

The final edit should be the line edit, during which time you find incorrect word choices, punctuation errors, noncompliance with Chicago Style, and all the other little details that polish the prose to a high shine. If you aren’t good at grammar and punctuation, turn to a professional editor for help.

To read more about these and other interesting topics go to

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Member News

Note: To have your announcements included in this section, you must be a paid member of SPAWN. Please e-mail your news to

Are your short stories crafted and critiqued? Want to learn how to go about submitting them for publication? Member Erika Dreifus (Ed.M., M.F.A., Ph.D.) has found homes for nearly 20 of her own stories (she's currently shopping a collection) and will share what she has learned along the way in an online course that begins January 15, 2007. Find out more at (click "News & Events") or at

Arlene Graham, author of To Walk Among the Stones, is announcing her new Web site, You can go to her site to read the great reviews of To Walk Among the Stones, extensive excerpts and to purchase the book through PayPal.

PSB Publishing reports that three poems from its publication, A Rage Of Intelligence, by Paul Bussan, were selected by Garrison Keillor to be read on his national radio show, The Writer's Almanac, on June 14 and 22, 2006. The poems he chose can be read and/or heard by going to the publisher's Web site,, and following the link to The Writer's Almanac.

Anne Louise Grimm’s books, Intimate Reflections: Two Years at the Panama Canal, Terralimbo: Out of Time, Something Fishy: At the Panama Canal (Illustrated), Fletter Cove: Romance and Relationships, Intimate Reflections: Tales Told Out of School (Illustrated, For release by end of year) are available at and, all major bookstores,, POD, and internationally from Ingram. For autographed copies, go to For more information or to contact Anne Louise Grimm: or (360) 942-4596 or go to

An old humor article by Barbara Florio Graham has been published in a new book, Funny Bone Fitness. Guideposts Books paid $250 for one-time rights for this piece, which had already been published many times over the years. There was no contact info on the article, but the editor found Bobbi via her Web site:

If you're thinking about self-publishing your book, Barbara Florio Graham's free checklist will help you decide. Go to, and look for Self-Publishing Checklist at the bottom of the Mentoring page.

Patricia Fry has added 3 dozen more FREE resources and articles for freelance writers and authors to her generously informative Web site. If you haven't visited to peruse and use the 260 strong resource list and highly useful articles, here's your chance. Patricia Fry is the president of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) and the author of 25 books, including The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book,

Patricia Fry will teach three sessions on article writing at San Diego State University this month during the 23rd Annual SDSU Writers' Conference. During the weekend of January 26-28, she will present the following classes: "How to Start and Keep the Flow of Magazine Article Ideas," "Tips and Techniques for Successful Article Writing," and "The Business of Freelance Writing." She will also be available for advance reading and consultation appointments. for more information and registration form. She will also speaking at the NightWriters meeting in San Luis Obispo, CA at 7:00, Tuesday, January 9. Contact Carroll at for more information. The topic is "The Right Way to Write a Book."

Wendy Dager’s novel, I Murdered the PTA, is a top five finalist in Court TV’s "Search for the Next Great Crime Writer" contest. Wendy’s novel was one of 900 entries and is eligible for the grand prize of $1,000 and a possible book deal. Check out Wendy’s Web site,, to see if she won.

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The 2007 Backspace Writers Conference brings together best-selling authors, top literary agents, and editors for a two-day, two-track event featuring panel discussions, workshops, and socializing in the heart of the publishing world. Scholarship applications must be received between January 15 and March 1, 2007. Winners will be notified by April 15, 2007. Details at

Meg Weaver created the Wooden Horse Magazines Database just for people like you. What began as a list of titles in a loose-leaf binder has now grown to over 2,000 U.S. and Canadian consumer and trade magazines in a searchable online database. For more information:

Readers Passport is a pilot community project jointly sponsored by R.R. Bowker, local libraries and literacy councils, publishers, distributors and authors. It is a community project that increases circulation and triggers books being donated to people who are temporarily "stuck" somewhere with nothing to do—but read your book. From their press release: "Imagine a patient sitting for hours during chemo therapy or dialysis treatment; imagine a victim of domestic violence suddenly at a loss without belongings at a shelter. Anxious or bored, they wait the long hours unless—suddenly they are given a book. Their experience of the book is something valuable in their hands at just the right time. It could be your book that grateful person is reading, and what triggers the donation is the Reader’s Passport." For more information: or e-mail

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Read about the latest contests at

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Events and More

Note: SPAWNews advises "caveat emptor" when dealing with venues, contests or promotions unknown to you

Read about the coming events at

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SPAWN is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.

Donations are tax deductible.

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Join SPAWN now and receive one FREE book! See the selection from which you can choose your book at the Member Benefits page. As a member, you can enjoy the benefits of the Members Only Area. There you will find:

  • Member Forum. In the SPAWN Forum, you can discuss publishing with knowledgeable published writers and publishers.
  • Market Update. This valuable Market Update will appear every month, letting us know exactly what is going on with magazine and book publishers.
  • Event Calendar where you can submit your events. After approval, your events will be available for all members to see.
  • Member Webpages where you can upload your HTML pages to build your own Web site. Your Web pages will be viewable by everyone on the Internet.
  • Member Catalog where you can list your books and services
  • Member Discussion list where you can discuss your triumphs and questions with your publishing peers.

Join SPAWN now by clicking on the "Join SPAWN Now" button at the top of this page.

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SPAWNews SPAWN is a nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax deductible.

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

PMB 123

323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110

Ojai, CA 93023


Telephone: 805-646-3045

Fax: 805-640-8213

Wendy Dager

SPAWNews Editor, Membership and Database Coordinator


Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

SPAWN Webmaster


Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

SPAWN Executive Director


Patricia Fry

SPAWN President



To promote the literary arts and provide education, information, resources and a supportive networking environment for artists, writers, and other creative people interested in the publishing process.

Submission Guidelines

Members and Nonmembers: Please send your press releases, seminar information, and books for review to Wendy Dager, Editor, SPAWNews

PMB 123

323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110

Ojai, CA 93023

or email

SPAWN membership dues are $45 per year; spouses, half-price. Make your check payable to SPAWN and mail to P.O. Box 2653, Ventura, CA 93002-2653. Or click on Member Application to fill out the secure online form and pay your dues by credit card.

SPAWNews, Member Directory and Web site listings, and discounts for SPAWN events are included in membership.

SPAWN is a nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax deductible.

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

PMB 123

323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110

Ojai, CA 93023



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