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SPAWNews is packed with writing, editing, illustrating, and publishing information. Each month you receive market opportunities, events, and articles you can use now!
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SPAWNews, April, 2002


Have you visited the SPAWN Member Area yet? To visit the SPAWN Member Area, go to the first page of the site,, and click on the Visit Member Area button.

You will be asked to log in. All members have a login ID and password. Join today to access the information in the Member Area!

Patricia Fry's Market Update has more publishing news and publishers looking for manuscripts. See below for details on the contents of the SPAWN Market Update this month.

Join in on the Forum discussions where authors are discussing their most important writing discoveries.

Visit the Member Area and enjoy!


  • Editor’s Notes: When it Comes to Book Publishing, Does Size Matter?
  • Article: Where, Oh Where, are All the Good Article Ideas
  • Member News
  • Book Review: Business and Legal Forms for Authors and Self-Publishers
  • Member Area Information/Market Update
  • An Interview with David Milofsky, Editor of Colorado Review
  • Article: Internet Scam Aimed at Domain Name Registrants
  • Conferences, Workshops, and Seminars
  • Book Festivals
  • Contests & Awards
  • Questions & Answers
  • Article: What’s Big in Libraries?
  • SPAWN’s Mission Statement

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When it Comes to Book Publishing, Does Size Matter?

Many, if not all of us, consider corporate consolidation to be good for the big guys and bad for the rest of us. We have seen small independent bookstores go out of business when a Borders or Barnes & Noble moves in down the street. We’ve seen what happens to Mom and Pop grocery stores when a Von’s or Ralph’s opens a supermarket in the neighborhood. As a rule, when corporations merge and monopolies proliferate, prices go up and consumer choices go down.

Corporate consolidation has wreaked havoc on book publishers for quite awhile now. However, this time the consolidations haven’t favored the big guys. Mega-publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins haven’t been doing so well. In fact, they have all been taking it on the chin over the past year. The large companies have to sell enormous numbers of books in order to cover their outrageously high administrative costs and author advances. And they haven’t been doing that lately. As a result they have had to lay off staff and editors and make drastic cuts in their book lists.

Independent publishers, however, have maintained the more traditional way of conducting their book publishing business. Their smaller budgets don’t allow them to pay huge advances in the hope that the fame of the author alone will sell their book. They must rely more on the quality of the product and the nourishment of close author-editor relationships to achieve their successes. Because of these policies, the independent publishers have enjoyed their best years ever. By keeping their overhead low, some small publishers can make money selling as few as 3,000 copies of a book. At major publishing houses a book selling so few copies might be considered a failure.

So, to answer that perpetual question: Does size matter? Maybe not. It’s beginning to look like the future belongs to small publishers. And that’s good news for most artists and writers as well.

Mary Embree, Editor, SPAWNews


* * * * *

Where, Oh Where,

Are All the Good Article Ideas?

By Patricia Fry

* * * *


Patricia Fry was a judge for the nonfiction article category for the Christopher Newport University Writing Conference and Contest held in Virginia this month.


* * * *



By Tad Crawford, Allworth Press. $22.95, 8-1/2 x 11, 192 pages, paperback.

In the February issue of SPAWNews we told readers about some of the forms and applications self-publishers need such as ISBNs, Copyright, Library of Congress Card Number, PCIP, etc. In this book authors and self-publishers will find forms to cover many other transactions. Author Tad Crawford, an attorney, author, and publisher who is familiar with every facet of the book publishing business, has included 20 different forms with step-by-step instructions on how to fill them out and advice on how to negotiate contracts. Among the forms are a contract with a literary agent, a book publishing contract, a collaboration agreement, an author’s lecture agreement, a contract with a book distributor, a permission form, and many more.

A complete set of forms are on 8-1/2 x 11-inch pages in the book that are perforated so that you can tear them out, copy them and use them again and again. They are also on a CD-ROM enclosed with the book, so that you can customize them to suit your particular transactions. The book contains samples of just about every kind of contract and business form you’ll ever need. Not only will you save an enormous amount of time researching and finding the forms, you’ll get professional advice on how to use each one to your advantage.

This book is available in major bookstores or you may order it directly from the publisher by calling 1-800-491-2808. 


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The monthly Market Update is a popular feature of the SPAWN site. All 6 Market Updates (comprising nearly 70 pages) are currently available in the SPAWN Member’s Only area. Here’s what you’ll find in the April issue:

  • A list of poetry contests with resource information for hundreds more.
  • Web sites where you can showcase your unpublished work.
  • Research site of the month (it features an extensive database for writers).
  • Grammar site of the month (ask specific grammar questions)
  • Fiction site of the month (for those addicted to fiction)
  • A site for children’s writers
  • An interview with a working writer. This month, an indexer
  • Three Editor/Publisher interviews
  • - David Milofsky of Colorado Review
  • - Brenda Miller of Bellingham Review
  • - Donna Doyle, editor of Grit (one of the oldest publications around).

* * * * *

Here’s an example of the sort of information SPAWN members will find in the eleven-page, 4000-word April issue of the SPAWN Market Update.

AN INTERVIEW WITH David Milofsky, editor of Colorado Review

Q: Please describe Colorado Review. What is its focus and purpose?

A:  Colorado Review’s focus is simple: fine fiction, poetry and nonfiction. We have (or try to have) neither bias, nor point of view. We try to be eclectic but mainly just print whatever strikes us as being the best of what we’re sent or can gather.

Q: Who is your audience?

A:  Beats me. I suppose it’s mainly a literary audience. What we’re aiming for is a literate readership but not necessarily professional writers or academics. We have quite a few libraries among our subscribers.

Q:  Give us a good overview of the types of manuscripts you’d like to see between now and April 30. Will there be any changes in your editorial content come next September? (Note: this publication accepts submissions only between September 1 through April 30. All other materials received will be returned).

A:  Again, I’m not interested in any particular “type of manuscript” but rather want only to see whatever a writer or poet thinks is his/her best work. When we do a theme issue (e.g. Hispanic writing, travel, experimental writing) we advertise it pretty widely, but we have none scheduled right now.

Q:  Is there anything else unusual or specific about your submission process that poets and other writers should know about?

A:  I can’t really think of anything especially different about our submission process, except that we’re faster than a lot of literary magazines. We report in six weeks or less most of the time. Also, we don’t read multiple submissions. If we find we have them, we tend to hold it against the writer because it wastes our time. This is in our guidelines, but it doesn’t seem to stop people from sending multiple subs anyway.

Q:  What are the advantages of being published in Colorado Review?

A:  We treat our writers well—pay them and treat them like professionals. Our magazine is also among the best edited in the country—copy edited, I mean. And we have a nice design. I think we publish the best poetry being written right now and damned good fiction, too. That should be reason enough for most people. (According to Writer’s Market, Colorado Review pays $5 per page.)

Q: How many poems do you usually publish each year?

A: It varies, but we publish 75 pages of poetry in a 200-page issue, which is more than almost anyone else. We also have great poetry editors -- Don Revell and Jorie Graham. Guidelines are the same for all submissions, but we don’t generally publish genre poetry or poetry about animals.

Q: What would you like to say to the many poets out there who want to be published?

A:  I don’t really have any original advice. Work hard, read a lot and if you’re going to submit to us, read the magazine.

Q: Please add anything else you think our readers should know about your publication or your submission process.

A: The only thing I would reiterate is that very often people submit without knowing much about the magazine. It’s in the library. You don’t even have to buy it. But you should read it first. Colorado Review is edited by people who believe passionately in what they’re doing. We hope the magazine reflects that whether it happens to be your taste or not.

David Milofsky, Editor

Colorado Review

Center for Literary Publishing

Dept. of English

Colorado State University

Fort Collins, CO 80523


Join SPAWN today to access the information you need in the Member Area!

* * * * *


I'm talking about a scam aimed at every person who has registered a domain name.

Every Web site needs a domain name, such as And each domain name must be registered with a domain registrar. The registrar makes sure that the domain is properly placed in the central Internet databases so that the Web site for the domain is accessible from the Web.

If you do not have a domain name, you can skip this article.

If you have registered a domain name, you know that you must renew that domain name every year. That is, you pay a fee to the domain registrar so that you can continue using the domain. Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn't it?

It is straightforward, but domain registrars are businesses, and many of those domain registrars are marketing far too aggressively. The unscrupulous registrars are attempting to trick domain owners into transferring their domains from their old registrar to the unscrupulous registrar. The unscrupulous registrars do this by sending renewal letters to owners of domains due for renewal, even when the domains are not registered with them.

Although it is appropriate when my domain registrar reminds me to pay my fee, it is not appropriate when a different registrar "reminds" me to pay for my domain renewal. If I pay a new registrar, the act of paying will the act of paying will start the process of transferring my domain to the new registrar.

I'm receiving these inappropriate notices for my domain names. My clients are receiving these notices and most are asking me whether the notices are important. More worrisome are the clients who don't ask me and simply pay the aggressive registrar. The domain will be moved and the next time we need to make a change, the entire process will be more complicated. Here we have companies resorting to underhanded tactics to make money, leaving domain name owners confused, paying more than necessary, and facing complications in their domain name dealings in the future.

Even the largest of the registrars, VeriSign, is preying on the public by sending renewal letters to owners of domains registered at different registrars. These aren't letters stating that VeriSign has better service. Rather, the letters are written to look like a proper invoice.

What should you do now? Be sure that you know the name of your registrar. To see the registrar name and your renewal date, you can search on your domain name at Then when you receive a renewal invoice, pay the invoice only if it comes from your own registrar. Throw out all bogus renewal invoices.

~ Ó 2002 Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D. Virginia Lawrence, SPAWN's Webmaster is a professional Web Designer and Online Marketing Consultant., or

* * * * *


Growing as Authors and Illustrators/SCBWI – Watertown, New York

April 27. Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. FMI: Aline A. Newman, RD#1 Box 43, East Rd., Turin, NY 13473.

Writers Success Series – Tampa, Florida

April 27 & 28. Presented by Free Expressions Seminars. Two workshops (1) Writing the Breakout Novel and (2) Get That Novel, Write That Book. FMI: call 866-497-4832 or visit Web site,

BookExpo America – New York City

Friday, May 3 – Sunday, May 5. This is the Big One and this year it’s going to be held in the Big Apple at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. This event is for booksellers, librarians, publishers, rights professionals, authors, and everyone who is involved in the book industry in any way. There will be over 2000 exhibitors, 100 educational sessions, author breakfasts and luncheons, and autographing with leading authors. The Standard Registration Fee is $110 through April 4. FMI call 800-840-5614; e-mail:; Web site: 

2002 PMA/BEA Publishing University – New York City

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, April 30 – May 2. Grand Hyatt New York. Includes basic, intermediate, and advanced seminars in Internet, Marketing, Design, Sales, Law, Finance, Publicity and Editorial. Early bird registration fees, before March 15, range from $60 for one 90-minute seminar to $350 for 8 seminars and 2 lunches for members of PMA; more for non-members. FMI and registration:

Retreat from Harsh Reality – Hickory Corners, Michigan

May 3 – 5. FMI: Pam Trombley, Romance Writers of America, Mid-Michigan Chapter, 6845 Forest Way, Harbor Springs, MI 49740. 231-526-2153. E-mail: Web site:

Author’s Venue Journey Conference – Mesa, Arizona

May 9 – 12. Sponsored by “The Writer” magazine. FMI: Author’s Venue, 9720 Tapatio Drive, NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114. Web site:

Mendocino Coast Writers Conference – Fort Bragg, California

June 6 – 8. FMI: Jan Boyd, College of the Redwoods, 1211 Del Mar, Fort Bragg, CA 95437. Phone 707-961-6248; e-mail: Web site:

Arkansas Writers Conference – Little Rock, Arkansas

June 7 & 8. FMI: Barbara Longstreth Mulkey, 17 Red Maple Ct., Little Rock, AR 72211. Phone 501-312-1747. E-mail:

Santa Barbara Writers’ Conference – Montecito, California

June 21 – 28. Westmont College. Workshops and lectures. Speakers include Ray Bradbury, Julia Childs, Fannie Flagg, Frances Weaver, Jonathan Winters, and more. Single: $1,290; Double occupancy: $990 each. Price includes room, meals, workshops and lectures. Day students: $400. FMI: SBWC, Mary Conrad, Box 304, Carpinteria, CA 93014; phone 805-684-2250.

Write-to-Publish Conference – Chicago

June 5 – 8. Focused for the Christian market, the event will offer classes for beginners through professionals, meetings with editors, and manuscript evaluations. Faculty is mostly editors. Keynote speaker is John Fischer. FMI: Shelley Bacote. E-mail:

* * * * *


Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

April 27 & 28. On the UCLA campus and in association with UCLA. Billed as “America’s largest literary event with more than 350 authors, 250 booksellers, and 120,000 book lovers.” Free admission; parking $6. FMI:; call 800-LA TIMES, ext. 7BOOK.

Central Coast Book & Author Festival - San Luis Obispo, California

Saturday, June 8. This event celebrating books and readers takes place in Mission Plaza in downtown San Luis Obispo, “The Best Downtown in the West” according to Sunset Magazine. Last year’s festival drew over 4,000 visitors and had more than 90 vendors. If you wish to get a booth, it is $50 for one author for half a booth; $100 for a full booth with one or two authors; and $150 for bookstores and publishers. Booth applications are available on the Web. Apply before May 1. FMI: CCBookfest, P.O. Box 12942, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406-2942. Web site:; e-mail:

* * * * *


Writer’s Digest 2002 Writing Competition

Deadline May 15. Grand Prize: $1,500 cash and your choice of a trip to New York City to meet with editors and agents or a trip to the 2003 Maui Writers Conference. Also other prizes totaling more than $25,000 altogether. Ten categories, including inspirational writing, children’s fiction, articles, short stories, poetry, and scriptwriting. Entry fee: $10 per manuscript. For rules, information, and entry form, see current issue of Writer’s Digest magazine or go online to:  

The U.S.A. Songwriting Competition

Deadline May 31. Overall Grand Prize: over $50,000 value. For songwriters, composers, bands, artists, and lyricists. Entry fee: $30. For rules and regulations and entry form:

Peace Poetry Project

The Recovering Hearts Bookstore in Provincetown, MA is running a poetry contest for folks who want to express their feelings about 9/11. They encourage poems related to or inspired by September 11 and/or peace. The best poems will be published in a Memorial Book and 100% of the profits from the sales of this book will go to charitable organizations. There is no fee for entering your poetry and there will be no remuneration for poets. Multiple submissions are accepted. For more information and/or to submit your poetry, contact the folks at Recovering Hearts Bookstore c/o In Love United, Provincetown, MA 02657 or ( Deadline for entries is Memorial Day 2002.

* * * * *


Q: My name is Claire and I live in West Yorkshire, England. I write and want someone of significance to read what I’ve wrote. No one has ever read my stuff before. I’d really appreciate it if you’d take some time out to read my latest. It’s about my life and it’s 100% truth – no lies or exaggerations. As a 17-year-old in today’s modern society, I think a lot of people can relate. Everyone wants to relate, right?

A:  Thank you for your email and for sharing your story with me. First, you need to figure out what type of writing you want to do. The piece you sent is considered journaling. And it's a good start and an excellent exercise for a writer at any stage. Once you decide what type of writing you would most like to do, I suggest reading everything you can find in that area. Let's say you want to write for teen magazines, read teen magazines from front to back -- lots of them. Read books written for teens. If you want to write short stories, read short story collections.  

Study writing magazines and books on writing. And do a LOT of writing.

Good luck. And let me know if you have any specific questions.

Claire wrote back:

I think your ideas were very helpful. I can see that a lot of reading of certain genres will enhance my writing ability. Thanks, Claire

* * * * *


Ever wonder what types of books are borrowed the most from libraries? According to the February 15 issue of “Library Journal” this year’s big winner is fiction rather than nonfiction because fiction “still works best in standard book form.” “Peace Like a River” by Leif Enger and “Good in Bed” by Jennifer Weiner are among the most popular novels. The top circulators in nonfiction continue to be books on medicine and health. The Journal reports, “How-to/home arts books have rocketed in circulation, but books on arts/crafts/collectibles have taken a spill.” Hot new circulators in nonfiction are “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America” by Barbara Ehrenreich, “The Botany of Desire” by Michael Pollan, and “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser.

There has been increased interest in books on Middle Eastern history and politics. Not surprisingly, requests for books on travel have fallen since the terrorist attacks last September.


* * * * *


Dear Mary,


Thank you for an extraordinary publication, and for Patricia Fry. Her articles and answers to questions are succinct, personal, thoughtful, and tremendously helpful. Her knowledge goes beyond the ordinary, as does her willingness to share. I look forward to your next newsletter.


Best Regards,

Carolkay MacKay

* * * * *

SPAWN is a nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax deductible.

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

P.O. Box 2653

Ventura, CA 93002-2653


Telephone & Fax: 805-646-3045

Mary Embree

Executive Director

Wendy Dager

Senior Editor, SPAWNews


Hal Ranzenhofer

Managing Editor, SPAWNews

Telephone: 805/984-3216


Virginia Lawrence

SPAWN Webmaster


Patricia Fry

Acting President


Ruth Hibbard



Advisory Council

Carol Doering

Dallas Glenn

Rosalie Heacock

Literary Agent

Andora Hodgin

Writer, Editor, Publicist

Irwin Zucker

Book Publicist

Jim Lane


Marcia Grad-Powers


Melvin Powers


Dan Poynter

Author, Publisher

Jean Wade


Board of Directors

Mary Embree

Author, Editor, Literary Consultant

Founder and President of SPAWN

Patricia Fry

Vice President

Virginia Lawrence, PhD

Writer, Editor, Webmaster

Secretary of SPAWN

Ruth Hibbard


Frances Halpern

Author, Columnist, Talk-show Host

Marsha Karpeles

Executive Director, Manuscript Libraries

Richard F.X. O'Connor

Author, Publisher, Editor, Consultant


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, Senior Editor, SPAWNews, 3039 Country Lane, Simi Valley, CA 93063 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.

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

P. O. Box 2653

Ventura, CA 93002-2653



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