spawn spawn logo






Sign Up for the
SPAWNews Newsletter and
Get a FREE Report Too!



SPAWNews is packed with writing, editing, illustrating, and publishing information. Each month you receive market opportunities, events, and articles you can use now!
Not sure? Check out back issues of SPAWNews on our blog, or in the older SPAWNews archives)

SPAWNews Archives

SPAWNews, June, 2005

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.

* * * * *

Table of Contents

- Editor’s Note

- Market Update

- Book Reviews

- Using Online Ads to Increase Site Traffic

- Ask the Book Doctor

- Member News

- Opportunities

- Contests and Awards

- Events and More

* * * * *

A Great Gift

Editor’s Note

By Wendy Dager

We didn’t have mentors when I was a kid, let alone organizations that helped children learn the craft and business of writing. Yet, I was lucky to have one really great supporter—my sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Trotter. It was thirty-one years ago when Mrs. Trotter gave me the strength to follow my dream of becoming a writer. Even though I was sidelined by life—school, "regular" jobs, marriage, kids—I ended up doing what I’d always known was my calling. And I never forgot Mrs. Trotter’s kindness.

So, when new SPAWN member Rik Corwin of KaosOrb Books ( asked that we donate his free book (which you get when you join SPAWN or renew your membership) to a "worthy writer," SPAWN selected a student who, like me—and like many of you—was born to write.

Said Rik: "I believe that authors, artists, editors, publishers and booksellers need to work together. Without one we are nothing. Without one I would not be enjoying what I do."

Because working together is one of SPAWN’s tenets, we contacted John Baxter, an English, journalism and business teacher at Valley View Middle School in Simi Valley, California, and asked him to choose a student he considered a "worthy writer." Without hesitation, he recommended eighth-grader Lindsay Colyar, saying she is an aspiring and talented writer who works harder at writing and illustrating than any of his other students.

SPAWN received this from Lindsay: "Hello, my name is Lindsay Colyar. I am fourteen years old and would like to be a writer. I write fantasy stories and I am working on a series with my best friend, Kristine Gilreath. We are halfway through our second book."

SPAWN was pleased to present Lindsay with Patricia Fry’s "Young Writer’s Handbook," a guide for children and teens who love to write. It includes over 100 resources for young writers, including dozens of writing contests, and more than 50 publishers of young people’s works. It also shares the basics of good writing, along with inspiration and tips for young writers. (To order go to

We send thanks to Rik Corwin for his donation, and to John Baxter for telling us about Lindsay Colyar, to whom we wish great success. As Mrs. Trotter’s former student, I can tell you that the gift of encouragement is never forgotten.

–Wendy Dager is editor of SPAWNews. E-mail her at

* * * * *

Market Update

Are you still missing out? If you haven't joined SPAWN yet, you've missed hundreds of opportunities that may have made you several thousands of dollars. You've missed warnings that may have saved you hundreds of thousands of dollars and a lot of heartache. If you neglect to join SPAWN this month, you may never find out how to get Barnes and Noble to sell your book; you are missing out on a great opportunity for artists and photographers; and you won't be able to read Patricia Fry's editorial, "When is it Okay to Pay for Publishing/Editorial Services and When is it NOT?"

For example, should you pay your POD publisher hundreds of dollars for "returnable insurance?" We polled bookstore owners to find out. Their answers may surprise you. What is the true value of press release, showcase and other such services? How does one audition an editor?

  • Wanted: Over-35 first-time moms to write articles about their experiences
  • Find out the two simple things that the biggie book seller looks for
  • Free publicity for authors – find out how!
  • When you should "do it yourself," and when it’s OK to pay for these publishing services
  • Not a millionaire? Tips on how to spend wisely on your publishing project
  • Off-the-wall, unusual magazines where you can promote your oddball book

Find out the answers to these and other questions in the June edition of the SPAWN Market Update.

Read all about it in the latest edition of the SPAWN Market Update at Go to the member area using your user name and NEW password (if you’re a member, the new password appears in each monthly edition of SPAWNews) and click on Market Update.

Not a member, yet? Want to see what you’re missing? Contact and she’ll give you a sneak peek.

* * * *

Book Reviews

By Patricia Fry

Self-Publishing Fiction, From Manuscript to Bookstore and Beyond

By Gavin Sinclair (Mainland Press, 2005)

ISBN 0-9708746-4-2

214 pages (paperback), $19.95

When I heard about this book, I thought, "What a good idea—a book for the many folks who would like to try self-publishing their novels or books of poetry." As I read through Self-Publishing Fiction, however, I didn’t find much to differentiate it from other good books on self-publishing.

Whether your book is fiction or nonfiction, you must decide if self-publishing is for you.

To read the full review of Self-Publishing Fiction, From Manuscript to Bookstore and Beyond, go to

* * * * *

Publishing Gems, Insider Information for the Self-Publishing Writer

By Brent Sampson (Outskirts Press, 2005)

ISBN 1-932672-85-0

72-pages, paperback, $9.95

According to Brent Sampson, Publishing Gems includes "Insider information from a publishing professional." Sampson is the founder and CEO of Outskirts Press, Inc. located in Parker, Colorado, and this is his second book on self-publishing. He wrote this book in order to update authors on the paradigm shift that is taking place within the publishing industry. He says, "Old-fashioned publishing is an outdated business model that has to adapt. The Industrial Revolution revolutionized it once; the Technological Revolution is revolutionizing it again."

To read the full review of Publishing Gems, Insider Information for the Self-Publishing Writer, go to

* * * * *

How to Make a Living as a Poet

By Gary Mex Glazner (Soft Skull Press, 2005)

215 pages, paperback, $14.95

ISBN 1-932360-69-7

What a concept! Poets, are you listening? How to Make a Living as a Poet has complete instructions and countless examples of how to become a professional poet. Glazner has worked as a poet-in-residence; he once secured a sponsorship to take 100 poets on a tour of America; and he is a published poet. Not only does this author share details of his own success throughout this book, he includes interviews with major poets such as Sherman Alexie, Mary Karr, Paul Polansky and Naomi Shahab Nye.

To read the full review of How to Make a Living as a Poet, go to

* * * * *

Using Online Ads to Increase Site Traffic

By Virginia Lawrence

Because people are increasingly turning to the Internet for their book and services searches, our advertising on the search engines can really pay off. I’m not talking about banner advertising, but pay-per-click advertising.

Read about how to use online ads to increase your web site traffic, go to

* * * * *

Ask the Book Doctor: About Education, Punctuation and Submission

To find out more about these and other topics go to

* * * * *

Member News

Want to build up your book reviewing practice? Erika Dreifus's online course, "Becoming a Book Reviewer," begins June 13. Find out more about the course content and see what other writers have to say about it:

Dr. Katherine Poehlmann has just returned from a 3-week tour through New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, giving health presentations at Kiwanis Clubs and Fibromyalgia groups, and signing books at Barnes & Noble stores. In June she hits the road again in Oregon and Washington. Please see her Web site,, to learn more about her critically acclaimed book Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Infection Connection, find free health articles and Dr. Poehlmann's events’ schedule. Book profits are donated to infection research.

Robert Curry announces the availability of his new book, Summer Melodies—A Trio of Stories for Middle-schoolers, on, and (lower price!) and at B. Dalton bookstores. Enthusiastic reviews by 6th-graders and seniors alike.

SPAWN member and award-winning humor columnist and author Bob Schwartz (I Run, Therefore I Am - Nuts!) takes you on a hilarious ride through the wacky world of family life. Sometimes you have just got to laugh, and Bob's upcoming book, Would Somebody Please Send Me to My Room!, will have parents in stitches with 49 humorous chapters, all comically illustrated by award-winning artist BK Taylor. Bob’s amusing essays deftly capture the hysterical nature of parenthood and remind us of the necessity, no matter how harried things are, to appreciate the humor in the day-to-day nature of family life. (Glenbridge Publishing Ltd, ISBN 0-944-43557-2, hardcover, June 8 2005, Humor/Parenting.) All author proceeds will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Stephen Kogon’s book, Max Mooth--Cyber Sleuth and the Case of the Zombie Virus received another favorable review, this time from Kirkus Discoveries. Here’s an excerpt from Kirkus: "Just as Hannibal Lecter became a cannibal before him, what choice does a boy named Max Mooth have but to become a cyber sleuth, really? Readers will find the answers in this charming, well-paced story that could easily be Nickelodeon series. This certainly has TV written all over it, and hopefully Kogon will keep Max's adventures coming."

Chuck Hillig announces that Looking for God: Seeing the Whole in One is available for purchase. This extraordinary book has a one-inch hole drilled through the exact center of each of the 136 pages. The author uses the spatial emptiness of the void to share a profound and universal Truth that can, in fact, only be discovered within. By pointing to the empty hole on each of the pages, the author is pointing to the empty void in the center of you, too. A unique journey into the (w)holeness that lies at the core of Being itself. Look inside…and touch the Void. (Paperback: 136 pages, Black Dot Publications, ISBN: 0-9649740-0-2, Available now, $21.95.) To order:

Brent Sampson, founder and CEO of Outskirts Press, Inc. reveals over 150 publishing secrets based upon real-world experience in his new reference guide, "Publishing Gems: Insider Information for the Self-Publishing Writer." Brent says: "The publishing industry is in a transitional time right now. Writers are becoming more disillusioned with traditional publishing and are investigating new alternatives." "Publishing Gems" focuses on four facets: Crafting a book, choosing a publisher, promoting a book, and selling a book. Dan Poynter, best-selling author of "The Self-Publishing Manual," considers "Publishing Gems" "…an indispensable resource for every writer, self-published or otherwise." And Dr. Judith Briles, president of the Colorado Independent Publisher’s Association adds, "Brent Sampson’s Publishing Gems creates a few shortcuts, offers over 150 suggestions and will save you money." Available as a $4.00 e- book from or as a $9.95 paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Patricia Fry will be teaching three online classes this summer. Sign up now for the book proposal class (starts June 6), "How to Write and Sell Magazine Articles (begins July 18) and the "Self Publishing Workshop" (September 5). Classes are 6 weeks long except for the Self-Publishing Workshop, which continues for 8 weeks. Visit to learn more about each of these courses and for a crash course on "How Does an Online Class Work?" One of Patricia's book proposal class students landed a contract with Houghton Mifflin. The editor there said, "It was the book proposal that caught our attention and prompted us to acquire this book."

* * * * *


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

Outskirts Press is continuing to enhance its free Author Community. If you have a Web site that offers services that might be beneficial to writers, please contact Outskirts Press. Helpful links will be added to the Author's Center pages in the coming weeks.

  • Cover artists (or any kind of artist/illustrator)
  • Ghost writers or other kinds of writers/collaborators
  • Editors or proofreaders

In some cases, Outskirts Press may request reciprocal links. Mutual linking helps both sites in the search engines. Send linking information to

* * * * *

Contests and Awards

Read about the latest contests at:

* * * * *

Events and More

Please note: Although SPAWNews does its best to filter announcements and press releases for various events, seminars, and classes, we cannot guarantee a successful experience for all who attend.

Read about the coing events at

* * * * *

SPAWN is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.

Donations are tax deductible.

* * * * *

Join SPAWN now and receive one FREE book by Patricia Fry. 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.

* * * * *

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


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 (as of December 1, 2003)

Patricia Fry

Author, Publisher

President of SPAWN

Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

Writer, Editor, Webmaster

Executive Director of SPAWN

Ruth Hibbard

Treasurer of SPAWN

Richard F.X. O'Connor

Author, Publisher, Editor, Consultant

Tamara Dever

Book Designer

SPAWN Founder

Mary Embree

Author, Editor, Literary Consultant of SPAWN


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



Popular Articles
on Writing, Editing
Publishing &


spawn spawn