SPAWN Market Update – October, 2008
By Patricia L. Fry
Going, Going, Gone – 10 to report.
Here’s What’s New – New editors, address & mag changes and a publishing company in trouble?
Opportunities for Freelance Writers – 2 job sites for writers, 2 periodical databases, research site for medical writers, a call for writers and 10 new mags.
Opportunities for Authors – 6 publishers seek manuscripts for children’s books, mysteries, self-help, how-to, history and many other topics and genres. Also learn what it takes to land a traditional publisher for a self-published book.
Opportunities for Children’s Book Authors – JacketFlap, a great new social network site for children’s writers and authors.
Opportunities for Book Promotion – Half dozen ideas for promoting your book locally, opportunity for Christian businesswomen and 2 book review opps.
Resources for Fun and Business – Share your books around the world, Fantasy Novelist Exam (Take it before you complete your book) and MORE.
Editorial Commentary – Never before published tips for locating those elusive “Submission Guidelines.”
Bonus Item – Writing for Regional Magazines.
Virgin Comics has shut down.
I received word that Murdaland Magazine is folding, however the website is still up.
Eastern Home and Travel Magazine will close after one issue.
Fitness Business News is out of business.
Home has ceased publication.
Town and Country Travel is out of business.
Little Blue World a “fanzine” will no longer be distributed in print form.
Stuff will fold into Maxim. is going out of business.
Future Snowboarding is gone.
I’ve been telling you about long-time editor Reiva Lesonsky leaving an editorial void at Entrepreneur Magazine. Well, they have finally done some hiring. Amy C. Cosper is the new editor-in-chief and Charlotte Jenson is the new executive editor.
The current managing editor for Writer’s Digest is Zachary Petit.
Parenting Magazine will fold into two: Parenting Early Years and Parenting School Years.
Goodlife is changing its name to Livin’ the Dream. Their main focus will be success stories. If you have one, email Charlene Murphy at Charlene@studiomurphy.com.
If you have a contract with Sports Publishing in Champaign, IL and you’ve had some problems making contact with someone there lately, it could be because they are in the process of selling the business. It sounds as though it hasn’t been a very smooth transition and, according to what the current owner told Publishers Weekly, authors and vendors have been caught in the middle. Stay tuned. If you’re one of their authors, I guess patience is in order.
Stephen Greenfield and Chris Huntley of The Write Brothers (Screenwriting software writers) notified us that they have moved. Here’s their new contact info: Write Brothers, Inc., 348 E. Olive Ave., Ste. H, Burbank, CA 91502. Phone and FAX numbers remain the same: 818-843-6557 (phone), 818-843-8364 (FAX). http://www.write-bros.com
If you write for Texas Monthly, you’ll want to know that Evan Smith is now the editor-in-chief.
Beth Buffington is the new editor-in-chief for Woman2WomanBusiness. http://www.woman2womanbusiness.com
Are you a medical writer? Do you sometimes seek the latest medical information for the articles you’re writing? Check out the new media room at the American Heart Association site. http://www.americanheart.mediaroom.com. It’s designed with the journalist in mind.
The Women’s Post just relaunched in Canada. This is a weekly magazine for professional women. I do not find submission guidelines at their site. I suggest, that if you’re interested in writing for The Women’s Post, contact Justine Connelly at firstname.lastname@example.org and request a copy of submission guidelines. http://www.womenspost.ca
Writer’s Market announces 3 new paying markets. Fido Friendly Magazine pays 10-20 cents per word for nonfiction and short stories about pet dogs. http://www.fidofriendly.com. The editors at Flying Adventure Magazine seek nonfiction articles of 500 to 1,500 words on lifestyle related to private aircraft ownership. They pay between $150-300 for articles. http://www.flyingadventures.com. Mensbook Journal is a gay men’s quarterly which publishes fiction and poetry as well as nonfiction articles of 1,000-2,500 words. They pay $20 to 250 per article. http://mensbook.com/writerguidelines.htm
As I reported last month, the Los Angeles Times Magazine is now the LA Magazine. They are open to submissions. So if, after studying the new magazine format, you have a story idea, contact the editorial staff at LAMagEdit@LAMag.com. Learn more about the magazine and get a sample copy at http://www.lamag.com.
The Normal School will soon debut. This literary magazine will feature fiction as well as nonfiction and poetry. Yes, they accept freelance submissions. Send the editors a snippet from your memoir, a collection of your poetry or your favorite story. Manuscripts are read from September 1 through April 30, only. Make a note on your calendar. And they do not accept email submissions. I don’t think they are a paying market, either. Here’s the link to their guidelines: http://www.thenormalschool.com/guidelines.html.
The Lumberyard has created a forum for poets and artists. Contact this brother and sister editorial team about your submission, but only after reading their submission guidelines. http://www.lumberyardmagazine.com/submissions.html
Knockout is another new magazine that offers a venue for poets. Check it out at http://www.knockoutlit.org/submit.htm.
Low Rent has also launched and they, too, accept poetry submissions as well as fiction. http://www.lowrentmagazine.com
Misti Sandefur, editor of Coffee Break for Writers (http://www.coffeebreakforwriters.com) has re-opened submissions for her newsletter. Currently, she is seeking 500-1,000-word articles on photo-taking tips, marketing books through blogs, writing for the web, grammar-related articles, how to create a book trailer and so forth. Subscribers to the newsletter get priority, so sign up at http://www.coffeebreakforwriters.com. Contact Misti at email@example.com. Pay is $15.
Slice Magazine is another nonpaying market (Sigh) for those of you who want to build credits and/or, establish a platform for your book or promote your book. They welcome short fiction, nonfiction and novellas for this print magazine. They particularly want a fresh voice and a compelling story. Subscribe to the magazine and study it to learn what they are currently seeking. http://www.slicemagazine.org/submit.php (for submission guidelines). Submit your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ve heard me suggest this before: Sign up for Meg Weaver’s Wooden Horse Pubs database where you’ll find listings for hundreds of periodicals and many corresponding editorial calendars. Why are editorial calendars important? They outline topics to be discussed in the magazine in coming months and provide you the opportunity to submit really targeted pieces. For example, let’s say that Cat Fancy Magazine lists on their 2009 editorial calendar that they will focus on grooming the cat in January, traveling with your cat in February, fitness for cats in March and a new kitten in the home in April. You might be right on with your query featuring cat trees and other climbing opportunities for cats for the March issue or a piece comparing cat carriers for the traveling edition. http://www.woodenhorsepub.com
Another place where you can get an extensive list of freelance markets is over at WorldWideFreelance.com. They boast 2,100 markets in their Market Plus section. (http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/mplus.htm). And the access fee starts at $1.25 for one month. Check out their FREE Markets Database with over 500 listings at http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/mfdb.asp. To give you an idea of what they offer, they list 129 publications related to animals and pets, 212 Christian publications, 155 related to entertainment, 157 thinking and politics magazines, 207 that publish poetry and 110 trade publications.
Do you use online blogs and lists to discover writing jobs? Here are a few to consider. Visit Writing Gigs at http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com and you might discover some freelance work that will make your Christmas bright.
http://www.online-writing-jobs.com provides job listings for many types of freelance writing and research work.
Read about the lucrative regional magazine market in the Bonus Item section of this SPAWN Market Update. Yes, I provide actual listings and pay scales. Click here to go directly to the Bonus Item section below.
Are you interested in quilting? American Quilter’s Society Publishing is looking for authors who can write books on quilting for beginners and for home decorating. If this describes you, query via email to Andi Reynolds, email@example.com.
Kunati Inc. is seeking manuscripts both fiction and nonfiction. Nonfiction subjects are as vast and varied as New Age, sports, women’s issues, world affairs and gardening. In the fiction category, consider submitting your fantasy, gothic, historical, juvenile, mystery, science fiction, young adult or erotica manuscript. Having been established in 2005, Kunati welcomes both agented and non-agented submissions and claim that 80 percent of the 31 books they produce each year are from first-time authors. Contact James McKinnon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their website at: http://www.kunati.com. This is a Canadian publisher, but they also have offices in Florida and Chicago. Submission guidelines at http://www.kunati.com/author-submissions.
Do you have a collection of poetry you’d like to publish or a manuscript that could be considered “fine literature?” Contact Anhinga Press in Tallahassee, FL. They’re looking for poetry collections that will fill a 60-80 page book. They also offer a $2,000 prize annually. Entries are solicited from February 15 through May 1, so mark your calendar. Learn more about Anhinga Press at http://www.anhinga.org.
Bull Publishing Co., in Boulder, CO publishes books on health and nutrition. This includes how-to and self-help books related to cooking and foods, health and medicine, fitness, women’s and child health and nutrition, including mental health. Oh yes and they welcome books on weight control, as well. Contact Jams Bull through their website at: http://www.bullpub.com.
If you have a nonfiction manuscript with a military theme or one reflecting a time in history or a particular hobby, for example, related to the Carolinas, Dram Tree Books in Wilmington, NC might be interested. Contact Jack E. Fryar, Jr. through the website at: http://www.dramtreebooks.com. They also publish fiction if it relates to the Carolinas. This would include mystery, suspense, historical fiction and even humor.
Tolling Bell Books was established in 2003 and they produce two adult and two children’s books per year. They particularly want adult mysteries or science fiction. They seem to be open to children’s books for all ages. http://www.tollingbellbooks.com. Contact Lea Thomas at email@example.com.
Have you ever wondered how many self-published books you’d have to sell in order to capture a traditional publisher’s interest? One agent says, 3,000 to 4,000.
JacketFlap is a great site for those of you who write children’s books. http://www.jacketflap.com. It’s a social network with 2,700 members and growing. You’ll find listings for 700 blogs related to writing for children and 20,000 book publishers. Yes, that’s what it says on their home page, TWENTY THOUSAND. Join for FREE. And maintain your membership here at SPAWN because we continuously find the sites and other resources you need in order to succeed in your field.
Tori Hartman at Blessed Gardens in Los Angeles, is reviewing all kinds of books that relate to spirituality, whether fiction or nonfiction. Visit this site to find out if your book qualifies for review and how to submit it. http://www.blessedgardens.com
Do you have a business related to your book(s)? Could you be considered a Christian businesswoman? If so, you may want to contact Tamika Johnson-Hall, publisher/editor at Anointed Enterprise Magazine in Worton, MD. She’s looking for Christian Businesswomen to interview for her magazine. This would be good publicity for your business and your books. They also want article ideas. Perhaps you could write an article for them and promote your book that way. http://www.anointedenterprisemagazine.com. Contact Johnson-Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org
LA Magazine, formerly Los Angeles Times Magazine, will publish book reviews. Contact Robert Ito at email@example.com.
Promote Your Book Through Local Book Clubs, Schools, Etc.
My local history book was recently selected as the book of the month for a local book club. How cool is that? And the leader has invited me to attend the meeting that month to participate and respond to questions. Why not promote your book to local book clubs. Not only would this create an interest at the club level, but the publicity (an article and photo in the local newspapers and periodicals) could generate additional sales.
Note: The more news coverage you get, the more willing local bookstores will be to carry your book.
Locate book clubs through the calendar section of your newspaper. Check the library community bulletin board and ask at the library if they know of any book clubs in the area. Also check with the Chamber of Commerce and the arts council for your city. You might also check at the local college adult education program.
Presumably, each club member purchases a copy of your book in order to participate. Although, they might use library books where possible. If your book is selected for the book club, and the organizer invites you to sit in on the discussion, come prepared to sell books at a discount, suggesting that they make wonderful gifts.
My local history book has also been used as a text in a high school history class for unmotivated students. If your book relates to a subject taught in public or private schools (grades 1 through 12) or even at the college level, pitch it to the appropriate teacher or department head. If it works out well locally, expand your reach countywide, statewide and so on.
My local history book is also the primary handbook for local museum docents. Maybe you have a book related to local history, smoking cessation, weight loss, fitness, recovery from child abuse trauma, gay/lesbian issues or Christianity, for example. Consider contacting the appropriate local agencies, clubs, organizations or companies and pitch your book as a handbook or a premium item (to give away to volunteers or customers), for example.
Another local history book I wrote became a major promo item for a local private school. If you know of an organization, institution or company closely related to the theme of your book, you might be able to cut a deal to use your book as part of their promotions plan. The American Diabetes Association might be interested in purchasing hundreds or thousands of copies of your book on cooking without sugar to use as giveaways or in their promotional efforts. Hundreds of copies of my book, Over 75 Good Ideas for Promoting Your Book, are purchased each year by publishing companies who want to educate their authors as to their responsibilities after the book is published. Your handbook on water-wise gardening would be a natural for the local land conservancy to use in their promotion. Maybe you have a booklet featuring scholarships and loans for nursing students. Don’t you know this would be a popular book for purchase in college and nursing school bookstores?
This week, take time to step outside the box with your beloved book and see what new promotional ideas you can pursue locally.
Opportunities for Screenwriters
Check out http://www.online-writing-jobs.com to find writing work for screenwriters.
The most recent issue of InkTip Newsletter lists 6 opportunities for Screenwriters. They’re seeking a feature-length thriller for TV along the lines of “Ransom” or “Cape Fear.” In fact, they’re looking for several thrillers. They also want a reality TV project idea, a gospel stage play and a Christian-based script. Subscribe to InkTip Newsletter at: http://www.inktip.com.
Share Your Books With Others
Have you heard of Book Crossing? According to their site, they provide you a way to share your books, clear your shelves and conserve precious resources at the same time. BookCrossers, they say, give life to books. You register your book at http://www.bookcrossing.com and then it is ready for adventure. Leave it on a park bench, in a coffee shop, in a hotel lobby, at the gym and then follow the book’s journey around the world as it passes from person to person. They have over 700,000 people in 130 countries sharing books and it’s FREE. I did a search at this site and found one of my books journeying across the state. Check it out and then let me know how you liked the experience. I’ll report back to SPAWN members. Patricia@spawn.org
Fantasy Novelist Exam
Seriously, David J. Parker and Samuel Stoddard of Rink Works have devised an exam for fantasy novelists. They say that if you answer “yes,” to any ONE of these 74 questions, you have failed and you should abandon your novel at once. Yikes!! If you dare, visit http://rinkworks.com/fnovel. And, again, let me know what you thought of this exam. Did you find it helpful? Was it an eye opener? How many of you passed? How many of you realized that you needed to make changes to your book in order to make it more saleable? Patricia@spawn.org.
The folks over at Editor & Publisher are Blogging
Do you want to communicate with other authors, readers and thinkers? Hop on over to Lit Minds (http://www.litminds.org.)
You’ve probably read my notes, articles and book excerpts in which I’m ranting about how difficult it is sometimes to locate submission guidelines. Here’s what I wrote in my book, The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book, on this subject.
“Sometimes editorial (or submission) guidelines are difficult to find at a publisher’s site. If you don’t see a link button to the submission guidelines on the home page, click on “About Us” or “Contact Us.” If you don’t see the guidelines on either of these pages, look for a link within a link. Put your cursor on the available link button and see if a menu appears. Read the selections on the menu.”
I notice that it is getting even more and more difficult to find publishers’ and magazine submission guidelines. What’s up with that? To help you out in the future with techniques for finding guidelines, here are a few actual examples of where they are hidden within sites.
To locate editorial guidelines for AARP The Magazine, you must go to the website (http://www.aarpmagazine.org). Look to the right top of the screen and click on “Reader Services.” That’s a new one for me. Scroll about three-quarters of the way down the page to find the link. Click on “Writer’s Guidelines.”
At Wolf Pirate Publishing at www.wolf-pirate.com, scroll down to the very, very bottom of the home page and you’ll see in tiny lettering, “submissions.” Click on this link.
Free Spirit Publishing at http://www.freespirit.com has a very colorful and interesting site. But you won’t find submission guidelines on the home page. Click on “About Us” or “Contact” and, in both cases, you’ll see “author’s guidelines” listed last in the left margin.
At American Short Fiction, http://www.americanshortfiction.org click on “submit” on the bar across the top of the home page.
Gud Magazine, at http://www.gudmagazine.com, has a rather straightforward approach. You’ll see “Submissions” to the right on the home page. Now they have something unique for freelance writers of nonfiction, fiction and poetry: a “Submission Statistics” page. According to their statistics, they have sent 7960 responses since opening (not sure when that was) and the average wait for writers was 17.8 days. They accept 2.2 percent of submissions and reject 97.8 percent. Twenty percent of rejection letters are personal as opposed to generic.
Child Care Magazine offers you a peek at their “Freelance Agreement.” Just click on “Freelance Writers” to view their guidelines and you’ll see a link to “Freelance Agreement.” You’ll learn before getting involved if they want you to sign away all rights, for example. They also offer a “Statistics” page, but their statistics are about number of words, deadline and such. Very different from the statistics Gud Magazine provides. http://www.childcaremagazine.us
While some Submission Guidelines are enlightening and informative, others are weak and skimpy. Ms Magazine, for example, might as well not bother offering guidelines. When you go to http://www.msmagazine.com, and click on “Contact” (on the left) and then click on “Submission Guidelines” you’ll probably walk away with many questions.
Sometimes you have to use unusual methods to locate guidelines. I located some magazine and book publisher guidelines by doing a Google search. I typed in the name of the magazine or publisher and “Submission Guidelines.” I discovered, for example, that Lakestyle Magazine’s guidelines are at http://store.lakestyle.com/lakmagguidfo.html. They pay .10 -.25 cents word and they even offer a link to a sample writer’s agreement.
I found submission guidelines for Robb Report by doing a Google Search. Here’s the link: http://www.marketlist.com/robb-report/dt/2102. Much of the info you would want is missing, however, such as pay scale.
Why publishers want to hide their submission guidelines, I’ll never know. But maybe this little journey through the guideline jungle will help you to locate those that you need in the future. If you stumble across additional interesting methods of locating elusive submission guidelines, let us know at Patricia@spawn.org.
In the last issue of the SPAWN Market Update we featured trade magazines. Hopefully, all of you freelance article and story writers are chasing down opportunities in that area. This month, I’d like to focus on some of the many, many regional magazines out there looking for good local stories. Most of them say in their submission guidelines that you must be a local writer. However, I’ve sold material to regionals located far far away from my home base. How? By writing about a place, event, famous person or situation related to their region (a historical figure who lived or visited the place, shop cats in their area, a little-known business or sight, for example). You can write for regionals based on your memories as a child (or adult) living in that place, your visit there or research, for example.
But I recommend that you start by writing for regional magazines circulated where you currently live. If you can develop a rapport with one or two of the editors, you may have work for a long time. Seek out general regionals as well as regional magazines with a focus such as business, family/parenting, health, pets, lifestyle and so forth. I wrote for a regional technology business magazine for a number of years. I’ve also written for regional writers, parenting, real estate, women’s and lifestyle publications both locally and outside of my geographic area. Here are some examples of regional publications:
Note: I went back and researched the Market Update archives in search of some of the interesting regional magazines we’ve introduced and featured over the years. Would you believe that almost all of those I chose to feature here, have ceased publishing. Writers, it’s important that, if you want a career as a freelance writer, you develop relationships with editors and conform to editorial policy so you have steady work. But, on the other hand, be warned that publishing is an unsteady business from every angle and magazines are coming and going every week. While it is wise to create that rapport with editors and get repeat assignments, don’t put all of your articles in one in-basket and avoid becoming too comfortable writing for only a few key editors.
Also, don’t allow your invoices to go too long without squeaking to get paid. In fact, sudden slow pay practices often signal an internal problem and the possible start of a downward spiral of the magazine. Be careful about sending more than one article at a time until the invoice for the first one has been paid. Watch your back. The magazine publisher and even his friendly editor won’t do that for you. In fact, the editor in a troubled company may not know that her job is losing ground.
Getting in on the ground floor is a good idea if the business does well. But it’s also a precarious place to be if the company falters and fails. Here are a few magazines to consider:
Covers a large region
Ocean Magazine http://www.oceanmagazine.com