SPAWN Market Update – June 2011


Here’s What’s New

Heard said at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, “Maybe bookstores will simply become a showroom for publishers.” Interesting thought.

The preliminary figures are out for books produced in 2010. According to Bowker, the number of books produced by traditional publishers rose 5 percent, to a projected 316,480. Nontraditional titles—those published by independent publishers and pay-to-publish companies—jumped over one hundred percent to over 2 and a half million titles. Amazing.

An editor for Norton, Robert Weil, said during a panel discussion at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, that social networking is a viable marketing tool, but only up to a point. He said, “The best way to increase book sales is still through word of mouth, national media, NPR and C-Span.”

Do you know a child or teen who would like to be on radio? They might discover that opportunity at Kids Talk Radio at Contact Bob Barboza at

The Writer’s Magazette is new. Ned Burke, publishing industry veteran and editor of The Perspiring Writer Magazine, has launched The Writer’s Magazette, with the first issue coming out June 1, 2011. The print version is $6 and the digital version is free.

Phaith is a new magazine produced by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

John Wiley and Sons has a job board on their website. Check it out here: For example, they are currently seeking a marketing manager and senior publicist in California and a publishing consultant in the northeast.

Check out Publisher’s Lunch Job Board. This board is for anyone seeking a job in the publishing industry. Jobs listed at this writing include editor for Springer Publishing, senior vendor manager for Kindle magazines and newspapers for in Seattle, manager of sales and event operations for McMillan, senior acquisitions editor for Yale University Press and many others.

Adweek relaunched in April with a new look and new goals. Billed as “The voice of media,” there will be a new emphasis on the visuals and the design of the magazine. Check it out at Contact editor Mike Chapman at

Latidos is now Bold Magazine.

The Uptempo Magazine is new. Editor Joseph Gaultiere suggests that authors who are interested in writing for this magazine, contact him at with their ideas for a piece on fashion and/or the performing arts. Gaultiere cannot pay writers in cash, at this time. But he says he can help with publicity for those of you with books to promote, and he says he will link your published article to your website, if you so desire.

Pawish Magazine was founded last year by Laura L. Benn in order to “celebrate life lived well with Pets.” It’s a lovely magazine with a lovely theme and wonderful images throughout. Learn more here:

Opportunities for Freelance Writers

Molly Canfield contacted me this month about her new site for those seeking a journalism degree. She says she offers this resource for students who want in-depth and unbiased information about journalism degrees. Are you hoping to obtain a degree in journalism? Check out the opportunities at Molly’s site:

MyFreeRead is seeking ebooks, articles, poems and blog posts for their new website.

The editors at eFiction Magazine are seeking stories, poetry and book reviews

Working Writer Magazine needs articles. Do you have a story about how you landed a big writing job? Have you been feeding your family on writing gigs in a particular niche? How did you start your writing career? Readers of Working Writer Magazine wants to know. Send submissions to:

Country Living Times launched this spring and they are seeking guest columnists in the area of rural living, house and home, gardening, cooking and pets. Contact Cheryl Childs .

Florida Specifier is looking for a freelance writer who can write for an audience of environmental professionals. They pay $5 to $7 per column inch. Contact

Blue Mountain Arts seeks greeting card text submissions. Send a blank email to with “Send me guidelines” in the subject line. Payment is $300 per poem.

Do you want to be discovered as a major article-writer? Submit something to the Christian Science Monitor online. They are attracting 29 million views per year!

eHow pays $350 for 850 words. You’ll find submission information here:

Opportunities for Travel Writers

Whether you are a travel writer, you have a few travel stories you’d like to tell or you have some ideas for articles that would appeal to those who travel, here are some opportunities for you. Travel-writing opportunities come in many shapes and forms. You can write about road trips or extensive touring at home or abroad. You can write about camping trips, traveling by RV, by rail or by water. There are regional travel magazines and regional magazines with small travel columns. Most newspapers carry travel columns. And you’ll find general, women’s, religious, home and garden, etc. magazines with travel sections. Here are a few specific opportunities:

The editors at Islands want articles related to the culture, lifestyle and travel aspects of islands. You might write a feature piece and earn as much as $2,500 or fill a column and take home anywhere from $25 to $1,000.

Family Motor Coaching uses a variety of types of articles on many different topics. They purchase as many as seventy-five manuscripts a year and they’ll pay $100 to $500 each. Contact Robin Gould at Website:

Coast to Coast uses up to seventy articles related to travel and outdoor recreation per year. Pay can be as high as $1,200.

Adventura Magazine publishes only a few articles per year and some of them relate to travel. Pay is $250 +.

Mensbook Journal uses travel pieces. Study the magazine first and then query via email with your appropriate idea. Contact P.C. Carr,

Senior Living publishes travel pieces for people 50 and over. Contact Bobbie Jo Reid at (Low paying.)

Town and Country pays as much as $2/word for appropriate travel pieces. . Keep in mind that this magazine caters to the affluent.

Charlotte Magazine publishes travel pieces.

Baltimore Magazine uses travel features as long as it has a strong Baltimore flavor.

Glamour publishes some travel articles and they pay up to a dollar a word.

Gary McLaren, editor of Worldwide Freelance Writer recently introduced a new book featuring 50 travel writing markets. The cost is $4.95. Learn more at

Opportunities for Authors

Sara Wheeldon is a new member of SPAWN and she operates Nine Bridges Publishing in Kentucky. Her company focuses on works by new authors that are outside the norm. At their website, you’ll find this message, “We like weird, we want different, we don’t aim to please.” Currently, Wheeldon is looking for cultural history, art, photography, illustrations, new fiction, biography/autobiography and niche manuscripts. Either post a synopsis with your submission and contact information at the website or send it via regular mail. The address and other information can be found here:

Cat Spydell and Gineve Rudolph at Mischievous Muse Press are looking for alternative fiction, chic lit, young adult fiction, romantic fiction, literary fiction, boomer lit and graphic novels. They want to receive a query letter in the body of an email sent to: Learn more about this publishing company here:

Opportunities for Travel Writers

Avalon Travel Publishing publishes day-trip and around-the-world travel guides and anything in between. This publishing company was formed in 1999 when Moon Publications, John Muir Publications and Foghorn Press merged, creating the largest independent travel publisher based in the U.S. They have seven major book series. Study the guidelines here, and then send a pitch letter for the one most suited to your story. The series topics include road trips, overseas travel and outdoor travel.

World Leisure publishes sports travel books. They’re seeking winter resort stories now. They want to see an outline, sample chapters and a table of contents. Learn more at

Quest Publishing in Canada publishes books on travel as a means of learning and growth.

Here’s a travel book publisher directory: The tally indicates that there are 400 publishers listed—only some of them are US publishers.

Check out for additional travel book publishers.

Book Promotion Opportunities

SPAWN member, Debby Buchanan is the organizer for the Deadly Ink Mystery Conference. She has offered SPAWN members a break on ads to appear in her conference booklet. The ads will be in b&w only. She’ll charge just $15 for a full page, $10 for half page and $5 for business card size. Ad copy must reach Debby by June 25th. Contact her at

You may have read my report in SPAWNews about SPAWN’s great weekend at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. The weather couldn’t have been better, the members who participated in the booth were absolutely delightful and we even sold books—around 75 total. And I’m still hearing about the opportunities coming up for participating members because of the exposure they received at this gigantic event.

We handed out around 450 SPAWN Catalogs of Member’s Books and Services and signed up three new members.

SPAWN will most likely have a booth (or two) next year at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to sell your books and get amazing exposure at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in 2012. Mark your calendar for the last weekend in April. Watch SPAWNews for information starting around February of 2012.

Book Hub, Inc. is a distribution company that specializes in ebook conversion, distribution, publishing, co-op marketing and subsidiary rights. They have sales reps throughout the US. View their website and see if they are a match for you:

Do you have a children’s ebook? You might consider having it posted at the Magicblox Digital Book Library. Contact Jason Lane for more information: According to Jason, it is free and easy to add your books to their digital library for children. And you earn money each time your books are read.

Doug Lance, the editor of eFiction Magazine contacted me to tell me that he loves publishing book reviews for books of fiction. Contact Doug at

Nancy Pearlman stopped by the SPAWN booth in LA last month and told us that she is looking to interview authors with books related to ecology and the environment on her radio show. Learn more at Contact Nancy at

Major publishers are launching an innovative website designed to recommend books that will appeal to a reader’s particular interest. This program, called Bookish ( isn’t live yet—but is scheduled to be by Labor Day in September. According to the organizers, they will cover books from all publishers, but will exclude vanity presses. And they will sell books from the site, as well.

Do you want to create a bestseller out of your book? Here’s a site that promises to help you do that. It appears that some of the information at the site is free, but I suspect that there are some fees involved if you want one-on-one counseling.

If you have a book on health and wellness, you might want to participate in the Health and Wellness Event to be held in San Pedro, CA July 16 and 17, 2011. You will have the opportunity to exhibit your book, perhaps you can apply to give a presentation. If you can’t attend, look into having your material placed on the networking table. Learn more here:

Bonus Article by Virginia Lawrence
Approaching Amazon Top Reviewers to Generate Important Reviews and Improve Book Sales in Amazon
Getting your print book and its Kindle version into should not be your final action in Amazon. Rather, you should build up your Author Page, and you should start building your list of top Amazon reviewers. This article is about increasing the number of beneficial book reviews displayed with your book’s Amazon listing.

Having your friends and other authors review the book can be helpful, but you should keep in mind that some reviewers carry more weight than others. Most of us cannot get gushing reviews from the New York Times, but if our book is good, we can get reviews written by the top Amazon reviewers in our category. Such reviews are taken very seriously be Amazon and by readers.

To research Amazon’s top reviewers, start at Amazon’s own listing:

On that page, you’ll see two tabs, “New Reviewer Rank” and “Classic Reviewer Rank.” Note that Amazon ranks the reviewers for us. For example, as I’m writing this, A. Chandler is the #1 reviewer in the New Reviewer Rank list:
Amazon updates the reviewer rankings every day. The rankings are based on how recent the reviews are, as well as on the percentage of site visitors who viewed a review and clicked to label the review helpful.

Why are people willing to review hundreds or thousands of books for no financial reward? First, they love books. Second, top reviewers get badges and recognition within the Amazon community of readers and reviewers. Top reviewers are considered trustworthy reviewers, so having a book review from a top Amazon reviewer can help to increase sales much more than a review by a writing club member or a friend.

How to Proceed
It’s a slow process. You don’t want to waste time asking a music reviewer to review your fiction book, and you don’t want to ask a mystery book reviewer to review your classical music bibliography. It’s best to comb through the list, reviewer by reviewer, placing your cursor over each reviewer’s name. When the cursor is over the name, you can see a popup box discussing the number of reviews and the tags most commonly used in reviews.

The tags give you clues to the type of books and/or products reviewed. You can use that information to determine whether the reviewer seems to be appropriate for your book. If the reviewer seems appropriate, it’s time to click on the See Profile link to read more and start looking for the reviewer’s email address. If the reviewer still seems to represent your target reader, copy the name and email address to your new list of potential reviewers.

I suggest you start by gathering a highly targeted list of 10-20 top Amazon reviewers who review your type of book. After you’ve prepared the list, write up an outstanding pitch letter, outlining why the book is great and why you expect the selected reviewers to love the book. It’s even better if you can include a fact unique to each reviewer, such as, “Because you rated the book “XYZ” highly, I like to think that you will really like this book.” Finally, send your pitch letter personally to each of the reviewers you’ve chosen.

Does it work? I’ve had great success with this technique. When I’ve pitched a truly outstanding book to the right reviewers, 60 percent of the reviewers I’ve approached have agreed to review the book, and 80 percent of those who reviewed the book have written positive reviews. When some reviewers write back, thanking me for the privilege of reviewing the book, that’s just more chocolate sauce on the sundae.

© 2011 Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.
Virginia Lawrence, SPAWN Board Member, has been a professional Web Developer and Online Marketing Consultant since 1995. She routinely places client sites on the first page of a Google search, and she carries out Amazon marketing for excellent books. Contact her at or visit her website at

Opportunities for Screenplay Writers

InkTip is seeking a feature-length script with a starring male lead age 18-25. This story should be similar to “Garden State,” “Donnie Darko” or Ferris Bueler’s Day Off.” Do not apply unless your script is complete.

They are also seeking a feature-length Eastern European style film.

Also wanted are horror scripts, Disney-type scripts and one within the paranormal realm.

To be informed as to the opportunities out there for scriptwriters, subscribe to InkTip Magazine:

Going, going, gone

Private Equity Insider is gone.

Tucson Home will fold after the summer issue.

Open City, a literary magazine, has closed

National Speed Sport News is no longer producing a print edition.

Denver Magazine has folded.

The Nest is moving from print to digital only.

Keiki Talk, a parenting publication in Hawaii, has gone out of business

Berkshire Living has quit publishing.

Grand Valley Magazine has closed

Colorado View Magazine has gone out of business.

Resource for Authors and Writers

FreshBooks offers writers and authors a variety of easy-to-use programs for billing, creating invoices, and even keeping track of the hours you spend writing. Check them out at

Bonus Item

Message to SPAWN Members

Here at SPAWN, we experience a turnover of members. Members join and renew each month and a smattering few others drop out each month. We notice that those who drop are typically also those who did not bother to sign up for SPAWNDiscuss, so they did not participate in networking with other members. We can assume that they do not read the SPAWN Market Update and maybe they also reject SPAWNews when it arrives in their email box each first of the month. It’s doubtful that they download any of the teleseminars we produce each month with publishing experts.

Here’s your wake-up call: you joined SPAWN for a reason. Presumably, it was to learn more about publishing, freelance writing and/or book marketing; to network with peers or potential clients/customers; to be kept abreast of trends and events within the publishing industry; for the prestige of belonging to an international organization… Whatever your reasons for joining, they will not be fulfilled if you do not participate and partake of our offerings.

I applaud you for reading this issue of the SPAWN Market Update. And I invite you to visit our archives for an incredibly rich collection of the resources and information you need and desire.

It would also be helpful if you would let us know what information and resources you find most useful and what you would like to see more of.

New Royalty System Proposed for Libraries

SPAWN received an email from Gene Jaleski a few weeks ago in which he introduced his idea “toward a cooperative effort to expand reading in America while improving the lives of writers” by making all books available to all readers. He says that each time a library checks out a book, it costs them over $1.00. With his plan, where patrons/students can check out ebooks—any ebook available—they would only pay only around 15 cents and that royalty would go to the author.

Jaleski considers this a win-win situation. All libraries (public, academic, school) would be able to offer a greatly expanded catalog, thus “author’s works would be available to a greatly expanded readership.” And it would be more beneficial to the author, as well. The author would receive payment for each use of the book. To learn more or to jump on the bandwagon, contact Gene at