SPAWN Market Update – June, 2005
By Patricia L. Fry
Here’s What’s New – Seven New Magazines
Opportunities for Freelance Writers – Seven High Paying Mags
Opportunities for Authors – Sell your book at Barnes and Noble
Book Promotion Opportunities – Over 20 of them.
Opportunities for Artists and Photographers – WorthWhile Mag.
Writers’ Sites – FirstWriter.com
Editor’s Comments – Should you pay for publishing services?
More Editorial Comments – Decipher your POD publisher’s promises?
East West Woman (EW Woman)
Have you done any writing for Road and Track Magazine? If so, here are some additional opportunities. They are coming out with two new bimonthlies: Road and Track Road Gear and Road . http://www.roadandtrack.com. If you have a book related to automobiles, the automobile industry, auto trading, etc., you might interest one of these publications in an article.and Track Speed
In April, I listed a few magazines that pay $1.00 per word or more for articles. Here are some additional magazines that pay well.
Travel + Leisure
Ladies Home Journal
Robert Gentry is editor of WriteCorner Press and he also reviews books at his site. Find out the details at http://www.writecorner.com/links.htm.
Get Your Book Placed in Barnes and Noble Bookstores
Do you want to get your book into Barnes and Noble? It may not be as hard as you think. Recently, I spent some time on their Web site where they have a whole section dedicated to telling you how. Rather than giving you the looooooong Web site address to this page, here’s what I suggest: Go to http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com. Click on “For Authors.” You’ll probably want to read this page and then go to the bottom of the page and click on “Getting your book in Barnes and Noble.”
According to the information on these pages, buyers at Barnes and Noble review more than 100,000 submissions from all types of publishers each year. And they claim that they add most of them to their book database and also stock small supplies of these books in their warehouse. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that your book will go immediately to a shelf in all Barnes and Noble stores, this does make copies of your book available for sale on their Web site and for order through their stores.
What Kind of Books Do They Want?
Basically, they want perfect bound books with an ISBN and bar code. They want you to be hooked up with a wholesaler because they prefer ordering through a wholesaler rather than individual publishers/authors. They accept only books that are reasonably priced and they need to be convinced that your book is something special and that it will sell.
So there’s another reason why it is a good idea to go through traditional channels in producing your book—making sure it has an ISBN and a bar code, for example—so that you’ll have a better chance of catching the attention of booksellers such as Barnes and Noble.
Do you have a book to promote? Do you want to promote through magazine articles? I have located some off-the-wall, unusual publications that you may have never heard of, yet that might relate to your book topic.
Mold and Moisture Management Magazine
At least one of our members has a book on how to fix up a fixer upper. This author could probably sell an article to a realtor magazine such as Florida Realtor, Journal of Property Management, National Relocation and Real Estate or Canadian Property Management. Home and Garden magazines are also possibilities. You’ll find Florida Realtor Magazine at http://www.floridarealtormagazine.com. Contact Tracey Lawton at email@example.com. And keep in mind that they want 800 – 1500 words and will pay $300 to $700 for articles with a real estate angle.
Several members have books related to medical situations, health and healing. MAMM Magazine, for example, pays up to $1500 for good articles of interest to women with breast or ovarian cancer. Contact Liz Galst at firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.mamma.com. POZ pays up to $3000 for articles written for people with HIV. Contact Walter Armstrong at email@example.com. http://www.poz.com
If your book is related to career guidance or business management, be sure to check out the following:
I met a couple of gals in St. Louis last year who had published a book on how to write a Haiku. They could conceivably sell an article promoting this book to Modern Haiku (http://www.modernhaiku.org).
You could probably get publicity for your novel by requesting a review in Kalliope http://www.fccj.org/kalliope. Contact Mary Sue Koeppel.
Strut your literary stuff and promote your novel by writing stories for literary magazines such as:
FirstWriter.com offers several services for freelance writers and authors for a fee. I spent fifteen minutes touring their site and found some interesting and fun things. For example, check out the list of editorial mistakes they’ve logged and look at their collection of mishaps that can fly under your spellcheck radar. I cannot recommend FirstWriter.com because I haven’t had a firsthand experience with them. But I can let you know about this site in case you want to research the possibilities for yourself. http://www.firstwriter.com
When Is It Okay to Pay for Publishing/Editorial Services?
We here at SPAWN pride ourselves on our efforts and ability to provide information and resources for those who are interested in the publishing process. We alert you to what we believe are scams. We offer warnings when we feel it’s necessary. And we try to assist you in making educated decisions on your own behalf. Our goal is to help you to help yourself.
As you’ve no doubt either experienced or heard, the publishing industry is rapidly changing. There are more people producing books and this is generating growing numbers of new and revised fee-based services and agencies. We report on some of them in nearly every issue of SPAWNews and the SPAWN Market Update. Please keep in mind, however, that when we introduce one of these companies to you, we are not necessarily endorsing them. In fact, we strongly encourage a buyer beware mentality anytime you are asked to pay for a service. Never, NEVER enter into an agreement with a publishing company, agent or editorial service without adequate knowledge of the company, of the industry and of the process. I urge you to avoid hiring anyone to do tasks that you can do yourself. This includes press release services, query letter services, showcase sites, literary agencies and fee-based publishers. (I include literary agencies in this warning for those of you whose books r! eally aren’t suitable for publication by a major publisher. Most small to medium traditional royalty publishers will—and some prefer to—work with the author without representation by an agent.)
Freelance writers and authors are accustomed to seeking help to hone their skills, learn about the industry and improve their level of confidence through writers’ conferences, clubs, groups, organizations and classes. The concept of paying a nominal fee to gather with other writers for educational purposes is common and comfortable. Many of us hire editors, printers and graphic designers to help us produce a book manuscript. We hire services to handle specific tasks when we need a professional to do something that we can’t do ourselves.
I caution you against paying exorbitant fees to unknown and unfamiliar companies for services that you can conceivably do yourself. Instead of plunking down large sums of money, I urge you to educate yourself. Once you’re better informed, you may still wish to hire the service, but at least you’ll know something about them and you’ll be aware of your options. Don’t dive blindly into the unknown. Understand the industry and the process and then make an informed decision.
I know far too many authors who have completed manuscripts and are at a loss as to what to do next. They notice an ad for a POD publisher. They believe they have struck gold and they sign on the dotted line. Soon, through organizations such as SPAWN and by networking with other authors, they discover some of their potential options. They could have approached some of the hundreds of traditional royalty publishers with their manuscripts, for example. They could have self-published and wound up with all of the control and a book they could actually sell.
I’ve seen hopeful authors spend thousands of dollars for services that they could easily do themselves. There are some worthwhile, legitimate services out there and there are people who are genuinely on your side. However, there are also folks with good hearts who really don’t have the expertise and knowledge to help you reach your goals. And there are out and out crooks trying to use your talent and creativity for their own gain.
I met a man at the LA Times Festival of Books last weekend who had just paid his POD publisher an additional $800 for “returnable insurance.” That is, insurance that guarantees to bookstores that the POD publisher will accept returns on any unsold books. This author is convinced that bookstores will now carry his book and he has launched a mailing that targets bookstores across the U.S. He is supposed to report back to me and, if I hear from him, I’ll report his experiences to you.
I polled bookstore managers this week to find out if this returnable insurance is going to sway them in their decisions about whether or not to stock POD books and which ones. Here’s what I learned. A bookstore manager in Vermont said that guaranteed returnability is nice, but that the only time he orders from a POD publisher is to fill special orders and for local authors doing signings. Proof of insurance will not change this manager’s policy. From a bookstore in Colorado, I heard this, “While returnability is important, in general, we don’t carry many POD books. We carry those (POD published books) by local authors on a consignment basis.” He went on to explain that generally, returns get them credit (not cash money) and he said, “We’re not interested in credit with a POD publisher.”
If this author had asked me BEFORE signing up for this expensive insurance, I would have definitely advised him against it—at least until he talked to several bookstore owners to find out if they thought it was worthwhile.
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. Choose one with references. Ask for a trial run. Most qualified editors I know will offer a sample edit for a small fee, for example.
Another man I met at the Los Angeles Book Festival sent me his entire manuscript via email last week and asked me what I thought. I told him the truth—that his manuscript needed editing. I knew he didn’t have much money (he’d already given it all up to a fee-based POD publishing company and was mighty unhappy with the results). So I offered to edit the first 10 or 15 pages for $50 to show him what he could do to make his book read better. He declined—saying he could not afford it.
Here’s where the importance of having a business head comes in. It is crucial that hopeful authors make informed decisions, not decisions that are emotionally generated.
If you are like most of us and have limited money to spend on your project, spend wisely.
I think most of you would rather land a traditional royalty publisher than pay a POD publisher to produce your book. Find out how to go about this. The following will help:
As an aside, Jenna Glatzer, editor of Absolute Write Newsletter (http://www.absolutewrite.com) echoed my message in her latest newsletter editorial (April 27, 2005). In fact, I had been working on my editorial when I printed out her newsletter and found her comments. She reminds us to always check the fine print and to do further research before spending money or signing up for any service. Here Here!!
Examining POD Publisher’s Promises
Most POD publishers state, “We will make your book available to bookstores.” Think about what that means. They do not say, “We will provide a sales rep who will promote your book to bookstores nationwide.” They are not stating that they will promote in any way to bookstores. Here’s what they are saying: If a bookstore manager comes to them requesting a book on your topic, they may show them your book. They will “make it available” to them.
A POD publisher will sell you added services. One such service is this returnable insurance. They are guaranteeing to the bookstore manager that they will accept returns should the books not sell. But they are in no way guaranteeing that bookstores will order your book under that guarantee.
A POD publisher will provide an editor for your manuscript for an additional fee. Many, many authors I talk to have been unhappy with the editing provided by their POD publisher. And many POD published books I review still need editing. POD publishers are in the business of producing books quickly. They deal with hundreds of titles at a time. While they provide editing, layout and cover design services, this is not their expertise. To the POD publisher, these are incidentals. To you, these are issues major to the success of your book. From what I’ve seen and heard, most authors are better off soliciting their own editor and book design experts. This is most certainly true for anyone with photos, drawings or graphs as part of their project.
is seeking submissions by artists and photographers. Learn more at http://www.worthwhilemag.com.. Hey, somebody out there may have written a book on allergies (and there are a lot of people who are sensitive to molds). Maybe you’ve written a book on managing a healthy personal environment. An article on how to locate molds might be just the key for promoting your book. And this magazine pays rather well. Query the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.moldmag.com/submissions.php will pay $2,000 for good investigative pieces, articles on relationships, news features and celebrity pieces. Contact Diane Salvatore, http://www.lhj.com. is seeking stories, book excerpts, essays, interviews, personal experiences, etc. related to islands. And they’ll pay up to $3,500. Contact Lisa Gosselin, email@example.com. http://www.islands.com is a magazine for men. They are mostly interested in seafaring stories. They also publish veterans and military stories. Land an assignment and earn as much as $1,000 for a 700-word article. Contact: Anthony Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org. I know that a few of our members have books featuring military stories. Why not pitch an article (or excerpt from your book) and promote your book at the same time. If you don’t know how to approach magazine editors, contact me and we’ll talk. (email@example.com) Do you have any good home design pieces, travel, entertainment, family or gardening articles you’d like to pitch? They will pay up to $1,500 for quality work. Contact Carol Sama Sheehan at firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.countryhome.com is seeking how to articles, humor, historical/nostalgic, technical and interview/profile pieces. They also publish photo features. And they’ll pay well for good stuff. Contact Michelle Kelly at email@example.com. http://www.cottagelife.com pays up to $6,000 for travel pieces. And they prefer seeing a query first. Contact: Managing Editor, Michael S. Cain at firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.travelandleisure.com is the in-flight magazine for Delta and they pay well. They may fly friendly skies, but they don’t seem to be friendly to the freelance writer. I did not find any editorial information on their Web site. Most in-flight magazines, however, are interested in articles related to the area their airliners serve. I suggest contacting their current editor at email@example.com and ask for their submission guidelines. has no published submission guidelines in sight. Sigh. You can contact editor Anita Sharpe at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a copy, however. And check out this nice looking magazine at http://www.worthwhilemag.com. Their motto is, “We offer a roadmap for business success that is more personally fulfilling and socially responsible.” is new. This is a Canadian magazine aimed at young people. I’m watching for additional information about this publication. In the meantime, you may find this interesting: the editors of The Thunderbird Newsletter have published a rather stinging review of DOSE at their site, http://www.journalism.ubc.ca/thunderbird. Click on “Open letter to publishers of DOSE.” is an interesting new magazine being published by a married couple who believe strongly in educating their children through cultural studies and travel. This publication is so new that they may not be thinking about using freelancers, yet. However, I would recommend sharing your good ideas with editor/owner Nissa Gadbois. Here’s a hint as to what they have planned: the July/August edition features the arts and January will focus on winter elite sports. Visit the Gadbois family enterprise at http://www.navigo-online.com. Perhaps you could promote your historical or cultural book through articles for this audience. Maybe you have a travel piece that would fit their guidelines. is the first ever pregnancy magazine for women 35 years and older. According to some statistics I found on their Web site, birthrates for American women between 35 and 49 years has soared by 34% since the early 1990s. With this in mind, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is offering this magazine for older moms. Do you have experience or expertise related to this topic? Perhaps you’ve written a book related to issues of the older mom. I emailed the editor and learned that this magazine has a split focus. They’re interested in health and lifestyle articles. They publish first-person stories from 35-plus moms as well as articles on preconception, prenatal medical care, nutrition, fitness, beauty, fashion, decorating (including nursery design and equipment) and travel. They also cover newborn health articles and stories about postpartum care. And they pay $1.00 word!!! Send email queries to email@example.com. Learn more about this potential article market by visiting http://www.plummagazine.com is a lifestyle magazine for Asian American and Middle Eastern women. The online version of East West Woman was launched two years ago this month and they’re now a bimonthly print magazine with subscribers throughout the world. Editor, Anita Malik, told me that they’ll pay 10 cents/word for stories related to health, relationships and career as long as they apply to the East West woman. Send your query or complete manuscript to Anita Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about the magazine at http://www.ewwoman.com.