SPAWN Market Update – May, 2006
By Patricia L. Fry
Note from the Editor – Impressions of Author Maxine Hong Kingston
Going, Going Gone – 12 more magazines have gone under
Here’s What’s New – 10 new and returning magazines
Heads Up – Keep an eye on Whispers and Warnings
Opportunities for Writers & Authors – 5 writing opportunities; And a chance to meet agents
Opportunities for Scriptwriters – Companies need thriller/horror scripts.
Opportunities for All Creative Beings – Produce calendars/greeting cards
Book Promotion Opportunities – 4 GREAT book selling ideas and resources
Research/Reference Sites – Learn more about galleys, blogging and “self-publishing” services.
Bonus Item – Promote Your Book By Talking About It
Bonus Item #2 – How to Establish Greater Rapport With Your Audience
As I write this, I’m readjusting to California time and climate after four days in soggy Hawaii. And as you’re reading this, I’ll be gearing up to fly off to Dubai—yes, in the Middle East. In Dubai, I’ll be giving the keynote speech before 1,000 Toastmasters on how to present a more creative speech. In Honolulu, I did two workshops on how to write a book proposal for the Honolulu Branch, National League of American Pen Women’s Writers’ Conference at Tokai University.
It was a successful trip. The first good thing that happened was that my plane was an hour late. If I had arrived on time, I would have landed during the heaviest downpour that any of the Islanders ever remember experiencing—ever. There was flooding everywhere. Freeways and roadways were closed due to flooding and mud, homes were flooded and Kahala Mall had to close for several days due to flooding. On the news that night, they showed the whole bottom floor of the mall standing in knee-deep water, cascades of water rushing down the escalators and walls collapsing in the movie theater. It was a mess and it was the talk of the town during my entire stay. They’ve had something like forty days and forty nights of rain in Hawaii these past months and it has put a damper on the tourist industry. It is especially disheartening for tourists when they arrive with their boogie boards and snorkels to learn that Waikiki Beach is among those beaches closed due to serious sewage spills.
This sure doesn’t sound like the Hawaii that you know and love, does it? Although everyone carried umbrellas—I mean large umbrellas—everywhere they went throughout the remainder of the weekend, there was no real need. The sun even peeked through the clouds a time or two during the next few days and it definitely shined down on the writers’ conference.
The conference was magic. Part of the reason it was magic was Chairperson, Barbara Clemens’ leadership and attention to detail. Another reason was her choice of keynote speakers. Maxine Hong Kingston, acclaimed writer and poet, author of The Woman Warrior, The Fifth Book of Peace and other books, kept the audience of 180 writers absolutely spellbound during her one-hour keynote address.
Here are a few of the nuggets that this most charming diminutive Chinese author shared:
Something bad did happen to Maxine a few years ago. She returned from her father’s funeral to find that her home had burned to the ground. Everything was lost—including the book she had been working on for so long. She had backups—she always remembered to save, save, save. But all of the copies of her work were in that house.
She was, naturally, devastated until she realized that, yes, her things were gone. In fact she considered herself, “thingless.” But her ideas remained. She knew that she might not find every word again, but that was okay, because she still had the idea and she knew that new words would come.
Maxine Hong Kingston is currently concentrating a lot of her energy on spreading peace as a writer and as a citizen. If you ever have the chance to hear her speak, be sure to take it. She has a very special and inspirational way of sharing.
(Speaking of speaking, I’ve included two bonus items in this issue and both relate to public speaking. If you are speaking to promote your book or want to, be sure to read the Bonus Item #1 and Bonus Item #2.)
Tree Hugger Organic Magazine
Budget Living Magazine
Kids: Fun Stuff to do Together
Some magazines are making a comeback. I believe that I reported the demise of Radar and Absolute Magazines. Well, both of them are rumored to be coming back. Stay tuned for details.
Women’s Health Magazine
Create the Dream
Positive Thinking Magazine
SPAWN Member, Sandra Murphy, sent me this information to share with all of you. Equine Wellness Magazine is new and they need articles. This magazine was spawned from the six-year-old Canadian Animal Wellness Magazine and it will focus on natural horse care techniques and remedies. Study their submission guidelines at: http://www.equinewellnessmagazine.com/p/submit.htm. If you have a story idea, contact editor, Lisa Ross-Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org. I understand that they do pay for articles of from 500 to 1500 words and they also publish book excerpts, but you’ll have to ask Lisa about their payscale.
Christian Professional Magazine
Hopefully, you all keep a close eye on Angela Hoy’s Writers Weekly Whispers and Warnings and other such sites. This week, Angela warns authors about Form and Style Magazine. Evidently, they signed an agreement with a freelance writer for an article. The writer was to be paid a very hefty sum, indeed. When it came time to collect her pay, however, she was told that the magazine’s funding hasn’t yet arrived. http://www.writersweekly.com
Do you want to meet agents and editors personally? The Writers’ League of Texas is offering you the opportunity. They will host their 13th annual Agents and Editors Conference at the Marriott Hotel in Austin, TX, June 23-25. For more information and to register, go to http://www.writersleague.org.
I recently received an interesting email from an organization called Writers’ Success. They are seeking submissions for a book-length project which will be shown around to publishers. As I understand it, it will cost you $55 to participate. Send four sample pages of anything you want to see published and $55 (payable through PayPal) by May 31. As I understand it, once the book is printed, it will be distributed among publishers who are seeking good material. I wish I could send you to a Web site where you could get more information, but this company doesn’t have one. According to the representative at Hard-Copy Media, they “de-emphasize too much reliance on the Internet by purposefully not having a Web site.” At least they do rely on email as a method of communication. You can contact this company at email@example.com.
The editors of Market Drive News are looking for writers for their online publication. They want articles of 400-500 words directed toward an audience of automobile dealership owners and managers. They emphasize that their audience is not the general public. They definitely want articles for owners of car dealerships. If you’re interested in submitting something, send 3 or 4 sample articles along with your fees. To learn more, visit http://www.marketdrivenews.com/dev. Or call Coleman Katajisto at 561-832-6262 ext. 103. I also have Coleman’s email address. It is firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Chicken Soup stories are wanted. This time it’s Chicken Soup for the Dieter’s Soul. As usual, they will pay $200 per story accepted. The deadline for stories is June 15, 2006. Submission guidelines at: http://www.dieterssoul.com/guidelines.html.
A company called SparkNotes is seeking educational travel material on London, Rome, Madrid and Paris. Sound interesting? Learn more at: http://mediabistro.com/joblistings/jobview.asp?joid=35688&page=2.
A Canadian-based company seeks writers on an ongoing basis. They want to receive bids for new articles of from 500 to 700 words and they’re also looking for writers to do some rewriting. Contact Francis Kim at email@example.com.
If you aren’t on Ink Tip’s mailing list, you’ve got to subscribe. The newsletter is free and it is jam-packed with opportunities for scriptwriters. Check it out at http://www.inktip.com. The April 8, 2006 issue reports needs for several thrillers/horror scripts, a supernatural story and one related to martial arts. You can also subscribe to the Preferred Newsletter which is supposed to have even more opportunities than Ink Tip. The fee to subscribe is $50 for six-months. They offer a money-back guarantee for this subscription.
Every once in a while I’m asked how does one go about finding a publisher for calendars? Or how can a poet, artist, photographer break into the greeting card market? In the March 22, 2006 edition of Freelance News, Melanie Rockett responds to these questions. The online version of this newsletter is at http://www.getresponse.com/t/1464559. If you don’t find it there, contact Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, let me offer you the address to her “starter” list of over 50 companies that publish greeting cards and calendars. http://www.getresponse.com/t/1464581
If you have a children’s book or are involved with an organization that promotes literacy, you might want to take a booth at The Big Read in St. Louis, MO, October 7, 2006. They are also seeking entertainment for children. Learn more at http://bigread.net.
Have you been reading Fran Silverman’s Book Promotion Newsletter? Subscribe at http://www.bookpromotionnewsletter.com. Fran is charging $7.50 per year, now, but it is a reasonable fee when you consider all of the ideas you can glean from her contributors.
Fran Silverman is now an Internet radio show host and she’s looking for interesting people to interview on the air. The name of her show is Book Marketing With Fran. If you would like to be considered as a guest on Fran’s show, contact her at email@example.com.
Do you have a book with a solid theme such as gardening, automobiles, clothing, cooking/foods, pets, finances, sports, some aspect of business, a specific medical ailment of condition or even one relating to psychotherapy? Why not take it to a trade show? A trade show is generally where manufacturers and authors with merchandise related to that trade exhibit their products; and retailers come to find out what is new and trendy. There are thousands of trade shows in America every year. The Events Eye lists over 11,000 of them scheduled from November of 2005 through October of 2007. http://www.eventseye.com. Or tap into the Trade Show Week directory of trade shows at http://www.tradeshowweek.com. But the site that claims to be the ultimate trade show resource is at http://www.tsnn.com.
Publishing Central is running an interesting article called The Galley FAQ by Wendy J. Woudstra. If you want to know what a galley is, what information should be included in a galley, the difference between a bound galley and an advance ready copy, when and how to send bound galleys and where to send them, you need to check out this informative article. Go to http://www.publishingcentral.com and click on “Galley FAQ.”
Are you interested in blogging? Would you like to read blog entries in the area of your interests—writing and publishing, for example? Here are a few tips. Find blogs in your areas of interest in the blog directory at http://www.blogwise.com. You can search by topic and by country. They boast listings for over 71,000 blogs. Or go to http://www.bloghub.com. If you have a blog, you might consider listing yours with these directories. While you’re at it, you might enjoy reading my blog from time to time—and don’t forget to comment. http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog
Here’s an article you might want to read before you decide on a fee-based POD publishing service: Ten Questions to Ask Before You Sign that Print-on-Demand Contract, by Sue Fagalde Lick. http://www.writing-world.com/publish/lick.shtml
This is my latest blog entry. It’s a topic that comes up frequently when I’m talking with authors and I decided to share it with those of you don’t follow blogs. In case you are interested in my other blog entries, you can visit my blog at http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog.
Promote Your Book by Talking About it
Do speaking engagements sell books? Absolutely. And I encourage you to hone your speaking skills, boost your courage and get out there and speak for your supper.
You get to experience new places and meet lovely new people. I love collecting memories from the various places where I’ve presented workshops. I was wined and dined quite extravagantly while participating in a major library awareness event in Jacksonville, Florida a few years ago. I had a great time meeting women writers in Arlington, TX when I spoke before the National Association of Women Writers. I have made some wonderful friends in St. Louis, MO and, just recently, in Hawaii. In fact, it’s almost too much fun to be considered work.
Today, I’d like to offer you some suggestions for honing your speaking skills so you will feel more comfortable applying for the many speaking gigs there are out there, accepting those that come your way and creating new opportunities to speak in public as a way to promote your book.
If public speaking gives you noodle knees and sweaty palms, I recommend:
Here are some specific tips to get you started:
Know your audience
Make eye contact
Use vocal variety
Eliminate poor speaking habits.
Repeat audience questions.
You can’t sell a book that no one knows about. You won’t get writing jobs unless people are aware of your writing skills and services. One way to spread the word is to go out and talk about it. And these tips will help you to adopt a more professional speaking persona.
Find additional tips such as these in my books, The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book, The Successful Writer’s Handbook, Over 75 Good Ideas for Promoting Your Book, How to Write a Successful Book Proposal in 8 Days or Less. http://www.matilijapress.com
How to Establish a Greater Rapport With Your Audiences
I’ve had some humbling experiences as a speaker in the last few weeks. In fact, I’ve come to realize something that will help me and my audiences in future presentations. My realization might help you, too.
Here’s what I’ve learned: There are some things that people do not want to know. They may come to you with questions. They may attend your presentations on that topic. But they don’t really want to hear what you have to say, especially if it means stepping outside of their comfort zone. If someone is seeking an easy way to achieve something, he does not want to be given a complicated how-to list. He does not want to hear the proper or even the most reasonable way to succeed if it means he might have to change his mind or his approach.
My workshops and speeches have always been quite warmly received. Lately, however, I do not feel as though I’ve been connecting with my audiences. And those audiences are not buying many of my books. Obviously, if a speaker is not establishing a connection with the audience—if he is not telling his students something they want to hear—they will not warm up to him and they will not purchase his books.
Think about it, there are some messages that we just don’t want to hear. Here are a few: “you should visit the dentist regularly,” “exercise is good for you,” “you should save 50% of your income,” and, “you need to quit eating so much or quit smoking.” And I’m discovering that new authors do not want to know how to write a book proposal. They don’t want to read about it and they don’t want to hear about it. Nor do some of them want to hear the negatives of going with a fee-based publishing service or the hazards of buying just one ISBN from a publisher they locate on the Internet.
While I was in Hawaii last week giving a couple of workshops for the Honolulu Branch of the National Pen Women Writers’ Conference, a gentleman named Jim came up to me and asked how to go about getting his book published. I gave him some basic information and suggested that he purchase my book, The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book. He poo pooed my efforts and my information and he asked me again, “How do I go about getting my book published?” I explained the basics again and handed him a copy of my book. “All of the questions you have are answered in this book,” I said. He promptly put it down and said, “But all I want to know is how to publish this one book.”
Finally, it occurred to me that Jim, an attorney, by the way, was seeking a quick and easy solution to producing a book. He didn’t care about traditional channels or what comes after publication. He didn’t want qualified, appropriate guidance. He wanted to learn the easy way to publishing success. He wanted to hear what he wanted to hear—he did not want to hear truth. He did not care about tried and true methods. He wanted to buck the system without even taking the time to understand the system.
He wanted magic that does not exist. He was obviously unreasonable in his goal, but I might have been able to help him if I’d taken more time to understand his plight. What did he really want and was it something I could give him? If there had been time, I might have listened more intently to Jim and, perhaps, found a way to connect with him—to relate to his reality rather than trying to force mine on him.
I may have been able to help this hopeful author if I’d had the time, the wherewithal and the sensitivity to reel myself in, get off of my professional platform and try to understand where he was coming from. I should have stopped and put myself in his place for a moment. Once I truly understood where he was coming from, I could possibly lead him toward the information and facts that he could accept.
Jim wasn’t ready to hear the whole truth of the publishing process; he needed information and facts that he could comprehend now. And I could have given that to him. In a few days, weeks, months or even years, when he gathered more information and had more experiences within this field, he may be ready to hear what he couldn’t hear before.
Lately, I’ve had audiences filled or at least sprinkled with people like Jim. And that is partly because of my workshop topics. I’ve been speaking often about how to write a book proposal. While people genuinely want to learn how to write a book proposal, they often don’t like what I have to tell them. They resist my message and my instructions because this is not what they want to hear. And, after the session, they don’t buy my book.
As a speaker, I can sometimes feel the resistance of the audience. I’m aware of their reluctance to buy into the rather intimidating process of writing a book proposal. And when you have only an hour to teach the steps, there is no time to build a sense of camaraderie with audience members. Or is there? I’ve been thinking about this and wonder if maybe it is actually more important and effective to spend the time to build a rapport with the audience than to just start throwing unfamiliar facts, information and processes at them for an hour.
Should I teach what I know as proficiently as I can and hope that at least some of the students get it or should I risk short-changing some students in order to help more students? What happens to the students who are ready to gobble up the material if I cater to those who need to be hand-fed? Good handouts will help. But it is still important to establish a balance in my workshops so that everyone walks away with something of value. Of course, this is something that you should take into consideration when you speak or conduct workshops on the subject of your book, too.
Here are some of my thoughts with regard to the book proposal workshops. Perhaps the audience would feel more comfortable with the concept of writing a book proposal if they knew that I once avoided writing book proposals. It’s true. I used to cringe at the thought of tackling something so seemingly foreign. When someone said, “book proposal” to me, I covered my ears, closed my eyes and started chanting as loudly as I could, “La La La La.” The very idea of preparing a book proposal was way too overwhelming for me to even consider.
This may surprise an audience and it would certainly be a step toward establishing a sense of rapport—a connection—a commonality. Maybe it is important to let your audience know that you have had the same fears, desires, concerns that they are experiencing and then tell them how you managed to overcome the roadblocks. In most cases, this is absolutely legitimate. Most of us who write a how-to or other nonfiction book were probably once incompetent or lacking in the area of our expertise.
I sat in on a couple of workshops while I was at the Pen Women’s Conference in Hawaii last week and one of them was on book promotion. To my surprise, the workshop leader didn’t even attempt to teach book promotion techniques. What she did was convey a concept around the book promotion theme by sharing personal stories revealing the things she learned as she progressed along the book promotion trail. It was a totally different approach than I use when I talk about book promotion, but, because there was a lesson at every promotional turn for her, it seemed to be highly effective. The audience loved her warm style and the wisdom she shared. And several of her students bought her books.
Yes, I have some things to think about before I present my next workshop. First, I will come up with a more provocative title. I will strive to entertain while teaching. I will become vulnerable and admit my former short-comings in order to connect with my audience. I will remind myself that some writers are not ready to shift into professional mode, even though they say they want to be published. Some of them just aren’t ready for the facts—the truth that they need to know in order to survive the competitive and shark-infested waters of publishing.
When someone attends a workshop or a speech on a nonfiction topic, he or she is generally saying, “I have a problem.” And they’ve come to you for solutions to their problem. The trouble is, they don’t always embrace your solutions—so you have to somehow convince that audience member that what you are offering is valid. For some attendees, this means sugarcoating the truth and using more gentle means to entice that student to open up enough to at least consider what you’re teaching.
From now on, instead of focusing on the myriad of things that generally comprise my book proposal course, I’ll consider selecting just a few ideas that will help my audience. I’ll flesh out those ideas and gently massage them until the students become comfortable with the concept or the process. Rather than attempting to teach students everything that I think they need to know about writing a book proposal, maybe I’ll simply discuss the reasons for the book proposal, the purpose it serves, the importance of it and just two main aspects of the book proposal process. Within this less intense structure, I’ll attempt to relate to the audience by revealing my former reluctance to write a book proposal. I’ll also offer anecdotes demonstrating or illustrating (rather than telling) the benefits of writing a book proposal. And I will provide handouts with additional and some of the more advanced information these students will eventually need.
I’ve come to realize that speaking is not like writing. In an article or a book, you must provide the hard facts and the solutions succinctly—driving home the points and offering up the necessary material. In writing, the reader looks to you as an authority, but in speaking, he wants an ally. In person, he wants nurturing and hand-holding. He wants a friend. And, if the student doesn’t like you or he doesn’t like what you’re saying, even if it is the gospel truth, guess what? He won’t learn anything and he won’t buy your book, either.
Teaching is not an exact activity—especially, when you are facing a group of adults who are at different knowledge levels and resistance levels in your particular field. For this reason, it makes sense to head for the middle ground—to address those folks who are somewhere between the highly experienced and the uninformed. And it is probably okay if you endeavor to enlighten and educate audience members to an unknown and undetermined degree of understanding rather than attempting to teach them everything they need to know. And that’s probably a more realistic goal to accomplish within the typical hour-long time span, anyway.
Besides, your objective is to sell books, right? But if you manage to teach everything you know during a session, students won’t buy your book. If you succeed only in confusing and intimidating students, they won’t buy your book. I predict that a happy medium is the key to speaking success. Now go out and schmooze with that audience and be prepared to sell carloads of books.
© 2006 When someone asks a question during your presentation, always repeat it before answering it. This ensures that everyone hears it.Rid your vocabulary of stagnant verbiage. Break yourself of those mundane phrases you like to repeat, such as, “yada, yada, yada” or “know what I mean?” Likewise, watch the overuse of words such as “really.” . Inexperienced speakers generally use filler words such as ah, er, um, and (where unnecessary), and so forth. Practice speaking without filler words. Avoid sabotaging your presentation by making excuses for not being well prepared or for poor speaking skills. Stand tall, appear self-assured and you will gain the confidence of the audience. . Make your talks more enjoyable by using an assortment of vocal tones and pitches rather than speaking in monotone. If you need help developing vocal variety, practice reading to children. . Move your attention around the room as you speak, making eye contact with each person.. Many inexperienced orators speak too softly or they allow their voices to drop toward the end of their sentences. Practice speaking up and speaking out. Whether addressing a large audience or a small group, always speak so that you can be heard even in the back of the room. . Gear your speech to the needs and interests of this particular audience. You will be more at ease if you know what to expect. Find out if there will be a lectern or microphone, for example. How many people do they expect? How will the room be set up? Also, have your props or notes organized so there will be no annoying fumbling during your presentation. © 2006is set to debut. For submission guidelines contact firstname.lastname@example.org has a fairly informative submission guidelines page on their Web site through which they request submissions. Yet, when I contacted editor, Evan Smith, he said that they are staff-written only. He said, “At least for now, I’m turning down anything that comes over the transom.” http://www.texasmonthly.com is a new magazine for newlyweds. And they are open to your article ideas. Contact Katie Herrick at email@example.com and ask her for a copy of their submission guidelines. Or just pitch your story idea. But be sure to study their Web site, first. http://www.thenest.com is new. While they have a very complete Web site, I do not find their submission guidelines there. I suggest that you contact the editors and request a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about the magazine at http://www.positivethinkingmag.com.will launch this month. This is slotted to be a quarterly craft magazine for women. And they are seeking submissions. They publish instructions for craft projects. If you submit an idea to them, be sure to include a list of materials needed and sharp photographs. Contact editor, Traci Hayner Vanover with your submission ideas. Learn more at http://www.createthedream.com. For submission guidelines, go to http://www.createthedream.com/about.htm. According to the guidelines, this magazine pays only occasionally—whatever that means.will launch soon. And they are open to submissions. Send your ideas to email@example.com back, too. Watch for the debut re-issue this month. Contact editor, Gay Bryant, for submission guidelines at firstname.lastname@example.org gone. will close after just 5 years. is folding. is also gone. is out of business. has been discontinued. is evidently in trouble—they’re seeking funding as we speak. is gone (the magazine, that is). has folded. is gone. folded in February. has closed.