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SPAWNews Archives

SPAWNews, February, 2006

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.

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Table of Contents

- Editor’s Note

- Market Update

- Be in the SPAWN Booth at LA Times Book Festival!

- SPAWN Catalog of Member Books and Services to be Distributed at LA Times Festival

- When the Book Promotion Well Runs Dry

- You Can Write and Distribute Your Own Publicity Releases Online

- Ask the Book Doctor

- Member News

- Opportunities

- Contests

- Events and More

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Editor’s Note

By Wendy Dager

When I joined SPAWN six years ago, I never thought I’d become its newsletter editor. At the time, my kids were small, my freelance writing career was taking off, and I just didn’t have time to do anything else. The membership was important to me, however, because I liked the idea of networking with people who had similar goals.

Eventually, SPAWNews became part of my steady work, in addition to my other regular gigs, which included writing flash animation scripts, feature articles, an opinion column, and an environmental newsletter. While such jobs come and go, I always seemed to be working on one project or another, in between carting my girls to school and music lessons and dental appointments.

Then an amazing thing happened. Work started coming via my affiliation with SPAWN. Through networking, I landed extra freelance jobs I never would have gotten had I not had a SPAWN membership.

I’ve also met some great people, including those with incredible marketing skills, an important facet of being a professional in our industry. This year, I find myself more motivated than ever. I plan to glean whatever I can from members’ experiences, which means I’m going to continue to network, as well as visit the Market Update section of, check out the online discussion group, and use to the fullest the other aspects of SPAWN that are available to members only. Because, as a longtime SPAWN member, I know that my benefits are only as good as my participation.

–Wendy Dager is editor of SPAWNews. Visit her Web site at

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Market Update

By Patricia Fry

How much is your SPAWN membership worth to you? If you take advantage of nothing else SPAWN has to offer except the SPAWN Market Update and follow through with some of the appropriate opportunities, you could conceivably recoup your membership fee 10 to 100 times over.

Check out the February Market Update at; click "for members only," type in this month’s user name and password, and then click "Market Update." We typically offer something for everyone and this edition is no exception. You’ll find:

  • 17 good opportunities for freelance writers, including listings for a dozen new magazines.
  • 7 potential publishers for your great manuscript.
  • 6 book promotion opportunities for authors wanting to land a radio gig, get their book reviewed or see their book sold in Borders Bookstores.
  • 3 workshops and a great newsletter for screenwriters.
  • 5 opportunities for photographers and a workshop where you can learn how to earn $20,000 per month shooting photos.
  • Which staff changes can mean great opportunities for you!
  • Who's got limited free access to valuable information.
  • Who will review your book and post the review on their Web site.
  • Terrific promotion alternative venues that you would never expect.
  • How buyer camaraderie with you, the author, can help you sell yourbooks.
  • Involvement with this group can keep you updated with timely information.
  • Find free exposure for you and your book.

And don’t forget to read the January edition of the Market Update. It’s all about the artist!

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Be in the SPAWN Booth at LA Times Book Festival!

SPAWN Members:

Present your books to 131,000 people at the LA Times Festival of Books. The festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, 2006. The SPAWN booth will have very limited space for authors and publishers, so sign up as soon as possible to guarantee a seat. We are accepting paid reservations only. Cost: $200 per day. If you are a SPAWN Member, sign up online now at If you aren't a SPAWN Member yet, sign up now at ../join.htm.

The Los Angeles Times Book Festival is an exciting event and a great way to get your book before the reading public. Be sure to take advantage of this economical way to participate in the festival. Go directly to the secure signup form:

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SPAWN Catalog of Member Books and Services to be Distributed at LA Times Festival

As a service to our members, we plan to distribute at least 400 copies of the SPAWN Catalog at the two-day Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Most of the books and services already featured in the Catalog must be renewed to be included in this newest edition. There is a $35 fee for inclusion in the Catalog, and this offer is for members only. ($20 if you are participating in the SPAWN booth at LA Times Festival of Books.)

To sign up now for the SPAWN Catalog of Member Books and Services, go to If you have questions, please contact Virginia Lawrence at

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When the Book Promotion Well Runs Dry

By Patricia Fry

Do you ever feel as though you’ve been up and down every promotional street, avenue and pathway in every world city and you’ve come to that dreaded dead end? You wonder "Where do I go from here?" You feel as though you’ve tapped into every possible promotional opportunity available for your book and now you’re stuck. You’ve run out of ideas and resources. You don’t know where to turn or how to proceed. STOP! Don’t start burning books or throwing your computer out the window. Take a break. Breathe... Breathe... Breathe...

There, now don’t you feel better?

We all hit that brick wall of hopelessness once in a while. Sometimes it’s just a matter of exhaustion and stress. It’s nothing more than a strong signal that it’s time to step back and get a fresh perspective. Go take a walk, reorganize your office, putter in the garden, play with your cat, take a nap… You’ll come back to your office feeling a bit less frazzled and ready to resume the task of book promotion.

To find out more on how to prepare for and get past that brick wall, go to:

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You Can Write and Distribute Your Own Publicity Releases Online

By Virginia Lawrence

Ready to do some publicity for your book?

You know your book best. If you can write a great book, you can write an outstanding publicity release to publicize that book. Then you can distribute that release without spamming and give writers a reason to mention your book in their publications.

To read more about how to write, format and distribute your publicity release, go to:

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Ask the Book Doctor: About Capitalization, Plurals, Consistency and Trademarks

By Bobbie Christmas

To read more about these and other topics go to:

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Member News

Edward Fierro sends us the following review: "I was up late last night, reading it; couldn't put it down. It is delightfully clever – erudite, too – and a feast for the eyes." So reports one early reader of "The Well-Lettered Cat," published in January by Lines Rampant Press of Santa Barbara. Within the full-color, 112-page, hardbound book, one meets Joey the Alphacat and the rest of the alphabet as this madding and sometimes maddening crowd follows a Kafkaesque trail from Avant Garde to Zapf Chancery. Humorous and literate, this wittily illustrated volume will charm anyone fond of felines, fonts, or Victorian fiction. "The Well-Lettered Cat" is available online at; toll-free at 877-546-7267; and in the Santa Barbara area, at Chaucer's Books and Tecolote Book Shop. By Porter Evans; design by Edward Fierro, ISBN 13: 978-0-9768837-0-8, ISBN 10: 0-9768837-0-8, $19.95.

Eva Rosenberg’s book "Small Business Taxes Made Easy" was named one of the best tax books of 2005 in Entrepreneur Magazine's December issue. Click here to find it at Amazon.

Barbara Florio Graham has been included in the Famous Canadian Women Web site, Bobbi also continues to add anthologies to her publishing credits. A short piece in "For the Love of Cats," from Publications International Ltd. will be #29. Bobbi had two contributions in the latest edition of "Ottawa GEMS," a collection of short pieces published by Ottawa Independent Writers. "Simon Teakettle" was also represented in that book. For more information:

Tonya Evans-Walls announces "Lit Law for Writers on the Go" podcast and blog,, one of the latest techie tools she’s utilizing in 2006 in order to stay connected with busy writers on the go. The first podcast is an excerpt from her most popular teleseminar, "9 Things Every Writer Must Know About the Law." Now you can tune in for free. Go to for more information.

Graham Cook announces he has concluded an equal partner joint venture agreement with a US based search engine company to acquire the domain names and adapt to suit the United States and Canadian market. Graham says "A US based corporation named WRITERSWORLD INCORPORATED is being formed and this company will operate out of the United States with us ceasing to publish in the United Sates and they will not publish in Europe. Andrews Heys company has the contract to produce their books." They are also adding English, Spanish and Dutch language translation service on finished books, as well as guaranteed libel legal defense protection with one of London's top media and libel law firms.

Patricia Fry will be signing copies of her book, "Entertaining Hawaiian Style" at Native Books in Honolulu, Hawaii on February 18 at noon.

Patricia Fry will teach a 3-session course on "The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book" through Focus on the Masters in Ventura, CA, February 25, March 4 and March 18, 2006. Go to for additional information and to access an enrollment form.

Check out Patricia Fry’s recent articles. "How to Work a Book Festival So it Works For You" appeared in the January 2006 edition of the "PMA Independent," and her article featuring book signing tips was published in the January 3 edition of "Writing For Dollars."

SPAWN founder Mary Embree is coordinating The Ventura Book Festival, "Celebrating Diversity," on Saturday, March 11, 2006. Read Events below for full details.

Barbara Denise Files, a Russian-trained ballerina who teaches figure skating coaches and judges how to evaluate the artistry in an athlete, is pleased to announce the release of her second book, “Ballet Secrets for Skaters: How to Hone Your Artistic Competitive Edge” (ISBN 0-9726723-8-9, 192 pages, $19.95). With the 2006 Winter Olympics around the corner, a new judging system has the figure skating world betting on a showdown between technical and artistic excellence. Gone is the famous 6.0 system. In its place is a new code which awards points for raw skating skills, but places more emphasis on the presentation of those skills. “Ballet Secrets for Skaters: How to Hone Your Artistic Competitive Edge” deals with these challenges in a fun and easy-to-read format and features interviews with champion figure skaters. For more information, visit or contact Barbara Denise Files, Artistic Enterprises International (914) 332-4512.

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

The Great American Poetry Show,, is a hardcover serial poetry anthology open year-round to submissions of poems in English on any subject and in any style, length and number with a SASE.

For information about the Marketplace at the Speakers' Summit on March 3-5:

The Santa Barbara Writers Conference newsletter is sent three times per year, with news about seminars, workshops, scholarships and success stories. To subscribe, send an e-mail to

St. Louis Writers Guild has launched a writing project to involve the public in writing a tongue-in-cheek book about the Mississippi River--what it's REALLY like! It's an anthology of brief recollections, observations, laments, celebrations, humor, and soapbox tirades--all aimed at revealing aspects of life on the Big Muddy. The working title is "MIGHTY OR MUDDY? Reflections on the Mississippi River by Those Who Know it Well." Publication is planned for October 2006, after which the original submissions binder (with autographed submissions) will be raffled or auctioned off. This is a St. Louis literary, historical event. For more information: Deadline is August 31, 2006. The address to send submissions is St. Louis Writers Guild, Collaborative Book Project, POB 771765, St. Louis, MO 63177, or fax: 314-821-3823.

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Read about the latest contests at:

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Events and More

Read about the coming events at:

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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 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.

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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



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