SPAWN Market Update – February, 2005
By Patricia L. Fry
Going, Going Gone – 5 magazines, an ezine and a comic strip are gone
Here’s What’s New – 10 new and changing magazines
Opportunities for Freelance Writers – 8 job prospects for writers
Opportunities for Authors – 3 potential publishers
Opportunities for Script Writers – Take a class. Sell that film.
Book Promotion Opportunities – 6 links to help you sell more books
Opportunities for Photographers and Artists – Sell your art to Pulse Mag
Opportunities for Teen Writers – Win $500.
Research/Reference Site – Find a FREE literary attorney
Editor’s Commentary – Criticism—Take it like a Wo/Man
Burning Question of the Month – Are you a writer?
Notes of Interest – New Words on the Block. Blog to make the dictionary.
Writer Interview – Jim Barrett, Experiencing Success With a True Crime
International Business Lawyer
Steve Roper and Mike Nomad
Life and Style Weekly
is a brand new Canadian magazine targeting first time puppy owners. This give-away magazine will be available through veterinarian offices. The launch date is February of this year, so it’s definitely time to start submitting your best story ideas. I couldn’t find an Internet connection for them. But here’s the mailing address: Family Communications, 65 The East Mall, Toronto, ON M8Z 5W3, Canada.email@example.com.WorldPulse
Meg Weaver at Wooden Horse Publishing, reports that Bicycling Magazine has a new focus. While still catering to the serious cyclist, they now want to capture the essence of the bicycler’s lifestyle. Do you know someone who practically lives on his bike? Maybe there’s an interesting woman in your town who frequently enters bike races. Read more about the magazine and the new slant at http://www.bicycling.com. Find their current listing at http://www.woodenhorsepub.com. (Meg is running a special on her magazine database service right now—so hurry.)
The publishers of TV Guide will launch In Touch Weekly in the spring to try to recapture some of the readers they’ve lost. This magazine will appeal mostly to women who simply can’t miss certain TV shows. If you have a news story, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Their Web site is http://www.intouchweekly.com.
San Diego Writers. I hope you are taking advantage of the new writer’s newsletter being published in your area. Have you subscribed yet to Word San Diego? It’s really quite a complete little newspaper. Good writing, a place to share and they publish a huge events calendar. Subscribe at http://www.wordsandiego.com. Subscription rate is $36.00.
Women in Print
Are you passionate about a subject—say a particular craft, dogs, gardening, parenting or even writing, for example? Would you like to share your knowledge with others? Here’s an opportunity for you. BellaOnline is seeking editors to write short weekly feature articles, review relevant Web sites, maintain a bulletin board and moderate chat room discussions on your topic. Learn more at http://www.bellaonline.com/misc/joinus/join_overview.asp. Or go to http://www.bellaonline.com and click on “Become an Editor.”
Gulf Stream Media Group
Rocking Chair Reader
Connect for Kids
Do you enjoy writing articles for the well-to-do reader? If so, your earnings should soar in 2005. According to MediaFinder (http://www.mediafinder.com), publications targeting the wealthy are on the rise. Just within the last two years, the number of magazines focusing on the lifestyles of the rich and/or famous have increased by nearly 50. And lifestyle magazines, in general, have grown by 28%. You may want to spend some time at MediaFinder as they list over 72,000 publications. While they don’t have links to the magazines they list, you will surely discover new magazines there. Your next step, of course, is to do a Google search for those mags you’d like to know more about.
Do you need a writing job? JustMarkets.com will send you daily emails six days a week listing 80 to 90 writing-related jobs for $9.95 per month. Learn more at
Your Half Pictures, LLC.
A Happy Place
Do you want to get on TV or radio with your book and your message? Here are some Web sites that provide links: http://www.radio-locator.com, http://www.yahoo.com/news_and_media/radio, and http://www.newslink.org/meradi.html.
Sell your books to a wider audience. Here are two of the largest wholesalers around. Bookazine is a full service distributor offering over a million titles to thousands of retailers including airport gift shops and newsstands. For information about how to submit your title for review to Bookazine, visit: http://www.bookazine.com/customer_service/instructions.shtml. Anderson News Company markets thousands of books and magazines to 40,000 retailers in the U.S. including supermarkets. Contact them http://www.andersonnews.com/anderson/contactpage.html.
See the listing above for World Pulse Magazine. http://www.worldpulsemagazine.com/contribute.php
Voluntary Lawyers for the Arts
Criticism: Take it Like a Wo/Man
We’ve had a lively discussion lately at SPAWNDiscuss. Thanks to all of you who participated and especially the SPAWN member who started it. For those of you who missed it, here’s what happened: A SPAWN member, who is also a professional writer and editor, pointed out an error in one of our posts and explained how to correct it. Several members jumped in with their comments (mostly from a defensive standpoint) and the sparks began to fly.
Now no one likes criticism. But it’s sure an unforgettable way to learn and to improve. Who among us likes to go to the dentist? But the alternative is, for most of us, unacceptable. If you want healthy teeth, you must withstand the discomfort. If you want to be read, you may, on occasion, be critiqued (or edited). As someone once told me, “We write, we get edited. There’s no such thing as a writer’s life without editing.” It has happened to me and I’m sure it has happened to most of you. And, as hard as sometimes is to take, we should thank those brave souls who have the courage to stand up and offer their help.
We are writers. We are expected to and we all want to use proper grammar and punctuation. What we want most is to be read and it is our duty to create material that is readable and grammatically accurate. For most of us, the process of writing is a constant learning experience. When we slip up (accidentally or out of ignorance), and someone sets us straight, we should consider it a gift. I learned just a few years ago that the em-dash connects two words without spaces and that two spaces after a period is no longer correct. I’m still trying to completely understand correct comma usage. But I think the rules for commas keep changing, too. (A recent post in SPAWNDiscuss pointed out that rules for commas depend on the source you’re using. Mama Mia, there is no right way, is there? Or maybe there is no wrong way.)
A result of the “editing” discussion may be something positive for all members—an official Grammarian for SPAWNDiscuss. Member Elizabeth K. Burton has volunteered to act as our online Grammarian. Members can read her first interesting and rather fun post, “Stalking the Wild Adverb” in your mailbox under SPAWNDiscuss, “Going to Grammar’s House” January 15, 2005. I’ve asked Elizabeth to copy it over into the SPAWN Forum, as well.
Let’s hear from you
SPAWNDiscuss and the SPAWN Forum are only two of the perks we offer SPAWN members. You will benefit from all that we provide ONLY if you participate. Let’s hear some new voices this year. And where, oh where are all of you readers of the SPAWN Market Update? Last month, I asked for comments and guess how many I received? None, zip, zilch, nada, nothing zero!!! How disappointing is that to put all of this time and effort into researching and writing this highly informative publication only to learn that NO ONE is reading it?
I wonder if we could entice your comments if we ask you to respond to a question. Let’s try it. If this concept flies, we’ll continue it in every issue.
Do you consider yourself a writer? Why? Why not?
One of the newest words around is Blog. It’s not in my dictionary and my spellcheck doesn’t recognize it as a real word. Yet, according to CNews Weird News, it is the most requested online definition this year. The demand for this word is so high that the Mirriam-Webster people have already added a definition to some of its online sites. They define blog as “A website that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comment and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.” According to the article, blog first began appearing in 1999. Other popular words this year—at least those that folks are requesting definitions for—were incumbent, electoral, insurgent, hurricane, cicada, peloton, partisan and sovereignty.
I interviewed SPAWN member, Jim Barrett this month because of his success as an author. Barrett, a retired police officer, college instructor and horseman is also the author of two books. His third book was just accepted by a royalty publisher. While each of Barrett’s publishing experiences is worth reporting, I most wanted him to share the story of publishing and marketing his true crime. Barrett showed his manuscript around to several publishers before accepting a co-publishing agreement with Ivy House. He paid to have the book published. According to the contract, however, once Barrett sells 1000 copies, the document becomes a royalty contract. Well, guess what? It took this author just 10 months to meet the terms of the contract. He’s now collecting royalties for each book sold and he has barely touched the tip of the promotional iceberg. Here’s how he did it:
Q: Tell us about your books.
A: The first one I wrote is A Manual for the Mounted Officer, which is directed toward the thousands of police officers, posse members, and mounted volunteers who have taken on the very challenging job of doing police work and search and rescue on horseback. This manual came out in April of 2002. While it is a very “niche” market book, it helped me to learn (and believe me I am still learning) the publishing and bookselling market. The manual was self-published.
(Editor’s note: We often advise authors to get their feet wet in the publishing world by self-publishing a nonfiction book, first.)
The second book that I published is Ma Duncan, which is a true crime account of the last woman executed in California and the last triple execution in the state. In researching this book, I relied heavily on my experience as a homicide detective, as well as researching 10,000 pages of court transcripts, interviewing people who were involved, and reading hundreds of newspaper articles.
Ivy House Publishing Group published this book. It is doing well locally, and has begun to reach a national audience after receiving a national review.
My third effort is How to Take the Spook Out of Your Horse. This book is a spin-off from the Mounted Manual and is directed toward the average horse owner who just wants to be safer when riding. It is being published by Russell Meerdink Company, LTD. through a traditional contract and is due out soon.
(Editor’s Note: Take heed, eager authors. Notice how Barrett worked his way up. Success in this business is often a process.)
Q: What motivated you to become an author?
A: I’ve always been an avid reader and it seems a natural transition to want to write something of value to people. (I am also a college instructor, so I tend to want to “teach” – which has motivated two of my non-fiction books). I have also worked in the writing field (yes, that’s what cops do—especially in the investigative part of the business) so it was relatively easy to make the conversion from report writing to other types of writing.
Q: I’m most interested in your true crime book, Ma Duncan. Can you tell us a little about the unusual contract they offered?
A: Ma Duncan was a big undertaking for me—especially the research portion of the book. After it was written, it spent many years on the shelf collecting dust. The manuscript was with an agent for about a year, but no sale was made. I then parked Ma, and did not think about it for years. Once I retired from my job, and with the help of Patricia Fry, I began to look for a publisher. Eventually, I located Ivy House, who is a subsidy publisher. I “up-fronted” much of the publishing cost, but recouped 100% of retail for the first 1,000 books. After that, I receive 20% of the royalties. Because I sold the first 1,000 copies in just 10 months, this has been a good financial deal for me.
Q: Did you have a plan or did you try the scatter shot method for promoting your book?
A: My best promotions have been word-of-mouth, newspaper articles, service club presentations, and bookstore book signings. My least successful efforts have been book fairs.
(Editor’s Note: Different books sell better in different venues. My books do extremely well at book fairs and poorly at book signings.)
Q: What was the hardest part about selling the first 1000 copies?
A: Getting the word out. As a new author, even as a person known in the community, you don’t get much in the way of recognition. (I think all new authors go through this.) So, you are out there in the big world as just another person selling a book—it is very competitive. I am a fairly organized person so I did (and I am) pursue(ing) a plan. I had help in the sales department from friends and relatives who stepped up because I tend to be overloaded on the schedule.
Q: How will you proceed from here as far as selling books?
A: I continue to utilize the plan that we developed to sell Ma Duncan. Basically, the plan is to promote the book first in Ventura County, then Santa Barbara and finally Los Angeles Counties. Since it has received a national review, sales have moved beyond these borders, but we are still trying to focus on local sales because there a lot of people who live in these three counties. (Note: The crime and trial took place in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, CA.)
Q: Do you find it more difficult to promote a true crime book or the how to books? Why do you think that is?
A: I think selling any book, especially when you are relatively unknown, is difficult. However, the Mounted Manual has been easier for me to sell, albeit to a much smaller market, because I am a known person (and have a good a reputation) in that world. In my opinion, when writing “how to” books, your status in the area you have chosen to write about is critical.
Q: What would you advise someone who wants to write his/her first book?
A: WOW!! For the first book, my advice is to just go for it. Writing is a process of doing, fixing, struggling and re-writing (at least for most first time authors). Like most things that we humans do, it becomes easier with experience. But, only pen to paper will get a project completed. And, if you want to be taken seriously, write about what you know about.
Q: Please add anything you feel is important.
A: Final advice: continue to read. Read in the genre that you want to write, read generally (new authors) and read the classics, whether it is Hemingway, Ellison, or Thomas Wolfe. They all have something to say to us that help each of us to say it to others.
(Note: If you want to read a fascinating, almost unbelievable true crime story, you’ve got to buy this book.)
Order Ma Duncan through http://www.amazon.com.
http://www.vlaa.org for resources and help designed to protect your artistic works. is sponsoring an essay contest for students. If you are in grades 9 – 12 and you have something important to say to the world, consider entering the Sunpiper Press essay contest. You could win $500. Sunpiper is seeking essays of between 1000 and 1300 words in response to this question: “Upon what do YOU, the next greatest generation, think and want to direct your attention?” The deadline is March 15, 2005. For more information visit http://sunpiperpress.com/contest.html. has a new weekly author interview program called After Words. Each week, this program features the author of a recently published hardback non-fiction book. Not only will they interview a new author every week, but the host interviewer will change depending on his/her knowledge of the subject matter of the book featured. If you want to participate, contact Connie Doebele at email@example.com. offers online screen and TV writing classes. The next 8-week course starts January 25. They also offer a 4-week course starting January 26 for $100. The Cloud Creek Institute for the Arts creative director, Larry Brody is the teacher. To learn more about the classes offered, visit http://www.tvwriter.com., Christopher Tipton needs 35 mm films for audiences between 13 and 35 years of age. They buy up to 10 scripts per year. Contact Tipton at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Producer, Rusty Gray is seeking films and videotapes that are appropriate for motion pictures. Information at http://www.yourhalf.com. is this nation’s largest African-American publisher of self-help and career guide books. They have several imprints and are also seeking how-to books, self-help and books for children. Send your excellent book proposal to http://www.amberbooks.com. . Publisher, Robert E. Gelinas, established this company in 2003 and, already, they produce 30 – 40 titles per year. They’re looking for good true crime manuscripts as well as young adult fiction, adventure, fantasy, historical, horror, military, westerns and science fiction. Gelinas offers this tip: “Learn to write a good book proposal.” Here’s another good reason to purchase the new ebook at the SPAWN Web site, “How to Write a Successful Book Proposal in 8 Days or Less.” (http://www.spawn.org/ebooks/pfry2/index.html). Visit Arche Books at http://www.archebooks.com. Contact them at Info@archebooks.com. publishes 50 fiction titles per year. They only receive 80 queries per year—look at the possibilities. What do they want? Romance with elements of adventure, intrigue and mystery. Contact Tom Kint at email@example.com. Visit http://www.arrowpub.com for additional information and submission guidelines. publishes articles relating to all aspects of healing and spirituality. They need a dozen 1,200 to 1,500-word articles every few months and they pay around $100. Visit their Web site at http://www.kindredspirit.co.uk. Contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. pays for essays and experimental fiction. Visit them at http://www.pifmagazine.com. Or contact editor Rachel Safe at email@example.com. is an Internet site for adults who work with and raise kids. It’s also a paying market for freelance writers. They are seeking general interest and profile pieces for which they’ll pay an average of 70 cents per word. Not bad!! They are also in the market for inspiring stories relating to the success of community-based programs. Learn more at http://www.connectforkids.org. has put out a call for submissions. Editor, Helen Polaski is seeking humorous anecdotes for an anthology series. But hurry, the deadline is February 28. The theme for this anthology is “Something Old, Something New” and will feature 60-70 true stories that revolve around weddings and/or marriages that take place in America’s small towns. And yes, this is a paying market. Learn more at http://www.rockingchairreader.com or contact Helen at firstname.lastname@example.org. is soliciting freelance writers from South Florida to write for several regional lifestyle magazines. They are looking for experienced writers who know the areas of Palm Beach, Jupiter and Treasure Coast. Email resumes to Christie@gulfstreammeadiagroup.com. Go to http://www.gulfstreammediagroup.com for more information. is relatively new. They launched in 2000. Rebecca Ramsey and Katherine Johnson are both assistant editors. If you can write on topics related to software, new products in technology and so forth, you could earn yourself $300. Learn more at http://createmagazine.com. Or contact Johnson or Ramsey at email@example.com. is not accepting submissions until summer. If you have a manuscript just right for this publisher, you will have to wait. But come June or July, you can submit a manuscript on a topic reflecting your expertise. They publish all types of books both nonfiction and fiction. But primary on their wish list are business, creative nonfiction, education, health/medicine, hobbies, nature, psychology and philosophy. I’ll watch for them to resume accepting queries and report it in Market Update. launched in December. I’m in the process of gathering more information for you. So far, not so good—the email I sent them this morning bounced. I did learn that Bruce Gibbs is the publisher/editor of this new parenting magazine. Here’s their Web site in case you want to watch for updates: http://www.realdadmagazine.com debuted last month. This is a print and online publication for and by students. Their guidelines say that they are focusing on the things that matter to most students, such as sports, music, spring break, fashion and dating. Want to contribute? Contact Editor, Kirk Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or CO-ED magazine, 321 Newark St., 4th Fl, Hoboken, NJ 07030. is a new magazine promoting the perspective of women and children in world affairs. The editors want thoughtful, provocative, thorough coverage on timely world topics. Aside from news and feature stories, they also publish essays and poetry. And they need photographs and artwork. Unfortunately, while they want professional quality submissions, they aren’t in a position to pay except in magazine subscriptions. They state, however, “Our ability to provide an additional honorarium will vary over time and will be discussed with each contributor on an individual basis.” You’ll find the complete submission guidelines at http://www.worldpulsemagazine.com/contribute.php. Contact executive editor, Jensine Larson at email@example.com. is a new cele