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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 Archives

SPAWNews, July, 2008

Sandra Murphy, Editor

For contributions to the newsletter and Letters to the Editor, please email 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

- 8 Ways to Promote Your Book Through Your Blog by Patricia Fry

- Market Update

- Member News

- Opportunities

- Contests

- Events and More

Editor's Note

By Sandra Murphy

Television is full of reality shows—I try not to watch, but Project Runway, Design Star, and Top Chef call my name. I like seeing the goofy challenges, how quickly people are forced to think and work, where they succeed and where they fail. The time limits and knowing someone will be sent home just adds to the drama.

What would happen if there were a show called The Next Best Selling Author? The winner would receive a three-book deal from a prominent publishing house, an agent and an editor, a six-figure advance and probably a new computer loaded with writer-friendly software.

The first challenge would be to write 1,000 words on an unusual use for pickles. One person would write about new organic ear plugs, one about dill pickle soup, and someone else would want to use pickles as an alternative energy source to replace gasoline.

The elimination challenge would be a short story of 1500 words, using the following sentence as the opening line--

I wish I’d been wearing a better bra but you really can’t plan for this kind of thing.

That’s the first sentence of a story I wrote. My writer’s group has voted it the best opening line so far this year. I have a lot of competition but it’s hard to top an underwear reference.

At writer’s group, we critique each other’s work, handing out compliments and corrections, hoping to improve our writing. I’ve learned about vitamin C, vampires, a local haunted house, screen plays, Julius Larossa, rhubarb, poetry—new forms of and using the word pickle in—the Rule of Three, and to trash the beginning paragraph or the last few lines of most anything I write.

There’s no time limit involved and I won’t get sent home or voted off the island if I don’t write, but my fellow writers do follow up and ask, “When are we going to hear what happened to Dead Todd?” “How’s Alice Ann? Is she still at Denny’s?”

I’m held accountable, not by television viewers, but by a group of people as strange as I am myself, strangers who have become friends. They can look me in the eye and say, “You’ve done better, this needs work,” and I take it as the compliment it’s meant to be.

I’m learning to edit as I read, eavesdrop for ideas and great dialogue, find the real story within what I’ve written. I use long sentences sparingly, spill everything on the page, then cut, so I tell the most story using the fewest words.

I won’t win a fancy computer or the six figure advance but I think I’m doing pretty well, just the same.

Sandy Murphy


8 Ways to Promote Your Book Through Your Blog

By Patricia Fry

A blog can be many things and serve many purposes. When you have a book to promote, it makes sense to turn your blog into a promotional tool. Whether your book is a historical novel, a how-to gardening book, a memoir or a book of poetry, let your blog entries spread the word and you will sell more books.

Read about the eight ideas for using your blog to promote your book at

Market Update

By Patricia Fry

The July edition of the SPAWN Market Update (posted in the member area of the SPAWN website) addresses many concerns of authors and freelance writers. Read it and discover new markets for your articles and promotional opportunities for your book. Learn about current publishing industry trends. For example, find out why your copyright registration is missing in action. Learn how to spot an overseas scammer? Discover how B&N CEO Riggio feels about returns and why he hopes to stop this antiquated practice. Find out about HarperCollins' experiment toward profit-sharing for authors instead of cash advances. And learn how to recession-proof your writing business.

If you want to succeed as a writer or author, join SPAWN now and catch up on all that you've been missing in the SPAWN Market Update archives.

JOIN SPAWN NOW and get a free book—we give you six titles to choose from—3 ebooks and 3 print books, plus so much more.

In this month's JULY 2008 Market Update:

  • Informative fiction writing articles from an expert in that field.
  • Keep your writing business afloat during these hard times with these great tips.
  • Who's looking for comedy and adolescent feature length drama scripts.
  • Where to go online to learn about writing and publishing.
  • The reason for missing-in-action copyright registrations.
  • Which type of book had the biggest gain in book production this year.
  • A new experimental model offers authors this instead of an advance.
  • How to protect yourself against overseas scammers.

Member News

2008 IPPY Award - Gold Medal, Poetry

Tugson Press congratulates our very own, Leo Shelton, winner of the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY Awards), First Place Winner - Gold Medalist - Poetry, for his first book of poetry - RHYTHMS - Poetry and Muse.


The Author’s Repair Kit is a NEW ebook designed to help you breathe new life into your faltering or failing book. Use Patricia Fry’s post-publication book proposal system and heal your publishing mistakes. The Author's Repair Kit, only 27 pages: $5.95.


SPECIAL BONUS OFFERS NOW AVAILABLE: Notes from Barbara Florio Graham's sold-out workshops on book promotion and humor writing for a small fee with book purchase. See for details.

Barbara Florio Graham

Simon Teakettle Ink


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


Great American Bargain Book Show University

"How To Become a Successful Author"

August 2, 2008

Cobb Galleria Centre, Atlanta, Ga.

Seminar attendees receive free admission to the Great American Bargain Book Show - normally $50 to $60 per person.

Great American Bargain Book Show -


The Bakersfield California's Fourth Annual Festival of Books is looking for vendors. The event, which is organized by the Kern Adult Literacy Council, will be held Saturday November 1st, 2008 from 10am to 2pm at The Holiday Inn Select in Bakersfield, CA.

Booth location cannot be guaranteed but vendors who register early will have a better location choice. Contact Donna Hylton at 661-324-3213 or email


Read about the latest contests at

Events and More


Read about the latest contests at

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

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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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Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

PMB 123

323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110

Ojai, CA 93023


Telephone: 805-646-3045

Fax: 805-640-8213

Sandra Murphy

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 Sandra Murphy, Editor, SPAWNews

PMB 123

323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110

Ojai, CA 93023

or email

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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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