SPAWN Market Update – June, 2004
By Patricia L. Fry
Going, Going, Gone — 2 more magazines give up
Here’s What’s New and Different – 5 new publishers and some editorial changes
Opportunities for Authors – 2 publishers and marketing ideas
Opportunities for children’s book authors — Sell your book to schools—here’s a good resource.
An Opportunity for a Graphic Artist — Pinnacle Publishing
Book Review Opportunities for Authors – 4 of them
Research/Reference Site — Onelook
Tips for Writers – We’ve reviewed 16 writer’s newsletters
Newsletter Editor Interviews — Lillian Cauldwell editor of Thru-the-Cracks-of Time and Maggie Frisch, editor of Working Writer
Whispers From Heaven
Flame of the Forest Publishing
Tiferet, A Journal of Spiritual Literature
Family Reformation Magazine
Suzanne Frey, editor of The Toastmaster Magazine says they are not taking anymore submissions until October.
Ruth Henrich of Salontells me they no longer publish a travel section. ,
South Florida Parenting
Jennifer Knaack is the new articles editor at Woman’s Life Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crystal Dreams Publishers
Blue Cubicle Press
Beyond the Bookstore
Recently, I posted a message in SPAWNDiscuss with a marketing idea for children’s book authors. Most children’s books focus on at least one positive character trait. And I suggested that if yours does, that you can promote it through the hundreds of U.S. schools that embrace character education. As part of these programs, the students are encouraged to read books that reflect a positive character trait such as trustworthiness, caring, respect, fairness, citizenship and so forth. There are over 150 schools listed as Character Counts Schools at http://www.charactercounts.org/members.htm.
Last month, we focused on book review opportunities—some of them little-known. Here are a few well-known book review publications and a peek at their submission guidelines. Kirkus reviews only unpublished books. They want to receive a galley copy at least three months before the publication date. Kirkus reviews new adult hardcover and trade paperback fiction and general audience nonfiction. They have a long list of books they do not review. Here are some of them: reference books, textbooks, poetry, books on photography, art, gardening or self help books. They also reject self-published titles. Learn more about Kirkus at http://www.kirkusreviews.com.
LA Times Book Review
Midwest Book Review
This month I promised to provide you with a list of writing-related e-newsletters. As a bonus, I have reviewed them as well. Here are 16 e-newsletters each with a different focus.
We all get irritated by the number email messages, spam and even lengthy newsletters that bombard our email boxes. It becomes a nuisance to have to go through it all in order to decide what to keep and what to toss. We’re all on overload and the effect on us does not present a pretty picture. I keep preaching that as freelance writers and authors, we really need to know what’s going on out there and where the specific opportunities for our particular projects and ideas are. That’s why we, here at SPAWN, put so much into each newsletter and each Market Update and keep adding to our humungous Web site.
But there’s more out there and we try to lead you to the information that you can use and steer you clear of that which isn’t useful to you. Today, I’ve decided to review a number of newsletters so that you can make a conscious decision for yourself.
Here they are in alphabetical order:
Absolute Write Newsletter
Book Promotion Newsletter
Francine Silverman produces this newsletter for folks looking for unique ways to promote their books. It generally encompasses 11 to 15 pages and the annual subscription fee is $5. This publication seems a little disjointed to me. I don’t see headings separating the bits, so I’m not sure what I’m going to read next–an ad for a book, for example, or a book review. Francine seems to include a lot of comments from her Web site discussion group with links to get the full message. The premise of this newsletter seems to be authors helping other authors by offering their best book promotion ideas. In fact, I’ve sent them some of my own—a good way to get some publicity for my own writing-related books.
Tips and Updates
TV Writer.Com Newsletter
Wooden Horse News
Working Writer Magazine
The Writers Write Update
Writing for Dollars
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to produce your own newsletter and how it would benefit your career? Here’s my interview with Lillian Cauldwell, SPAWN member and newsletter editor for Thru-the-Cracks-of-Time:
Q: I understand that your newsletter is for people who have applied to be guests on your radio talk show. Why just that segment of people and where do you get the names?
A: I have two different newsletters that I put out. The first one was This-n-That-1 Newsletter which offers tips and information for beginning to more advanced writers to help them enhance their writing careers. To get the names for that list, I used (with permission) many of www.simgen.com’s mailing lists. I also contacted newsletters which addressed different themes than mine—mostly technical newsletters. And I put an ad in their newsletters inviting people to my newsletter and they put an ad in my newsletter asking if my mailing list people would be interested in their writing newsletters.
My second newsletter, Thru-the-Cracks-of-Time is aimed at people who wish to become guests on my radio show and need some extra help in getting themselves started in the promotion and marketing game. Some of (these authors) are published by Publish America and other POD publishers and have received minimal help. Others are self- published or e-published and they need help in where to look for links covering national TV and radio show guest spots, URLs for book reviews, promotional tips on Press Kits, News Releases, setting UP an Author’s Web site and promoting their book from the site. I find that the list is endless.
I thought about what made me STAND OUT from the crowd of newsletters from radio show hosts. Well, I noticed that many hosts certainly don’t have the time, but I thrive on multi-tasking. I must have cultivated that when I taking care of baby, from zero age to 15 years by myself.
I believe in giving back to the writing community. This is how I do it.
Q: What do you hope your newsletter will accomplish for the reader?
A: I want to accomplish several things for frustrated, unschooled, and unprepared newbie writers.
Q: What do you hope to gain through your newsletter?
A: I want people to realize that I am one of the many writers who can help them get started. I hope they want to read my book, Sacred Honor, and learn from my experiences (good and bad) in trying to promote and market it to the general public. I hope to inspire people with what I am doing. I’m handicap, an adult affliction. Has it stopped me?
Sometimes. I take naps and drink water and bitch. Most of the time, I hurl myself into my tasks. Life is short. I want to make every second, every minute count. That’s what I want my readers to understand. If they are handicapped, work around it. Don’t let it stop your momentum. Just slow down. As for healthy writers, if you’re passionate about something, you’ll learn to make the time to write, just like you make the time to spend with your spouse or children, friends or family members.
Q: How do you gather the material for your newsletter?
A: I do a lot of reading on the Internet. I listen to what other writers, publishers, agents, authors have to say. I, myself, have been writing for 12 years. I have learned many things along the way. I collect what I have heard, read, or was discussed, and then I sit down and mull over the information. I write the article then. There are so many ways to gather material. You should be a good researcher. Pick out the key words or focus of your article and start looking from there.
Q: Is it a monthly newsletter or weekly?
A: Both my newsletters are monthly. I tried bi-monthly with This-n-That-1 during last summer, and it got to be too much for me. I settled back to one month. As for the new newsletter, Thru-the-Cracks-of-Time, I’m thinking I should charge a small amount of money for the information that I collect and assemble. I also send out with Thru-the-Cracks-of-Time a Monthly Tip Promotion Sheet where I give out URLs to different ways to promote and market. I would like to charge on that also. We’ll see. People get edgy when you mention cash to run a business. If they pay, I’ll throw in a free e-book of poems.
Q: How much time each does it take you to put each issue together?
A: It depends. If I’ve got the information sorted out in my mind, no longer than 1 hour. Sometimes, though, I don’t have all the material at my fingertips so I research my idea before putting it into an article or giving URLs or links to promotional, marketing, and reviews for the author. That research requires 1-3 hours on a good day. Then, two or three days later, the information gets written up or put in the newsletter. Once my original handwritten draft is prepared, I can type up the newsletter in no time flat.
Q: What about the title? Where did that come from?
A: The first title, This-n-That-1 came from: A Little Bit of This…A Little Bit of That meaning that I didn’t want to address one main theme or stick to one topic. I wanted to share everything I knew about writing with my readers. For Thru-the-Cracks-of-Time came from a phrase also. Falling through the cracks which is applied to people who are good at some things, but are never approached to talk about their something or never promoted because they’re not a best seller or a student who’s a middle C student, but the teacher never sees them.
Q: Would you advise other authors to put out a newsletter?
A: The purpose of a newsletter is to brand yourself, let people know you’re an expert in some topic(s), or give yourself an outlet for you to showcase your articles. Do I advise other authors? Yes and No. Yes, it’s a good way to reach other people, gain a list, brand yourself, and give back to the writing community. On the other hand, No, because newsletters means a lot of work. If you’re not good at multi-tasking, don’t even try it. What you can do, is to approach a newsletter (editor) and see if you can write a column for that newsletter on some topic that hasn’t been addressed in that newsletter.
For example, Lois Wickstrum writes a monthly column on Writing Children’s Books. It gives her exposure and a link back to her home page where she sells her many children’s books.
Q: Tell me a little about your radio show.
A: Thru-the-Cracks-of-Time is a radio talk show sponsored by ArtistFirst. I created Thru-the-Cracks-of-Time for those people who become lost through the cracks. They become invisible. They never got the chance to be recognized for writing a book, an ebook, independent book, self published book, POD book, etc. because most traditional chain stores won’t allow these authors booksignings. I have heard that several libraries now won’t accept anything but traditional printed books. So where does that leave the first time author, the newbie, or where does that leave the mid list author who is dropped from their traditional publishing companies and even from small press publishers. How are they to get the word out?
After my interview on ArtistFirst, I inquired if they wanted a host for a radio show. Scott said “yes.” I spoke to several people who I know in the industry, and they assured me that all authors required a first time on radio-a first time on TV so they can get that first important credential. Not only do I invite authors to come on my show, but I send them a long letter telling them what the show is about and how to ask themselves interview questions so that their audience will learn something about them other than their published or upcoming books and a little about the author.
Later, every Wednesday night, I hold a chat session for those authors who want to discuss their interview performance, or learn how to promote their web site, or a media kit, business cards, business side of royalties, etc. All that type of information that would take hours for these guest authors to find, they can find out from me.
During the show, I promote the author’s book, where to find it in estores, bookstores on the web, with the ordering information, and contact information on the author, email, and phone number.
I believe in opportunities. I am also sensible. When you pay for a radio interview, the older authors shake their head and say, no way. I look at it this way. How much would you spend for a 15 second radio commercial? The going rate is $60 for a 15 second spot aired once. For the show, you get two “aired” programs for the price of one, plus if you send in a cassette, I will record the program onto your tape so that you can listen to it with others, and learn from it—how to speak slowly, enunciate your words, draw your audience in, hook them so that they keep their radios or PC on. There’s a lot you can learn from a recording of you speaking. Plus, two weeks later, your second show is released through the radio.
Q: Please add anything you feel is important.
A: Getting on the radio and letting the world know who you are and what book you have just finished or have upcoming is important to the author. You now have a Radio Credential. Go to other radio stations, present your ideas, leave them your contact information, and say what you have to say in the first 5 seconds, otherwise, you have blown your possible interview or show idea.
Contact Lillian Cauldwell at Lillian@lilliancauldwell.com.
Maggie Frisch is editor of Working Writer Newsletter. Here’s my interview with her:
Q: Maggie, tell me how you came to be the publisher/editor of Working Writer.
A: Jennifer Lawler, an author from Lawrence, KS, started a publication called Writers at Work in 1999. By 2000, she decided to cease publication and focus on writing books (she’s had about 20 published so far!). I was a subscriber and felt bad about the newsletter ending, especially since it had a loyal reader base. I asked if there was any way we could keep WW going and she surprised me by handing the entire venture over, including subscriber list and books on how-to-publish-a-newsletter. I decided to jump in. The first couple of issues were nail-biters because I had NO submissions to print and thought I’d never be able to fill 12 pages. I contacted every writer I knew and begged for articles (and still beg regularly). WW is part of what I call The Despicable Non-Paying Market and I’ve been amazed at the generosity of contributors.
I also had to scramble to re-subscribe the old subscribers (Jennifer had refunded everyone’s money) and figure out how I was going to market WW. Thank God for the Internet!
By the way, the name was changed to Working Writer when Jennifer was notified that she was infringing on someone else’s copyright by using Writers at Work.
And oddly enough, I’ve never met Jennifer or even talked to her, except by e-mail.
Q: Would you describe this newsletter–who is your audience and what are your literary goals with this publication?
A: I refer to WW as a “little writers’ rag.” It’s a 12-page print (or e-mail) publication filled with articles (no ads) on writing — all topics, all genres, how-to, how-not-to. Everything is reader-written. Contributors and readers are from all areas of the country and at all levels, from beginners to much-published authors. It’s a good mix.
WW’s goal? Well, the masthead motto is “Solid Information and a Sense of Humor.” So I guess that’s it: to inform and entertain. Plus I always include plenty of feedback from the readers so WW is something of a forum — they can share, agree, disagree, vent, laugh.
Q: How does your newsletter differ from the myriad of others?
A: People tell me the big difference is the sense of humor and irreverence. Writing does not have to be deadly serious (like in SOME writing mags). It can be downright ridiculous. Regular columns such as “Words That Need To Be Permanently Retired” and “Nasty E-Mail” are reader favorites, and many articles are offbeat or satirical. Some readers tell me they laugh out loud when reading WW.
Another thing that sets WW apart is that it’s not just an e-zine, it’s something that shows up in your mailbox every two months. Print newsletters are becoming rare.
And one more thing! Folks enjoy WW because they get to know the contributors some seem to send in articles every month) and participate in the ongoing topics and debates. It’s kind of a family, or at least a big group of friends.
Q: What seems to be the most well-received aspect of this newsletter?
A: The most well-received aspect? The humor. Writers are desperate for something to laugh about, regarding writing. Plus the tone is friendly and conversational, like you’re talking with writer-pals, sharing tips and advice.
Q: In your opinion, what do working writers need from a newsletter or a Web site more than anything else?
A: What do working writers need from newsletters and sites? A sense of writing-camaraderie. Many zines and sites make writing super-serious, or competitive. Some are snobbish about “being published” and look down their noses at “wannabes.” WW likes wannabes and encourages them, because that’s where we all started.
Q: What is the most frequently asked question you get?
A: Most frequently asked question? Hard to say. I correspond with a lot of readers — anyone who e-mails, really — and try to help out with whatever they need. Most people just want moral support for what they’re trying to do: finish a manuscript, find an agent, get published, etc.
Q: Have you done the research? Do you know how many of us are working writers today? Or do you know what percentage of writers are writing as a business and what percentage are writing just for fun?
A: I have NO research on that. I only know one full-time writer who is making a GOOD living (that’s Jennifer Lawler). I’d say the majority of WW readers are actively working on writing projects but not giving up their day jobs — even the writers with several books published.
Q: What would you say to a writer to entice them to subscribe to your newsletter? Do you have a freeby online that a potential customers can look at?
A: I’d say, “If you want solid info, a good dose of humor, and a sense of writing camaraderie, check out WW. I’ll bet you’ll sit down and read it cover to cover!”
A free PDF copy of the latest issue is available to ANYONE requesting one. If you can’t open an attachment or really, really want a hard copy, I’ll mail one out.
Q: Please add your contact and subscription information and anything else you would like to include.
A: Here’s all the subscription and contact info:
One-year subscription (6 issues) by mail is $12.95 – ($11.95 for seniors and students)
Payment is available online through PayPal, or mail check made out to: Deartracks Books.
, http://www.writing-world.com. Moira Allen is the editor of this weekly and she has over 13,500 subscribers. While she helps pay for this publication through ads, it’s also highly informative. I find her Market Roundup best. Contact Moira Allen at email@example.com. , http://www.writingfordollars.com Contact: Dan Case firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. This free e-newsletter boasts 41,000 subscribers. While this newsletter has a lot of ads, there are also some informative articles appearing in most issues and a few markets for freelancers. The newsletter is designed primarily to promote their Web site, Writing For Dollars. firstname.lastname@example.org http://email@example.com. This weekly generally runs 6 pages and much of it is filled with ads. The basis for this newsletter is to offer a writing challenge and to print the work of winners. at http://www.writersweekly.com has the highest circulation of any freelance writing ezine in the world. Angela Hoy, at firstname.lastname@example.org, is the editor and she provides information while keeping her readers entertained. Frankly, this is one of my favorites. It’s generally just 8-pages long with links available to the bits you’d like to read in its entirety. You’ll find everything from News From the Home Office (what’s happening in the busy Hoy household) to Whispers and Warnings (which publishers should we be wary of). In between, readers are treated to articles, letters to editor, expert advice, a success story, paying markets and freelance jobs. http://www.writersonlineworkshops.com This is a weekly newsletter for students of writing. Editor, Joe Stollenwerk offers 7 pages of interesting information and lessons on writing in a variety of genres. It is designed in a workshop format for ease in using. Contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. . http://www.freelancewriting.com. This is one of the more informative and complete newsletters that I enjoy reading. It’s bimonthly, encompasses usually around 20 pages, but it isn’t free. See my interview with editor, Maggie Frisch (below). Alert http://www.woodenhorsepub.com. I believe this is a member service, but I think that Meg Weaver also has a Wooden Horse Newsletter that she sends out to nonmembers monthly as a tool to entice readers to subscribe to her Wooden Horse Publishing database. Basically, Weaver’s ezine is informational—she does an especially good job of addressing important industry trends and issues. For example, the April first edition hosts her editorial about the government’s attempt to copyright facts and she does a commentary on what this would mean. She has an in with the magazine industry and keeps her readers updated on the changes happening in that world. Who’s in and who’s out? Meg Weaver knows and she tells all. email@example.com http://www.tvwriter.com While it looks like they pay the bills through ads, there also seems to be plenty of information and opportunities listed for TV Writers to keep one interested. Contact Larry Brody at: Tvwriter_com@email.com is a new newsletter produced by SPAWN member, Lillian Cauldwell. http://www.authorsden.com/lilliancauldwell. Lillian@lilliancauldwell.com She offers 7 pages of promo, markets and tips for writers and book promoters. Learn more about this newsletter through my Editor Interview with Cauldwell (below). From Writer’s Digest. Writersdigestfirstname.lastname@example.org. Christine Mersch is the editor of this weekly newsletter which is designed mainly to preview what’s coming up in the next issue of Writer’s Digest. http://www.spawn.org. This newsletter is free to members and nonmembers. It comprises 10-14 pages of information, news and opportunities for freelance writers, artists and authors without the clutter of ads. Editor, Wendy (email@example.com) includes informative articles, industry news and trends, contests and other events, member announcements and accomplishments as well as information about SPAWN and the benefits of membership in this organization. Wendy and 3 other experienced writers contribute to SPAWNews making it one of the most informative newsletters around for those who are serious about the craft and the business of writing. http://www.scriptmag.com. Andrew Schneider edits this e-newsletter from his office in Maryland. This seems to be a pretty informative newsletter for scriptwriters. You’ll find links to articles, industry news, contests, classes and events and more. firstname.lastname@example.org comes from the National Writers Association once a month. To subscribe, email email@example.com. These newsletters are brief—the one I have is only 2 pages—but it announces contests, conferences/workshops and some jobs available through Jobnet. This may be a member only publication. http://www.naww.org is the newsletter of the National Association of Women