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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!
Not sure? Check out back issues of SPAWNews on our blog, or in the older SPAWNews archives)

SPAWNews Archives

SPAWNews, December 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

- Book Review Bonanza

- Six Book Promotion Mistakes and How to Fix Them

- Ask the Book Doctor

- Member News

- Opportunities

- Contests

- Events and More

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Editor’s Note

By Wendy Dager

I decided I’m gifting myself with a tattoo this holiday season. I’m thinking flames. Lots of flames.

Just kidding, mom.

I’m sure an awesome tattoo would make me feel like a rebel, but what I really need is something practical—something that will help my writing career. Maybe you’d like a similar gift. That’s why I encourage you to check out this edition of SPAWNews for its Book Review Bonanza—an extra-large selection of books geared toward the professional writer or writer-in-training. In addition to SPAWN president Patricia Fry reviewing books by SPAWN founder Mary Embree, member Shel Horowitz and computer expert Helen Gallagher, our guest reviewer and SPAWN member Barbara Florio Graham offers her take on one of Patricia Fry’s books.

You can also read previous book reviews in archived issues of SPAWNews on the Web at Consider purchasing one or more books for every writer on your holiday list or, better yet, for yourself. You deserve it!

And me? My birthday arrives just after the first of the year, so maybe I’ll get that flaming tattoo then. But, please don’t tell my mom.

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

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Market Update

By Patricia Fry

The December SPAWN Market Update features opportunities for every member. We reveal nearly 30 magazine markets that pay $1 per word or more for articles and book excerpts. There are job opportunities for artists, editors, proofreaders, graphic designers and freelance writers. We also share some concrete book promotion ideas that you've probably never thought of before. If you have a children's book to promote, you won't want to miss the information in this edition of the SPAWN Market Update. As a bonus, there’s news you can use about purchasing one ISBN. Finally, you can do it legitimately and without worrisome consequences. Resources are bountiful in this Market Update and don't miss our interview with a publisher of mysteries, thrillers and suspense books!

As a member, you get all of this, PLUS access to our archives, featuring six years worth of the monthly SPAWN Market Update.

Have you met your publishing or marketing goals for 2007? Join SPAWN and study this and all of the back issues of the SPAWN Market Update and you may exceed your expectations by the end of the year.

In this month's Market Update, you'll discover:

  • A great newsletter recommendation for authors and freelance writers.
  • Where to go for specific, personalized writing prompts to help jump-start your writing project.
  • A terrific freelance opportunities list AND what each opportunity pays.
  • Why you should promote your book to this outlet NOW.
  • An authorized US ISBN agent for the sale of single ISBNs.
  • Who's looking for books suitable for reading level children.
  • The most common problem in fiction submissions.

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 must join SPAWN if you want to log onto SPAWN’s "Members Only" page.

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Letter to SPAWN

My wife Kathy and I joined SPAWN in 1999. At that time we were attempting to publish and market two spiral-bound travel books. In a large part, as a result of the assistance we received from SPAWN, this year we published our fourth perfect-bound travel book. Since both Kathy and I worked, our sales were "satisfactory" for our self-publishing. One of my life's dreams has been to not have an address for a year, just go see what's over the next hill. Luckily, my wife shares that same dream. Earlier this year, we purchased an RV that we are now setting up for extensive living/traveling. We were wondering how we might continue our self-publishing/book-wholesaling while traveling. We contracted with a publisher who is now publishing our existing books. We are, at this point, getting ready to blog about our experiences. There is no way that we can adequately thank SPAWN, with special thanks to Patricia Fry, Mary Embree, and Virginia Lawrence.

Thank you all,

Russ and Kathy Spencer

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Book Review

By Barbara Florio Graham

The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book

Your Complete Guide to Successful Authorship

by Patricia L. Fry

Revised Edition, 2007, with a companion Author's Workbook

ISBN: 0-9773576-0-0

328 pages. $19.95; Workbook: 55 pages. $12.95

I reviewed the first edition of this book, and said then that it was one of the most comprehensive and valuable sources I've encountered. I recommend it to most of the writers I mentor.

The new edition contains even more helpful advice and resources, and the companion workbook is ideal for someone who needs additional motivation.

To read the full review of The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book Your Complete Guide to Successful Authorship, go to

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Book Review

By Patricia Fry

The Birds and Bees of Words: A Guide to the Most Common Errors in Usage, Spelling, and Grammar

By Mary Embree

Allworth Press, 2007

ISBN 978-1-58115-495-5

195 pages, $14.95

Have you ever pondered your choice of words and wondered if it was correct? Have you been stumped by words with similar spellings or sounds? Are you often unsure about whether to combine, hyphenate or separate words such as any one, all right, back up?

Whether you write for a living or for fun, this book is a must-have. To read the full review of The Birds and Bees of Words: A Guide to the Most Common Errors in Usage, Spelling, and Grammar, go to

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Book Review

By Patricia Fry

Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers

By Shel Horowitz

AWM Books, 2007

ISBN: 0-9614666-3-4

290-pages, $24.95, paperback

Shel Horowitz has been advising business owners in the art of frugal and effective marketing for nearly thirty years. He has also been involved in publishing for several years, having already produced three books on marketing topics. This time, he brings his know-how and personal book promotion experience together in an informative book specifically for authors and publishers.

Of course, first on his agenda is the issue of creating a marketable book—so important in today’s highly competitive publishing climate. To read the full review of Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers, go to

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Book Review

By Patricia Fry

Release Your Writing: Book Publishing Your Way

By Helen Gallagher

Virtual Bookworm Publishing, 2007

ISBN 978-1-60264-060-3

178 pages, $16.95

Helen Gallagher’s expertise is in the area of computers. Her first book, Computer Ease, was published in 2005. Gallagher has been teaching and solving computer problems through her company, Computer Clarity since 1996. She also writes on business, technology and travel.

In her introduction, Gallagher states that this book, Release Your Writing, is designed to walk readers through the whole process of publishing. To read the full review of this book, go to

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6 Book Promotion Mistakes and How to Fix Them

By Patricia Fry

You wrote an amazing book, designed it to perfection and even managed to get it published. But it isn’t selling as well as you thought it would. What went wrong?

As the president of the Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network, and as an international speaker, I meet many authors who are disappointed in their book sales. I think it’s fair to say that 100 percent of the time the fault lies with the author and he or she has the power to change the situation.

To read about six common mistakes first-time authors make and tips for how to avoid or repair them, go to

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Ask the Book Doctor: About Tips on Writing for Magazines

By Bobbie Christmas

Q: I am new to writing professionally and would like to write magazine articles, but I have trouble starting the first paragraph. Can you give me some tips on starting an article? Can you give me any other tips that may be helpful?

A: No matter what we write, almost all writers have difficulty with the opening paragraph, so I advise writers to start anywhere. Just dive in; don’t worry about what to say first, just plow through and write the information you want the article to impart. The first draft is simply a draft, anyway.

To read more about the great tips on writing for magazines, go to

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Member News

Sandra Jones Cropsey announces publication of her new novel Who’s There? "Seemed harmless at first for Momma to keep Bunk’s amputated leg in the freezer." On a chicken farm in the rural south, Momma, Ivylee, and Sister have a memorial service each day for Bunk’s amputated leg. Each looks for love and each waits. When Bunk lost his leg, he lost his ability to reason and became so bizarre he was banned from the house and became "Precious." Someone knocks at the door, but Momma’s spiritual beliefs are not strong enough for her to answer. Who's There? is a southern comedy peppered with characters that are funny, sad, absurd, but most of all, memorable. Sandra is offering SPAWN members a discount on Who’s There. Sandra is also author of Tinker’s Christmas. For more information or to order: P.O. Box 1006, Griffin, GA 30224, phone: 770-229-6136, fax: 770-229-1326, email: or visit

If you think your book is ready to go to print, first go to Bonnie Myhrum at Professional Secretary, LLC. She offers her proofreading services to SPAWN members at a 10% discount. Please visit her newly updated Website at You can email her at or call her at 734-455-0987.

Sarah Bolme is pleased to announce that her book, The Adoption Option: A Solution for an Unplanned Pregnancy, is back into print after the previous publisher went out of business. To order the book or for more information:

Barbara Florio Graham was one of two expert guests on the syndicated U.S. radio program, Pet Central, broadcast live from WGN in Chicago on Sunday, October 7. Hosted by Steve Dale, whose award-winning pet column is syndicated by Tribune Media, the show featured Bobbi and another guest discussing cats. Bobbi had ample opportunity to mention her web site,, because it's named for her cat.

Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers by Shel Horowitz,, has just gone into a second printing. It has been endorsed by independent publishing superstars Dan Poynter (The Self-Publishing Manual), John Kremer (1001 Ways to Market Your Book), Fern Reiss (The Publishing Game), Marilyn Ross (The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, Jump Start Your Book Sales). Also Rick Frishman, head of a major New York PR agency for authors and co-author of both Guerrilla Marketing for Writers and the Author 101 series, Joan Stewart (, Marisa D'Vari (Building Buzz) and others. For more information: 413-586-2388 or 800-683-WORD or email

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

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PMA awards a PMA-U scholarship to one member of each Affiliate group. The scholarship should be awarded to a publisher who needs assistance in growing his/her publishing company. The scholarship includes free registration to attend the Publishing University, plus a $500 stipend to help pay for travel expenses. The criteria for applicants is as follows: Must be a member of an Affiliate group as well as PMA. Must be a publisher, preferably in the early stages of developing his/her company. Has not received the scholarship in the past. Application process: Fill out an application and turn it into your President/Executive Director. Each Affiliate reviews the applications and comes up with a recommendation. Send all applications, including your recommendation, to the PMA offices. PMA staff and the PMA Board Affiliate Liaison will make final recommendations to the Board. Applications can be found on the PMA web site, All final applications must be sent to PMA by January 31.

The Highlights Foundation holds intimate workshops at the home of the Founders of Highlights for Children, in northeastern Pennsylvania. These targeted workshops allow you to choose the topic that exactly meets your writing needs. From sports to nature, from magazines to books, from fiction to nonfiction, and from picture books to young-adult novels—Founders Workshops give you access to publishing professionals known for their ability to help writers reach their goals. For full details on these programs, please call 570-253-1192 or visit

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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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