SPAWN Market Update – June 2009

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SPAWN Market Update – June, 2009

By Patricia L. Fry

Going, Going, Gone – a dozen magazines and a publisher have closed down.

Here’s What’s NewBarnes and Noble’s new policy, plus editorial and design changes.

Opportunities for Freelance Writers200 literary magazines, 3 job sites and more. paying markets and publishers for Sci/Fi.

Opportunities for Science Fiction Writers

Opportunities for Authors4 publishers and more.

Book Promotion Opportunitiesnumerous tips and articles on book promotion, plus get a review in AARP The Magazine and a good book distributor list.

Opportunities for Scriptwriterslots of leads and a contest.

Opportunities for Artists and Photographers 3 more job sites and 2 specific opportunities.

Resources for AuthorsHow to avoid being scammed by your publisher; A bartering site where you can get involved; Directory of publishing organizations.

Editor’s CommentaryHow to open new doors of book promotion opportunity; Must we lower our book-selling standards?

 

Going, Going, Gone

Atlanta Woman has closed.

Portfolio is out of business.

Bobbi has folded.

Blender is gone.

Diversion has gone out of business.

Create was closed down before it could launch.

Coltilde’s Sewing Savvy has closed.

Best Life Magazine has shut down.

Conscious Choice has closed up shop.

Genre is out of business.

Memory Makers plans to shut down this fall.

Reader’s Digest (US Spanish-language edition) will close.

Aurora Publishing will close its doors.

 

Here’s What’s New has announced revisions to their vendor guidelines. The guidelines now include new shipping specifications and compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). If you sell books through Barnes and Noble, you need to fill out their CPSIA Certification Form. Then go to http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/vendorguidelines to study the new guidelines. Good luck with this. When I attempted to go to their site, I received a message saying that the site was temporarily unavailable due to maintenance. Keep trying. I guess if we don’t comply with their new policies, they won’t accept our books through their warehouse program.

Barnes and Noble Booksellers

RiseUp, a magazine designed to celebrate diversity, is going online only. http://www.usariseup.com.

ForbesLife Executive Woman is now ForbesWoman. http://www.forbes.com/forbeswoman. Contact the editors using this email address and ask if they have submission guidelines: readers@forbes.com.

 

USA Today has a new publisher and editor. If you are interested in contributing to this newspaper, take note. David Hunke, formerly of the Detroit Free Press is now President and Publisher. John Killkirk, formerly executive editor, was promoted to editor position. While this publication is mostly staff-written, there’s always a chance that you have a story they want. Learn more about this newspaper by reading it and at their website: http://www.usatoday.com. Contact them here: editor@usatoday.com or 703-854-3400.

 

Opportunities for Freelance Writers has a directory of around 200 print and online literary magazines for those of you who write short stories, prose, poetry and the like. Study this goldmine of opportunities here http://www.newpages.com/litmags.

NewPages

World’s Best New Age Auction Journal (print and online) is a paying market designed to encourage and promote novice writers. They will pay token amounts of $1.00 to $2.50 for articles, fiction pieces and poetry. Or you can submit your work in exchange for crystal specimens. If you like to write about healing with crystals, ETs and/or personal psychic experiences, this may be a fun opportunity for you. They also want to see book reviews, uplifting poetry, interviews and information about upcoming metaphysical events. Check out this site at http://www.newageauction.com. Contact the editors with your submissions at newageauction@aol.com.

Yankee Magazine is a paying market, but I don’t think they pay very much and they are fussy about what they publish. See their submission guidelines at http://www.yankeemagazine.com/contact/contactus/guidelines. This magazine covers the six New England states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. They want feature articles as well as material for departments such as home, food and travel all related to the region. They prefer queries and published clips sent to their PO Box—Justin Shatwell, Yankee Magazine, POB 520, Dublin, NH 03444. Questions? Contact Justin at editors@yankeepub.com.

The folks at Level Best Books have a call out for submissions. They are preparing to publish their seventh anthology and they want previously unpublished crime stories of no more than 5,000 words by New England writers in the following genres: mystery, thriller, suspense, caper and horror. They will consider stories with a supernatural flavor. They prefer to receive stories in hard copy at this address: Level Best Books, POB 161, Prides Crossing, MA 02965. If you have questions, check their website at http://www.levelbestbooks.com or contact Kate Flora, Ruth McCarty or Susan Oleksiw at info@levelbestbooks.com.

Regional Magazines

Have you submitted anything to your local regional magazines, lately—or those published where you used to live or where you visit often? Some of the regionals pay quite well and they’re always looking for great articles that will attract readers and advertisers. Here are some examples:

Sacramento Magazine pays $400 and up for 1,500 to 3,000-words on local issues related to home, business, garden, travel, arts, health, etc in the Sacramento, California area. http://www.sacmag.com. Contact Krista Minard at Krista@sacmag.com.

Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine publishes opinion pieces, interview/profile pieces, book excerpts and features on black history, real estate, new products, business, careers and technology all related to Atlanta and all related to the African American community. They pay up to $600 for 2,500 words. And what an opportunity this publication offers. They publish as many as 100 pieces per year. http://www.atlantatribune.com

Charlotte Magazine focuses on general interest, travel, photo features, expose’s and book excerpts covering life in Charlotte, North Carolina. The pay is 20 to 40 cents/word. Learn more at http://www.charlottemagazine.com. Contact Richard Thurmond at richard.thurmond@charlottemagazine.com.

Seattle Weekly pays up to $800 for book excerpts, general interest, historical/nostalgia, humor and opinion all related to Seattle, Washington. http://www.seattleweekly.com.

Wisconsin Trails features aspects of Wisconsin life: history, current activities, interesting towns, etc. They particularly like to publish material reflecting outdoor living. Study the magazine topics at http://www.wisconsintrails.com. Contact hbrown@wistrails.com.

And remember, even if you aren’t a freelance writer, you can write articles for appropriate magazines as a way to promote your book.

Job Sites for Freelance Writers

. Here are a few jobs I saw listed at this site: “Article writers needed,” “Business law writers wanted,” “Write ebooks for money,” “Get paid to write press releases.” http://www.freelancejobopenings.com

http://www.online-writing-jobs.com. This site lists jobs for article-writers, copyeditors, ghostwriters, proofreaders, bloggers, travel writers and more.

http://www.writejobs.com. The jobs offered here don’t seem to pay much, but they might lead into something more lucrative.

Your Competition

Are there just too few magazines in your category or topic of expertise these days? It seems so, doesn’t it? But check this out. According to the Magazine Publishers of America, at least in 2007, there were a whopping 431 automotive magazines, over 500 business-related magazines, 496 college alumni publications, 452 student presses, 379 magazines related to education, 1043 publications on medicine, 383 trade music magazines and 645 related to travel. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are 300 categories including, funeral services-17, animals-52, welding-7, sugar-3, postal affairs-24, paint-24 and appliances-79. Learn more about magazines at http://www.magazine.org.

But aren’t there fewer magazines now? Maybe not. Mr. Magazine, Samir Husni reports that there were 167 new magazine launches during the first quarter of 2009. This is 13 more than in 2007 and 14 more than were first published in 2008.

Hot Tip

There are numerous changes for magazines and ezines this year and many of them relate to staff shifts. Before you send a query or manuscript submission to any magazine, check the online masthead for the name of the current editor. It may even be wise to call or email the editorial staff to make sure you are addressing the right editor.

 

Opportunities for Science Fiction Writers

At the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America website, you’ll find a list of 23 paying markets for those of you who write science fiction and fantasy pieces. http://www.sfwa.org/links/mags.htm. And they offer links to other sites that list directories for SF&F freelancers.

Are you seeking a publisher for your Science Fiction or Fantasy book manuscript? The 2009 Writer’s Market lists over 40 publishers of SF&F, including Falls Media, Kaeden Books, Leucrota Press, Tolling Bell Books and Whitaker House Publishers.

 

Opportunities for Authors , a new imprint of HarperCollins, has developed a unique publishing business model. They plan to publish two books per month and offer authors a 50-50 split rather than the traditional 7 to 15 percent royalty. http://www.theharperstudio.com. I don’t see submission guidelines at their site. I suggest that you contact them by filling out the online form here: http://www.theharperstudio.com/who-we-are/say-hi. Ask for a copy of their writers (or submission) guidelines.

HarperStudio

Nartea Publishing has changed their contract. If they accept your manuscript for publication, they ask that you preorder 400 copies of your book and share in the marketing expenses. They produce books on real estate investment, money management, tax planning and related topics. Go to http://www.dnapress.com/index/submit-manuscript for very detailed submission guidelines.

Tyndale has also announced a new manuscript policy. They accept work through agents, but also from writers who have already been published. They produce nonfiction and fiction Christian books for home and family. They’re particularly interested in books for ages 10 to 14. Check out their new manuscript policy at http://www.tyndale.com/authors/manuscriptpolicy.asp. If you have questions and to find out how to submit something, use the contact form at http://www.tyndale.com/contact.asp.

 

Jeannie Kim at Reagent Press has put out a call for submissions. She wants finished books in several categories: children’s picture books; children’s fantasy and young adult fantasy, science fiction and mystery. Here’s what Kim says, “If you have a completed and professionally edited manuscript, we’d like to see it.” She says that you don’t have to query first—just send the manuscript in hard copy through the post office to Reagent Press, Open Call, POB 362, East Olympia, WA 98540-0362. Check out the specs at http://www.reagentpress.com/about.htm. Here, you’ll learn the suggested word count, illustration requirements and their submission guidelines, which are quite specific.

If your book has been previously published even through a “self-publishing” company, you may still get an opportunity to have it considered by Reagent Press. In this case, Kim wants to see the published book along with the book proposal, etc. Here’s a tip from Jeannie Kim at Reagent Press. She says, “The number one reason we reject submissions is the author’s lack of understanding of independent small presses and our product line. If you don’t love indies and you don’t love our books, we’re not the right publisher for you.”

If you are considering hiring a “self-publishing” company to produce your book, you really must read Mark Levine’s The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. Learn more about this book and how it can benefit you in your decision-making process under “Resources for Authors” in this issue of the SPAWN Market Update.

 

Book Promotion Opportunities

Fran Silverman at Book Promotion Newsletter recently listed “8 Wonderful Websites” with book promotion tips. They included Absolute Write, Fiction Factor, Book Marketing Buzz and others. If you’d like to receive this list with links and you aren’t a subscriber, be sure to sign up today. And ask Fran for a copy of her newsletter dated Wednesday May 6, 2009. http://www.bookpromotionnewsletter.com.

I sent a note to Fran letting her know about two sites with some great articles on book marketing and promotion. They are http://www.spawn.org/articles.htm and http://www.matilijapress.com/articles.htm#promotion. Here’s another site with some good articles on book promotion: http://www.writerswrite.com/bookpromotion/features.htm. John Kremer sends out free reports on book promotion. Choose those you want at http://www.bookmarket.com.

If you’ve been unable to get your book reviewed by the reviewers at AARP The Magazine, you might try and try again. The senior editor of books has left. Watch for her replacement to arrive and contact her with your amazing book. http://www.aarp.org/books. Use the contact form at the site.

Are you looking for a distributor? Check out John Kremer’s list of distributors. I like this list because there are candid comments about some of the distributors. http://www.bookmarket.com/distributors.htm. And once you choose a distributor, before signing on the dotted line, be sure to check them out by doing a Google search using the distributor company name plus “warning.”

 

Opportunities for Scriptwriters

If you already subscribe to InkTip Newsletter, be sure to read each issue. If you don’t yet subscribe, do so at http://www.inktip.com. The May 7 issue, for example, lists requests for feature-length zombie scripts, action/thrillers for the Indian market, crime thrillers, something in any genre for a young male actor, a Latino urban drama set in Southern California and a feature length script that stars a small dog.

The folks at Scriptapalooza periodically offer a discount on their script analysis services. Stay on their radar by signing up to receive their newsletters: http://www.scriptcoverage.com.

It’s time for the 2009 Slamdance Feature Screenplay Competition. Deadline June 15, 2009. The grand prize is $5,000. http://slamdance.com/writing/feature.html, for information and application forms.

Opportunities for Artists and Photographers uses quite a few photographs in every issue. And they pay as much as $1,000 for a cover photo. For inside, it is more like $150 for color and $25 for black and white photos. Study several issues of Yankee to learn what type of photos they use and then read their submission guidelines at http://www.yankeemagazine.com/contact/contactus/guidelines. Heather Marcus is the editor of the photography department. Contact her at heatherm@yankeepub.com. But she says NOT to send anything unsolicited. Just contact her with your resume.

Yankee Magazine

Pakt Publishing pays $100 for cover images for their line of books. Check this opportunity out at http://www.packtpub.com/article/submit-book-cover-images.

I found what appears to be a great job site for photographers. You can check for jobs in any state (the one you’re in or the one you dream of moving to). There are over 80 jobs listed in California, including photographing newborns, Dodger fans, children and products. There are currently 33 jobs in Tennessee, 70 in Colorado, 93 in Washington and 258 in New York. http://www.freelancephotographerjobs.com. As a bonus, you can also find jobs in Canada and the UK.

Two More Job Sites for Artists and Photographers


http://www.graphicdesignfreelancejobs.com
http://www.freelancephotojobs.com

 

Resources for Authors

Have you read Mark Levine’s book, The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, The Contracts and Services of 45 Self-Publishing Companies—Analyzed, Ranked and Exposed? Some of you have chosen it as your free gift from SPAWN when you joined or renewed your membership. But have you read it? Often, we don’t place the same significance on something we get for free, when that freeby could actually have more value than something you went out and bought.

Would you like to know which of the 78 (or so) “self-publishing” companies have the most reasonable prices, the best contract, the better marketing program, the best quality package and the most perks? Levine ranks 45 of these companies under “Outstanding,” “Pretty Good,” “Just Okay” and “Publishers to Avoid.” He also dissects and picks apart their contracts.

If you’ve considered Bookpros, Dog Ear Publishing, Xulon Press, Authorhouse, PublishAmerica, Xlibris, Booksurge, Llumina Press, Wheatmark Publishing, Ithaca Press, Booklocker or iUniverse, for example, this book will help you to decide whether this would be a good choice or not.

Back Out of a Contract With a Publisher—It Can Be a Good Thing

I was impressed with one of my clients, recently, when he cancelled a contract with the self-publishing company of his choice after conducting some additional research and not liking the things he discovered. He was, predictably, disappointed. He had done quite a bit of preliminary research—made lots of comparisons, studied contracts and had high hopes of attaining publishing success. When he started crunching numbers, however, and realized that he would actually be losing money on most of the books sold, he backed out of the contract and is currently regrouping and considering other options. This is not easy to do. Far too many authors go ahead with a contract that they aren’t exactly thrilled with. They want the dream so badly, that they believe the verbal promises spewed by the publisher and they overlook red flags in the contract.

If you are working on a book or you’ve actually completed a book manuscript and you are unsure of which publishing route to take, you really must read The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. We ran out of the copies that Levine so generously donated to SPAWN and he has agreed to send us another shipment of his latest edition for our members.

Order this book from Mark Levine http://www.bookpublisherscompared.com or amazon.com or choose a copy when you renew your membership. If you received a free copy—be sure to read it!

Editor’s Note: SPAWN does not receive a kickback or any other type of compensation or perk from the sale of Mark Levine’s book. No one here benefits in any way from the sale of this book. We promote it because we are here to help you, our members, make the absolute best choice with regard to your book project and we genuinely believe that the information in this book can save those of you who are considering a “self-publishing” company a lot of time, money and heartache. But you have to read it and drum up the courage to do the smart thing.

FavorPals.com is a bartering site. Are you a writer or artist who needs some plumbing done, your dog groomed, a housekeeper, a vacation house, childcare, a hairdo, a tune-up on your car, painting, gardening or a pet sitter? Are you unable to afford these luxuries at the moment? Why not join this free bartering site and trade your writing skills for the services or items you want/need. http://www.favorpals.com

Bartering is making a comeback. My sister-in-law, an amazing artist, just did a custom painting of a cat in exchange for a purebred kitten. Last year, I traded some editing work for a week at a beach house. I also once traded some promo photography and brochures for massages. I know someone who trades home grown fruit and veggies for part of her housecleaning bill. And people in our neighborhood are trading all sorts of things: an apple cake for a used lawnmower, help putting up a fence for some minor electrical work and so forth.

Visit FavorPals and see if you can find something you need in exchange for something you have. http://www.favorpals.com.

FiledBy.com is a new company dedicated to helping authors, artists and others who need/desire publicity, to flaunt their stuff. And guess what? They probably already have you listed at their site. I searched my name and found most of my books listed there. If I want to participate, all I have to do is to sign up. It’s FREE for the basic package and there are more extensive packages available for $99/year and $399/year. Take a look at the site, study their FAQs, read the “About Us” and the “Terms of Service,” contact some of the authors who are involved and then decide if this would help you to achieve the level of success you seek with your project. http://www.filedby.com.

Directory of Publishing Organizations. Here is a directory of around 500 organizations for authors, writers, screenplay writers, ad writers, editors, journalists and others interested in or involved in some form of publishing. Check it out at http://www.booksatoz.com/puborgls.htm. Why there is an L in the abbreviation for Organizations in this URL, I do not know. But this is the URL that works, and it does not work without the L.

 

Editor Commentary

How to Open New Doors of Book Promotion Opportunity

Most authors are aware that, in order to promote our books successfully, we must be more savvy and sophisticated. And sometimes it is necessary to put out some money in order to reach our elusive marketing goals. You joined SPAWN, for example. This was a good investment on your part. You read the SPAWN Market Update all the way through each month. You may subscribe to the Book Promotion Newsletter, http://www.bookpromotionnewsletter.com. What else can you do to open some doors and windows of opportunity with regard to promoting your book? What will you do this summer to spread the word about your book? Here are some concepts that might still be a bit foreign to you, but they also might be worth your time, energy and money to pursue on behalf of your marketable book? Your steps might include:

  1. Read Patricia Fry’s 27-page ebook, The Author’s Repair Kit, Heal Your Publishing Mistakes and Breathe New Life Into Your Book. You can get this ebook free by renewing your membership or you can order it at http://www.matilijapress.com/author_repairkit.html for $5.95.

    Why read this book? Because, if you didn’t take the time to write a book proposal, if you weren’t absolutely realistic when preparing your proposal, if you are marketing to the wrong audience or if you’ve neglected to identify promotional hooks in your book, for example, the information, exercises and concepts in this book could greatly benefit your marketing efforts.

    This is a one-of-a-kind book. You’ll find nothing else out there like it. It’s a valuable tool in reviving a failing or faltering book through the post-publication book proposal.

  2. Seek a book publicist. I’ve known authors to pay the $3,000 (or so) per month for the assistance of a publicist and increase their sales enormously. One author told me that she was never so busy promoting her book (through TV spots, at out-of-state book signings and so forth) as she was for months after hiring a publicist. Here are two that you can check out: Penny Sansevieri at http://www.amarketingexpert.com. I’ve heard Penny speak on numerous occasions and she has me convinced that she knows her stuff. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter. It’s a hot item. I’ve also heard good things about Marsha Friedman at Publicity that Works http://www.publicitythatworks.com.
  3. Reach out of the box and consider creating a book video or just get involved at FaceBook, LinkedIn, Digg, Twitter or another social network.
  4. Get involved in book fairs locally and even out of your area. This is a good way to become comfortable talking about your book. You’ll discover what works and what doesn’t, as far as your pitch. You’ll begin to understand what kills a sale that seemed to be going in a good direction and how to engage people in conversation so you can make that sale. Find book fairs by doing a Google search. Use keywords “book fair” or “book festival” and your city—“Houston,” “Portland,” “Los Angeles,” for example.
  5. Make it easy for people to purchase your book. Carry copies with you everywhere you go. Get a merchant account so you can accept credit cards. Tie the merchant account to your website, so customers can order books there. Also offer PayPal and accept checks. Put your book at amazon.com. There are people who will only purchase books through well-known, proven, credible sites.

Must We Lower Our Book Selling Standards?

David Leach, in an article appearing in the IPBA Independent (formerly the PMA Independent), writes something that I’ve read before. He says that 15 percent of the adult population purchase 90 percent of the books sold. Every author and every publisher is suffering to some degree because there are so many more books being published and, in this economy, fewer books being sold.

People who typically read romance novels are buying more of them right now. And folks who need information in order to learn something about their field or improve their skills, for example, are buying books. But the big picture shows us that authors are falling all over themselves and each other in an attempt to create books that will sell. And no one is making any money.

The big publishers wish the smaller publishers and, especially, the “self-publishing” companies would just go away. The seasoned, serious authors wish that all of the hobby-authors would disappear—go back to sewing, woodworking or bird-watching, for heaven sakes. As far as they’re concerned, the hobby writer is only getting in the way of their careers and their profits.

New authors and inexperienced publishers, on the other hand, detest the big players and can’t understand why they get all of the opportunities and exposure. It’s just not fair.

Yes, there’s resentment out there on all fronts. But some professionals are addressing the issue from a different angle. They are going to the source of the problem—the readership. They’re developing and promoting reading programs to cure illiteracy and create more readers. They’re sponsoring in-school and after-school programs encouraging kids to do more reading. And I think this is a marvelous response to what many perceive as a problem. Are you on board with it? There are many reading programs for all variety of folks of all ages in many different situations. And most of them are regional. So I suggest that you do a Google search using keywords, “reading program Miami” or “reading program California,” for example.

Locate prison tutoring programs, children’s reading incentive programs, reading programs for ethnic groups who are just learning English, for example. And get involved.

Until next time…keep writing, never stop promoting and be sure to make educated, informed decisions. That’s one thing that SPAWN is about—providing education, information and resources for our authors, freelance writers and artists.

The Market Update is compiled each month. Please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions. Is there a topic you’d like to see covered? Have you had experiences we should report to members? patricia@spawn.org.

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