Market Update – December 2009

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  • Here’s What’s New – magazines are surviving, but bookstores are closing
  • Opportunities for Freelance Writers – 9 new opps; 2 more job sites; how to use HARO
  • Opportunities for Authors – 8 promising publishers for your manuscripts; and more
  • Book Promotion Opportunities – 10 marketing tips and resources for published authors
  • Opportunities for Screenplay Writers – 6 of them!
  • Opportunities for Artists and Photographers – 5 new paying opportunities
  • Going, Going, Gone – only 5 to report
  • Resources for Authors and Writers – 7 resources with great potential: Author’s
  • Roost, NewPages, Society of Young Publishers, AllTop and more
  • Editorial Commentary – why you should know about mag/pub closures

Here’s What’s New

Florida New Homes and Condos is now Home Source.

Are you women offended? Evidently, some of us are. It is reported that Publisher’s Weekly listed their top 10 title picks of the year and not one woman is listed among these prestigious authors. See the list here: http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6704210.html

Reader’s Digest’s Best You Magazine has been floundering, but word is that it will survive.

Likewise, Lush, a struggling Canadian women’s fashion magazine, will carry on.

Vibe will also return.

Borders is closing Waldenbooks stores all over the place. According to Jim Milliot’s article in Publisher’s Weekly, they’ve been closing Waldenbooks stores since 2001 and plan to close 200 more outlets in January 2010. They say the closures will not affect the larger superstores, only mall stores. I guess they’re going to wait until after the holidays, though, to make sure they capture those mall shoppers who love giving books as gifts.

Opportunities for Freelance Writers

The editors of GreenPrints bill their new magazine as “The Weeder’s Digest.” Isn’t that clever? But editor, Pat Stone, does not want how-to garden articles. Instead, she wants “personal garden writing”—the human side of gardens and gardening. If you can write about your garden experiences from an emotional perspective, you may be able to break into GreenPrints. They want stories that are entertaining, clever, moving and/or funny. They do not want stories that are sappy or preachy. Oh heck, that’s a lot of instructions—how about if you go to the GreenPrints website and study these guidelines thoroughly (http://www.greenprints.com/wguidelines.html) and spend some time getting to know the publication. Then send something on to Pat at pat@greenprints.com. Even better, send your submission via snail mail. This is Pat’s preference. GreenPrints, POB 1355, Fairview, NC 28730. They can pay up to $150 for 2,000 words.

GreenPrints also pays $20 per poem. See guidelines at http://www.greenprints.com/wguidelines.html

Are you using HARO (Help a Reporter Out) at http://www.helpareporter.com? Or are you at a loss for how to use this free site to your benefit? One SPAWN member, who subscribes to HARO, told me that she is checking her HARO email regularly and here are some of the ways she is using the information:

  • She has helped several people with information they needed for articles.
  • She has connected with people who could help her with stories—one for a piece about online cat dating.
  • She managed to get a quote from the founder of HARO, Peter Shankman, for an article on social networking.
  • She has found article ideas among the listings and a few of them are already paying off.
  • She uses the HARO listings to locate possible new outlets (publications) for some of her stories and articles.

Now this is an enterprising freelance writer. You could learn from her ingenuity.

Note: Peter Shankman (HARO’s founder) has agreed to an interview with Patricia Fry to be published in the January edition of the SPAWN Market Update.

Can you write game material? A California couple is looking for a fantasy writer for a game based on werewolves, vampires and the undead. Contact Ceana Kim or her husband at jkim@entercast.com.

Kenyon Review’s reading period ends January 15, 2010 (one account says January 31). They are currently considering short fiction and essays up to 7,500 words, plays and poetry (do not submit more than 6 poems at a time). Send your submissions via email after reading the submission guidelines: http://www.kenyonreview.org/krsubmit/submissions/guidelines.php. Contact the editor at: Kenyonreview@kenyon.edu.

Shock Totem seeks dark fantasy and horror fiction of up to 5,000 words. Pays up to $250 per submission accepted. Here are the submission guidelines: http://www.shocktotem.com/guidelines.html

There’s a new magazine on the block: ShePEDALS: The Journal of Women in Cycling debuts this month. They will be soliciting freelance material for the print version, but don’t have their submission guidelines up, yet. Here’s where to look: http://www.shepedalsmagazine.com/print/contribute.htm. It looks as though they are encouraging submissions and questions by regular mail: Dena Eaton, ShePEDALS Publishing, 2888 East Walnut Street, Studio 6, Pasadena, CA 91107

The editors at Fearless Books in Berkeley, CA, are accepting poems for Volume 2 of the Fearless Poetry Series, Touching: Poems of Love, Longing and Desire. http://www.fearlessbooks.com/poetry.htm. Fearless Books, POB 1292, Berkeley, CA 94701.

You may submit up to 3 poems in this category, but it will cost you. The submission fee is $10. You’ll get a reading and a free copy of the completed book. If your poem is accepted, you’ll also get a 30 percent discount on copies purchased. Hurry, the deadline for submissions is January 15, 2010.

The Pedestal is in the market for submissions. Send a query or your poems to: pedmagazine@carolina.rr.com. They pay as much as $40 each for poetry and .08 cents/word for literary fiction (up to 4,200 words) and flash fiction (up to 1,000 words). Submissions close December 14 through 27th, so get busy now. http://www.thepedestalmagazine.com/submitguidelines.php. They prefer that you use their form.

Carve Magazine uses short literary fiction and they pay $20 to $50 per piece. Submission guidelines are here: http://www.carvezine.com/submissions.htm

Fringe Magazine is also open to submissions for all but your fiction pieces. Submissions close January 1, 2010. They have some pretty detailed guidelines. Check them out here: http://www.fringemagazine.org/submit/

More Job Sites

Have you visited the job sites we’ve been listing in the SPAWN Market Update? Have you landed a job or two as a result? Here are a few additional sites: Freelance Writing Gigs at:

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com and Online Writing Jobs at: http://www.online-writing-jobs.com. Here are a few jobs I found listed at these sites this week:

  • Freelance writer/historian in the Hawaiian Islands.
  • Freelance writer for an education service to write copy for brochures, website, a handbook and more.
  • The editors for Hockey Magazine are seeking freelance writers.
  • Someone in New York needs a proposal writer.
  • There’s an opening for a travel writer.
  • There’s a need for freelancers for a community magazine.
  • Someone needs a reporter with photography skills.
  • Do you write erotica? There may be a job waiting for you.
  • There’s a magazine editor’s position open.

Opportunities for Authors

Carina Press is the new digital imprint of Harlequin. Their call for submissions includes both new works as well as books that have been previously released in print form, but for which the author has either retained digital rights or had digital rights revert to them. Carina plans to issue new titles weekly, once they are up and running (expected start date, June of 2010). The most exciting aspect of this announcement is the fact that Harlequin’s CEO, Donna Hayes says they expect to discover new authors and they also hope to reach a new group of readers, as well. According to their website, Carina Press will publish a broad range of fiction with an emphasis on romance and its subgenres. http://carinapress.com. They also hope to acquire new voices in mystery, suspense and thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, erotica, gay/lesbian, and more! Here are the submission guidelines: http://carinapress.com/?page_id=2. Contact the editors at submissions@carinapress.com.

Delirium Books is seeking new horror titles for its digital books series. They want manuscripts of 5,000 to 20,000 words only. And they pay 5 cents/word for all rights for five years. Authors with a larger fan base may negotiate for an advance. Learn more about their books at http://www.deliriumbooks.com. Study submission guidelines at: http://www.deliriumbooks.com/submission-guidelines.

Autumn House Press is looking for literary fiction as well as general fiction and poetry. Submissions must be made through their annual contest, for which the deadline is June 30, 2010. Learn more here: http://www.autumnhouse.org.

Bluebridge is a fairly new publisher, having been established in 2004. They produce a wide range of nonfiction books for a broad general audience. If you have a book in the works, it may be worth checking their submission guidelines, http://www.bluebridgebooks.com.

Soto Publishing Company publishes both fiction and nonfiction books in practically all genres and subjects. Their main focus, however, is young adult and children’s books. http://www.sotopublishingcompany.com.

Immedium formed in 2005 in order to produce children’s picture books, Asian American topics and contemporary arts and culture books. They also publish comic books. Check them out here: http://www.immedium.com.

Flashlight Press, a five year old company, publishes two picture books per year. If you are working on or contemplating developing a children’s picture book, read Ann Whitford Paul’s book, Writing Picture Books (remember, I reviewed it in a recent issue of SPAWNews). And then check out this publisher to see if it may be a fit. Http://www.flashlightpress.com.

Father’s Press came about in 2006 to produce both nonfiction and fiction in many genres and topics. http://www.fatherspress.com.

What Are Teens Actually Reading?

Are you one of the growing number of people who are writing for the teen set? We’ve been told over and over that young adult books are selling. Year after year, juvenile and young adult book sales stay solid. Before you sit down to write that young adult novel or before you finish the one you’re working on, check out this site to find out what teens and young adults are actually reading, http://www.teenreads.com. Here’s a peek into what’s hot: In order of ranking: Fiction, series, romances, fantasy, adventure, mysteries/suspense/thrillers, horror/supernatural, classics, historical fiction, paranormal, science fiction, pop culture.

Pay-To-Publish Companies

I trust that those of you who want to sign with a pay-to-publish company have studied Mark Levine’s “The Fine Print of Self-Publishing.” Here’s a site where they list important particulars about, what they still term as, POD Publishers. http://www.booksandtales.com/pod/index.php.

Before getting involved with any of these companies, be clear about what it is going to take to promote and sell your book and make sure that YOU have a plan. Don’t leave this important piece to the publishing puzzle to anyone else.

Here are a few pay-to-publish companies who used to be in business and who seem to have gone out of business—some of them have been gone for quite a while. Wide Thinker Books, Protea Publishing, Prairie View Publishing, Poetry.com,

Book Promotion Opportunities

Get Serious About Getting Those Book Reviews

Are you aggressively pursuing book reviews as a way to promote your book? Are you aware that there are thousands of consumer and trade magazines as well as newsletters in every category imaginable? And many of them run book reviews on appropriate books. That is to say that some of the many business, management and finance, magazines and newsletters, for example, may run book reviews on your book featuring taxes for the working guy/gal, how to create a leader from a sow’s ear, conferences on a shoestring, how to keep your job in a sour economy, job share tips and techniques. You may land book reviews for your book on preparing for the empty nest in religious, parenting, family, general interest, regional, association and college magazines and newsletters, for example. Your memoir featuring your life as a blind college dean set in Minneapolis, might get reviewed in many college publications, regional Minnesota magazines and magazines and newsletters related to living successfully with handicaps.

Locate appropriate magazines in Writer’s Market (Writer’s Digest Books). Here are some links to hundreds (if not thousands) of newsletters in a variety of categories: http://www.newsletteraccess.com, http://www.mediafinder.com and http://www.oxbridge.com/ODNCluster/theODN.asp.

Use these resources to find reviewers for your novel, as well. Study magazines in your genre (science fiction, romance, historical fiction, etc.) and be sure to check into the many literary magazines, listed in Writer’s Market.

If you don’t get a dozen reviews for your book this week, you aren’t even trying. How’s that for a challenge?

Free Books for a North Carolina Library

I got an unexpected, unusual email this morning from Lisa Matthews, the Special Projects Coordinator for the Robeson County Public Library System in Lumberton, North Carolina asking me for free books for their struggling library. I thought about Lisa’s request for a couple of minutes and then I responded, “Sure, I’ll send you some books.” Why would I give books away?

  • I can write them off on my taxes.
  • People who might not otherwise see these books will see them now.
  • Library books sometimes generate sales—some books, you just have to own.
  • Maybe I’ll get a new client or two out of the deal.

If you would like to contact Lisa about donating some of your books, use this email address: Rowland@robesoncountylibrary.org. Send books here: Lisa Matthews, RCPL, 101 N. Chestnut Street, Lumberton, NC 28358. (Yes, I checked the website to make sure this was legit. It is!)

Get Your Book Noticed by Librarians and Booksellers

The Jenkins Group is celebrating its first anniversary of Review Direct. This is a program they launched last November in order to help ordinary authors get their books noticed by librarians and booksellers. The organizers claim that the newsletter, containing information about your book, will go out to around 35,000 public and university librarians and nearly 3,200 independent bookstores throughout the U.S. Yes, there is a fee. The discounted cost is $224—a $70 savings.

I’m not sure how effective this program is. The hype makes it sound pretty good. Maybe you’d like to check with your local librarian and independent booksellers to find out if any of them are familiar with Jenkins’ Book Review Direct newsletter. For additional information, contact Kim Hornyak at 231-933-4954, ext. 1013. Email her at khornyak@bookpublishing.com. Study their promo at their website: http://www.bookreviewdirect.com.

Be sure to read the quote by Paul McNeese (Author’s Roost) about the necessity to be “present” when promoting your book in the Resources section of this newsletter.

Opportunities for Screenplay Writers

Editorial note: I’ve never felt much of a rapport with this section of the Market Update before. I know that some of you are writing screenplays or working with screenplay writers to develop your books into films. We’d like to know who you are and how (if at all) this section of the SPAWN Market Update is helping you.

I have two clients who are working on screenplays based on their books. One hopes that Sandra Bullock will take the lead. The other one has Meryl Streep actually considering the lead. Exciting times!

Here’s what Ink Tip is looking for this month:

  • Completed feature-length comedy or dramedy scripts from Canadian writers.
  • Completed feature-length sci-fi scripts.
  • Completed feature-length vampire scripts adaptable if shot in Scandinavia.
  • Supernatural horror scripts (ghost stories, haunted houses, etc.) that are adaptable if shot in Scandanavia.
  • Completed scripts along the lines of “Bladerunner” or “Men in Black.”

http://www.inktip.com/pnews.php (for more information). Subscribe to Ink Tip Newsletter here: http://www.inktip.com. Contact the editor, Jerrol LeBaron at jerrol@inktip.com.

Do you have a half-hour comedy pilot you want to promote? Why not consider entering it in the LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival scheduled for April 15-18, 2010. Learn more at http://www.lacomedyshorts.com

Opportunities for Artists and Photographers

GreenPrints uses illustrations. They want drawings of plants and people to accompany the stories they run. Keep in mind that this magazine is not a how-to for gardeners. It focuses on the relationship between humans and plants. They publish the art in black and white and they pay anywhere from $75 to $200 per story. Your best bet, if you’d like to break into this magazine and get regular assignments, is to study the website and the magazine. Then send Editor, Pat Stone     samples. Learn more at http://www.greenprints.com. Artists guidelines are here: http://www.greenprints.com/aguidelines.html. Contact Pat at pat@greenprints.com.

Carve Magazine seeks photo for their cover. Look at their submission guidelines and sample covers here. http://www.carvezine.com/submissionsCOVER.htm

Fringe Magazine uses artwork, as well. http://www.fringemagazine.org. Submit 3-7 works of visual art, clearly labeled, attached in .jpg, .gif, or .png format. If you’re interested in becoming a house illustrator for Fringe? Send a query and samples of your work to FringeTheMagazine@gmail.com or FringeArt@gmail.com

Fifth Wednesday Journal uses black and white photography. http://www.fifthwednesdayjournal.com.

Going, Going, Gone

PC World Canada is gone.

LTC Nurses Companion closes this month

Resident Assistant is also closing.

Fortune Small Business has quit publishing.

American Quarter Horse Racing Journal is gone.

Resources for Writers and Authors

Are you familiar with The Society of Young Publishers? It was established in 1949 in the UK and is still operating on volunteer power. This organization is geared to 18-35 year-olds who are interested in some aspect of publishing. Here’s a twist: If you’ve been involved within the publishing industry for more than ten years, you are not eligible for membership. Trade discounts, regular meetings and conferences are some of the benefits to members. They also offer a job database for members. I saw jobs listed for a freelance editor and administrator for German language literature, several internships and others. The 2009 conference was held this month at Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, UK. http://www.thesyp.org.uk/

If you are interested in publishing news and interesting stories coming from the publishing industry, check out Alltop online at http://www.publishing.alltop.com. You’ll find the week’s top stories from Publishers Weekly, Publishers Newswire, Book Publishing News, Media Bistro, Book Trade News and even publishers’ websites. Also listed are key publishing blog sites.

Author Discovered on Twitter

I found an encouraging story here about an author who was discovered on Twitter. No kidding, a publisher found him and offered to reprint his originally self-published memoir. In the article, he explains exactly what he did to get noticed and it was a mighty ambitious program. Read about it here: http://bookpublishingnews.blogspot.com/2009/10/independent-author-tweets-his-way-to.html

Another success story I read this month involves a married couple—both photographers—who produced a coffee table book of wildlife. It wasn’t selling. One day, they were looking at one photograph, in particular—one that didn’t make the cut in their coffee table book. The image caused them to rethink their book idea and they spent the next several months creating a children’s story book featuring a deer and a snowman. This book, Stranger in the Woods, became a New York Times Bestseller and has been on the list for five years. Here’s another excellent argument for always writing a book proposal so that you will be forced to think through every aspect of your project before you invest in a potential dud.

Author’s Roost

Paul McNeese is a former member of SPAWN, publisher, author, founder of a speakers bureau and he works with authors in a variety of capacities. Recently, he and other professionals have developed Author’s Roost, a program wherein they “teach authors to locate and select places where they would like to speak, then we make the contacts necessary to expose the authors to their speaking marketplaces, and eventually we teach them how best to present themselves to potential venues (including such arcane skills as how to set and sell a ‘fee for service’ speaking opportunity—something many authors never learn, much to their chagrin). For professional speakers we serve as an ‘extension’ to their own promotion. These are people who already know how to sell their skills but sometimes overlook venues and even entire markets that could increase their incomes, their exposures to the public, and their overall credibility—not to mention that we also encourage speakers to produce ‘back-of-the-room’ materials, not the least of which are books, thus making them published authors as well as professional speakers.”

I asked Paul what he would advise to those authors who don’t want to or don’t feel comfortable engaging in public speaking on behalf of their books. Here’s what he said:

“It’s okay to be silent, but in today’s chaotic literary environment, noisy is better—at least, a little bit noisy and in an appropriate way. Let’s face it, the desire and the willingness to go out and sell your own product, blow your own horn, is arbitrary, not mandatory. But if, like us, you subscribe to the notion that the best promotional tool for any book or similar product (e-book, CD, DVD, etc.) is the author, then you must admit that the silent author is much less likely to enjoy good sales and/or a growing reputation. Historically, this has been true, and I see no reason to believe that things will change. If anything, it will become increasingly desirable to be ‘present’ in many media, if for no other reason than to prevent yourself from becoming totally ‘lost in the crowd.’” http://www.authorsroost.com

HARO (Help a Reporter Out)

Under “Opportunities for Freelance Writers,” we talked about how a freelance article writer uses HARO. But HARO provides a good opportunity for authors with books to promote, as well.  Have you subscribed to HARO emails? http://www.helpareporter.com. This is where you can go to get help with a writing project you are working on as well as to help folks who need expert input or an informed perspective on a particular subject.

I can see this program working well for those of us with books to promote. If you check your HARO email every day, you might come across great opportunities to promote your book. For example, let’s say that your book is a novel based in your childhood hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. You check the HARO listings and discover a journalist seeking information about Atlanta in the 1960s (when you were growing up). If you contact the journalist and get an interview with her, not only could you be quoted in her article, you might also get her to mention your book—“John Smith, author of Fallen Boots, a novel based in Atlanta during the 1960s, says, ‘Blah, blah, blah.’” Not too shabby—especially if the piece appears in Readers Digest, Woman’s Day or AARP Magazine, for example.

I might go to HARO and respond to a request for quotes related to publishing today and get a little publicity for myself as an expert and for my publishing-related books.

How about you, have you taken the time to delve into HARO and other sites that require time and concentration in order to increase your book sales? Here are some recent HARO listings. Do any of them resonate with you?

Someone was interested in featuring creative Christians.

A couple of writers wanted to interview office administrators for trade magazine articles.

Another freelance writer was looking for financial tips from experts.

A journalist wanted to talk to people who have their dogs on a seafood diet.

Speaking of dogs, do you travel with your dog? Someone was interested in speaking to people who travel with dogs on learning vacations.

Are you and your husband in business together? Are you financially challenged or unemployed? Are any of these the topic of your book? If you didn’t subscribe to HARO this month, you missed out on an opportunity to be interviewed.

New Pages offers what appear to be some useful lists and links. Go to http://www.newpages.com and discover reviews of literary magazines, calls for submissions for literary magazines, writers sites and writers conferences and workshops.

Editorial Commentary

Perhaps you noticed a change in the Market Update lineup. This was suggested by a member in SPAWNDiscuss a few weeks ago. And it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Let me know if you like or dislike it. Everything is negotiable. So what is new and different about the lineup? I moved the section where I report dead magazines and publishing houses down in the newsletter instead of opening with this rather discouraging news.

It is important news, however. When I was supporting myself through article writing, upon reading or hearing about a magazine that folded, I would immediately open my Writer’s Market and note this on the appropriate page. I also wrote down names of new editors for those magazines I submitted to. Of course, I also noted any address changes.

I’ve learned that you can’t always rely on the magazine websites to keep you updated. It’s a good place to start, when verifying a change of any kind, but it isn’t always the most reliable source. Unfortunately, not all companies keep current with their websites.

So, let us know if you like the new order of things or not. For some, seeing the list of out of business magazines right off the bat was depressing. Others might find it useful, in that they can note important changes before going on to the meat of the Market Update. What’s your preference? Patricia@spawn.org.

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