SPAWN Market Update – December 2005


SPAWN Market Update – December, 2005

By Patricia L. Fry

Editor’s Note – My holiday gift to you—A Treasure Hunt

Going, Going, Gone – 8 magazines and publishers have quit

Here’s What’s New – 4 interesting news bites

Opportunities for Freelance Writers – High paying markets

Opportunities for Authors – Featuring 5 new publishers

Book Promotion Opportunities – Focus on the trade market

Special Article – 8 Steps to Getting Your Articles Published

Reference Sites of the Month – 5 really good ones

Just for Fun – Library cats

Bonus Items – How to get your book into bookstores

Words From the Publishers – Tips you really should heed

Editor’s Note

I’ve had some fun with this edition of the SPAWN Market Update. I’ve created a treasure hunt for those of you who are promoting books. Embedded within this meaty newsletter, you’ll find more than 30 specific book promotion ideas and opportunities. While some of them are obvious, others are hidden. All you have to do, in order to access them, is to read this Update from start to finish. How many promotions ideas can you find? More importantly, how many of them will you actually pursue?

Going, Going, Gone

Fairchild Publishing announces that both Vitals Man and Vitals Woman have ceased publishing.

Artemis Magazine

Plains Faith Magazine

Mobile Magazine

Rembrandt Publishing

Here’s What’s New

Books For Writers

The Magazine Publishing Association

Editor, Marsha DuCille, is requesting article ideas for a new magazine called Ambition. She wants articles on career issues, finances, relationships, politics, health and just about anything else as it pertains to women ages 25 to 50. DuCille says to query first by mail. Payment is negotiable, but ranges from $30 to $200 per article. Hey, you authors of books on women’s health issues, family budgeting, careers, sex, relationships, travel and foods: you might be able to sell DuCille on an article that would ultimately promote your book. Maybe they will start a book review section. Suggest that they review your appropriate book. Article Submissions, Ambition Magazine, 1909 Stearns Hill Rd., Waltham, MA 02451. Note: They do not want to receive unsolicited fiction at this time.

Zumaya Publications

Opportunities for Freelance Writers

Are you familiar with the Mississippi River? You know the one—it winds through, I believe, 9 states. Have you had an experience with the great Mississippi? Is there a story that has been handed down in your family through many generations about this mighty muddy river? If so, you may have the opportunity to be published in a book.

The St. Louis Writers Guild is publishing a book of stories about the Mississippi River next year. The collaboration is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2006 and the deadline for submissions is August 31, 2006. The word count for stories is a max of 1,000 words. And guess what? There is no charge for submitting your story. Download the submission form at And start writing that reminiscence, humorous piece, informative article or essay about one of your experiences related to the Mississippi River. If you are an author, this is another good way to get recognition for your book. Include your bio with your story. If it is published in this book, not only will you have another credit to add to your portfolio, you’ll get free exposure for your own book.


High Paying Magazines

I realize that many of the magazines I mention in the SPAWN Market Update do not pay well. But there are magazines that do pay enough for a freelance writer to support his/her family. I list them from time to time. Here’s another smattering of magazines worth writing for.



Texas Monthly

Opportunities for Authors

Zumaya Publications

Chippewa Publishing

Journey Stone Creations

Barbican Books

Cellar Door Publishing

Book Promotion Opportunities

This month, I’d like to suggest that you consider promoting your nonfiction book through Trade Publications—that is, magazines related to business. If your book subject is in a certain area of business, you might land a writing assignment with a trade publication within that industry.

If your book is on an aspect of business management, salesmanship, technology, finances/taxes, communication or even relationships you might be able to sell an excerpt or an article to trade publications.

Across the Board

The editors at Executive Update might be interested in your humor piece related to a workplace incident or insight into a specific workplace issue. Upper level association professionals read this magazine and they might be interested in your article featuring public relations tips or one on how to hold onto your values while working in the upper echelon of a corporation. If you can tie the topic of your article to your book—all the better. Maybe your book is about golf or the best golf courses in the nation. Surely, executives are interested in articles related to their favorite hobbies. I once sold this magazine an article on communicating through small talk. Visit the Web site at You may have to write to request their pay scale.

Family Business

What about Human Resource Executive at They publish book excerpts from books related to human resources professionals. Pay could be as much as $1,000 per 1,800 word piece.

If your book covers a topic of interest to teachers, consider approaching the following magazines with excerpts from your book or article ideas.

Teacher Magazine

Early Childhood News

Teaching Tolerance

I’ve been coming up with new article ideas related to writing by the bushels, lately. And I’ve been writing a lot of articles. Why? I have another new book to promote. If you have a book you’d like to promote through articles, but you aren’t sure which magazines to approach, contact me and we’ll see if we can chart you a course.

For those of you who don’t know the ropes of submitting articles to magazines, here’s some help:

Eight Steps to Getting Your Articles Published

Do you have an idea or two that you want to develop into articles? Would you like to promote your book through magazine articles? Here’s an easy-to-follow guide that will help you get published.

1. Research the market for which you want to write.

Whether you dream of writing for parenting, spiritual or business magazines, for example, it’s imperative that you study the market. Locate the latest issues of the magazines you want to write for at the newsstand or order copies from the publisher. Find magazine publishers listed in Writer’s Market. Some publishers still send complimentary copies to prospective writers just for the asking.

Study the magazines from cover to cover. What types of articles do they publish? What is the writing style and the tone of the articles? Even the letters-to-the editor and the ads reveal something about the readership. Request a copy of their Writer’s Guidelines (or Submission Guidelines) and follow them when designing and submitting your query letter (usually sent as the first step) and your finished article.

2. List your article ideas

Most new writers start with a familiar topic—something they know well or something about which they want a voice. Everyone has a pet project or a pet peeve. What’s yours? Environmental issues? Neighborhood Watch? Home schooling? Gardening?

When I started writing for publication 27 years ago, our family was involved in horses. A study of current horse magazines revealed what subjects were and which weren’t being addressed and that helped me to come up with some good ideas. As a result, I sold articles on tips for recycling your horse show ribbons, hairdos for horse shows, how to raise a foal, caring for the older horse and horse packing tips.

Many of my article ideas are inspired by life and living. I recommend that my students look everywhere for ideas because you never know where you’re going to find them. My grandparenting book was inspired by a conversation I overheard once while waiting in line at the grocery store. I made around $3,000 from articles based on the unusual profession of a man I met at a Little League field.

Of course, if you want to write articles in order to promote your book, you know your topic. Your challenge now is to come up with valid, interesting, educational, entertaining articles related to that topic.

3. Write a query letter.

Although some magazine editors ask for the complete manuscript, most want to see a query letter, first. A query letter is a letter describing the article. The query letter is your introduction—your first impression—your sales pitch—your marketing tool. So make it good.

On your letterhead, include the date, a brief synopsis of the article, your qualifications for writing it and your writing credits. Try to keep it to one page.

Always include a self-addressed-stamped envelope (SASE) unless, of course, you send your query electronically. Many editors accept queries via email now, but not all of them. Check the Submission Guidelines for each magazine and comply.

4. Learn to play the waiting game

An editor’s response can take anywhere from one day (an email reply) to a couple of months. Postal anxiety is common among writers as most of us have an ongoing love affair with our mailboxes. To keep from hinging all of your success and happiness on just one response, here’s what I suggest:

  • Send query letters on the same topic to more than one editor at a time.
  • Write queries on new topics right away so you’re being productive and not simply in wait mode.

Wait 4 – 6 weeks before inquiring about a query or manuscript.

5. Do the research and interviews for the article

Once you get the go-ahead to write the article, line up your resources.

  • Start a file of articles on topics of interest to you.
  • Use this material to locate experts, fresh information and facts for your article.
  • Study the Guide to Periodical Literature. It’s found in the reference section at your public library. This is a guide to articles published in key magazines within recent months. You can order copies of the articles to use in your research. It also helps you to know what has already been written on this topic.
  • Study current books on the topic.
  • Use the Internet.
  • Contact people you’ve interviewed before.
  • Talk to friends and associates.

Be sure to log your expert sources so you can use them again. You may want to include them in a sidebar of resources for the article. The editor may also require the names and numbers of your experts for fact checking.

6. Write the article.

After you’ve completed your research, start writing the article while keeping the editor’s specifications in mind. Do they want a 900-word profile piece or a 1,200 word how-to? Don’t send them an essay when they’ve asked for an article full of quotes from experts, for example.

Some people have difficulty starting an article. Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Write an outline listing the points you expect to cover in the article and develop your article from the outline.
  • Just start writing. Organize your thoughts and correct your spelling later.
  • Begin an article with a line or paragraph from your query letter.

7. Recycle your article

Once you’ve sold an article on a favorite topic, write another one or two or three. If the magazine bought first time or one-time rights, you can still submit that article to other magazines as a reprint. Study Writer’s Market to find out which publications use reprints. Most magazines that buy reprints pay half or less of what they would normally pay for an original article.

8. Keep good records

An effective record-keeping system will keep you apprised of the status of your articles and help you to prepare for tax time. Create a record of activity by logging each query letter and article. Keep track of expenses and payments. An efficient record-keeping system will also help in your communications with editors.

Reference Sites of the Month

For Author Release Forms and Publishing Agreements is a useful site for authors in search of publishing agreement and permission forms for all sorts of author partnerships and collaborations.

Get Exposure for Your Writing Books and Writing Services

Absolute Write

Dan Poynter at Para Publishing offers authors and those who provide services and products for authors a similar opportunity. For $495 per year or $175 per quarter, Dan will include your ad on his Resource Guide at his Web site. But according to Dan, he doesn’t accept each and every request. Posting on this resource list at his site does, after all, imply an endorsement.

A New Newspaper Directory

A Zillion Newspapers

Library Directory

My fingers stumbled across this library directory site this week and I wanted to share it with you. If your book is listed with Quality Books and/or Baker and Taylor, you really should be promoting it to libraries so they will order it from their favorite library distributor/wholesaler. Every month or so I spend a few hours sending press releases/announcements describing one of my books and asking librarians to order it from Quality Books or Baker and Taylor. The World Wide Web Library Directory indexes over 8800 libraries in 130 countries. How vast is that??? Check them out at:

To get your book listed with Quality Books send a copy to Quality Books, 1003 W. Pines Road, Oregon, IL 61061-9680. To get your book listed with Baker and Taylor get instructions at

Just for Fun

Cat People, Listen Up

Speaking of libraries, just for fun meet some of this nation’s LIBRARY CATS. According to the site, there are currently 532 library cats known in the U.S.

Bonus Item

Book Industry Report

There’s a new study within the publishing industry known as Under the Radar because it is finally taking into account books sold outside of the traditional bookstore. According to Judith Applebaum, Chair for the Book Industry Study Group’s Publication Committee, this study sheds new light on the scope and health of the publishing and bookselling industries. Why? Because in the past, book sale studies have been conducted mainly through bookstores. In fact, it seems that small and mid-sized publishers do over 50% of their book sale business outside of bookstores.

They learned through this study that there are 3,600 publishers with annual revenues of from $1 million all the way up to $49.9 million and who generate sales of $11.5 billion annually.

The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) is the industry’s leading trade association involved in policy, standards and research. For more information about this agency and their findings go to

Words of Wisdom for Authors with Books to Promote

Now that said, if you still want to sell your books through bookstores, heed self-publishing expert, Dan Poynter’s suggestion. He says that bookstores want authors who sell books. Isn’t this what I’ve been telling you for months and months? If you want to sell your books through bookstores, you must create an audience. Get your book noticed and booksellers will carry your book in their stores.

HOW? Promote, promote, promote.

Here’s an idea. Do 5 to 10 things each day to promote your book. I suggest concentrating on one aspect of book promotion each week and make 5 or more solid contacts per day. For example, one week focus on book reviews. You might send out 5, 10 or even 50 query letters and press releases to book reviewers each day that week. Here are some additional ideas:

Get a Little Help From Your Friends

Solicit the help of friends in other cities to show your book around to the bookstores in their community. Be sure to market to that area so folks will begin to purchase those books. Send press releases to newspapers, offer excerpts and articles to regional magazines, donate books to a charity event where it will get a lot of exposure. And consider the following:

Get on the Radio

Spend a week locating and contacting radio stations with talk radio programs. Look for programs related to the theme of your book: gardening, parenting, spirituality, foods and cooking, business management or finance (this might include real estate, taxes, investments and so forth). Or see if you can fit the subject of your book into a general talk show format. They might be interested in talking about your new local history book, for example, a book on a certain political platform, a true crime story, a how-to book for diabetic children or a book related to taming violence in teens.

Locate radio stations through your local (as well as out of town) Yellow Pages, The Business Phone Book, Literary Market Place or Gale’s Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media (all in the reference section at your library) or online for free at If you don’t mind paying for the information, check out Or use Radio at at a cost of from $149-$299 or Gebbie Press at and pay $155 to $565 for media lists including radio. I would suggest sticking with free choices as long as you can. Locate Yahoo’s free access Yellow Pages at Do a Google search and see if you can find others.

Give a Speech

One week out of the month, concentrate on setting up speaking engagements. Clubs and organizations that meet frequently are always looking for interesting programs. Locate appropriate clubs and organizations through your local phone directory or through the Chamber of Commerce. I’ve landed speaking gigs for my local history talks at museums, libraries, Rotary Club meetings, Optimist Clubs, senior centers, retired men’s and women’s groups, Elder Hostel groups, in both private and public schools and even for special occasions such as our annual Ojai Day celebration.

Get Your Book Into Catalogs

Maybe you’re familiar with catalogs that relate to your book topic. That might be pets, gardening, parenting/kids, Christian/inspirational/spiritual items and books, food, and gift books, perhaps. My luau book was featured in a couple of Hawaiiana catalogs and one related to cookbooks. To get started, contact the catalog publishing office and ask if you can send your book to them for consideration in their catalogs. They’ll explain their particular procedure. Gather up all of the catalogs you’ve received this year. Ask neighbors and friends to save their catalogs for you. Search sites in your category for additional catalogs. And here’s a Web site that might be useful:

Schedule Book Signings

I’d like to see you set up 5 signings with 5 different stores within a 40-mile radius. Schedule the events at least one month apart. Show up in person with your book and speak directly to the manager of the bookstore, specialty store, coffee house, etc. Of course, you might be more apt to catch the manager free if you set up an appointment ahead of time. In order to properly plan for a successful book signing, refer to my book, The Successful Writer’s Handbook, Page 108. There shouldn’t be a member out there who doesn’t own this book by now as it has been offered free as an incentive to new and renewing members for almost two years. If you haven’t read this book, I suggest that you do so. If you don’t have a copy, you can order one at

Write Reviews For

Yes, by giving you will receive. Find a colleague’s book at Scroll down and click on “Write a Review.” What’s in it for you? Welllll, after you make your comments, you get to add your bio and contact information with a link to your Web site. How’s that for exposure?

Get Chatty

Participate in message boards and chat rooms. You’re bound to get the opportunity to mention your book. Find appropriate message boards by doing a Google search. To find message boards related to cats, type in keyword, “message boards pets,” “animal message boards” or “cats message boards,” for example.

Words From the Publishers

I just invented this column in order to share with you some interesting comments I’ve heard/read from publishers.

  1. I sometimes have people ask me if they can sell chapters from the book they hope to someday publish and still be able to find a publisher for the entire book. Sometimes hopeful authors want to sell chapters as articles to test the waters of their subject before investing time, effort and money into a full-fledged book. The answer—while there are a lot of publishers who wouldn’t care, others might. Coastal Publishing International, for example, does. They say that they will not accept manuscripts that have been previously published in any capacity. It’s something to think about. I would certainly poll the publishers you hope to approach before deciding whether to sell any rights to any part of a book you hope to someday publish.
  2. Some hopeful authors are premature in bringing their books to publishers. One thing that a publisher wants to know—and this is true of many publishers of fiction as well as nonfiction—is how you plan to help promote that book. If you have in mind becoming involved in a promotions activity that you have never tried, I suggest holding off on submitting the book until you’ve had some experience.I met a new author in St. Louis last month who is working on his book proposal. He wanted to discuss his promotions portion of it with me. He told me of some of his promotional plans, which included a major health conference featuring celebrities. I told him that sounded wonderful, but that the publisher will want some sort of proof that the author can actually pull this off. I asked him about his track record in producing events such as this. He had none. I asked if he had commitments yet from celebrities. He did not. I suggested that he put off submitting his book proposal to any publisher until he can share something more concrete with the publisher. Instead of saying, “I plan to do this…” “I hope to get this number of attendees…” “I will invite so and so Big Name Star,” he should be able to say, “When I organized a similar event in Orange County, CA last spring, we had 2,000 in attendance. Richard Simmons was our keynote speaker, Jack LaLanne did a workshop and Suzanne Sommers entertained and enlightened folks during our afternoon session.” Now when he talks about planning another event, a publisher will believe that he will get results.
  3. Mike Towle at Towlehouse Publishing has a strange message for potential authors. He asks hopeful authors to avoid listing additional book ideas in their query letters. Why is this strange? Most publishers like to know what you have in the hopper. If they like the book you’re pitching and they want to know you have more good books in you. A publisher would rather accept another book from someone they’ve had a good working relationship with than taking a chance on a newbie. Towle’s reasoning is that an author who has more than one idea in their heads will lack a sense of commitment to the project at hand.

The Ball is in Your Court

I can always use your help.

Is there anything you’d like to see more of in the SPAWN Market Update?
Are there specific issues you want to see discussed?
Do you have any information or news about a publishing house or magazine?

Let me know: or

is a relatively new site where you can learn more about selling articles to newspapers. Carla Wakeman came up with the idea for this site,, in order to help other writers finally become published. She offers an ebook filled with newspaper listings and contact information for just $24. Here’s another opportunity for those of you who should be sending out news releases and articles to promote your book. This might include your novel, book of poetry, historical romance or nonfiction book on any topic. offers an online directory of information for writers and authors. If you offer a service to writers or you have a book on any topic that you wish to showcase, the folks at Absolute Write will post it for just $10. You can pay by PayPal or by check. Hopefully, you will recognize this as an opportunity to showcase your book for a really reasonable price. Check the site out at . . is a high-paying magazine, but their requirements are rather specific. Your book related to parenting, education or ethnicity might contain ideas for an article you could pitch to Teaching Tolerance. They pay as much as $3,000 per piece. Visit their Web site: I once sold them a piece on how community gardening could help teach kids tolerance. publishes general interest and inspirational articles on a variety of topics as long as they relate to young children and their development. Whether your book focuses on art, child behavior, grandparenting, pets or fitness, you should be able to tailor an article to meet the requirements of this magazine. Learn more at publishes book excerpts, essays and investigative articles. They publish 56 articles per year and pay 50 cents/word for articles of 1,000-5,000 words. Offer an excerpt from your book on the teen-age drinking epidemic and how to stop it. Suggest an article from your chapter on ADHD or how to help formerly homeschooled kids to adjust to the traditional school climate. I sold them my article on journal keeping for kids, which helped to promote my book, Write On! Journal-keeping for Teens. Learn more about this magazine at also pays well for articles related to any aspect of operating a family business. Maybe your book deals with relationships. It follows that you could write an article on how the dynamics of family relationships could change once these individuals go into business together. Or do interviews with a married couple in business and write a profile piece for this magazine. , for example, is read by high level managers in all sorts of businesses and companies. Maybe your book focuses on an interesting concept in employee dynamics or a new management model. Read a couple of issues of Across the Board and come up with a unique slant on management practices or policies. They use articles of 1,000 to 3,500 words and pay as much as $2,500. in Portland, OR is new. They plan to publish 3 to 4 titles per year and hope to specialize in literature and graphic novels. They will also look at comic books, historical mysteries, occult and westerns. They really like illustrated books and suggest that you line up an artist before submitting your idea. They want a book proposal first. They list the parts they most prefer at their Web site. See Send submission packages to: Cellar Door Publishing, Submissions Department, 3439 NE Sandy Blvd., Ste. 309, Portland, OR new. They publish books of poetry, short story collections and novels of between 150 and 300 pages. They want to see samples of your work, first. Learn more about the types of books they publish by visiting the Web site at produces both fiction and nonfiction books for kids ages 2 to 12. They also publish some adult titles. They started the company just last year and hope to publish 15-20 titles each year. Learn more at (you need Flash) to enter this site. For more information contact Patricia Stirnkorg at a new publishing company that is on the lookout for shocking titles. They were established in 2004 and they already publish as many as 45 fiction titles per year. Study their extensive submission guidelines at to find out if you have an idea that they could use. If so, you’ll contact Kimberly Burton at is seeking true ghost stories. If you have something like this in the works or you’ve experienced a ghost story you’d like to tell, contact Elizabeth Burton at is a high paying regional magazine. You’ll have to contact them to find out how high. Their online submission guidelines state only that payment is negotiable. They publish articles that appeal to an educated Texas audience. They prefer well-researched articles on issues of public concern. It’s best to study at least one copy of a back issue of the magazine. They have a circulation of over 2 million. If you are a Texan or a former Texan, have a book with a chapter relating to a city in Texas or write about a notorious Texas outlaw in your book, contact Texas Monthly with a story idea. According to their Web site, all materials should be mailed to Evan Smith, Texas Monthly, POB 1569, Austin, TX 78767-1569. Learn more about this magazine at is a Canadian magazine on finance. If your book relates to finances or business management and you live in Canada, maybe you could sell them on an article related to your book. They pay anywhere from $500 to $2,000 for articles of 800-2,000 words. It looks as though you’ll have to fill out the form at their Web site in order to request their submission guidelines. Or email Ian Portsmouth at pays $1 word and up. Contact Articles Editor, Sandra Lee with a query letter by mail only at: Child, 375 Lexington Ave., 9th Floor, NY 10017. If you could sell them on your article idea, you could conceivably flaunt your book before a million readers. Suggest that they publish an excerpt from your book on parenting, marital relationships, child behavior or family travel, for example. Come up with a good essay on family life. Of course, include the title of your book in your bio which will appear at the end of your article in the magazine. (for writer’s guidelines)is a new magazine produced for the chronically ill public by Rest Ministries in San Diego. Editor, Lisa Copen, is interested in your articles of encouragement whether told using references and experts or from personal experiences. Perhaps you have a book related to a phys
ical or emotional illness. Why not offer Ms. Copen an excerpt from your book or write something special for HopeKeepers and reference your book, the ordering information, etc. Contact Lisa Copen at or POB 602928, San Diego, CA 92150. She prefers receiving a detailed query letter first. Payment may be negotiated. According to their Submission Guidelines, they do offer occasional monetary compensation for articles depending on the quality of the writing and the depth of the research. Keep in mind that they want brief articles of just 350-700 words. has temporarily suspended the acceptance of unsolicited submissions at least until July 15, 2006. The only exception is true ghost stories. (See Zumaya’s listing under Opportunities for Authors.) announces that 205 new magazines have been launched so far in 2005. is taking over the domain name that used to serve Christian writers. The site isn’t ready, yet, but they promise to become a source for new and used books for writers. Stay tuned.and The Underground Who Chapbook Press seem to have closed their doors. According to their Web site, Hurricane Wilma has forced the decision to quit. is closing down. has failed after just one year in business.has been paying as much as $250 each for science fiction stories since 1999. This fall, however, they ran out of funds. They’ve stopped publishing until they can find someone who cares. They need someone who really cares—enough to hand over some money to bail them out of financial trouble. no longer serves as a resource for Christian writers. Find out who bought that domain name. (Read, Here’s What’s New).