SPAWN Market Update – June, 2007
By Patricia L. Fry
Note from the Editor: I’m revising my book, The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book in preparation for the second printing (scheduled for September, 2007). In the process, I’m checking all of the many resources listed in the book to make sure they’re current and active. Guess what? Quite a few of them are not. I keep saying that the publishing industry is changing faster than a speeding bullet, but I’m still surprised when I come face-to-face with just how fast. If this issue of the SPAWN Market Update looks even meatier than usual, it’s because I’m reporting many of those changes. Pay attention, because here’s an opportunity to update your important resource lists.
Going, Going, Gone – 23 to report this month.
Here’s What’s New – 9 changes to keep you in the know.
Jobs and Other Opportunities – 3 job openings, a call for women writers and a writing/publishing job site.
Opportunities for Freelance Writers – 4 paying markets and a whole database of 1700 fiction markets.
Opportunities for Authors – A dozen publishers for you and an automatic critique program for your manuscript.
Book Promotion Opportunities – A directory of book publicists, how to get a book trailer, financial advice for the artist and more.
Opportunities for Poets – 7 paying markets and a database of poetry contests.
Opportunities for Scriptwriters/Screenwriters – 5 contests and a good resource.
Opportunities for Artists – Earn money and get exposure, too.
Opportunities for Teen Writers – Teen Ink uses only submissions by teens.
Bonus Items – Espresso Book Machine, Are Newspapers Discouraging Readers? Book Industry Report, PMA Has New Image
Editor’s Contribution – Introducing Publishing Organizations Near You
Guest Interview – Mara Purl—Reader’s Passport Literacy Program. How you can participate!
The Daily Globe Web site, http://www.dailyglobe.com, is for sale. You may recall that my reporting that they listed “seasonal prompts” at their site—to help you with book promotion and article ideas. Well, the seasonal prompts are gone, so is the whole Daily Globe.
http://www.articlecorners.com, a site that posted articles, is also gone.
Senior Citizen Magazine’s site is closing.
Waltson Publishing has closed.
Linda Allen Literary Agency in San Francisco is not accepting new clients.
Mundania Press is closed to submissions until late in 2007.
Triuium Publishing is moving and they are not accepting submissions at this time.
Antelope Publications produces ebooks. They are not accepting submissions at this time.
Vintage Romance Publishing is not accepting submissions through 2007.
River City Publishing is closed to poetry submissions at this time.
Another good statistical site is gone. I’ll miss http://www.demographics.com.
Poetic Voices at http://www.poeticvoices.com is currently unavailable online. I’ll see if I can find out what happened to them.
Willowgate Press is closed to submissions.
Purefiction.com is gone.
Fictionaddition.com is gone.
Wine X Magazine has closed.
Victoria is reported to have gone under AGAIN.
Dragon and Dungeon will close in September.
On Call plans to close.
Edmonton Life has folded.
Arthur Magazine is out of business.
Nick Jr. Family Magazine has closed.
Premiere is also gone.
As of July 1, 2006, the copyright fee is $45. However, you can get a reduced rate of $35, if you will file your copyright electronically. http://www.loc.gov/copyright
WOW! Women On Writing is a paying market. Angela Miyuki Mackintosh invites anyone who can write for women writers, agents, publishers and even readers to submit their 500 to 2500 word article to email@example.com. Payment runs $50 to $75 and you get a byline. Check out this amazing site at http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com.
Dana Cassell, editor of one of my favorite magazines, Freelance Writer’s Report, reports on an unusual contract clause. It seems that Heartland USA not only has a kill-fee clause, they also ask freelance writers to sign a contract stating that if the magazine pays you and then, for whatever reason, can’t publish your article, you, the writer, agrees to return the money. Huh?
Mystic Ridge Books is not accepting adult fiction at this time. They are, however, in the market for picture books for children ages 8 and 9 for their Mystic Ridge Books Kidz. http://www.mysticridgebooks.com
Beyond Words no longer publishes children’s books, nor do they accept unsolicited manuscripts. If you want to submit something to Beyond Words, please do so through an agent.
is about to close down their Web site. However, you will find this major library directory at: http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/libdir.
New York Magazine is moving in August to 75 Varick St., 4th Fl, New York 10013-1917.
On Call, a print magazine for nurses will become an online publication only. You’ll find it at http://www.boston.com/jobs/healthcare/oncall.
The Loft, this nation’s largest literary center, is seeking a new executive director. If you live in or near Minneapolis and desire to run a literary center, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If they’ve filled that position, there are usually openings for interns and instructors. Stay posted at: http://www.loft.org.
Janene Mascarella at Janenemascarella@aol.com has put out a call for women to participate in an article she’s writing for a national women’s magazine. She wants to know how you add joy to your life. Have you taken up singing, dancing, writing poetry or volunteering? Janene wants to know what it is that brings you joy and how it makes you feel. She needs your name, city/state, occupation and age. Please also provide your phone number and email contact.
(Think about this one, folks. It may be a great opportunity to promote your book in a national magazine. How? Well, if your joy stems from the subject of your book, it follows that your book could be mentioned in the story.)
Ms. Magazine has job positions open. Can you see yourself as an Associate Publisher in the Washington D.C. office or, perhaps, a Marketing and Communication Assistant, in Beverly Hills? There are always internship positions open, as well. Learn more at http://www.msmagazine.com/contact.asp. Scroll down below “submissions” and you will see the job descriptions.
7 Publishers Avenue is all about jobs in the publishing industry. Check them out regularly at http://www.7publishersavenue.com.
Have you stumbled across Duotrope.com, yet? They claim a database with over 1700 markets for all variety of fiction. Check it out at http://www.duotrope.com.
There’s a new paying market in need of articles for people who work at home. They pay $50 for articles. Learn more at http://www.workhomeyou.com. Click on Writer’s Guidelines. But beware, it doesn’t seem as though you can view this site without the Flash feature. I chose not to install it, so I can’t tell you any more than this.
Monday Magazine in Canada. Pays 10 cents per word for articles on current events and the arts in the Victoria area. http://www.mondaymag.com/monday/guidelines.htm
MyMidwest is a new inflight magazine for Midwest Airlines. As with all inflight mags, it features articles and destination pieces related to this airline’s travel route. The editor is Orion Ray-Jones. Contact him with your ideas at email@example.com. Check out the site at http://www.ink-publishing.com. Or http://www.mymidwestmagazine.com. While they don’t seem to post submission guidelines and there is no pay scale to be found, I assume they are similar to most other inflight magazines. What does that mean? They may use some freelance material of high quality and they probably pay well—in the 50 cents/word range, at least.
Mystic Ridge Books has a kids division. MRB Kidz is seeking picture books for children 8 and 9 years old. http://www.mysticridgebooks.com
AutoCrit. Have you ever used an automatic critique program for your novel? The members of Writers Meetup in Orange County have had fun recently, trying out Autocrit. http://www.autocrit.com/index.cfm. The discussion group that followed had pros and cons for using such programs.
Have you given up on the big publishers? Are you ready to seek out a small to medium-size publisher? Here are a few that you might consider:
Piney Creek Press only publishes up to three titles per year, but they don’t receive many submissions, either. They produce “ghostly” books of regional interest (mid Atlantic). They also publish folklore and collections of historical stories. I understand that they may soon also publish ghost stories, folklore and history from other regions of the U.S. They offer an advance, too. For more information, contact Patty A. Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Herbal Studies Library also offers a small advance. But if you have a how-to, reference guide or self-help book on gardening or health, this San Francisco publisher might be interested. Contact J. Rose by writing to 219 Carl St., San Francisco, CA 94117. Or call, 415-564-6785. Hey, most publishers say, “Don’t call and bug us.” But what is an author to do when the publishing company doesn’t provide an email address or even a Web site?
Brooks Books produces books of poetry. Formerly High/Coo Press, they publish books of haiku poems. Contact Randy Brooks at email@example.com. Check them out at http://www.brooksbookshaiku.com.
A.T. Publishing publishes how-to books on many subjects—cooking, nutrition, education, science, sports. And the field seems to be wide open here as they publish one to three books per year and receive only one to three queries!!! Contact Anthony Prizzia at 23 Lily Lake Rd., Highland, NY 12528. Or call (because they don’t offer an email address) 845-691-2021.
Acme Press publishes humor. In fact, except for porn, they say they accept submissions on any subject as long as it is humorous. POB 1702 Westminster, MD 21158-1702 410-848-7577. Contact Ms. E.G. Johnston.
Vanderwyk & Burnham publishes books on issues of psychology, aging and so forth. They offer an advance of up to $2,000. Learn more at http://www.vandb.com.
Scriblerus Press pays up to 25 percent royalties on books related to experimental and literary fiction. And guess what? They will refuse queries sent by mail. So send yours to Sean Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their Web site can be viewed at http://www.scriblerus.net.
Stone Bridge Press publishes both fiction and nonfiction and are most interested in Asian books. Find out more at http://www.stonebridge.com.
Here’s a publisher that pays up to 50 percent royalties. Socratic Press produces how-to, humor, illustrated books, self-help on a wide variety of topics. Their audience comprises libertarians, the inquisitive and the uninhibited. POB 66683, St. Pete Beach, FL 3373-6683.
Rising Start Press produces fiction and nonfiction titles. They are most focused on biographies and reference books on education, health, language, literature, philosophy and even some regional topics. Learn more at http://www.rockspringpress.com. Contact Alice Platt at email@example.com.
Do you have a historical fiction manuscript set in California? It might find a home at Santa Ana River Press in Norco, CA. Check them out at http://www.santaanariverpress.com.
John Kremer offers a free directory of book publicists and PR Agencies at his Web site, http://www.bookmarket.com/101pr.htm.
Reader Views announce the launch of Reader Views PreViews. Have you heard of book trailers? These are videos of your book that you can play at your Web site or on other Web sites and they’re all the rage for book promotion. I’m hearing more and more about this concept. Check it out at http://www.readerviews.com.
Javier at Trendirama invites you to submit your articles designed to make the world a better place. Javier is the founder of a fast-growing international online community where they write about the future of everything. There’s no pay, but sounds like an interesting challenge and a good way to promote your appropriate book. http://www.trendirama.com
Authors Den at http://www.authorsden.com will include your book at their site for free. Get your book reviewed or just post it for all visitors to see.
Artreprenuer at http://www.artrepreneur.com is an interesting site for any artist or author to visit. I particularly liked the tax and financial helps at http://www.artrepreneur.com/financialplanning.
Check out http://www.packitright.net for shipping materials.
The Pedestal Magazine pays for poetry, stories and articles. You can earn 5 cents/word for fiction and nonfiction and $30 to $60 for poetry. Learn more at http://www.thepedestalmagazine.com. Contact John Amen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tampa Review buys 45 poems per year. Check submission guidelines for their pay rate. http://www.tampareview.ut.edu
The Threepenny Review pays $200 for poetry. Send five at a time. http://www.threepennyreview.com
Spring Hill Review pays $5 to $10 per poem, 300-word max. Contact Lucy Austen at email@example.com.
The Kenyon Review pays $40/page for poetry. http://www.kenyonreview.org
Prism International—a Canadian publication—pays $40/page for poetry. http://www.prism.arts.ubc.ca
Hayden’s Ferry Review pays up to $100 for all material. http://www.haydensferryreview.org
Saint Ann’s Review pays $75 for up to ten pages of poetry. http://www.saintannsreview.com
Copper Canyon Press has suspended its annual Hayden Carruth award. They do, however, recommend other poetry contests. See the list at their Web site: http://www.coppercanyonpress.org.
The deadline for entering the Hardacre Film and Cinema Festival this year is June 15. Do you have a feature, short, narrative, documentary, animation piece, music video or experimental film? You may want to participate in this competition. They’re offering a discount for students and residents of Iowa. Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. Go to http://www.hardacrefilmfestival.com for additional information.
Win up to $10,000 for your short film at the Hayden 3.0 Film Festival. But hurry. The deadline is July 16. http://www.haydenfilms.com
The Provincetown International Film Festival is June 13-17. Visit their Web site for additional information. http://www.ptownfilmfest.org
If you write thrillers, consider entering your script in the Screamfest Horror Film Festival on October 12-21 at Grauman’s Mann Chinese 6 in Hollywood. The deadline for entries is July 15. http://www.screamfestla.com
Check out the Stony Brook Film Festival to be held the week of July 19-28. http://www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com
For more opportunities for scriptwriters/screenwriters, subscribe to Movie Maker Magazine. email@example.com.
Strange Horizons is seeking online submissions for their web gallery. Jenna Medaris says she’ll pay $75 for selected art which is designed to accompany a speculative fiction story. Each month an artist is selected to illustrate a story. Learn more at http://www.strangehorizons.com/guidelines/art.shtml. Questions? Contact Jenna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The editors at Teen Ink depend entirely on teens to write and illustrate their print magazine. They want art, poems, stories and reviews of movies, books, college and websites and they accept submissions only from teens ages 13 to 19. http://teenink.com/submissions.
Books on Demand
Have you heard about the Espresso Book Machine? It’s similar to an ATM machine, but, instead of money coming out of it, you get a fully bound book of your choice. Yes, it’s a book-on-demand machine. Put your credit card in, choose from 200 titles and, in a matter of minutes, you’ll have a library quality paperback book in your hands. In fact, the machine can print and bind 15 to 20 books per hour. There are only three of these machines currently in the world, but it could be just a matter of time before you find them in a location near you. The machines are currently in the World Bank in Washington DC, a library in Egypt and the New York Public Library of Science, Industry and Business.
Newspapers are Discouraging Readers
An article in the Los Angeles Times the weekend of the big LA Times Book Festival caught my eye. The article, called “Misreading Readers,” was written by Michael Connelly, author of the mystery series featuring Detective Harry Bosch. He was bemoaning the fact that newspapers are reducing and removing their book review sections—something that upsets all authors. According to Connelly, the LA Times is the most recent newspaper to cut their book review section. They haven’t done away with it, yet, but they did merge it with the Sunday Opinion page in an attempt to save pages and money.
Unfortunately, the LA Times isn’t alone in their decision. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently cut their book editor, as did the Raleigh News and Observer. The Dallas Morning News, Orlando Sentinel and Cleveland Plains Dealer are among those newspapers that have either eliminated or cut their book review sections.
As Connelly points out, this decision is doing a lot of damage—not only to publishers and authors, but, potentially, to the newspaper companies’ own bottom lines.
He says, “In the past, newspaper executives understood the symbiotic relationship between their product and books. People who read books also read newspapers. From that basic tenet came a philosophy: If you foster books, you foster reading. If you foster reading, you foster newspapers.” He says that he fears that philosophy is disappearing from the boardrooms of our newspapers and that these efforts to cut costs will damage both books and newspapers in the future.
Book Industry Report
According to Bowker, book output for 2005 decreased by more than 18,000 to 172,000 new titles. Believe it or not, the 172,000 figure represent the second highest number of books published in a year in America ever in recorded history. It seems that 2004 was the banner year! Great Britain published more new books than the U.S. in 2005 with 206,000 total books; and this was 45,000 more than they produced in 2004
So how are book sales? The Association of American Publishers (http://www.publishers.org) records a rise in book sales of 10.2 percent during the first part of the 2007. Sales for adult hardcover books are up 43.5 percent. Adult paperback and children’s and young adult hardcover books did well, too.
What About Ebooks?
The Independent Digital Publishing Forum reports a continuing increase in revenue for ebooks. There were over a million ebooks sold in 2005. This report is not compiled from the ebooks you and I are selling from our Web sites, but from the sales of 18 major publishers. Between them, they produced over 5,000 ebooks during 2005. For more information, http://www.idpf.org.
PMA Has a New Image
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but PMA has added something to its name. It is now known as, PMA the Independent Book Publishers Association.
Publishing Organizations in Your Region
I attended an affiliates meeting in Chicago in May where 16 affiliates from 10 publishing organizations across the U.S. gathered to discuss how we can better serve our members. I came home with some great inspiration and good ideas. SPAWN is a little different than the other affiliates as we do not have meetings. I’d like to offer you a list of publishing organizations across the U.S. that do meet, in case you’d like to network face-to-face with other authors and publishers in your own community.
Florida Publishers Association http://www.flbookpub.org. The organization address is in Highland City, Florida, but evidently, the location of meetings changes each month. Email FBABooks@aol.com for meeting information.
The Great Lakes Independent Publishing Association (GLIPA) serves Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Learn where meetings are scheduled by emailing email@example.com.
Northwest Association of Book Publishers, http://www.nwabp.org. Meetings are held at the Fairfield Inn, Lake Oswego outside of Portland, OR.
Publishers Association of Los Angeles (PALA) http://www.pa-la.org meets monthly at Felicia Mahood Center at 11338 Santa Monica Blvd, West Los Angeles. For additional information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA) meets at various locations throughout their region. Learn more about the organization at: http://www.mipa.org. Call for meeting location: 651-917-0021.
St. Louis Publishers Association (SLPA) http://www.stlouispublishers.org meets monthly during the evening at The Lodge at Des Peres in Des Peres, MO. Contact Bob Baker 314-963-5296.
Book Publishers Northwest BPNW meet monthly at the Good Shepherd Center in Seattle, Washington. Contact Tom Blaschko for more information at email@example.com.
I interviewed Mara Purl this month because she has started an adult literacy program to encourage reading. Why do we care? As authors, we need readers, right? And the huge bibliographic company, Bowker, is also involved in this charity. Read on and find out how you can participate in Mara Purl’s Reader’s Passport.
Patricia: Please tell us about your adult literacy program, Reader’s Passport.
Mara: Thanks, Patricia for asking about this program! Remember the first time you read a book and felt “transported” to another place? That’s the experience we’re creating with Reader’s Passport. The program in a nutshell is “Readers Causing Reading.”
Readers read library books as usual, but when they turn their books in, they get stamps in their “passport” (a simple sheet folded in quarters available at participating libraries). When they have six stamps, they get rewarded. First, they write their own name and address. Second, they choose from a list of book categories what kind of book they’d like to receive as a gift. Third—and this is the best part of all—they choose from a short list of participating non-profit agencies in their area whose names are listed in the passport, and choose what kind of book they’d like the non-profit to receive.
So you, as the reader, trigger a gift for a non-profit, and get rewarded with a gift for yourself.
P: How did you come up with this idea and what did it take to implement it?
M: As an author myself, I wanted to look at the world of reading. There’s a myth that “people don’t read any more.” That’s the first thing I confirmed—that this IS a myth.
Two of the largest national conversations center around reading, and around non-profit work. Most medium-sized cities now have upwards of 1,000 separate 501(c)(3) organizations, all vying for funding and attention. And reading is still our primary access to the most critical information we have to process on a daily basis. So I thought—how could these two conversations be connected and benefit each other? How could we trigger generosity and fun at the same time?
How are books occurring for people now? Thinking back to earlier periods in history, books were almost always considered precious objects, prized possessions. Long months of isolation on ships, on prairies, or in rustic towns often meant a good book might be the best company one could have. So a gift of a book was treasured. Could that be the case today? Of course! It might be that we have a favorite author and eagerly await their next book. (A whole generation of young people stand in line for the next Harry Potter novel.) But it might also be that someone is stuck somewhere—say a dialysis center, or a shelter for victims of domestic violence. There they are, unable to leave for hours, or even days or weeks. They don’t have access to their things, their friends, or their usual entertainments. Suddenly a book shows up—and it’s the right thing at the right time.
So I began approaching libraries and literacy organizations. I had meetings already scheduled in San Luis Obispo, California and in Colorado Springs, Colorado. But before the meetings took place I connected with the president of R.R. Bowker. We had met at BEA (Book Expo America) and I felt that, if anyone had her finger on the pulse of publishing in the U.S., it would be the president of the company that owns Books In Print. We talked for forty minutes and she said, “Could this be a Bowker project? Could we put our logo on this?” So in that one conversation, it became a national project. We’re still working out exactly what Bowker’s role will be, but for starters they have given their endorsement and will be hosting our web site.
Meanwhile, in terms of actually implementing the project, the Literacy Council for San Luis Obispo County said, “Yes,” and the San Luis Obispo City-County Library system loved the idea, though they then deferred their pilot program because they were tackling a huge computer refit throughout their system of 36 branches. It was the Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) in Colorado that stepped up to create the first pilot program. Once they said, yes, they were engaged one-hundred percent and have done a magnificent job.
P: I understand that the pilot program was quite successful. Can you give us the particulars?
M: PPLD ran the program in all of their 24 branches. To kick it off, we held a joint press event in their beautiful Carnegie Library, where they also hosted a book signing for my latest novel. So attendees had good food, a new book, and an introduction to this great new program. Through December, January, February and March readers were invited to pick up their free Readers Passports. I asked Documart to donate the printing of the actual passports, which they generously did, delivering 1,000 copies to the library. We really had no idea what participation would be. One hundred? Five hundred? Well we found out at the end of March that 2,700 readers participated! So the program was far more successful than expected. Now we have the challenge of finding 5,400 donated books!
P: What has been the most heart-warming moment so far?
M: If our program continues to succeed—and at this point that will depend upon publishers and authors really “getting” this as an opportunity to be generous, and reach those who are eager to read—we’d like to expand it to include younger readers. Perhaps the most heart-warming moment was when a child asked, “Can I play the Readers Passport game too?” With all my heart, I wanted to say, “Yes!”
P: How can authors/publishers get involved in the program? How does it benefit them?
M: What would it be worth to a publisher or author to place their wonderful book in the hands of someone they KNOW would read that book? Publishers and authors have a unique opportunity with Readers Passport. Why? 1) When they ship a free book, they may include any marketing materials they like: bookmarks, reader surveys, postcards, brochures about their other books. 2) It’s the WAY their book shows up that’s so unique. It shows up either as a reward for reading, or as a gift for someone in need. In other words the book shows up as a treasure, not as a burden. To participate, publishers and authors need only send an email to ReadersPassport@msn.com. All particulars will be sent to them immediately.
P: Please give us a little of your background. I think our readers would be interested in your journey.
M: The Milford-Haven Novels are my primary focus now. Book One, What the Heart Knows, won a Silver Benjamin Franklin Award last year. Book Two, Closer Than You Think just won a Gold Evvy Award. Book Three, Child Secrets, will be published this spring. The novels chronicle the lives of several characters in the fictitious town of Milford-Haven, loosely based in Cambria, California, on the Central Coast. But perhaps the most fun dimension of both writing and reading these books is that—secretly—they’re about the reader. They’re saying, “You know those things that your HEART KNOWS? Those things are CLOSER than you think. And locked in your own CHILD SECRETS are clues you can discover that will empower you. There will be twelve books in the series, a kind of “twelve-step” journey of the soul.
The novels are also unusual because they’re based on a radio drama. I created “Milford-Haven, U.S.A.” which had an all-star cast (Erin Gray, Colby Chester, Linda Purl, Ed Begley, Jr., Michael Horse, to name a few) and became the first American radio drama licensed by the BBC, and it had a listening audience of 4.5 million throughout the U.K. The episodes are podcast now, and are also available on CD.
My own background before creating the radio show and then the novels was—one foot in performing (I did years of theatre, and was a regular character on “Days Of Our Lives”), and one foot in writing (I was a journalist for Rolling Stone, the Financial Times, the Associated Press, and wrote non-fiction books.)
P: Please add anything you’d like to add.
M: What excites me the most these days is creating a space for others. When we have “space”—mental, emotional, psychological, spiritual, as well as physical—we create the lives we truly want to create. Often we’re so busy “surviving” we’re not really getting on with our own personal missions. Reading holds open that sacred space for each individual. And in order for that space to open, readers need their Readers Passport so they can take the special journey meant only for them.