SPAWN Market Update – April, 2009
By Patricia L. Fry
Going, Going, Gone – 24 magazines, newspapers and publishers are gone.
Here’s What’s New – 6 timely and interesting items to report.
Opportunities for Freelance Writers – 6 magazines, 2 syndications for writers and 6 job directories with hundreds of jobs for writers.
Opportunities for Authors – 9 publishers and a Boot Camp for Novelists.
Book Promotion Opportunities – How to get on the radio, book review opps. and more.
Opportunities for Scriptwriters – 5 scripts needed.
Opportunities for Artists and Photographers – Hundreds of jobs for artists and photographers.
Editorial Commentary – How to revive a faltering book.
Bonus Item – Answers to questions about publishing, promotion and more.
Movieline’s Hollywood Life has ceased publishing.
The American Magazine is out of business.
Log Homes Illustrated has failed.
Domino Magazine has closed.
Hallmark Magazine is no longer publishing.
Write Now has gone out of business.
ForbesLife Mountain Time has quit.
Plenty has closed its doors.
Backyard has ceased publishing.
Mad Classics has been cancelled.
Mad Kids has quit.
Country Home is out of business.
Arizona Woman will cease publishing.
Bank Advisor has gone down.
Comic Foundry is no longer publishing.
Wondertime (Disney’s parenting magazine) has closed.
Workplace has also quit.
Realms of Fantasy is another casualty of the economy.
Teen Magazine and Website have closed down.
Rocky Mountain News, Colorado’s oldest newspaper has ceased publishing.
Upstate is out of business.
Anderson News, a wholesaler in Tennessee, has gone out of business.
Healing Lifestyles & Spas has quit.
The website for Blue Murder Magazine is for sale.
Even in this economy, there are new magazines cropping up. New magazines are being launched as we speak. There were two more magazine start-ups in 2008 than there were in 2007. How many magazines were launched in 2008? A whopping 715. Another source says 525 magazines failed last year. So far in 2009, according to one source, 40 magazines have ceased publication.
And some magazines are making comebacks. We announced a month ago or so that JPG, a magazine for photographers, was closed. Well, hear this all of you avid photographers, this magazine has been revived.
Acorn Guild Press has bought Marion Street Press. While Acorn Guild Press currently publishes books of poetry and books on folklore, they will now also distribute Marion Street Press’s books for writers and journalists. http://www.acornguild.com
Xlibris, a major player in the “self-publishing” field and one of the oldest self-publishing companies, has been purchased by Author Solutions, Inc.
Barnes and Noble has recently bought Fictionwise. What does this mean? That the mega-bookstore is getting more involved in the digital age of ebooks. http://www.fictionwise.com, http://www.ereader.com and http://www.ebookwise.com will continue operating as usual; only they’ll have more content now that B&N is part of the mix. I have produced five ebooks and I cannot see that there is much interest out there in digital books. But the folks at Fictionwise say that the ebook market is expanding rapidly.
Kitsune Books is closed to submissions until late in 2009. At that time, if you are looking for a publisher for your memoir, contact Kitsune Books. They also publish fantasy, poetry, science fiction books and short story collections. Check back at http://www.kitsunebooks.com/submissions.html along around September or October to see if they are reviewing manuscripts. Or contact Anne Petty at email@example.com to find out when you can submit your fabulous manuscript.
Opportunities for Freelance Writers Canada and Fit Parent Los Angeles will debut this spring. Watch for their website to go up in May at http://www.fitparentmagazine.com. Their target audience will be active families and their focus is promoting healthy communities. If you write in this vein, you might want to note this possible market. Check back at their site in May. Or take some initiative and contact managing editor Sonia Lowe at Sonia@fitparentmagazine.com to see if you have something to contribute.
Churchmouse Publications, based in New Hampshire, provides some unusual and rather extensive opportunities for freelance writers. In fact, their submission guidelines package encompasses 13 pages. Request a copy via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Churchmouse Publications is a new web-based publishing syndicate serving the Christian community. While they are still in establishment mode, they are actively seeking material from freelance writers, artists and photographers. They want articles, columns, interviews, fiction and devotionals as well as cartoons, photos and artwork. Learn more at http://www.churchmousepublications.com. Yes, this is a paying market. Check their guidelines to find out just how much you can make.
Tame Pet Magazine is launching. When I visited their site in order to gather information for you, however, I discovered that their website was down. Keep checking. It sounds like a fun magazine to work for if you like writing about pets. They want material that would be of interest to pet lovers in SW Missouri. They are soliciting pieces on pets in the media, food and nutrition, pet profiles and veterinary advice, for example. Contact Connie or Stephanie at email@example.com (or try firstname.lastname@example.org —but I think this is a typo.) Learn more at: http://www.tamepetmag.com, as soon as they repair their link problem.
Travel with Spirit is a California-based magazine targeting Christian households. It’s all about faith-based travel. They seem to be open to submissions, but beware: They claim that anything sent to them becomes the property of Travel With Spirit. If you want to do business with this magazine, make sure that you have a clear understanding of their guidelines and expectations. http://www.travelwithspirit.com. Contact Honnie Korngold at email@example.com.
The Wrap is an online entertainment magazine, and they are a paying market. Check them out at http://www.wrap.com to see if you can offer them anything. Contact Timothy Doyle, managing editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOBS: Here are a couple of job opportunities at The Wrap. This online magazine is seeking two production editors—one part-time (approximately 20 hours per week) and one full-time. Learn more about this opportunity at: http://www.thewrap.com/jobs. And then send your resume and references to email@example.com.
Subscribe to Freelance Writer’s Report for job listings for writers. http://www.writers-editors.com
Can you write material for the senior demographic? Senior Wire is seeking news, information and features for the mature audience. They are syndicated with over 50 newspapers nationwide (plus in Canada and India). They’re currently seeking pieces of 750-1000 words featuring travel tips for the older adult, personal travel experience with photos, seasonable features, personal essays on pertinent topics as well as thoughtful and newsworthy pieces. Send your suggestions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The writer gets paid around $15 to $22.50 per publication of their pieces. In other words, if a dozen publications pick up your story, you may receive as much as $270. Learn more at http://www.seniorwire.net. By the way, while there is no compensation for photos, the editors say that they do help sell the article.
Hopefully, if you are seeking work as a freelance writer, you have been following through with the links we’ve given you in former issues of the SPAWN Market Update. Here’s a reminder of those we’ve listed plus a few new ones:
And if you want to launch your own magazine, let me suggest that you read Mr. Magazine, Samir Husni, Ph.D’s book, Launch Your Own Magazine: A Guide for Succeeding in Today’s Marketplace. I am asked, occasionally, where to locate information about starting a magazine. So I was glad to discover this book by THE magazine expert while conducting research this month.
Bible Advocate USA is a paying market. They even pay $20 each for poems. Freelance article writers get $25/page up to $55 for articles on Bible doctrine and current social and religious issues. http://baonline.org.
Have you heard about Boot Camp for Novelists? It sounds like a fun, credible and inexpensive way to learn more about how to write a novel and it’s taught by Linda Style, 25-year veteran writer and best-selling, award-winning novelist. Linda is published by Harlequin. Her courses only cost $22.00 each. Check them out at http://www.bootcampfornovelists.com.
Addicus Books is seeking titles on consumer health, self-help, psychology, business, economics, investing and also books of regional interest, including in the true crime category. The submission guidelines at the Addicus website are quite detailed, so study them carefully. http://www.addicusbooks.com/submission_guidelines.cfm. And be sure to look at their catalog of books. Before submitting your idea, determine whether your book fits in or not.
Now here’s an opportunity. E-Digital Books publishes 10 to 15 ebooks per year and they only receive 5 queries and 5 manuscripts during the year. They pay 30-60 percent royalty on the retail price of the book. They publish nonfiction and creative nonfiction for children and adults on topics including animals, art, ethnic, history, photography, spirituality and travel. They also accept fiction for adults and young adults on subjects related to adventure, ethnic, fantasy, historical, humor, literary, military, mystery, religion, romance and westerns. Further, they publish short story collections and uplifting, inspirational poetry. Their audience is Christian family, travel-oriented people who like the ease of the ebook technology. http://www.edigitalbookstore.com. Contact T.R. Allen, email@example.com.
Komenar Publishing in Walnut Creek, CA publishes fiction including adventure, ethnic, experimental, historical, humor, mainstream, mystery and suspense. Contact Charlotte Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or fill out the form at the site: http://www.komenarpublishing.com.
Wolf Pirate Publishing produces only fiction. Do you have a paranormal thriller, fantasy, horror, mystery or suspense manuscript? If so, consider contacting Catherine Rudy at email@example.com. http://www.wolf-pirate.com. I do not see submission guidelines at their site, so contact Catherine and ask for a copy.
Parkhurst Brothers Publishing has launched in Little Rock, Arkansas. The former publisher at August House Publishers has founded Parkhurst Brothers Publishing. For their guidelines, go to http://www.pbros.net/guidelines.htm. Here’s a hint as to what they are seeking: manuscripts relating to critical national issues.
Note: Before I post a publisher here, I double check to see if the publisher is still active, still accepting submissions and if the website and email address that I have are still in use. I suggest that you do the same. When you find the name of a publisher while surfing the net, on the spine of a book at a bookstore, linked at a website you are visiting or in Writer’s Market, for example, always, always go to the website, search for their submission guidelines, study them and double check contact information. Things are changing rapidly within the publishing industry. Companies that were viable last year may not be this year. Companies that were not in existence a few months ago might be craving excellent manuscripts today.
Do you offer your potential customers a sneak peek of your book before they buy it? Amazon posts chapters from some of the books they distribute. Some authors I know open up their books for view at their websites. St. Martin’s Press now offers a new test read of books on their list. Evidently, you can subscribe and St. Martins will send you a week’s worth of daily emails featuring a particular book in hopes of whetting your appetite enough that you will purchase it. If you are already producing a newsletter or posting a blog, for example, you might consider trying this technique for attracting customers.
A new magazine called WV Living, reviews books. If you have one related to life in West Virginia, you might submit it for review. But first, check out their guidelines at http://www.wvlivingmagazine.com. And/or contact editor, Nikki Bowman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Janice Harayda operates an interesting book review site. She gives brief reviews for new and classic fiction as well as poetry at her One Minute Review blogsite. She also features the “Delete Key Awards” for the worst writing of the year. Check out this fun site and maybe even request a review at http://oneminutereviews.wordpress.com.
Your Book Tube is a new site that provides for authors to post their book videos “totally” free. It’s a place where your potential readers can come and view your book video—or trailer—and purchase your book. They pitch this site as a place where “Book videos sell books.” Check it out at http://www.yourbooktube.com. In fact, it’s the only opportunity, currently, where readers can go to view numbers of book videos in one place.
If your book relates to business, you might be able to get a spot on Michael Gerber’s new Internet radio show to talk about your book. Learn more at http://www.sbtv.com. Contact the producer at email@example.com.
If you want to learn more about how to locate and book spots on radio shows—both regular radio and Internet radio—contact Francine Silverman at Book Promotion Newsletter. She runs a long list of bookings she has arranged for her clients in her newsletter each week. Contact Fran at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell her that Patricia Fry at SPAWN sent you. Visit her website at http://www.bookpromotionnewsletter.com. Or http://www.talkradioadvocate.com.
Jerrol LeBaron over at Ink Tip is soliciting scripts in these areas: feature-length scripts that will appeal to male and female audiences of any age in any genre for name talent; full-length, heartwarming Christmas features that would be rated PG-13; dance-battle scripts; psychological thrillers for a female lead and musicals. Learn more at http://www.InkTip.compnews.php.
Check out the opportunities for artists and photographers listed under “Opportunities for Freelance Writers” Churchmouse Publications. is looking for a freelance graphic editor who has knowledge of Photoshop and is comfortable working with photo databases in a fast-paced news environment. Learn more about this job opportunity at http://www.thewrap.com/jobs. Contact email@example.com.
Are you looking for work as an artist or photographer? Here are some links to help you locate jobs:
Career Overview provides tips and guidance for shutterbugs who want to turn their love and talent for photography into a career. Here, you’ll learn how to break in, what to expect, etc. For example, did you know that in 2004, there were about 129,000 jobs held by photographers? Over half of those photographers were self-employed. http://www.careeroverview.com/photography-careers.html
Arizona Highways uses photos from freelance photographers. In fact, nearly all of the photos they use in the magazine are from freelancers. And they pay well. For a front cover photo, you could get up to $600. The minimum paid for a photo published in Arizona Highways is $125. Read their guidelines for photographers at http://www.arizonahighways.com. Click on “photography.”
I read it again in another newsletter that crossed my desk: A reader wrote in saying, “I published my book through a POD publishing company several years ago and have sold very few copies. How can I revive my book or is it too late?”
I also get this question from time to time: “I just can’t seem to sell my book. Bookstores won’t take it. I’m not getting sales from my website. I haven’t even sold enough copies to break even. What am I doing wrong?”
I love these questions because I have the answers for these disheartened authors in my ebook, The Author’s Repair Kit. This book is designed to help you breathe new life into your struggling book. Here’s the Table of Contents to give you an idea of the subjects this ebook covers:
This is an easy-to-follow, hands-on book. In fact, at the end of each section, you’ll find “Suggested Activities” which will help you to discover your book’s true audience, hooks, competition, worth, value and so forth.
Many people today write what I call “bulldozer” books. These are books designed to change minds and hearts. The bulldozer book does not sell—at least not to the audience for which it is intended. Why? Because those of us in this human race do not read what we should read—particularly if it is something someone else thinks we should read. We read what we want to read, what we are motivated to read, what inspires and captivates us. But there is hope even for a bulldozer book. And The Author’s Repair Kit can help. It’s just a matter of redefining your book and launching a new marketing plan geared toward a more appropriate audience. http://www.matilijapress.com/author_repairkit.html.
I’d like to share with you some Common Questions that I come across in the course of my work with SPAWN and with my clients, customers and students. I am also sharing some of my best responses.
Question: I hired an editor through my self-publishing company and am very disappointed in the results.
Answer: I believe that all publishing professionals agree that most editors hired by “self-publishing” companies are actually proofreaders or simply employees who happen to have a fairly good eye. While we should hire a proofreader before we go to print, we also need to work with a good editor. And the more extensive the editing, the more likely you need a proofreader! Why? Because, like the author, an editor can become too close to a work in progress, especially one that is rather complex, and she can begin to overlook simple typos.
I suggest hiring a good editor (one who comes with excellent references) and a proofreader before turning your book over to any “self-publishing” company. In most cases, you will get more for your money.
Question: What’s the best way to promote a book?
Answer: It depends on your book and it depends on you. While a book on how to locate the right managerial position might be conducive to back of the room sales in a business or learning environment, your spiritual memoir might do better sold in Christian bookstores throughout the U.S. Live presentations and readings may be the ticket for selling a humorous novel, where articles and book reviews in targeted publications might generate more sales for your regional history. Likewise, if you absolutely hate public speaking or you have limited mobility, for example, you’re going to be more comfortable and maybe more effective at promoting your book online.
Here are the keys to selling books:
Question: What’s the best way to publish a book?
Answer: It depends on the book and it depends on the author. I tell hopeful authors that, before they get very far in the process of publishing their books, they should consider two things:
Your painfully honest answers to these two questions will help you to determine whether producing this book is even a good idea. And your in-depth, thoughtful responses to these questions will help guide you along your publishing path.
For example, do you want to simply share your memoir with family and friends? I’ve worked with numbers of clients for whom this was their ultimate goal. Then publishing with a fee-based POD “self-publishing” company may be a good idea. But choose one that Mark Levine, in his book, The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, lists under “Outstanding Self-Publishing Companies.” That would be, Aventine Press, Booklocker, Bookpros, Cold Tree Press, Dog Ear Publishing, Infinity publishing, RJ Communication and Xulon Press. And then hire an attorney to go over the contract with you.
Maybe you have determined that your reason for writing this book is to help a large segment of society, or your purpose is to establish greater levels of credibility in your field. If you need the book rather quickly—you are striving to meet a deadline, for example—then, again, the “self-publishing” company may be the ticket as they have a quicker turn-around than do traditional royalty publishers.
If you want total control of your project and all of the profits AND you have what it takes to promote this book, your obvious choice is self-publishing (establishing your own publishing company).
And if you are determined to produce your children’s book, novel or self-help memoir, for example, only if you can find a publisher who will invest in it, of course, you will be pitching it to traditional royalty publishers.
You’ll want to consider a traditional royalty publisher if you have no desire to deal with the business side of publishing (getting the ISBN, deciding on a cover design and page layout, choosing a title, etc.). But you must be able to create a perfect pitch to appropriate publishers by way of a book proposal (for nonfiction and, in some cases, fiction) and be prepared to help promote your book.
Base your publishing choice on your knowledge of the publishing industry (it is up to you to educate and inform yourself); on your realistic expectations and on your ultimate goals for your project. Study books by Patricia Fry, Dan Poynter, Brian Jud, and Marilyn and Tom Ross in order to more intelligently determine the best publishing options for your particular project.