SPAWN Market Update – December, 2003
By Patricia L. Fry
National Female Entrepreneur Magazine
High School Hoops
Freelance Writer’s Report
Editor & Publisher
Deadline for A Cup of Comfort, the anthology book series, is coming up. They are currently seeking stories for A Cup of Comfort for Spirituality (Deadline, December 31, 2003) and A Cup of Comfort for Mothers and Sons (Deadline, January 31, 2004). To request Guidelines via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send an SASE to POB 863, Eugene, OR 97440 . http://www.cupofcomfort.com/share.htm (for more information).
Living Stupid: Dumb Things Smart People Do
Lake Country Journal Magazine
Dawn of Day Publishing Company
This section debuts in this month’s SPAWN Market Update. It should be useful for the author/publisher who is marketing one or more books. If you have any ideas for this column, please email me at email@example.com.
Note: Watch for the new column appearing in SPAWNews each month. SPAWN Board member, Richard FX O’Conner, book marketing consultant and author of “How to Market You and Your Book” will be offering up a book marketing tip each month. Watch for this valuable column.
Referencing Literary Market Place just became more affordable!
New inventory tracking system for Ingram clients
WritersMarket.com—a database for freelance writers and authors
Go-Publish-Yourself. Here is a site for folks interested in self-publishing. Originator, Christopher Willitts offers up resources for independent publishers, links, articles, a distributor list and even gear. Yes, buy a tee shirt or a coffee mug with the “Go-Publish-Yourself” logo. http://www.go-publish-yourself.com
Grammar Slammer at http://englishplus.com/grammar offers information on the site AND the opportunity to download your own Grammar Slammer program.
. Are you aware that the originators of Writer’s Market also provides a database of publishers and editors? For a fee, you can go online and locate appropriate publishers and magazine editors, their guidelines for writers, contact information and so forth. WritersMarket.com announced recently that they make more than 400 updates per month to the database—something they can’t do with their print version. You’ve probably seen listings in Writer’s Market followed by the word “web.” This indicates that, while this listing might not appear in the print edition, it is available in the online database. Check it out. You can sign up for a day, week, month or year. http://www.writrsmarket.com. If your book is being distributed by Ingram, you will want to know about their new service. Now, you can call day or night and find out how your book is doing. Call 615-213-6803 to reach their automated telephone inquiry system and obtain sales information about titles that Ingram handles.Do you remember when you had to go to the library to access the pages of Literary Market Place? You could buy copies for something like $400. And then it became available online, but still at a pretty hefty fee. I just got word that you can purchase weekly subscriptions to http://www.LiteraryMarketPlace.com for only $19.95. This is a great deal for someone who needs to shop publishers and likes to do his/her research from home. is a paying market for cartoonists and writers. If you can write humor, this might be the place for your work. They publish just about everything that’s funny including stories and cartoons about politics, religion, pets, relationships, food, environmental issues and pop culture. There is a 3 month lead time, so send material for the Easter holiday now. They pay $25-40 for cartoons and $60 for stories. Mail submissions to The Funny Times, POB 18530, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118. Find out more at http://www.funnytimes.com/submissions.html Francine Silverman writes the “Book Promotion Newsletter” for authors. I think you’ll enjoy my interview with her:
Q: Tell us a little about your writing world. What do you write—what do you wish you could write if you didn’t have to pay the bills? How did you get involved in the writing world?
A: I’m author of two guidebooks, Catskills Alive (second edition) and Long Island Alive, both published in 2003 by Hunter Publishing. These days I spend so much time on the Internet, I’m thinking of writing a book called, My Life On-Line!!
Q: You write the “Book Promotion Newsletter.” Please describe the newsletter and tell us what motivated you to launch it.
A: The bi-weekly newsletter is designed for authors of all genres and expertise. Subscribers range from authors with one book to those with more than 100.
After my first guidebook was published, I discovered that most of the promotion was up to me. (In the Q & A’s I send to new subscribers, everyone writes the same thing—promoting their books is their responsibility since the publisher does next to nothing. This appears to be true regardless of the size or prominence of the publisher—unless of course, you’re Stephen King or John Grisham.) I was motivated to start the newsletter for two reasons. I found that I really enjoyed the promotional process and that there was no free ezine on book promotion. Most newsletters on marketing focus on product marketing or business strategies.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish through your newsletter?
A: I’d like to attract more advertisers in order to keep the newsletter free to subscribers. I’d also like to attract as many subscribers as possible, including authors from all genres.
Q: I just subscribed to your newsletter and received a welcome note along with a questionnaire asking about my book promotion experiences. What do you do with this information?
A: The newsletter is interactive and readers are encouraged to share their book marketing experiences. I use the Q&A to cull novel ideas to share with readers. When I use an author’s idea, I include the name of his or her book(s) and Web site. The Q&A also personalizes the writer and often creates a correspondence between us. This flow of information ultimately benefits everyone.
Q: What is the most unusual book promotion idea that you’ve seen expressed?
A: I would call my subscribers’ ideas clever rather than unusual. For example, business author Kenneth McGee used a clever tactic for promoting his book, Eleven leadership Tips for Supervisors. He created his own “Recommended Reading/Web Site List”, placing his own book at the top under the heading “Leadership/Career.” Below were other headings such as “Relationships” and “Personal Finance.” Even if the recipient of his list is not interested in his book, that person will pass it along to others who might be interested in one of the titles—thereby increasing overall exposure.
Q: What is the best book promotion idea that has come to your attention, lately?
A: The question relates to the one before. I love the story by western novelist Bobby R. Woodall about his author signings. He approaches vendors with an offer to provide the table, flyers and books. “People come into a bookstore to buy a book, so why not yours?” he figures. “The way I approach this kind of situation is to sit at the table and smile. Remember to smile. It only takes 12 muscles to smile, whereas it takes 32 to frown. When people approach I ask if I may recommend a book to them–mine! You can have a book signing anywhere. I’ve had signings at bookstores, restaurants, Holiday Inns and book fairs. Once, while my wife was shopping at a supermarket, I went outside to sit on a bench to smoke my pipe. While sitting there, I was able to sell my novel to an employee taking a break!” http://www.bobbyrobert.com
Q: Do you have a sense about trends in publishing? What direction do you see the publishing industry heading?
A: If the proliferation of book fairs and paperbacks are any indication of a healthy market, then the American book industry is bouncing back from a slump in 2001 and 2002. I was astounded to read that romances were the leading type of fiction in 2002, with sales of about $2.76 billion out of a total market value of $35 billion. This may be due to promotion. In my search for authors on the Internet, I have found that nearly every romance author has a Web site and that many send newsletters and use the site to hold contests. Except for marketing professionals who write books, this is far less true of nonfiction authors, even though the sales of nonfiction books greatly outnumber fiction.
Q: What is your best advice for someone who is contemplating publishing his/her first novel?
A: Subscribe to my newsletter. The newly published can learn from accomplished authors and avoid some of their mistakes. Writing and promoting are two separate functions and many new authors are not prepared for the grueling road ahead.
Q: Please add anything you would like to share.
A: I cannot stress enough the role of attitude and persistence in promoting books. Some subscribers come on like gangbusters right from the get-go, emailing me every last review and returning the questionnaire completely filled out. Others sign up and remain silent. Admittedly, we are not all outgoing, but there is nothing sadder than writing a book and keeping it a secret.
Contact Francine Silverman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Lee Emory owns Treble Heart Books. Here is the result of my interview with her.
Q: You established Treble Heart Books in 2001, what motivated you to go into this business? Is there any significance to your company name?
A: I’ve been in the writing and editing field since the very early ‘70s. I was tech writer/editor for the Boeing Company for 25 years and had plans to open Treble Heart Books after I retired from there. Those plans were in place ten years prior to my retirement. All I needed was the time to put it all in place. The significance to the logo is that I believe in the power of three and books and writing are the core of my heart, hence three hearts (treble).
Q: Tell us a little about your company—the type of books you publish and your purpose/mission.
A: I currently have three divisions with plans for more in the future. Treble Heart Books division publishes or wishes to acquire Romance (all genres except erotica), Mysteries (hard-boiled and cozy), Paranormal, Historical, Metaphysical fiction and nonfiction, SF/Fantasy, mainstream, nonfiction self help/psychology and others.
Mountain View Publishing publishes inspirational books of Christian or other faith based works, all fiction and nonfiction, including Christian Horror (new genre)
Q: Would you name some recent titles:
A: Bats in the Belfry, Bells in the Attic (a collection of weird, often very humorous short stories); Murder at the Ice Cream Parlor; Generous to a Fault,; Prophecy, Vol. 1 Revelations (paranormal romance); Breakthrough and Midnight Rose
Sundowners publishes Western Historicals that appeal to the male audience such as; Man Hunter, Shiloh, Jedidiah Boone and Death Rides a Pale Horse.
Q: What type of manuscript are you currently seeking?
A: We especially need Westerns, SF, Metaphysical and hard-boiled mysteries. However, the workload dictates that submissions must close until March 31, but authors can email me personally and inquire. If it’s something I need badly, you may be invited to submit anyway.
Q: What are some of your proudest publishing moments?
A: I’m very proud of the fact that people continually tell me how impressed they are with the quality of our books. At a conference, one woman said, “I’m absolutely certain I don’t want anyone else to publish my book. I felt such a strong connection to you.” Also, our authors often receive 4 and 4 ½ star reviews on their books, which speaks well for us.
Q: What qualities do you appreciate most in the authors you work with?
A: Professional attitude, a willingness to see past their egos to help us suggest ways to make their book better. A cooperative spirit. And PATIENCE. This is a huge job and it takes time to do it right. Also, people who promote their work well and very creatively are on the top of my list.
Q: Do you offer your authors something out of the ordinary? I see for example that you have 12 editors. Isn’t this unusual?
A: It really takes more than this to keep things going in a timely manner. I do the best I can with the ones I have at the present time. Editing takes a great deal of time and we have hundreds of mss to deal with. Very good editors are hard to find. We publish most books in trade-size paperback, and also offer an html and PDF electronic version of the books unless they include heavy graphics.
Q: Please give us a brief outline of your guidelines for writers.
A: Do your homework. Single-space your document and be sure to have a title page at the beginning containing your name, address, phone, email, title, byline, genre and word count. The title page and all chapters must be all in one file. I have staff in several countries, so I need to keep the file size down. And I can’t say how important it is to go to the Web site and study our guidelines and style sheets before you submit.
Absolute NO_NO: DO NOT SEND HARD COPY QUERIES OR MSS. Electronic email only.
Q: Would you talk about trends in the publishing industry and how they are affecting authors?
A: More and more people are turning to small press to publish their books because NY has all but closed their doors to new authors. Readers are seeking something different to read and NY isn’t listening. I encourage writers to NOT write in the NY box. They will have a better chance if they submit something different than the staid old NY stuff. That doesn’t mean it mustn’t be an excellent piece of writing, because it does. I don’t accept junk and I’m not in the business of teaching those who are unwilling to do their homework how to write. Excellent self-editing is a must before you submit, so our editors don’t have to reject your work for sloppiness.
Send submission and inquire to email@example.com
All other questions or subjects firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site http://www.trebleheartbooks.com
Link to guidelines http://www.trebleheartbooks.com/welcomepage.html
Phone and voicemail: 520-458-5602
Phone and fax: 520-458-5618
is looking for artists under the age of 18 to create designs for an upcoming Fantasy Merchandise Line. Submit up to 5 designs in any medium from your portfolio. For more information visit http://www.dawnorday.com/open_call.htm. Submissions go to: Dawn of Day Children’s Publishing Co., Inc., 73 Ireland Pl, PMB 201, Amityville, NY 11701 has new guidelines for writers. The good news is that they are increasing their rates for articles published after the first of the year. (Wouldn’t you know that the article I submitted will be published in 2003). The new rate is $200 for a feature of about 1500 words. They also use fillers. Of course, this is a regional magazine, so your submissions must reflect that. Contact Beth Hautala, Assistant Editor at email@example.com. . This is the name of a book that Stephanie Marston is working on. She’s co-author of Chicken Soup for the Empowered Woman’s Soul. She is now seeking dumb stories for her new book. Word count is 1200 max. The authors of the stories selected will receive $100. Deadline, March 15, 2004. will be a monthly publication starting with the January issue. They won’t be printing timely news stories in the magazine. Those will be posted on their Web site. has a new address. They’ve moved to 260 Peachtree St., Ste. 300, Atlanta, GA 30303.announces that The Star is changing from a supermarket tabloid to a mainstream glossy magazine that will actually enter into competition with People and US Weekly. Watch for the transformation and be ready with your queries. is a new magazine from Sporting News and SchoolSports. This publication is all about high school basketball. I have not been able to locate contact information, but hope to have that for you next month. will debut in January. This ezine is currently seeking articles, stories, poems and essays as well as book and Web site reviews. All submissions must be spiritual in nature. Learn more about this new ezine by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting http://lionsongpublications.netfirms.com. is relaunching. For guidelines go to http://www.sportsafield.com or contact editors at email@example.com or write to them at: 15621 Chemical Lane, Huntington Beach CA 92649-1506. has regrouped and is opening up for business once again. The current Editor-in-Chief is James Daly. Contact him at 1931 Old Middlefield Way, Ste. F, Mountain View, CA 94043 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information visit: http://www.redherring.com has launched its Texas edition – Female Entrepreneur Texas. The company hopes to publish more regional Female Entrepreneur Magazines. To contact corporate headquarters, write to: 1420 Fifth Ave., Ste. 2200, Seattle, WA 98101. Visit their Web site at http://www.female-entrepreneur.com or http://www.femaleentrepreneurtexas.com Editor Keli Swensen email@example.com debuted in October of 2003 as a bi-monthly magazine. If things go well, they will become monthly in October of 2004. Adam Van Loon is the editor and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This magazine targets the high income audience in the Portland, OR area.This one-year-old company has published 19 titles so far and they plan to increase their catalog of children’s books in 2004. Visit their Web site at http://www.parklanepublishing.com. You may have to write for guidelines, I didn’t see any on their Web site. Contact Philip Rodgers at email@example.com. Or call 631-234-9210 a Web hosting and digital publishing services vendor for independent publishers has closed. Mary Westheimer, founder of this nearly 10-year-old business, cites poor health as the reason for her decision. If you are interested in acquiring one or more of the bookzone domain names, take a look at http://www.bookzone.com. is ceasing publication. The November/December issue will be the last. And it’s such a shame—this 5-year-old magazine was a high-paying market with a circulation of 750,000.