SPAWN Market Update – March, 2007
By Patricia L. Fry
Going, Going, Gone – 10 to report
Here’s What’s New – 4 new mags and 2 news bites
Opportunities for Freelance Writers – 8 of ‘em, including a Directory of Agents for Short Fiction and a Directory of Mags that Publish Fiction.
Opportunities for Authors – 8 really good publishing resources
Book Promotion Opportunities – The Great American Book Giveaway, New Voices Bookstore and how to build YOUR Platform.
Opportunities for Screenwriters – We-Penguins and Scriptapalooza TV
Opportunities for Artists and Photographers – Beyond Magazine
Resources for Writers – 10 Big Ones!!
Bonus Item – Hard Facts About the Self-Published Books Scourge
Women in the Triangle
Images: Simi Valley
If you write poetry and other literary pieces, your latest work might find a home in ONTHEBUS, a Literary Journal. Jack Grapes is the editor. You can submit up to six poems, 2,000 words of prose or book reviews of 500 words or less, for example. But they only accept work sent February through May and September and October. They seem to want material sent via snail mail to: Bombshelter Press, POB 481266, Bicentennial Station, Los Angeles, CA 90048. Learn more about this literary journal at http://www.bombshelterpress.com.
Do you live in Canada? Are you between the ages of 15 and 29 years-old? If so, you might be able to write for Fresh Magazine. They want articles on art, culture, politics, health and so forth for and by young adults in the Sault St. Marie area of Ontario. Here’s a new publication without a Web site. Stay posted and I’ll try to get some contact information for you.
Are you looking for an agent for your fiction stories? Some of the larger magazines today require that you submit through an agent. Here’s a list of agents who work with freelance fiction writers: http://www.writers.net/agents/topic/31/0.
Do you want to promote your novel by having some of your short stories published? Here’s a directory of fiction magazines to contact: http://www.ability.org.uk/genre_fiction_mag.html.
Here’s some good news: Grand Magazine is no longer charging a registration fee of $10 for potential writers. Thank heavens for the pressures put on this publisher by industry standards, for they have withdrawn this unpopular practice.
Mignonne Wright, editor of Chicken Soup for the Soul Magazine is always on the lookout for meaningful, well-written true stories. I suggest checking their Web site often for direction. http://www.chickensoupmagazine.com. Currently she wants stories that feature someone who has made a difference, stories relating special moments, stories from you past or the past of your family members, stories of warmth in your home when you were growing up, lessons learned from elderly relatives, travel stories and more. Email Mignonne at email@example.com.
An invitation for POD self-published authors. Raven West is inviting authors who are published with a fee-based POD publishing service or who are thinking about it to join her yahoo egroup. She says they have over 900 members who can give advice, support and information on the various companies, including AuthorHouse, iUniverse and others. http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Print-On-Demand. Contact Raven at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Authors should know that they have choices. Rather than pay a fee-based self-publishing service to produce your book, consider approaching some of the small publishing houses. There are hundreds of small publishers seeking manuscripts in all categories and they don’t require that you be represented by an agent. Here are a few:
Another children’s book publisher is, Peace Hill Press. They produce around 4 – 8 titles each year in the historical and education categories. Contact Peter Buffington at: email@example.com. http://www.peacehillpress.com
Jan Phillips at H.F. Kramer seeks juvenile fiction and picture books for publication. Contact this editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know some of you have manuscripts in the self-help category and that others are writing or pitching books related to abuse and other social problems. Consider contacting Ruth Gottstein at Volcano Press. Locate Ruth’s contact information at: http://www.volcanopress.com.
also publishes adventure, fantasy and mystery as well as science fiction and young adult titles. To learn more about this publisher, go to: http://www.baycrestbooks.com. Contact acquisitions editor, Nadine Meeker, at email@example.com. publishes around 6 children’s/juvenile books each year—some of them from first-time authors. But before approaching them, make sure that you have a clear understanding of the market and that you have developed a succinct book proposal. They want you to describe your book buyers/readers and where they are. They want to know how many of them there are and how they can be reached. Learn more about this publisher at: http://www.gacpc.com. Book Promotion Opportunities
Are you familiar with The Great American Book Giveaway? Evidently, M.J. Rose and Meryl Moss established an online contest in order to help authors and publishers gain added exposure for their books. As I understand it, you can go to the Book Giveaway site and enter your book for consideration as a contest prize. I’m in the process of getting clarity on a few issues with regard to this program. In the meantime, check out The Great American Book Giveaway at http://www.bkgiveaway.com.
There’s a new bookstore in town. New Voices Bookstore, in New York’s East Village, is offering independent (self-published) authors a place to display and sell their books. I’m not sure this offer is one that I would endorse as it involves what seems like quite a bit of money, so why am I reporting on it? Some of you may have books that would sell like crazy in this area. For you, the seemingly high fees might make sense.
I couldn’t make a lot of sense out of the information on their Web site, so I contacted the staff at New Voices Bookstore with my questions. Willa responded by explaining that there is a one-time consignment fee of $225 for people who want their books shelved at New Voices Bookstore. She says that for this fee, not only will they stock your books, but they act as a marketing agent for you by pushing your books in their national advertising campaigns in such publications as, New York Times, New York Review of Books and Writers Digest, as well as at book expos and workshops. Willa claims that East Village has a tremendous amount of foot traffic.
Now, the $225 fee doesn’t sound like a lot if your book will be advertised in such prestigious publications. But wait, there’s more. Willa explained that New Voices Bookstore also takes 34 percent of the selling price. I’ve been thinking about that and I figure that they would have to sell around 20 of my books in order for me to pay the “consignment fee.” When you figure that the author is paying shipping, and, when you factor in the fact that my books cost me around $5.00 to produce, I probably wouldn’t actually see a profit in this deal until Willa sold around 40 of my books.
Now I have to consider the audience coming into Willa’s bookstore. Is it likely that these customers would seek out and purchase 100 or even 75 copies of my book before this store goes out of business? (As we know, independent bookstores aren’t the healthiest businesses around.) Since I don’t live anywhere near New York, how do I know that my book is shelved in the store so that customers can see it? As you can see, there are a lot of unknowns and, at the risk of sounding negative or, worse yet, paranoid, we really must think through every potential promotional idea to make sure that we are putting our energies and our money in the right places. If you want to know more about this unusual bookstore, visit their Web site at http://newvoicesbookstore.tripod.com.
I subscribe to numerous writing/publishing-related newsletters and many of them this month have had articles dealing with platform. Also this month, I did some editing for a client. When I mentioned the premise of my client’s book to a colleague, she said, “How will he sell a book like that?” My response was, “He has a platform.” This man is well known, well connected and knows how to promote himself. So even if it is an oddball type book, people will buy it.
What are some of the ways that you can build a platform? Here are 15 to get you started!
Have you visited We-Penguins, yet? I found it to offer quite a lot for the screenwriter. I was especially impressed by the links page: http://www.we-penguins.com/screenwriting_links.htm. This is a project of Lauren Ann Gee. For news, articles, contests and more, visit her home page at http://www.we-penguins.com.
Every Writer’s Resource
I met Penny Sansevieri, The Book Marketing Expert in San Francisco last year at the PMA Marketing Conference and again a few weeks ago at the San Diego State University Writers Conference. And I’ve been subscribing to her free newsletter. I recommend it. Check it out at http://www.amarketingexpert.com. In the January 11, 2007 edition, among many other valuable tips, Penny writes about the Rule of Seven. She points out, for example, that in sales studies, products at a price using the number 7 sold five times more than the same item priced at least $2 less. She suggests experimenting by raising your price (or dropping it) so that the total is $17.99 or $27.00. I wonder if this applies to the cents. Would a book marked $15.77 sell better than one marked $15.50?
Wake Up Writing
In the Company of Writers
Here’s an online writers’ community based in the UK. http://www.writewords.org.uk. You’ll find inspiration, feedback and support through articles, interviews and jobs, opportunities.
Find an address for an expert at:
For a list of writers’ magazines and newsletters:
Here’s a partial list of sites for poets.
For newspaper directories go to:
What are the real reasons why your “self-published” book isn’t welcomed with open arms? Why do bookstores, reviewers and newspaper editors reject self-published and subsidy published authors? It all boils down to business.
Think about it, if you were a bookstore owner, wouldn’t you be reluctant to give valuable shelf space to books brought in by unknown individuals or publishers who can’t work within the bookstore’s standard agreements? It was explained to me years ago that major bookstores really don’t want to deal with many smaller accounts when they can rely on receiving plenty of books from the large publishing houses.
Book reviewers are suspicious of books without a quality guarantee (of sorts). No one questions the quality of books coming from Random House or Warner Books.
Newspaper editors prefer giving space to books that are readily available in bookstores. Some newspaper publishers are also concerned about law suits. I guess they could, in some cases, be sued if the material in the book they review is libelous, for example. Self published and subsidy-published books don’t generally have the legal protection that a book published through a major publishing house does.
Self-published and subsidy published authors have a lot to overcome out there in the big business of publishing. But it is the independent publisher who is changing the face of the publishing industry.
It is to our benefit to produce books that are the best that they can be. It’s in our best interest to always act like a professional. And when we unite as we have through SPAWN, we learn and we grow—ultimately experiencing the success we desire.
is a new Web site launched by Geri Taran in order to educate and offer opportunities for writers. She offers an extensive educational program in all genres and at all levels of writing through teleseminars and webinars, for example. Learn more about this brand new company at http://www.inthecompanyofwriters.com. Contact Geri at firstname.lastname@example.org. is a Web site for authors of fiction. This site was conceived by Monica Poling to help authors of fiction learn about the writing/publishing world and to provide them with an avenue to help them promote their work. http://www.oncewritten.com is an interesting site for those writers who love writing prompts. The Web masters give you a prompt per day, plus an archive full of former writing prompts. The writing prompt for Monday, February 12, 2007, for example, is: “Write down what you do for the first hour after getting up this morning as if it was the routine of one of your characters.” http://www.wakeupwriting.com is a great place to find certain writers’ resources. They claim to have over 5,000 links to literary magazines, horror magazines, awards, book publishers and more. Check them out at http://www.everywritersresource.com. has a great need for photographers, illustrators, sketch artists and other creative types. They are also interested in entire art projects. Check out this publication at http://beyondmag.squarespace.com. is accepting reality show scripts. The submissions deadline is April 30, 2007. http://www.scriptapaloozatv.com Scriptapalooza also has a page at My Space. http://www.myspace.com/scriptapalooza.
is interested in your excellent fiction. Here’s some of what they accept: science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, nonfiction, westerns, children/juvenile manuscripts, mainstream romance, young adult and true crime. Contact the publisher with your perfect idea at http://www.zumayapublications.com. is a magazine for men on a mission—men who are passionate about God. In fact, it is America’s number one magazine for Christian men. If you think you could write for New Man, contact the editorial staff and ask for an assignment. All stories are developed in-house. email@example.com a self-help, educational, entertaining, motivational magazine designed to help men and women manage and overcome stress. They say that the magazine is about learning to laugh and living stress-free. They love humor pieces. All articles should be somewhere in the 600 to 3,000-word bracket—preferably between 1,000 and 1,500 words. Unfortunately, this doesn’t look like it is a paying market—at least not right now. Hopefully, in the future. Learn more at http://www.gbonkers.com. Submit your query letter or article to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. is also currently closed to submissions., a publishing house that typically seeks good books by new and previously “self-published” authors is closed to submissions until later this year. If you want to submit something to this press, watch for them to open their doors to new submissions. http://www.mundania.com/submissions.html is also scheduled to debut this month and there’s nothing online indicating the contact information, either. This publication is being launched by Amtrak and the city of Simi Valley, California. is a regional magazine for women living in the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. Danielle Jackson is the editor of this magazine which will debut this month. Contact information is not yet available. is a new online magazine and soon-to-be print magazine. It is all about storytelling. According to the promo—”SMITH is our stories, our history, our friends, our celebrities, our moments, our lives. We believe that everyone has a story. Everyone is a SMITH. This magazine is a kick—lots of fun and with lots of opportunities for creative writing. Like so many of the new mags, there is no pay for your work. But check it out as a possible promotional option for your book or just for the fun of writing for them. http://www.smithmag.net. Writer’s Guidelines at: http://www.smithmag.net/writers-guidelines.is new and they are hungry for submissions. They explore what it truly means to be human and are particularly interested in essays, poetry, short stories, reviews, book excerpts and art. Read their Web site and their submission guidelines at http://beyondmag.squarespace.com. is closing, but their Web site will continue on.