Here’s What’s New
Intuit has acquired Echo, Inc., the merchant account services. http://www.intuit.com
The Donohue Group, preparer of Publisher’s Cataloging-in-Publication material for authors, is increasing their rates. As of July 1, 2010, they will charge $78.00 for regular delivery services (2 weeks) and $110.00 for a rush job. So plan ahead authors/publishers. http://www.dgiinc.com.
Opportunities for Writers
Dream Things, at http://dreamofthings.com, is seeking submissions on 15 different topics for upcoming anthologies. Topics include, saying goodbye, stories about great teachers, awe-inspiring travel stories, humorous travel stories, stories of forgiveness, great Internet dating stories and more.
DRT Press is seeking submissions for an anthology focusing on parenting children with behavioral problems. If you can write about parenting a child with ADHD/ADD or other behavior problems, contact Kay Marner at firstname.lastname@example.org by July 15, 2010. She is extending the deadline for SPAWN members.
Gumshoe Review is seeking fiction mystery stories and nonfiction related to mystery writing. They pay .5 cents/word up to $50. http://www.gumshoereview.com. Click on “submission guidelines.”
Do you write verse? Shade Tree Greetings has a new line and they will pay $50 per verse accepted. http://www.shadetreegreetings.com/submit-verse.htm.
Kelly James-Enger just emailed to let me know that she has launched a blog for freelance writers. She says, “Dollars and Deadlines is designed for freelancers who want to make more money in less time.” Check it out here: http://dollarsanddeadlines.blogspot.com.
This site features 20 top blogs for freelance writers. http://michellerafter.com/2010/05/10/top-10-blogs-for-freelance-writers
Here’s a pretty good blogsite for freelance writers.
See the Bonus Item. We’re featuring an article about how to make more money writing magazine articles. And I name names.
Opportunities for Authors
This listing actually comes under the label of “warning.” Many of you have used or are considering using a “self-publishing” company (pay-to-publish service) to produce your book. One SPAWN member did some research on the Better Business Bureau website and discovered numerous complaints about the most well-known of the “self-publishing” companies, such as AuthorHouse, OutSkirts Press, iUniverse, Publish America and Xlibris. She discovered anywhere from 18 to 101 complaints filed against these companies within the last 36 months. If you plan to publish with a publishing service, first read Mark Levine’s book, “The Fine Print of Self-Publishing” and then do a search such as the one this diligent member did. Check with the Better Business Bureau, but also go to some of the warning sites—which we post in the SPAWN Market Update periodically. Here they are again:
Use these sites responsibly. I think that we all know how easy it would be to end up on one of these sites—just as it is possible to end up in the clink on false charges. It is possible. Some looney tunes could come to your site to purchase a book, have his Visa declined and decide it is your fault. Next thing you know, your name is being drug through the mud and you are being accused of poor customer service. I insert this warning as incentive to always double/triple check the warnings you discover.
In fact, I know of one local professional who had a problem with an unbalanced, vindictive client. There was no reasoning with this person and she ended up blasting the Internet with complaint after complaint against the professional.
Thomas Nelson, Christian publisher, is expanding their children’s department. http://www.tommynelson.com
Do you write teen fiction? Consider Sourcebooks Fire as you publisher. Learn more at http://www.sourcebooks.com. Contact Daniel Ehrenhaft using the contact form at the site.
Book Promotion Opportunities
Are you familiar with the First Chapter Plus? They provide an email catalog listing authors’ books (published between 2008 and 2010 for nonfiction and 2009-2010 for fiction). The catalogs, from what I understand, are emailed to booksellers, reviewers, the media and librarians. In fact, they claim to have an email list of nearly 35,000. For a fee (ranging from $15 to $100 per entry for one month), you can post your cover, contact info and they ask you to submit your first chapter. The part I wanted to make you aware of, though, is that they will advertise only professionally edited books in their catalog.
Now, there are a lot of companies asking for your advertising dollar. Many claim to “make their catalog available to booksellers and librarians nationwide.” But most others do not have standards. It makes me think that, if the librarians and booksellers are aware of these standards, they would be more interested in viewing the books in this catalog. Check them out here: http://firstchapterplus.com.
I have not used this service and I don’t know anyone who has. I ran a Google warning search and came up with nothing negative. I’m even thinking about trying them out. Let me know if you do and how it goes.
Are you looking for a distributor for your book? Brian Jud has a list of the top 30 independent book distributors in the US. Check them out here: http://www.bookmarket.com/distributors.htm.
I did a study of blogs for authors who are promoting books and share my findings here. If you are promoting a book, check out some of these blogs for information, tips, ideas and leads. If you want more, I will add more in future editions of the Market Update. If you have favorites, let me know and I’ll include them in the August edition.
http://www.bookpr.com/bookpromotionblog (Stacey J. Miller–periodical blog)
http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog (Patricia Fry’s daily blog for writers and authors)
http://blog.bookmarket.com (John Kremer’s blog)
http://www.weberbooks.com (Steve Weber’s blog for promoting books online)
http://www.bookpublishingnews.com (Brian Scott’s blog)
Going, Going, Gone
American Rider has gone out of business.
Phoenix Books will no longer publish.
Resources for Writers and Authors
Are you looking for a good article or blog topic? The folks at Alltop.com make it their business to gather the latest information at their site on many varied topics. Find a story title you like, click on it and you’ll go right to the source where you can read the entire story, blog post, etc. http://alltop.com
Lists of online resources for writers from grammar sites to online courses and more: http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/writing/writing.htm
And, of course, the SPAWN website has tons of information and articles for writers, authors and others interested in publishing. I often get calls from random writers asking for more information about SPAWN or a particular topic they discovered at the SPAWN site.
Make More Money Writing Magazine Articles
I listened to SPAWN’s most recent teleseminar on how to make more money writing. Hope Clark of Funds for Writers was our guest speaker. What another good presentation this was! Have you ever listened to a telephone-seminar? It’s done by conference call. It’s as easy as picking up your phone and listening. Sometimes there is a Q and A opportunity.
SPAWN presents a teleseminar by a publishing/writing/book promotion professional pretty much every month. And they are FREE to SPAWN members. If you miss a presentation, you can go to the SPAWN website and download the recording. All of the teleseminars we’ve presented are recorded there for SPAWN members.
I wanted to share something that Hope talked about yesterday. It has to do with article-writing—something I have been involved in for over three decades. In fact, I made my living through article-writing for many years. She talked about writing for trade magazines—also something I’ve done.
I want to echo her sentiments. Most of us, when we decide to break into magazine article-writing, we head straight for the high-paying slick mags—Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Woman’s Day, Family Circle and even Reader’s Digest. But there is more opportunity, thus, perhaps, more money in trade magazines and, perhaps, even in some of the more obscure magazines.
When people used to ask me what magazines I wrote for, I’d be hard-pressed to come up with one they had heard of. There were some obscure ones, such as: The Phoenix, Hope, North Georgia Journal, Home Cooking, The Quilter, National Barbecue News, Transformational Times, Sisters Today, Coastal Woman, Herb Quarterly, Young Athlete and Minority Engineering
And some of the less-known magazines pay quite well. I earned between $400 and over $1,000 for articles sold to each of these magazines: Pages, Business Start-Ups, St. Anthony Messenger, Walking Magazine, Motorhome, Becoming Family, Mature Outlook, Sam’s Club Magazine, Cats Magazine, Technology and Learning, ASPCA Animal Watch, Personal Journaling, Woman’s Life and even Writer’s Digest.
And then there was the relatively steady work with magazines such as The Toastmaster, Signs of the Times, Columbia, The World and I, Lifestyles Plus, Catholic Digest, Silicon 2.0, Entrepreneur, Executive Update and others.
If you’d like to write for magazines and you just keep getting one rejection after another—or worse yet, you are being ignored—step away from the majors for a while and focus on some of the hundreds of freelance opportunities with magazines you may have never heard of. Some of them pay quite well. Are you familiar with Wealth Manager, New Holland News and Acres, Railway Track and Structures, Teaching Tolerance, World Trade, Professional Pilot, Print, HOW, Promo, Skiing, Boat International, Outreach, Milwaukee Magazine and Organic Gardening? The average pay per article among these magazines is over $1,500. That’s the average!
Maybe this is the time—perhaps today is the day that you start earning more as a freelance article-writer. All you need to do is raise your awareness of the opportunities that abound.