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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, October, 2007

Wendy Dager, 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

- Market Update

- Note to SPAWN Members

- Book Review

- Piggyback Book Promotion

- Ask the Book Doctor

- How to Use Competition

- Member News

- Opportunities

- Contests

- Events and More

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Editor’s Note

By Wendy Dager

Five years ago this month, I was given the opportunity to edit the online version of SPAWNews. During this half-decade, a lot has happened, personally and professionally, to me and, I’m sure, to you, my fellow SPAWN members and newsletter subscribers.

Personally: My kids became teenagers, my husband became an AARP member, and I became a 40-something. As you can imagine, with those distinct phases occurring in one household, there were many ups, downs and all-arounds.

Professionally: My novel encountered the expected bumps in the road and, while I haven’t given up on it, I’m now at work on a new one. I kept my regular freelance jobs and was hired for others. I started a blog. I sent out queries. I stay on top of what’s happening in the ever-changing publishing world.

What remains the same is what I wrote in that very first newsletter, October, 2002. Please indulge me as I share it with you.

"When I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer. Not too many people get to enjoy the realization of a childhood dream, and I know I am darn lucky. Still, the biggest problem with being a child is that one’s dreams are usually rainbow-colored, chocolate-flavored, flower-scented whirlwinds of naiveté. Adulthood generally cures us of childhood and its giddy conceptions. But the good news is that even though our dreams are now imbued with a strong sense of reality—treating our writing, publishing, and art as a business; dealing with editors and the general public; understanding the various marketplaces—we are fortunate to have organizations such as SPAWN to help us pursue our goals. My hope is that SPAWNews will continue to inform, entertain and provide you with the tools to achieve your successes. Please let me know how this publication can best serve you. Any questions, comments, or submissions are very welcome."

–Wendy Dager is editor of SPAWNews. Her email address is

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Market Update

By Patricia Fry

The October edition of the SPAWN Market Update has over three dozen resources, opportunities and ideas that are probably brand new to you. We've posted three high paying markets for freelance writers, twelve book promotion opportunities—including new book review sites—and publications hungry for your promo bites. Be sure to read how one author is selling books by offering a $100 to one lucky customer. We show you how to locate price comparisons for POD publishing companies and we provide information about two paying jobs for authors. Are you still confused about the "show-don't-tell" concept in fiction writing? We'll provide a definitive explanation. There's something for each of our members this month. Whether you're a graphic artist, photographer, screenwriter, author or freelance writer, you will find something of interest in the October edition of the SPAWN Market Update.

In this month’s October 2007 Market Update:

  • Where to submit your important book announcements.
  • Understanding the current book readers demographic to improve your book promotion.
  • A great new book marketing idea.
  • Careful! Using catchy buzz phrases could hurt book promotion.
  • Authors - how NOT to oversell your book.
  • Why publishers are concerned about these reader statistics.

If you are not yet a member of SPAWN and would like to access Market Update and enjoy other benefits of membership, please join now online at

Note: If you are a free newsletter subscriber only, you will be unable to log onto SPAWN’s "Members Only" page.

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Special Note to SPAWN Members

It has come to our attention that some of our members have received emails from an organization that says it got its contact information from SPAWN’s online directory. We are not affiliated with any organization or individuals except those shown on our Web site and we regret any misconception that we have a relationship with a nonaffiliated company that may be soliciting our members to use its services.

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Book Review

By Patricia Fry

Your Writing Coach, From Concept to Character, From Pitch to Publication

By Jurgen Wolff

Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2007 (London)


248 pages, $19.95 (U.S.) paperback

This book is billed as everything you need to know about writing novels, nonfiction, new media, scripts and short stories. That’s quite a promise. But as I read through the book, I became convinced that the author has kept his promise. Wolff, a writer, teacher and the author of five books on script and screenwriting, also writes successfully for television and the stage. So he knows of what he speaks.

To read the full review of Your Writing Coach, From Concept to Character, From Pitch to Publication, go to

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Piggyback Book Promotion

By Patricia Fry

Some of you may have heard of Piggyback Marketing. Generally, this means promoting your product using a marketing channel from another company. In other words, you might arrange to have another author include your flyer or brochure along with hers when she ships orders or does a mail promo. Or, you might tuck in your brochure with another author’s newsletter.

I’d like to suggest Piggyback Promotion using the momentum of your own efforts. Let’s say that, in recent months, a review of your romance novel was posted at a popular site, your book was mentioned in your college alumni newsletter and you had a story published in Ellipsis Magazine. GREAT! This is all good exposure. But don’t waste the opportunity to expand on that exposure. What more can you do?

Read about ten suggestions for piggyback promotion at

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Ask the Book Doctor: About Book Contracts and Slipstream

By Bobbie Christmas

Q: I know there are lots of books on this subject, but I was wondering if you could streamline it for me. When you are signing a book contract, especially as a first-time author, what are the germane things you should be on the lookout for?

A: Your best course is to run the contract by an entertainment attorney, but if you wish to bypass that step, here is a little layperson’s guidance.

Be careful what rights you are signing over and at what price. Only you can decide which rights you are willing to sell and for how much, but be sure not to sign all your rights away without knowing what you are doing. Some authors may warn you not to allow the publisher the right of first refusal on your next book or books, but others will say such a clause means only that the publisher must be willing to match an offer you may get elsewhere. The decision is personal.

Also be sure that the contract includes in writing what the publisher is going to do for you and by what date.

In the end, authors must decide which issues are worth fighting for. Authors and publishers should agree to a contract that gives the author some of the things he or she wants and gives the publisher some of the things it wants, without making anyone a fool or an enemy.

If the contract is with a subsidy or vanity press, the issues will be different. Be sure you know exactly what you are getting for your money and by what date the finished product will be produced.

Read about these and other interesting topics at

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How to Use Your Competition to Ensure Your Publishing Success

By Patricia Fry

It happened again at a writers’ conference this weekend. A hopeful author sat on the edge of his seat, notebook open and pen poised in eager anticipation of my wise counsel. Upon receiving it, however, he slammed the book closed, tossed the pen on the table in front of him and slumped back in his chair.

What was the advice that this man so readily discarded?

He asked me how to find a publisher for his memoir, which would also feature recipes. I told him about Writer’s Market and how to use the Book Publishers Subject Index—information that he eagerly noted. I also suggested that he locate books in bookstores and at similar to his and see who published these books. I said that he might be able to interest one of those publishers in his project.

That’s when he slammed his notebook closed. He said, "There are no books like mine."

Read about how to locate an appropriate publisher for your book at

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Member News

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

Robin Gorley of Personal Professional Marketing Services announces an affordable service to help authors promote and market their books. For details of the services offered, prices, and how you can hire PPMS, email

Patricia Fry’s 366-page The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book, Revised Second Edition, is scheduled for publication in mid-September. Patricia is offering a 20% pre-publication discount for orders placed before October 1, 2007. As a bonus, Patricia has also produced the Author’s Workbook to be used with The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book. The Workbook is regularly $12.95. Order the Author's Workbook with the Revised Second Edition of the book NOW and save nearly 25%. Choose from 4 ordering options at

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Robin Gorley and Starr Reina, chairs/hosts of the West Coast Author Premiere are planning their 2008 event. Visit for more information and to register.

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Read about the latest contests at

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Events and More

Read about the coming events 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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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



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



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