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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, April, 2005

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

- Free Book Offer

- Happy Birthday to Us

- Market Update

- Book Reviews

- Guest Column – Book Marketing

- Health Benefit for SPAWN Members

- A Look at Audio Books

- Member News

- Opportunities

- Contests and Awards

- Events and More

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Editor’s Note

To Bee or Not to Bee

By Wendy Dager

At 5:45 on March 21, the crowd was crammed into the theater lobby, waiting for the county spelling bee to begin. The tension was palpable—the opposite of "impalpable," the word my daughter was to spell about an hour later.

Parents, siblings, friends, teachers and spellers shuffled nervously, wanting those theater doors to open so we could go inside and become even more nervous. This was the last local leg of the spelling bee. 18 students in grades 4-8 had already won their classroom, school, and district bees and were now waiting to show us their stuff at the county level. The winner was to proceed to Washington, D.C. to participate in the nationals.

I’d done this before. Or, rather, my kid had. She’d competed at the county bee when she was in 5th grade, in 2003. Now, two years later, she was older, more mature, and more confident, which didn’t matter at all, because I was just as stressed. But also just as proud—of her, and of the other children who’d made it that far.

When we finally got inside, I looked up at the stage, where it was apparent that every one of those 18 kids was bright, studious, and wanted very much to prove his or her academic worth. I kept thinking that these were character traits many grownups should emulate, particularly those who claim that writing is their passion or business or raison d’etre.

I’ve heard the "I can’t spell" excuse used so many times by alleged professionals that I’d almost gotten accustomed to it. Yet, such a justification doesn’t necessarily make it acceptable. If you can’t spell, then you should force yourself to learn. Seeing those amazing kids—who had studied countless hours—participate in the spelling bee proved that where there’s a will, there’s a skill.

–Wendy Dager is editor of SPAWNews. E-mail her at For more about Dager:

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Special SPAWN Offer: Free Book With SPAWN Renewal or Membership!

If you would like to become a SPAWN member or if you haven’t yet renewed your membership, do so now and receive a FREE book. For details:

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Happy Birthday to Us

SPAWN celebrates its 9th birthday on May 19, 2005. Our thanks to you for contributing to the success of this organization.

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Market Update

The April SPAWN Market Update offers the opportunities you need to help you SPRING into action and meet your professional goals. Whether you need book promotion ideas, want access to high-paying articles markets, are looking for illustration/photography work or are seeking a publisher for your latest book, this month's edition has something for you. Perhaps you are a writer with a gripe. Believe it or not, there's an author who will pay for your story and then PUBLISH it in an upcoming book. Maybe you're pitching a fiction story. There's at least one publisher who might pay $500 for that story! We’ve also included information about three children's book publishers and have added three good resources for screenplay writers.

In this month’s April 2005 Market Update, you’ll read about:

  • A series of medium to high paying opportunities for writers
  • Who provides a service of the preparation and placement of authors on talk shows
  • Where you can submit tales of your "crappy" hometown
  • Getting publicity for your book project by simply sending feedback on your promotion experiences
  • Two Hawaiian opportunities – yes, Hawaii…
  • A service for connecting writers with publishers and agents

Read all about it in the latest edition of the SPAWN Market Update at Go to the member area using your user name and NEW password (if you’re a member, the new password appears in each monthly edition of SPAWNews) and click on Market Update.

Not a member, yet? Want to see what you’re missing out on? Contact and she’ll give you a sneak peek.

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Book Review

By Patricia Fry

Book Marketing from A-Z

By Francine Silverman

Infinity Publishing



You may recognize Francine Silverman’s name. She produces the "Book Promotion Newsletter" (, and now offers a compilation of the best book promotion ideas that have appeared in the newsletter during its one-year existence. More than 300 authors have contributed to this 400-page book, including several SPAWN members.

Just thumbing through this book creates a rush of excitement as you begin to envision new ways to sell more books. What a variety of creative ideas! According to contributing authors, you can spend thousands of dollars using Amazon’s Single Notification program (they e-mail your book announcement to customers who purchase books similar to yours) or just have fun signing books at your favorite Starbucks.

To read the full review of Book Marketing from A-Z, go to

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Book Review

By Patricia Fry

The Well-Fed Writer: Back for Seconds

By Peter Bowerman

Fanove Publishing, 2005

284 pages



Talk about name recognition. If you’ve been following the links I’ve provided over the last few years, you’ve come across Peter Bowerman’s name and can associate it with his well-known book, "The Well-Fed Writer." Well, he’s baaa-aack. Peter, who originally earned his living as a commercial writer and columnist, wrote "The Well-Fed Writer" in 2000. It was promptly chosen a Book-of-the-Month Club winner. This well-received volume is a blueprint for writers who want to earn a good living freelancing beyond the scope of periodicals. It offered encouragement, inspiration and tools for breaking into the corporate world and the nonprofit sector as a well-paid (well-fed) writer. The new edition offers up a second helping of the same—only more, according to reviewers. Bowerman boasts 95% new content.

Would you like to earn a GOOD living through your writing? Are you still freaked out by the cold call? Do you believe that your dream is impossible due to the current economy? Are you at a loss for where and how to find good paying writing work? Peter Bowerman can help.

To read the full review of The Well-Fed Writer: Back for Seconds, go to

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My Experience With Book Marketing

By Leon Cooper

I have used, or have considered using, outside help in selling my book in a number of ways. My book is "90 Day Wonder–Darkness Remembered," recounting my experiences as a naval officer during World War II.

I have continued my own promotional efforts while employing the help of others—relying upon, for example, the excellent advice in Patricia Fry’s book, "The Successful Writer's Handbook."

Read about methods book marketers use at:

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Health Benefit for SPAWN Members

SPAWN is now offering members an affordable alternative to expensive health insurance. This health plan is not insurance. It is a discount supplemental health benefits program providing discounts from 20% to 60% on health, dental, and chiropractic services, as well as vision services and products, and prescriptions. To learn more about the SPAWN plan, go to

To sign up for the SPAWN Health Plan, go to the SPAWN Member Area at

You must be a SPAWN member to participate in this program. If you are not yet a SPAWN member, join now by going to and clicking on the Join SPAWN Now button in the upper left corner of the page.

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A Look at Audio Books

By Richard F.X. O’Connor

Just twenty years ago the audio book business started in earnest. I got into it back-asswards as with most things we do in life.

At the time I was a consultant (Read: starving jack of all trades) and Jeremy Tarcher of the eponymous publishing company called to give me a marketing assignment. He wanted an answer to this question: Is there a room in the burgeoning audio books publishing biz for a New Age publisher?

Read about the fascinating history of audio books marketing at:

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Member News

Brent Sampson, founder and CEO of Outskirts Press, Inc. reveals over 150 publishing secrets based upon real-world experience in his new reference guide, "Publishing Gems: Insider Information for the Self-Publishing Writer." Brent says: "The publishing industry is in a transitional time right now. Writers are becoming more disillusioned with traditional publishing and are investigating new alternatives." "Publishing Gems" focuses on four facets: crafting a book, choosing a publisher, promoting a book, and selling a book. Dan Poynter, best-selling author of "The Self-Publishing Manual," considers "Publishing Gems" "…an indispensable resource for every writer, self-published or otherwise." And Dr. Judith Briles, president of the Colorado Independent Publisher’s Association adds, "Brent Sampson’s Publishing Gems creates a few shortcuts, offers over 150 suggestions and will save you money." Available as a $4.00 e-book from or as a $9.95 paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Sean Brijbasi of PretendGeniusPress announces an upcoming compilation of poetry and fiction, "Fish Drink Like Us." For more information or to submit your work: Submission deadline, May 31, 2005.

Patricia Fry will teach 3 online classes this summer.

  • Write a Successful Book Proposal, 6 weeks, begins June 6
  • How to Write and Sell Magazine Articles, 6 weeks begins July 18
  • Self-Publishing Workshop, 8 weeks, begins September 5. for more information. Contact Patricia at

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

Here’s an opportunity to get some publicity for your project. Patricia Fry is writing a book for Archimedes Press on how to write, publish and sell a book. She's seeking quotes. Please email your thoughtful responses directly to Patricia at or

  1. How much time do you spend promoting your book(s) every day/week/month?
  2. What are your main promotional activities?
  3. Do you spend more or less time now than you did when the book first came out? (What is the publication date of your book?)
  4. What keeps you going with promotion (or has made you stop promoting)?
  5. Did you write a book proposal first? If so, how did it help you? If not, do you wish you had? How would it have helped you--to better target your audience? To focus your book more realistically?
Thanks, If you wish to be identified in this book, please include a one-sentence bio.

You can get your book(s) into the hands of booksellers, book buyers and industry professionals at Book Expo America in New York, June 1-4, American Library Association in Chicago, June 25-28, and the Beijing Book Fair in Beijing, China, September 1-3. For more information:

Working Writer offers solid information with a good dose of humor and a spirit of writing camaraderie. Published bimonthly, WW is filled with articles on promotion, publishing, freelancing, different genres, how-to, and how-not-to, written by readers across the country. To receive a FREE copy by e-mail send a request to or go to

Speak4Miles is the barter speakers’ bureau where meeting planners can find speakers who will speak for barter. For more information:

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Contests and Awards

Read about the latest contests at:

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Events and More

Please note: Although SPAWNews does its best to filter announcements and press releases for various events, seminars, and classes, we cannot quarantee a successful experience for all who attend.

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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