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SPAWNews, January, 1997

Chapter News

Ventura Chapter One

There was no Ventura Chapter meeting in December. The January 19th meeting promises to be a very informative and interesting event.

Richard F.X. O'Connor, Executive Editor, Acquisitions of Renaissance Books will speak about what this new West Coast publishing company is looking for in the way of manuscripts.

Ken Golden of Griffin Printing will be on hand to explain all the aspects involved in printing a book.

Imogene Bercaw will bring her new book Horizons Unlimited which is hot off the presses, to show and tell about.

New member, anthropologist/athlete/ professor/author Robert Sands, will talk about his just completed second book, GutCheck: An Anthropologist's Gonzo Look at Junior College Football.

Santa Barbara Chapter Two

The December meeting contained a full agenda. The presenters were Santa Barbara authors Cynthia Anderson and Helen Gordon; and a member all the way from Hawaii, author and speaker, Jesse Weeks. Richard F.X. O'Connor spoke about Renaissance Books.

The speakers for the January 11th meeting had not yet been set when SPAWNews went to press. Andora Hodgin, who has been leading the group, will open the January meeting to a discussion of organizational ideas.

Member News

  • Patricia Fry's article, "Looking for a few Good Ideas?" is featured in the January issue of Writer's Digest. If you've ever had writer's block or trouble coming up with new ideas, her article should cure you forever.
  • Linda McGinnis has had articles in the last four issues of California Stylist and Salon. An artist as well as a writer, Linda has also designed three book covers for SPAWN member Joy Nyquist of Newjoy Press within the past two months.
  • Greg Armgardt, who designed the book cover for SPAWN member Dr. Cary Savitch's book The Nutcracker is Already Dancing, has just been commissioned to design a book cover for author Stephen Blewett.
  • S. L. Stebel, our newest SPAWN member, will be conducting his "intuitional writing workshop" at the Earthling Bookshop in Santa Barbara on Saturday, January 11 at 3 p.m. Author of the best-seller, The Collaborator, his new book is Double Your Creative Power.
  • Gerald Schiller will be the featured speaker at the Ventura County Writers Club meeting on Tuesday, January 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the Orchid Professional Building on Camarillo Springs Road in Camarillo. At the meeting he will explain the co-publishing process in detail and answer questions. On Saturday, February 1 at noon, Schiller will be doing readings from his novel, Deadly Dreams, at his booksigning event at Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in T.O.

If you are not already a member, now is an excellent time to join SPAWN. As all memberships expire on June 30th, the end of our fiscal year, the $50 annual fee is prorated. For the next six months you may join for only $25. Whatta deal!

SPAWN Book Review

By Patricia Fry

S PAWN member, Imogene Bercaw, received a gift of a lifetime this Christmas¾750 copies of her new book, Horizons Unlimited. This whopping 783-page gem reflects the author's flamboyant life over nearly nine decades. Focusing mainly on her teaching experiences and traveling escapades to over 200 countries, this clever self-portrayal is also a travel guide offering lessons in history and culture. Imogene relates some close calls with the law and with the elements, reveals stories of romance and tells about some of her worst and best trips. The generous text is also interspersed with charming photographs of Imogene in Honolulu in the 1930s, in a public latrine in Turkey, standing at the Great Wall of China, posing with stone statues on Easter Island, cuddling a koala bear in Australia and shivering at Rhone Glacier in the Swiss Alps.

Having written this book primarily for friends, family and adoring former students, Imogene had planned to have just 500 copies printed. Pre-publication sales were so brisk, however, that she decided to have 750 books printed.

Buy Horizons Unlimited from Imogene at a SPAWN meeting for $14.95. Or you may order it for $17.95 (which includes shipping and tax) from Bercaw Publications, 2257 Hillcrest Drive, Ventura, CA 93001; telephone: 805/643-7539.

Call for Entries PMA invites publishers to enter PMA's 10th Annual Benjamin Franklin Awardâ Competition for excellence in publishing during the year 1996.

They are looking for the most impressively marketed title for the Book of the Year for Excellence and Innovation in Marketing Award.

Publishers of books, videos, CDs or audiobooks copyrighted in 1996 may enter. There are several categories including some new ones this year. Publishers of finalists in each category will be notified in May 1997 and the winners will be announced at the PMA Benjamin Franklin Award presentation in Chicago, Illinois on May 30. Judges' critiques will be mailed to all participants during June 1997.

Entry fees are $45 per title, per category for PMA members. For non-PMA members it is $100 for the first title, and $45 per title, per category for subse-quent entries.

The deadline is February 7, 1997. For more information and an entry form, contact PMA directly as follows:

Publishers Marketing Association 2401 Pacific Coast Hwy, Suite 102 Hermosa Beach, CA 90254 Ph: 310/372-2732; fax: 310/374-3342 Email: Web Page:

NOTE: This is just a reminder that as SPAWN is officially affiliated with PMA, SPAWN members may join PMA for only $54, a $26 savings. Be sure to notify PMA at the time you join that you are a member of SPAWN.

Thousand Oaks

Chapter Three

By Paul Doebler

The second meeting of the T.O. Chapter featured three member presentations plus an update on chapter organizing activities.

Carol Doering, author and publisher of a new poetry book, Reflections, described her first-time experiences in selfpublishing and introduced her pamphlet, The Art of SelfPublishing.

Debbie Trice of Rabbit Hollow Press briefed the group on a recent Publishers Marketing Association seminar and provided information on additional marketing resources small publishers can employ.

Paul Doebler, writer/consultant and former editor at R.R. Bowker Co., discussed financial aspects of publishing, in particular issues involved in inventory management, cost control and profit/loss analysis for new publications.

Networking by those present was enthusiastic and intense enough to easily overcome the noise of a basketball game next door. The chapter is currently looking for a permanent meeting site more centrally located and without the noise distraction.

NOTE: T.O. Chapter leader, Paul Doebler could use your help finding a meeting place. If you have any ideas, you may contact him at 805/3887297.

Oahu Chapter Four

By Ken Armstrong

Even as the holidays approached, Hawaii's new SPAWN chapter was well on its way to becoming a reality. As prospective members met in person and over the internet to share their ideas for the chapter, a small group of planners emerged to formally put things in motion. Dozens of people are expressing their interest.

The chapter has also taken on a new name, SPAWN Oahu Chapter. Plans for a first meeting in late January or early February are moving forward.

As more contacts are made, the prospects for additional Hawaii chapters on Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island of Hawaii are also being discussed.

NOTE: Ken's phone is 808/263-8279. No late night calls, please. His Email number is

New SPAWN Internet Site

by Virginia Lawrence The new SPAWN Internet site now has its permanent home at The site is still under construction and growing daily.

Currently, each member has a single web page displaying their member directory information. Yes, you now have your own Internet Web page! As the site grows in complexity, you will be offered the possibility of a customized Web page.

We have our own search engine! To navigate among the member pages and find people by name, state, or activity, you can now use the SPAWN onsite search engine. The search engine gives you the power to search the membership roster by name, specialty, state, or any set of characters.

Can we sell services or books on the site? As a marketing vehicle, SPAWNsite will provide the following fee-based services to members only:

  • For any member - a highlighted listing with graphics for any member who wishes to market services over the Internet.
  • For publishers and authors - an individual book page featuring a graphic of the cover, a description of the book and ordering information. The ordering information may be an 800 number, a printable and faxable order form, an interactive order form to be sent to the publisher's Email address with credit card number, or a direct connection to, the online book store.

How will people find SPAWNsite on the Internet?

  • Registration. We will register the site with the top 20 search engines, the search sites used most often by people who are looking for information on the Internet.
  • Directory Entry. We will enter SPAWNsite into the appropriate directories to make the site easy to find.
  • Links. We will set up reciprocal links between our site and other sites. Those links will generate traffic and bring visitors who might be interested in SPAWN membership, SPAWN members, their books or services.

Remember, SPAWNsite is being developed for the members of SPAWN. Please send me your thoughts on our current plans, any corrections, or your ideas for additions. 818/886-4281 or

Practical Guide for Writers Just Released How to Market You and Your Book by Richard F.X. O'Connor is now available from Coeur de Lion Books, an imprint of O'Connor House. ISBN 0-913243-14-0, $19.95, Trade Paperback, 190 pages.

A veteran publishing executive shares with writers 35 years of insider information to help the writer find an agent, get a publisher, get published. . . and get published WELL.

Packed with information on E-Rights, self-publishing, distribution, mail order, copyright, royalties and self-promotion, the author points writers toward success with specific pre-pub and post-pub checklists.

Former Director of Marketing for both Waldenbooks and Doubleday & Company, Mr. O'Connor is a consultant to writers and publishers, teaches pub-lishing at Santa Barbara City College and is Executive Editor of Renaissance Books, Los Angeles. He has appeared on Donahue, Good Morning America, Larry King and dozens of other shows.

The book is available in bookstores or directly from the Publisher, Coeur de Lion Books, P.O. Box 90128, Santa Barbara, CA 93190-0128.

Contact Helene Apt for additional information, interviews or speaking engagements at 800/654-2853.




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