SPAWN Market Update – December 2008

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SPAWN Market Update – December, 2008

By Patricia L. Fry

 

Editorial Commentary – There’s still time to meet your publishing goals—we provide resources that can help.

Going, Going, Gone – 18 magazines and a magazine web site have gone under.

Here’s What’s New – Fight illiteracy by getting involved, 8 new magazines, and MORE.

Opportunities for Freelance Writers – 6 online courses for writers and authors, 8 paying religious/spiritual magazines and links to 3 articles on how to write a query letter.

Opportunities for Authors – 8 publishers for non-mainstream books. Learn how to land a publisher for your self-published book.

Book Promotion Opportunities – Magazines seeking articles, hundreds of book review sites and a GREAT resource for promoting your book through magazine articles.

Opportunities for Poets – Markets for poetry.

Opportunities for Scriptwriters – 11th Annual Scriptapalooza Competition.

Opportunities for Artists and Photographers – 7 job listings for artists and photographers & links to hundreds of jobs. I Heart Magazine seeks unique photos.

 

Editorial Commentary

Here we are just about to end another year. Have you achieved all that you had hoped for with your writing? Have you met your publishing goals for 2008? If not, maybe there is still time to accomplish something related to your writing or publishing dreams before the end of the year. Why not? Go ahead and present your article idea to an appropriate magazine; submit your poem for publication; finish your manuscript; write a book proposal; start approaching publishers or launch an aggressive promotional campaign for your already-published book. Vow to take at least one step toward the success you desire. Why now—during this economic downturn and highly competitive publishing climate? Why not?

Consider this: many authors and freelance writers have decided to concentrate more on their day jobs. Some writers are curtailing their creative efforts until the economy gets better. The fierce competition we’ve been used to, in the publishing industry, might actually be letting up a little.

Certainly, magazine editors and publishers are reconsidering the number of projects they’re taking on. And consumers (our readers) are spending less money. On the other hand, this might be a good time to go out on a limb with your project. In precarious times like these, consumers are choosing cheaper recreation—like reading. Readers are interested in books and articles that give them warm fuzzies—this might include inspirational, spiritual, positive literary works and humor. Aside from feel-good stories, we want to read quick-fix books and articles. We’re interested in economic survival tips of all kinds, for example.

 

The Los Angeles Times recently listed some of the latest “happy” books out. Among them were, Happiness for Dummies by W. Doyle Gentry (Harper Collins); The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Psychology of Happiness by Arlene Matthews Uhl, (Penguin Group); Happiness for Two by Alexandra Stoddard (Collins Living); What Happy Women Know, by Dan Baker (St. Martins Press); and The How of Happiness, A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want by Sonja Lyubomirsky (The Penguin Group).

With more people feeling that they must curtail their publishing dreams, you may find that the competition has diminished. This might be the time for you to finally experience your desire to publish in magazines, online or in book form. But it won’t happen if you lack the courage to take that first step and the tenacity to persevere.

If you dream of producing a book, story or article manuscript that you believe could make a difference in the world today—even to a small number of readers—this might be the time to pursue your dream. But make sure you approach publishing with a pristine manuscript and using an appropriate process. For assistance and resources, read this issue of the SPAWN Market Update from front to back. Then, using the nifty search feature on the homepage of the SPAWN Market Update, search our vast archives. If you have questions about any phase of the process or how and where to find additional resources, contact me at Patricia@spawn.org.

If you are a little concerned about how to manage as a writer or author in these difficult financial times, here are links to a couple of articles that might help. Michelle Dunn’s article, “Top 13 Ways an Author Can Survive a Recession,” was published in SPANnet, SPAN’s newsletter. Read it at http://www.spannet.org/article-recession-dunn.htm.

My piece called “Recession-Proof Your Writing Business” can be found at http://www.writing-world.com/rights/fry.shtml, with a briefer version at the SPAWN web site: http://www.spawn.org/editing/recessionproofwriting.htm.

American Writers Artists Inc (AWAI) recently listed their top 5 recession-proof careers which they recommend starting now. Here they are: Copywriting, Graphic Design, Desktop Marketing, Resume Writing and Information Publishing. Learn more about these careers and AWAI at http://www.awaionline.com.

 

Going, Going, Gone

Culture and Travel has ceased publication.

Turbo seems to have lost its power and quit.

The Standard Quarterly has succumbed under the pressure of the economy.

Memphis Woman has gone out of business.

Toronto has quit publishing.

Radar has gone out of business AGAIN!

Do you remember when I told you about the magazine, 02130—the magazine named for Harvard’s zip code? Well, it has stopped publishing, too.

Dream House, Canadian real estate magazine is gone.

Elle Accessories is gone for now—may come back next fall.

No Depression has quit in print form. You can still enjoy it online.

Cosmo Girl has closed.

Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion has also stopped publishing.

Mygazines, a controversial web site that allowed digital copies of hundreds of magazines to be shared, has closed. It seems that a lawsuit helped them to make that decision.

The following magazines will probably fold within the next few months:

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Smartmoney

Men’s Vogue

Teen Vogue

National Geographic for Kids

Sports illustrated for Kids.

 

Here’s What’s New

Do you want to sell more books? Then join in the fight against illiteracy and help to create more readers. According to an Education Department study, 44 million Americans are illiterate. The folks at Bridgerland Literacy in Utah, are trying to do something about it and you can help. They plan their annual Scrabble Scramble and Silent Auction fundraiser for January 16, 2009, and they need autographed books for the event. If you would like to donate, send autographed copies of your book to Janet Jensen, 1762 University Drive, Logan, UT 84341-3008. This is a good way to help fight illiteracy while promoting your book. Questions? Contact Danielle Bird, Director of Bridgerland Literacy at literacy@loganutah.org.

Here’s another literacy program that needs your help and they’re offering to publish your work at the same time. Be the Star You Are! is an organization focused on empowering women, families and youth through improved literacy. They’re producing a book with proceeds to benefit this organization. You are invited to submit to the book, which is titled, Be the Star You Are! For Teens; 99 Gifts for Living, Loving, Laughing, Leading and Learning to Make a Difference. Each chapter starts with “The Gift of…” and they want just 630 words or less per submission. They would also like to have an appropriate quote, a learning exercise and a personal bio in each contribution. For submission guidelines go to http://www.bethestaryouare.org/write/index.html. Or contact cynthia@bethestaryouare.org.

Christianity Today, publisher of Today’s Christian and Today’s Christian Woman announces that they have partnered with Significant Living—a membership organization designed to help adults 50+ discover a life of significance from a faith-based perspective. The new magazine will be called Significant Living’s Today’s Christian and it will launch in January 2009. Learn more about this magazine at http://www.christianitytoday.com or http://www.sl50.org. The long-lived Today’s Christian and Today’s Christian Woman editors typically publish 100-125 articles per year and they pay $125- $600 per piece. Watch the web sites to discover their current submission guidelines.

Here’s an unusual situation. Do you remember us announcing that Arthur was folding? Well, evidently enough people donated money to this magazine in order to keep it going. The magazine is doing well now, but the publisher realizes how frightening these financial times are for so many others and he is offering to pay back some of the money they received when they needed it. They want to help those who helped the magazine. If you donated money to support Arthur watch your mailbox. You may be surprised by a monetary gift. ,

The print frequency of Portfolio Magazine has been cut from 12 to 10 issues/year. And Men’s Vogue has been cut from 10 issues to 2 per year.

Her Sports + Fitness will be known as Women’s Running starting with the January 2009 issue.

Southern California Anthology is now Southern California Review. They publish fiction, poetry and now, also, creative nonfiction, plays and screenplays.

Success For Women Magazine has been launched, but I’m unable to find the web site, yet.

Colorado Dog Magazine and Chicago Dog Magazine have been merged to create The American Dog Magazine. If you write about almost any aspects of dogs—as pets, protecting them, caring for them, feeding them, as our protectors/rescuers, their health, etc., consider contacting the editors of this magazine at editor@theamericandogmag.com. Look at the magazine and get an idea of the stories they’ve run at http://www.theamericandogmag.com. This may give you ideas for new articles you could pitch.

Beautiful One Magazine is a new magazine for Christian women. If you can write about health and fitness, love and marriage, parenting, fashion or inner healing, for example, your articles might be welcome here. Unfortunately, they do not pay for submissions, but this might be a good place to promote your Christian book. http://www.beautifulonemagazine.com/write.html (for submission guidelines).

Keyhole Magazine is a quarterly magazine for writers. In fact, it strives to promote emerging writers and artists in Nashville and across the country. They publish nonfiction, fiction and poetry. Learn more at http://www.keyholemagazine.com/submissions. Or contact the editors at: Submissions@keyholepublications.com. You must sign up and create an account in order to submit your works. Multiple submissions are accepted.

Black Health Magazine is new for African American Women in the 24-59 age bracket. This magazine features most anything that interests or affects women, including, health, beauty, fitness, nutrition and medical concerns. http://www.blackhealthmag.com. Contact toaks@blackhealthmag.com.

You may recall that Hachette Book Group launched two imprints last year—Orbit (which publishes science fiction) and Yen Press (which publishes graphic novels). These two imprints are now one and are organized under the name Orbit.

 

Opportunities for Freelance Writers

Have you ever thought of taking an online course? In these precarious times, you might want to gain new skills and learn new techniques for establishing a freelance writing business. Here are some courses to check out and consider.

Marcia Yudkin offers her “Breaking Into Major Magazines” course over what seems to be about a 3 ½ month period for $295. Learn more at: http://www.yudkin.com/majormagazines.htm.

Angela Hoy at Writer’s Weekly offers several courses on a variety of topics for freelance writers. Check them out at: http://www.writersweekly.com/books.php. Scroll down to “Browse our classes.”

Patricia Fry teaches online courses on demand. Courses cost from $125 to $200 and topics are: Successful Book Promotion, Self-Publishing Workshop, How to Write a Book Proposals and Article-Writing Workshop. http://www.matilijapress.com/courses.htm.

How does an online course work?

I’m sure there are different elements and aspects to different courses. But basically, it is as easy as emailing a friend, yet much more rewarding and beneficial to your writing/publishing career. It’s like going to school in the comfort of your home. You will receive weekly lectures and assignments that you can work on at your convenience. Your instructor will generally respond to your questions and provide individual feedback. Plan to participate fully and you could complete a successful book proposal for submission by the end of the 6-week course, have an article ready to submit to an appropriate periodical, be selling books by the carload or self-publish your book (of course, depending on which course you take).

As I said in my commentary, people are seeking comfort and support in this world of uncertainty and one avenue is through spiritual and religious reading. Here are some religious and spiritual magazines that will pay for articles:

This Rock is a Catholic publication that uses book excerpts and essays. They buy 50 manuscripts per year and they pay $200 to $350 per piece. Check submission guidelines at their site: http://www.catholic.com.

I’ve done quite a bit of writing for St. Anthony Messenger. They like pieces of interest to Catholic families—most of whom have children or grandchildren. They want how-to pieces on spiritual growth, parenting, relationships, etc. Keep your manuscript to 1,500 to 2,500 words. They pay 20 cents word—that’s around $300 to $400. http://www.americancatholic.org. They also buy fiction of 2,000 to 3,000 words for which they’ll pay 16 cents/word.

Outreach Magazine pays as much as $600 for a 2,000-word piece related to humor, inspiration and personal experience. They also use how-tos and book excerpts. http://www.outreachmagazine.com. Contact Linda Lowry with questions, llowry@outreach.com.

If you can write for a Yiddish publication, you could earn as much as $2,500 per 5,000 word piece. At Pakn Treger, they want book excerpts, essays, humor, travel and graphic novels. They are also looking for photos. And they pay as much as $2,000 for fiction pieces—mysteries, slice of life vignettes, historical, novel excerpts, and so forth. http://yiddishbookcenter.org.

Charisma & Christian Life buys 40 manuscripts/year and pays a maximum of $1,000 for assigned articles on religious topics. http://www.charismamag.com.

Spirituality and Health Magazine uses book excerpts, how-to articles and news stories related to health and spirituality. This is a paying market, but they don’t advertise their pay scale. http://www.spiritualityhealth.com.

Vim & Vigor focuses on health and spirituality, as well. And they will pay anywhere from $400 to $1,200 per piece. Contact Stephanie Conner, senior editor at stephaniec@mcmurry.com.

Shambhala Sun publishes book excerpts, essays, inspirational pieces, personal opinion and even travel pieces and they pay as much as $2,000 per article. http://www.shambhalasun.com.

Getting Published in Magazines

Are you at a loss as to how to get something published? Have you never approached a magazine editor before? Here are a few tips:

  • Match the article to the publication. Locate the magazine’s submission guidelines (generally at their web sites) and adhere to them. You’re probably aware of some magazines related to your genre/topic. Use Writer’s Market to locate others. http://www.writersmarket.com. (The print book can be purchased at most bookstores or ordered through most online booksellers.)
  • Write a query letter. Most (not all) editors want to see a query letter first. Here are links to some query letter how-tos:

http://www.writing-world.com/basics/query.shtml (Moira Allen)

http://www.write101.com/chquery.htm (Laura Backes)

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/2007/03/query-letter-your-tool-for-success.html (Patricia Fry)

 

Opportunities for Authors

Will a royalty publisher pick up your self-published or subsidy/vanity published book? Can a small-potatoes author with a self-published book engage an agent and land a traditional publisher? In an article published in the Writer’s Digest online, Chuck Sambuchino writes about interviewing agents who said that it is possible. Some agents are interested in books that have sold at least 3,000 copies, as long as the niche isn’t too narrow, of course. And it depends on how long the book has been on the market—how long did it take you to sell that many books? This information is of value to agents receiving a query for your self-published book. Keep in mind that if you have already sold too many copies, a publisher won’t be interested. He will be concerned that you’ve sold out your market. Another criterion for agents looking at already self-published books is whether you went the self-publishing route by choice or the manuscript was rejected numerous times by traditional publishers.

Sure, some publishers and agents will look at self-published and vanity/subsidy published books, but you’d better make sure it has been professionally edited, it is selling well and there is still a market out there to sell to. Read the entire article at: http://www.writersdigest.com/article/life-after-self-publishing.

A lot of authors are pitching books related to some aspect of recovery or health, psychology or philosophy, reference, etc. Their books may not fit into the mainstream, yet many of them are attempting to break into this realm. You need to know that there are publishers eager for books like yours, but they may not be the big name, best-seller-producing publishers you have in mind. Here are some publishers that specialize in certain areas. Study this list and then continue your study at local bookstores. Find books in the section where your book will most likely be stocked. Who published these books? Contact these publishers.

Health Press NA Inc. produces books related to education, health and medicine. These publishers like how-to, reference, self-help and textbooks. They only produce 8 titles/year, but 90 percent of their books are from first-time, unagented authors. Contact K. Frazer at goodbooks@healthpress.com. Rather than pitching your manuscript featuring allergies in children or living with an autistic child to Simon and Schuster, consider Health Press. Their guidelines are at their web site: http://www.healthpress.com.

Kitsune Books produces books on subjects such as memoirs, music/dance, New Age spirituality and yoga/fitness. They also publish New Age and fantasy fiction. If you have been a yoga teacher for years and you’ve written a book on yoga for seniors or you are a music teacher and have written a book on the importance of music in schools, for example, Kitsune might be your publisher. http://www.kitsunebooks.com. Contact Anne Petty at contact@kitsunebooks.com

If your book answers the need for educational material, don’t go to Random House, approach Teach & Learning Co., http://www.teachinglearning.com. Or Teachers College Press at http://www.teacherscollegepress.com, APA Books at http://www.apa.org/books, Information Today, Inc., http://infotoday.com, or Edupress Inc., at http://www.edupressinc.com.

Your book on turn of the century quilts is not best-seller material. Instead of St. Martins Press or Grand Central Station, approach American Quilter’s Society. They only receive 300 queries per year and they publish 20 titles related to quilts and quilting. http://www.americanquilter.com.

 

Book Promotion Opportunities

Writing articles for magazines can help you sell more books. Don’t know how to write a promotional article? Here’s a link to information that can help: http://www.spawn.org/marketing/writepromotionalarticle.htm.

Self Help Magazine is soliciting articles on aging, health, humor, jobs, stress, love, marriage, parenting, personal growth, women’s issues and more. If your book relates to any of these topics, you might consider offering the editors a useful article demonstrating your expertise and, of course, providing your byline (name, book title, and contact info). Learn more about this magazine at http://www.selfhelpmagazine.com/index.php. For submission guidelines, go to http://www.selfhelpmagazine.com/about/artguide.php.

Here are a few book review sites currently looking for submissions—this according to Irene and Juanita Watson over at http://www.readerviews.com. Rebecca’s Reads reviews most genres. They have a separate review site where they review children’s books. They also do author interviews. Find out more at http://www.rebeccareads.com/submitabook.html. All genres are reviewed at Feathered Quill Book Reviews. They especially like small, little-known books by new authors. http://www.featheredquill.com. The Complete Review is linked to 233 book review sites. Contact some of them about a review of your book. http://www.complete-review.com.

 

Opportunities for Poets

Wild Goose Poetry Review is a quarterly journal looking for poetry that, as they say on their site, “Takes us away from our desks and easy chairs into the world, be that world urban or rural, American or African, quiet or raucous.” They say, “Don’t tell us your fears and your dreams, show us. There are no limitations on style, although they do ask that you try to keep your poems to 2 pages or less. Submit 3-5 poems in the body of an email to Patricia.Bostian@cpcc.edu. Check out their site at http://www.wildgoosepoetryreview.com.

Earn $5/line for your poetry at Virginia Quarterly Review. http://www.vqronline.org.

LIVE (for teens) pays $35-$60 per published poem. http://www.radiantlife.org.

Mature Years publishes poetry and pays $5 to $20 per 3-16/line poem. Contact Marvin W. Cropsey at matureyears@umpublishing.org.

 

Opportunities for Scriptwriters

Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition has launched their 11th annual Scriptapalooza Screenplay Competition with an early deadline of January 5, 2009. They offer a grand prize of $10,000 and it is not unusual for scripts entered in this contest to be optioned or sold outright. Learn more at http://www.scriptapalooza.com.

 

Opportunities for Artists and Photographers

I Heart Magazine is a “Street Photography Magazine.” The photographs they publish are raw, candid, unfiltered and extremely high quality. In fact, only 88 out of 25,000 photos made it into the first issue of the magazine. If you are into photography, here’s what they want: unique, ironic, real, personal, random street and documentary photography which is emotional funny, crazy, bizarre, strange… In other words, don’t send them anything boring. See guidelines at http://www.iheartmagazine.com/index2.html.

Do you ever check Craig’s List for artists and photographer’s jobs? There are listings now for an artist who can help design a logo for a sports shirt, artists to do painting for a promotional project, a wedding photographer in Cincinnati, artists for a small gift shop in Hawaii, graphic artist for a TV news station in San Diego, an artist to help design young girls’ apparel, photographers to join the staff at a photo studio near Philadelphia and many, many more.

Don’t moan and whine about there being no jobs for artists and photographers. Use some of the online classified ad sites such as Craigs List, http://www.craigslist.org. And check out this site for the top ten classified ad sites online: http://www.qualitybooks.com/tenad.htm

Resource for Authors, Artists and Freelance Writers

I’m guessing that you haven’t visited the SPAWN article archives in a while—some of you have never taken the time. And how do you expect to succeed with your book project or creative career? This month, I invite you to tour our Article Archives. We feature dozens and dozens of articles for authors, hopeful authors, freelance writers and artists (graphic artists, illustrators and others). We have articles on book promotion, finding a publisher, writing a book proposal, editing, selling your art, building your freelance creative business and more.

Check it out at: http://www.spawn.org/articles.htm. Or go to the SPAWN web site, http://www.spawn.org, and click on the links under “Articles on Writing, Illustrating, Publishing and Marketing.” Print out those that interest you and read them while waiting for a bus, during your lunch break, instead of watching TV at night, etc.

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