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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, January, 2008

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

- Letter to SPAWN

- Book Review

- How to Restore Lagging Book Sales

- Ask the Book Doctor

- Member News

- Opportunities

- Contests

- Events and More

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Editor’s Note

By Wendy Dager

New Year’s is a time of resolutions, but I never make resolutions. For instance, I don’t resolve to "go on a diet." Instead, I "watch what I eat," by trying to eliminate that which tempts me, like chocolate-filled Oreos. Some might say it’s a matter of semantics, but I prefer to look at as a form of self-psychology. That is, I’m trying to psych myself into going on a diet without calling it one.

So, since I—ahem—never make New Year’s resolutions, I’m hoping instead to make a few adjustments to my eating habits, as well as to my writing career. I realize that, when it comes to my work, my biggest problem is effectively managing my time. I’m great with deadlines and I’m never late in submitting an article, but I sometimes wander away from whatever I’m working on to look at my friends’ and colleagues’ blogs. Or I check my email. Or I pick up the phone and call my folks to see how they’re doing. Or, because I have the luxury of working out of my home office, I throw another load of laundry into the washer. While these are perfectly acceptable activities in terms of responsibility, I sometimes find myself doing these things a little too often in order to "take a break" or, worse, avoid working on something that’s, frankly, driving me nuts. Instead, I should be facing my dilemmas and tackling them in a timely fashion, instead of actively seeking distractions.

Making better use of my time is definitely a priority. Not because it’s 2008, but because it’d be a way to make me more disciplined in my writing. Now, if only I could stop eating Oreos.

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

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Market Update

By Patricia Fry

The first SPAWN Market Update of the year is all that an author, freelance writer and/or artist could ask for. It includes over two dozen opportunities and resources in all categories, several news bites and the one and only Patricia Fry's Post-Publication Book Proposal Plan. If your book sales are lagging and you know it is partly because you were not well-prepared for this phase of publishing, you MUST read this article. The information in this edition of the SPAWN Market Update could be crucial to the success of your book in 2008.

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

  • Some excellent changes to be made before your next printing.
  • Who's looking for true stories about dads who are heroes.
  • How a shift in this audience could help you sell your books.
  • Where to go to snoop on your competition.
  • How to start treating the process of publishing like a business.
  • Why you might not be receiving publisher responses.
  • Who now wants articles from moms rather than the experts.

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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Letter to SPAWN

I wish to thank you for (December’s) wonderful SPAWNews. I have enjoyed it and am still learning from it. I entered two of the contests and when I win (?) I owe it to you.

Thank you again.

Sheila Clapkin

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Book Review

By Patricia Fry

Crafting the Travel Guidebook

How to Write, Publish and Sell Your Travel Book

By Barbara Hudgins

Woodmont Press (2007)

ISBN: 978-0-9607762-0-7

286 Pages, $17.95

Barbara Hudgins is the author of New Jersey Day Trips—a guidebook that sold over 110,000 copies before she sold the rights to Rutgers University Press. She also writes a travel column for several local newspapers. Who better than Barbara Hudgins to tell other authors how to craft a travel guidebook?

To read the full review of Crafting the Travel Guidebook: How to Write, Publish and Sell Your Travel Book, go to

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How to Restore Lagging Book Sales

By Patricia Fry

Are your book sales lagging? Is promotion and marketing much harder than you thought it would be? Do you feel as though you are personally hand-selling every one of your books?

This isn’t the vision you had before publishing, is it? You expected to see your books flying off of bookstores shelves into the eager hands of readers. You imagined many representatives from several distributors selling pallets of books to major chain stores. You thought that, by now, you’d be raking in thousands of dollars every week while writing your next Great American Novel.

What happened? Well, it could be that you miscalculated the need or desire for a book like yours. Or maybe you are marketing to the wrong audience. Most likely, you did not write a book proposal before you wrote the book. But all is not lost, for I have devised the post-publication book proposal—yes, the book proposal you can write after you’ve produced the book.

Read about how to restore your sales at

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Ask the Book Doctor: Some Decisions Are up to the Author

By Bobbie Christmas

Q: What do you think about the difference between the American and British use of some words without an article, as in the following examples: We took vacation in Florida. He graduated high school. He got concussion from his bike accident. He is in university. She is on holiday in Bermuda.

A: What I think makes no difference. What matters are the opinion of your publisher and the location of your intended market. All those British terms are fine in dialogue if your character is British, but in narrative, I advise against it, unless you are writing for a British market in a casual style.

Read about these and other interesting topics at

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Member News

Amber T. Kingston is pleased to announce her first children’s book, Laura and the Leprechauns, is now in print. Do you believe in leprechauns?Little Laura does. That is, until her friends tell her that they aren’t real. But Laura doesn’t give up so easily. She decides to write the wee folk to find out for herself. When two tiny leprechauns pay Laura a visit, she has a St. Patrick’s Day that she’ll never forget! Laura and the Leprechauns is available through,, and

New member Barbara Hudgins has a new book that was written just for travel writers—and those who want to join their ranks. Whether you backpack through the Dolomites or RV through the Southwest, whether you're a travel agent with handy tips or a mom who steers her kids through local museums and parks, you may have thought: "Why not make a book out of this?" Crafting the Travel Guidebook covers memoirs, directories, guidebooks, special audience guides and other travel categories. It also explains the book publishing process, from conceiving and formatting the work to publishing and promoting it. Available from online stores for $17.95. SPAWN members can get an autographed copy for the special price of $10.00 plus $2.50 shipping ($12.50). Send a check to the Woodmont Press, P.O. Box 16, Liberty Corner, NJ 07938. For more information, email

Over the past sixty years, Gabe Kubichek has done quite a bit of traveling and met untold numbers of people, each with a story to tell. He has kept the best of those stories close to his heart and has now put them down in writing to share with the rest of us in True Tales From Here and There, a collection of stories, some biographical, some autobiographical; all of them having been safely stored in the author’s memory bank for years. One of the stories is "Prelude to Massacre" which happened over a half century ago; a personal account of that fateful day of October 25, 1956, the beginning of the Hungarian revolt against the suppression by Russia, the memories of which have plagued the author with feelings of guilt ever since. Some stories will make you laugh; some will bring unbidden tears; but all of them will give you insight into ordinary people doing extraordinary things just to cope with everyday life. True Tales From Here and There by Gabe G. Kubichek, An Authors Dream Publisher, LLC, P.O. Box 8217, Brownsville, TX 78526, ISBN: 0-9771091-7-8, 978-0-9771091-7-3, 268 pages, $13.95. To order visit your favorite online bookstore or go to

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:

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

Patricia Fry is receiving extremely positive feedback from people who are using her new, one of a kind Author's Workbook. The Author's Workbook is designed to accompany the revised edition of The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book. For those of you who would like more information about the workbook, Bruce Cook at Author-me has posted a review. Check it out at: Ordering information at Questions? Contact Patricia at

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 (such as SPAWN) 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 in to 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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