SPAWN Market Update – July, 2005
By Patricia L. Fry
Going, Going, Gone—3 magazines and a writers’ Web site are gone.
Here’s What’s New—3 new magazines and other newsworthy tidbits.
Opportunities for Writers—Sell articles about horses or seniors; Write for a small town newspaper.
Opportunities for Authors—4 ways to get your book published.
Book Promotion Opportunities—7 opportunities for promoting your books; Check out the free book festival in VA.
Opportunities for Screenwriters—2 great freebies.
Opportunities for Artists and Photographers—Get a job as a columnist.
Letter to the Editor—Who needs an editor? I don’t need an editor. Yeah Right!!
Bonus Item—Kitten on the Keys/Cats in the Office
Guest Interview—Sara Bolme, Christian Small Publishers Association
The following magazines are just some that have recently folded.
Green Bay News Chronicle
Writer’s Success Web
Assisted Living Executive
You’ve probably heard that Meredith Corporation plans to add four new magazines. By the time you read this, if all goes as planned, Meredith will own a total of 24 magazines—including some of those at the very top of the pyramid. They already produce Better Homes and Gardens, Country Home, Ladies Home Journal and Midwest Living, for example. And now they will acquire Family Circle, Parents, Child and Fitness.
Meredith Corporation is also planning a new magazine launch. They will come out with a new Hispanic women’s lifestyle magazine, Siempre Mujer in the fall. And they’ll be looking for articles of interest to this audience. For submission guidelines write to Meredith Corporation, Siempre Mujer, 1716 Locust St., Des Moines, IA 50309-3023 or call 515-284-3000.
The Mom-Writer’s Literary Magazine is new and boy, do they love publishing creative nonfiction. They accept profiles of writing moms, memoirs, book reviews and other articles of interest to the writing mom. Look at their submission guidelines at http://wymacpublishing.com/05newweb/pubco-op.html.
Here’s an encouraging word. There were 75 new magazine launches during the first quarter of 2005. A whopping 16 of them are strictly for women.
And here’s an unusual tidbit. Have you been curious about the mentality behind some of the POD Publishing companies? PublishAmerica has produced a book about their company. It’s called, How to Upset a Goliath Book Biz: PublishAmerica, the Inside Story of an Underdog With a Bite.Opportunities for Writers
Have you ever experienced a spiritual or mystical connection with a horse? Would you like to share your story? Angel Horses is an anthology planned for later this year celebrating such instances. Payment is just $25.00 but you will get a byline and a bio. The deadline is September 30, 2005. For more details go to http://www.angelanimals.net/angelhorses.html.
The Erickson Tribune pays $200 for 800 word articles for seniors. The editors are mainly interested in articles related to travel, food, gardening, fitness, computers and relationships (particularly with grandchildren). They also publish some how-to articles. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would you like to go to school in Europe? Vivian Clusman of Creative Zone contacted us a few weeks ago to tell us about her summer creative writing courses in Florence, Barcelona and Dublin. These are all 8 and 9 day workshops starting at $1,650. For more information go to http://www.the-creative-zone.com.
I just received this word from Albuquerque, New Mexico. A small community sports newspaper is launching and they’re looking for writers. They need freelancers who can write sports humor and cartoons (not pro or college), equipment reviews, coaching tips, health and fitness articles, healthy foods pieces, inspirational athlete profiles (amateur and pro), sports book and movie reviews, general sports news and features (that would apply to league players). Send queries to Evergreen Media Services email@example.com. They pay up to $25 for features.
An author should track sales because sometimes timing is everything. Perhaps you have a book of children’s stories on the back burner or you are planning to write a mystery. Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly when the market is primed for these topics? The Association of American Publishers (AAP) reports on book releases and sales every month. They recently reported that during the month of April, adult and children’s hardcover books outsold all other types of books. Adult hardcover sales increased by over 16 percent and children’s and young adult hardcover books experienced a whopping 35.2 percent gain. Religion sold well in April, too. Keep track of sales at http://www.publishers.org.
Mom-Writers Publishing Cooperative
Sarah Johnson at the Historical Novel Society reviews a variety of types of historical novels including, mystery, romance and fantasy. Appropriate novels from mainstream and small presses will be published in the magazine. Self-published and subsidy published novel reviews are published online, only. http://www.historicalnovelsociety.org/the-review.htm.
Plane and Pilot Magazine
Free Book Festival
The Book-‘Em Foundation
Dan Poynter and Danny O. Snow at U-Publish.com have quite a list of people at their Web site seeking essays and interviews on various topics. What an opportunity for those of you who have a book on empty nest, budgeting, lawn art, menopause, mobile homes, music, homeschooling, birth experiences, digital cameras or love, for example. Just go to http://www.u-publish.com/invite.htm, locate the subject of your interest and contact that person with your story.
Give a Reading in Brooklyn
If you live in New York City, you might want to contact the folks at Vox Pop, a popular coffeehouse and bookstore and arrange a reading. They love booking authors for readings and it’s a great way to promote your book. Contact Rachel Simons at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about these folks at http://www.voxpopnet.net.
This Site Promotes Your Novels
FREE!! 33 Ways to Break into Hollywood. http://www.scriptforsale.com/33ways/signup33.htm.
Subscribe to Script Magazine Newsletter free at email@example.com.
Penny White at Penwomanship is looking for columnists for an art column and a photography column. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may recall my Editor’s Rant (er, Comments) in last month’s SPAWN Market Update. I called it, “When is it Okay to Pay for publishing/Editorial Services?” In that piece, I stressed that an author should hire a good editor before submitting his/her manuscript to a publisher. I received this response:
I just read your June Market Update and have a comment. While usually your advice is quite sage, I must take exception to one single point you mention, which I feel does perspective authors a disservice if I read correctly.
“Publishing is NOT free. Even if you find a traditional royalty publisher to produce your book, there are always expenses along the way. For example, you will need to hire a good editor. This is an expense that you should definitely factor in when you plan to produce a book.”
Hey, I am an inexperienced and unpublished hack but even I know that is nonsense! Perhaps you worded this poorly and meant something else in which case I humbly apologize. This practice as I’m sure you are aware is strongly recommended against by P&E, AW and other author watchdog groups.
*I* decided to hire a freelance editing team because I originally planned to self publish, ergo the expense was a business necessity from my perspective. You are the first published author I’ve ever seen make this recommendation though for someone planning on a traditional route. All others warn against it.
Now, you and I both know that someone like myself, devoid of creative writing degrees or freelance credits might have a damn difficult time getting an agent or publisher without that little extra spit and polish on the manuscript. However, we also both know that editors cannot fix unsalable products, nor will it fix my simple lack of practicing and rewriting.
“Edited slush is only slightly better than unedited slush.” is the quote from someone over at AW recently. Since I looked at self-publishing first, I treat the process as a business endeavor, as you’ve intimated in your column. However, my totals will cover close to $2,000 for developmental and copyediting and I got a break. None of that hard work or cash will guarantee a successful query process or a self publishing venture. You and I know this, but the person who runs out and spends substantial money on your advice does not necessary understand that an editor cannot replace years of practice and experience. What you’ve done is set the stage for a rookie writer to be scammed by companies like Stylus that offer fictitious representation contingent on editing fees.
Writers who do not have the time or money to take creative writing courses in college might do well with an editor and this is my hope. Most others I believe as the pundits claim, are best off with a combination of beta readers, practice and proper submission practices and not paying thousands for editing. The money flows in the wrong direction in that scenario. I would respectfully submit that you either further justify your stance on hiring editors or consider removing the paragraph (or at least rewrite with an eye to protecting the inexperienced from the scammers embrace).
I’m sorry to ramble on, outside that quibble I thought the article was quite good.
And my response:
Thanks for your comments. I’d like to run your letter in the July Market Update as you do make some good points. I am sticking to my guns, however. Writers need editors. If a hopeful author hires a good editor—one who is not just good with words, but who also knows something about the publishing industry—he or she will get the guidance they need in producing a salable manuscript. You are right when you say that some manuscripts aren’t worth the trouble and expense. Here again, a savvy editor can either discourage the would-be author from hiring a fee-based POD publisher, for example, or help him to develop a potentially salable work. Many a manuscript has been transformed from unmarketable to marketable by a good editor.
I stand my ground. Most hopeful authors need to work with a good editor.
Thanks for reading my “rants.” I do my best to help authors to help themselves.
Bonus Item—Kitten on the Keys/Cats in the Office
We have three cats. Winfield is a big, white, odd-eye shedding machine whose favorite food is cantaloupe and who thinks he’s the official Wal-Mart Greeter. You do not want to wear black to my house.
Max is a formerly feral cat with almost crossed eyes and Siamese coloring in all of the wrong places. He is just about as anti-social as a cat can get. He spends so much time under the bed that even my daughters and grandchildren, who live within a few miles of us, have never gotten a good look at him. He loves to sit on my lap when we’re alone, though, and watch the curser move around on the computer screen. Max has supported me through many an article and book manuscript.
Sophie is the newest fur-kid on the block. I call her my little Himalayan because that’s the style kitty I wanted if I ever adopted another one. She is also formerly feral. Now, at 10 months old, she is an absolute love-bug. It’s a good thing she isn’t Himalayan, though, because she hates it when I try to brush her very short, tortie coat.
Sophie pays her way by working in my office in her spare time. She reorganizes stacks of paper and books, empties the trash can and lets me know when there’s a hummingbird at the feeder outside the window. But her most important job is getting faxes.
No matter where she is or what she’s doing, when the fax machine rings, she tears into my office, perches on the desk and waits for the fax to appear. Once she hears the machine rolling, she jumps down to the floor under the machine and watches the paper inch its way out. Plop—the paper floats to the floor and Sophie is on it. She picks the paper up in her teeth and off she trots to read her fax in solitude.
I don’t think she likes what she reads, because by the time I catch up with her, she has run the paper through the shredder (read, incisors and molars) and she’s napping on the bite-sized pieces like a nesting chick.
Sophie isn’t fussy about whose fax she takes. She’s been known to run off with unsolicited mortgage and investment ads as well as publishing contracts.
One time, she just couldn’t get a handle on the fax. She used every method she has perfected to lift that piece of 8.5 x 11 paper so she could get a corner of it into her mouth. She tried flipping it with her front foot, she tried getting her nose under it—the paper was just tweaked enough that it wouldn’t cooperate. So she bit down right in the middle of the paper and got it stuck on her teeth. There she was walking blindly around the house with this large piece of paper in front of her face.
But, she didn’t panic. Just as you would expect from any good employee, she figured things out for herself. She used one paw to free the paper from her bite, picked it up in her teeth by the edge and trotted down the hall to her reading (shredding) corner.
I would love to hear some of your office cat and other cat stories. And I have an ulterior motive. Not only do I enjoy cat stories, I am currently collecting cat stories for a book.
Do you have a cat who helps you in your office or who has unusual culinary preferences, uncat-like habits, strange sleeping habits, a fetish, unusual toys, odd friends or who lived through a harrowing experience, for example? Send your story to email@example.com.
Sarah Bolme of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA), contacted me earlier this month asking to link with SPAWN. I was interested in knowing more about this new publishing association and asked Sarah if she would consent to an interview. Here it is:
Q: Tell us a little about yourself and what prompted you to get involved in starting a publishing organization?
A: Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) was created as a joint venture between three authors and small press owners; Sarah Bolme, Edward Bolme, and Johnny Wilson. All three of us are authors published by traditional publishing houses in the secular marketplace. Edward and I decided to start our own small publishing house to publish Christian materials for infants and toddlers. As we delved into this new adventure, we discovered that the Christian marketplace was a difficult market for a small publisher to break into. It’s an established niche market that is quite unique. We had the good fortune of running into a couple of other small publishers who were a few years ahead of us and obtained valuable information from them. When our friend and colleague, Johnny Wilson, decided to start his own Christian press, he turned to us for insights. CSPA was born out of many conversations we had that centered on ways the Christian marketplace might become more accessible for the small publisher. We choose to define a small publisher as one with annual revenues of $350,000 or less to really focus on the new and emergent publishers.
Q: Please describe your organization and the void you hope it will fill for authors and publishers.
A: There are a number of publisher associations that exist to support and represent small publishers; PMA, SPAN, and SPAWN included. These organizations provide valuable information and benefits to small publishers. However, they do not specialize in the Christian marketplace and for the most part do not address the needs of small publishers publishing for the Christian marketplace. There are three Christian publisher associations in the United States; Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA), Protestant Church-owned Publishing Association (PCPA), and Catholic Book Publishers Association (CBPA). ECPA is geared for large publishing houses. They define a small publisher as a publishing house with annual revenues of under a million dollars. Their dues structure is much too steep for most small publishers. PCPA is strictly for presses owned by a Protestant church. CBPA has a sliding fee scale so it is much more accessible to the small publisher, but is for publishers who publish materials for the Catholic marketplace. No association existed to represent and strengthen the small Christian publisher who was not church-owned or who published exclusively for the Catholic marketplace. CSPA fills that void providing representation, promoting, and strengthening the small publisher in the Christian marketplace for both evangelical and liturgical publishers.
Q: I notice that you do not grant membership to people who have published with any of the many fee-based POD publishers. Why is that?
A: CSPA was founded to fill a void in the Christian marketplace for small publishers. Our goal is to promote small publishers to the Christian marketplace. When an individual utilizes a subsidy press or a fee-based POD publisher, the subsidy press or POD Company is the publisher of the book, not the individual. When an individual forms their own publishing company to self-publish, then the publishing company they own is the publisher. Our goal is to make the Christian marketplace more accessible for the small publisher. A vanity press or fee-based POD company that met our small publisher definition would fit our membership profile and these types of publishers are welcome to join our organization. Being clear that we are an organization for small publishers, we have made a few exceptions for those authors who have published a few titles with a fee-based POD publisher but are marketing and promoting their titles through their own ministry or business.
Q: Who does your membership consist of? Are members mainly those who have self-published? I’d be interested in your demographics.
A: We are a new and growing organization, so are demographics are changing monthly. Our membership consists of both self-publishers and publishing houses publishing other authors’ materials. Our current publisher members have between two and twenty titles published. Roughly half of our publisher members currently are self-published.
Q: It seems that you are a unique publishing organization in that you have a greater focus than just publishing. Your members are also Christians. What is the significance of this for your members?
A: Our members are publishing materials for the Christian marketplace. This is a niche market. While many of our publishers also market and promote their materials in the secular marketplace, CSPA provides our members information and support in marketing and promoting their publications in the Christian marketplace.
Q: What sort of opportunities and information do you provide your members that is unique to Christians in the publishing industry?
A: The two most difficult areas for small publishers in reaching the retail Christian marketplace are wholesale distribution and Christian retail tradeshow representation. CSPA currently provides our member publishers opportunities to obtain both of these critical resources at reasonable prices. Our goal is to make the Christian marketplace more accessible and affordable through a formal organization for small publishers to join together to accomplish more than each one can accomplish alone.
Q: Can you share some anecdotes related to how your organization has helped members? (I love success stories).
A: As young as our organization is, it would be a difficult thing to say any of our members’ success is due to us. Success is generally due to a number of factors including the blessing of God. However, I can say definitively that CSPA has helped some of our members obtain wholesale distribution to the retail Christian marketplace and provided some of our members with Christian tradeshow representation of their publications that would have been a hardship for them to obtain on their own.
Q: What are your future goals for your organization?
A: CSPA is still in the start-up phase as an organization. We are still looking to increase our publisher and partner membership base. We hope to reach the point where we are breaking even financially so that we can incorporate into a 501(C)3 organization. We are striving to establish ourselves as a respected umbrella organization so that our publisher members are favorably received as reputable Christian publishers. Name recognition is extremely important in securing Christian retail orders as buyers want legitimate Christian material.
Q: Do you have funding for your organization? How did that come about?
A: CSPA founding members decided to commit their own funds for the first couple of years until the organization is self-sustaining. At this point, we consider CSPA a ministry and pray that it will become self-financing in due time.
Visit the Web site for Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) at: http://www.christianpublishers.net.
promotes your novels on their Web site for free. They claim to get hundreds of visitors every day. Check it out at http://www.undergroundwho.com. is planning their second annual Book-Em Book Festival the weekend of October 22-23, 2005 in Waynesboro, Virginia. Yes, I said, “Free.” The only catch is that the event coordinators ask that you donate at least 40 percent of your sales to the Book ‘Em Foundation. Visit http://www.bookemfoundation.org for more information or contact Patricia Terell at firstname.lastname@example.org. reviews books published through traditional royalty publishers only. Contact email@example.com. has a book review section. Learn more about submitting your book for review at http://www.msmagazine.com or send an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. publishes reviews of aviation-related books. Request submission information at email@example.com or send your book to Plane and Pilot Magazine, Werner Publishing Corporation, 12121 Wilshire Blvd., 12th Fl, Los Angeles, CA 90025-1176. is a new publishing cooperative for, you guessed it, talented writers who happen to be moms. Founder, Nancy Cleary, started this business as a place where writing moms can publish their books related to motherhood. According to a recent press release, the women involved in this company share in the work as well as the profits. They even work together to market their list of books. View their submission guidelines at http://wymacpublishing.com/05newweb/pubco-op.html. For additional information about Mom-Writers Publishing Cooperative go to http://wymacpublishing.com/05newweb/pubco-opintro.html. publishes commercial nonfiction on topics such as, pets, sports, food, current events, travel, regional interests, religion, music and humor. Address your query to Jessica Yerego at Emmis Books, The Old Firehouse, 2nd Fl, 1700 Madison Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45206. Be sure to include an SASE. Go to http://www.emmisbooks.com for more information. is seeking Latino writers. They publish novels with a Latino theme and they make assignments. They will also consider scripts that can be adapted to novels, if they have a Latino flavor. Send Jeff Rivera a one-page synopsis and a sample chapter for a novel or writing samples if you are hoping for an assignment. They’d also like to know that you write well and fast, so estimate the time it would take you to write a 150-page novel. By the way, they pay royalties and a small advance. They do not want to receive your email—send your synopsis to Joanne/Horatio Books, POB 371641, Miami, FL 33137.is planning a relaunch. This online literary journal, produced by the folks at Queensland University of Technology in Australia, publishes creative stories of all types. Visit http://www.dotlit.qut.edu.au for guidelines or contact Angela Slatter at firstname.lastname@example.org. is new. Editor/founder, Penny White is seeking excellent stories, personal essays and poetry from women writers. Read the submission guidelines at http://www.penwomanship.com/Penwomanship-Submission-Guidelines.htm. Contact Penny with your questions at email@example.com. is the new name for the old Assisted Living Today. For submission guidelines, email firstname.lastname@example.org. site also seems to have disappeared. I stopped by there this week and there was a message saying that the Web site has been cancelled. As you may recall, Writers Success provided paying markets for freelance writers.