Editor’s Note May 2016

Final coverThis month we’re talking about how to do it all—write, self-publish, promote, and still have a life. Linda Formichelli’s new book shows you the way. She says stress is not a bad thing, doing too much might just be enough, and finding what’s the most important to you in your life as well as where you want to go and how to get there should be at the top of your list. It’s a long article, but should answer any questions you might have about going full-tilt at self-publishing. The new book is How to Do It All: The Revolutionary Plan to Create a Full, Meaningful Life—While Only Occasionally Wanting to Poke Your Eyes Out With a Sharpie.

Last year, Linda wrote Commit: How to Blast Through Problems & Reach Your Goals Through Massive Action. That’s the approach she took for her new book—take everything you know and everything you have access to and use it all to get the results you want. This may be more than you can or are willing to do, but her article breaks down all the actions she took. She wrote the book about three times, hired a publicist, a cover designer, layout people, and more. The cost to the penny is included.

In upcoming issues, look for topics on travel writing, why to hire a PR person, what agents are looking for, how to combine history, nature, and fiction for kids, why coloring books are booming, taking great photos, and how to use real-life experiences to write non-fiction and to add color to fiction.

What would you like to learn? See more of or less? Feedback is essential, so send a note to editor@spawn.org and let me know.

Sandy, Editor, SPAWNews

Editor’s Note April 2016

SweetCharmofDistanceThis month we’re talking about what publishers are looking for from writers. Livia Washburn from Prairie Rose Publications tells how the publishing company was formed, how many books they publish each year, and what they’re looking for, specifically. Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads talks about starting in the publishing business six years ago and what changes he’s seen since. Bobbi Christmas emphasizes the need to follow submission guidelines, from how to submit to word count. We also have the scoop on Allworth Press, Arcadia Publishing and The History Press, and Henery Press.

It’s conference time again. Look for the list of upcoming conferences from April through July. If you know about a conference we haven’t mentioned, drop me an email.

April 23 is World Book and Copyright Day. Rhonda Rees suggests all writers take time to make sure their work hasn’t been pirated and offered for free. Look for more information.

In upcoming issues, look for topics on how to do it all (from idea to published book and what it costs to go full-out to do it); travel writing in a magazine available only on iTunes and how YouTube videos help with recognition; why to hire a PR person; what agents are looking for; how to combine history, nature, and fiction for kids; why coloring books are booming; taking great photos; and how to use real-life experiences to write non-fiction and add color to fiction.

What would you like to learn? See more of or less? Feedback is essential, so send a note to editor@spawn.org and let me know.

Sandy, Editor, SPAWNews

PR Advocate Spearheads Campaign Asking Authors to Check Their Books This April

During the month of April, Rhonda Rees is staging a PSA campaign to alert authors and publishers to check their books to correspond with World Book and Copyright Day on April 23, 2016. Rees is asking that during the month of April they run Google and Bing searches to see whether or not their work is compromised by being offered for free without their knowledge or permission. She would like authors and publishers to plug in the title of their book, or books, the author’s name, and the words ‘free downloads’ to spot what comes up. For further information, contact Rhonda Rees.

My Path to Publishing—Creating a Brand

ChrisSantellaby Chris Santella

In 1989, a close friend and I had a notion for a golf book that would highlight fifty of the best public courses in America. We wrote a detailed proposal, and somehow secured a reputable agent…or so we thought. The project went nowhere, and our agent finally informed us that no one was interested in such a book. Two years later, while perusing golf books in a local bookstore, I came across a title on public golf courses. In the acknowledgements, the author thanked his agent, who happened to be our agent, for the great idea! Continue reading

Do you love a good old-fashion, hot type printed book?

For those of us in love with the weight, feel, and smell of real books, San Francisco’s Arion Press is an antidote for our digital times. Charitable giving sustains this “temple of the book,” one of the world’s last complete letterpress printing workshops and the resource behind Arion Press’s literary classics illustrated by top artists.

Preserving Arion’s unmatched collection of metal type, presses, bindery tools, and a working type foundry for future generations is the mission of the San Francisco nonprofit the Grabhorn Institute. It also sponsors public tours and apprenticeships—in typecasting, printing, and bookbinding—that keep bookmaking crafts alive. Its workshop is designated an “irreplaceable cultural treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Donations may be made to the Grabhorn Institute and are tax deductible. Its annual spring benefit has featured such honorees as Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, and Julie Mehretu.

From the Editor October 2015

sparkle-300x215This month we’re talking about collaborative writing. How do you write with a partner without killing him? There are many ways to do it; two people write as one author, alternating chapters or characters. When one writes fast and the other slow, how does it go? What if one person writes about a real person (although dead) and the other about fictional characters? How does it all blend seamlessly into a cohesive book? We have two articles below that answer those burning questions. Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter, who co-author the Pampered Pets Mystery Series, explain how they each write an entire book, but it’s still a collaborative effort. Barb Hunter and Catina Williams have a different method.

Next month we’ll hear from a woman who wrote not just a cookbook, but the story of her married life as a “green” advocate, mixed with recipes and beautiful photos. December’s topic will be How To Write a Thriller (cue the theatric music).

Don’t miss Patricia Fry’s webinar with Brian Jud on October 8. It’s called “How to Craft a Persuasive Book Proposal for Any Genre or Topic”, based on her latest book. Details below in the Opportunities section.

Do you receive the mid-month Market Update? It’s for members only and well worth the membership fee. Join now so you won’t miss a thing.

What would you like to learn? See more of or less of? Feedback is essential, so send a note to editor@spawn.org and let me know.

Editor, SPAWNews