SPAWN Market Update – April, 2007
By Patricia L. Fry
Going, Going, Gone – 5 mags and pubs gone
Here’s What’s New – 5 new magazines and 5 editorial changes
Opportunities for Freelance Writers – 3 new magazines listed
Opportunities for Authors – 2 calls for submissions, a contest and, hey, do you want to buy an established publishing company?
Book Promotion Opportunities – Book Festivals, International Library Links and more
Opportunities for Screen Writers – 2 great resources and a couple of actual requests for scripts.
Resources for Writers and Authors – 8 resources including, a fulfillment house directory, free issues of Publisher’s Weekly and an informative article on the Big Business of Publishing.
News Bites – How to keep bookstores from closing; What’s hot in publishing this month.
Editorial Comments – Promote Everywhere; Are you giving enough?
ReganBooks, a subsidiary of HarperCollins, closed on March 1.
Poetry of Today
First it’s here and then it’s not. Radar has been playing peek-a-boo with readers for a couple of years now. I’ve reported twice that they were out of business. But guess what? They’re back. Radar is a pop culture/scandal magazine focusing on the shenanigans of celebrities and politicians. The editorial staff doesn’t seem particularly eager to hear from freelance writers, but it’s worth a try to break into this magazine if you have an appropriate story. If your book is scandalous or controversial, contact the editors at Radar and ask for a review or an interview or suggest an article based on your book. http://www.radaronline.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or write to the editorial staff at Radar, 404 Ninth Ave., 11th Fl, New York, NY 10001.
Doesn’t everyone just love Ty Pennington from the TV show, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition?” Well, here’s an opportunity to get more of him. His new magazine, Ty Pennington Style is scheduled to hit the stands in May. As expected, it will feature decorating and remodeling tips. Stay tuned for details. Or, if you get them before I do, send them to me.
Mundania Press is closed to submissions until late this year. If you want to pitch a book that you believe is for discerning readers, check back periodically at http://www.mundania.com/submissions.html.
Willowgate Press is also closed to submissions. If you have a book-length fiction and you’d like to show it to the editorial staff at Willowgate, keep an eye on the submissions page of their Web site so you’ll know when they are accepting submissions again. http://www.willowgatepress.com
Vibrant Life Magazine
Sandy Meyer, long-time editor of Cat Fancy Magazine, wrote to me last week saying that she will be leaving her position. But she’s not leaving the company. She’ll become the editor of Water Garden News. The next time you have a great article idea for Cat Fancy, contact the new editor, Susan Logan at email@example.com or the assistant editor, Lindsay Hanks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anne McDermid and Associates Literary Agency is no longer accepting unsolicited submissions.
A call for submissions for pet lovers. Pet Lovers is a new magazine to be launched this month in SW Florida. They want human interest as well as informational articles about any kind of pet. Yup they want material, but they don’t seem to have any contact information, yet. I’ll keep snooping around until I find it for you.
The 2007 Hollywood Book Festival has put out a call for books. They will judge self-published and independently published books in practically all forms, subjects and genres. And the grand prize this year is $1,000, a flight to Los Angeles to attend the awards ceremony in July and the opportunity for publication. The deadline for entries is June 25. Entry form and rules can be found at http://www.hollywoodbookfestival.com. Or call 323-665-8068 for more information.
Allworth Press is currently accepting queries for practical, legal and “technique” books targeted to professionals in the arts. However, the volume of mail they’re currently receiving means that you might not hear from them for one to three months. Send a query first. If the query is relevant to their needs, they will request a more detailed proposal. Contact Nicole Potter-Talling, email@example.com. http://www.allworth.com for more information about what they publish.
Call for submissions. I met Chris Roerden at a writers’ conference in Wisconsin last year. She emailed me a few weeks ago asking for contributions to her upcoming book. She wants to receive passages from your published and unpublished novels as well as short stories which demonstrate the effective use of specific writing techniques. She says that only positive examples will be featured and the author will get full credit. There is no payment, but this sounds like a good opportunity for some publicity and maybe some promotion for your book. Chris is the author of “Don’t Murder Your Mystery—a Guide to Revising Manuscripts.” The new book, whose title has not yet been revealed, will be the second in this series and is scheduled for publication in 2008. For complete guidelines, see http://www.tinyurl.com/yclawc. Or contact Chris Roerden at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to buy an established publishing company? You can buy one right now for anywhere from $30,000 to $2.5 million.
Book Festivals near you:
Join SPAWN at the Los Angeles Times Book Festival, April 28-29, 2007. https://www.spawn.org/form_latfb for more information and an application.
In Chicago, the Tribune Printers Row Book Fair is scheduled for June 9 and 10, 2007. This is billed as the Midwest’s largest free outdoor literary event and it features 150 new and used booksellers and 100 programs including readings, panel discussions, cooking demonstrations and children’s activities. Learn more at http://www.chicagotribune.com.
The Thousand Oaks (California) Rotary Street Fair will be held Sunday, October 21 this year in Thousand Oaks. They attract around 25,000 people, so it might be a worthwhile event for locals who have books to sell. Request an application by writing to Thousand Oaks Rotary Street Fair, c/o Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks, POB 1225, Thousand Oaks, CA 91358.
The Texas Book Festival will be held November 3 and 4, 2007. The Web site is currently under construction, so check back for additional information in a month or so. http://www.texasbookfestival.org
The Miami Congress of Authors and Book Fair International are scheduled for November 4-11. This full week of programs includes readings, a full program in Spanish, children’s activities, student literary encounters, a rare books showcase and more. This event is sponsored by the Florida Center for the Arts. For more information, visit http://www.miamibookfair.com.
Locate writers’ conferences at The Writers’ Conference and Centers Web site. Check out the conferences near you at http://www.writersconf.org.
Have you ever considered selling your books to libraries in other countries? Here are some Web sites to get you started:
If you write scripts and you are not receiving InkTip’s free newsletter, you may be missing out on some great opportunities. Subscribe at http://www.inktip.com. Send any questions to Jerrol LeBaron at email@example.com. What does this newsletter have that you need? Leads, for one thing. Jerrol publishes information about what producers are looking for. In the March 8th, 2007 edition, Jerrol lists two subscribers who had their scripts optioned through the InkTip network in recent weeks. Forty-nine feature films have been produced among the “scribes” of Jerrol’s InkTip recently.
Here’s an example of the kind of scripts being sought. Two companies are seeking horror scripts. Another company wants a punk rock screenplay. There’s also a company looking for children’s programming in Spanish or Spanglish. Learn more about these and other opportunities for script writers at: http://www.inktip.com/pnews.php.
The ScriptJournal is another newsletter for screenwriters. They toot their own horn by telling you who has sold scripts and how they helped this happen. But they also publish a useful article in their four-page newsletter. The late February 2007 edition features an article by Lee Zahavi Jessup called “Becoming a Produced Screenwriter: The Proactive Alternative.” Subscribe at: http://www.scriptshark.com.
Are you looking for a fulfillment company? I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on fulfillment companies this month for a client. I’m learning that there are many different such companies with varying services at widely ranging fees. Here’s a book fulfillment directory to help you locate the company that’s right for you. http://www.fulfillmentdirectory.com
If you’re like many of us, you can’t afford the high cost of subscribing to Publishers Weekly. But anyone can subscribe to Publishers Weekly Daily because it’s FREE. To sign up, go to: http://www.publishersweekly.com. Scroll down toward the bottom of the page, look to the right and click on “PW Daily” to subscribe.
Here’s another freeby. Art Book News Annual sells for $25 in print form, but you can get the electronic version for FREE. This is a bibliography of art and architecture-related scholarly books. The 2007 edition of this bibliography includes 1,346 books. Contact Emily Aslin firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more at http://www.booknews.com.
Are you in need of financial assistance? I know you’ve read my commentary about Funds for Writers before. In fact, I interviewed C. Hope Clark for the SPAWN Market Update, December 2002 edition. Hope helps writers find money through competitions, awards, grants, publishers, agents and jobs. Subscribe to Hope’s free newsletter and visit her site to partake of the goodies she offers there. http://www.fundsforwriters.com
Here’s a resource that, as a freelance writer, I certainly find useful. If you don’t already subscribe to the free World Wide Freelance Newsletter, you might consider doing so. They typically produce an 8 – 10-page e-newsletter featuring magazine listings from around the world as well as an article or two. In their February 2007 edition, they list New Zealand Listener, that country’s national weekly current affairs and entertainment magazine. This is a paying market, too. Be sure to visit World Wide Freelance Writer’s Web site where they list over 500 magazines from the U.S., Canada, the UK, Ireland and Australia. http://www.worldwidefreelance.com.
When was the last time you used the search feature to search the SPAWN Market Update archives? Maybe you haven’t noticed it. When you pull up a Market Update newsletter either current or from the archives, look at the top of the page. You’ll see a red and blue design above the newsletter. Click on it and you’ll discover that it is, indeed, a search feature. Type in “book promotion” or “platform” or “literary agent” or “Funds for Writers,” for example and click “go.” You’ll get 12 hits for “platform,” 53 for “book promotion,” and 41 hits for “literary agent.” Your search results will tell you which newsletter carried information on these topics and even tells you what sort of information you’ll find in that particular newsletter.
SPAWNDiscuss and the SPAWN Forum are available for SPAWNmembers, as well. When you have a question, want feedback, need benefit of other authors’/freelance writers’/artists’ experience, jump in. We’ve had some lively discussions in the past and would like to continue that tradition. To participate in the Forum, go to the member area and click on “Forum.” To become involved in SPAWNDiscuss, sign up with Virginia, Virginia@spawn.org.
The SPAWN site has a marvelous index. Have you ever used the index at our site? Here, you will find a list of all of the resources and links to locate informative articles, book reviews, interviews with publishing professionals, industry news, resources and more. http://www.spawn.org. Scroll down and click on “Index to Site.”
Here’s an Article Explaining the Big Business of Publishing
I keep telling you in the articles and books I write and the presentations I give that one of the first things you should do before you enter into the world of publishing is to study the publishing industry. Well, Angela Miyuki Mackintosh has made it a little easier for you through an article she wrote recently. Angela is a partner with Beryl Bray in Wow/Women on Writing, an amazing organization. http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com
In her article, “Deconstructing the Big House,” a study of publishing in America today, Angela explains how there used to be hundreds of mom-and-pop companies run by people who loved books. These are the companies that made up the publishing industry before the industry grew into a tangle of major conglomerates whose primary focuses are power and money. According to Angela, “These little publishing houses had unique voices in the industry, acquiring the titles that they enjoyed. Due to their various publications they managed to create an assorted reading list, none of which defined our culture, but together they created many diversified voices of the population. As readers and literacy grew, so did the publishing houses. Bigger companies bought out mom-and-pop companies, until these little tribes became a unified nation.” She says that the big houses are now mainly owned by foreign entities. And book publishing is only a small part of their business agenda.
I found it interesting that Angela had to update the 26-page article twice within a month’s time because changes are occurring within this industry so rapidly. I recommend that you read this article in it’s entirety at: http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/7-bighouse.php.
In the meantime, know that the big guys are not the only games in town. There are hundreds of smaller traditional royalty publishers to choose from. Yes, the competition is stiff, but it is not impossible to land a contract. Study “Writers Market,” “Literary Market Place” and other publisher reference guides to land a publisher for your amazing, marketable, well-targeted manuscript. Remember that many publishers today specialize, so be sure that you approach the right one for your project.
Rose Jackson Beavers says that African American bookstores are closing across the U.S. despite the fact that Americans are reading more than ever. She begs readers of African American books to purchase books at the African American bookstores in your neighborhood.
This can be said of all independent and specialty bookstores—they’re all struggling because fewer readers are driving, riding their bicycles or walking to their neighborhood bookstores to purchase their reading material. Instead, we’re buying online or from the mega-bookstores that don’t readily support the independent publisher and the struggling author. I sat across from a woman at a luncheon yesterday who was bragging about purchasing books at Amazon.com for a penny. Obviously, she isn’t an author or a publisher.
Let’s all make a pledge that the next time we decide to purchase a book, we visit our local independent bookstore, first.
Likewise, when you purchase a fellow author’s book, order it through your local bookstore to encourage them to stock it. Or buy a copy from the author directly instead of going to Amazon.com or another online bookstore that gouges that author’s profits by 55 percent plus shipping.
What’s Selling and What’s Not?
Ebook sales are up almost 25 percent. That is a surprise to naysayers—me, included. Adult paperbacks are also up 8.5 percent. Down, this quarter, are children’s and young adult hardcover books.
We never know what bit of promotion is going to bring us customers or clients. I strive to be everywhere. That is, I do what I can to get word out about my books and my editorial work. Last month a group of 3 ladies, in need of help promoting a local history book, found me by typing “history promotion” at the Google search prompt. One of them said, “I typed that in and there you were.”
I received a potential new client last week through word of mouth. A friend, former client and colleague met a young woman with a yearning to write a book and told her, “Before you do anything, talk to Patricia Fry. She has the book you need.”
I have landed clients and customers through my blog, through SPAWN, through writers/conferences and through the printing companies we’ve worked with. I got an editing job last year with someone who was referred by the owner of our local print shop.
My customers sometimes also become my clients. Several people who purchased my books came back to me for editing or a consultation.
So why am I telling you this? Because I want to urge you to continue promoting and to take advantage of every opportunity for exposure that comes your way. Seek out speaking opportunities. Attend your class reunion. Place announcements about your book wherever you can (including SPAWNews). Rent space in the SPAWN booth at the Los Angeles Festival of Books. Seek out Web sites and newsletters on the subject or genre of your book and make yourself known there. Write appropriate articles and submit your short stories to magazines, newsletters and Web sites. Start blogging. Use your mailing list: Send notices about book events and share new information on the topic of your book (recipes, techniques and resources). Continually put yourself out there and you will be noticed. This is a good thing.
However, this also means that you may have people try to take advantage of you. The more you are known, the more you are used. Hence the following commentary.
How Much Do You Give?
Sometimes you have to give in order to receive. In fact my March 1st blog is dedicated to this theme. (http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog) I truly do respond to almost every email and mail request for information or guidance that I receive. This amounts to anywhere from five to twenty-five such requests every week. The only emails and letters I avoid are those from prisoners and people who seem to be operating a scam. Why do I reject prisoners? I once worked for a company where my job was to respond to customers’ and potential customers’ letters. Some of those potential customers were prisoners. More than one prisoner misunderstood my professional responses and offered me propositions of marriage. Some began stalking me through the company mail box. As for scammers, yes, they exist even in the name of authorship and publishing.
Consequently, I reply to about 98 percent of the emails and letters I receive. It does my heart good to help the folks who are serious about embracing the realities of publishing. Some of them become customers and/or clients and some, I never hear from again. And that’s okay, too, because giving that benefits someone else has got to be good for the soul.
is a little-known magazine and a weekly email newsletter that might be the perfect outlet for articles related to your book. They pay $50 to $400 for articles of 1,200 to 3,000 words on social, political, economic, theological and community issues that are presented from a progressive Christian perspective. They publish book, film and music reviews of 500 to 1,000 words. Email these to email@example.com. They encourage readers to share their unpublished poems that intersect with or illuminate the perspective of their magazine. They particularly enjoy seasonal poetry and poetry related to significant celebrations or advents. They ask that you do not send poetry via email, but through the mail to: Sojourners, 3333 14th St., NW Ste. 200, Washington, DC 20020. They also publish commentary of 600 to 650 words on current events. Send articles to the attention of the manuscript editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about this magazine and their needs at http://www.sojo.net. is a new magazine designed to expose Canadian talent. If you live in Canada or know an amazing Canadian who is making a mark in literature, design, film music or fashion, consider sending your idea to Amazing Canadian Magazine. Contact Mariam Assaf at email@example.com. The Web site is at http://www.amazingcanadian.ca, but when I visited, the site was under repair. So it looks as though a little patience is needed here. is not accepting queries or articles at this time. If you write articles on health and fitness, check back occasionally to find out if they have changed this policy. http://www.vibrantlife.com is the brainchild of Didi Menendez and she welcomes submissions. She wants poetry—free verse, formal or prose, and all subjects are welcome. Send poetry as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. They also review poetry books. If you have a book of poetry to submit for review, leave a note using their online submission form: http://www.mipoesias.com. is a brand new magazine designed to promote the Nina Campbell Collection of fabrics, home decorating items and accessories. It’s so new that it doesn’t seem to have a Web site, yet. And I doubt that they will use freelance writers. But you never know. If you have a knack for decorating or know something about London-based Nina Campbell’s collection, perhaps you could score a contract with this classy magazine. I’ll watch for additional information.is all about the world if do-it-yourself. It carries projects—mostly technologically oriented projects. For example, they show you how to take kite aerial photographs by suspending a camera from a kite. If you have a knack for gadgetry, you might find a home for some of your projects in Make Magazine. Learn more about Make Magazine at http://makezine.com. Contact Editor, Dale Dougherty at email@example.com. to close. has closed went out of business last year., a Canadian magazine launched in 2003 has folded.