SPAWN Market Update – July 2011


Amazon continues to stretch. Their publishing arm has launched a new imprint called Montlake Romance. Learn more at

Peter Bowerman has come out with a new ebook for authors on how to partner with a graphic designer. Profitable by Design, Tapping the Writer/Designer Partnership Goldmine. The ebook is $39.95

Have you heard of the Literary Tourist? They maintain a database of over 8,000 used bookstores. They also list book festivals, writers’ events and more. Recently, Biblio has added to the value of Literary Tourist by partnering in order to help support bookstores. Now you can also view Biblio’s list of booksellers. Literary Tourist has a free basic membership available, but they also have a paid membership with additional benefits.

Lulu has established what they’re calling an “open publishing platform” to make it even easier for authors to publish their books. The two newest pieces to their growing puzzle for authors is ebook conversion systems and ecommerce.

Google eBooks has started an ebook affiliate program. This allows publishers, bloggers, retailers and others to receive a commission for referring their site visitors to Google eBooks to purchase books.

Opportunities for Freelance Writers

Here’s some good news for freelancers who can write about the world of bicycles and cycling, Bicycling Magazine is paying more for submissions. Before submitting your idea, study the magazine and determine which section would be the best fit for your piece. Then describe your story idea in a few paragraphs and send it to

Do you like to write essays—personal commentary on a single subject? Most writers do. We have something to say and we want to be heard. We have opinions and we want to share them. Not all magazines, however, want your viewpoint. They don’t publish essays. But many do. If you want to write essays, you might check out the following publications. You’ll notice that some of them are general interest magazines and others focus on a particular subject.

Here are some magazines in a variety of subjects and genres that publish essays, opinion pieces and/or personal experience articles. I hope you get some ideas and even assignments from these suggestions. I’ve tried to give you a variety of magazine categories to choose from. If you are promoting a book through articles, you may discover a few worthwhile leads. If you are a freelance article writer, you’ll find many possibilities here.

Some publications are noted for their use of essays and opinion pieces. Newsweek, for example. While they are no longer accepting submissions for the print edition, they do invite you to submit to their website. Send essays to These must be original (not published before), in the 850-900-word range. For further details about this opportunity, call, 212-445-4547 for an automated message. Newsweek pays $1,000 on publication.

The editors at the Smithsonian Magazine enjoy publishing thought-provoking pieces exploring different lifestyles, cultures and people. They are also interested in entertaining pieces related to the arts, nature and technology. They want articles on the arts as well as academics. And they welcome humor. They pay up to $1,500.

Narrative is one of few literary magazines that pays for essays and opinion pieces. Essayists earn $150 per story. If yours is chosen one of the top five stories of the week, you’ll get an additional $500. And there is a year-end prize of $4,000 for one lucky contributor.

ParentGuide uses personal experience articles related to parenting and family issues. This includes health and fitness, special needs kids, and more. This magazine pays, but they aren’t saying how much.

Toledo Area Parent News uses opinion pieces and they will pay $75 to $125 for up to 2,500 words. It might be worthwhile to pursue this opportunity if it is important that you get your message out to their 20,000 readers.

The Futurist, a magazine focusing on trends and ideas about the future, publishes essays from experts in various fields. And they use five articles per issue. If you have a nonfiction book for a general audience on a topic such as technology, social, environmental, economics as related to the future, for example, this might be a good place to submit your essay and promote your book.

Shepherd Express publishes essays of 500 to 2,800 words and they pay from $10 to $300. This could be a good opportunity as they use 200 manuscripts per year. This magazine focuses on news and arts with a “hip entertainment perspective.”

The Sun uses essays and personal experiences on a variety of topics and they pay as much as $3,000.

Do you like to write about Jewish trends and activities and events in Israel? Consider writing for Momenta Magazine of Jewish Culture, Politics and Religion. They pay as much as $1,200 per piece.

American Profile uses essays about people, places and experiences in hometowns across America. They use 250 articles a year.

The Atlantic Monthly publishes a variety of types of articles, including the essay. And they pay very well.

Do you like writing about the old west? Consider sending an essay to The Tombstone Epitaph.

Orion publishes essays and personal experience, opinion and they pay up to $2,000. For those of you who don’t know, this is a magazine about the issues of our time—how we live, what we value, etc. And it features an alternative world view of things.

Woodshop News publishes personal experience pieces on woodworking and woodshop business. They pay as much as $500 for an article.

Birds and Blooms uses essays related to birds and backyards. Learn more about the magazine, go to To get the guidelines, email

Reason uses essays on politics, current events and such. They pay from $200 to $2,000.

Many regional magazines use essays. Here are a few: Palm Springs Life,; Sacramento News and Review,; Steamboat Magazine,; Traverse (covering northern Michigan life),; Hamilton Magazine (for residents of Greater Hamilton Canada),; Milford Magazine (for the Delaware area of Milford),; Cape Cod Magazine, and Baltimore Magazine,

Even some trade magazines publish essays:

Executive Update uses personal experience pieces related to workplace issues and management. Payment is in the $500 to $700 range.

The Beverage Journal publishes essays related to the hospitality industry in Michigan.

Can you write on skin care? Skin Inc. Magazine uses personal experience pieces in this field.

Police and Security News publishes personal experience pieces and they pay ten cents word.

Mortgage Banking publishes opinion pieces and essays related to real estate finance.

Midwest Meetings uses essays and person experience. This magazine covers the convention and meeting industry. Pay up to 50 cents/word.

Balloons and Parties Magazine publishes essays and personal experience pieces addresses to professional party decorators and gift businesses. pays up to $300.

Some of you are editing books for extra money. I trust you are using the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style and that you know something about books and publishing. You should also know what to charge. This is a question that comes up rather frequently for editors—what is the going rate? According to the Editorial Freelancers Association, the rate ranges from $30 to $50 per hour. The 2011Writer’s Market suggests $20 to $125 per hour or $3 to $20 per page, with the average being around $50/hour or $7/per page.

Opportunities for Authors

Voyage is the name of the new fiction imprint debuting this fall from Brigantine Media. They will be publishing Vermont fiction. Brigantine will also launch Compass, an imprint specializing in educational materials for teachers.

Are you working on a manuscript related to political and social issues in the church? A new imprint, Jericho Books, might be interested. They are particularly seeking out new, innovative authors. This is an imprint of the Hachette Book Group, but they aren’t showing Jericho Books on their website, yet. Stay tuned.

Flying Word is a new company in Minnesota that works with publishers and authors to make their book interactive. If your book could be taken a step or two farther with regard to what it can offer readers—audio and animation, for example—visit this website:

Are you familiar with Crowdfunding? It has moved into the book publishing arena. This is a process whereby readers make the decision as to what will be published. It’s a publicity contest of sorts. You showcase your manuscript at the site and readers let you know whether they are interested in your book by sending money to purchase a copy or to help fund the publishing of it. This is free to authors. Founders plan to make money through profit sharing on successful titles. You pitch your title to potential readers and they make pledges according to their level of interest. If the book is published, they receive a copy comparable to the amount they pledged. It might be an ebook, a limited edition or lunch with the author, for example.

Our theme for freelance writers this month is the essay. Some authors also write essays and there are publishers out there eager to publish collections of essays. Here are a few:

BKMK Press publishes creative nonfiction essays. Unfortunately, their reading period is January through June. But you have time to edit the essays you have filed away, write some new ones and prepare to submit them after the first of the year. Contact Ben Furnish,

Notting Hill Editions focuses on publishing essays.

Bedford/St. Martins also produces some collections of essays.

Of course, there are many, many other publishing opportunities for those of you who have essays, a novel, a self-help book, a how-to, an informational book, a memoir or any other type of book. If you can’t find a suitable publisher or you don’t want to “sell your soul to the company store,” you can self-publish (establish your own publishing company) or go with a pay-to-publish services.

For step-by-step guidance in establishing your own publishing company, sign up for Patricia Fry’s online self-publishing course.

Also read Dan Poynter’s The Self-Publishing Manual. Or Patricia Fry’s The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book. This book helps authors to understand the publishing industry. It includes all publishing options and even provides a guide to choosing the right publishing option for you.

If you want to go with a pay-to-publish service, here are the ones that Mark Levine recommends in his book, The Fine Print of Self Publishing, 4th edition. Levine labels these as “outstanding.” Aventine Press, BookLocker, BookPros, Dog Ear Publishing, Infinity Publishing, Tate Publishing, Wasteland Press and Xulon Press.

According to Levine, you should avoid WinePress Publishing (it’s the worst of the worst), iUniverse, Dorrance, AuthorHouse, Trafford, Xlibris Arbor Books and others.

If you want to know why Levine rates these pay-to-publish companies thusly, get a copy of his book. The ebook version is FREE when you renew your membership with SPAWN.

Book Promotion Opportunities

Are you a novelist who is stymied about how to design your blog posts? Here’s an ebook that might help: No More Blank Screen; Blogging Ideas for Fiction Authors by Krista Bell. It’s a Kindle book and you’ll find it for sale for $2.99 at

Two more books you may find useful are Facebook Guide for Authors and Twitter for Authors by Dana Lynn Smith of the “Savvy Book Marketer.” Do you subscribe to this enewsletter, yet? Contact Dana at

Joanna Swank has launched a new website for authors who are seeking additional exposure for their books.  She offers two levels of participation—one at $30 and one at $85 per year. Learn more by contacting Joanna at Visit her website here:

Spirit of Change website is posting book reviews of books related to holistic health and living, alternative medicines, food and cooking, green living, etc. If your book fits their interests, you might contact them for a review.

Would you like a review in Publishers Weekly? If your book focuses on children’s religion/spirituality, you might have that opportunity, as they are expanding their coverage of books in this category. Send your news or information about your book to Lynn Garrett at

Opportunities for Artist and Photographers

Orion Magazine sends out a notice of what they are looking for as far as art/photos for each issue to their facebook and twitter accounts. Sign up if you want to receive these emails.

(  and ( Learn more about this magazine here:

Get your artwork noticed. Submit it to Artist a Day and see if your art might be selected as the featured work of the day.

For free job postings for artists, check this out: When I checked the massive board today, I located a gallery in North Carolina that is accepting art; opportunities to enter a juried contest in Florida and New York; graphic design job in Los Angeles; opportunities to train to use art as therapy in California and Texas; job as a film manager in Atlanta and grants for working writers in Seattle. If you are serious about taking your artistic talent to the next level, or to become noticed within the realm of your art, you really must check this out:

Here’s a new (to me) job board for photographers.

Here are some of the great opportunities I found at this job board: someone in New York is seeking a baby photographer. There’s a call for a videographer. A publisher in San Francisco needs someone to do photography for a book project. A photographer is needed in Chicago to photograph business men/women. In Utah, they need an events photographer. There are several requests for wedding photographers.

Check the SPAWN Market Update archives for many additional job boards for artists and photographers.

Going, Going, Gone

CircuiTree has quit publishing.

Marketplace (a Wisconsin biz mag.) has closed.

MySweetBaby is now part of SweetMama.

Scoot! Magazine will go online only.

Grand Alley Magazine has ceased publication.

The American branch of Tokyopop Publishing has been shut down.

THQ, video game developer, to close doors in NY and UK. They will continue in Montreal.

Resources for Authors and Writers

Gary McLaren, at Worldwide Freelance Writer is offering a new list of “50 Women’s Interest Writing Markets” for $4.95. Check it out at