SPAWN Market Update – June, 2008
By Patricia L. Fry
Going, Going, Gone – Only 2 to report this month.
Here’s What’s New – 7 mags and 7 interesting industry news bites.
Opportunities for Freelance Writers – 4 opps and numerous job directories.
Opportunities for Authors – Recommended reading for success.
Opportunities for Book Promotion – TV, Radio, Show Case Sites and Freebies.
Opportunities for Screenplay Writers – Dramatica Weekend Workshop.
Opportunities for Artists – Showcase your work through The Artist’s Magazine.
Resources for Authors and Freelance Writers – Recommended Blog Sites.
Contests – Memoirs and Children’s Books.
Bonus Items – Print size options, Blooks and YA.
Commentary – Professionalism—here we go again.
Western Woodland has folded.
Harp Magazine has quit publishing.
Which magazines are surviving and which ones are not?
According to Meg Weaver over at Wooden Horse, the Publishers Information Bureau reports that, in the first quarter most magazines did poorly. One exception was the food magazine category. So if you have a book related to food, this might be a good time to promote it through magazine articles in food-related magazines.
On an up note, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) announced in March that book sales are on the rise. Book sales in the U.S. reached $25 billion in 2007, which was a 3.2 percent increase from 2006. So what category is selling the most? It was adult hardcover and juvenile book paperbacks. Religious books increased by 5.2 percent, representing $783 million in sales.
Book, audio book and ebook sales are up in 2008
Are you thinking about producing an audio book? It seems as though it is a good idea. Statistics show that audio books increased in sales by 19.8 percent in 2007 over 2006.
And ebook sales increased 23.6 percent with $67 million in sales. That’s a 55.7 percent increase in growth since 2002 for ebooks.
New and changing magazines. for seniors is new. I could not find their submission guidelines. If you want to write for this magazine, contact editor Cindi Caciolo using the contact form at the site and ask for a copy of their submission guidelines. http://www.nuelife.com.
Good Life Living Green is new for Canadians interested in a mainstream approach to environmental issues. Contact Connie Ekelund at email@example.com. Learn more about the magazine at http://www.goodlifelivinggreen.com.
Positively Green is yet another new green magazine. If you love writing about environmental issues or you’re promoting a book within this realm, visit the website to learn more about this publication. http://www.positivelygreen.com. The only contact for this magazine so far, is publisher, Kelly McGill at firstname.lastname@example.org
US News and World Report is cutting back from 46 issues/year to only 36.
WWE Kids launched a few months ago. This World Wrestling Entertainment magazine targets 6 to 14-year-olds and includes articles on fitness, esteem building, nutrition and more. If you write for kids on subjects such as fitness or health issues, for example, this might be a good opportunity for you. Learn more at http://www.wwekids.com. (The site was under construction when I checked it. Hopefully, it is live by now.)
Evoke Magazine is new for Canadian youth. http://www.evokemagazine.ca. They welcome articles by young people, but will also publish articles by professional freelance writers. Payment depends on your abilities and ranges from $60 to $400. Topics include sports, art, fashion, gaming, music, relationships, myths and more. You’ll find submission guidelines at the site, but the bulk of the information you need in order to submit is in the Q and A section.
Success is back after a 7-year hiatus. This magazine focuses on and targets entrepreneurs and home-based business owners and features practical advice, tips, training, goal setting, time management, motivation, etc. Deborah Heisz is the editor-in-chief. It looks like the way to communicate with Deborah or anyone else there is to use their contact form: http://www.successmagazine.com/contact/us.
Art and Antiques is moving their editorial offices from Atlanta to New York. The new address is 1177 Avenue of the Americas, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10036. Website: http://www.artandantiquesmag.com. John Dorfman is the new editor.
Unique publishing house—run by students
For those of you who don’t know, Apprentice House is the country’s only campus-based, student-staffed book publishing company. Located at Loyola College in Maryland, Apprentice House is quite an impressive collaborative program among faculty and students. Not only is collaboration a major theme in this publishing company, so is education. The editors, designers and marketers are also students. I heard the president of this company speak while I was in Baltimore a few weeks ago and saw some of their products. I want to recommend this publishing house to anyone with a manuscript in the works. They publish quite a wide array of books. Check out their catalog at their site: http://www.apprenticehouse.com.
Number of titles up tremendously in 2007
Dan Poynter, in his Publishing Poynters Newsletter, last month, said that there were 400,000 titles published in 2007. I am still trying to verify this number. In 2006, it was close to 300,000. Could we have jumped by another huge 100,000 titles? Dan’s source was the New York Times, but the online article page (April 27, 2008) has expired. (Note: since writing this, I have located a copy of the article—sure enough, they say that Bowker claims there were 400,000 titles produced in 2007. Wow!)
No more protection for audio books
Some large publishers are doing away with anti-copying software on digital downloads of audio books. They figure that they will sell more audio books if consumers can download them to their iPods, cell phones, computers, etc. and even share them with others. Which publishers are behind this rather startling business move? Would you believe, Random House and Penguin. Simon and Schuster and Harper Collins are considering it, as well.
New service offered by bar code company. has initiated a new service for customers. It’s a Help Desk for specific inquiries. Check it out at http://bcg.helpserve.com. According to their press release, they will also continue to respond when you email them at email@example.com.
Bar Code Graphics
Here are some web job directories for those of you interested in writing for cash. You can find more job sites and individual jobs on and off the web by doing a Google search and using keywords such as, “web writing jobs” “writing for the web” “paying web jobs” “directory of freelance web writing jobs,” “writing jobs,” freelance writing work,” and so forth.
Angela Booth has a site about writing for magazines and the web. She offers a free ezine that you might find useful. http://www.fabfreelancewriting.com/ezine/fab-freelance-writing-ezine.html
Angela Booth has a book about writing for the web. It’s $47.00. http://www.abmagic.com/Web_Write/Web_write.html
Here are some sites that list jobs for freelance writers. Most of them include web and other online writing work.
www.sunoasis.com/freelance.html. (I reported this in the May edition of the SPAWN Market Update. When I visited their site a month weeks ago, they listed 120 jobs for writers. Check it out and see what they have going for June. Maybe you can get some summer work to keep you busy while the kids are splashing around in their wading pool or building a fort in the air-conditioned living room.)
Wooden Horse Publications has a database of paying markets for print magazines. You can take a peek at the database for $1.99 (for 24 hours). They also offer entry for 7 days, 30 days, 6 months and a year. The annual fee is $149.00. Wooden Horse does something few sites do, they provide editorial calendars for many of their listings.www.woodenhorsepub.com
Writer’s Market has a similar print magazine database and it runs $29.95/year. www.writersmarket.com
Here are a few additional sites where you can find writing job opportunities. Most of them also include web and print gigs.
Roadbike pays up to $400 for how-to, interview, profile, travel, new product and other types of articles focusing on custom bikes and other aspects of motorbikes designed for road trips. Learn more at http://www.roadbikemag.com.
Memoir is a journal for the exploration of the memoir. Each issue includes prose, poetry, graphic memoirs, narrative photography and more. They welcome submissions. Learn more about submissions at: http://memoirjournal.squarespace.com/submissions
About.com Home and Garden Guides is seeking part-time writer-experts to serve as Guides for About.com. Pay is $725/month. This is a Craig’s List listing. Here’s the link: http://www.sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/wri/626760622.html.
The Job Bank lists this opportunity for Pet Care Writers. It pays $2800, plus a potential bonus. What they want is a series of books on pet care. Send resume and writing samples to Editor, Eldorado Ink, 16 Risler Street, Stockton, NJ 08559. Here’s the link: http://www.online-writing-jobs.com/jobbank/job12958.htm.
Note: Always check to make sure the link is still active. These jobs tend to go quickly. For additional, current job opportunities, visit http://www.jobbankusa.com, http://www.craigslist.org and other job sites often.
Note: Be sure to check the job site listings under “Here’s What’s New”—above.
I know that there are a lot of you at various stages of your manuscripts and you have all sorts of questions. You’re experiencing worries, fears, frustrations and insecurities. You are also excited and hopeful about the future of your project. I decided to dedicate this section to tips and resources that might make your journey a little less stressful and a lot more perfect.
Books we strongly recommend for authors
The Fine Print of Self-Publishing: The Contracts and Services of 48 Self-Publishing Companies—Analyzed, Ranked and Exposed, by Mark Levine. A MUST read for anyone considering any fee-based POD “self-publishing” company. Bridgeway Books.
Self-Publishing Manual by Dan Poynter. Para Publishing. This manual is in its 20th printing. It is essential for anyone who is contemplating actual self-publishing—which means to establish your own publishing company. http://www.parapublishing.com
The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book, by Patricia Fry. I have to include this book because I wrote it expressly for you—the new or struggling author. This book, which is in its second printing, has earned 5-star reviews and thumbs up comments from dozens of industry professionals and many additional hopeful authors. Matilija Press. http://www.matilijapress.com/rightway.html (Companion workbook available.)
Write the Perfect Book Proposal by Jeff Herman and Deborah Adams. As part of the pre-publishing process, you MUST write a book proposal. While The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book includes explicit information and instructions for writing a book proposal, I also recommend using the book by Herman and Adams for a different and highly useful perspective. Herein, you’ll find examples from actual book proposals that were successful. Order this book at a great price from Amazon now.
The Writer’s Market by Writer’s Digest is a generous guide to finding the right publisher. The 2009 edition will be out in September of 2008. http://www.writersmarket.com
Locate each of these books in bookstores or use the links provided. If you can’t locate a book, go to http://www.amazon.com or do a Google search to locate the book.
Here’s your list of things to do BEFORE showing your book around to publishers, BEFORE self-publishing or BEFORE approaching a fee-based POD “self-publishing” company. Preferably, you’ll do these things even BEFORE you write your book—but definitely before you finish it.
Book showcase sites
Mark Landsberg at http://www.selfpublishersplace.com, is offering a book showcase opportunity, which he says is completely free. Visit the site for more details. If you still have questions, contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bleepstore is one of many sites that showcase books. While we don’t recommend or sanction this or any other showcase site, we do like to keep you informed on your options. What we do recommend is that you check out unfamiliar and new sites thoroughly and make your own educated, informed decisions based on your own research. Bleepstore is at http://www.bleepstore.com. Contact them for more information at email@example.com.
Radio and TV shows
Are you familiar with the Michael Dresser Show? Evidently, he interviews authors and other experts on a variety of topics on his radio show. If you would like to be interviewed and talk about your book, perhaps this is your chance. Check it out at http://www.michaeldressershow.com. Contact Michael at Michael@michaeldressershow.com. or call 262-236-3891. Just in case Michael is too busy to respond, here’s his producer’s contact information. Susan Greenman at suzyG@michaeldressershow.com. Her number is 262-242-0178.
Uh oh, I just visited the site and realize that there are a lot of things on this site for sale. They want to take your money in exchange for a media consultation. This may be exactly what you need and the price may be quite reasonable. However, be aware that I’m not sending you to this site so that you will buy something.
They do have a radio show and they are seeking interesting guests. So go to Michael Dresser’s site and click on “Be a Guest.” Here, you’ll learn what steps you need to take in order to be considered as a guest. For example, you must listen to the show (you can do this at the site). It airs in 23 states and internationally. They want to receive an email from you with suggestions for your show topic and the title of your book. Also provide contact information and your availability. Good luck. We’d like to hear if you got on and how it went. Patricia@spawn.org. Or comment at the SPAWN Member Forum in the Member Area of the SPAWN Website.
C-SPAN also features authors on their BookTV program, aired every weekend. What they want is nonfiction books, only—no fiction or self-help books. Submit books and information about yourself to Book TV on C-SPAN2, 400 N. Capitol St., NW, Suite 650, Washington, DC 20001. Visit their site for additional information: http://www.booktv.org. And contact them or send your ebook to them via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Freebies for your customers
Are you offering freebies to entice customers? Do you lure them to your site by “advertising” free gifts. Do you keep them interested once they accidentally arrive at your site in order to build good will?
What sort of things can you offer? Here are a few ideas:
Opportunities for Screenplay Writers will be held September 6-7 this year. Led by Chris Huntley, Academy Award winner and co-creator of Dramatica, the focus this year is story. In fact, the organizers say this workshop would be valuable for novelists, playwrights and other storytellers. http://www.screenplay.com/p-42-dramatica-workshop.aspx. Sign up early and get a discount on the enrollment fee.
The Dramatica Weekend Workshop
Opportunities for Artists is quite a lovely publication all about art technique and the language of art. If you want some exposure for your work and you can write, you might consider producing an article for The Artist’s Magazine. They want 500-1200 words and they’ll pay $300 to $1,000 for features. If you do not write, consider asking one of your writer buddies (or, perhaps a member of SPAWN) to write an article for you—featuring your art technique. Here’s the website info. http://www.artistsmagazine.com. This company also produces the Watercolor Artists and the Pastel Journal now.
The Artist’s Magazine
Here are a few blogs that I find informative, interesting and useful.
Book Square is operated by Kassia Krozer, a writer with a sense of humor. I enjoyed visiting her funny, light and fun blog site. I think you will, too: http://www.booksquare.com.
Angela Booth writes with all writers in mind. Visit her blog site at: http://copywriter.typepad.com/copywriter.
J.A. Konrath blogs at A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. http://www.jakonrath.blogspot.com. Konrath seems to be dedicating his life pretty much to the newbie writer. So if this describes you, I think you will definitely like hanging out at Konrath’s blog site.
I found the Golden Pencil by Anne Wayman quite impressive. It carries a lot of information for writers and authors. Anne writes about many facets of the business and she even covers industry trends and news. She also tries to keep her finger on the pulse of the job market for writers. http://www.thegoldenpencil.com.
The Writing Publishing Blog is my own blog. I try to post something of interest to writers and authors at least 3 times per week—if not every day and I always try to provide information, resources, recommendations, point of view and expertise. Stop by and see what you think. http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog.
I looked at a lot of blog sites before settling on these few. Why did I toss so many out? For one of two reasons: the hosts didn’t post often enough to make it worth your while to visit, and some of the blog sites were way too slow in loading.
Contests is presenting a contest. They want 10,000 words or fewer sent either snail mail or email. They particularly want submissions that push the traditional boundaries. And you can submit your material as prose, poetry, memoir or… Entry fee is $10 and the deadline is August 15, 2008. For more information go to http://memoirjournal.squarespace.com/contest.
Cheerios is offering a prize of $5,000 and possible publication by Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing as a prize in this contest. The deadline is July 15, 2008. And this contest is for non-professionals. The grand prizewinner in 2007 was Shellie Braeuner for her story, The Great Dog Wash. Learn more about how you can enter this promising contest at http://www.spoonfulsofstoriescontest.com.
Things to Ponder and Things of Wonder
Maybe this is old news for some of you, but I experienced a first, today. I visited a website, during my extensive research for this newsletter, and discovered an opportunity I’ve never noticed before. I was given the choice of font size in which to read the material at the site. Yes, I could choose tiny print, medium-size print or fairly large print with a click of an A. What a nifty option. Do any of you have this on your website? Have you seen it at other sites? Let’s talk about it in SPAWNDiscuss or at the SPAWN Member Forum.
Have you heard about a Blook? Evidently, it’s a book written in your blog. Once it becomes a print or ebook, you can call it a book. But as long as it is developing or remaining in your blog, it is a blook. A blook might occur on purpose or accidentally. You might be trying out your book idea on your blog followers. If it works, it becomes a book. Or you might just be dispensing information to your slice of the public—those folks who are interested in your topic—and it develops into a book.
I created a book from my articles once. Some of you have that book. It’s called The Successful Writer’s Handbook. And it is offered as a free book to new and renewing SPAWN members. This book is a collection of my articles on a variety of writing/publishing topics.
It’s interesting how books develop. I know of one blogger who landed a contract with a major publisher when he (the publisher) came knocking and asked her to write the book. He was impressed with the material showing up in her blog and commissioned her to write a book featuring the material she’d been creating already. This is just one more example of the value of exposure—of putting yourself out there.
What is YA—Young Adult? I loved the article by Diane Roback in Publishers Weekly 4/20/08 in which she reports on the discussions generated from a panel of professionals from various areas of the publishing and the reading industries. The subject was Young Adult Novels. As I reported above, YA novels are doing well. So what is YA? Jack Martin, Associate Coordinator of young adult services at New York Public Library says, “Teen books are like adult books, without all the bullshit.” He also said that 30 to 40 percent of the YA novels in his library were actually published for adults.
I received a newsletter from a small writers group in the Midwest this week and was appalled by what I saw. First, as is the case with some (not all) writers groups and organizations, I had to join if I wanted to submit articles to their little newsletter. I join some and not others. I joined this one and have been receiving their newsletters since. I guess I haven’t taken the time to read the newsletter before, or they have a new editor. But, when I opened this newsletter, I couldn’t believe all of the problems and mistakes that jumped out at me. I can’t even list them all; I’ll just mention that they still use two spaces after periods.
Come on, doesn’t everyone know the new one-space rule? Let me answer that. “NO!” At least, not according to the emails and other materials I receive every week. If you still leave two spaces between sentences, let me say here and now—stop it! If you don’t believe me, do your own Google search to find out if this rule has actually changed. I always recommend doing your own research to back up anything anyone tells you about new or different grammatical or punctuation rules.
Okay, so this editor didn’t know about the one-space rule. She also made the following blunders: she wrote run-on and on and on sentences and complicated, cumbersome, muddy sentences. I noticed glaring typos. Now, there’s no excuse for this in the age of spellcheck, is there? I did a quick review and counted a dozen grammatical problems. (passive sentences, extra words, incomplete sentences, inconsistencies, repeated words and more.) And do you know what their Mission Statement includes? That this organization promotes professionalism in publishing.
Folks, whether you’ve just started writing or you’re an established author or freelance writer, it’s your obligation to present yourself as a professional every time, any time, all the time. This means that, if you write or edit a newsletter, always triple check it to make sure it is the best it can be. When you correspond via email or letter, make sure that you come across as a professional.
Sure, we all get rushed and make mistakes. Some of us have habits we are still trying to break. But make this the exception to your rule of perfection and professionalism. What will you gain? For a start, how about more respect among your peers, clients, customers.