SPAWN Market Update – November, 2005
By Patricia L. Fry
Going, Going, Gone – 11 magazines and publishing houses
Here’s What’s New – 3 new mags and some notable changes
New Publishers on the Block – WOW 6 new publishers
Opportunities for Authors – 8 important resources for finding an agent, fulfillment and distribution, articles for writers and more
Opportunities for Writers – Grants, a conference, a contest and two writing jobs
Opportunities for Young Writers – 2 writing opps for teens and a book for young writers
Opportunities for Script Writers – A screenwriting Expo and four newsletters for script writers.
Opportunity for an Editor – A Job with Chronicle Books
Opportunities for Artists – How to find a job as an artist
Opportunities for Poets – 5 of them
Research Site of the Month – Red Light Green
Did You Know? – Fascinating bits and bites re: publishing
Tips for Authors – Queries, PODs and Research Resources
Bonus Item – An Interview with Meg Weaver: “Amazon is Selling My Articles Without My Permission.”
Also gone are:
Arts and Crafts Magazine
Barton Book Press
Coastal Carolina Press
The Spirited Woman
Read SPAWN member, Fran Halpern’s interview in the October 5th edition of The Spirited Woman newsletter. http://www.thespiritedwoman.com. Fran has been a member of SPAWN for probably all of the 9 years of SPAWN’s existence. She hosts the radio show, “Beyond Words” on KCLU, 88.3 FM every Saturday at 2 pm. If you don’t live in the Ventura or Santa Barbara, CA area, log on to http://www.KCLU.org to listen.
http://www.purefiction.com is no longer a site for fiction writers. Whoever took over that domain name sells stockings.
There are definite pros and cons to soliciting a new publisher. While it may be easier to break in with a new publisher who isn’t inundated with manuscripts, signing with him could be risky. New publishers close their doors every year. Inexperienced publishers might not have the clout to get your book the exposure it needs in order to succeed.
I recommend considering some of the new publishers for your projects. But do your homework—check them out, read their contract carefully and cover your tail. Who knows, maybe your title will make the difference between a publishing house failing or succeeding.
Red Dress Ink.
Information and Resources
SPAWN. How many of you really use the SPAWN Web site at http://www.spawn.org? Do you know the scope of what we offer there? Did you realize that there are over 150 articles relating to writing, authorship and publishing? Have you checked the giant list of resources on the site? Have you taken the time to study back issues of SPAWNews and the SPAWN Market Update? Hopefully, you are keeping track of the resources that could enhance your project/career.
Here’s a challenge. How about getting back to me during the month of November with the resource or information you found on the SPAWN Web site that had the greatest impact on you professionally. http://www.spawn.org. I’ll be waiting to hear from you.
Patricia Fry offers a large number of articles and a huge resource list for writers, authors and independent publishers at her Web site as well: http://www.matilijapress.com.
Publishing Central provides a Web site for those of us who need information about distributors, copyright, agents, barcodes and so forth. Check them out at http://www.publishingcentral.com.
I’ve told you about the Agent Research site, AR&E (Agent Research and Evaluation). Have you been there, yet? On the first page of their site you’ll get a quick lesson about agents—what to expect from an agent, how do they work, pitfalls to watch out for and how the database works. Their services are not free. A New Agent Report is $75.00. You can request a list of 5 potential agents for your specific project for $210. And subscribe to their online newsletter for $35. As I understand it, they will respond to specific questions about a particular agent for free. Learn more about getting an appropriate agent and what to expect from a relationship with your agent at http://www.agentresearch.com.
Here are two companies that will handle your warehousing and shipping tasks.
ShippingandHandling.com at http://www.shipping-and-handling.com.
Do you have a New Age title? You might want to participate in the International New Age Trade Shows in Orlando, FL February 4—6, 2006 and/or in Denver, CO June 24-26, 2006. The deadline for the February show is December 30, 2005. For more information go to: http://www.newleafvendors.com. Or contact Kelly or Ginger at Kelly@newleaf-dist.com or Ginger@newleaf-dist.com.
Do you believe that your book would make a good movie? You might want to showcase your book with BooksToFilm.com. It is costly, but if you have a potential blockbuster, the exposure might be worth the bucks. Check it out at http://www.bookstofilm.com.
The Association of Writing and Writing Programs (AWP) presents a major writing conference each year. In 2006, they will be in Austin, TX. Mark your calendar for March 8-11, 2006. For additional information visit their Web site at http://www.awpwriter.org.
Do you want to apply for a grant to write your next important work? Find grants at http://www.usartsgrants.com.
Have you written a memoir? Here’s your opportunity to enter a memoir competition. They want original works of 250-1000 words and the deadline is December 1, 2005. Memoirs will be showcased in the January 2006 issue of WriterOnLine. Send your submission to Stacy Colombo at firstname.lastname@example.org. See the October 6 issue of WriterOnLine for additional details or visit their Web site. http://www.writer-on-line.com
The Writers Post Journal
For Girls By Girls
Young Writer’s Handbook
The 2005 Screenwriting Expo will be held in Los Angeles November 11-13. Registration is only $74.95, which seems quite reasonable for the number of workshops they’ll be offering. http://www.scriptshark.com for more information. If you attend, let me know how it went.
Are you familiar with the American Accolades Newsletter? You may want to add this one to your list of must reads. http://www.americanaccolades.com
Subscribe to the Script Journal at email@example.com.
Did you get the latest issue of InkTip? Jerrol LeBaron lists several opportunities for script writers. For example, Solol Productions is looking for a script with a strong female lead. And there are six other companies seeking scripts—an action thriller, a dramatic comedy, a story for teens and a reality TV series script, for example. Subscribe to InkTip at http://www.inktip.com.
Here’s a full-time job for a good editor who has had experience in the children’s trade field. Chronicle Books is seeking an editor for their children’s department. If you’re in the San Francisco, CA area or wouldn’t mind moving there, send a cover letter and resume to Joanie Pacheco-Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artist Resource Web site provides information about how to search for, find and land a job as an artist. http://www.artistresource.org/jobhunt.htm
Creative Freelancers also has a help wanted section. http://www.freelancers.com/helpwanted.html
I’d like to see artist members promote their art in SPAWNDiscuss and in SPAWNews. I often meet authors who are seeking artists for their literary projects. I have one artist that I recommend repeatedly because she is the one who has made herself and her work known to me. Graphic designers, illustrators, photographers and cartoonists, flaunt your skills. Let us know who you are and what you do. Contact Wendy@spawn.org with your informational item or announcement. Sign up for SPAWNDiscuss through Virginia at Virginia@spawn.org.
Many poets are seeking publication these days. There are probably at least 100 publishers who publish poetry books and chapbooks. And there are numerous magazines of all varieties and topics that use poetry. Here are a few:
Note, I could make this a regular column if you’re interested. Feedback, please: email@example.com.
Red Light Green is a unique research site where you can locate books on practically any subject. They have nearly 120 million books in their pipeline. Not only is this a great place to conduct research, it is a good source for books to use in your market analysis for your book proposal. And I can envision checking titles for your next proposed book using this enormous site. I was pleased to find all but my very latest book listed on this site. The new print version of How to Write a Successful Book Proposal in 8 Days or Less isn’t listed there, yet. http://www.redlightgreen.com.
Ron Pramschufer has made some excellent points in an article he wrote on establishing a code of ethics for fee-based POD publishing services. Read it at http://www.publishingbasics.com/newsletter/oct2005/askron.php.
Small and independent publishers produce 78% of the titles published each year.
There were more books for juveniles published in 2004 than in any other category. The second greatest number of books categorized is fiction. Also popular in 2004 were sociology and economics titles, science and business books. Religious titles were down from 2003 and so were technology books.
The Institute for Publishing Research says that online sales account for up to 20 percent of book sales in the U.S. today.
I don’t want to hear any of you complain that you can’t find a publisher for your great book. There are currently about 83,000 publishers of all sizes. That’s almost double the number of publishers ten years ago.
It is now one space after periods, colons, question marks, etc. I keep preaching and teaching this, but still receive a lot of material with that gaping gap between sentences.
Like most of you, I try to learn something new every day. Here are a few things that we should all think about.
1. When you submit a query letter, article, book proposal or manuscript via email, it is always a good idea to include your postal address and phone number as well.
2. Member Leah Bloom is keeping me apprised of sites for writers, authors and independent publishers. Here are a few she found this month:
Also check out the articles and resources at my site:
3. Here’s an interesting string of comments by Jenna Glatzer of Absolute Write and others. Here she tells why she does not recommend PublishAmerica. Please read this. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10211
4. From all indications, you are more successful when you do your own promotion—send out your own press releases and mailings—than when you pay a company to do it for you. A SPAWN member recently admitted that this was the case for her. The discussion in SPAWNDiscuss that month saved several members $350 when we all learned that VenderPro’s service is not a good value.
I announced in SPAWNDiscuss a few weeks ago that Amazon was selling some of my articles on their site and that I was not getting paid for them. I began asking around to find out how they can get away with this. Among others, I contacted magazine article expert Meg Weaver of Wooden Horse Publishing. You’ve read about Meg in several of my newsletters. She runs a major magazine database for freelance writers at http://www.woodenhorsepub.com. She also produces a meaty newsletter sharing her expertise. Here are the results of my interview with Meg Weaver.
Q: You’ve been heavily involved in the magazine biz for quite a while. Would you give us a little background about when, how and why you set up the Wooden Horse database?
A: The Wooden Horse Magazines Database grew out my own needs as an article writer. Instead of looking up a magazine’s address every time I wanted to query, I wanted to have it at my fingertips.
But then I wanted more than the address. I wanted the writer’s guidelines, information about the readers, the editorial calendars. All that just didn’t exist in one place.
First I gathered it in a file cabinet, then in a computer spreadsheet. My writer friends began to “borrow” the info and to make it easier on myself, I began publishing the data on a website (for free.) Eventually, keeping the data up-to-date became a full-time job and Wooden Horse was born as a business in 2001.
Q: I know that you’ve seen a lot of changes in the magazine industry and article-writing field. You report on changes all the time. I’d like to pick your brain about the practice of Amazon.com selling magazine articles at their site. How can they be selling articles I wrote, for example? Who gets the money? Amazon? The magazine? No one has sent me a check.
A: The insatiable demand for content on websites, in podcasts, etc. means that businesses will obtain it where they can. And unlike physical products, they often don’t research ownership of creative properties.
When outfits like Amazon.com sell articles, they are usually in partnership with the publisher you sold the article to and, depending on the contract between them, they share in the profits. Theoretically, the publisher will then pay the writer. However, if the writer has sold the article with “all rights” he or she will not receive any money.
Q: What would you advise freelancers whose articles are being sold at Amazon? I’d like to get a piece of the action (if, indeed, anyone is actually buying them.)
A: First of all, let me say that I’m not a lawyer and the following is not meant as legal advice. I am just sharing a life’s worth of experiences writing for magazines.
First, check the contract you signed with the magazine. If you sold “all rights” you are simply out of luck.
If you believe you should get money from any sale that the publisher makes—or the sale was not even legal per your contract—write them a letter. Be polite and factually state why you should get paid (or they should cease and desist selling the article.) Attach a copy of the contract and cc Amazon.com. Give them a reasonable three weeks to respond.
If you don’t hear from them, send a second letter, pointing out that you sent them an earlier letter (enclose copies) and cc Amazon.com, the Attorney General’s office in your state, the Better Business Bureau and anyone else appropriate you can think of. This will let the publisher know that you are willing to elevate the issue.
You will probably not hear from Amazon.com because they will consider the matter between you and the publisher. But if you determine that the publisher was not allowed to sell your article—and you can prove it with a contract—and it is still on Amazon, send them a “cease and desist” letter. That is usually all it takes.
Q: How can we stop this from happening in the future?
A: We can’t stop unscrupulous publishers from trying to sell our work; just as burglaries will continue forever. But we need to confront the perpetrators when it happens and make them pay. Literally.
Join a writers’ organization such as http://www.nwu.org or http://www.asja.org. Join the Publishers Rights Clearinghouse (http://www.nwu.org). Commit to donate X hours per week to work for these organizations. If appropriate, join current class action suits. Register your work with the Library of Congress.
Q: I was particularly interested in a statement you made in an email to me on this subject—you said that if the writer doesn’t insist upon a contract, the magazine can assume that they are buying all rights. That’s an interesting perspective. I figured that if there was no contract, there were no rights exchanged at all. Would you elaborate on your comments?
A: Again, let me point out that I am not a lawyer. I am just sharing my long-time experience as a writer.
Let’s start from the beginning. In the US, when you write an article, it is automatically protected by copyright. Among the several rights you then have is to sell the article. What rights you sell is up to you.
It’s a little like building a house on a piece of land you own. Local property laws, like the copyright law, protect you because you built the house on your land, you paid for the material and you have the right—within reasonable limits—to do whatever you want with the house. You can lease it to someone without limits to how they can use it (i.e. selling creative property with “all rights”) or put limits on the lease, like no children, setting a maximum of the number of people living in the house, or limiting where people can live (no one in the basement, for example.) That’s what you do when you sell (think “lease”) your work with limited rights (first North American, one-time, etc.)
Would you let someone move into a house you have lovingly built without some sort of written contract? Of course not. But writers let publishers “lease” their magazine articles without contracts all the time. And without a contract, you don’t have any legal recourse. Yes, you still own the house…eh, article—but the lessee can do pretty much anything, including sub-leasing it to someone else for money. So can your publisher. If there is no signed contract, it’s just a matter of “he said/she said.” The publisher can easily state: “I told you on the phone that we always buy all rights,” and you can’t prove anything else.
Q: Please add anything you feel is important.
A: First of all, writers have given up the power to control our own works. To take it back, we must overcome our natural inclination to work alone and team up with other writers. It’s only in numbers we can gain any clout. There are excellent writers’ organizations to join and volunteer for.
Then we must use the power tools that are available to us. For example, familiarize yourself with the copyright law. The Copyright Office at the Library of Congress has a very easy-to-read website at http://www.copyright.gov.
Register your work. Only by registering your books, magazine articles, etc. can you sue for money. If someone publishes something you’ve written and you win a lawsuit, copyright laws will only get you the fee you should have been paid per your contract.
However, if you registered your work you could sue for statutory damages and, besides receiving more money, you could send a real message to publishers that using our creative property illegally will hurt in the pocketbook. And that’s how creative theft is stopped.
publishes poetry and they’ll pay as much as $10 per poem. Visit their Web site at http://www.pangaia.com. You’ll find their guidelines posted there. For additional information or to submit your poems, Elizabeth Barrette, firstname.lastname@example.org. publishes poetry. Send up to 5 poems at a time of from 15 to 30 lines. Address them to Dr. Myron Apilado at email@example.com. http://www.aimmagazine.org Magazine provides a great opportunity for you to get exposure for your poetry. They buy 150 poems each year and they’ll pay $10 to $15. They want poems with everyday themes and that are from 4 to 16 lines. Visit Cappers at http://www.cappers.com. But they prefer receiving submissions at 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265.buys as many as 30 to 35 poems each year and they prefer those with a Jewish flavor. They want poems of from 2 to 28 lines and they’ll pay $5 to $10. Contact Miriam Zakon and request guidelines for authors. Horizons@netvision.net.il by Patricia Fry $10 at http://www.matilijapress.com. is a new magazine for girls ages 13 to 20. And they need stories from teen age girls only. Contact Tammie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more at http://www.fgbgmagazine.com. Read the magazine to get an idea about what kind of articles and stories they publish. Two primary needs are advice articles and personal experiences. encourages submissions by young writers ages 12-16. This is a literary magazine focusing on fresh new voices. They publish how-to articles, essays, inspirational and personal experience articles of up to 1700 words. They also publish fiction and poetry. They don’t pay much, but if you know a teen who would like to be published, tell him/her about this magazine. Contact Michael Evanitz at email@example.com. Learn more about this magazine at http://www.lbfbooks.com. is soliciting crime and mystery stories and will pay 5 cents per word for first rights. To get a copy of their guidelines or to send them a query letter, use their snail mail address: Crimewave, POB 231229, Anchorage, AK 99523. Learn more about them at http://www.ttapress.com. is new and they are interested in your stories. They pay 23 cents per word for articles about dating, school fitness, community service and current events all related to black girls ages 12 to 17. I didn’t see the submission guidelines at their Web site. I’d suggest emailing editor, Quia Querisma at firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.yl-mag.com publishes a wide range of fiction and nonfiction as well as poetry. Joe and Ardis Clark established this publishing company in 2002. Visit their Web site for submission guidelines: http://www.bluewaterpress.com. Contact the Clarks at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org into being just last year. John Osborn is the acquisitions editor for your horror, mystery and suspense submissions. They are also interested in general fiction books related to punk rock. Contact Osborn in writing at: POB 24607, Philadelphia, PA 19111. http://www.activebladder.com Do you have a women’s fiction title—chicklit, romance or short story collection, for example? Let editor Margaret O’Neill Marbury know. You’ll find their submission guidelines at http://www.reddressink.com. Or write to Ms. Marbury at 233 Broadway, New York, NY 10279. is a very small press that produces only three or four titles per year. They publish fiction only—mostly mystery and suspense. H. G. Smittenaar will provide additional information to those who email. email@example.com began publishing in 2002. They focus on children’s and juvenile books and produce as many as a dozen per year. They’re interested in the following subjects: animals, sports, history, illustrated books and creative nonfiction. They also publish fiction books for kids and young adults in the area of adventures, mysteries and short story collections. They have a Web site but you won’t learn much by going there. It seems to be under construction. Contact them by writing to Darby Creek Publishing, 7858 Industrial Parkway, Plain City, OH 43064. http://www.darbycreekpublishing.com was established in 2003. They publish around 20 titles per year both fiction and nonfiction. They specialize in books on Eastern religion and Buddhist studies. They also publish travel books, mysteries and science fiction. Submit your story idea to Ellen Bauerle via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit http://www.fatcatpress.com for more information. is closed to submissions—at least temporarily. is a new magazine for creative families. This might include multi-racial, gay or even straight families. Contact editor Keki Mingus at email@example.com. I visited their Web site, http://www.violetmagazine.com and did not find their submission guidelines. I’ll watch for them and let you know the particulars of contributing to this magazine in the December issue of the Market Update. has a new email address. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you receive their newsletter and want to continue receiving it, change the spam filter setting on your email program so you will stay in the loop. is a new scrapbooking magazine. There isn’t much information available about them, yet. I’ll keep my antenna up. In the meantime, let me know if you find out anything.has a new editor-in-chief. Angela Burt-Murray has taken over the job for this major magazine. Essence, in case you don’t know, is dedicated to serving black women and has a circulation of over a million. They buy around 200 manuscripts per year. Check their Guidelines for Writers to learn what they need. Go to http://www.essence.com and click on “Writers Guidelines.” You’ll find them listed under “About Us.” While Essence editors prefer receiving manuscripts by mail, they want to see a query letter first and will accept it via email. email@example.com is a new magazine whose reporters scour newspapers and other media to find the most provocative, interesting and noteworthy news bites printed that week. They share these stories with their readers through the pages of This Week. It doesn’t look as though they are open to submissions. I’m mentioning this magazine as a research source for freelance writers and authors. Learn more about this magazine and subscribe at http://www.the-week.com.g, Mridu Khullar’s newsletter, has ceased publication. has closed after five years. The publisher says the financial burden for this Seattle-based pop culture magazine became too great. a popular men’s magazine, has folded., a four-year-old magazi