SPAWN Market Update – August 2011

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Here’s your publishing news and opportunities, including 4 publishing industry job boards, 3 more job boards and 50 market listings for freelance writers, 3 sites with listings for trade magazines—some of them FREE, 8 markets for how-to articles, 5 publishers seeking children’s/YA books, book promotion opportunities, opportunities for photographers, artists and scriptwriters and several resources.

  • Here’s What’s New – Jobs in the publishing industry
  • Opportunities for Freelance Writers – 15 of them, including job boards and mags seeking how-to articles.
  • Bonus Article – How to Write a How-to
  • Opportunities for Authors – 5 publishers seeking children’s/YA manuscripts.
  • Book Promotion Opportunities – 7 recommendations
  • Opportunities for Scriptwriters – Scriptapalooza contest with major prizes
  • Opportunities for Artists and Photographers – 4 opportunities and a resource
  • Resources for Authors – 3 to consider
  • Going, Going, Gone – None to report
  • Bonus Item – Commentary: Separating the useful resources from the scams

Here’s What’s New

Would you like a job in publishing?

Are you interested in a job in the publishing industry? If so, you really need to visit Publishers Weekly Job Zone at http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/jobzone/index.html

Current job openings include, managing editor at Perseus Book Group, acquisitions editor at MIT Press, Associate Marketing Manager at MacMillan, an editor for Cambridge University Press and Baker and Taylor is prepared to hire someone for a position in San Diego, CA.

Are you qualified to work in the publishing field as an advertising agent, in promotion/publicity, in the editorial department or with technology? Or perhaps you would like an internship. Visit: http://www.bookjobs.com

CareerJet is another job board with a publishing category. Check it out at http://www.careerjet.com.

http://www.publishingcrossing.com Here you will find job listings for proofreaders, sports editors, writing work, sales jobs and positions in the editorial departments of publishing houses. Here are a few jobs I found. Someone wants a bilingual business writer in Chicago. There’s an opening for a project writer in Kansas City. How about a position as an acquisitions editor in San Francisco? In Seattle, you might be able to land a job with Kindle.

The following are closed to submissions

Cobalt Crow Productions is temporarily closed to submissions.

Belleview Literary Review is closed to submissions during July and August.

Thrillers, Killers ‘N Chillers is closed to submissions through March 31st of 2012

Twelfth Planet Press is closed to submissions for the rest of the year.

Submissions are closed at Bridge House Publishing. (Check back for updates.) http://bridgehousepublishing.co.uk/newsubmissions.aspx

Opportunities for Freelance Writers

We talked about writing for the trades recently. Here are a few sites where you can find trade magazines in many categories. http://www.freetrademagazines.com, http://www.freetrademagazinesources.com and http://www.tradepub.com. Some of these magazines are FREE to professionals who qualify—and I would think that would include journalists and others who want to write for the magazine.

Do you love to read books? Can you write a good book review? You might be interested in turning your blog into a Christian book review site. The Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) is offering bloggers free books from their members if they would post reviews on their blogs. The program is called, Book Crash. Learn more about this book review program here http://www.BookCrash.com.

Do you write for children? Here’s a site brimming with opportunities for children’s writers. http://www.kidmagwriters.com/index.htm. Among the magazines listed are Discovery Girls, Daughters.com, Rainbow Rumpus, Shine Brightly, Stories That Life, TC Magazine, Youth Update, Young Rider and Cricket. And they pay anywhere from nothing to $1,500.

Have you visited Freelance Writing Gigs, lately? Noemi Twigg offers new jobs each day at her site. Check it out here: http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com Currently, you’ll find jobs for travel writers, finance writers, business writers, those who can write about the out-of-doors, dogs, technology and real estate. There are also job openings for editors, proofreaders and more.

You’ll find a limited job board of paying markets for freelance writers at All Freelance Writing: http://allfreelancewriting.com/writers-markets

Gary McLaren’s latest book in his markets series is 50 Women’s Interest Writing Markets, available now at http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/writing-markets/market-lists.

I decided to focus on the how-to article this month. Many magazines of different types publish how-to pieces. Here are a few:

FamilyFun publishes how-to pieces on things families can do together. And they pay $1.25/word. http://www.familyfun.com.

Chile Pepper uses how-to articles on cooking and gardening with spicy foods. They publish fifty manuscripts per year in the 1,000 to 3,000-word range and they pay $600. Contact the editor at editor@chilepepper.com.

Fine Gardening, publishes sixty ms year of from 1,000 to 3,000 words and they pay from $300 to $1,200. http://www.finegardening.com. You might be able to break in by giving your firsthand experience as a gardener.

Data Center Management uses how-tos related to data centers and data center managers. They pay 50 cents/word. http://www.afcom.com.

Bead and Button uses how-to articles on beading and sewing projects. They publish as many as twenty-five manuscripts per year and pay up to $400 each. http://www.beadandbutton.com

Muscle and Fitness uses how-to articles and they purchase 120 manuscripts per year. They pay $400 to $1,000 for 800 to 1,800 words. http://www.muscle-fitness.com.

Senior Living publishes how-tos and they accept around 150 manuscripts per year. They pay up to $150 for articles. http://www.seniorlivingmag.com.

Home Education Magazine publishes how-to pieces related to home-based education. They pay only $50 to $100 for 750-2,500 words. http://www.homeedmag.com

For those of you without how-to experience, here’s an article that might help.

How to Write the How-To

By Patricia Fry

Do you find it difficult to write a straight how-to or informational piece? Does your writing have a literary quality or an academic tone that doesn’t easily translate into an instructional article? Do you occasionally write nonfiction for publication only to have it rejected?

If you need help transitioning from story writing to writing that teaches or instructs, for example, here are some tips for you to consider:

  1. Rather than writing the how-to or instructional piece from scratch, create an outline. Keep it simple. Start by listing the steps you want to cover or the points you wish to make.
  2. Organize the steps or points logically. If you’re writing about how to tie a shoe lace, you wouldn’t start with the bow. You might first discuss types of tie-shoes and shoe laces, explain how to lace up a shoe, making the first tie and then working on the bow.
  3. Write out how to approach and carry out the steps. Perform (or watch someone else perform) the steps and describe how each aspect is handled. As an example, if you’re teaching the process of planting a flower, explain how to determine where to plant it. Describe how to dig a hole and what sort of tool to use. Reveal the steps to removing the plant from the original pot and so forth. Don’t necessarily rely on your sense of recall. It’s common for the details we need to report to be absent from our memories.
  4. Weave the instructions together with connecting words and other useful narrative. In order to make an otherwise mundane and rigid article or booklet more interesting, you’ll want to offer some examples, anecdotes and other useful tidbits. For example, in the flower-planting scenario, give some suggestions regarding how to choose the right plant for the spot. Offer some tips for creating better drainage for the plant.
  5. Consider any questions that might come out and make sure that you respond to them within your article or instructional booklet. Will the reader want to know what to look for in a healthy plant, for example, or what time of day is best for planting? Those reading your piece on how to tie a shoe might question the length of shoe laces to buy for the number of eyelets in the shoe.
  6. Refine and edit your work. Pretend that you are someone from Mars seeing instructions for making popcorn, tying a shoe or planting a flower for the first time. Make sure that you’ve written your material so that even this alien will understand and can follow the entire process.
  7. Use bullets or numbering to separate the steps or points, as I have in this article. You can see how much easier it is to read or scan and follow.
  8. Include graphs, illustrations or photographs for additional clarity.

Writing a how-to or instructional piece is not exactly a science, but it does require someone who can visualize the process he is writing about, organize it in his mind and write simple instructions that anyone can understand and follow. You can learn to do this through study and practice. It might also help to read instructional articles. Discover which ones resonate with you and notice how they are structured. Consider following this style for your instructional or how-to piece.

As you may or may not know, Patricia Fry, your executive director, started her nearly forty year writing career writing nonfiction articles for magazines. Over the years, she has contributed hundreds (maybe thousands) of her how-to, instructional, profile, essay, personal experience, self-help and interview pieces to over 300 magazines, ezines and newsletters. Her articles have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Cat Fancy, Your Health, Catholic Digest, The Toastmaster, Woman’s Life and many other publications.

Opportunities for Authors

Do you have a children’s picture book, or a juvenile or young adult fiction manuscript? Andersen Press, in London, might be interested in publishing it. Check out their website at http://www.andersenpress.com.uk

Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books, publishes only science fiction and fantasy novels of from 100,000 to 130,000 words. They are also looking for speculative young adult fiction in any subgenre. Check out their catalog at http://pyrsf.com. View their submission guidelines at http://www.pyrsf.com/contactus.html.

Random House is launching two new imprints: Ember and Bluefire. Both of these imprints will focus on middle-grade and young adult books. These imprints must be so new that they don’t even have a place on the Random House website, yet. Watch for more information in coming months.

Pajama Press, a Canadian publisher is seeking children’s picture books, as well as juvenile and young adult manuscripts. They will only accept queries—do not send anything else until invited to do so. http://www.pajamapress.ca. Contact Ann Featherstone at info@pajamapress.ca.

Book Promotion Opportunities

David Adams of BookXtra called us here at SPAWN last week to tell us about their site for publishers and authors who want help promoting their book. This is a site for booklovers—people who enjoy reading. So how does it benefit authors and publishers? If you have a book or information about a book, you can upload it for FREE at this site and, hopefully, generate some interest in it from your audience. Check it out and see if it is a good fit for you at http://www.bookxtra.com

What are some of the best book recommendations for authors who want to successfully promote their books? There’s a brand new one on the horizon. Allworth Press will launch Patricia Fry’s new book, Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author this month. You can purchase it in print or Kindle now at http://www.amazon.com

I, also, personally recommend

John Kremer’s 1001 Ways to Promote Your Book

Brian Jud’s Beyond the Bookstore, How to Sell More Books Profitably in Non-Bookstore Markets

For more specific types of book promotion

Talk Radio Wants You by Fran Silverman

Penny Sansevieri’s Red Hot Internet Publicity

Steve Weber’s Plug Your Book

Opportunities for Script Writers

Scriptapalooza is sponsoring a contest for scriptwriters. They’re currently accepting pilots, sitcoms, one-hour dramas and reality show scripts. Learn more about the competition at http://www.scriptapalooza.com. Deadline for this contest is October 1.

Opportunities for Artists and Photographers

There are numbers of magazines that purchase photos either with or without articles/stories. Study the guidelines for those magazines you wish to contribute to. If they require that photos accompany an article, contact some of the frequent contributors and offer to provide photos for the fee the publication pays photographers. Here are a few magazines you might want to contact, BabyBug and Cricket (Cricket Magazine Group). They will pay as much as $500 for a spread. http://www.cricketmag.com. Also contact Faces, a magazine about people, places and cultures and Cobblestone—both at Cobblestone Publishing. http://www.cobblestonepub.com Chess Life uses photographs. Contact them at: http://www.uschess.org Consider doing some photography for Fine Gardening at http://www.finegardening.com. Locate many other markets for photographers  in Writer’s Market and Photographer’s Market, http://www.writersdigestshop.com

Resources for Authors

Have you been over to Publishing Talk yet? It’s a place for authors, publishers, agents, booksellers and others to discuss and discover social media marketing, digital publishing, self-publishing, writing and developments in the publishing industry.

It was started by social media consultant, author and ex-publisher Jon Reed in April 2007, initially as the business blog for Reed Media, his social media consultancy. What started as a way of communicating tips, trends and issues to help publishing clients come to grips with social media marketing has become a resource for both publishers and authors.  http://www.publishingtalk.eu

There are a couple of new Internet services for authors. While we are always eager to recommend resources that you can use in your quest for information about the publishing industry, we do not typically endorse companies and services. The following two services are new and we know absolutely nothing about them other than what they have posted at their website. While we want you to be aware of your options and choices, we urge you to do your homework before getting involved. We’d appreciate you reporting back to us your experiences should you sign up for any of these services.

OffTheBookshelf.com came into being last year. Their goal is to develop new tools for writers and readers who are enmeshed in or want to get involved in the digital world. According to their website, as an author or publisher, you can create your own cover art, convert your book into an ebook, set up your own bookstore, market yourself, sell books, connect with other authors and readers and more. SPAWN does not know enough about this service to recommend it. If you have used their services, we’d like to hear from you. In the meantime, check them out here—but always be cautious:

http://www.offthebookshelf.com

BookBuzzr.com offers online book marketing technology for authors. They claim in some of their promo that it is free. However, they also have services requiring fees. This appears to be a software company that provides tools to help you with book marketing. Take a look at http://www.bookbuzzr.com.

Bonus Item

I am always on the look-out for new and expanding resources for you and I have to tell you, it is getting more and more difficult to locate those without strings attached. I received at least two emails this week with information that appeared to offer worthwhile and valuable resources for you, but that turned out to be money grabbers. Both offered free services for authors up front. When I checked further, however, I discovered that their main focus was to sell authors very expensive publishing or book promotion packages.

While I sometimes list resources that charge fees or they offer some options that cost money, I try to separate out those that appear to be pricey scams from those that actually offer something of value. And I urge you to always do your own research before signing up for anything.

Also this week, I received emails from two hopeful authors—both of them caught up in the charms of specific pay-to-publish companies. The representatives were oh so nice and friendly. And they loved the authors’ book projects. Both authors, however, were questioning the exorbitant fees and the credibility of these companies. Yet, neither had thought about doing their own research.

When I suggested to one author that she check to see what others are saying about this company, she said, “Oh yes, I have been to their website and read testimonials from other authors.”

No, no no. Of course, anything they post at their website is going to be favorable. I told her she needs to check some of the publishing/writing warning sites and I urged her to do a Google search using keywords “company name,” and “warning,” or “scam,” or “complaint.”

The other author said he just didn’t have money to pay someone to publish his book, but worked hard to convince me that it was a good book—worth publishing. I burst his bubble by suggesting that he take some time to study more about the publishing industry while saving up to have his book professionally edited. Then, if it seems appropriate, he might try to get an agent or a publisher interested in his project.

Too many authors rush the process of publishing. They emerge from their writing room after months (or years) of writing and immediately start looking for a publisher. Then they can’t resist signing with the first one that shows up during their Google search (typically a pay-to-publish company) and swoons over their manuscript.

We here at SPAWN attempt to provide the information and resources these authors need in order to ultimately make better decisions on behalf of their books. It’s just such a shame that most of them don’t even consider learning about the publishing industry, their options and their responsibilities until after they’ve written their books.

If you know an author who is just starting out, do your best to convince them to begin their relationship with the publishing industry long before they have a book they desperately want published. Suggest that they join organizations like SPAWN and participate, that they subscribe to key publishing newsletters and actually read them and that they read books recognized and written by industry professionals in order to prepare themselves for the fiercely competitive world of publishing.

We do our best to reach out to uninformed authors in time to save them some heartache and financial woes. I’d like to urge you to do the same. If you are a published author, you know some of the pitfalls and challenges new authors will face. Give them a helping hand by sending them to our website. http://www.spawn.org. This is a good starting place for a more successful publishing experience.

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