SPAWN Market Update – August 2012


This issue boasts over 50 opportunities, resources and news bits for authors and freelance writers. You’ll find 20 solid book promotion ideas/resources, a link to a site for authors with books to promote, new publishers seeking manuscripts, job boards as well as a fat list of regional magazines seeking articles and a regional magazine database. Also find out what’s up with bookstores in 2012.

Here’s What’s New – news about bookstores, how we’re reading books, totally unique books and more.

Opportunities for Freelance Writers – we’re focusing on regionals.

Opportunities for Authors – 3 terrific opportunities

Book Promotion Opportunities – 20 of them, including several book festivals and great resources from members.

Opportunity for Screen Writers –

Going, Going, Gone – reports of 14 magazines and publishers closing

Here’s What’s New

The American Prospect has been revived. Learn more about this political magazine at

Magazine mobile readership is way up. Yes, more and more people are reading their favorite magazines on their mobile devices. If you want to receive some of your subscriptions on your Smart Phone, check the magazines’ websites to see if they have the mobile option.

Heart & Soul Magazine seems to be in trouble. They did not publish an issue in April and the rumors are flying as to why.

Hot Rod Magazine is back.

Just Out has re-launched after folding last December. If you write for the LGBT community, you might want to check it out.

I’m among those who have been saying bookstores will be back—only, perhaps, in a different form. Have you heard of Word Up? This is a bookstore in the Washington Heights area of NYC. A recent news story says they lost their lease and they’re looking for new space to continue. So what makes them unique? They are catering to local authors and they present numbers of author events throughout the year—reportedly over 100. The store is the joint effort of Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance and Seven Stories Institute. They cater to English, Spanish and Russian-speaking readers. Let’s wish them well and hope that other such groups will band together in other neighborhoods to develop positive environments for authors.

Speaking of bookstores, check out this site for interesting stories about bookstores and their supporters.

One day last week, I happened across a book on a totally unique and narrowly focused topic. I remember wondering how the author/publisher would ever sell any copies of a book on this topic. Tell me, would you purchase a book on belly button lint? I guess this could come under the category of “a gift for someone who has everything.” I wondered what other strange and irrelevant topics people were writing about. So I did an Internet search and found a site that features some of them. I thought you might get a kick out of it. Here, you’ll find Fish That Fake Orgasms and Party of One: The Loner’s Manifest. As I continued to search, I found a few other unusual books. There’s one called Women’s Obsession With Shoes—a collection of stories told through the point of view of a pair of shoe. How about a book on totally useless office skills or one on how to make things out of bottle caps? Imagine it and I’ll bet you can find it.

Opportunities for Freelance Writers

Here are two more job boards for writers:

Here’s a large directory of magazines you might find useful.

Do you have a humorous mystery story of between 1,500 and 5,000 words that would be suitable for an anthology focused around the Thanksgiving meal? Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads is soliciting contributions for his “second helping” of The Killer Wore Cranberry. The deadline is September 1, 2012. You’ll find the particulars here:

I was rather surprised to see that several of the magazines in the Wooden Horse Pubs online database have instructions to contact the editors of the magazine for assignments. Is this the new wave of freelance article-writing? No longer are freelance writers responsible for studying the market, locating timely topics, coming up with great article ideas and pitching them to the editors? Now we are expected to contact the editor for an assignment? Have you come up against this in your freelance experience? I’d like to hear from freelance article-writers.

Robert Paul Cesaretti, editor of Ginosko Literary Journal is seeking material for his magazine. He currently wants short fiction and poetry, creative nonfiction, interviews, social justice concerns and spiritual insights. Learn more at It appears that this is a nonpaying market. In fact, they offer the downloaded version of this magazine free and they accept donations so they can keep publishing.

New regional magazines seem to be on the upsurge again. However, there are also a lot of them closing. Do you write for regionals? I’ve found this category to be lucrative. While most of them want materials and perspective related to their region, some do not require that you live in their area. I’m in California and I’ve sold articles to regional publications representing the Midwest, Idaho, the northwest region, Hawaii, Canada, Georgia, the coast of CA, Florida, Arizona and others. Maybe you grew up in the area, you have a novel set in that place or you have done some research related to an event or individual in that area. Here are a few regional magazines that might pique your interest, especially if you live in or know something about Arkansas, BC, Texas, Vermont, Louisiana, Pennsylvania or Baltimore.

Front Porch is a lifestyle magazine for rural residents of Arkansas. Read issues of the magazine online, come up with some ideas and present them to the publisher.

Gardenwise and BCHome have been combined to create the new BC Home and Garden Magazine. This is one of several publications produced by Canada Wide Media. If you want to submit an idea or you’d like a copy of their submission guidelines, contact editor Lisa Manfield at

Texas Monthly is one of the higher paying regional magazine—paying somewhere around $1/word. This magazine is only 10 percent freelance written, so the opportunities aren’t outstanding. But they do claim to respond to your query letter (send via mail, email or fax). They’re seeking book excerpts, personal experience, photo feature, travel—all with a Texas angle.

Vermont Life buys around sixty manuscripts per year and they pay up to $900 for a 1,500 article. Tip: stay away from cliché’s and “my vacation” stories.

Louisiana Sportsman, Mississippi Sportsman and North Carolina Sportsman Magazines might be viable markets for you appropriate articles for sportsmen (and women).

The staff at Baltimore Magazine suggests breaking in with shorter articles for the Up Front section (300 to 700 words) or one of the columns, Hot Shot, Health, Education, Sports, Politics, Parenting. Come up with a strong Baltimore focus—excerpts from a book related to the Baltimore area or even a travel piece. They pay .30 to .40 cents/word.

In Community is a family magazine representing various areas of Pennsylvania. If you live, work or have visited one of these areas, you might be able to land an assignment.

To locate additional regional magazines in your area, check out your phone book, online phone books, business listings at your local Chamber of Commerce or city/county site and do an Internet search using appropriate keywords. Also review the regional magazines listed here:

Opportunities for Authors

Crimson Romance is a new ebook imprint for F+W Media. Subgenres include historical, contemporary, paranormal, spicy and suspense. They plan to release five ebook titles per week. Check out this company here:

In April, F+W Media launched a new young adult imprint called Merit Press Books. Jacquelyn Mitchard has been hired to oversee this company. She is particularly interested in books that appeal to teenage girls. She wants books with strong, savvy, female heroes. Learn more at

Jasha Levi has started a company designed to help authors publish their works and it’s all free—volunteer operated. Jasha also has in mind possibly raising funds for authors to rent shelf space in bookstores or to help with shipping books, for example. Here is the site address: Here’s a link to an informative page at the site:

Book Promotion Opportunities

Did you know that the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) has a searchable speakers’ bureau? It appears that if you can provide a video of yourself in action and some additional proof of your competence as a speaker representing your children’s book, they may include you in their bureau.

Many publishing houses have speakers’ bureaus for their authors. Check to see if yours does and what it takes to be listed.

Attend a book festival this fall. You’ll find them taking place in August, September and October in:

Decatur, GA


Sonoma County (CA),

Fairfax, VA,


Sioux Falls, SD,

West Hollywood, CA,


Austin, TX,


Here is a list of sites where you can promote your ebook. It includes, Addicted to Ebooks, Books on the Knob, Flurries of Words, Free Booksie, Free Ebooks Daily and several others.

BiblioCrunch also offers ebook distribution.

What are the chances of getting your book reviewed through the new online Los Angeles Review of Book? Founder, Tom Lutz offers reviews, essays and interviews with authors. But, readers will have to pay to read these reviews and interviews. This is not a free service. In fact, Amazon presented Lutz with a $25,000 grant to get started. The reduction in print space in the Los Angeles Times for reviews was one incentive for Lutz to launch this company. Here’s a good link with a lot of information about this new service:

I like these book promotion ideas. Check them out:

Book Promotion Resources From Members

FREE ebook: 50 Ways to Promote Your Ebook by Patricia Fry. Available for download at

Publish Your Book, Proven Strategies and Resources for the Enterprising Author (Allworth Press, 2012) and Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author (Allworth Press, 2011) by Patricia Fry. Available at, and most other online and downtown bookstore. Also available for Kindle, Nook and other e-readers.

Nancy Barnes has a book for those of you who want to write and sell memoirs. It’s called, Stories to Tell, An Easy Guide to Self-Publishing Family History Books and Memoirs.

Member, C. Hope Clark is the founder of FundsforWriters, an online website and family of newsletters that reaches 44,000 readers weekly, covering grants, markets, contests, publishers, agents and employers seeking writers. This site has been chosen by Writer’s Digest Magazine for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for the past 12 years. C. Hope Clark is also the author of The Carolina Slade Mystery Series, set in rural South Carolina. Lowcountry Bribe kicked off this series in February 2012, and the second is due out in early 2013. (Note from Patricia Fry: I read this book and enjoyed it. Good job, Hope!)

Bill Benitez is the author of Self Publishing: Writing A Book and Publishing Books and Ebooks For Yourself and Others. Purchase it at, and other dealers for $19.95. This 200 page, 8 ½ by 11 inch book is a complete course in how to self-publish your book. It covers writing discipline, editing, layout, title and cover development, how to create a website, how to run a publishing business and much more.

Early praise from Patricia Fry; “This workbook is an amazing publishing guide for any author who wants to do it all him or herself.” Patricia Fry, author, speaker, editor


A. William Benitez, Positive Imaging, LLC
Writing, Publishing, Distribution and Web Design
FREE Self Publishing eCourse at:

Opportunities for Screenwriters

Have you heard of igottapitch? Scriptapalooza has launched this site as a way for you to pitch your movie and TV show ideas to Hollywood. They invite you to record yourself pitching your show or movie and then upload it to igottapitch. It looks like the fee is $29/month.

Going, Going, Gone

(Note, so many of the magazines we report on in this section are not closing, but are continuing in a different form. Perhaps we need a better—more descriptive title for this section. Anyone have any ideas?)

Artnet Magazine has closed.

Her Nashville has folded.

Campus Technology will go digital only

T.H.E. Journal is online only.

Smart Money will go online only.

Reality Weekly print mag. now in tablet-form only.

Computer World has gone all digital.

St. Louis Commerce closed this month.

Phaith Magazine is going digital only.

Body Smart has folded

Real Eats has closed

Brain Child will no longer publish

Scrapbooks, Etc. is closing this month

University of Missouri Press is closing its doors.