SPAWN Market Update – August, 2009
By Patricia L. Fry
Going, Going, Gone – 11 more magazines have gone out of business. What does this mean to the freelance writer?
Here’s What’s New – A rate increase at Donohue, a detailed report on the future of books and more.
Opportunities for Freelance Writers – How to find expert sources for your writing projects, become a book reviewer, get freelance work, plus 4 paying magazines.
Opportunities for Fiction Writers – 3 writing opps. plus 750 writing contests.
Opportunities for Children’s Writers – Children’s Writer Newsletter.
Opportunities for Authors – What exactly constitutes a bestseller? Plus 5 publishers seeking manuscripts.
Book Promotion Opportunities – 4 unique opportunities AND tips for promoting through magazine articles.
Opportunities for Screenplay Writers – 3 sites full of opportunities.
Opportunities for Artists – 5 really good opportunities and excellent resources for all artists, photographers, etc.
Resources for All Creative People – Get your project funded! Your Best Bet in Blog Sites.
Editor’s Comment – A Fun play on words.
Style will soon close its doors.
Chicago Tribune Magazine has published its last issue.
Jaqui! Milwaukee will cease publishing until they can get funding.
Open Air has cancelled its next two quarterly issues.
Nickelodeon Magazine will close its doors by the end of the year.
Missbehave is reported to have closed not only the print mag, but the online publication, too.
Performing Songwriter is gone.
Skirt Atlanta has closed.
Washington’s Finest went out of business.
PDX has closed its doors.
Wildlife Conservation has folded
What’s Really Going On With Magazines and How Does it Affect You?
According to MediaFinder.com, 525 magazines ceased publishing in 2008. Depending on which source you follow, there were anywhere from 191 to 634 new magazine launches last year. We have been reporting magazine launches and failures in the SPAWN Market Update for the past eight years. This appeared in the January 2005 edition of the SPAWN Market Update: (Keep in mind that our report does not represent the entire scope of industry statistics.)
“We’ve reported the demise of 264 magazines and publishers during the last 36 months. Why do 60 percent of magazines fold within their first year of business and 80 percent (of those remaining) within their fourth year? Probably for the same reasons that any small business fails: lack of a clear focus, inadequate funding, ineffective marketing, failure to understand the competition and the market and the health of the economy.”
Even in this economy, magazines are launching. Many of them come into being with the idea of existing without benefit of freelance writers and photographers. Numbers of those who do use freelancers have trouble paying them. Staff members are being let go. It’s the trickledown effect: Advertisers and funding sources are disappearing, so magazine publishers are seeking creative means to hold things together. Unfortunately, freelance writers, artists and photographers pay the price.
But here’s the really good news: According to Meg Weaver in her Wooden Horse Magazine News (http://www.woodenhorsepub.com), there are 20,590 magazines currently being published and 7,383 of them are consumer titles. There is hope. There is work for those who really want it. And that’s why it is even more important than ever that you read valuable newsletters like this one.
Some say that it’s worthwhile to stay loyal to key magazines whether you’re getting paid or not, because, if they becomes successful, you’ll benefit. Yes, maybe. Better still that you remain true to yourself as you decide how to manage your freelance business. And there’s the key—the word “business.” If you write for a living or to supplement your income, you are in business and you should always think and behave as a professional. And one way to do that (one way that I kept afloat during difficult economic times when I was freelancing for magazines as my means of support) is to get out of your comfort zone and seek out new magazines to pitch.
Here are a couple of resources that might help you jumpstart your freelance article-writing business: A Writer’s Guide to Magazine Articles (by Patricia Fry), 6-Figure Freelancing (by Kelly James-Enger) and The Well-Fed Writer (by Peter Bowerman).
The Donohue Group announces a rate increase. They will continue to provide Publisher’s Cataloguing-In-Publication (PCIP) blocks for authors, but the fee is now $76.50 for regular delivery service (within two weeks) and $105 for rush service (3 business days). Learn more at http://www.dgiinc.com. Locate their PCIP form here: http://www.dgiinc.com/pcipform.htm. Or call Pat McCurdy-Crescimanno at The Donahue Group at 860-683-1647.
Humanities Magazine (published by the National Endowment of Humanities) features a great article by Steve Moyer about the future of books and readers. Read the article here: http://www.neh.gov/news/humanities/2009-07/WhatIf.html.
I reported in the June 2009 issue of the SPAWN Market Update that Conscious Choice, a 20-year-old magazine had folded. I’m pleased to report that it has been replaced. Check out Mindful Metropolis, a publication that promises to follow in the footsteps of the original Chicago-based Conscious Choice. Their focus is the environment, natural health, personal health, and organic and sustainable foods. While this is a paying market, don’t expect to earn more than around $100 max for an article. Complete submission guidelines here: http://www.mindfulmetropolis.com/Submissions.aspx.
The domain for NWWomensJournal.com is for sale.
Asylett Publishing is currently closed to submissions.
Why Do We Report Failed Magazines
Why do you care which magazines have closed or are in trouble? If you plan to write for a magazine that’s listed in our “Going, Going, Gone” section, you’ll want to rethink that decision. Likewise, if a magazine we’ve listed has published your story, you’ll want to be first in line to collect your payment. So if you are a freelance writer, be sure to pay close attention to the “Going, Going, Gone” section of this unique newsletter. (For greater insight into the current magazine industry, be sure to read my commentary following the list of failed magazines.)
A new book review site, Review the Book, is seeking help from serious book reviewers. Learn more at http://www.reviewthebook.com. There is no monetary compensation for reviewing books for this site. In fact, there is a membership fee of $75.00. You will, however, get to keep the books you review and your review may appear on as many as 10 review sites. So think of this gig as a feather in your cap, a stepping stone to paid reviews, a chance to read some good books, the opportunity to keep writing and exposure for your work.
Do you belong to the Cassell Network of Writers—home of the Freelance Writer’s Report? If you are seeking paying work as a writer, you really should consider it. According to editor, Dana Cassell, they had 78 requests for freelance writers or editors at their bulletin board during the month of May. http://www.writers-editors.com
Locate sources for your articles through Help a Reporter (HARO). Just sign up here: http://www.helpareporter.com/press and you’ll be able to post your questions at this site. Experts will be notified of your journalistic needs and they will respond. Sounds much easier than the old-fashioned method we used in the ‘70s and ‘80s—when we had to go out in search of the information and expert sources we needed for an article on child behavior, altitude sickness or caring for a cat suffering from kidney failure, for example.
Mother Jones Magazineis a progressive magazine covering politics and social issues. They love exposés and interesting, if not controversial, interview/profiles. If you are good at investigative reporting, you might find a home for your writing at Mother Jones. They buy as many as 100 manuscripts/year and they pay a whopping $1.00 per word. Guidelines here: http://www.motherjones.com/about/writer-guidelines.
Entrepreneur Magazine pays as much as $1,000 for an article. If you want to break into Entrepreneur, you must know how to write a good query letter. They want to see a query letter first. Email queries related to starting or operating a small business, small business issues, psychological issues for businessmen and women, as well as how-to articles for entrepreneurs to firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll find their submission guidelines at http://www.entrepreneur.com/entmagwg.html. Guidelines for Entpreneur.com are here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/entcomwg.html.
How is read by graphic design professionals. If you can write on unique design projects, the business end of design companies or you enjoy doing interviews with key players in this profession, you might want to submit your articles to How. They pay as much as $700 to $900 per piece. http://www.howdesign.com.
Ruralite pays only around $50 to $500 per article, but they publish as many as 60 features per year—so the opportunities are pretty significant. What do they use? Public interest and people-oriented pieces with a strong Northwest flavor. http://www.ruralite.org
Rewind the Fifties is not accepting submissions at this time. If you love to write reminiscences related to the 1950s, check back in a few months for instructions: http://www.loti.com/writers_wanted.htm.
Do you write poetry or short stories? Would you like to be a Winning Writer? Then visit Winning Writers’ site at http://www.winningwriter.com. You’ll find tons of contests and competitions. While you’re there, sign up for their free Wining Writers Newsletter. At the site, you’ll find over 750 contests including 150 rated the best. And also check out their list of “contests to avoid.”
Broken Pencil buys articles as well as fiction pieces and they pay anywhere from $30 to $300 per piece. The guidelines give you a pretty good idea of what they use: http://www.brokenpencil.com/about/submit.php.
Beneath Ceaseless Sky pays .05 cents/word for literary adventure fantasy. Check out their lengthy and detailed guidelines. http://beneath-ceaseless-skies.com. Click on “Submissions.”
Opportunities for Children’s Writers is open to freelance articles. Their audience consists of beginning to established professional writers who want to keep updated on writing for children and selling their work. Earn as much as $300 for feature articles. Learn more about their submission guidelines at: http://www.childrenswriter.com/guidelines.htm.
Children’s Writer Newsletter
Opportunities for Authors has been closed to submissions for the last four months. They will be open to unsolicited submissions in September and October of 2009. If you have a fabulous fantasy, science fiction, horror, romance, young adult or mystery manuscript you’d like to have published, visit Mundania Press at http://www.mundaniapress.com.
A new Canadian publisher seeks fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction by Canadians only. Check out Recliner Books at http://www.reclinerbooks.com.
Two Ravens Press in Scotland is soliciting excellent contemporary fiction and literary nonfiction as well as poetry. Visit their website and read their extensive submission guidelines here: http://www.tworavenspress.com.
Here’s another Canadian publisher seeking children’s books from Canadian authors. Contact Orca Book Publishers. http://www.orcabook.com/client/client_pages/author_guidelines.cfm
Black Lyon Publishing is currently seeking romance in 3 categories: Paranormal, Historical and Contemporary. Learn more at: http://www.blacklyonpublishing.com/guidelines.html.
How Does a Book Get Bestselling Status?
Have you ever wondered what constitutes a bestseller? How is a bestseller created? Are there some tricks of the trade that turn a regular book into one with bestseller status? Is it a phony, trumped-up ranking? Tanya Hall, Business Development Manager at Greenleaf Book Group has published an article in which she reveals the truth. Read it in the July 2009 issue of World Wide Freelance Magazine (http://www.worldwidefreelance.com). It was also posted at the Big Bad Blog blogsite on January 19, 2007: http://www.bigbadbookblog.com/2007/01/19/a-bestseller-by-any-other-name/.
Michael Dresser of the Michael Dresser Radio Show, Dresser After Dark, is always searching for that perfect radio guest. He likes to interview authors. It’s easy to be considered for his show. Simply make sure that you have listened to his show so you know the format (you can listen at his website http://maverickmediastrategies.com), email Dresser’s staff with a couple of show topic ideas and tell him a little about your book. Here’s the email address: email@example.com. Dresser also presents seminars designed to help authors get what they want out of their media appearances.
Review the Book is a new book review site from Irene Watson’s Reader Views. If your book is chosen for review, the review could show up on as many as 50 different review sites. There is a fee of $25 per book you submit for review or $150 for ten titles. http://www.reviewthebook.com
Get publicity for your book by helping out reporters. Really!! HARO (HelpingAReporter.com) is a sort of a clearing house for reporters seeking specific types of information, resources, quotable sources and more from experts like you. Yes, if you are the author of a book on raising poodles, you are considered an expert on raising poodles. Sign up for the HARO newsletter here: http://www.helpareporter.com. And be sure to open the newsletters, read the listings and respond to those that relate to your particular expertise. I just received my first newsletter from Peter Shankman at HARO and noticed a need for expertise from a life coach, a nutritionist and a builder. There are journalists seeking expert sources related to travel, technology, lifestyle, health and fitness and other issues. There were requests for expert assistance with the following topics, real estate, teens overcoming disabilities, an article on auto mechanics, home remedies for mosquito bites, career change and others.
Another way to promote your book is through Yahoo Answers. http://www.answers.yahoo.com. People ask all kinds of questions. If you have a book on a specific topic, you can go to Yahoo Answers, locate questions related to your topic and get some instant (and long-lasting) publicity by giving thoughtful and appropriate answers.
More Opportunities For Authors
I recommend that you check the listings under “Opportunities for Freelance Writers” in this newsletter for potential book promotion opportunities. Article writing is an excellent method of getting enormous exposure for your book. If your book relates to an aspect of business, consider writing an informative article for Entrepreneur Magazine, for example. Maybe your book focuses on some important social issue. If so, write an article for Mother Jones Magazine. Perhaps your book focuses on running a small business or some facet of graphic design. If so, consider writing for How Magazine. The readers of Ruralite, a publication for rural residents of the Northwest U.S., might be interested in an excerpt from your memoir, if it’s set in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, etc.
Scriptapalooza announces a competition for TV writers. The organizers say that in their ten years in existence, they’ve seen two writers win Emmys and numerous writers have landed agents and managers. Why not you? There are a lot of opportunities for TV writers in this contest, including competition for existing TV shows such as Boston Legal, Desperate Housewives, The Office and Two and a Half Men. They also want to see original scripts for reality shows. Learn more here: http://www.scriptapaloozaTV.com.
Are you familiar with MovieBytes site? Here, you will find contests and competitions for screenwriters, jobs, a bulletin board where you can communicate with other new and experienced screenwriters and more. Check it out at http://www.moviebytes.com.
Check out http://www.dmoz.org. This is an amazing directory of opportunities for screenwriters/playwrights, songwriters, poets, photographers and others. For numerous contests, go to: http://www.dmoz.org/arts/writers_resources/contests.
Check out http://www.dmoz.org. This is an amazing directory of opportunities for screenwriters/playwrights, songwriters, poets, photographers and others. For numerous contests, go to: http://www.dmoz.org/arts/writers_resources/contests. (Yes, this is a repeat, but I wanted everyone who can relate to this site to see this posting.)
At http://www.artdeadlineslist.com, you have your choice of viewing a free listing of contests, jobs, internships and so forth for artists, photographers and others, or the more detailed paid version. It’s only $24/year to join and you get the lists ahead of those who get it for free.
Ruralite Magazine uses photos. They pay $25 to $100 for those published on the inside pages and $250 to $350 for cover photos. http://www.ruralite.org
Tips For Finding Work as an Artist or Photographer
Would you like to pick up work illustrating books for authors? Here’s a tip—do a Google search using keywords, “Need Illustrator” or “Illustrator for Book,” and you may be surprised at what comes up. You will discover authors seeking illustrators. You will find message boards and forums where folks are talking about hiring illustrators or finding work as an illustrator. I’m telling you, if sitting in your studio hoping for an illustrating job is not working for you, get proactive. Go out in search of jobs. Hang around the sites where authors congregate. The jobs are definitely out there. It’s up to you to go out in search of them.
For more help in how to promote your art, read Patricia Fry’s article, “Promotion: Your Success as an Artist Depends on it.” http://www.matilijapress.com/articles/promote-art.htm
I’ve told you about Hope C. Clark’s Funds for Writers (http://www.fundsforwriters.com), where freelance writers and authors can seek grants and other funding for their projects. But have you heard of Kickstarter.com? Here, you can showcase your writing, art, music and other projects and request funding in specific amounts. According to the group of five who came up with this idea, “Kickstarter is a new way to fund ideas and endeavors.” If you need help publishing a book or you have an art project, a screenplay in the works or an idea for a worthwhile social enterprise, for example, check out Kickstarter and determine if this program might suit your needs. http://www.kickstarter.com
Have you visited the International Association of Writers website? This is Fern Reiss’s project and she offers quite a lot for the author including, a speaker’s bureau for those of you who want help landing speaking engagements on behalf of your books, opportunities to be published, chances to sell books and more. Membership is $149/year. Learn more at http://www.associationofwriters.com.
Blog Sites for Writers and Authors
I like to tell you about some of the excellent writing/publishing blog sites I find in the process of my ongoing research on your behalf. Here are my latest favorites:
Essential Writers. This blogsite welcomes posts by other writers. Judy Darley offers interviews with writers, resources, news and guests blogs by “writers in the know.” She also provides a section at her site featuring jobs for writers. http://essentialwriters.com
Ask Allison seems to be a pretty useful blogsite. Allison Winn Scotch responds to questions that many writers and authors have and she seems to be fairly knowledgeable on most topics presented. Her site just won a top ten writers’ blogs award. Contact Allison. http://www.allisonwinn.com/ask-allison.
For romance writers—check out Romancing the Blog. I found it quite refreshing and informative. http://www.romancingtheblog.com
And don’t forget to check out Patricia Fry’s informative Publishing Blog. Visit often for a variety of resources and information for authors and freelance writers as well as Patricia’s perspective on things related to writing and publishing. http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog
Tell us about your favorite blogsite for writers, artists, authors and other creatives and why you like it. Patricia@spawn.org.
If you’d like help getting fresh content for your blog or if want to be a guest blogger at other blogs, check out Blogger Linkup. http://www.bloggerlinkup.com. Cathy Stucker will send you twice-daily emails (Monday through Friday) listing bloggers seeking content, looking for expert sources and so forth. And this service is FREE.
(This came to me as a forward from a SPAWN member. I liked it so much, I decided to share it with all of you.)
You think English is easy???
Read to the end…a new twist.
Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger, neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France… Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce, and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.
English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
PS. – Why doesn’t ‘Buick’ rhyme with ‘quick’?
You lovers of the English language might enjoy this…
There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is ‘UP.’
It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?
We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.
And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.
We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP . When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP…
When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.
When it doesn’t rain for awhile, things dry UP.
One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so… it is time to shut UP!