SPAWN Market Update – November 2006

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SPAWN Market Update – November, 2006

By Patricia L. Fry

Going, Going, Gone — A dozen mags, publishers and sites

Here’s What’s New – 3 to report

Book Promotion Opportunities — 7 book review opps. & more

Opportunities for Freelance Writers – A dozen opps. and ideas

Opportunities for Authors – 3 new publishers

Resources for Writers and Authors – Fear of Writing site; 25 new literary agents

Writers/Authors Beware – 5 sites to protect you

Bonus Items — Tips for Posting Reviews at Amazon; Having Fun With Words

Bonus Article — Writers/Authors Review and Regroup

Going, Going, Gone

The following holiday calendar sites seem to be gone. I have recommended both and am sorry to see them go. http://www.holidayinsights.com and http://www.dailyglobe.com/day2day.html. Check out, “Book Promotion Opportunities” to learn about a new one to use when doing seasonal book promotion or writing seasonal articles.

Mockingbird Journal

Here’s What’s New

The 2007 Writer’s Market is out. Get your copy at any bookstore. This is the 86th edition and it includes over 600 new listings. There are 4,000 listings in all and some interesting interviews you’ll want to read.

Yes! Magazine

Grand Traverse Woman

Book Promotion Opportunities

To locate common and obscure holiday events and observances, use http://www.holidaysmart.com. Why do you want this information? If you are promoting a book or writing articles for publication, popular and little known events and observances can provide some good prompts for interesting ideas. For example, did you know that November is National Aviation Month and Good Nutrition Month? If you have a book on foods or flying, tie in your promotion with appropriate celebrations. Check out this site and plan ahead for your next big promotional push.

An article in the School Library Journal would surely be a great promotional opportunity. Here are the submission guidelines. They’re seeking articles of from 850 to 2,500 words on any topic related to the collaborative and leadership roles of librarians or library staff with educators. They also want articles on youth librarianship in school or public libraries. Who reads this journal? Teachers and school librarians who are instrumental in stocking their school libraries. For more about submissions go to: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com. Click on Submission Guidelines. Contact: Rick Margolis at rmargolis@reedbusiness.com.

Book Review Opportunities

Here’s a directory of book review sites and newspapers that publish book reviews. Check it out: http://www.newpages.com/npguides/reviews.htm.

Get a directory of newspaper book reviewers at http://www.bookmarket.com/newspapers.html.

Speaking of book reviews; did you know that some magazines and sites prefer that you submit a review of your book? Have someone write a review for your book and you send it to appropriate magazines and sites. Here’s one site that publishes your review: Rain Taxi Review of Books. Learn more at: http://www.raintaxi.com/reviewer.shtml.

The Georgia Review publishes book reviews. They also review books in-house. Learn more at http://www.uga.edu/garev/submissions.htm. Or send your book or review to The Georgia Review, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-9009.http://www.llumina.com/find_reviewers.htm.

There’s an article by Richard Wynes describing how to find reviewers for your book at

The American Book Review

The Compulsive Reader

Opportunities for Freelance Writers

Now What?

Relate Magazine

If you’re interested in writing for women’s magazines, you’ll be pleased to know that there are 21 new women’s magazines listed in the 2007 Writers Market. Not all of these are new magazines, but the listings are new in this edition. If you’re interested in reaching women outside of the U.S., you’ll find several International magazines listed in this section this year.

SPAWN member, St. Louis Sandy, sent us this information for fiction writers. Bound Off is a monthly literary audio magazine. They’re soliciting original short stories of 250-2,500 words to be read out loud and recorded for their podcasts. They offer two options: submit your story for them to read or you can be the reader. They will pay $20 for each story they use. Visit their site at http://www.boundoff.com. If you have questions, contact a representative at inquiry@boundoff.com. Thanks St. Louis Sandy. I love getting help with the Market Update.

Are you looking for ways to earn extra money through writing? Visit Web sites and notify the Webmaster when you see areas that could be improved. Offer your services.

Pick up brochures from local companies and charity organizations. Study them. Can you come up with a better, more reader-friendly design? Contact the director with your ideas.

Visit your local mega-bookstore or newsstand and check out the new magazines in your area of interest/expertise. Buy a few to study and come up with article ideas to submit.

Read a good book on article-writing. Here are a few:

Patricia Fry’s A Writer’s Guide to Magazine Articles (http://www.matilijapress.com)
Kelly James-Enger’s Six-Figure Freelance Writing (http://www.randomhouse.com)
Peter Bowerman’s The Well-Fed Writer (http://www.wellfedwriter.com)
Visit Patricia Fry’s blog—she often includes entries for freelance writers. (http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog)

Opportunities for Authors

Vintage Romance Publishing is new. Established just two years ago, they produce 24 titles/year on a variety of topics. They publish books for both adults and children and they especially like topics related to historical fiction, mystery, poetry, westerns and romance. They also publish memoirs. Visit their site at http://www.crpublishing.com. Contact Dawn Carrington at submissions@vrpublishing.com.

Twisted Shift Publishing was established in 2005 as an ebook publisher and already they produce up to 48 titles/year. Their specialty is books related to human transformation—we’re talking werewolves, vampires and shrinking people. Contact S. Rick Richardson, acquisitions editor at, submissions@twistedshift.com. Check out their Web site at http://www.twistedshift.com.

New Seeds Books was established in 2005. They’re seeking books related to religion and spirituality. Contact David O’Neal at editor@newseeds-books.com. http://www.newseeds-books.com

Resources for Writers and Authors

Fear of Writing Gazette

There are 25 new literary agents listed in the 2007 edition of Writer’s Market. While some of these actually may be literary agents new to the profession, others are agents who either weren’t listed before or who didn’t have a listing last year, for some reason. Regardless of the status, you can be assured that these 25 agents were not listed in your 2006 edition of Writer’s Market.

Writers and Authors Beware

There are a few sites designed to protect authors and freelance writers from the many scammers out there. A few of them are:

http://www.writersweekly.com/whispers_and_warnings.php
http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors
http://www.todays-woman.net/poetry-scams.html (Despite the name, this site reports on more than just poetry scams).
http://www.author-me.com/poetryscams.htm

Do you have concerns/questions about a fee-based POD publishing service? Check them out before you open your wallet. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has a wonderful site with an informative article and many useful links. http://www.sfwa.org/beware/printondemand.html

Here at SPAWN and elsewhere on the net, there are people working to protect you from scammers. But we can’t do it all. You must take some responsibility. Do your homework BEFORE jumping in with both feet and opening your wallet.

Bonus Items

Tips For Posting Reviews at Amazon

Have you asked book reviewers to post their reviews for your book on your page at Amazon.com? You really should. Have you posted reviews that you’ve done for others at their book sites at Amazon? I learned a thing or two about this process this week.

First, you can’t actually post a review of your own book by someone else without being listed as the “reviewer.” So ask the reviewer to post it. It’s a simple process and most reviewers are eager to have their reviews posted—it’s promotion for their own books or site.

Another thing I learned about posting a review is that once you click on the number of stars you are offering that particular book, be sure to click your mouse once in open space on the screen afterward or, when you drag your mouse down to do something else, it automatically brings the number of stars down. I wondered how one 5-star review of my book, The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your book turned into a one-star review. The reviewer wrote 5-stars in her commentary, but only 1 star was registered by amazon. Now I know why. Don’t lose any of those well-deserved stars. Watch what you’re doing when you click on the link that gives you your stars.

Having Fun With Words

A friend sent me a list of 25 amusing analogies and metaphors found in high school essays from across the country. Here are a few. Enjoy!

“She grew on him like she was a colony of E-Coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.”

“He is as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.”

“The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.”

“The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.”

“They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.”

“John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.”

Bonus Article

Writers/Authors, Let’s Review and Regroup

(This is Patricia Fry’s blog entry for October 15, 2006. To visit her publishing blog, go to: http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog.)

October is waning fast and the busiest month of the year is on the horizon. Soon we will be facing a new year, new challenges and looking forward to new successes. Have you met all of your 2006 goals or are you scrambling to accomplish everything? Are you prepared to set goals for the new year?

Maybe you want to write a book, try a new book promotion activity, sell a certain number of books or start a freelance writing business, for example.

Here are some tips for those of you who haven’t accomplished all that you hoped so far this year.

  1. Rethink your goals.

    It’s not too late to alter your goals. If the pressure to achieve is hampering your performance, revise your goals. Once the pressure is off, you might be surprised at what you will accomplish.

  2. Set new goals.

    It’s possible that your original goals were unrealistic. It’s okay to review and regroup. I review my status and goals every few months and adjust my expectations and my plan accordingly. Let’s say that you are writing a book and you wanted to give it as gifts this Christmas. Yet, you are only half-way finished with the writing and it has taken you eighteen months to reach this point. You have a few choices: Either extend your completion date or step up the amount of time you spend on this project each week.

    What can you sacrifice on behalf of this project? Are you using your time as wisely as you can? If you really look at your life, you might discover that you could devote ten or more hours per week to the book if you’d only write instead of watching TV, write during your lunch hour at work, stay home rather than going clubbing on Friday nights and put in more writing hours on weekends.

    If you really must present this book as gifts this holiday season, you may want to reorganize your life for the next few months. Take a leave from your clubs and organizations, turn down overtime at work, use your accumulation of vacation time in order to write, do your Christmas shopping online and by catalog this year, and avoid offering your home for holiday festivities.

  3. Be kind to yourself.

    Often, when we don’t meet our goals, we are disappointed in ourselves. We feel as though we have failed. If you haven’t lived up to your own expectations, don’t beat yourself up. But do reexamine life circumstances and your expectations.

    Let’s say that you planned to be earning a living through your freelance writing business by now, but you’re still relying on wages from a part-time job to keep you financially afloat. You can consider yourself a failure or you can celebrate what you have achieved so far. Maybe last year, you were working full-time earning $40,000/year and you were yearning to earn this much as a freelance writer by now. Why didn’t this happen the way you wanted it to and within your time schedule?

    I’d say that the fact that you are managing a part-time freelance writing business by now is an amazing accomplishment. It’s not easy to shift from a good corporate job to an at-home business built on nothing more than your ingenuity, talent, creativity and assertiveness.

    In order to turn this part-time business into full-time, you can do one of two things: You can lower your salary standards at least temporarily, take the leap and go into your business full-time. In other words, take off the training wheels. Or you can step up the promotion of your business. Depending on the type of freelance work you’re doing (articles, editing, corporate writing, etc.) it’s probably not realistic to expect to match your former salary at first—or maybe ever.

  4. Become more organized.
    • Make lists. Each evening sit down with your day planner, appointment calendar, job ledger and/or journal and note the tasks that need to be done the next day and throughout the week. Note any looming deadlines, scheduled appointments and pending details that need to be taken care of. I even go so far as to set time goals in the order that I want to achieve these tasks on my nightly list. Amidst my list of appointments, errands, writing projects and so forth, I also schedule time for a walk each day. I find that, if it’s on my written schedule, I will probably do it.
    • Clean up your office space. If your area is orderly, you’re more apt to function in a more organized manner. Plus, you’ll be able to find the files you need when you need them.
    • Invest in filing cabinets, bins, shelving and other organizing apparatus and use them to stay physically organized. Make a place for everything and keep everything in its place.
    • Take on only what you can handle. If you get rattled when you have more than a couple of clients at a time or you have too many articles to write at once, learn to say no. If your publisher’s deadline is interfering with your ability to perform, negotiate a new one. If freelance writing is your dream life, however, you really do need to figure out how to manage the pressure of multi-tasking and numerous and varied projects.
    • Handle research like a pro. The process of research is necessary in almost any writing project. Yet, it can be an overwhelming, time-consuming activity which generates volumes and volumes of material. Stay organized during the research process by having a plan:

      Schedule time for research or you may get carried away with it and get nothing else accomplished. On a major project, set aside two days a week for research so you don’t burn out or two hours each day, for example. This helps alleviate the tendency to procrastinate, too.

      Know what information you need and, unless it is going to enhance your book or article, don’t go outside these parameters.

      Create file folders for the information you find. File it separately by subject. If you’re writing a book featuring gifts from the garden, you might separate the research material in folders labeled, edible gifts, decorative gifts, living gifts, gifts to plant and grow, and dried plant gifts.

      Make sure the information you collect is correct. In the case of a reference, or how-to book, for example, where you are gathering facts and figures, double and triple check everything to make sure you are passing along the correct data. When I was doing the research for the history of the Ojai Valley (1983 and 1999), I had to search for the same material in several different places numbers of times because of discrepancies. In some cases, I was unable to find a definitive fact and I had to use qualifiers in the book such as, “According to so and so,” or “As far as anyone knows,” etc.

      Keep track of where each piece of information came from and the creator’s name. This will help you in case you have to go back in search of additional facts and in case you want to contact the author for an interview, for example. But, also, you will need this information should you decide to use it in your book or article.

      Know when to stop the research. It is easy to get carried away in the world of facts, figures and statistics. I spent five years researching for the first edition of The Ojai Valley, An Illustrated History. But I was doing the research at the library, in the homes of pioneer descendants and at the museum, for example. And I was doing it part-time while involved in life and living.

    • Take time away from work regularly to play, exercise, engage in spiritual pursuits and to enjoy your family and friends. A balanced lifestyle fosters productivity.

    Maybe being more organized was actually one of your yearly goals, but you aren’t accomplishing more and you still feel scattered and disorganized. Here are some tips to help you to at least end the year feeling more together and orderly.

If you’re a goal-setter or even if you have an informal timeline in the back of your mind, the month of October is a good time to take inventory and, perhaps, to review and regroup. In looking over the work I’ve done so far this year and after examining my accomplishments, I’ve decided two things: I’d like to write another book and I need to get out and play more often. I’ve met my year-end goal already with 2.5 months to spare. I spent most of the year working on workshop and conference presentations and on other people’s books. It looks like it’s time for me to set a new schedule. Maybe I’ll set a goal to continue the work on one of my own books or start a new one before the end of the year. And I think I’ll take some time off during December to enjoy the season.

What’s on your agenda? If it doesn’t make your heart sing and your pocketbook grow, maybe it’s time to review and regroup.

– Patricia Fry is the author of 24 books including The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book. Order your copy NOW at: http://www.matilijapress.com/rightway.html.

is a unique newsletter published monthly by Milli Thornton. It’s a light-hearted publication devoted to bringing together the far-flung fear of writing “family.” The issue I received included the following articles: “Closet Writers Liberation Camp,” “Does Family Make the Perfect Fan Club” and there were some quotes of the month. One of them was, “It’s really important that people write without fearing the voice of English teachers past.” It’s a fun little newsletter and a fun site for writers at any level to visit: http://www.fearofwriting.com. at http://www.relatemag.com is a teen magazine featuring general articles, reviews and celebrity interviews. They are actively seeking submissions and they pay serious fees. For features or 1800 words, they pay $350 to $700. They also publish quizzes. is a low paying Christian market. They want personal experience stories of struggles that led you to faith in Christ and also articles that are instructional and practical. They pay $25 to $55 per article or story. Contact Sherri Langton, Associate Editor at bibleadvocate@cog7.org. The Web site is http://nowwhat.cog7.org. publishes reviews.http://www.compulsivereader.com. reviews literary fiction, poetry and literary criticism. Send a review copy (preferably a galley) to Joe Amato, American Book Review, Illinois State University, Campus Box 4241, Normal, IL 61790-4241. is looking for submissions of from 600 to 800 words featuring women in business in Northern Michigan. For submission guidelines, go to: http://www.grandtraversewoman.com/guidelines.shtml. documents how people are creating a more just, sustainable and compassionate world. If you think you could write for this new quarterly, study their guidelines at http://www.yesmagazine.org. Click on “Submissions.” is out of business.
Darke County Profiles is gone.
Generation X National Journal seems to have gone out of business. That was a short-lived magazine.
Long Island Mother’s Journal has given up.
Waltsan Publishing is reported to have closed their doors.
Reviewofbooks.com is closing down.
Chiron Review will close this year.
Shop Etc. is out of business.
Weekend has gone down the tubes.
For Me has stopped publishing already.
Vibrant Life is not accepting queries or articles at this time.

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