Market Update – October 2010

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Here’s What’s New

Independence Books is the new imprint under PublishAmerica. And PublishAmerica is urging their authors to have their book republished with a new ISBN through their imprint. Please, before you sign with PublishAmerica, Independence Books or any other pay-to-publish/vanity publisher, please read Mark Levine’s book, “The Fine Print of Self-Publishing.” You can get the ebook or the print book as a free book when you renew your SPAWN membership. Levine rates and ranks 45 pay-to-publish companies and their contracts. Never sign a publishing contract of any kind without having a literary or intellectual properties or publishing attorney look it over.

Book Daily may or may not be new—but it is new to me and maybe to you. This is a site where you can read the first chapter of the books of your choice from among around 80,000 books. Read a chapter free at the website or receive daily chapters in the categories of your interests. Sign up for a fee. If you are an author and want to include your book at Book Daily, fill out the contact form at their site: http://www.bookdaily.com.

Dorchester Publishing is no longer a traditional royalty publisher, but they are now an e-book/print-on-demand publisher.

Parenting Children With Special Needs Magazine launched in July in Kansas City, Missouri. While they welcome freelance writers, they cannot pay at this time. Submission Guidelines: http://parentingspecialneeds.org/submit

The regional franchise magazine, Your Senior Magazine is popping up all over. You’ll find it now in several Texas cities, Louisiana, Arizona and Colorado. They are offering franchise opportunities. http://www.yourseniormagazine.com.

Advance For Nurse Practitioners and Advance For Physicians Assistants have merged into Advance For Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants.

The Catholic Observer has been replaced by The Catholic Mirror. Http://www.dmdiocese.org/the-catholic-mirror.cfm. Contact editor Lisa Bourne for freelance opportunities: lbourne@dmdiocese.org.

The editors at The Weekly Reader report that, Current Health Kids is the new title of Current Health 1. And Current Health Teens is the new titles for Current Health 2. http://www.weeklyreader.com

48 Hour Magazine is now Longshot. http://longshotmag.com

John Thurber is the new book review editor for the Los Angeles Times. Jon-thurber@latimes.com. http://www.latimes.com

Macmillan and Scientific American Magazine are launching a new book imprint that will focus on science and technology subjects.

Opportunities for Freelance Writers

Horizons, the Magazine for Presbyterian Women publishes fiction! They also publish articles and poems. Articles and stories should be in the 600-1,800-word range. They pay a minimum of $50/published page. Learn more about the magazine and the writers’ guidelines (click on “About Us”) at http://www.pcusa.org/horizons. Contact editor Yvonne Hileman at Yvonne.Hileman@pcusa.org.

Are you a ghostwriter? Would you like to do ghostwriting? Consider joining the Association of Ghostwriters. http://www.associationofghostwriters.org.

How About Some End of Summer—Hello Fall—Paying Markets for Freelancers?

YES! Magazine uses articles covering politics, nature, conservation, contemporary culture and world affairs and they pay as much as $1,250 for as many as 2,500 words. If you follow world happenings and you enjoy writing opinion pieces, essays or even how-to or interview pieces, consider submitting something to this magazine. http://www.yesmagazine.org

How is always seeking features, profiles and interviews related to the graphic design profession. They pay $700-900 for 1,500 to 2,000 words. I once sold them a piece on office organizing tips. http://www.howdesign.com.

Woman Engineer uses interview, personal experience, job search tips and techniques and how-tos with regard to women engineers. They pay $350 for 1,500 to 2,500 words. http://www.eop.com. I also sold them an article some years ago on some aspect of job-hunting. Contact James Schneider at JSchneider@eop.com

Pet Age buys 80 manuscripts/year and they pay 15 cents/word for 1,500 to 2,200 words. Years ago, I sold them a piece on natural products for pets. Currently, they would like to see articles on merchandise and business for pet store retailers. http://www.petage.com. Contact the editor at hhbacker@hhbacker.com.

Can you write about managing and motivating employees? Then you might be able to land a contract with Incentive. Check them out at http://www.incentivemag.com. They pay $250 to $700 for 1,000 to 2,000 words. Contact editor William Ng at ng@ntmllc.com

Who publishes FICTION? You might be surprised!

Saturday Evening Post: http://www.satevepost.org.

Babel Fruit http://www.babelfruit.com

Arkansas Review http://www.clt.astate.edu/arkreview

Calliope http://www.cobblestonepub.com

Lighthouse Digest http://www.lighthousedigest.com

Thrive NYC http://www.nycplus.com

Oregon Quarterly http://www.uoregon.edu/~oq

Keystone Motorcycle Press. Contact: kmppress@aol.com

Outlaw Biker http://www.outlawbiker.com

Coonhound Bloodlines http://www.ukcdogs.com

Opportunities for Authors

John Kremer lists over 400 book publishers who have accepted first novels from authors. Check it out—there may be an opportunity in the list for you: http://www.bookmarket.com/newnovels.htm. Among those listed are Avon, Ballentine, Bantam, Chronicle, Doubleday, Simon and Schuster and tons of others. Kremer lists the editors who these fortunate authors worked with. I don’t know how old this list is or how frequently John updates it, but there ought to be some inspiration and possible opportunities for you in this list.

Reagent Press (a traditional royalty publisher) is seeking manuscripts in many categories, including children’s, teen and adult fiction, and basic nonfiction to be published in book, digital and audio versions to be distributed in the US, Canada and the UK. Study their website thoroughly: http://www.reagentpress.com.

What do you do to attract a publisher? Many hopeful authors are posting the fact that they are seeking a publisher at their social media networks. They post chapters or excerpts from their manuscript in their blog in hopes of locating a publisher. They post to boards hoping to be discovered. And they are reading the most informative, resource-filled newsletters around in their effort to discover a publisher.

Book Promotion Opportunities

Do you need help with book promotion? You might check out Booktour.com at http://www.booktour.com. Evidently, they offer assistance to authors running anywhere from free to around $50.00. I don’t know enough about their services to give an endorsement—I am simply throwing it out there. It’s up to you to do the research and determine if this service is for you.

Have you been listening in on the SPAWN monthly teleseminars? If you miss a teleseminar, you can still listen in at the SPAWN website or by downloading them onto your MP3 player or your iPod. This month we heard Brian Jud talk about book promotion beyond the bookstore and how to sell books in larger quantities. Believe it or not, Brian presented SPAWN’s 10th teleseminar and they are all waiting for you to take advantage of the enormous amount of information for FREE! To refresh your memory as to who has taken the time to give telephone presentations, visit http://www.spawn.org/events.htm.

And notice that next month, on October 14 at 2:pm, we’ll hear Gail Martin talking about Book Marketing Magic. She has a 30-day book marketing approach that I really want to hear about. On the day of the event, or the day before, President, Susan Daffron will send you an email with the call-in number and code. If you are struggling with the process of promoting your book, don’t give up—tune-in and learn from the experts what to do next.

We have a few SPAWN members who let their memberships lapse, saying that there really isn’t anything here for them—they did not benefit from the membership. And they won’t unless they participate and take advantage of the offerings we provide. Be pro-active on behalf of your book project—the best way to do this is to read this newsletter faithfully each and every month, study back issues, follow some of the leads presented, become an active part of SPAWNDiscuss and listen to the teleseminars that relate to your project, whether you are a freelance writer (download Peter Bowerman’s and Jerry Wasler’s teleseminars), an author (download some of the numerous teleseminars we have related to book promotion) or hope to become an author (check out Mark Levine’s program).

Opportunities for Scriptwriters

Have you read your InkTip Newsletter, lately? Here’s what they are currently seeking:

A completed feature-length script about a ten-year-old skateboarder, completed feature length vampire scripts for teen audiences, a completed feature-length action script similar to “The Expendables,” comedy scripts similar to old Will Ferrell or Jim Carrey comedies, female-driven thriller scripts for TV, sports scripts for Caucasian male of 25-35 and drama or horror similar to “Reservoir Dogs” and “Hard Candy.” They are also seeking scripts from Canadian writers. http://www.InkTip.com or http://www.InkTipPro.com/leads.

Resources

John Kremer has a lot going on at his website. I spotted this handy link just the other day: http://www.bookmarket.com/blogtours.htm. This page lists dozens of blog tours, virtual author tours and other online PR promo services. Who is John Kremer? He is the author of “1001Ways to Market Your Books,” and the editor of “Book Marketing Tip of the Week Newsletter.” http://www.bookmarket.com.

Are you interested in reading fiction or being listed as a fiction writer? Check out this site—it lists over 30,000 fiction authors and their bios and provides information on over 350,000 books. http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk.

Tanya at Greenleaf Book Group contacted me recently to let me know that they have posted some useful information for authors at their site. Here’s the URL: http://bit.ly/9maNq2 Now, the page opens to a list of three links. Click on the one of your interest and you may have to click again to find the particular gems of information you desire.

Going, Going, Gone

Paste Magazine is online only

Cycle News has quit

Herb has gone online only

Speedway Illustrated has ceased publishing

Blend has closed

The Boomer Market Advisor is online only

Parents and Kids is gone

Bonus Items—Interviews with 3 publishers

From Steve Carlson, publisher at Upper Access, Inc.

Q: What is currently the focus of your publishing efforts? What type of books are you producing–what genre/topics?

A. My niche is a very broad one—nonfiction to improve the quality of life. A narrower scope would make more sense in a business plan for a company as small as Upper Access. However, I got into publishing many years ago because it’s what I like to do. I could make a lot more money doing other things, but my goal is to just publish books I enjoy, as long as I can make a decent living doing so.

Q: How has this changed in the last 5/10 years?

A. Upper Access went through periods of growth, with multiple employees, growing either by publishing more titles or taking on more side ventures, such as fulfillment, software, and publicity services. But I wasn’t enjoying the administrative tasks of running a growing business; I enjoy all of the tasks associated with publishing, from acquisition to editing to book design to publicity and promotion. Therefore, in recent years Upper Access has become, essentially, a one-person business, with no aspirations of publishing more than a couple of new titles per year. Growth comes only by selling more copies of the books I publish, rather than publishing more titles or taking on new ventures. (I do still publish business software for the publishing industry—Publishers’ Assistant and Couplet—but this is now a joint venture with the programmer, who takes on most of the responsibility for it. I also occasionally consult with other publishers to help with their book promotion, but now do so only on a very limited basis.)

Q: How would you describe the publishing industry (or simply your experience as a publisher) now as compared to 5 or 10 years ago?

A. The changes in the industry are massive and obvious. The rise of e-books, the decline of bricks-and-mortar stores, the takeover by the Internet of the promotional functions formerly dominated by print and broadcast media. Upper Access has probably been adapting to the changes more cautiously than some of the other successful small publishers. I still work hard to maximize sales through the traditional trade venues, for example, while others are giving up on the high costs of distribution to bookstores and libraries. This is still an important part of my business, but of course I have also been working hard to increase non-trade sales, maximize Web-based promotion, and develop e-book versions of newer titles.

Q: What, if anything, has changed in the material authors are bringing you? Are authors more savvy because of the increase in help and guidance or less savvy because they are novices not paying attention to the experts?

A. Because I take on only a couple of new titles per year, I am forced to turn down about 99 percent of the book proposals that come my way, including many that seem promising. I haven’t seen much change in the approaches taken by most authors. A majority of first-time authors clearly have not sought advice on how to approach publishers, but for the few projects I can consider, the substance of the proposal is far more important than the approach. (Note: At the moment I’m not even able to look at new projects while I’m catching up with ones I am already committed to.)

One thing that has changed is more of the relatively well-known mid-list authors are open to seeking publication by a small press. The big houses now just want to publish blockbusters, and not bother with books that may sell, at most, 25,000 copies or so. But for a publisher like Upper Access, a book that sells 25,000 copies is a big success, and authors have learned that if we take it on, we’ll work hard to promote it, and will keep it in print as long as it continues to sell in any quantity at all.

Q: What advice do you have for first-time as well as seasoned authors? Is this the same advice you would have given when you first started your company?

A. My advice would echo that of many others in the business. Key points would be:

–If you want to try to get published by a major house, you should begin by shopping for a literary agent. Tread these waters carefully, because there are lots of fake agents out there—avoid any that ask for money in advance of making a deal. But the big presses depend on agents to bring them the promising proposals, and pay next to no attention to submissions directly from first-time authors.

–If you are interested in publication by a small press such as Upper Access, then don’t bother with an agent. Agents make most of their money as a percentage of the advance. Little presses offer no more than token advances. We pay good royalties, so if the book sells well, the author will make at least as much as with similar sales by a big press. But the author, like the publisher, gets paid only when the books sell. And the agents, at least the high-powered ones, have no interest in that kind of arrangement.

–Be prepared to actively participate in promotion of your book. Ideally, you should have a platform of some kind to get the word out and keep the book in the public eye. Any reputable publisher will do *some* promotion, such as sending out galleys and review copies, perhaps seeking opportunities for a few broadcast interviews or signings, that sort of thing. But the effectiveness of these steps is very limited. Today, even the biggest publishers expect authors to be their own biggest promoters. Therefore, your proposal must show that you understand your audience and demonstrate how you will be able to reach that audience. No matter how good the book may be, few publishers will take it on if the author thinks his or her job ends with writing it.

–Before approaching any publisher, study its Web site and any other sources of information about it. I can always tell when I get a book proposal from somebody who just found me on a mailing list somewhere, and who knows nothing about Upper Access. If the author doesn’t care to spend a few minutes learning about my company, why should I spend any time analyzing the author’s proposal?

–Avoid the big vanity publishing houses—the ones that call themselves, falsely, “self publishing companies.” These may be fine for a book you are writing for friends and family, but the chances of commercial success are an illusion—their imprints are the kiss of death of critics, booksellers, anybody else who can help to reach your audience. There are some smaller companies that may offer cooperative publishing arrangements—whereby an author pays part of the production cost and, in return, gets a very high royalty on sales. But examine those prospects very carefully. In particular, find out how many copies of other books have been sold by the publisher. In general, your best prospects for good sales come from a traditional publisher that fronts all the costs, taking on the financial risks. And if you are attracted to the idea of self publishing—then it’s best to really publish yourself, with your imprint and your own block of ISBN numbers. Read some of the many books about how to publish, and plan to put a lot of time and effort into doing the work of the publisher. That can actually be a lot of fun.

–Even if you have no desire to self-publish, read some of the books on that subject, by authors such as Dan Poynter, John Kremer, and Fern Reiss. If you know how the publishing business works, you’ll know the best ways to approach publishers, to work with them, and to help make your book a best seller.

–Finally, keep in mind that the most important thing is the saleability of your manuscript, not how you present it. A book that’s likely to become a best-seller is likely to get published and reviewed, no matter how poor a job you might do in shopping it around.
Is this different from advice I would have given a few years ago? Not much. One change is that most initial proposals are now best made by e-mail rather than paper mail. Simultaneous submissions are now expected, at least by small presses, as we recognize that it would be crazy for an author to wait for our response before submitting elsewhere. And true self-publishing (as opposed to vanity publishing) is actually a much more viable option now than it was when I started out in the 1980s.

Q: Please add anything you want and give us your contact info (optional).

Steve Carlson co-founded Upper Access in 1986, and has served as publisher ever since. He is president of Independent Publishers of New England and a former board member of Independent Book Publishers Association. In addition to publishing books and business software, he occasionally consults with fellow publishers and authors on ways to position their forthcoming books to maximize sales. He can be reached by e-mail at steve@upperaccess.com .

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Scott Schmidt—Salvo Press

Q: What is currently the focus of your publishing efforts? What type of books are you producing—what genre/topics?

A: Since Salvo Press was started in 1998, we’ve always published the best mystery, suspense and thriller novels we can find. We have added a few non-fiction titles, and sci-fi novels. We plan on picking up more sci-fi and are now considering romantic suspense.

Q: How has this changed in the last 5/10 years?

A: We have always been known for our strong thrillers, but he have recently picked up a few softer mysteries in the last couple of years. We have always been open to these titles, yet for some reason could never find strong enough titles to add to our list.

Q: How would you describe the publishing industry (or simply your experience as a publisher) now as compared to 5 or 10 years ago?

A: The biggest change recently has been the stronger eBook sales. We’ve been publishing eBooks since 1998 and have watched many content formats come and go, as well as eBook readers that never really caught on with the public. Now, with the Kindle, the Nook, and the Sony Readers, to name just a few, sales have picked up. The reading public has finally embraced eBooks. We’ll have to see how the iPad with apps impacts sales. The biggest challenge for us has always been the number of eBook formats. It’s very difficult to convert books into six or ten formats. One or two is great. One would be even better.

Q: What, if anything, has changed in the material authors are bringing you? Are authors more savvy because of the increase in help and guidance or less savvy because they are novices not paying attention to the experts?

A: When we first started out, we got mostly first-time authors without agents. Now we get submissions from Pulitzer Prize winners (which we have turned down), and from agented authors and unagented authors who have published many books. And these are coming from places like India, Brazil, Israel, Russia, the U.K., etc. We end up having to turn down some good books that would have made our list in the past.

Q: What advice do you have for first-time as well as seasoned authors? Is this the same advice you would have given when you first started your company?

A: If you are a seasoned author, don’t phone it in and expect to get published at Salvo Press.  You’d have a much easier time finding publication at the major New York houses.  For first time authors, we expect great writing and savvy marketers.  With almost everything switching to internet-based publishing, authors must know how to exploit this medium.

Q: Please add anything you want and give us your contact info (optional)

A: We expect most of the small presses to shift from the traditional model of publishing (large press runs, major distribution, returns) to the print on demand and eBook model. We’ve been using this model almost exclusively for the past ten years.

You can find us at http://www.salvopress.com

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Connie Shaw, Sentient Publications

Q: What is currently the focus of your publishing efforts? What type of books are you producing–what genre/topics?

Sentient focuses on nondual spirituality, alternative education, holistic health, and ecology.

2: How has this changed in the last 5/10 years?

This has been our focus since we started 10 years ago. The relative weight given to these four areas has shifted over the years – more holistic health books, fewer ecology books – and we’ve always chosen cutting-edge books outside these areas too. In recent years, though, we have tended toward a tighter focus on those four areas.

3: How would you describe the publishing industry (or simply your experience as a publisher) now as compared to 5 or 10 years ago?

It’s an interesting time because ebooks (expanded or plain vanilla) are an exciting new media for publishers, but of course that brings to mind the Chinese curse, doesn’t it? Everything’s changing, and it’s easy to end up breathless, clueless, and behind the times. Or just plain exhausted. But I’m happy to be part of this transition—it’s certainly not boring, and there will be opportunities for those who can recognize them. How books are publicized is also changing dramatically as print media evolves into digital —we’re all figuring that out as we go along too.

4: What, if anything, has changed in the material authors are bringing you? Are authors more savvy because of the increase in help and guidance or less savvy because they are novices not paying attention to the experts?

It’s both. The authors I end up publishing understand that a large part of the burden of getting a book noticed is going to be on them now, and they have thought long and hard about how to do that. They’re more prepared to do publicity than many of Sentient’s authors were ten years ago. But I also get plenty of submissions that never even mention the subject.

5: What advice do you have for first-time as well as seasoned authors? Is this the same advice you would have given when you first started your company?

Do your homework. Find out what kind of books your target publishers are looking for, and what their submission guidelines are (and follow them!), and spend the time it takes to write a thoroughly professional proposal. This hasn’t changed, other than the fact that you’d better have a lot to say about your platform, which wasn’t quite as necessary 10 years ago.

6: Please add anything you want and give us your contact info (optional)

Connie Shaw

Sentient Publications

1113 Spruce Street

Boulder, CO 80302

http://www.sentientpublications.com

p: 303-443-2188

f: 303-381-2538

cshaw@sentientpublications.com

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Skip Whitson, Director at Sun Books / Sun Publishing

Q: What is currently the focus of your publishing efforts? What type of books are you producing—what genre/topics?

A: Motivational, Leadership, Self-Help

Q: How has this changed in the last 5/10 years?

A: Our emphasis has changed from “New Age” to “Motivational, etc.”

Q: How would you describe the publishing industry (or simply your experience as a publisher) now as compared to 5 or 10 years ago?

A: We used to sell to wholesalers and bookstores but margins are so thin that we can now only sell directly to customers, over the internet.

Q: What, if anything, has changed in the material authors are bringing you?

A: Not much.

Q: Are authors more savvy because of the increase in help and guidance or less savvy because they are novices not paying attention to the experts?

A: They all think they have a “million-seller!”  I guess that part hasn’t ever changed!

Q: What advice do you have for first-time as well as seasoned authors?

A: Write about something no one else has covered yet.

Q: Is this the same advice you would have given when you first started your company?

A: No. It’s a much more crowded market now.

http://www.sunbooks.com

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