SPAWN Market Update – March, 2009
By Patricia L. Fry
Going, Going, Gone – Over 35 magazines, book and writing events, bookstores and distributors have closed their doors. Inflight magazines are struggling.
Here’s What’s New – Changes in 7 magazines, websites and organizations.
Opportunities for Freelance Writers – 11 opportunities, plus 13 directories representing hundreds of jobs for writers.
Opportunities for Authors – A variety of info, opps, updates and resources you can use.
Book Promotion Opportunities – Links to hundreds of book review sites and more.
Opportunities for Poets – Contests and submission opportunities.
Opportunities for Screen Writers – 8 of them!
Opportunities for Artists and Photographers – Paying jobs: opportunities and resources.
Resources for Writers and Authors – Where to go for legal advice.
News Bytes for Writers and Authors – How do publishers advertise? Ebook sales are up. Why do mags fail?
Going, Going, Gone
Several book and writing events have been cancelled. But this doesn’t mean they won’t be back. I’m sure that some will and some won’t. The following events have been cancelled for 2009:
BookExpo Canada 2009
The Santa Barbara Writers Conference in June
Ohio’s big writer’s conference
Romance Slam Jam
On the Brink Southern Writers Conference
Dodge Poetry Festival
Whidbey Island Writers Conference
Several of Florida Coast Writers Festival’s contests have been suspended.
Book World, the Washington Post’s book review section will no longer be published. Although the newspaper will continue to publish book reviews, they will be incorporated throughout and there will be fewer of them. But wait, there is a petition being circulated in hopes of saving this stand-alone book review section. Stay tuned.
BookStream, a distributor, has folded.
Bowen Press, a HarperCollins imprint set to publish children’s books, is closing even before it gets started.
Rayo, a Spanish-language imprint of HarperCollins, is being downsized.
Schwartz Bookshops in Milwaukee will close their 4 remaining outlets this month. On an up-note, the general manager for Schwarz will open his own bookstore at the Downer Avenue location in Milwaukee. The bookstore will be known as Boswell Books Company.
Domino will close after the March issue.
Realms of Fantasy Magazine has gone out of business.
Electrical Contracting Products has quit.
Missbehave will stop producing the print edition and go online only.
Hawaii Regional Magazine has ceased publishing.
Wondertime is no longer publishing.
Emergency Medical Product News has gone out of business.
The Good Life is closing. For those of you who like this magazine, their website will remain.
Simple Scrapbooks and Creating Keepsakes will become one magazine.
Ignite Your Faith (formerly Campus Life) isn’t making it, either.
TE/EN has also gone out of business.
Country Home is leaving us.
Electronic Gamers Monthly is gone.
Pacific Magazine has folded.
Longboard is also out of business.
Bank Advisor has gone by the wayside.
Ascent is quitting.
Ricardo is closing.
Financial Week is now online only.
Distinction has gone out of business.
Indycar Series is out of business.
Plenty will close both the print and online publications.
Unfortunately inflight magazines are really struggling. Some have sent letters to their contributors saying that they cannot honor any of their current contracts. Yikes!
Here’s What’s New
Utne Reader no longer accepts cartoon submissions.
Hemispheres, the United Airlines inflight magazine, has a new publisher. It’s Ink Publishing, 68 Jay Street, Ste. 315, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Contact Orion Ray-Jones. This update is not at their website, yet. Watch for it to appear when this shift takes place—sometime this month. http://www.hemispheresmagazine.com
EnlightenNext is the new name for What is Enlightenment. http://www.enlightennext.org/magazine
CoffeeHouse Digest is now online only. They invite reviews of music, books and electronic gadgets and other related products. They publish articles and stories about trips to coffee or tea regions and visits to unique coffeehouses, for example. They also post artwork and original music. Members can post articles, but, whether they still pay 10 cents/word, I’m not sure. Join at: http://www.coffeehousedigest.com.
Write From Home Magazine is not currently accepting submissions. Check back with them from time to time to see if this policy has changed. http://www.writefromhome.com
Worldwide Freelance Writer’s site appears to be for sale.
The Georgia Writers Organization is now the Georgia Writers Association, run by Kennesaw State University. Check them out at http://www.georgiawriters.org.
Opportunities for Freelance Writers
Hope Clark, at Funds for Writers is running a special on 13 ebooks containing market listings that she has collected over time. You can order them in PDF ebook form each for around $8.95 or buy them all and save nearly $40. Here’s what’s available: 240+ paying markets for short stories, a list of 140+ literary agents, 98 flash fiction markets and 75 markets for recipes. You can order a list of over 80 markets that pay for book reviews, 180 markets for humor and more. There’s something for just about every writer, including those who write for children: 232 markets! There are even contest listings, lists of funds and grants for writers. The total price for all of these ebooks is $100. You can purchase them all for $63. Order them here: http://www.fundsforwriters.com/ebooks.htm. Contact Hope Clark at: email@example.com.
Are you searching for ways to make your fiction pay? Why wait until you have enough material for a book? Submit shorter stories and start collecting paychecks. The Sun, for example, buys 20 fiction pieces per year. Send them the complete manuscript of up to 7,000 words. They pay anywhere from $300 to $2,000. They buy 50 nonfiction essays, personal experience pieces, spiritual articles and interview pieces each year. They’ll pay as much as $3,000 for quality nonfiction. Learn more at http://www.thesunmagazine.org. You’ll find complete writer’s guidelines at the website.
Boston Review encourages fiction and nonfiction submissions all year round. If you want to contribute to the Boston Review, read the submission guidelines at http://www.bostonreview.net/about/writers_guidelines. Editor Junot Diaz has some pretty specific requirements. She particularly asks that you read at least one copy of the Boston Review to get an idea of the style and content. Pay isn’t great—$25-$300 per piece.
WOW Women on Writing has some pretty explicit guidelines for submissions. And they are a paying market, as well. They pay anywhere from $50 to $150 depending on what you’ve submitted. They are seeking articles of interest to women writers and encompassing that month’s theme. The monthly themes are noted at the website. http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com. Submission guidelines here: http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/contact.php . Or go to the site and click on “contact.” Scroll down to “Wow, Writer’s Guidelines”
Cat Fancy Magazine accepts queries only from January through May. If you can write an engaging article featuring some aspect of cat care or behavior, be sure to send them your query before the end of May. They use 70 manuscripts per year and pay up to $450. And they are in need of how to, humor, photo features, travel, cat culture, entertainment, health and lifestyle pieces related to cats. http://www.catfancy.com. Contact Susan Logan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve located a site with hundreds—maybe thousands—of jobs for freelance writers. Check it out at http://www.writesuccess.com/id25.html. Here, you will find links to 13 directories for writing-related jobs. They include Guru, Freelance Job Search, The Write Jobs, Telecommuting Jobs for Writers, Writers Row, Writing Career, WriterFind and others. Some require a small fee to access.
Oakbook is a new magazine focusing on fashion, art, culture, schools, neighborhoods and eateries in Oakland, California. They welcome contributions, but it is doubtful that they pay. http://www.theoakbook.com. However, many times editors claim that it can be worth a freelancer’s while to get in on the ground floor of a magazine. If it takes off, you may be among the first to start collecting paychecks for your submissions. Contact the editors with your story ideas at email@example.com.
Fifty Plus Magazine accepts submissions from Central Virginia writers only. This is also a surprise to me and maybe to you. I didn’t know it was a regional publication. If you live in this region, study the submission guidelines at http://www.richmondpublishing.com and then consider submitting a piece of from 400 to 1700 words and collect a possible $52 to $360.
Ruralite is a regional magazine as well, covering 7 Western states. They pay up to $500 for articles that are well-illustrated and relevant to their rural electric cooperative customers. Study their guidelines at http://www.ruralite.org/freelance.php.
Freelance Switch is a blogsite that pays for content. They only pay $60 per piece and it must be on writing/publishing. Check it out at http://freelanceswitch.com.
If you enjoy visiting writing-related blogs, don’t forget about Patricia Fry’s blog site: http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog. There is something there for every writer.
If you earn your living by working with words, you might want to join the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors. http://www.naiwe.com. What do you get for your membership fee? You’ll be included in a searchable database of writers. They allow you to promote your business through their newsletters; you’ll also get tech support, free legal advice and access to a free resource library. The membership fee is $147 year.
Opportunities for Authors
If you are the author of a children’s book and are concerned and/or confused about the new testing policy for books for children up to age 12, make sure to read the discussions at SPAWNDiscuss in order to stay informed. If you do not receive email messages from SPAWNDiscuss, check with Virginia at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. Whenever there is an update, we publish the news here.
Another place where you can get updated information on this and other vital concerns within the publishing industry is in the daily Publisher’s Weekly email. Sign up for free at: http://www.publishersweekly.com.
Author Scott Bollinger is going into the publishing business. He is mainly interested in sports books. If you are seeking a publisher for your sports book, visit Bollinger’s site at http://www.wrkf.us.
Barbara McNichol has come out with a great ebook featuring Word Trippers. She just updated it and is offering the book at a discounted rate of $16.95. What are word trippers? Those words that we struggle with when writing—should we use the word “less” or “fewer,” “anxious” or “eager,” “awhile” or “a while” for example? Oh yes, it’s a book we can all use. Sign up for Barbara’s Word Tripper Newsletter and receive the Best of Word Trippers FREE. http://www.barbaramcnichol.com
I printed out the submission guidelines for a few publishing companies for one of my clients this month and one of them was Hay House. I’ve noticed that more and more publishers are attempting to educate their potential authors. Many of them now include instructions and information for authors. Hay House, for example, suggests that the first and most important thing an author should do is research to find out about the various ways of getting your book published and the roles of the publishers, agents. The author should explore the options of self-publishing and acquiring a distributor. They also recommend that the author establish who his ideal reader is and the market for their book. They say that the more research you’ve undertaken into the market, in addition to the processes involved in selecting and publishing a manuscript, the better chance you have to be published. Hay House accepts submissions only through an agent and they also give assistance at their website as to how to locate an agent.
As you can see, those of us here at SPAWN, the professionals whose books you read, the speakers you hear at your writer’s group meetings and at writers conferences are not off base when we strongly suggest that your main focus, once you decide that you want to write a book for publication, is to educate yourself. It is highly important that you understand how the publishing industry works, and what your options and responsibilities within the industry are.
Dragonhawk Publishing is not accepting unsolicited manuscript submissions at this time. In fact, they say their publication schedule is full for the next 3 years. If you want to check on this status occasionally, go here: http://www.dragonhawkpublishing.com.
Mapletree Publishing Company. Are they currently accepting manuscripts or not? I came across a link dated January 17, 2009 stating that they ARE accepting manuscripts. The home page at their website explains a bit about their purpose, goals, etc. And then they invite you to click on the Submission Guidelines page. Guess what I found there? A note that says, “Mapletree Publishing Company is not currently accepting submissions in this economy.” So which is it? I’m guessing the latter. Bummer. If you want to check this out for yourself, go to http://www.mapletreepublishing.com.
Alloy Entertainment is open to unagented submissions for the first time. Learn more about what they produce at http:/www.alloyentertainment.com. They are still working on their submission guidelines. If you have a question, email them at email@example.com.
Book Promotion Opportunities
I located another book review blog. David Wilder loves to read. He’s particularly interested in psychedelic literature and/or studies. He explained that this would be authors like Aldous Huxley, Daniel Pinchbeck, Tom Robbins, Robert Anton Wilson, Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, Philip K. Dick, and others. (Hey, did you notice there isn’t a female author among them?) David said he also sometimes reads books in other genres and he is willing to at least consider some of SPAWN members’ books. If you have a book to review, first, you might want to check out David’s blogsite. http://www.ddubsreads.com. Contact David for permission to send him your book for review: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan Shaurette editor of Self Published Authors Newsletter is requesting books for review for his Author’s Showcase. Email Dan first—don’t send your book. email@example.com. Visit his site at http://www.danshaurette.com or http://www.selfpublishedauthors.com. Dan featured my new book, Catscapades, Tales of Ordinary and Extraordinary Cats in his February 1, 2009 edition of the newsletter. Check it out at http://www.selfpublishedauthors.com.
Did you know that Reader Views, the book review website, has several packages to choose from? While they do what they call regular reviews for free, they also offer 5 additional review packages that you can pay for. What do you get in these packages? It depends on whether you want to pay $75 or $475. Before you get too excited about some of the goodies they offer, check it out with others who have gone before you. So often, the services you pay for, are really not worth the price. See the list of services as http://www.readerviews.com/services_reviews.html.
A SPAWN member sent me this list of magazines that will do book reviews (for free—at no charge to you other than the cost of one book and shipping). Westways, AARP, People, USA Today, Better Homes and Gardens, Oprah Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Ladies Home Journal. I’m pretty sure that most of these magazines, if they accept books for review, require that they come from a major publishing house. But it may be worth checking into. You might find a great opportunity for your amazing book.
Complete Review has a great directory of book review sites. http://www.complete-review.com/links/links.html. Find a directory of weblogs related to things literary (writing and publishing) at: http://www.complete-review.com/links/bloglink.htm.
A Library Thing is a website that allows people to catalogue their personal libraries, discover new books and connect with others who share their tastes. Go to http://www.librarything.com/forpublishers and take the tour to learn more. Evidently, Library Thing helps publishers distribute advance copies of books to interested readers. And these readers review the books. This program, called, Early Review, is free. Library Thing asks for at least 15 copies of your book. If you have questions, contact Abby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeffrey Marks at MurderMustAdvertise is including more resources and articles about the mystery market and how to market your mystery. See if he has something you can use in promoting your mystery: http://www.murdermustadvertise.com. Or visit http://www.jeffreymarks.com.
Opportunities for Poets
The final deadline for The Writers Place 2009 Poetry Contest has been extended to March 1, 2009. Check the submission requirements and fees at http://www.thewritersplace.org/poetry_submission.php.
Fearless Books is accepting submissions through May 30 for their biannual Fearless Poetry Series called “The Light in Ordinary Things.” Poets may submit 1 – 3 poems or prose poems about any ordinary thing, place, event or living being looked at in a new light. See complete submission guidelines at http://www.fearlessbooks.com.
Boston Review is currently accepting poetry submissions through May 15. Use their online submissions system to submit your poetry. http://www.bostonreview.net
Opportunities for Screenwriters
If you haven’t subscripted to the Write Brothers Newsletter, you might want to do that today. Here are some of the articles appearing in the February edition of their e-newsletter: “Helpful Hints for Nabbing an Agent, Part 11,” “The Importance of Story Limit—letting the audience know when the story will be over,” “The Call of Story.” Subscribe to this free newsletter at http://www.screenplay.com/t-newsletter.aspx. Contact Chris at email@example.com.
Have you ever studied the screenwriting section in Writer’s Market? In the 2009 edition on page 944, you’ll discover some information to help you get started writing for TV or the movies. And following that are 27 listings for screenwriters. For example, Shoreline Entertainment in Los Angeles is looking for character-driven films that are commercial as well as independent. They especially want big budget action, thrillers. http://www.shorelineentertainment.com.
Valeo Films in Texas is seeking scripts with moral values in the area of romance, educational coming of age, mystery… Learn more at http://www.valeofilms.com.
March 5, 2009 is the early deadline for Scriptalooza’s big competition—grand prize, $10,000 and an opportunity to have your script read by some of the big players. http://www.scriptapalooza.com. Final deadline is April 30, 2009. If you have questions, contact Mark Andrushko at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would you like access to a list of 90 movie/film producers, managers and agents? You’ll find them at http://www.scriptapalooza.com.
Inktip Newsletter runs leads for those of you who write scripts and screenplays. Here’s one: Someone is looking for romantic comedy scripts similar to My Blue Heaven, When Harry Met Sally and The Devil Wears Prada. If you have something like this completed, submit it to http://www.inktippro.com/leads.
One company is seeking pitches for Reality-TV based on highly unique or odd individual/family/business situations. Learn more at http://www.inktip.com/pnews.php.
For additional leads, subscribe to InkTip Newsletter. It’s free. http://www.inktip.com.
Opportunities for Artists and Photographers
Cat Fancy Magazine loves to receive photos of happy, healthy, well-groomed cats and kittens in indoor settings. Check out their guidelines at their site: http://www.catfancy.com.
Are you interested in petitioning President Obama to create a Secretary of the Arts position? Here is the website where you can participate. http://www.petitiononline.com/esnyc/petition.html.
Did it ever occur to you that freelance writers often need photos to go with the articles they submit to various publications? Why not study the magazines related to the subjects you enjoy photographing. Get the names of regular freelance contributors. Contact them and offer your services as a photographer for their next article. Maybe you even have some article ideas on which the two of you could collaborate. What kind of deal should you make with the writer? It depends. Keep in mind that, generally, the writer gets paid only if the article is accepted and published. Payment for photos is sometimes extra—sometimes included. You will probably be working through the writer. If you wish to have a contract, consider making it with the writer.
Some magazines purchase photographs separately—without them being connected to an article. Again, I recommend studying the magazines that use photos in your area of expertise. Look at the submission guidelines for photographers (at the magazine’s website under “Submission Guidelines,” “Writer’s Guidelines,” “For Writers,” or ?). For more information about the market and how to break in, purchase Photographer’s Market published by Writer’s Digest Books. Order at http://www.writersdigeststore.com or http://www.amazon.com.
Also continue reading the SPAWN Market Update as I bring updated information, resources, ideas and opportunities to light for photographers and artists. For those things you missed, visit our SPAWN Market Update archives. Use the search function at the top of the page to locate the information you want.
As reported in the February 9, 2009 edition of Publisher’s Weekly, the general consensus of publishers attending the recent New York Comic-Conference, everything looks bright for many publishers of graphic novels and comic books. It is expected that children’s comics and graphic novels will experience growth. Disney’s editors have announced that they are actively seeking artists. If you are a graphic novelist or you write comics, you probably know where the opportunities are. Just in case you don’t let me provide a few: go to http://www.publishingcentral.com and click on “Genres.”
Resources for Writers and Authors
I have been promoting the Volunteer Lawyers Association for a long time. I often suggest that folks go to http://www.vlaa.org with their legal questions, as a bank of volunteer lawyers will respond for free. But guess what I discovered this week? I don’t know if it has been this way all along or if this is new—but they only offer this service for folks in the Missouri and Southwest Illinois region.
I felt so bad about steering those of you from California, DC, Maryland, Virginia, etc., wrong that I located a couple of new places where you can go to have your legal questions answered.
Publishing Law Center. I’ve done a lot of research this month and here’s one site I happened across. I think you’re going to get a lot of use from this informative site featuring articles on copyright and other publishing law issues, important links to copyright and trademark information, and a bookstore with books related to publishing and copyright law. I know you can use this link because so many of you contact me every month with legal questions that I can usually not answer in any definitive manner. So here you go: http://www.publaw.com.
Just Answers is the largest Expert advice provider on the Internet and, according to founder Andy Kurtzig, millions of people have relied on Just Answers for affordable and timely advice in a whole lot of categories, including legal. Check it out at http://www.justanswers.com. If you are an expert in your field, you might want to join Kurtzig’s team. Contact him at email@example.com.
http://www.freeadvice.com is a place where you can receive answers to many different types of legal questions including those related to intellectual property law: copyrights, patents, trademarks, etc.
So now am I forgiven for neglecting to realize that the Volunteer Lawyer’s Association does not cover states outside of Missouri and Illinois?
News Bytes for Writers and Authors
If you think publishers spend a lot on advertising, you’re probably right. But if you thought they bought mostly ads, you’re dead wrong. It seems that most of their advertising dollars are spread around between paid, premiere book review opportunities (such as in the LA Times, I would imagine) and book store displays. Yes, they pay to have their books prominently displayed in major bookstores.
I keep hearing that ebook sales are on the rise and I, an author with a few ebooks, find it hard to believe. But I guess we can believe the news that comes out of OverDrive, the digital service that offers downloads of audiobooks, ebooks, music and video for libraries. According to their figures, 8,500 libraries use their services and they report approximately 5.3 million checkouts of digital material in 2008. This is an increase of 76 percent. Overdrive’s digital catalog has 150,000 titles. They just added 50,000 ebooks and 10,000 audiobooks. Many of them are books produced by the major players in the publishing industry—yes, Penguin, Random House and Simon and Schuster are among them.
You’ve probably noticed that a lot of magazines fail. Even before the economic climate changed, I was reporting the demise of magazines every month. Well, freelance writer, Mary Yerkes, wondered why, did the research and wrote an article for Suite 101 explaining the 5 reasons why new magazines fail. And do you know what? Her list of mistakes that the publishers of periodicals that fail make are quite similar to those made by authors who fail. Here they are:
Mary throws in at the end of her article that a little luck doesn’t hurt either. Amen!