SPAWN Market Update – May, 2007
By Patricia L. Fry
Going, Going, Gone – 3 print magazines and a bookstore chain are gone; 2 publishers are closed to submissions; an authors’ resource site is troublesome; a radio show is over.
Here’s What’s New – 10 information bites and updates.
Word of Warning – A sad, sad story: Sharks swallow another author; List of “warning” sites to keep you safe.
Resources – Listings for hundreds of agents, publishers, magazine editors and informational articles.
Opportunities for Writers – 12 magazines, anthology opportunities and Writing JOB SITES.
Opportunities for Authors – 5 publishers seeking manuscripts.
Opportunities for Artists/Photographers – 2 of them.
Book Promotion Opportunities – 10 opportunities, including 4 broadcast opps and 6 book festivals.
News Bites – Taxes for Authors; New Policy for B&N Books; Distributors 101; Why AAR?; Is the Press Release Obsolete?
Notes from the Editor – Beyond Success: Two Authors’ Incredible Stories
Bible Factory Outlet, a Christian retail bookstore chain, has filed bankruptcy.
Clamour Magazine is closed after 7 years in business.
Child has ceased publishing the print magazine, but it will be available online.
Life Magazine is shutting down its print version… again. Life was launched over 70 years ago. It closed in 1972, only to reopen six years later. The magazine shut down again in 2000 for four years, when it became a newspaper supplement. Life Magazine isn’t completely gone. You can still access copies online at http://www.life.com.
Vintage Romance Publishing is closed to submissions.
Black Gate Publishers, publisher of fantasy of all lengths, is currently closed to submissions. Keep a watch at http://www.blackgate.com/bg/guide.htm.
Authormania is supposed to be a Web site for authors. However, I want to warn you about them. My experiences with this site have been rather disappointing. For one thing, their email address seems to be no good. Also, when I visit their site, I am bombarded by popup ads that I can’t get rid of. Twice, my computer froze when visiting this site and I had to do a restart to get out of the situation. I would advise staying clear of this poor excuse for an author-friendly Web site.
Fran Silverman of Book Promotion Newsletter, has quit producing her online radio show. She said that she just didn’t feel as though she had very many listeners. http://www.bookpromotionnewsletter.com
Freelance writers in Canada are tired of being treated like second-class citizens. In order to protect their writing rights, they have formed the Canadian Freelancers Union. Learn more at: http://www.cfunion.ca.
Meg Weaver, at Wooden Horse Publishing, has a new assistant editor. She recently hired Lisa Romeo to help out there. If you are interested in freelance writing and if you haven’t visited Wooden Horse Publications, yet, you must do so NOW. http://www.woodenhorsepub.com
Ellen Kunes is the new editor-in-chief of Health Magazine. If her name sounds familiar, it should. Kunes was the editor of Redbook. She also founded O, the extremely successful Oprah Magazine. If you would like to submit an article to Health, this is a high-paying market. A 1,200-word article published in Health, could earn you a cool $2,400. Kunes wants to see a query letter first and published clips. Go to their Web site at, http://www.health.com and click on “Talk to Us.” You’ll have the opportunity to participate in some of their polls. But beware, they, too, allow popup ads at their site and it is annoying!
Mom Writer’s Literary Magazine
According to Meg Weaver, who keeps track of such things through her Wooden Horse Publications site and newsletter, there were 262 magazines launched in 2006. This, she says, is according to Magazine Publishers of America. http://www.magazine.org
Author Claims to have been Swallowed Up By a Couple of Sharks
After hanging around publishing and writing-related Web sites for a while and after reading some of the more useful, informative magazines and newsletters, authors soon realize that all is not always calm within this realm. There are sharks in the waters and one of my jobs, as editor of the SPAWN Market Update, is to let you know where they are.
We must also understand that a shark incident in one author’s or freelance writer’s mind, may be nothing more than a misunderstanding or misperception. For example, I’ve been using a certain printing company for a few years. They’ve taken care of several projects for Matilija Press and for some of my clients. Recently, however, I received a note from a colleague saying that this company treated her poorly, didn’t keep their word and caused her a lot of trouble and heart-ache. She said the whole printing process was a nightmare. Of course, I wanted to hear more. I quizzed my colleague and I also talked to a representative at the company to get the other side of this story. What I learned was that the problems stemmed pretty much entirely from the author’s lack of follow-through and understanding about the printer’s policies and requirements. The author did receive her books and they were printed exactly as she asked for them to be, but they did not make an important deadline. Why? In this case, it was because the author took liberties with the time constraints and neglected to follow through on her end.
Even an excellent printing company cannot perform miracles. Nor will they generally interrupt their agreements with other clients when you decide to pull your book from the process to make some changes. When you come back with those changes, you will have to take your turn in line again.
I’m going to tell you about another unfortunate situation and I don’t know who is at fault here. Author, Linda Wattley is telling her story at several Web sites. If you want to read all of the gory details, go to http://www.blacknews.com/pr/lindawattley101.html. I’m steering you there so that you can read what happened to Linda and who she is accusing. What we don’t know is the other side of the story. But this is a warning worth heeding, as it sounds as though Linda found herself in a pool full of sharks. According to Linda, this event cost her a lot of money and she still doesn’t have even one of the three books that she paid to have produced.
Note: One of the “sharks” was listed as potentially dangerous at the Preditors and Editors site. (Yes, the spelling is correct.)
Any time you want to turn your manuscript or some of your money or both over to an unknown individual or agency, do a warnings search. Before stepping into those deep waters, check the Web for any negative reports or complaints.
And if you feel that you’ve been scammed, let us know via SPAWNDiscuss or the SPAWN Forum.
Also check out, Firstwriter.com. http://www.firstwriter.com. Here you will find a list of 700 literary agents, 700 book publishers, 750 magazines (including 363 fiction and 420 poetry), book reviews, writing tips, copyright information and writing contests. The cost to access all of this is just $4.49 month.
Do you have a touching, true story about a horse, a cat, single parenting, being a divorced woman, surviving breast cancer or dealing with Alzheimer’s? The editors of Cup of Comfort will pay you as much as $500 for the best story submitted to each of several anthologies. All of those whose stories are accepted will receive a copy of the book. There is no entry fee. What do they want? Submit uplifting stories of 1,000 to 2,000 words in narrative nonfiction style. The stories must be original. Send only one per email and include your full name, mailing address and your phone number in the body of an email (no attachments, please) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Complete submission guidelines are at http://www.cupofcomfort.com.
Writers Digest Magazine
Candace Carteen is producing a series of books and she’s seeking submissions. Hers are I Know Why books. Her hallmark book is I know why the Fat Girl Cries. She says that her series is unlike any other. Her anthologies highlight real stories from real people who live in the real world. She wants writers to tell what goes on behind closed doors, within a broken heart and in the passion of all beings. She doesn’t want writers to gloss over the reality of a situation in order to come up with a happy conclusion. Upcoming books are: I Know Why the Pet Owner Cries. The deadline for submissions to this book is June 31, 2007. I Know Why the Fat Boy Cries, deadline, Jan. 31, 2008. Other books coming up are: I Know Why Disruption Happens (adoption stories), I Know Why the Military Brat Cries, I Know Why the Momma Cries, I Know Why Infidelity Hurts, I Know Why the Papa Cries, and I Know Why the Thin Girl Cries. Candace wants stories of 500 to 2,000 words and she’ll pay an honorarium of $50 and a copy of the book to those whose stories are accepted. Learn more at: http://www.webspawner.com/users/iknowwhy/index.html.
Have you ever gone to CraigsList in search of writing jobs? Granted, there are quite a few newsletters and Web sites with job listings for writers. (I’ll mention some of them below.) I went to CraigsList this morning to see what I could find for you and was stunned by the variety of opportunities there. Here’s what I found just for the Los Angeles, CA area, power tool writer, commercial copywriter, writer for real estate site, editor-in-chief for publishing company, staff writer for gay magazine, travel writer, someone to write captions and editorial assistant. In Miami, they need someone to write a couple of articles on cosmetic surgery, a blogger and a freelance fashion writer. In Seattle, they’re advertising for a newspaper reporter, a medical writer and a copywriter for Nintendo.
Additional job sites:
http://www.writersweekly.com (scroll down to “New Job Listings.”)
NEW! Dreamriver Press is seeking fiction and nonfiction works that inspire and uplift the spirit. It doesn’t matter if the work is contemporary, fables/fairy tales or spiritual. This publisher is also interested in manuscripts related to psychology and health. Submissions@dreamriverpress.com. Submission Guidelines at: http://www.dreamriverpress.com/submissions.html.
Melodie Johnson Howe will teach a workshop for mystery writers September 14-16, 2007 in Santa Barbara. For more information, http://www.sbwritersconference.com/enewsletter.
Wildcat Canyon Press
Ocean View Books
Mom Writer’s Literary Magazine
Oprah isn’t the only game in town when it comes to promoting your book before millions of people. You might also want to check out “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart and “The Colbert Report,” with audiences of 1.6 million and 1.2 million respectively. http://www.colbertnation.com. http://www.thedailywshowonline.com.
Danielle Hampson of ArizonaWebTV.com is also looking for interesting guests for her “Authors” show. Learn more at http://www.arizonawebtv.com.
Events for Authors/Publishers
Does your book fit into one of these categories? Do you live nearby any of these sites? If so, you might consider taking your book to the show.
International New Age Trade Show West
National Book Festival
Midwest Literary Festival
Southern Festival of Books
Buckeye Book Fair
Louisiana Book Festival
Taxes for Writers
Kelly James-Enger of http://www.becomebodywise.com and Six figure Freelancing: The Writer’s Guide to Making More Money (Random House, 2005), posted an informative article on taxes and the writer in her latest edition of her newsletter, Writer’s Gear: Advice, Encouragement and Information for Your Freelance Career.
She says that first you must determine if writing is a hobby or a career. How do you determine this? “The key, as far as the IRS is concerned,” says James-Enger, “is having a profit motive. In other words, if you’re writing with the intention of getting paid for your work, you’ve got profit in mind.” She recommends keeping track of all potential deductions. This includes your membership in SPAWN and other organizations, travel expenses related to your work as well as office supplies and equipment. Keep receipts for all possible deductions.
I have claimed my writing income from day one. For a few years, my expenses were more than my earnings. That’s okay, as far as the IRS is concerned, but they may get suspicious if you are filing for too many years without making a profit.
Are you keeping track of your expenses related to authorship? This might include fees, mileage and materials for publishing conferences, book fairs and book signings; books, magazines and consulting fees; promotional material; mailing lists and so forth.
New Policies for Barnes and Noble
I obtained a copy of Barnes and Noble’s latest Policy on Product Identification and Bar Coding. It says that compliance with the instructions in this document is essential to enable Barnes and Noble to offer your books and other products to their customers in an efficient and timely manner. They say that it is also a significant factor in their being able to reorder promptly to replace sales. They expect compliance for new publications or products, all backlist books and other previously existing products received after September 1, 2007. Of course, they want you to transition from the ISBN-10 to the ISBN-13, as you know. But they also want changes in bar codes for books. They are following the product identification policy of BISG (Book Industry Study Group) http://www.BISG.org.
All books accepted by Barnes and Noble must have a human-readable suggested retail price printed on the book. They need the ISBN 13 format and they must have the Bookland EAN bar code. This is not necessary for book purchases to fill a specific customer order or those books to be stocked only in a Barnes and Noble warehouse.
For a copy of the “Policy on Product Identification and Bar Coding, September 15, 2006” edition, go to: http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/for_publishers/Vendor_Guidelines/BarnesNobleProduct_ID_Policy09062.pdf.
What is a Distributor and What Do They Do?
There’s a good article at the PMA (Publisher’s Marketing Association) Web site by Davida G. Breier called, “How to Date Your Distributor.” Breier is a sales and marketing manager for Biblio Distribution—a company that specializes in distribution for small and independent presses.
Breier points out that a distributor is different from a wholesaler. Ingram and Baker and Taylor Books are wholesalers. They fill orders. A distributor has a sales force—some, of course, are more effective than others. Some, such as Biblio, want an exclusive relationship with you and others don’t mind sharing the distribution task with other companies.
Distributors often specialize. There are regional distributors, for example. If you have a book of interest to folks in a particular area, you might seek a regional distributor. Many distributors deal with books on specific topics, only—new age, nonfiction, children’s, etc. Booklines was my Hawaiian distributor for my book on how to present a Hawaiian luau on the mainland.
Distributors won’t work alone. Before accepting your book, they want to know that you have a platform and a promotions plan. A distributor may be able to get your book into bookstores, but if it isn’t selling, it won’t be there for long. It is up to you—the author—to bring in the customers.
Before signing with a distributor, make sure that you understand their contract and that this particular distributor matches your expectations and needs.
See Breier’s article at http://www.pma-online.org/scripts/shownews.cfm?id=1390.
What is the big deal about choosing an AAR (Association of Author Representatives) agent? This organization serves as a screening system. They do the weeding work for you. You want an agent who has made some sales, don’t you? You want one that does not charge reading fees. You want a bonafide, legitimate agent, not someone who is masquerading as an agent. When you’re ready to find an agent for your great literary contribution, don’t swim with the sharks. Go to http://www.aar-online.org and choose your agent from their list of true literary agents.
Is the Press Release, as we Know it, Obsolete?
There’s an article circulating that says press releases written and distributed the traditional way are a waste of time. Penny Sansevieri, in her Book Marketing Expert Newsletter (April 5, 2007), says that journalists find the information and stories they want by searching the Internet. In fact the results of one study indicate that over 70% of Americans get their news content online. Sansevieri seems to think that press releases distributed online are still effective, but that the concept of targeted news releases sent via postal mail, email or fax is obsolete. She suggests, instead, posting your press releases at press release sites such as PRWeb and/or in the media room of your site.
I checked into this idea and learned that, while some sites charge a lot of money for press release services, there are others that claim to distribute your press releases inexpensively. PRWeb.com is one of them.
I also asked around and I received feedback from a major publicity firm countering Sansevieri’s claims. They agree with me that authors should not forego any opportunity to send targeted press releases. However, this is not to say that we shouldn’t also attempt the scattershot method of distributing press releases available via the amazing internet. Learn more about Sansevieri and her work at http://www.amarketingexpert.com.
Then I asked SPAWN Executive Director, Virginia Lawrence. Here’s what she said:
“I’m sending out press releases almost every day using the $35,000 per year Vocus service in my work with Ballantines PR. The Vocus service has a database of 800,000 editors with full contact info and their preferences. We do not do any scattershot mailings. We create highly targeted lists, then create and send great html emails with photos to showcase the client offerings. Sending these highly targeted emails has been wildly successful. We’ve generated articles on the front page of the LATimes, in Vogue, in Conde Nast Traveller, Wall Street Journal, etc. Our clients are very pleased and those articles have huge ad value. That is, we calculate what the client would have to pay for an ad covering the same space as the article. For example, in the last 9 months, we’ve generated an ad value of over $1,300,000.00 for Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau.”
Virginia continued: “In my experience the press release is far from dead. Rather, the truly newsworthy press release is vital to getting the word out to highly targeted media contacts and generating favorable articles. We send our releases by email using Vocus to reach the targeted media contacts directly. Then we also use the Vocus-owned PRWeb to send the releases out on the Internet newswires and through AP.”
“The PRWeb distribution is completely different from sending a press release by email. Sending out a release on PRWeb, we expect to find the release on Google News, Yahoo News, MSN News, etc, along with many other important sites.”
“The PRWeb prices start at $80. Then there’s the $200 level, and the big daddy choice, $360, which sends the release out on the AP wire in addition to the general online wire services.”
One Author’s Long, Long Road to Success
Selden Edwards spent 30 years working on his novel and collecting rejection slips. He said that he has gathered enough rejection letters to paper two walls in his home. Recently, however, his novel Fin de Siecle, was picked up by Dutton for a generous six-figure sum. A few months later, he sold the movie rights. Today, Mr. Edwards lives to tell the story of patience, perseverance and publishing success.
This Author Was in the Right Place at the Right Time
Here’s one of those “I could have had a V-8” stories. Some years ago, I discovered an interesting Web site all about Library Cats. Did you know that there are over 300 known library cats in the U.S.? That is, cats that have been adopted by the staff/patrons of libraries. Most of them live right there in the libraries and interact with patrons. I loved the concept and contacted librarians throughout the states to get their library cat stories. I placed a few articles about some of the cats, but I collected way more rejection letters than acceptances.
I was actually quite surprised that there weren’t more editors who wanted these human interest stories. I contacted regional magazines about the cats in their areas, cat/pet-related magazines and magazines focusing on travel, libraries, lifestyle, etc. Most of them were not interested.
Well, imagine my surprise when I learned this week that a librarian in Spencer, Iowa, whom I had interviewed a couple of times about their library cat, Dewey Readmore Books, just landed a $1.2 million contract to write a book about this cat. Warner Books, (soon to be Grand Central Publishing) issued her the contract.
Yes, great ideas, persistence and perseverance are important. But sometimes, folks, you just gotta be in the right place at the right time.
will be held in November in Baton Rouge. http://www.louisianabookfestival.org is scheduled for November 23, 2007 in Wooster, Ohio. Learn more at: http://www.buckeyebookfair.com. is sponsored by the Tennessee Humanities Organization and will be held on October 12-13, 2007 in Nashville, Tennessee. http://www.tn-humanities.org/festival. will be held in Aurora, Illinois, October 6-7, 2007. So far, they don’t have the particulars of this year’s festival posted at their site. Keep watching: http://www.midwestliteraryfestival.com. sponsored by the Library of Congress. To be held in Washington DC September 29, 2007. http://www.loc.gov/bookfest. features a trade show and seminars June 23-25, 2007 in Denver, Colorado. For more information about displaying your book there, http://www.inats.com/west/index.html. is launching “Cover Stories”—a weekly internet broadcast program featuring authors and books. They’ll be interviewing authors of books related to business, technology, sports, entertainment, health, finance, political and others. http://www.businesstvchannel.com. needs artwork in the form of photography, sketches and graphic art. Learn more at http://www.momwriterslitmag.com or contact the art editor at: email@example.com. uses artwork and photography. Contact art director, Matt Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org for guidelines. in St. Louis, produces scientific books, outdoor and regional guides as well as some self-help books on topics related to parenting and aging. Contact Angie Quick at email@example.com. in Denver, Colorado. They publish literary fiction and science fiction titles. You’ll have to write for a copy of their guidelines for writers: Lee Ballentine, POB 9249, Denver, CO 80209. publishes gift books and self-help books on personal growth, family, women’s issues and relationships. They particularly like books that will fit into the gift market. Do you have a fun project that might interest the editors at Wildcat Canyon Press? Get a copy of their submission guidelines at their Web site: http://www.counciloakbooks.com. Magazine uses fiction, poetry and even nonfiction, as long as it relates to speculative fiction (horror, science fiction and fantasy). They only pay $10 per piece, but this might be a good place to start building your platform for your fantasy, sci fi or horror book. http://www.coyotewildmag.com uses aviation-oriented material with a historical overtone. Study a copy of this magazine and then come up with a story and a slant that no other aviation magazine is doing. They usually publish, in each issue, two or three articles on WWII, a modern jet story, a pilot interview or personal story, a historical piece and a semi-technical piece with historical overtones. If you have some ideas that you feel are right for Flight Journal, contact Roger Post at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their Web site at: http://www.flightjournal.com. You’ll find submission guidelines at: http://www.flightjournal.com/fj/magazine/cguidelines.asp. Basically, they use articles of 2,500 to 3,000 words and they pay $600 and up. is new. http://www.revolutionhealth.com. They solicit personal health stories and they have a few jobs listed. has new submission guidelines. You’ll find them at http://www.writersdigest.com/wdguidelines.asp. Basically, the editors of WD want articles that help their readers stay inspired, improve their craft, understand the unique challenges of publishing today and get their work noticed. If you’ve read Writer’ Digest, lately, you know that their pages are filled with advice and real-life experiences delving deeply into what’s important to writers today. The magazine, of course, addresses the needs of writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and scripts. Circulation is 140,000 now and readers include men and women of all ages and varying levels of writing skill and successes. Unlike many magazines, Writer’s Digest will consider completed manuscripts on spec as well as queries. They prefer hearing from established writers. They pay 30 to 50 cents word for from 500 to 2,000 words—depending on the department you’re writing for. As you will discover when studying the magazine, they use opinion pieces, essays, author profiles, market reports and articles on writing technique. Kara Gebhart Uhl is the current Managing Editor. is a Web site loaded with articles for freelance writers and authors. Visit often at: http://www.forauthors.com., currently at: www.momwriterslitmag.com, is going to print in June. If you’d like to submit a review for a book that would be of interest to mom writers, write a profile of a mom writer/author, submit some of your poetry or an essay, for example, contact Paula Schmitt at email@example.com. is new out of Wachovia. It’s designed for parents and teens and will be distributed through high school guidance counselors. Do you have something you could contribute to a publication like this? http://www.wachovia.com/collegeready debuted last month. It is a quarterly publication focusing on the Central Pennsylvania region. Len Ingrassia is the editor. So far, no Web site in sight. Stay posted., a Canadian magazine, is coming to the United States. Evidently, this magazine is circulated free to theater-goers. It contains what is termed soft entertainment, including celebrity news and gossip. I doubt that they are open to freelance material unless you can interest them in a piece related to a celebrity occurence. http://www.tribute.ca has added two new travel sections starting with their March/April issue. http://www.nevadamagazine.com. For Submission Guidelines contact Joyce Hollister at firstname.lastname@example.org. will become Grand Central Publishing in the fall of 2007. Why?? Well, Hachette Livre, the French company that purchased Warner Books, required a name change as part of the deal. Since Warner is moving into an office at Grand Central Terminal, the new name just seemed like an obvious choice. (Read, in the “Notes From the Editor” section, about an incredible success story for one first-time author who was recently issued a contract by this company.)