SPAWN Market Update – November 2003


SPAWN Market Update – November, 2003

By Patricia L. Fry


Here’s What’s New

The premier issue of Sports Illustrated on Campus is being distributed throughout selected college campuses nationwide. Learn more about this magazine at

The Front Porch

Upstate House

Parenting Magazine

Kristin Godsey has taken Melanie Rigney’s place as editor at Writer’s Digest Magazine.

Bridget Johnson is no longer with Cat Fancy It seems that Sandy Meyer is doing double duty now. .

Opportunities for Writers

Publishers for Your Memoirs

Write Newsletters

American Magazine

Homeschooling Companion

Parklane Publishing

Meridian: A Middle School Computer Technologies Journa

Greeting Card Publishers

Kate Harper Designs

Rob Coon at pays $50 per verse for humorous, golf related content only.

Calendar Publishers

Occasionally, I’m asked if I know of any calendar publishers. Here are a few: Web sites to get you started:, and

Get Your Book Reviewed

Would you like someone to review your novel? is looking for books to review. Find out more about their review process at .

Don’t overlook the newspaper book review. See “Research/Reference Site” below.

Sites for Writers

Krissy Brady designed her site, Brady Magazine, with the writer in mind. Here, she offers the opportunity for writers to meet other writers. She also provides information for writers and listings for contests, free workshops and jobs for writers. Visit at Contact Krissy

Free journal-writing workshop

Research/Reference Site of the Month

Are you getting free newspaper publicity for your book? If not, why? In my book, The Successful Writer’s HandbookI tell authors how to find promotional opportunities in the hundreds of newspapers available throughout the U.S. For example:


  • Send press releases to newspaper editors announcing your new book.
  • Send press releases periodically with stories of interest related to your book.
  • Make news by starting a volunteer program related to your book subject.
  • Offer articles on the topic of your book.
  • Contact book reviewers from the many daily and weekly newspapers.
  • Contact appropriate newspaper columnists to interview you. Is your book topic related to food, entertainment, lifestyle, family life, religion, sports, pets or travel, for example? Columnists are hungry for new material.

In The Successful Writer’s HandbookI provide three Web sites where you can find newspaper listings. They are:, and Here’s a fourth: The at Start now. Devote at least one hour each day promoting your book through newspapers.

Grammar Site

Guide to Grammar and Writing

Featured Member, Eva Rosenberg

Member, Eva Rosenberg just announced via SPAWN Discuss that a major publisher has asked her to write a book for them. The publisher came to her!! This was such exciting news that I asked her for an interview. Don’t you want to know how to make this happen in your world? Here’s Eva’s story along with her recommendations to other authors:


Q: Please tell us a little about your career path. As I understand it, you did not start out to be an author, right?

A: I started out doing a lot of part-time and temporary jobs, working my way through college. My goal was to learn as many languages as possible and travel to the small villages of the world and sit with the older folk, preserving their folk tales before they are lost. (Major, linguistics)

I dropped out temporarily, after I got married, because I knew my husband would never live that life, and I needed to re-think my education. I had to find a way to make a living from home, for when I had kids and/or he became permanently disabled. (He had a spinal situation. One more operation could paralyze him.)

Finally, I settled on Accounting. Learned it. Got good at it. But preferred to aim my hat at VP of International Marketing for IBM as a goal. So, I went back to get my MBA in International Business. Along the way, working full-time, I realized that to be good at being a business consultant, I needed to understand the tax implications related to the business. Some nice VP Finance (Minoru Tonai, at Compucorp) persuaded me to get my CPA while I could still afford the cut in pay.

I got into a big-8 CPA firm and started to learn taxes. For the first time in life, I hated my job. (I had NEVER had that experience before.) Company politics and disgust with
the lack of common sense and business ethics made me leave. (They didn’t want me to learn about the company’s real problems to put into the audit report.  “Who do you think is paying the bill?!”)

So I never got my CPA. But I did start a tax practice, while I was finishing my MBA. Just temporarily. Well, that has lasted over 15 years. I couldn’t leave it while I was still helping clients recover from their problems. Finally, it just ate up my life.  So, it’s time to take it back.

Q: So what motivated you to add “author” to your impressive credentials?

A: Well, Patricia, while my working life didn’t start out that way, I’ve been wanting to grow up and be a writer since I was very, very young.  Some people sensed the aptitude. They trusted me to help them with their writing.

For instance, when I was about 11 or 12, a friend’s oldest brother used to drag me into his room to critique his short stories, essays and poetry. He took my suggestions seriously.
You can’t imagine how flattering that was. Especially since, today he is a noted encyclopedist and author of many, many books in his field of martial arts.

Some even on video

And screen writing, fight choreography etc. (With Elvis Presley)

And while I was terrified to get up and speak in public, as a junior in high school, I helped a friend not only get his speech accepted for the final round of the Valedictory selection—but I coached him on his presentation. He was chosen as his class Valedictorian.

Oh yes, there WAS the second place win of the Beverly Hills Bar Association Law Day Essay contest for a paper I’d written, in class, first draft, free-hand, without knowing the instructor was submitting it. (Unfortunately, due to the first teacher’s strike in Los Angeles history, Law Day was cancelled and the ceremony honoring my win took place at nearly the same time as Joseph’s graduation. Grabbing a bus to UCLA, I just missed his speech. He was so hurt that I wasn’t there.)

See, Patricia, accounting and tax was just a detour, until I could find my voice. You know, that thing parents always want for their children—that education to fall back on.

I should have had the sense to seek out a degree in journalism, but it never even occurred to me. I want to write. I didn’t realize the way to get there was a journalism major. Maybe, when I grow up.

Back in the mid-80s, when I was building my tax practice, I found it was easier to build it using press releases than ads. That got me started writing columns for local newspapers.

Which led me to be at the inception of PMA (then, PASCAL – Publishers Association of Southern California), and to Irwin Zucker’s  BPSC (Book Publicists of So. Cal.).

I wrote and self-published a tax book, with a great marketing plan. Couldn’t execute it, due to an auto accident. But before the accident, on New Years Day of that year, I had met with a publisher who commissioned a promotional piece and a book that I was to
write after tax season. And a PASCAL member for whom I had written a couple of chapters in his teachers’ tax book asked me to write the WHOLE book when he updated it. (Didn’t have time. He needed it on short notice, so I lost out. VERY regrettable.)

So, after the accident, I put the writing aside—until the Internet. Once I got on, I started to hit the accounting sites and some others, and got paid columns from three sites, almost immediately.

They all dried up a few years ago with the dotcom bust.

Since then, I’ve been paid for some articles, sporadically, but have been writing mostly free columns, to keep the exposure. It’s SO important for people to keep seeing your
name out there. They don’t know you’re not getting paid.

Regardless, this is what I’ve always wanted to do. Now I am making time to the thing I love to do—write.

Q: Did you start out with an ebook? Would you like to share some of your successful marketing tips for the ebook?

A: I started out with the e-book out of curiosity. We all know that self-publishing can be really lucrative if you market your books aggressively and build up a strong reader base. And push, push, push.

Facing a choice between printed books and e-books, the decision wasn’t hard. I hate the idea of printing up thousands of books to fill bookstores’ shelves—who then return all the unsold books to you for refunds, in un-salable condition.

I already have about 100 of my Tax Anxiety Xperience books and about 200 of my friend’s Ponce’s Fountain (hilarious) novel in my garage. (In addition to many years worth of client tax files.) If I take up more space, my husband will kill me.

So far, I haven’t done successful marketing for the e-book. I have all the right things in place—just been too busy doing tax returns to really do the marketing. (Which is another
reason why not having the hard costs of printed books is important.)

Without really trying, we’ve only sold a couple of hundred books. Most through my own readers, a growing number through certain affiliates.

What works?

1)  Set up an affiliate program and offer commissions to your friends, fans and readers for selling your books. Let them use it to get a discount on their purchases. (They’ll buy more of them.)

2) Write up several good articles (from one paragraph to 750 words) about your book and how to use it. Have those ready to give to your affiliates to use. Show them where to put their affiliate link, or use an affiliate program that merges it into the text as the e-mail goes out. (We still have to do that.)

3) Give them custom sites and contests to use.

4) When someone offers to include your information in their newsletter or on their cable TV station for free, drop what you’re doing and do it. (I have two BIG invitations that I haven’t taken up yet. And one really great MLM network that I haven’t even contacted
yet that would love the book.)

5) Send out those short 1-2 paragraph descriptions about your book, including some information from people who’ve used it, or glowing testimonials as press releases to all the relevant press you can find.  Do not make it a sales pitch about the book. Write it as an article that would be interesting to read. If you don’t have your own database, use this one

6) Google AdWords
Advertise using keywords. If you do it right, it won’t cost you much for the right keywords. Read their tutorials, or those of Ken Evoy

Q: How did it come about that a large publisher (can you name the company?) approached you to write a book? Were you in the right place at the right time with the right material?

A: I am not yet ready to name the publisher until I have a signed contract in my hand.

They came to me. The associate editor (who, it turns out, has a VERY solid history of
being the named editor of some major Writer’s Digest resource directories), went looking for a good tax writer to write their next small business book. She did her research online, looking at writing samples. She loved the material and the style she found at

Another opportunity came to me by e-mail, from a long-term reader. She offered me an audio feature (MWF—my choice) and to carry my Ask TaxMama syndicated column. It’s now in the PPA center at

So, it looks like, being out there, all over the place, and putting good material out there, makes it easier for people to find you.

Q: What is the next step in your incredibly full, varied and busy life?

Well, I am planning to do more paid writing. (Talk about being in the right place at the right time. Yesterday, I made a quickie phone call to CBS MarketWatch
to pitch an article a foreign reader of mine wrote—ended up providing a QUICK fill-in article because his author was late—and may end up with a regular column—cross your fingers, please , please, please…)

I will start to follow my own advice in the syndication article on the SPAWN site—and get my Ask TaxMama column  syndicated in print publications.

And I am working on a radio feature. We’ve already recorded several sample spots, have some advertisers and some stations interested—now, just need to pitch them to the network.

Q: Do you have any tips for our readers who are still hoping to land that big publishing contract?

A: Yes, do great work and be persistent. Good luck comes when you pick up the phone or send out a letter. It never comes while you’re sitting and hoping someone will respond.
Keep shotgunning material out there. Sooner or later, you’ll be in the right place at the right time.

Of course, become an expert in your field. If there are credentials to be gotten—get them.
If there’s another way to demonstrate expertise—quantify it, objectify it so you can present it easily.

Q: Please add anything else you feel is important.

A: I never really think about my credentials or expertise. Here I sit, braless, in leggings and barefoot, at a desk in my home. Really, not formidable, or someone to take seriously.

When meeting with the producer of the radio features, I knew he’d already had a glowing recommendation from his partner, so I wasn’t expecting to have to sell myself much.
When he asked me about my credentials or expertise to be doing these tax features, at first I was a bit taken aback, then amused.  So, I just grinned and told him, I didn’t have much going for me—just a degree in accounting, a Masters in International Business, 25 years tax experience, writing, teaching, speaking… etc. and went on and on and on until I asked if I was boring him yet.

I really forget that I’ve honest-to-goodness paid my dues. And when I become an ‘overnight success’ it will be because I have worked steadily towards this goal for over 20 years.

Bonus Items

As a follow up to my interviews with critique group leaders last month, I’ve included a couple of resources you might find interesting. There’s a good article written by Eleanor Sullo called Starting a Critique Group. Read it at For additional information about critique groups go to

Are you thinking about building your own Web site? In my book, The Successful Writer’s Handbook, I suggest visiting other writers’ sites, first. Here are some you must see. According to Writer’s Digest, these are some of the best writing sites around.,, and Also, feel free to visit my Web site where I show off my published books and post some of my published clips.

. . Sharpen your journal-keeping skills through this FREE online workshop. Work at your own pace in private. at charges for reviewing a book. Depending on where the review will be posted or how valuable the review will be as a promotional tool, you might want to pay the price. The fee for two reviews is $100 and $33 for each additional review. has launched quite a campaign to locate new talent of all ages for their greeting card line. In fact, they rely 100% on freelancers. They purchase unrhymed verses for $25 each. Contact info: l is accepting submissions for winter 2004. According to Elizabeth Snoke and Shannon White, the mission of this magazine is to share and expand teaching and learning with computer technologies in middle school classrooms and beyond. Contact Snoke or White before December 1 with your ideas at . Web site at produced 15 children’s books this year. Publisher, Philip Rodgers says they expect to publish 60 titles in 2004. You might want to get your manuscript to them for consideration. Find out more at is only about a year old, but editor Rebecca Thompson has high hopes for this magazine. Currently she’s seeking nonfiction articles for kids in two age ranges: 7 – 11 and 12 and up. They use a variety of articles, particularly biographies as long as it relates to history, science, mathematics, geography and the arts. Rebecca is also interested in study guides and arts and crafts projects that correspond to the historical themes. Contact Rebecca Thompson at wants your human-interest stories. If it’s relevant to America, interesting, humorous and uplifting, it may be right for American Magazine. Avoid controversial subjects. Consider submitting only family oriented, non-inflammatory articles and personal stories of 300 – 1200 words. See their guidelines for writers at Contact: American Magazine, POB 241448, Memphis, TN 38124 or Here’s an interesting concept. Joan Tutora of The Write Exposure is in the business of providing company newsletters for a variety of audiences. In order to produce all of these newsletters, she hires freelance writers, designers, illustrators and photographers. Are you an expert in the area of technology, travel, retail or hospitality, for example? Perhaps you could freelance for The Write Exposure. The pay rate starts at $200 for a 500-750-word article. Email a resume (no attachments please). Let Joan know your industry, expertise and other qualifications. . Are you one of the thousands of people who are writing your memoirs? If you’re looking for a publisher, you need look no further than your 2004 edition of Writer’s Market. A whopping 87 of those listed publish memoirs. Here’s a sampling: Nomad, Tilbury House, Soho Press, Zondervan, Heritage Press and Broadway Books. (on page 474 in your 2004 edition of Writer’s Market) has a new articles editor. From now on, type Denene Milner’s name in place of “articles editor” when submitting a query to this magazine. is a regional publication for those folks living in the Hudson Valley in New York. If you live in or are otherwise familiar with the area from Albany to Manhattan, perhaps you could write for this magazine. They want articles profiling interesting residents as well as pieces on anything of interest to or affecting residents in the Hudson Valley. Contact: is trying its wings again. This magazine was launched last year and didn’t make it. They’re testing this general interest magazine again by inserting it in participating newspapers. You can help by sending your good ideas for nonfiction articles about ordinary people. This magazine promises not to send you a rejection letter. In fact, they’re one of a growing number of publications that do not respond to queries that they don’t like. Rejected queries land in the wastebasket. Visit their Web site at: Send submissions to: