SPAWN Market Update – October 2009

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  • Going, Going, Gone – 10 Magazines and a research site are gone.
  • Here’s What’s New – 10 interesting bits of industry news.
  • Opportunities for Freelance Writers – 6 magazines and a job opp.
  • BONUS—how to find hidden markets for your favorite article topics.
  • Opportunities for Authors – 12 new publishers and a lesson from Writer’s Market.
  • Opportunities for Children’s Book Writers – Old publisher seeks new books.
  • Book Promotion Opportunities – Free ebook sites, book review directories, SPAWNDiscuss and promoting books in your own backyard.
  • Opportunities for Scriptwriters – A film festival, The Info List for entertainment industry, InkTip Newsletter.
  • Opportunities for Artists and Photographers – 4 solid opportunities.
  • Resources for Authors and Writers – FastPencil, ReporterSource, NovelTitles, LetsGetPublished, AwfulLibraryBooks and YackTrack.
  • Editorial Comment – New Name for Vanity/Subsidy/POD/Self-Publishing Presses?

Going, Going, Gone

California Coast and Ocean has closed.

TravelHost Central Coast is also out of business.

Mystery News will close its doors this month.

Accent Home and Garden will no longer publish.

Aviation Maintenance has ceased publishing.

Managed Dental Care will no longer be publishing.

Ann Arbor Business Review has gone out of business.

Mom & Baby has been suspended, but may return.

Southern Accents is going out of business.

Canadian Apparel has quit.

The Internet Stats domain is for sale. http://www.internetstats.com.

Here’s What’s New

SPAN (Small Publishers Association of North America) has reduced membership dues to their 1999 rate. Instead of their regular new membership fee of $115, you can now join for $89. Renewals used to be $95. Now you can renew your membership for $75. http://www.spannet.org/join.htm.

Note: You can still renew your membership in SPAWN for the original 1986 rate of $45 AND you get a free book. http://www.spawn.org.

Florrie Binford Kichler is the new President of IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association). Kichler, who was recently selected by Book Business Magazine as one of the top 50 women in book publishing, served as president of IBPA’s Board of Directors for the last 3 years. She has been a member of the board since 2002. SPAWN is an affiliate of IBPA (formerly PMA) and I have attended the annual affiliate meetings for the past 4 years and have had the pleasure of meeting and brainstorming with Florrie Kichler. I’m confident that she will be an asset to IBPA.

Smart Connections is now Smart Careers. I communicated with Shauna Dobbie at Pegasus Publications (publisher of Smart Careers and a variety of Canadian gardening magazines) and she says that they are open to submissions. They want writers to pitch story ideas to them rather than sending the manuscript. However, they also accept unsolicited manuscripts. Keep your word count between 400 to 1,000 words. They pay between .20 and .40 cents/word. They prefer working with Canadian writers. They don’t have submission guidelines specific to Smart Careers, yet. So you might contact Shauna at shaunad@localgardener.net and ask for a copy of the magazine. http://www.pegasuspublications.net.

Utne Reader plans a redesign to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The magazine will be larger, the paper will be of higher quality and the price of the magazine will go up, too. The newsstand price will jump from $4.99 to $6.99.

Pink Magazine (for and about women in business)is going online only. http://www.pinkmagazine.com.

If you have worked for The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder in recent years, you should know that they are going to stop paying freelance writers. They welcome free freelance material, however, if you don’t mind working for free.

Port City Life will soon become a statewide regional as opposed to a citywide publication. The new title is Maine. http://www.themainemag.com.

Each month since February, as I prepare the SPAWN Market Update, I hope to report on Samir Husni’s (Mr. Magazine’s) Magazine Innovation Center. And each month, I am unable to locate the site or any new information about this center. All of the information I can find related to this coming event was published in February or March of this year. I’m still watching and waiting to be able to bring news of this new site to you.

I heard about a site where you can check the stats of your website and I gave it a try. Guess what? It didn’t work for me. I went to the site http://www.selfseo.com/check_google_pagerank.php, typed in my URL, clicked on the “submit” button and do you know what happened? Nothing. I tried it numerous times and absolutely nothing happened. Hmmmm. This is one site I do not recommend—at least not today.

The Collagist is a new online literary magazine. Check it out at http://www.thecollagist.com.

Opportunities for Freelance Writers

Utne Reader welcomes articles, especially reprints. According to the editors, they scour magazines and websites in search of good articles to reprint in Utne. If you have a new article idea, don’t send the manuscript. Submit an intriguing query letter, first. They may give you a 125-600-word assignment. But don’t offer them poetry or fiction. What do they publish? Your best bet is to read a few copies of the magazine. Email your query letter to editor@utne.com. Type “Query” in the subject line. For reprints, send a copy of the article via email and use “Submission” in the subject line. Or send via regular mail to Utne Reader, 12 N. 12th St., Ste. 400, Minneapolis, MN 55403. Here are their complete Submission Guidelines: http://www.utne.com/about/submissions.aspx.

You’ve read my recommendations to sign up for Meg Weaver’s Wooden Horse Pub Magazine Database. Well, now you have an opportunity to become part of her staff. Meg is looking for a part-time (around 10 hours/week) freelance writer to help collect and write news about magazines for their newsletter, blog, Twitter and other venues. She’ll pay $10/hour and you get access to the magazine database. Contact Meg Weaver at mweaver@woodenhorsepub.com. Learn more about Wooden Horse Pub at http://www.woodenhorsepub.com

Realms of Fantasy is relaunching after a 6 month hiatus. They are revamping their website. Keep checking back for submission guidelines. http://www.rofmagazine.com.

Haute Dog Magazine continues to expand. In fact, the company hopes to add 4 new magazines in 4 new cities every six months. The site isn’t finished, yet. For information about submissions, contact founder, Susan Patton at: Susan@hautedogmagazine.com. Keep an eye on the website: http://www.hautedogmagazine.com.

Innov8 Magazine is a new inflight magazine for Go! Airlines in Hawaii. http://www.innov8magazine.com.

Crime and Suspense Magazine is relaunching as a monthly and they’re looking for submissions. What do they use? Mysteries and detective stories as well as horror, espionage and action/adventure. According to the site, Fred Snyder is the new managing editor. Their preferred length is between 2000 – 6000. But they will also consider flash fiction as short as 500 words and longer stories up to 10,000 words. You won’t get rich writing for Crime and Suspense. But it might be a good place to start building published credits. Payment is only $5 to $10. Details at http://www.crimeandsuspense.com. Use this link to locate submission guidelines: http://www.crimeandsuspense.com/submission-guidelines. Send submissions to submissions@crimeandsuspense.com

Frederick Bridger, editor of Front Range, has put out a call for submissions for their spring 2010 issue. The “reading window” is August 7 through November 2009. You’ll find their submission guidelines at http://www.frontrangereview.org. You can submit your high quality short fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction here: frontrangereview@hotmail.com or editor@frontrangereview.org. Unfortunately, I see nothing at their website indicating that they pay writers. Study their submission guidelines here: http://www.frontrangereview.org/2.html

Hidden Markets For Your Favorite Article Topic

As a freelance writer, you sometimes glom onto a subject that you enjoy writing about or that has meaning to you. But what happens when you run out of appropriate magazines where you can pitch this topic? This happened to me many times when I was supporting myself as a freelance article writer. And here’s what I did. I began seeking out alternative magazines and tweaking my topics to fit. For example, during a 10-year (or so) period in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, The Toastmaster Magazine ran my various articles on public speaking practically monthly. But I knew that there were plenty of editors of other magazines that would be interested in this topic, even though public speaking wasn’t their primary focus. After appropriate revisions, I sold articles on public speaking to business, religious, organization, general, management and a variety of specific trade magazines.

Fitness was one of my favorite article subjects. And I managed to sell articles on this topic not only to health and fitness publications, but also family, parenting, travel and business magazines.

What is your favorite article topic? Animals/pets? Where are the hidden markets for this subject? Of course, you’ve probably seen your pieces on dog grooming or training published in AKC Gazette, Fido Friendly Magazine, Dog Fancy, Just Labs, BARK, Dog World, Gun Dog, Seattle Dog, Modern Dog, your regional pet magazines and local newspapers. And your articles featuring exotic cats may have appeared in Cat Fancy Magazine and Zoo Keeper. But you don’t have to stop there. How about a piece on pets in the workplace for appropriate regional publications as well as selected business and general interest magazines? The editors of travel, family or children’s magazines might be interested in a piece featuring library cats throughout the U.S.

To be more specific, let’s say that you are an expert in (or you at least are highly interested in) issues around health and fitness. You’ve had several articles published in Health, Prevention, Vibrant Life, Spirituality and Health Magazine, Shape, Vim and Vigor, Women’s Health, Your Family’s Health, Men’s Health, Yoga Journal and others. Where are some of the hidden markets for your health and fitness articles? Parade, a general interest magazine, publishes over 150 articles per year and some of them feature various aspects of our health. http://www.parade.com. The Saturday Evening Post also uses pieces on fitness, health and preventative medicine. http://www.satevepost.org. Some family and child care magazines use articles on health and fitness. Metrofamily Magazine, for example. http://www.metrofamilymagazine.com, ParentGuide, http://www.parentguidenews.com, and South Florida Parenting, http://www.sfparenting.com. Some editors of parenting magazines will be interested in fitness and health articles if they cover other special needs—for example, regional family activities, togetherness activities for families, how to know when your child’s injury or ailment is an emergency and so forth. Inflight and travel magazines might be interested in your piece on altitude sickness, fitness while traveling or jetlag (how to arrive at your business meeting or class reunion refreshed after a long flight), Hemispheres, for example, http://www.hemispheresmagazine.com, Spirit Magazine, http://www.spiritmag.com, US Airways, http://www.usairwaysmag.com, Porthole Cruise Magazine, http://www.porthole.com and business, Executive Update, http://www.executiveupdate.com, Convention South, http://www.conventionsouth.com.

Use your imagination and research skills to come up with additional possibilities. If you’d like my help in locating appropriate “alternative” magazines for your particular topic, just let me know: Patricia@spawn.org.

Opportunities for Authors

The publishers at Turner Publishing, located in Nashville Tennessee, are looking for an author for their latest planned publication “37 Things to Know About English Grammar.” Naturally, they hope to find an expert in the field of English to complete the text for the book. Material should be concise and may need to be completed on a short deadline. The author must be willing to assist in the marketing and promotion of the book, including media interviews and book signings. Interested parties should provide a resume and writing materials to be considered for the publication. Author compensation is dependent upon the author’s previous experience. Interested parties should send response and material to mmccalip@turnerpublishing.com.

The editors at Torn Veil Books are seeking Christian romance manuscripts. This is a new publisher and they are presenting themselves as a traditional royalty publisher. They are currently seeking completed manuscripts in the following romantic genres: Apocalyptic, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Fantasy, Futuristic/Sci-fi, Historical, Post-apocalyptic, Romantic Suspense, Supernatural, Time Travel, Vampire, Westerns, Werewolf, Zombie. If you have such a manuscript within the 65,000 to 110,000 word range or a novella-length manuscript of from 20,000 to 40,000 words, you might be interested in showing it off to the publishers at Torn Veil Books. They want to see a query first. Send to tornveilbooks@gmail.com. Study their complete submission guidelines here: http://tornveilbooks.wordpress.com/

Servant House Publications is currently looking for manuscripts. They are a start-up Christian- based publishing company located in California. And they want nonfiction and fiction Christian-based material only. Mail all submissions to: Kelli Roncancio, Servant House Publications, 23974 Aliso Creek Rd #187, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677. It doesn’t appear that they have a website, yet.

Recliner Books out of Calgary, Alberta is looking to publish literary fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction for an adult audience in paperback and ebook formats. If you are a Canadian, check out this publisher’s submission guidelines here: http://reclinerbooks.com/submit/email.

About NEW publishers. Are you aware that when a publisher listing has a little N in a box next to the name in Writer’s Market, it does not necessarily mean that the publisher is new? It means that it is being listed for the first time in Writer’s Market and, in some cases, it simply indicates that, although this publisher was listed in previous years, they did not have a listing last year. Open Court Publishing Co, for example, has the little N next to the name and this company was established waaaayyy back in 1887. (Is this a misprint?) Nolo has an N and this company was established in 1971. Don’t let the N in front of the name Prostar Publications, Inc. as they came into being in 1965.

If you’re looking for brand new publishers, consider To Be Read Aloud Publishing, Inc. or I.C.E. Publishing Company. They are both only 3 years old. Komenar Publishing was established in 2005, Dram Tree Books came into being in 2000 and White Stone Books, in 2003.

Opportunities for Children’s Book Authors

Hammond Publishing plans a line of children’s picture books featuring self-awareness, social awareness, the importance of personal choices and so forth. Nel Yomtov is the editor for the new line. The parent company, Langenscheidt Publishing Group, has been publishing maps and atlases as well as travel and language books for 150 years. If you are working on a children’s picture book related to the topics listed above, leave an email at the website on the “contact” page here http://www.langenscheidt.com.

Book Promotion Opportunities

Lately, I keep coming across people talking about the concept of giving ebooks away as a means of promoting your print book or your services. Here are a couple of websites through which you can offer your ebooks for free. http://www.globusz.com. Check out their pretty specific guidelines at: http://www.globusz.com/Guidelines.php. Scribd is another free venue for your work. Billed as the largest social publishing company in the world, their goal is to turn everyone into a publisher and create the best possible reading experience on the web. http://www.scribd.com.

Pegasus Publications, Inc. sometimes publishes book reviews in the holiday issues of their Canadian gardening magazines. They do book reviews in-house and they sometimes accept reviews of 300 to 400 words from outside writers. If you have a book related to gardening (particularly in Canada), contact Shauna at shaunad@localgardener.net.

SPAWN Member Christy Pinheiro (Christine Silva) provides this link to her list of 40 (and counting) book review sites. http://www.stepbystepselfpublishing.net/free-book-reviews.html. She adds to her list daily and even offers a couple of other book review lists. Christy focuses on online review sites that do not charge a fee. All of them will review self-published and POD published books, as well. Thank you Christy!

Book promotion and sales have been the big topics at SPAWNDiscuss for the month of September. If you have not signed up for SPAWNDiscuss and you would like to, please contact me at Patricia@spawn.org. I’ll make sure you get an invitation. As a member of SPAWNDiscuss, you will receive each member’s email comments and you can respond or start a new topic at any time. If you have a book in the works or one to promote, sign up and join in at SPAWNDiscuss. It’s one of the FREE benefits of membership in SPAWN.

Promote Your Book in Your Own Backyard

So often, authors spend all of their time promoting their books online. They set up a website, sell books through online bookstores and seek out online support systems, publications and so forth. This is all good. But don’t forget about the promotional opportunities in your own backyard.

As you already know, if you are promoting via the Internet, the personal touch is still important. And how much more personal can you get than when speaking with readers at a signing at local bookstores, giving presentations at civic organization meetings, chatting with people at flea markets, art shows and book fairs and even going door-to-door around the neighborhood with a wagonload of books to sell?

Engage friends in home parties where you give demonstrations, read from your book or have guests help you act out scenes from your story.

Ask to be interviewed in the county and city newspapers and other regional publications. Solicit book reviews locally. Make news and report it to the media. Get on local radio/TV shows.

If you aren’t comfortable in front of groups and cameras, join a local Toastmasters Club and hone your speaking skills while building your confidence as a public speaker.

The Internet is a wonderful tool and venue for book promotion. But don’t neglect to promote in a more personal way locally, as well.

Opportunities for Scriptwriters

Organizers are planning the 10th annual Phoenix Film Festival and they’re accepting entries through December 22, 2009. If you want to consider submitting your script, learn more at http://www.phoenixfilmfestival.com.

Are you aware of The Info List? It was created in order to share entertainment industry information, jobs, opportunities, events, casting information and other news and information of importance to anyone involved in the industry. http://www.infolist.com.

If you’re a scriptwriter who isn’t subscribing to InkTip Newsletter, yet, you really ought to do so today. In many cases, by the time I report the opportunities in the SPAWN Market Update, they are close to being outdated. Subscribe to InkTip Newsletter and be among the first to learn about opportunities such as the following: Nickle Film Productions was looking for a feature-length script about ordinary women overcoming extraordinary circumstances in a present day setting. Someone was in the market for scripts that could air on a family network. Producers were looking for Science Fiction and fantasy scripts by Canadian authors.

To subscribe to InkTip Newsletter contact Jerrol LeBaron at jerrol@inktip.com. Visit the website at http://www.inktip.com

Opportunities for Artists and Photographers

Utne Reader uses freelance art and photographs. Check guidelines here: http://www.utne.com/about/submissions.aspx. They sound pretty strict about how they receive artwork, so I suggest that you pay close attention to their guidelines.

Dream Leaf Creations provides a web presence for those artists and writers who don’t have one or who want to expand their exposure. http://www.dreamleafcreations.com. If you would like a place to hang your art or post your prose, stroll on over to Dream Leaf Creations and connect with Leona Wisoker. She will display your best art and writing for free. However, she always welcomes donations to help offset her costs.

Crime and Suspense Magazine buys photographs and illustrations. Submit your original work to submissions@crimeandsuspense.com with “Image Submission” in the subject line. To find out what type of art and photographs this magazine uses, visit their website at: http://www.crimeandsuspense.com. You might also study a few copies of their magazine.

Front Range Review is interested in artwork for their annual issue of their magazine. You must submit your art from August 1 through November 1 for publication in the spring of 2010. They would like to see paintings, drawings and photography suitable for this particular publication. They publish two color pieces per year and convert several photographs and artwork to black and white for the inside pages. View submission guidelines here: http://www.frontrangereview.org/2.html. I do not see anything at their website showing the type of illustrations they have used in the past. I suggest that you ask for a sample of their publication to get an idea of what to submit. editor@frontrangereview.org.

Resources for Authors and Writers

FastPencil.com is a new concept where, at their basic level package, you can write and organize your book, collaborate and share your writing with friends, format and layout your book pages, develop a color cover for your book, publish and even sell your book for FREE. The folks at FastPencil.com also offer additional services such as editing and multi-distribution opportunities. Check it out at http://www.FastPencil.com.

If you are a journalist or freelance writer who is always seeking story leads, consider signing up for daily leads at Reporters Source: http://www.reporterssource.com. If you’re working on a story and need a quote or information, add your request to their list at this site. The ongoing list currently includes, business/finance, environment, parenting, health/fitness, relationships, sports, travel, women’s issues and others.

Are you staying awake at night trying to come up with the perfect title for your novel? Here’s a company that will create a title for you. Contact http://www.noveltitles.com with information about your story and let them generate a title for you. Their name indicates that they work with only novels, however, their website demonstrates that they also help with nonfiction projects of all kinds, as well. They charge for their services, but they don’t tell you how much until they know something about your project.

Let’s Get Published provides authors with a venue for their manuscripts. They will be made available for the public to read and publishers and agents are also invited to stop by and see if there’s anything at the site worth publishing. http://www.letsgetpublished.com.

Here’s an interesting site for those of you who are tired of finding outdated library books on the topics you are attempting to research. AwfulLibraryBooks is an interactive site featuring the librarians’ as well as the public’s worst library picks. The many unsolicited comments set the stage for lively debates. Visit here: http://awfullibrarybooks.wordpress.com.

Most of you probably already subscribe to Google Alerts (http://www.google/alerts), so you can keep current on your topics of interest and check to see who’s talking about you, for example. Well, now you can also use YackTrack for these purposes. http://www.yacktrack.com/chatter. I visited the site and typed in my name, only to generate a long list of my own blog posts.

Editor Commentary

Labeling Those Self-Publishing Companies

I was taken to task—called on the carpet—a few weeks ago by someone who was darn tired of professionals like me referring to companies such as AuthorHouse, Infinity, Xlibris as “self-publishing” companies. He said that self-publishing is when the author establishes a publishing company. I couldn’t agree more.

I emailed him back and told him so. I said something to the effect of, “Bingo! I agree completely. And I would greatly appreciate it if you would help us to come up with an appropriate name for these companies.”

Silence. I never heard another word from this gentleman. Nothing! He evidently is one of those who likes to criticize, but who won’t participate in making the changes that are needed.

However, there are some new “kids” on the block who say that the term “self-publishing” for producing your own book is passé. Now, when you self publish, you are an independent publisher.

I’ve been referring to the original “POD” publishing company, now known as “self-publishers” as “Pay-to Publish” companies. Do you like it?

Why I Ignore WritersMarket.com and Writer’s Digest

I cut my writer’s teeth on Writer’s Digest Magazine. Even before I started writing—way back when I was raising 2 toddlers and a crawler and just dreaming of writing for publication, I was reading Writer’s Digest Magazine. The magazine was only 40 years old then. Would you believe that they’re celebrating their 90th year in 2010?

I’ve written for Writer’s Digest. I’ve subscribed to it. I’ve used Writer’s Market for over 30 years. (Writer’s Market will be 90 next year, too.) I suggest, fairly often, that you use Writer’s Market (print version) and http://www.writersmarket.com to locate homes for your work and, if I list recommended writer’s magazines, Writer’s Digest is among them. But I rarely bring you leads, resources, contests, etc. from Writer’s Digest or Writersmarket.com And do you know why? I didn’t. But I recently figured it out.

I get so much email from Writer’s Digest and Writersmarket.com that I’ve grown weary of it. I see something in my email box and, rather than look at it or print it out, like I do with many other newsletters, for example, I groan under the pressure of it all. I don’t open it, I don’t print it out. I simply don’t want to deal with it, so I delete it.

Someone in SPAWNDiscuss recently suggested that we brainstorm about different ways of presenting SPAWNews. She threw out this idea—rather than send one enewsletter per month, maybe we could email information to members and subscribers as we gather it—giving everyone smaller doses of information and resources more often.

When I realized how I handle the enewsletters that come, it seems, every single day, I shuddered at the thought of SPAWN being even a fraction as invasive. Sure, the information may be excellent and the resources might be valuable. Further, we certainly want to draw people in and accommodate their needs. But we don’t want to be so much in their faces that they start deleting anything that comes to their email box from SPAWN.

SPAWNews

As those of you who participate in SPAWNDiscuss know, we’ve been discussing SPAWNews and how we can provide the most meaningful newsletter possible. We’d love to have you chime in, either through SPAWNDiscuss (contact me if you are not yet signed up) Patricia@spawn.org, or contact Patricia@spawn.org or editor@spawn.org with your suggestions. Do you want it to be shorter? What would you like us to delete? What do you want more/less of? Talk to us!

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