SPAWN Market Update – January 2010

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Breaking News – Editor and Publisher to close up shop.

Here’s What’s New – 12 news bytes, including 5 new publishing/book promotion opps.

Opportunities for Freelance Writers – 7 possibilities for earning some money!

Opportunities for Authors – Agent list/directories, ebook sites and MORE!

Book Promotion Opportunities – How to use your resource pages to sell books.

Opportunities for Screenplay Writers – 9 opps and a new magazine to report.

Opportunities for Artists and Photographers – a job directory, 2 magazines and a book that might help you sell your digital photos.

Going, Going, Gone – a whopping 21 mags/publishers gone.

Resources for Authors and Writers – Meet Ups and Six Questions.

Warnings for Authors and Writers – Beware of scams for speaking gigs.

Bonus ItemInterview with Peter Shankman of HARO (Help a Reporter Out).

Breaking News

It has just come to my attention that on December 10, 2009 (3 days ago as I write this) Editor and Publisher announced that they will cease publishing their magazine after 125 years. While this magazine wasn’t actually launched until 1901, it developed from a periodical that was established in 1884, which justifies the claim that Editor and Publisher is, indeed, 125 years old. But now it is going away. Who says the publishing industry isn’t changing?

Here’s What’s New

Harlequin Publisher’s new self-publishing arm, Harlequin Horizon’s name has been changed to Dell Arte Press. The new site address is http://www.dellartepress.com.

Thomas Nelson has also launched a self-publishing division for their Christian titles called WestBow Press. http://www.westbowpress.com

Modern Woodworking has been saved just in the nick of time.

Paranoia: The Conspiracy Reader has changed from a magazine to a book-style format. Check it out at http://www.paranoiamagazine.com.

Sourcebooks Fire is a new YA fiction imprint to be launched by Sourcebooks in the spring of 2010. This might be a good time to polish up your young adult novel. Learn more at http://www.sourcebooks.com

Avenues, Areawide Media is not accepting article submissions at this time.

Smashwords has reached an agreement with Shortcovers to sell their ebooks. This will give their authors and publishers access to readers in 189 countries. Smashwords’ authors and publishers receive royalties of 46.75 percent of the digital list price. Learn more about Smashwords, a premiere ebook distributor here: http://www.smashwords.com

I received a newsletter from the National Writers Association in late November. It listed a few contests, conferences etc. But when I went to their website (www.nationalwriters.com), I noticed that they still haven’t updated it. They have contests dated 2005. I checked with Sandy Whelchel, executive director of the organization, and she said that they are working on the site. Stay tuned. The NWA seemed to have taken a hiatus for quite a while. But it looks like they’re making a come-back.

Remember when we announced the new magazine, She Pedals: The Journal of Women in Cycling? They have a change of address: She Pedals Publishing, Studio Six, 2888 E. Walnut St., Pasadena, CA 91107.

According to MediaFinder, fewer magazines have closed in the third quarter of 2009 than in the same quarter in 2008. Just 383 closed this year during that period compared to 613 last year. You may recall my commenting numerous times about how many new regional magazines have cropped up in the last several years. Well, it is the regionals that have taken the biggest hit as far as closures.

Exploritas is the new name for ElderHostel. For those of you who are not familiar with ElderHostel (or Exploritas), it is an educational travel organization. They arrange educational tours for adults in many different topics and geographic areas. Why do I think this is something writers, artists, photographers and authors would be interested in? Just imagine the opportunities. If you signed up for one of their tours, you could learn a new skill or historic aspects of a certain geographic area, for example, and write about it. You could get ideas and inspiration for your art or some amazing photography opportunities. You could report on various customs and celebrations practiced in other countries or write about some of the events and activities available in some of our own United States.

There are also teaching opportunities. If you are an expert on the performing arts, cooking, language, technology, health and fitness, bridge, fine art or photography, for example, you might volunteer to teach a segment of an Exploritas adventure. Of course, if you have a book on a related topic, connecting with Exploritas could afford you some great exposure. Check out the possibilities at:  http://www.exploritas.org.

The Rocky Mountain Independent is no longer paying freelancers.

South End Press and Medgar Evers College have merged and are doing business from the College’s MetroTech Center satellite in Brooklyn. Established in 1977, South End Press has over 250 titles in print on a broad range of topics. Through this collaboration, South End will work with faculty to publish books, conduct publishing workshops and authors’ programs as well as provide student internships in editing, marketing and research. For more information about this partnership contact Laura Rice at laura.wicg@gmail.com.

Opportunities for Freelance Writers

Have you looked for a writing job at Tweet My Jobs? Check it out at http://www.tweetmyjobs.com. This is a general job board with leads for freelance writers, journalists and editors.

FabJob.com is seeking freelance writers and experts in certain fields to write career guides. They pay $1,200 to $1,600 per guide. http://www.fabjob.com/jobs.html.

Editions Bibliotekos, a small book publisher, is now calling for short, creative works on the themes of immigration or international adoption to fill its anticipated second collection, COMMON BOUNDARY. Their first book, which was on medical humanities, (PAIN AND MEMORY: Reflections on the Strength of the Human Spirit in Suffering) has been published and includes stories by many accomplished authors. The deadline for submitting immigration or international adoption work to COMMON BOUNDARY is March 30, 2010. See http://www.ebibliotekos.blogspot.com for guidelines and details.

Send queries to general editor, Gregory F. Tague, EBibliotekos@gmail.com.

Cahoots Magazine is a Canadian women’s magazine and the editors are seeking material on things that interest women—health, marriage, being single, motherhood, social issues, business, the arts, friendship, travel, finance, adventure and politics, are some of them. While they cannot pay for material at this time, they are offering freelance writers what they feel is great exposure at their website by listing them among their community of women artists and writers. http://www.cahootsmagazine.com.

Cahoots Magazine is not accepting fiction submissions at this time.

According to the National Writers Association Newsletter, the Wylie Agency in New York is seeking a fulltime literary assistance. Send resume to Taryn Gilbert at tgilbert@wylieagency.com.

Dyla Magazine is new and they are actively seeking talented freelance journalists who can write about and for women in action sports and, photographers and videographers who can film women in sports. Contact editors at contact@dylamagazine.com. http://www.dylamagazine.com.

Have you worked for Freelancers-Wanted.com? While I can’t recommend this site, because I haven’t experienced it, you might want to check it out at http://www.freelancers-wanted.com. See if they have work for you. Report back as to how they treated you.

The Fearless Poetry Series has put out a call for submissions for its second volume titled “Touching: Poems of Love, Longing and Desire.” Guidelines at http://www.fearlessbooks.com/poetry.htm.

Opportunities for Authors

Fran Silverman, editor of Book Promotion Newsletter, lists the following sites for posting your ebooks for sale. If you’ve been paying any attention to SPAWNews, SPAWNDiscuss and the SPAWN Market Update, you’ve heard of Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com). But did you know about http://www.ebookjungle.com, http://www.elibrary.net or http://www.payloadz.com. For New Age ebooks, according to Fran, check out http://www.ebookserenity. Offer your ebooks for free at these sites: http://www.free-ebooks.net, http://www.gutenberg.org, www.e-book.com.au/freebooks.htm, http://manyebooks.net, http://www.ebookdirectory.com.

Do you have a book with a 2009 copyright that was published in the Midwest? Consider entering your book in the 20th annual Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA) Book awards. The deadline for entry is January 20, 2010. Learn more at http://www.mipa.org/awards.html.

Have you had an experience with PublishAmerica? The National Writers’ Association would like to hear about it. They are especially interested in any marketing efforts they’ve done on behalf of your book. natlwritersassn@hotmail.com

I keep telling my clients, SPAWN members and any other author who will listen that some agents, like many publishers, specialize. Here’s a short list of agents and their specialties:

(Note: stay tuned in—there’s a monstrous surprise resource at the end of this section.)

Fiction

Georges Borchardt specializes in literary fiction—also outstanding nonfiction. 136 E 57th St. New York, NY 10022.

Jon Sternfeld at Irene Goodman Literary Agency represents literary fiction. queries@irenegoodman.com. http://www.irenegoodman.com.

Pelham Literary Agency specializes in helping new fiction writers. But beware, they do charge a fee. http://www.pelhamliterary.comjmeals@pelhamliterary.com

Nonfiction

Loren S. Grossman with the Paul S. Levine Literary Agency in Venice, CA. Her interests include parenting, child guidance, health, science, technology, computers and more. Learn more here: http://paulslevinelit.com. Contact her at: lrg@ix.net.com.com.

Janis A. Donnaud and Associates, specializes in health, medical, cooking, humor, parenting and a few other topics. jdonnaud@aol.com.

Lisa Ekus Group, wants manuscripts related to cooking mostly. Will occasionally look at manuscripts on women’s issues—health/well-being and so forth. http://www.lisaekus.com. lisaekus@lisaekus.com.

Jeanne Fredericks Literary Agency specializes in quality adult nonfiction by authorities in their fields. http://www.jeannefredericks.com. Jeanne.fredericks@gmail.com.

Children/Young Adult

Sharene Martin-Browne with Wylie-Merrick Literary Agency specializes in picture books as well as juvenile and young adult manuscripts.  http://www.wylie-merrick.com

Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency wants to see children’s and YA fiction, only. jenni@andreabrownlit.com. http://www.andreabrownlit.com.

Jennifer Mattson at Andrea Brown Literary Agency focuses on picture books and story-time books. jmatt@andreabrownlit.com. http://andreabrownlit.com.

Agent Directories

You’re all familiar with the old standby AAR (Association of Author’s Representatives) at http://www.aar-online.org. Here’s another literary directory. http://www.literary-agents.us. Here, you’ll find listings for agents that represent fiction and agents that represent nonfiction. Just click the appropriate link. But be ever vigilant as you study the agent listings, their individual submission guidelines and their contracts. There are good guys and not so good guys in this field.

Book Promotion Opportunities

SPAWN’s Teleseminar

I hope you all turned out for SPAWN’s first teleseminar with Sandra Beckwith. It was all about creating buzz for your book. It was a fabulous seminar and a super opportunity to pick up some good tips for promoting your book. (I’ve been in the biz for over 35 years and I learned a lot.) There’s so much that we can do to promote our books and, as Sandra pointed out, it is a good idea to pace ourselves and focus on those activities that work for us and for our particular books.

The teleseminar is available at the SPAWN website now.  If you apply some of the tips Sandra shares in this teleseminar, you WILL sell more books.

Why You Should Post Resources at Your Website

Does your website include a resource list related to the topic or genre of your book? Imagine how many more visitors you could attract if you posted resources to help your readers locate the information and links they are seeking. If your book is nonfiction—an informational, reference, how-to or self-help book—you probably have a resource guide in your book. You might list recommended books and sites where your readers can find additional information. Why not transfer some of that information and those resources over to your website, as well. When you write articles, do interviews or give presentations on behalf of your book, you have a legitimate reason for inviting readers and listeners to your website. If they find value at your website, they will return. If they visit your site a few times and they grow to trust your information, they will most likely purchase your current book—and any books that follow.

If your book is fiction, consider building a resource list for folks who love books in the genre of yours—horror, young adult, chick lit, romance, mysteries, etc. Post some of your short stories. List some of your favorite booksellers, reviewers, magazines, etc.

Your homework assignment this month is to create a resource list at your website and keep adding to it. Be sure to check it over occasionally in order to update it and weed out those links that go bad or the book that goes out of print, for example.

Why You Should Check Out Other Resource Lists

Along the same lines, I urge you to visit those sites that have been recommended to you, study those books that you’ve been wanting to read and spend time each month checking out new resources that could possibly help you in your book promotion activities. I think we tend to relax the research function once we have finished our books, don’t you? I mean, we research for the book (it took me 5 years to research and write The Ojai Valley, An Illustrated History) and we conduct research in order to find an agent/publisher. If we self-publish (establish our own publishing company), we spend a lot of time and energy researching printers, locating a cover designer, etc. Once the book is in our hands, we’re tired of doing research. But it is so necessary if you want to succeed as a published author.

Reading this Market Update every month is a method of researching your options and various opportunities within the realm of writing, publishing and book promotion. Checking out the many resources SPAWN and others offer is another. I highly recommend that you engage in both of these research modes often.

Opportunities for Screen Writers

The 15th annual International Family Film Festival will launch March 11-14, 2010 in Hollywood, CA. http://www.iffilmfest.org.

The early December InkTip Newsletter lists several scripts that studios/producers are soliciting. They want a supernatural horror, for example, something along the lines of the Terminator or Bladerunner. They’re seeking a writer for a script titled No Time to Love—about a singer/songwriter with writer’s block. They need action scripts with stories that take place in international settings—something like Bourne Identity. There’s a need for family oriented animated scripts. And they’re soliciting scripts highlighting the relationship between a family and a dog or a child and a dog—think, Marley and Me. Tune into InkTip at http://www.inktip.com. Subscribe to the newsletter for the most up-to-date listings.

Here are a few more listings from the December 17 InkTip Newsletter. They’re looking for a writer-for-hire to write a feature-length crime script that deals with drug trafficking—something along the lines of Scarface or Blow.

They want a feature-length character-drive drama script featuring a strong male lead or principle character between the ages of 50 and 70. They’re also open to books available for adaption along these lines.

There’s a need for a family-oriented script.

They would like to see a feature-length present-day script set in 5 locations of less in the area of crime, drama, horror, thriller, comedy or rom.com, which I assume is Romance/Comedy.

http://www.inktip.com

MovieScope Magazine, Europe’s premier filmmaking magazine, is out. This 80-page, full-color magazine comes out six times a year in print and it is now available for a fraction of the usual subscription price in digital form. Subscribe for a year for $19.95. Or order a single digital copy for $2.99. In case you’re not familiar with this publication, it is about filmmakers for filmmakers. Learn more at http://www.moviescopemag.com

Opportunities for Artists and Photographers

I saw several photojournalist and photography jobs at Tweet My Jobs. Maybe you can find interesting and lucrative work this year: http://www.tweetmyjobs.com

Here’s a resource that might help you to make some money selling your digital photos. David Goldsmith and Michael Kryzer have produced a book called Sell Your Digital photos. It sells for nearly $50.00, but has been discounted for a limited time to $39.95. http://www.cameracareer.com. This is not a recommendation—I have not reviewed this book. It is simply a resource that I learned about and want to pass along for you to check out. Let us know if it is worth the bucks.

Cahoots, a Canadian Magazine publishes visual art including photography, prints, drawings and paintings. They prefer email submissions—use their form at http://www.cahootsmagazine.com or send your submissions via snail mail to Cahoots Magazine, POB 6025, Station Main, Saskatoon, SK S7K 4E4.

Dyla Magazine is seeking photographers and videographers to submit photos and video of women in sports. http://www.dylamagazine.com.

Going, Going, Gone

411 Magazine has closed.

Free Lunch: A Poetry Miscellany will no longer publish.

Contractors Magazine has quit publishing.

We’ve also lost Modern Bride and Elegant Bride Magazines.

Creativity Magazine has closed, but will remain online.

Parents Press has folded.

Metropolitan Home is out of business.

Purpose Driven Connection has stopped publishing the print version—online only.

Resident Assistant has closed.

Solano Magazine has ceased publishing.

Church Magazine has quit.

Fortune Small Business is no longer publishing.

LTC Nurse’s Companion has quit publishing.

Modern Application News has ceased publishing.

Quartet Press, an ebook publisher, decided not to launch a biz, after all.

Tooling and Production has gone out of business.

Instyle Weddings has closed.

National Geographic Adventure has produced its last issue.

Ty Pennington at Home has stopped publishing.

Giant will go online only.

Avenues is no longer accepting article submissions.

Resources for Writers and Authors

Writers’ Meetup Groups

Are you involved in a Writers’ Meetup Group? If you are seeking like-minded writers in your area, you’ll probably find them at the Writers’ Meetup site. There are 623 established groups in 41 states and several new groups starting in Chicago, Long Beach, Tampa, Ottowa and Baltimore. If you don’t want to get out and meet face-to-face with other writers, you can participate in the message board. http://writers.meetup.com.

Six Questions

Have you heard of the new blog site called Six Questions? It’s a rather interesting blog site where the blogger, Jim Harrington (or you) can ask questions of the editor or publisher of your choice. This blog just started in December. So far, they have interviewed three editors, Barry Basden, editor of Camroc Press Review; Don Webb, managing editor of Bewildering Stories and Nathanial Tower, founder and editor of Bartleby Snopes. What sort of questions are asked? Here’s a sampling: “What are the top three things you look for in a story and why?” “What are the top three reasons a story is rejected?” and “What common mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a story?” According to Harrington, they would like you to participate in this blog. How? Here’s what Harrington states in his guidelines: “If you: 1. have a question or comment, 2. would like to suggest a publication, agent, or publisher for me to contact, or 3. are an editor, publisher, or agent and would like to participate in this project, please contact me at sixquestionsfor@gmail.com.” Read the interviews at http://sixquestionsfor.blogspot.com.

Warning for Authors and Writers

SpeakerNetNews.com has issued a warning about a scam artist who solicits keynote speakers, issues them contracts for phony conferences and then asks for bank account information so he can transfer funds. Evidently editors and authors have also been scammed by providing their bank account information in similar situations. The folks at SpeakerNetNews suggest that you use PayPal and insist that any payment go through this account, not your personal bank account.

Bonus Item

Interview with Peter Shankman, founder of HARO (Help a Reporter Out).

Q: Peter, please describe HARO. What is the site about—what is the purpose? How is it being used and by whom?

A: HARO is a small business PR, marketing and sales resource. With 99.7% of all companies in the U.S. being small businesses that comprise the backbone of our economy, HARO has morphed from a reporter-source matching service into a social media success story that creates free PR and affordable direct marketing opportunities for small businesses.

  • E-mails are prefaced with a text advertisement written by Peter Shankman in his own voice, evangelizing the product to a captive audience.
  • HARO is completely free to reporters, bloggers and sources.

(Editor’s Note: For your purposes, HARO is a place to go if you need information or an expert quote for your article, book manuscript or blog. You may find reporters and article-writers seeking quotes related to the topic of your book. Participate and you might get some great exposure for your book. I know a few people who also get ideas for articles through the listings at HARO.)

Q: Tell us how you came to establish HARO. What prompted the idea? (This is a good place to include some of your background.)

A: I’ve always been someone who enjoys helping people. It’s good Karma. Journalists would call me and ask if I knew anyone for stories they were working on. Over time, this happened again and again, so I started a Facebook group to push those queries to my friends. When I outgrew that, I launched HARO on the web.

Q: Is this the site you envisioned or has it taken on a life of its own? Please explain.

A: HARO’s revenues over the past year have leaped from $15,000 as of August 2008 to just over $1MM as of August 2009, all from the concept of helping reporters and sources connect. We’ve also grown by leaps and bounds to become the largest website of its kind in the world.

Q: Would you share some of the HARO success stories—freelance writers who landed the big story because of HARO, etc.?

A: You can find tons and tons of these at our Facebook fan page, http://facebook.com/helpareporter.com

Q: While some of our SPAWN members are freelance writers and journalists, the majority are authors. Do you have suggestions for how authors can use HARO to write/research their books? How about to promote their books?

A: Be very specific in your query. State exactly what you’re looking for—and, as important, what you’re not looking for. Make sure to specify deadlines and the like.

Q: What’s in HARO’s future?

A: To continue growing and continue our position as the largest social media company connecting journalists, sources, small businesses, and marketers in the world.

Q: Please add anything you want us to know.

A: Life’s too short to not try and be excellent to each other.

Sign up for HARO at: http://www.helpareporter.com. You’ll receive the new listings in your email box twice daily.

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