SPAWN Market Update – August, 2007
By Patricia L. Fry
Going, Going, Gone—11 magazines and publishers close their doors.
Here’s What’s New—7 newsworthy items to report.
Opportunities for Freelance Writers—Write about writing or junior high school issues.
Opportunities for Authors—Sell books to libraries/join a speakers’ bureau.
Opportunities for Fiction Writers—An apology and 4 promising opportunities.
Opportunities for Children’s Book Authors—Let Cheerios help you get published.
Opportunities for ScreenWriters—Write for TV.
Industry News—Bowker announces 291,920 new titles in 2006 through a new counting system. (They reported 172,000 last year.) What’s up with this?
Resources—Agent query, Coffee Break for Writers and a conference directory site.
Editor’s Note: Vote for SPAWN as one of the 101 BEST writing/publishing sites.
Bonus Item—Q & A. How to create a workbook.
Members Matter—Brand NEW Column—August’s topic: Amazon.com
It looks as though Writer.com is out of business.
If you haven’t heard of Reiman Publications, you’re probably not into magazines. They produce Country Woman, Taste of Home, etc. But from now on they’ll be known as RDA Milwaukee (Reader’s Digest Association).
ELDR is a brand new magazine for elders who want to celebrate the process of aging. The magazine carries articles about the usual—dieting, fitness, health, travel, lifestyle and profiles of real people doing interesting things. This looks like a great forum for authors with books to promote to this demographic. Write an article to promote your book on gardening, health and fitness, elder care, grandparenting, stress, using herbs in your kitchen, war stories, your book of poetry or your memoir, for example. Contact Managing Editor, Laurie Herr. Laurie@eldr.com. Or use the form at http://www.eldr.com/forms/contact-eldr. Check out the site at http://www.eldr.com.
Arthur quit publishing last year, but word is that they’re back. This is a trans- generational, counterculture magazine. Study the magazine description at http://www.arthurmag.com and then, if you think you have something to contribute, contact editor Jay Babcock at email@example.com
Organize: an independent woman’s magazine is new and it targets women who work full-time or who are full-time mothers. Their aim is to help women attain a sense of order and a feeling of control over the work desk or the toy bin. http://www.organizemag.com. Submission guidelines at the site. Contact editor Sara MacLean at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hispanic Trends has changed its name to Hispanic Enterprise.
Tom Nixon let me know this week that he has a sister site for his Small Press Blog. It’s called Self Pub News and is located at http://www.selfpubnews.com. This site announces conferences, bookstore signings, new books, lectures and more.
According to my friend, Dana Cassell at Freelance Writer’s Report (http://www.writers-editors.com), Halequin Enterprises Ltd, a world leader in publishing fiction, is entering the nonfiction market in the fall of 2008. If you’re working on a manuscript featuring relationships, health, diet, fitness or are writing an inspirational book, memoir or biography, check out their guidelines. Write for a copy to Harlequin Books, 233 Broadway, Ste. 1001, New York, NY 10279.
Misti Sandefur, editor of Coffee Break for Writers, let me know recently that she needs how-to articles on writing and selling recipes, writing and selling quizzes, tips for taking photos, tips for paraphrasing. http://www.coffeebreakforwriters.com/writers_guidelines.html.
SIX78th Magazine is opening up for submissions this month. In case you’ve forgotten the original listing, let me remind you that this is a junior high lifestyle magazine. Check them out at http://www.six78.com. Contact Angie Rangel, Publisher at email@example.com for submission guidelines.
Phoenix authors, here’s a great opportunity for you. The Phoenix Author/Speaker Alliance is up and operating. If you want to get out and speak on the subject of your book, connect with this referral service to find venues. http://www.phxspeakers.org. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you catch the statistic in the PMA Independent stating that there are more than 117,000 libraries in the United States that spend in excess of $1 billion a year to build their collections. Make sure that your book is of library quality and then promote it to libraries. Here are some library directory sites from the resources pages in my book, The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book. . American Library Association, http://www.ala.org. http://www.librarydirectory.com and http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/libdir. Librarians purchase books, typically, in June and December—it might not be too late to get in on the December buying frenzy. http://www.galegroup.com
Sorry folks, my fingers slipped when I reported the pay scale for the Big Ole Face Full of Monster Magazine last month. I said they paid 25 cents per word. An astute reader let me know that it is really only 2.5 cents per word (2 ½ cents). Big difference. http://www.gomonstergo.com/submissions.html.
Are you familiar with the Passionate Pen site? http://www.passionatepen.com. Here, you will discover just about everything you need to write for the romance market—publishers, agents, articles, recommended books, workshops, etc. I thought I’d list a few small presses that publish romance in case you’d like to contact them instead of going with a fee-based POD “self-publishing” company, for example.
Draumr Publishing is seeking submissions for their imprint, Dangerous Curves Books. They want at least 45,000 words (there’s no maximum). And the heroine must be a big and beautiful woman. Please, don’t have her lose weight to gain acceptance. They will throw your manuscript in the round file. Query first and send the first three chapters and your synopsis to email@example.com. By the way, they want only romance books, but it’s okay to combine it with a subgenre such as, historical, paranormal, thriller, etc. Submission guidelines at: http://www.draumrpublishing.com/submissions.php.
Zumaya Publications publishes romance and many other genres. Check out their book list at http://www.zumayapublications.com. And study their submission guidelines. There, you’ll find out that they want to see manuscripts of at least 65,000 words. And all submissions must be submitted via an email attachment. For guidelines, which are very specific, http://www.zumayapublications.com/guidelines.php.
Cheerios is seeking authors. Yes, Cheerios, the breakfast cereal. This company is sponsoring a Spoonfuls of Stories Children’s Book Contest. The winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and will have his/her story reviewed by Simon and Schuster for a potential book deal. Two runners up will receive cash prizes of $1,000 each. All winning stories will appear on http://www.spoonfulsofstories.com. The point of the contest is to get good books into the hands of more children.
Here’s how to enter: Sometime before September 7, 2007, previously unpublished adult authors are invited to submit their story for a children’s book (suitable for ages 4-8). For all contest rules and entry forms, go to http://www.spoonfulsofstoriescontest.com/.
Scriptapalooza Television Writing Competition is open. They want contestants to write a script for one-hour shows like Boston Legal and Desperate Housewives. And half-hour sitcoms like The Office and Two and a Half Men. They also want original pilots and reality shows. This contest is supported by the Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild of Canada. Learn more at http://www.scriptapaloozaTV.com. The deadline is October, 15, 2007.
I was surprised to learn that Bowker has a new way of counting books. Originally, they reported 172,000 new titles produced in 2004. Now they say it was actually 295,523. And, yes, they are counting just print books—not ebooks and not audio books. Here’s what they say about this major change. The new methodology employed represents a collaborative approach with multiple industry data aggregators to verify the numbers. According to Bowker, “This approach will become the benchmark for all of Bowker’s book publishing industry data reports from now on.”
So with this in mind, there were 282,500 titles produced in 2005 and 291,920 in 2006. They further report a decline in titles produced for juvenile readers in 2006, while adult titles increased nearly 17 percent. According to Bowker, among the hottest categories last year were biographies, which increased by 15 percent from 8,904 new titles in 2005 to 10,489 in 2006 and business books, which climbed 12 percent. Religious titles were up 6 percent.
IndependentPublishers.com is for sale. If you have a book related to publishing and you don’t have a site, yet, you might want to look into purchasing this one. http://www.independentpublishers.com.
Agent Query is an interesting site with much of interest to authors. While they feature the largest and most current database of literary agents, they also list writers conferences/seminars, literary organizations, grants and information about how to submit your work to an agent. http://www.agentquery.com
Coffee Break for Writers, the monthly ezine for writers by writers is now available online each month. Visit their homepage and click on current issue to read the latest. http://www.coffeebreakforwriters.com. Until now, they have emailed their newsletter in a PDF file, but they believe this will be more convenient for their readers. What does this ezine feature? This month Jan Grant talks about modifier misdemeanors. Oh boy did I see a lot of mistakes that my clients make in her list. An example of a sentence with the words out of order follow: “They said it would rain on the radio today.” Jan’s comment is, “Won’t that break the radio?”
“A book sat on the desk that Mary had read.” Mary read the desk?
I love this one, “Being in a dilapidated condition; I was able to buy the house very cheap.” Oops, I hope the speaker/writer feels better soon.
Coffee Break for Writers includes paying markets. This month, editor Misti Sandefur includes a cooking magazine, MAD Magazine, a children’s activities magazine, The Chick Lit Review and Women of Spirit. The Success Café section toasts your successes. And then there is writing and publishing news. I’ll be sure to send Misti news of my book revision. My favorite part of this newsletter is the Grammar Word Scramble.
Check out http://www.selfpubnews.com for writers conferences and other opportunities for independent publishers and authors.
SPAWN was voted one of the Writer’s Digest’s best 101 writing/publishing sites in 1999, 2004 and 2006. We missed out this year because we didn’t remember to vote or to ask you to vote. Besides, the competition is getting stiffer and stiffer. I mean, they claim they chose the best sites from 1700 entries. They are taking votes for the 2008 101 best sites list as we speak, so be sure to vote for SPAWN. Learn more about the categories and criteria at http://www.writersdigest.com. Scroll down and click on the link where you see, “The 101 Best Sites for Writers.” Vote at firstname.lastname@example.org. I consider us a “publishing resource.” Where else can you get the information, resources, regular newsletters with updates and industry news AND personal attention to your questions and concerns? If you like what we do here, be sure to vote for SPAWN.
Check out my article in the July edition of SPAN Connection, Tips for Becoming More Media-Worthy. You’ll also find it posted at my site: http://www.matilijapress.com/articles/promote_mediaworthy.htm. And, yes, I include tips for fiction writers, as well as nonfiction.
Question and Answer about Creating a Workbook
I want to make a workbook to go with my new book. How do I go about this? A little insight, please. By the way, thank you sooo much for giving me the direction I need on the way to success.
A workbook can be an entirely different animal than even an instructional book. First, I suggest studying other workbooks—preferably in the same genre as your book. Even workbooks in other topics/genres might be helpful. Study them to discover what makes them useful, easy to use, well-organized.
Next, have a clear purpose for your workbook. What do you want the reader (workbook user) to learn, feel, experience?
I think that the main components of a workbook, aside from what I listed above, are
I hope this helps.
Some authors with books published by fee based, POD “self-publishing” companies are removing their books from Amazon. They especially resent the fact that book browsers can purchase their books at a discount at Amazon. How do you feel about your association with Amazon? Are you happy there? Are you selling books through Amazon? If you have pulled out of Amazon or you are not sending customers there, what are your alternative venues for your book?
Send your comments and topic suggestions for this column to Patricia@spawn.org.