SPAWN Market Update – December, 2006
By Patricia L. Fry
Going, Going, Gone – 6 sites/mags gone and Jenna Glatzer steps down
Here’s What’s New – New magazines for Mac users, people of color and artists.
Opportunities for Fiction Writers – 3 magazines that publish fiction and a contest
Opportunities for Freelance Writers – 10 paying med to high markets
Opportunities for Authors – 4 important information bites and 6 publishing opps.
Book Promotion Opportunities – 25 GREAT ideas and resources including 13 book review sites and 2 book review site directories
Opportunities for Scriptwriters – Two leads for scriptwriters
Opportunities for Artists – Get exposure for your art
Resources for Writers – How to check on copyright issues, scams and your Web site popularity.
We Need Your Help – Write a review of SPAWN Market Update
Rebecca Reads Book Review
House DIY Magazine
Jenna Glatzer is stepping down as the Absolute Write Newsletter editor. She said her goodbyes in the November 2, 2006 issue. Taking over is MacAllister Stone. http://www.absolutewrite.com
Here’s some good news: Esquire Magazine is coming on strong again about fiction. Editor David Granger is the man to contact with your appropriate, highly polished fiction piece. This magazine also publishes novel excerpts, memoirs and poetry. Learn more at http://www.esquire.com. Contact Granger at email@example.com.
Do you have some short stories of 2,500 words or less? Why not test the waters with them by entering the ReadMyWords Short Story Contest? But hurry, the deadline is December 15, 2006. The entry fee is $5 per story and the awards are from $25 to $250. Find contest guidelines at http://www.readmywords.com.
Greeting card writers, here’s a new market for your work. Memory Stone launched this year and they will pay anywhere from $150 to $300/project for templates for holiday and special occasion material. http://www.memorystone.com
South American Explorer
Focus on the Family has a magazine for kids 4-8 years old called Clubhouse Jr. They are particularly interested in seeing poetry with a strong message. They pay $50-100 each. Contact Suzanne Hadley at Focus on the Family, 8605 Explorer Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80920.
Women in Business
Can you write medical humor? Here’s a Canadian magazine that is seeking humor for physicians. Stitches pays up to .25 cents/word for personal experience humor (200-1,500 words), fiction or poetry. Contact Simon Hally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Motor Coaching
Purchase One ISBN
You can now purchase just one ISBN from Bowker in your own name for $125. Evidently, this is not advertised anywhere on the R.R. Bowker site, but if you call them or write to them with this request, they will issue you just one ISBN. I advise you to consider purchasing the block of 10, however, for $225 (plus handling charges). If you revise your book before the next reprint, you will need a new ISBN. And if you do well with your first book, you’ll surely want to produce another and another. Some fee-based POD publishing services are selling their authors single ISBNs in the author’s name for around $150.
Google News Item Search
Are you looking for new research ideas? Google has one. Search historical article archives through Google by going to http://news.google.com/archivesearch/about.html. There, you’ll find old news articles dating back as far as the 1700s.
How Popular is Your Web Site?
Have you ever wondered about the popularity of your Web site? You work hard to make connections, to spread the word about your books and your site. But just how many other sites are linked to yours? Find out through a Web site popularity search. I used several search sites and found that my Web site, http://www.matilijapress.com, has anywhere from 800 to nearly 5,000 links depending on the search site I use. And you can actually find out what sites are linked to yours. Test your site popularity at: http://www.marketleap.com/publinkpop/default.htm or http://www.linkpopularity.com. (See more information below under “Resources for Writers.”)
Christian Market Thriving
According to the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, religious books are one of strongest categories in book sales today. I keep hearing that the Christian market is alive and well. For statistic and industry updates, visit http://www.ecpa.org often.
Publishers Seeking Good Manuscripts
Black Velvet Seductions Publishing
World Den Books
Two Girls Publishing Co
Rock Spring Press
Streamline your Articles Submissions Process
You’ve heard me say it before, articles are a good way to promote your book. Well, I contribute a lot of articles to numbers of writing/publishing-related magazines and newsletters in order to promote my writing/publishing books. While I have a good bookkeeping system, it recently became obvious that I needed to revamp my submissions process. You see, each time I wanted to submit a new article, I had to search through my markets reference books, do a Google searches and rely on my memory to locate the appropriate magazine or newsletter to approach. I needed a better system. I needed to compile a list of all relevant publications and pertinent submission information to have at my fingertips at all times.
So I spent much of this week compiling that list and I ended up with 65 viable markets for my writing/publishing-related articles—and counting. Now, when I have an article idea, I just match it up with one of the markets on my ever-growing list.
Why do I spend so much time writing and re-circulating articles for writers and independent publishers? To help them through the publishing quagmire—to provide information, perspective and resources to those who need it.
Another reason why I produce so many articles for writing/publishing-related sites and mags is to provide exposure for me and my books. These articles add to my credibility. They afford me the opportunity to promote my books and services. Ultimately, I sell books, I entice people to join SPAWN and I land a few new clients through the articles that appear in these publications and on these sites.
How many online and print publications related to your book topic or genre can you tally up? If you write novels, seek out publications that publish short stories and excerpts related to your genre and topic. Some of you have books on gardening, real estate, the military, art, aging, dying and death, fitness and health and history. Do a Google (Alta Vista, Yahoo, etc.) search to locate appropriate online and print publications. Find others listed on the resources pages or the links pages at key Web sites. Study each set of submission guidelines. Subscribe to free newsletters on your topic and study the articles posted at appropriate Web sites. Also, use the “search” feature for the SPAWN Market Update and scour the archives in search of appropriate publications and sites.
Devote one week out of each month to writing targeted articles for some of those on your list. Submit reprints to non-competing sites or publications.
What will you gain by diligently pursuing this promotional activity? Access to a targeted audience of anywhere from 500 to 50,000 (or more) potential customers.
More Book Review Resources
Getting book reviews is still a great way to gain exposure for your book. And this is true whether your book is produced by a regular traditional publisher, self-published (you established the publishing company) or produced through a fee-based POD publishing service. Also, it doesn’t matter that your book is a year or two old.
The editors of ForeWord Magazine review books by independent publishers and university presses. They want to see galleys and cover art 3 to 4 months in advance of publication. They review audiobooks, POD books and ebooks, as well. I met some of the folks from ForeWord Magazine in San Francisco at the SPAN Marketing Conference and when I got home, Maryann Batsakis, emailed me some information from her company. She suggests that there are opportunities for independent publishers beyond the book review in ForeWord Magazine. There are opportunities to purchase ads and they offer a review for a fee through their Clarion Reviews. The ad deadline for the Jan/Feb issue is Dec. 15. Learn more at: http://www.forewordmagazine.com. You’ll find their guidelines at http://www.forewordmagazine.com/reviews/guidelines.aspx. But be warned, they, too, are inundated with books to consider and can review only about 10% to 15% of those received.
In the meantime, if you want to forge ahead and chance getting a review, contact Alex Moore at ForeWord Magazine about your soon-to-be published book. He’s at. 129 ½ East Front St., Traverse City, MI 49684.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
American Book Review
The Boston Book Review
Send review copies two to three months ahead of publication date.
Kiril Sefan Alexandrove
Some book review sites and periodical editors publish your pre-written reviews. So get someone to write a review for your book and submit it. Here’s one:
Submit anytime except June and December.
Get the most from your PMA membership
PMA has several book promotion opportunities for their members. If you are a member, you already know this. But did you know that as a member of PMA or SPAN, you can join SPAWN at a discounted price. And as a member of SPAWN, you can join PMA and SPAN at a discount.
Here’s what’s coming up for PMA:
Do you want to do business overseas? I met a representative from the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce at the SPAN Marketing Conference. She spoke briefly on global markets. She says this organization can help you become part of the $300 billion in exports by small and med sized companies. Stay ahead of the competition. Respond to international sales inquires. A consultation is FREE. Call 1-800-USA-TRADE for a representative near you. Visit their Web site at: http://www.export.gov or http://www.buyusa.com.
Subscribe to The Script Journal email@example.com.
The Writers Room in the UK is soliciting scripts for film, TV and radio. Check out this opportunity at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom. Submission guidelines at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/writing/submissions_writersroom.shtml.
Direct Art Magazine
Here’s a tip—if you aren’t comfortable writing an article, ask a writer friend to do it for you. She gets the $500 and you get the exposure.
For information about copyrights, scams and so forth
This month I interviewed long-time SPAWN members, Russ and Kathlynn Spencer of Windshield Adventuring Books in Oxnard, CA.
At this time we have three books in print; Mojave Desert Windshield Adventures (copyright 2001 much of the material for which came from our first book, Windshield Adventuring Through the Mojave Desert, copyright 1997 & no longer in print), California’s Highway 395 Windshield Adventures (copyright 2002) and California’s Highway SR-1 Windshield Adventures – Santa Monica to Monterey (copyright 2006). We wrote and printed another book Windshield Adventuring Through Nevada’s Scenic & Historic Las Vegas & Pioneer Territories, (copyright 1998). This latter book is out of print. Q:
In about 1991, Kathy and I began looking for local traveling opportunities. After looking at Southern California maps, we started to concentrate on the area between the I-15 in the north and the I-40 in the south and east of Barstow, primarily a desert area which now contains The Mojave National Preserve. (Now this was a little difficult for Kathy, who grew up in the greenery and wet of Louisiana.)
We initially drove through the area on day excursions in Kathy’s Mercury Cougar. Like most of us, looking for a reason to buy “a new car” I felt that a Jeep would be ideal for our new adventures. As a note: When I mentioned “Jeep” to Kathy she was thinking in terms of the “Rat Patrol” type vehicle. We ended up with a 5 year-old 4X4 Jeep Grand Cherokee, leather seats and all, which immediately became “her car” during the week.
We purchased all of the camping gear we thought we would need and all of the books on the Mojave Desert area that we could find. After a “dry run” camp out at Lake Casitas (in Ventura County, CA), we headed off to the desert.
The first “problem” we encountered was that all of the books on the area which we were interested were all so old that the information in them was almost useless. Once you get off of the beaten path in the desert areas, there are no street signs. So as not to get lost on our travels, I gave Kathy a clipboard and, using the compass and the car’s odometer, she charted, mile by mile, each and every trip we took.
During this time, we alternated between camping and staying in motels along the outer perimeter of our desert trips.
After several years of our adventuring and travels to areas both inside and outside of eastern desert areas, we had extensive mileage logs. One of my hobbies is photography and by this time we had hundreds of pictures of the areas which we had traveled.
On one of our trips we had camped in Red Rock Canyon, along the I-14, and had gone into the town of Randsburg for lunch. We were discussing our adventures with Mike and Jan, the then owners of the Randsburg Inn, when Mike said, “You ought to write a book.” So we did.
Our idea was to provide the reader with current, mile-by-mile descriptive journeys from place to place featuring services available and/or historic information on the attractions with photos and maps.
We feel that we make quite a writing team. Russ does most of the writing (yes Kathy does contribute.) Kathy has taught proof reading at the local college along with Photoshop and other programs which enables her to prepare a disk that goes directly to the printing company’s computer and allows our completed book to be in print within a week or so. The printer we use (Wilson Printing) is local and gives excellent service. The longest part of our process is in awaiting the return of the “fact check” letters which we send to the various entities that appear in our books.
Incidentally, the name Windshield Adventures for our books came from the then head Park Ranger at the Mojave Preserve who commented as we drove up to her office, “Look, here come the Spencers again, out windshield adventuring!”
RUSSELL & KATHLYNN SPENCER
We read numbers of writing/publishing-related newsletters and we think that we are offering something quite unique and special to SPAWN members. If you think so too, of if you have suggestions for making it BETTER, please let us know.
We would like to publish a few reviews of the SPAWN Market Update in the January 2007 edition of SPAWNews. Please read this copy. Go back and review some of those in our archives. Try out our search function (on this page) to locate subjects of interest to you. And then write your impressions. Compare our newsletter with others that you read for a fee and for free. Would you recommend the SPAWN Market Update to others or not? Why? Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
We are currently in production of a book which features not only attractions in the Las Vegas area but is also a guide book to what is felt are the more interesting, unusual and popular attractions found within an easy day’s “windshield adventure” of Las Vegas.What is on the horizon for Windshield Adventures and the Spencers? Do you have more books planned?What we did was somewhat unusual in that we had gathered virtually all of the information, facts and photographs prior to starting to write. What we have found in our book business is a great excuse to travel, a great way to express ourselves and at the same time we make money but most importantly, WE HAVE FUN.What would you advise someone who is contemplating entering into the publishing business?After giving this question much thought, probably the most memorable publishing/promotional moment was when we walked into our first SPAWN meeting in Ventura 5 or 6 years ago and realized that we were able to gain professional, unselfish assistance in doing things which we had been either unaware of or unable to do by ourselves. At that time, had self-published two travel books, coil-bound and run off of copiers at Kinkos. Today, not only are we able to offer the reading public a digital printed perfect bound product complete with color pictures at a competitive price, we have had numerous book signings and attended book show/sales but we also sell lots of books. THANK YOU SPAWN!Tell us about some of your most memorable writing/publishing/promotional moments. While we do the sales to the retail outlets in California and Nevada, we are forced to use a distributor for nationwide retail outlets.What’s your biggest challenge as publishers of travel guide books and how do you overcome it.Generally we write about areas which appeal to us and we feel would be of interest to the reader.How do you decide what areas to write about?At this time we have 3 books in print with another “in production” which we hope to have in print by spring of 2007. Mojave Desert Windshield Adventures and California’s Highway 395 Windshield Adventures are just about even in sales at this time. Both of these books appear to have appeal to a fairly large audience.Which of your books is most successful and why?The majority of our book promotion is done by visiting potential retail sites in the areas we write about. This allows us to not only promote and sell the books, but assists us in keeping our books updated with current information. The Mojave book has been updated in the neighborhood of 12 to 15 times. We also maintain an “updates” section on our web site where major changes in the areas covered by our books are posted.Tell us how you promote and distribute your books. Our book business just happened. In the 1970s, I (Russ) wrote several “how to” magazine articles which were published in a national real estate magazine and a west coast sailing magazine, but nothing since.What prompted you to go into the writing/publishing business?Please tell us a little about your publishing company, Windshield Adventuring, and the books you produce. pays up to $500 for an article about the history of your art medium, technical aspects of your art and so forth. They also publish photo stories. Here’s a great opportunity to show off your work. http://www.slowart.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. considers books for review only within four months of their publication dates. They review only literary fiction, poetry and literary criticism. Send copies (galleys preferred but not required) to: reviews children’s books for librarians, teachers and parents. They preview around 900 of the 5000 they typically receive each year. But they encourage submissions by small and alternative publishers. Keep in mind that they want to review books within the first few months of publication. Learn more at: http://bccb.lis.uiuc.edu/pubguide.html. Or write to Deborah Stevenson at 501 E. Daniel St., Champaign, IL 61820. I conducted a survey of newspaper review editors recently and those who responded said they absolutely DO NOT review books by any independent publisher or for any fee base POD published book—no way, not at all, never. They told me that they have way too much on their plates trying to keep up with the huge number of traditional royalty publishers’ books that land on their desks each year. publishes general nonfiction about the outdoors, nature and environment. This one-year-old publishing company also produces some travel and historical books. Contact: Alice Platt at, email@example.com. http://www.rockspringpress.com . This press was established in 2005 in order to produce experimental literature. Contact Sean Miller at: firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.scriblerus.net. was established in 2005. They produce chick lit, feminist books, books on cooking, nutrition and women’s issues as well as children’s and juvenile books and a variety of fiction. Contact: email@example.com. http://www.twogirlspublishing.com. was established in 2001. They produce true stories of paranormal episodes and haunted houses. Contact the editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.unseenpress.com needs general nonfiction, reference, history, language and biography books. Contact Gail Shivel at: email@example.com. http://www.wolfdenbooks.com publishes erotica, historical, mainstream and multicultural romance, suspense and westerns. I’ve been hearing throughout the industry that our interest in romance novels is on the rise. Readers want romance in their adventure novels, horror, even fantasy stories. And publishers are asking their mystery, thriller, adventure writers to add some romance to their manuscripts. Black Velvet Seductions Publishing was established in 2005. Learn more at http://www.blackvelvetseductions.com. Questions? Contact Laurie Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org.. Editor Robbin Gould is seeking articles of 1,200 to 2,000 words on topics related to family RV camping—how-tos, personal experience, humor, the camping lifestyle, travel, camping tips, outdoor cooking and outdoor activities. They pay $50 to $500. Contact Robbin at email@example.com. produces a series of regional nursing magazines. There’s a Florida regional magazine, one for the greater Philadelphia area, New England and Washington DC/Baltimore. They use general interest and how-to articles related to nursing. They will also publish personal experiences related to an RN. And they want at least one RN in the byline. Contact Phyllis Class, RN through the Web site, http://www.nursingspectrum.com. They use over 125 articles each year of 700-1,200 words and they pay $50 to $800. is a magazine of the American Business Women’s Association. They use articles profiling interesting women in business, computer/internet-related pieces and they like how-to articles focusing on career women, small business ownership, r