SPAWN Market Update – April 2012

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This edition of the SPAWN Market Update has something for everyone—artists, photographers and poets, as well as freelance writers and authors. We’ve reported a scam that authors should know about, a new site for fiction writers, a site featuring classified ads for editors, a social networking site for poets, job boards for artists, 3 fascinating ways to promote your books and interviews with industry movers and shakers.

Here’s What’s New – site for fiction writers, new magazine for businessmen/women who Tweet, warning for authors and more.

Opportunities for Freelance Writers – Classifieds for editors and four promising freelance opps.

Opportunities for Poets – Social networking site for poets only

Opportunities for Authors – Positive changes at two publishing houses

Book Promotion Opportunities – 3 interesting ways to promote your book

Opportunities for Artists and Photographers – Job boards and a job with Collier’s Mag.

Going, Going, Gone – 7 to report

Resources for Writers and Authors – Vida (for women writers), TagCrowd for editing help.

Bonus Item – Interview with Tilbury House Publisher, Jennifer Bunting and Loredo Publishing Executive Editor, Raquel Benatar

Here’s What’s New

Amy Shojai, a member of the Cat Writer’s Association, issues this warning to authors pitching books. http://amyshojai.com/2012/02/23/thoughty-thursday-warning

Do you write fiction? Are you familiar with Duotrope? If you are trying to earn some money writing fiction, you might want to visit http://www.duotrope.com often for help locating the exact magazines and publishers you are seeking in the pay scale/royalty scale you want.

The head honchos at the Home Depot have decided that they will no longer carry books. Not good news for publishers who still count on store sales and authors with books appropriate to this chain.

Collier’s is making a comeback after a fifty-five year hiatus. For those who are not old enough to remember Collier’s (last published in 1957), they covered current events and topics related to the arts and literature. And they are seeking submissions. Learn more under “Opportunities for Freelance Writers.”

ASPPA Journal is now Plan Consultant. www.asppa.org.pc

Tweeting&Business Magazine is new. It appears that it is designed for people who want to use Twitter to promote their businesses. http://tweetingandbusiness.com

Opportunities for Freelance Writers

The newly reinstated Collier’s Magazine (see story under Here’s What’s New) is open to submissions. Learn more here: http://colliersmagazine.com/submission. You’ll discover that they publish critical essays, informative articles and reports, fiction (they boast that they’ve published such greats as Jack London and Earnest Hemmingway), poetry and art. The editors are saying that it will be an honor to be published in Collier’s new magazine. We can only hope that payment will make that honor even sweeter. There is no mention of payment at their website.

Are you seeking work as an editor? Here’s a link that you may find useful. You can sign up with your credentials and/or you can search for jobs as an editor in this online directory. http://www.publishinghelp.com/classifieds

The folks who operate the Energy-Healing site are accepting submissions from energy healers and others who might have a story to tell about their experiences with energy healing. Submit articles focusing on tips, techniques, personal stories and more on New Age and healing topics. This is a good opportunity for healing practitioners who want some exposure for their work. http://www.energy-healing-info.com/energy-healing-site-info.html

Here’s a great opportunity for writers. What Makes You Happy? A new magazine out of Canada, is paying 50 cents/word for stories. The guidelines are detailed. So take the time to study them. http://happyhappyhappy.ca/contributors_guidelines.html Contact the editors here: contributors@happyhappyhappy.ca.

Knowonder is a small, independent epublisher of children’s stories aimed at kids from 3 to 10. There are many changes taking place at this company—for one thing, they are a paying market now. Their submission guidelines are fairly extensive. I suggest that, if you write for children, you spend some time studying the guidelines and, perhaps, polish something to send to Knowonder. Here’s the link to the submission guidelines: http://www.knowonder.com/submit

Opportunities for Poets

The world’s first poetry social network launched in February. Known as OpenMicVoices, this site is designed for people who write poetry and those who enjoy poetry. They welcome all levels of poets and fans of poetry and it’s FREE. If you love poetry, you must check this out and consider participating. http://openmicvoices.com

Opportunities for Authors

Grand Central Publishing has a new imprint. Amy Pierpont of Forever Yours imprint is accepting agented and unagented manuscripts in all areas of romance, including paranormal. Submission guidelines can be found here: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/publishing_ForeverYours.aspx

Untreed Reads Publishing has joined forces with Scribe in order to provide authors, publishers and others what they consider “seamless solutions” for ebook publishing. They are equipped to help with input and output (including for Kindle, Nook, iPad) and, it appears, they will also help you to distribute your ebook once you get it set up. Learn more at: http://www.untreedreads.com or contact K.D. Sullivan at kdsullivan@untreedreads.com or Nancy Cunningham at ncunningham@scribenet.com

Book Promotion Opportunities

If you have a children’s book for kids ages 3 to 10, you might want to promote it through stories published at the Knowonder site. Kevin Doyle contacted me this month to tell me that they are making some changes to their site and with regard to their submission guidelines. This looks to me to be a great opportunity for children’s book authors to become more well-known to their young readers. Check out the submission guidelines here: http://www.knowonder.com/submit PS: This is a paying market.

Be a Guest Blogger

Another way you can promote your book on any topic is to become a guest blogger at Blogging Authors (http://www.bloggingauthors.com). It appears that they are open to just about any topic that is of interest to authors and readers. Surely, you can come up with something interesting related to your book’s topic. This is just another way to set yourself up as an expert in your field or area of interest. Submission guidelines are here: http://www.bloggingauthors.com/be-a-guest-blogger

If you have a nonfiction book and you aren’t guest blogging at appropriate blog sites, you could be missing many great opportunities to get exposure among your readers and potential readers. Locate blog sites by doing an Internet search. Study blog directories to find appropriate blog sites. By now, you should know who the movers and shakers in your field, area of interest or genre are. Do a search on their names, companies or titles of their books and find out if they have active blogs. Contact them about being a guest blogger.

Pick of the Litter (ature)

Jim DeFilippi has launched a site that might be a good opportunity for authors with books to promote. It’s called Pick of the Litter (ature). Here’s my brief interview with Jim.

Q: Please describe your new concept, Pick of the Litter (ature).

A: As an author, I never thought I’d think this, but…there are just too many books on the Internet. The gatekeepers of the paper and ink world are no longer in charge, and the result is a super-saturation of material and information, most of it useless. To try to stem this tide, at least a little bit, I have set up a Facebook page entitled “Pick of the Litter (ature),” where authors are allowed to choose one favorite book of those they have written and then to post it once and only once before becoming “Readers Only,” where they are allowed to comment only on other authors’ books.

Q: What inspired this idea?

A: When I left the world of paper and ink writing (Blood Sugar from HarperCollins, Duck Alley, etc.) I was overjoyed at the freedom of e-publishing. My only concern was the million or so other e-books out there, and the endless promotional information. I am convinced that the next step forward in cyberspace will be toward editing, distilling and even deleting content.

I am also the owner of a boutique e-book publishing company, Brown Fedora Books, which is based on the same idea.

Q: What can visitors to your Facebook site expect?

A: Once the site is fully up and running, the reader will be able to peruse a “bookshelf” of the one favorite book of each author, from best-selling authors to amateurs, free from mass entries, multiple posts, and annoying merchandizing.

Q: Is there an element that will help authors promote their own books?

A: An author will have to proceed with joy and caution, choose that one book that they are most proud of, post it, and be done. However, I am toying with the concept of wiping the slate clean each New Year.

Q: Who does this program benefit and how?

A: The reader gets to cut through the clutter of millions and millions of e-books, hopefully to find only “The Pick of the Litter (ature).”

Q: You mention a “Reader Only: status. What does that mean?

A: Once authors have posted one book, they are free to act as readers and comment on or “Like” another writer’s work; but as self-promoters, they are finished.

Q: What is your ultimate goal with this program?

A: Simply to have one site on the Internet with a distilled and a “cut to the bone” list of good books to choose from.

Q: Any future plans to expand it?

A: No, the only the decision I’ll have to make is whether authors can list a new book each new year. I think it will depend on numbers and content.

 

Opportunities for Artists and Photographers

Collier’s Magazine uses photo stories. Learn more here: http://colliersmagazine.com/submission

Have you heard of Indeed.com? It’s a job board and there are dozens of jobs for artists here. http://www.indeed.com

Another job board for artists is http://artjobs.artsearch.us

Going, Going, Gone

SPA Magazine has quit publishing

Yes Mag has stopped publishing

Know Magazine (from Canada) is no longer publishing

Antenna Magazine has ceased publication

Capitol Weekly has quit

Sandbox Magazine has ceased publication

SkyWest Magazine (in-flight mag for Delta Connections) has closed.

Resources for Authors and Writers

Are you familiar with Vida, women in literary arts? http://www.vidaweb.org. It’s an interesting site honoring and celebrating women writers and authors. In fact, they do a count each year to discover how many women compared to men are publishing, having their articles/stories published in magazines and so forth. It appears that they believe there is a gender imbalance in publishing. Gosh, in my nearly forty years writing for publication, I never noticed it. Does it really make a difference? Visit this website and see what you think?

Perhaps you’ve heard of TagCrowd. It is a free web app designed to help you determine the frequency of the words you are using in a speech, manuscript, resume, etc. Just go to http://tagcrowd.com and paste in what you’ve written. The words you have repeated in your material will show up and be counted. This site is recommended for writers who have a habit of repeating themselves, but also those who are building a website and want to use appropriate keywords. Check it out—it’s kind of a kick.

Bonus Items

This month we interviewed Jennifer Bunting, publisher at Tilbury House in Maine and Raquel Benatar, Executive Editor at Loredo Publishing. Follow along, you may find this interesting.

Interview with Jennifer Bunting, publisher at Tilbury House

Q: What one or two things can a hopeful author do (or should he/she consider) before entering into the publishing world?

J. Bunting: Authors need to carefully target their queries so that they are approaching publishers who are likely to be interested in their manuscripts. Probably 99 percent of the queries and manuscripts we receive are inappropriate to our list, and it’s obvious that those authors have not visited our website to look at our books, nor have they read our editorial guidelines on our website. This is a big waste of our time and their postage.

I often recommend Susan Rabiner’s book Thinking Like Your Editor as an excellent guide to putting together an effective book proposal—one that pitches not just the book’s content, but also ideas for marketing. Some publishers prefer an email query (but no one appreciates large attachment files!), and others prefer to receive a traditional letter-query or proposal package.

Authors should check the publisher’s submission guidelines before submitting anything. For help in finding an appropriate publisher, use Amazon as a searchable database: use its advanced search function and ask it to sort the results by publication date, so that you see new books first. Look at the listings for books in the same genre, see who the publisher is, go to that publisher’s website, look at its other listings, and read its submission guidelines. Authors who are willing to help market their books with book signings, talks, participation in book festivals, etc., and who offer contacts and suggestions for reviewers, award submissions, and events, are greatly appreciated by most publishers and likely to have a very positive effect on book sales.

Q: What can authors expect from the publishers they approach?

J. Bunting: If you’ve read the publisher’s submission guidelines and approached the publisher appropriately, you should expect a response within a reasonable amount of time.

Q: I wonder also, even though competition is so fierce for authors today (before and after they publish), are more of them turning away from the traditional publishing option making it a more open field for authors?

J. Bunting: We’ve seen a decline in midlist* books with large publishers, with more focus and resources going to create bestsellers. Many of those midlist authors are approaching smaller publishing companies.

Jennifer Bunting, Publisher

Tilbury House

103 Brunswick Avenue

Gardiner, Me 04345

800-582-1899

www.tilburyhouse.com

*Here’s Wikipedia’s definition of midlist. Midlist is a term in the publishing industry which refers to books which are not bestsellers, but are strong enough to economically justify their publication (and likely, further purchases of future books from the same author). The vast majority of total titles published are midlist titles, though they represent a much smaller fraction of total book sales, which are dominated by bestsellers and other very popular titles.

Authors who consistently publish acceptable but not bestselling books are referred to as Midlist authors.

Interview with Raquel Benatar, Exeucitve Editor at Loredo Publishing

Q: What is your best advice to authors based on the current climate within the publishing industry? Has this changed from what you advised say even 10 years ago?

R. Benatar: The face of publishing has changed in the last ten years. The publishing industry is giving different options to authors who want to get published. The best advice to new authors is to gather information about the different options that are available in today’s market.

Q: What one or two things can a hopeful author do (or should he/she consider) before entering into the publishing world?

R. Benatar: Before entering into the publishing world authors should consider having their manuscript edited. It is highly recommended to have a book summary ready, a short biography and a presentation letter, no more than 100 words each. Before submitting a manuscript, an author needs to make sure that it fits with the publisher’s line of products.

Q: What can authors expect from the publishers they approach?

R. Benatar: Publishers receive many manuscripts every day and authors can wait for months before getting an answer; once a manuscript is accepted for publication, publishers usually work within a time frame of 18 months to 2 years to publish a book.

Q: I wonder also, even though competition is so fierce for authors today (before and after they publish), are more of them turning away from the traditional publishing option making it a more open field for authors?

R. Benatar: Though the competition in the publishing industry is fierce it also makes it a more open field to authors. In the current market, many authors are trying different options such as self-publishing or co-publishing. Co-publishing is neither self-publishing nor traditional publishing. It is a partnership between an author and a publisher, who lends a writer its prestige and experience by backing a book project with good potential. The publisher assumes the editing, design, illustration, printing and distribution of the book, while the author provides the manuscript, a marketing plan and covers a part of the publishing costs. The author participates closely in the publishing process and keeps full ownership of the work. The publishing process is generally faster than traditional publishing.

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