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SPAWNews, March, 1997

Next Chapter Meetings

Chapter One, VENTURA:

Sun., March 16, 7 p.m. Ventura TowneHouse, 4900 Telegraph Road, Ventura


Sat., March 8, 1:30 p.m. Karpeles Manuscript Library, 21 W. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara

Chapter Three, THOUSAND OAKS:

Mon., March 17, 7 p.m. Residence: 29376 Mulholland Hwy., Agoura


March 22:

SPAWN Book Marketing and Promotion Seminar Ventura TowneHouse, Ventura

April 19 and 20:

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books UCLA, Dickson Plaza Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

This is a reminder that SPAWN will be sharing a booth at the L.A. Times Festival of Books being held at UCLA on April 19 and 20.

If you wish to join us, the cost is $50 per title (members only). You are invited to join us in the booth and schedule a booksigning. SPAWN is creating a catalog of participants' books with descriptions and ordering information for each one at no additional cost.

Members who are not participating in the Festival but would like to have their book in this catalog may do so for $25 for a 2" x 3.5" space. We guarantee a distribution of at least 1,000 catalogs and we are hoping to be able to print two or three times that number.

Our deadline is March 15 and booth space is limited. To be assured of a space, please send in your check soon. Participants will be sent a form to complete for the catalog listing. For more information, contact Mary Embree at 805/643-2403.

Contests & Awards

American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) Medical Book Awards Competition for best medical book published in 1996. Info and entry form: AMWA Book Awards Committee, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3998; 301/493-0003; fax: 301/ 493-6384; Email: Deadline is April 1.

The Artist's Magazine 1997 Art Competition offers cash prizes. Winners featured in their December 1997 issue and exhibited in a gallery showing. For rules and entry form, see March issue of the magazine or write to The Artist's Magazine's 1997 Art Competition, 1507 Dana Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45207. Deadline is May 1.

Ventura County Writers Club 1997 Writers Showcase offers prizes, awards and publication. Topic is "The Wrong Place" in 1,000 words or less. For VCWC members only. Pick up submission guidelines at their next meeting or contact VCWC. Deadline is April 4.

Aprill Faire Coming! The Ventura County Writers Club will host Aprill Faire, a gala celebration of writers and readers. This event to be held on Tuesday, April 8 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., is a social and information-gathering opportunity. Several vendors will display wares and services related to writing.

There will be optional games and fabulous free door prizes. A plethora of used books will be available for nominal fees. Entertainment and light refreshments will be served.

It all takes place at the Orchid Professional Building, 816 Camarillo Springs Road, Camarillo. Take Camarillo Springs Road exit off Highway 101, near the bottom of the Camarillo Grade. The event is open to anyone who enjoys people and the written word. Registration cost: free to VCWC members; guests $5 per person.

For further information, call Claudette Young, 805/495-8730.

SPAWN Marketing and Promotion Seminar

Due to a scheduling conflict with the Ventura TowneHouse, we regret that we must cancel the morning session of the marketing and promotion seminar as well as the continental breakfast and lunch. Therefore, Milton Kahn will not be making a presentation at this seminar but we hope to reschedule him for later this year.

The seminar will now be from 1 to 5 with presenters Richard F.X. O'Connor and Virginia Lawrence. It will be $35 for members and $48 for nonmembers. Those who have already sent checks will receive a partial refund. See the February newsletter for details.

Upcoming Seminars

S.L. (Sid) Stebel will be conducting his "Intuitional Workshop" in May at the Ventura TowneHouse. Stebel is the author of many books and screenplays including the best-seller, The Collaborator. His new book, Double Your Creative Power will be available for purchase at the seminar.

In September, Melvin Powers will present a seminar on "How to Sell Your Book Using Mail Order Techniques." Powers, Publisher and owner of the Wilshire Book Company, has sold millions of books through mail order. More information later.


Joyce Kovelman, Chatsworth, CA

Virginia Cornell, Publisher, Manifest Publications. Carpinteria, CA Dayna Rae Dorsey, Athena Arts, Writer, publisher. Calabasas, CA

Gladys Flanders, Freelance writer/ photographer/artist. Kailua-Kona, HI

Ramona Winner, Publisher and author. Goleta CA Roslyn Fiedel, Santa Barbara, CA

Maurine Moore, The Write Stuff. Author, handwriting expert. Ventura

Wayne Harrison, Freelance sports writer. Ventura, CA

Gloria Kaye, Energetic Healing Institute. Author. Santa Barbara, CA

Leslie Rindfleisch, Energetic Healing Institute. Author Ass't. Santa Barbara

Stephanie Johnson. Westlake Village

Laura Kath Fraser, President, Mariah Marketing. Santa Barbara, CA

Natalie Cherot. New York, NY

Linda Perret, Owner, Jester Press. (Humor books) Westlake Village, CA

Bernice Small. Writer. Ojai, CA

Deborah Davis, AAUW, graphic designer. Thousand Oaks, CA

Thoughts on SPAWN

by Mary Embree, Executive Director, Founder

As we approach our first anniversary, I find myself reflecting on how we began in May of 1996 with SPAWN's first meeting held in The Performance Studio in Ventura, California. When I realize how far we've come since then, it becomes clear that there was and is a need for this kind of organization.

As an author, editor and literary consultant, I have often been asked about publishing and the self-publishing process. Never having self-published, I didn't have the answers and could only suggest books to read or classes to take to find the information my clients were seeking. I knew that there were people in the community who had the various pieces to the puzzle but I didn't know how to reach them.

That's when I decided to create an organization where we could reach each other. Since last May SPAWN has established three chapters, presented five seminars, published ten newsletters and a directory of members, participated in a book festival, arranged for a discount for membership in Publishers Marketing Association and developed an Internet Website.

None of this would have been possible without the enthusiasm, professional expertise, generosity and tireless work of SPAWN's members. It is our own members who have conducted the information-packed seminars, developed the Internet site, helped organize and lead the chapters, and who have volunteered their services in a myriad of ways. We should give ourselves a big round of applause.

The future looks bright as we anticipate launching several more chapters this year, not only in California but nationally. As we continue to grow, we will be able to provide more seminars, book fairs and services for our members. We will be able to "spawn" more opportunities and become a greater presence within our own communities as well as throughout the country. Together, we can materialize our ideas, complete our creative projects and achieve our goals. I want to thank all the members for turning the dream of SPAWN into a reality.

Designing SPAWN Meetings

Each SPAWN meeting features member presentations and outside speakers. Let us know if you would like to promote your book or share aspects of your work at a SPAWN meeting. And tell us what experts you would like to hear; for example, book designers, illustrators, printers, distributors, publishers, marketing experts, magazine editors?

Contact Patricia Fry regarding the Ventura Chapter at (805) 646-3045, Email at; Andora Hodgin, Santa Barbara Chapter President, at (805) 962-4680; and Paul Doebler, Conejo Valley Chapter President, at (805)388-7297. Let us hear from you.

Chapter News

Ventura Chapter One

By Patricia Fry

At the March meeting, new member, Linda Perret will share some of her publishing experiences and talk about her new book, Become a Richer Writer. Linda owns Jester Press in Westlake Village, a publishing house that specializes in books on writing and humor.

Ed Elrod, co-owner of the Ventura Bookstore for 20 years, will speak about author promotion techniques. In 1994 he received the prestigious Charlie Haslam award of the American Booksellers Association and an invitation to the International Congress of Booksellers in The Netherlands.

Louise Cabral, who spoke at the Conejo Valley Chapter last month, will talk about the process and benefits of writing one's life story. A retired school teacher and author of Islands of Recall, Louise has been teaching Lifewriting classes for 11 years.

Santa Barbara Chapter Two

By Andora Hodgin

SPAWN's Santa Barbara Chapter meets at the beautiful Karpeles Manuscript Library and Museum which presents unique changing exhibitions and provides space for meetings.

Featured speakers and topics at the March meeting are as follows. Mary Embree, Executive Director of SPAWN, will give the "Seven Vital Elements of a Successful Nonfiction Book Proposal." A freelance editor and author of A Woman's Way: The Stop Smoking Book for Women, she has also written for television.

Laura Kath Fraser, President of Mariah Marketing, a Santa Barbara-based communications and marketing firm, is the author of seven books. Her talk is focused on "Unlocking the Mysteries of Communication."

Steven Gilbar, author, editor and attorney, will share "How I was Happily Published." He has edited seven books, including Red Tiles and Blue Skies and Tales of Santa Barbara and he produces "The Speaking of Stories: Actors Reading Great Writers," a series at Center Stage Theater.

Conejo Valley Chapter Three

By Paul Doebler

The Thousand Oaks Chapter has changed its name to the Conejo Valley Chapter, recognizing the broader area its members represent. The next meeting will be March 17, 7 p.m., at the home of Louise Cabral, 29376 Mulholland Hwy in Agoura. (See new directions to her home in the Calendar column on page one.) Speakers will be:

Sharon Mills, author, who will discuss her current experiences in working with "book doctors" to prepare manuscripts that get accepted by publishers.

Jock MacKelvie, author, who will present "Chapter 1" of what he has learned about the publishing business, in preparing to self-publish his next work.

Marketing Books from the SPAWN Internet Web Site

By Virginia Lawrence

The Internet has opened up an astounding number of ways to market books. Over the next few months, your SPAWN site will offer a selection of customized Internet book marketing programs. The Programs will benefit SPAWN members, whether multiple-book publishers with existing Web sites or single-book publishers without credit card merchant status. This article outlines the first book marketing opportunities available to SPAWN members. To see the details, go to

Free Single Page for Each Member

As you know, each SPAWN member receives one free Internet Web page. The member pages will soon be updated with a clickable link to the member's Email address. In addition, for SPAWN members who already have Web sites, we will add a link from the free page to the member's existing site.

Small Publisher's Bookstore

The Small Publisher's Bookstore will be a separate section of the SPAWN site. The three basic book selling programs are listed below.

1. One customized page with scanned graphic and link to publisher's site. $50 setup, $10 per month maintenance, charged monthly on credit card.

2. One customized page with graphic and link to $100 setup, $10 per month maintenance, charged monthly on credit card.

3. Five customized pages with two graphics and order form. There are two alternative types of order forms:

a. Printable, faxable order form. $200 setup, $20 per month maintenance, charged monthly on credit card.

b. Interactive order form takes credit card orders on a secure server, then sends the order to the publisher by Email. $250 setup, $25 per month maintenance, charged monthly on credit card.

First Two Months Free!

For every publisher who sets up customized pages before March 31, the first two months of maintenance are free. Books are the best selling items on the Internet, and SPAWN makes it easy and inexpensive to sell your books in the Small Publisher's Bookstore! Go to to read the details on these offers, then sign up for cyberspace sales.




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