SPAWN Market Update – January, 2005
By Patricia L. Fry
Message from the Editor – It’s your turn!
Going, Going, Gone – We’ve reported the demise of 264 pubs.
Here’s what’s new – 6 new publishers, 4 new magazines
Opportunities for Writers – 3 potential jobs. Get your story published.
Opportunities for Authors – Sell more books
Opportunities for Poets – 2 publishers and a critique group
Tips for Authors – More on POD publishers
A Look at Contests – Scam Buster sites and a legitimate contest.
Resource for Authors – A valuable article by Judy Cullins; A collection of useful Sites
Special Interview – Susan Levin of Authors’ Speak
Bonus Item – The new ISBN explained by Fotel
This is our 39th edition of the SPAWN Market Update. Every month for over 3 years, we’ve brought you the latest in industry news and trends. We’ve issued important warnings and reported on hundreds of opportunities for freelance writers, authors, publishers, artists, photographers and even young writers. We’ve introduced numerous useful resources and provided valuable information that should have saved you time and money while giving you a foothold in the publishing profession.
As we embark on the threshold of a new year, we resolve to continue bringing you the news, information, opportunities and resources you need in order to conduct your business and/or follow your passion. But we’d like something in return.
We’d like to know how you are using the material we present through the Market Update each month. What does this effort mean to you personally—as a professional? What part of this publication is most valuable to you? Have you made an important contact through the Market Update? Discovered a useful resource? Landed a job? Earned some money? Saved some money? Learned something significant? Please share the specifics.
As you can probably tell, we put a lot of time and effort into this publication. I collect information, resources and conduct interviews throughout the month and then I spend one weekend each month organizing the material and writing the 9-14-page Market Update. Is it worth the time and energy? How can we improve it? Let us hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve reported the demise of 264 magazines and publishers during the last 36 months. Here are seven more. Why do 60 percent of magazines fold within their first year of business and 80 percent within their fourth year? Probably for the same reasons that any small business fails: lack of a clear focus, inadequate funding, ineffective marketing, failure to understand the competition and the market and the health of the economy.
These magazines have recently folded.
We’ve reported over 300 magazine launches, new publishing houses and important changes within the industry during the last three years. Below are a dozen more.
North Light Books
Bloomsbury Children’s Books
World Publications, with offices in Florida, California, New York and Rhode Island and over twenty magazine titles, will launch Florida Travel and Life this month. This magazine is billed as “the first affluent lifestyle magazine devoted to the Sunshine State.” They will publish four issues in 2005. While the magazine will target a sophisticated audience living in and visiting Florida, World Publications President, Terry Snow, says that the magazine will also have a national appeal. If you can write about Florida’s affluent culture and profile some of this state’s most successful residents, for example, you may earn yourself a byline in Florida Travel and Life. Contact editor Steve Blount at email@example.com. Ask him to send you their Writer’s Guidelines. http://www.worldpub.net
Sporting Woman Quarterly
New address for National Writer’s Association (NWA). 10940 S. Parker Rd. #508, Parker, CO 80134-7740
The Write Journey
Mary Anne Donovan, chief editor for WriterOnLine Newsletter, is offering a free one month subscription to JustMarkets, a value of $9.95, if you send her a submission that she publishes in her newsletter. Learn more at http://www.writeronline.com.
Short story writers unite. Do you want a place where you can share your stories? Check out Short Story Group at http://www.shortstorygroup.com. Here you’ll find a small, friendly and free critique group devoted to the purpose of helping writers to refine and polish their writing skills through group interaction. The only requirement is that you are actively writing.
Books Are Fun
The sad fact is that 70 percent of one-book publishers are out of business within 24 months. Tim McCormick believes this is partially because many independent publishers aren’t willing to take risks. McCormick is a broker for BAF. He’s always on the lookout for appropriate books he can purchase in large numbers. This might be a good opportunity for you, if you don’t mind discounting books 80 percent or more. According to McCormick, the benefits can more than make up for the initial loss. He mentions the Chicken Soup for the Soul books as an example of a BAF title that hit the big time. McCormick is currently looking for children’s books, cookbooks and other general interest books in categories such as self help, adult gifts, how-to, reference, sports and coffee table books. Learn more about this opportunity at http://www.booksarefun.com. Contact McCormick at 480-838-4309 or send two copies of your book to Tim McCormick for evaluation at POB 27672, Tempe, AZ 85285-7672. Read an article about this opportunity at http://www.publishingcentral.com/articles.
Agora Book Café is a newly established service to publishers in the United States. They claim that they supplement current support by booksellers and conventional distributors. According to an unsigned email I received from this non-profit organization, they require a one-time pledge of $25 per title plus a minimum of 17 percent off any subsequent acquisitions. They pay shipping. In reviewing their Web site (at http://www.agorabookcafe.com) it seems that they are seeking specific types of books including those on African studies, health, democracy, human rights, cuisine and others. Before signing up, be sure to check them out—ask pertinent questions such as, “Exactly how do you handle my book once it’s accepted? Will you promote it or simply make it available at your Web site? How many hits per day do you get at your Web site? What is the average number of copies you sell per title?” And so forth. Contact them at 1-888-377-2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you want your book reviewed? Send a review copy to Geoff Rotunno at The Boox Review, POB 211, Santa Ynez, CA 93460. See http://www.thebooxreview.com/submissions.htm for more info.
Short Story Group
Another Complaint about POD Publishers
In the Continuing saga of POD Publishers, a SPAWN member used one and survived. In fact, she recommends them to authors who have a novel or another book with straight-forward text. She feels that her problems with the POD Publishing company she used were created partially because she had a lot of intricacies within the page design of her book. She needed a lot of bullets, boxes, shading, etc., that required a level of professionalism evidently not available at this particular POD Publishing house.
She says that the process took much longer than she was told it would and that was frustrating, especially since she had a book signing planned. She admits that she had to become assertive and take her problems to top management in order to finally get results.
But she said that when she found someone within the company who was helpful and seemed knowledgeable, the next time she asked for that employee, she was told they no longer worked there. “This happened a couple of times,” she says.
In the end, she fell into a trap that many first-time authors get caught in. She was so excited and relieved to finally get copies of her book, that she didn’t notice how poorly produced it was. She said that among other things, “the inner margins were too narrow, the boxes were glompy…”
This author learned a lot from this experience. The second time around, she hired an expert to prepare her book for publication rather than leave so much of the work up to the POD Publisher.
Who’s the Best POD Publisher?
According to Mark Levin, an attorney and the author of a new ebook, The Fine Print, it’s Booklocker. I’ve used Booklocker myself. They produced an ebook for me and I have no complaints. In fact, if I were to choose a POD publisher, it definitely would be Booklocker (http://www.publishing.booklocker.com). Levin’s book evaluates and rates contracts for POD publishers throughout the industry. Order the ebook for $14.00 at http://www.writersweekly.com/books/1804.html.
Let’s Develop a New Term for POD Publishers
The industry is searching for another term for what I refer to as POD Publishers. Send your ideas to me. Maybe SPAWN will be the first to coin a new phrase for this category of publishers.
SPAWN member and poet, Carol Doering responded to a recent question that we answered in the December edition of SPAWNews. The gentleman wanted to know how to determine whether a poetry contest was legit or a scam. He wondered if there were any sites that revealed poetry scams. Well Doering recommends http://www.winningwriters.com for contest listings, evaluations of contests, a free newsletter and more. Adam Cohen and Jendi Reiter operate WinningWriters.com. Go to http://www.winningwriters.com/warningsigns.htm for warnings and bookmark http://www.winningwriters.com/scambustingsites.htm as a scam buster site resource.
The Society of Professional Journalists will present their 2004 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for excellence in journalism next year. They want to see your best published or broadcast works for the 2004 year whether it be a photography feature, editorial cartooning, breaking news radio reporting, documentary, magazine article, investigative reporting or feature TV reporting, for example. The entry fee is $60 for SPJ members and $100 for nonmembers. The deadline for entries is February 7, 2005. Learn more at http://www.spj.org. Call 317-927-8000 or email email@example.com for more information.
Here’s an article that every author and hopeful author should read: Ten Ways to Make Your Book Outsell Another by Judy Cullins. An Internet Marketing Coach and the author of 10 eBooks, Cullins makes some excellent points and offers some valuable suggestions in this 875-word piece. She suggests, for example, that you consider writing a nonfiction book first and use your profits to help finance a fiction project about which you are passionate. She points out that 90% of the books sold today are nonfiction. She says, “Market to a book-buying audience.” Women buy approximately 75 percent of the books sold. She also talks about your front cover and back cover copy, encourages authors to expand their book into a series and she stresses writing a market plan before you finish chapter one. Points number 8 – 10 deal with the big P—promotion. And she offers up some useful ideas. You’ll find this article at http://www.ezinearticles.com.
Every author needs legal information from time to time. Here’s a site brimming with information and resources for authors/publishers. http://www.publaw.com
Every author should be sending out press releases regularly. And many of you need access to the news for research purposes. Here are two sites that provide some of the resources you may need: http://www.library.uncg.edu/news and http://www.newslink.org/news.html.
Susan Levin operates Authors’ Speak, a unique service for authors and others who want to promote their product or themselves through public speaking. Here’s my interview with her.
Q: I am most interested in your Authors’ Speak service. Would you tell us what this is and how it benefits authors?
A: Authors’ Speak is for our speakers who also happen to be authors. Our speakers are either listed in Speakers for FREE or FEE and if they are an author, an added perk is to be listed in the Authors’ Speak section.
A: Speaker Services is not an agent nor a bureau however, we are an online directory and we’ve been bringing speakers/authors together with audiences since ’94. Other services include: one-on-one marketing, media and presentation coaching in person in Los Angeles or by telephone, Video Demo Showcase, 3 camera shoot, Teleclasses, Speaker Products and an E-Zine.
Our folks pay a flat fee to be listed on our website. See Get Listed in the Directory:
Meeting planners and radio talk show producers book our speakers directly. We do not charge a commission—just a flat fee. We’ve had great success for our clients over the years.
Q: How did you get started in this work? What is your background as a speaker/teacher/businesswoman?
A: I’ve been an entrepreneur since 1970. I do have a teaching degree, however, I abandoned the NYC school system after 3 years of teaching. Based in Los Angeles since 1975, I’ve owned and created businesses ranging from a clothing line, a single’s organization, lecture series and symposiums to publishing magazines. Prior to my arrival in Los Angeles, I owned and operated two successful health food stores in Connecticut.
In 1992, I sold the well-known Los Angeles-based magazine Gateway which I published for seven years and began publishing the print edition of The Southern California Speakers For Free and Fee® Consultants & Entertainment Directory.
I’ve created a unique and much needed service and have tapped into a niche market for my business. My mandate is supporting professional people in growing their businesses through speaking.
Q: Would you describe some of the authors who use your Authors’ Speak service. And what are they saying about the experience?
A: Here’s a testimonial, “One of your leads, Brinderson, has resulted in a gig for me next month in Torrance. Heck, I’d do 75 minutes locally for $2,500 every day of the week! Thanks, and keep those leads coming.” Scott Hunter, Professional Speaker, Facilitator, Coach, Author
Q: Do you recommend public speaking as a key way for authors to promote books? Please elaborate.
A: Yes I totally believe that speaking is one of the best ways for authors to promote their books. It is part of their platform for marketing themselves. Not only will it bring them visibility, credibility and book sales, but also consulting/coaching clients. It will build their e-data base, magazine and radio talk show interviews and perhaps in-house training opportunities.
Q: What are some of the biggest mistakes authors make when addressing an audience? How can we remedy this?
A: They speak too long. Rather then interacting with their audiences, they are a talking head. They don’t know the audiences, they are not focused, they give way too much information, they don’t call the audience to action-to buy their book or services. They forget to hold up their book when they are referencing it—we need the visual. They don’t mention it in their intro and they don’t bring it with them for BOR (back of room) sales. And then some….
Q: Where are authors liable to find speaking opportunities? Do you have some suggestions for finding venues?
A: Speaking opportunities are everywhere. Start with your associations, chambers, local civic groups and most importantly know who your market is. If you say everyone, then you are in trouble.
Let all your business contacts know you are available to speak and ask if they can create a venue for you. Look on the web for organizations in your area and target market, say you are a speaker. When you introduce yourself personally, as well as in your signature on your e-mail, include all of your presentation and bio materials and website address. List on our website and we’ll connect you with audiences you might not find on your own.
Q: What about those authors who really dislike speaking? How would you advise them?
A: Well speaking can be learned just like any sport or activity can be—so I suggest retaining a speaking coach. We actually feel that our clients need media coaching first so that they can talk in sound bites and then we work with them to do a 20 minute presentation to an hour.
Q: Please add anything you feel is important.
A: We know that some authors are not speakers. They may be great writers but don’t have a clue as to how to speak their book. Please get coached, speak your passion and shine on.
In the November edition of the SPAWN Market Update, I reported that there would be changes taking place with regard to the ISBN process. While at a book festival in St. Louis in October, I met John Nachtrieb, President and CEO of Fotel Incorporated, experts in precision imaging. They produce barcodes. I thought he would be the perfect person to explain to us what is going on with the ISBN. I conducted this interview with his Customer Service Representative, Angela Hodges.
Q: Tell us what is happening with the ISBN.
A: January 1, 2007, the ISBN is changing from a 10-digit number into a new 13-digit number.
Q: How does that affect those of us who have books with the old ISBN style?
A: The new 13-digit ISBN is very similar to the bar-coded version of a 10-digit ISBN. The only difference is the way the ISBN is printed above the code, the way the ISBN is communicated to your trading partners, and possibly the way the number is maintained in a database.
Q: Will we have to get a new barcode? How does that work?
A: During the transition time between January 1, 2005 and January 1, 2007, you may want to verify specific requests or requirements from your trading partners. In general, you should not have to change any previously bar-coded products. You may be asked to communicate the ISBN-13, which is simply done by giving the 13 digit number starting “978” that appears below the bars. Some Industry leaders recommend continuing to print the barcodes in the current ISBN-10 format until January 1, 2007, or until the new ISBN-13 with a “979” prefix is issued. However, during the transition period, if publishers feel the need to have both codes printed with the barcodes, we can provide a format which looks like this:
Dual numbering is only valid for ISBN-13’s that begin with “978”.
Q: Are you telling us that we will have to sit there and stick new labels on each of our 2,000 books stored in boxes all throughout our house?
Q: What happens if we don’t comply?
Q: Why this change?
A: The main reason for the change is to increase the numbering capacity of the ISBN. Since the beginning, the ISBN-10 has been used to create the Bookland EAN-13 digit code by adding a “978” prefix. By making this prefix part of the ISBN, a new prefix of “979” can be added, doubling the number of ISBNs available.
Q: Can your company make it easy for us?
A: Yes, we would like to make this transition and easy as possible. We can accept either ISBN-10 or the ISBN-13 format from our customers requiring barcodes, but if you want your code created in the “transitional” format, with both codes printed above, you will need to communicate that request to us along with your order. We will continue to provide barcodes in the current format unless the ISBN-13 format is requested.
Q: What is the first step we should take and when?
A: The first step would be to have a reference list of your current ISBN-10s converted into ISBN-13s, so you will be ready to communicate these numbers to your trading partners. The ISBN agency will have a conversion utility on their website, or you can give us a call at 800-834-4920 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help you.
Q: Please add anything else you feel is important.
A: Starting January 1, 2005, Mass Market books will now only use the ISBN-13 on the back, lower, right book jacket. Only a single ISBN-13 will appear where both the ISBN-10 and UPC-12 previously appeared. Copyright pages should also include the ISBN-13. The price-point UPC that was used to encode the price in the item section of the UPC has been discontinued.
There are new addendum code values for books priced between $100 and $499, so for these books it will no longer be necessary to use the “checker intervention” addendum code of 90000 or the generic “high value” addendum code of 59999. Ask Fotel for specifics about price addendums.
Q: Would you tell us about your company, Fotel. I understand that you can help us in this transition. How?
A: Absolutely—we can help you through this transition. We have noticed how confusing the information from the industry can be. For example, with regard to the changes which are coming for ISBN coding in 2007, we have heard two contradictory messages from within the industry. One source downplays the changes, advising publishers to “not worry about it” while another source is making dire, even threatening predictions about “rejected books due to older bar codes”. We find both extremes unhelpful, and view our role as the voice of common ground. This is not complicated. People simply need to have the information. We can provide that, and advice if needed.
Fotel celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2004. We have been involved in the bar code industry from the very beginning. We approach the technology, and our place as a vendor, as experts. We provide a knowledge-based service. Non-working or poorly performing bar codes are a significant liability for publishers. It is important for anyone in the industry to receive authoritative answers to their questions and reliable advice. We provide that.
Angela Hodges, Customer Service Representative
Note: I had a little trouble understanding some of what Angela was telling us and I asked her a few more questions.
Q: This seems like it would be a simple transition, but your explanation of it has me more confused than ever. Can you help me to understand it?
A: This is a very common response. That is why you can always call us at Fotel and one of our customer service representatives will be happy to talk you through it. Just let us know your 10-digit ISBN number and we can do the rest for you. If you have any questions from your trading partners, we will be glad to help you understand them as well.
Q: I have unsold books here with the current bar code. What happens after January 1, 2007 when I want to sell those books? What do I do, specifically, to update my ISBN/bar code so I can sell those books through bookstores? You say that I won’t have to change any previously barcoded products, but I may be asked to communicate the ISBN-13—what does this mean. What action will I be taking—calling up the bookstore to tell them my new bar code?
A: If you were assigned a 10-digit ISBN number (ISBN-10) from the ISBN agency, then you should be able to continue to use barcodes the same way you always have. The ISBN-10 has always created a 13-digit Bookland EAN code by adding a “978” prefix – the first 9 digits of your ISBN-10 – and calculating the 13th digit as a new check digit.
If you look at a Bookland EAN on your book, you will see your 10-digit ISBN normally printed above the barcode, and a 13-digit number starting “978” below the barcode. This 13-digit number below the code is now going to be referred to as the ISBN-13.
What is happening is the ISBN agency is running out of ISBN numbers. So beginning January 1, 2007 they will be issuing 13-digit ISBN numbers (ISBN-13) that begin with a “979” prefix. Knowing that ISBN-10 and ISBN-13 must exist together, they are giving us a two year advanced notice to be prepared.
Publishers need to have the ability to communicate with trading partners that may now be using Bookland EAN-13s as part of conforming to the EAN-13 “Sunrise 2005” date. It is to be noted that this need to support EAN-13 identifiers with trading partners by this date will exist independent of any decision made by the publishing community on the overall 13-digit ISBN timetable.
Publishers should be able to convert the 10-digit ISBNs utilized within their internal systems to Bookland EAN-13s for transactions with trading partners, such as book distributors and large retailers who will be conforming to the 13-digit EAN standard. Publishers have been doing this same conversion when generating the Bookland EAN-13 for the bar codes on the back covers/jackets.
I cannot predict what individual trading partners specific requests or requirements will be. I can only give you an overall prediction from the information provided as the industry standard. For example: some trading partners require a book price to be encoded with the bar code, while others are more flexible allowing the generic 90000 supplement.
Some trading partners may continue to accept the ISBN-10, while others may require that you provide the ISBN-13.
The “978” prefix is added only to the ISBN-10 to create the Bookland EAN-13.
Once the ISBN-10s available numbers have been exhausted, the ISBN agency will begin assigning ISBN-13s beginning with a prefix of “979” to create the Bookland EAN-13.
The scanning portion of a Bookland EAN-13 barcode has always contained 13 digits. This has been done by adding a “978” prefix- the first 9 digits of the ISBN number- and calculating the 13th digit as a new check digit. You cannot just add the new 3 digit number in front of your existing ISBN-10, you also need to calculate the final check character. The ISBN-10 is broken apart by three dashes. The first single character being a “0” or “1” meaning the book is in English, the next group of numbers is the Publisher ID, the next group of numbers (or single digit) is the Title ID, and the last single digit is a calculated Check Digit. When you add the “978” prefix it changes the value in the algorithm and a new Check Digit is calculated. (Very rarely this may calculate as the same value.)
(described above) also hosts a poetry critique group. http://www.shortstorygroup.com . They only publish 2 titles per year, but are seeing books of good poetry. Tom Koontz, POB 146 Selma, IN 47383, or email@example.com. http://www.barnwoodpress.org publishes only poetry. Submit 6 sample poems to Rick Campbell or Joann Gardner at firstname.lastname@example.org or POB 10595 Tallahassee, FL 32302. More detailed submission guidelines at http://www.anhinga.org. (BAF) buys a wide range of books in lots of 25,000 to 250,000 for mass marketing through schools, book fairs and so forth. If your book isn’t selling and it qualifies, you might want to check this opportunity out. will be accepting freelance book reviews starting after the first of the year. If you are interested in writing book reviews, sign up at http://www.thebooxreview.com. is currently soliciting queries for their first issue scheduled for early spring. They pay 10 to 25 cents per word for articles on health, family, career, relationships and so forth. They also want profiles of women who have made a difference. But remember, the target audience is the Filipino woman and articles and stories must also reflect the Filipino culture. Filipinaessence2005@yahoo.com has moved. http://www.writejourney.com is a new magazine for—you guessed it—women writers. While they currently pay only in contributor’s copies, publisher Penny White hopes this will be a paying market within two years. Not only is this an opportunity to be published, it’s an opportunity for a lesson in grammar. White provides some very strict guidelines for contributors. She wants short stories, poetry and personal essays only. Go to her Submission Guidelines page and learn how to use the active rather than the passive voice and which words are usually unnecessary in a story or essay, for example. According to White, while this is still in ezine form, Penwomanship will be transformed into a print magazine in April. Visit http://www.penwomanship.com for more information. Contact White at email@example.com. is also a new lifestyle magazine celebrating fashion. Unlike other fashion-conscious magazines, Sporting Woman will include, among traditional models, star athletes and Hollywood celebrities. Contact the editors at Five Concourse Parkway-30th Floor, Ste. 3000, Atlanta, GA 30328 for submission guidelines. http://www.sportingwomanquarterly.com is another new regional magazine coming out of Florida. This publication will target newcomers to the downtown Orlando scene. Information about this publication is still scarce. If anyone locates their Submission Guidelines or even their Web site, would you let me know? publishes 60 titles per year for children of all ages in a wide range of categories. They offer an advance. Query by mail with SASE to 315 Fifth Ave., Ste. 712, New York, NY 10010. http://www.bloomsburyusa.com. was established in Arizona in 1998. They publish only fiction and are currently seeking fantasy, horror, humor, mystery, romance and short story collections. If you have something in any of these categories filed away, you might dust off that old manuscript and send it in. They will accept queries by invitation only. In other words, email or write with a brief outline of your story and ask permission to send them your query. Send to: Ravenhawk5dof@yahoo.com. Learn more at: http://www.ravenhawk.biz. is a relatively new publisher of fiction works. They strive to publish 10 titles per year and will pay an advance up to $1000. Sarah Gorham, is the editor-in-chief. While they publish poetry, creative nonfiction and fiction manuscripts, they are currently seeking short story collections. So polish off your stuff and send it to Gorham at firstname.lastname@example.org. But first, check their submission guidelines and their current book list at http://www.sarabandebooks.org. launched in 2003. They publish 15 fiction titles per year in a wide array of categories. And they offer up to $5000 advance. Do you have a mystery, romance, science fiction, suspense or adventure story with an unusual twist? You may want to check out this publisher at http://www.tridentpublishing.com. Contact the acquisitions editor at email@example.com or 17231 Bruns Ave., Sandy, OR 97055. Query by mail with an SASE. is also an imprint of FW Publications. They are interested in art craft and design books. They’re currently emphasizing table-top crafts. Query by mail to the address above with an SASE. , established in 2004, is an imprint of FW Publications. Pamela Wissman has taken on the job as editor. If you have the expertise to produce a how-to, reference or illustrated book for adults or children on the subject of art, architecture, contemporary culture or an art-related hobby for adults or children, contact Wissman at 4700 E. Galbraith Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45236. She is in particular need of books on comic art instruction.