SPAWNews – July 2009


Sandra Murphy, Editor

For contributions to the newsletter and Letters to the Editor, please email the editor of SPAWNews:

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Table of Contents

Editor’s Note
by Sandra Murphy

This month the newsletter is packed with even more news. Don’t set it aside and think you’ll read it later. It won’t happen, and you’d miss out on so much.

I’d like to hear from members about writing and the economy. How are you cutting expenses, finding new markets, keeping your head above water as your feet churn like mad to keep you afloat? Email and let me know.

While reading the June issue of SPAWNews, did you see the item about the InStock conference? There’s still time to sign up for it. SPAWN members get a discount and three members get to go FREE—save $195!

The 4th of July has always been the tipping point, it gets us past the mid-summer “there’s nothing to do” blahs and heads us into fall sales (already?) and thoughts of hurry up and enjoy the weather before it’s school time again. Speaking of school, want to hone your writing skills? (What a segue!) SPAWN is offering two online writing courses. Are you writing a book and want to do it right from the start? Or does your brain turn off after writing 1,000 words? Either way, we’ve got you covered with a book proposal workshop and a course on writing articles. Additional information under Online Courses of this newsletter.

Sandy, Editor, SPAWNews,

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We just got the news!

The deadline for exhibitors at the Ventura Book Festival 2009 has been extended! The book festival will be held July 25 at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ventura, California. Pay only $100 per booth. Additional information under Events of this newsletter.

Market Update
by Patricia Fry

The SPAWN Market Update is one of the prime benefits to maintaining a SPAWN membership. Each month we post a new 8 to 14-page compilation of opportunities for published and unpublished authors, artists, screenwriters, freelance writers and others who are interested in or involved in publishing their works. We gather news you can use and incredible resources.

I subscribe to dozens of magazines, newsletters and e-zines and I can tell you that there is nothing out there like the SPAWN Market Update.

The July 2009 edition of the SPAWN Market Update features 4 directories listing literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of jobs for freelance writers as well as jobs for artists and photographers. We show you a quick, easy and foolproof way to evaluate and check out the publisher or distributor you are considering for your project. We provide some great resources for increasing your book sales and a colossal directory of children’s book publishers. Not only that, we’ve added 3 great sites for screenplay writers and several specific opportunities for authors, freelance writers and artists/photographers.

In spite of the fact that we list nearly 75 opportunities, newsbytes, directories and resources in this one issue of the SPAWN Market Update, this is just the tip of the iceberg for members, no matter when you join. All members always have access to the SPAWN Market Update archives, boasting nearly 95 issues PLUS our convenient search function, so you can key in on the specific information and resources you need.

Here’s a peek into the July 2009 SPAWN Market Update:

  • Did you know that the first self-published book expo is scheduled for this year? We tell you when and where.
  • We reveal our favorite grammar sites.
  • We feature 4 more freelance job sites.
  • We introduce several publishers who are seeking manuscripts and paying markets for freelance writers.
  • We update you on publishing and publisher statistics. Find out how many books were published last year and how many publishers there are today. You may be surprised.
  • Learn where to go if you want to rub shoulders with other screenwriters.
  • Find out how to Stop Sabotaging Your Publishing and Freelance Writing Success.
  • Gain access to recommended publishers and distributors.
  • Learn where to find a publisher for your children’s book.

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More Benefits

Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, The Contracts & Services of 45 Self-Publishing Companies—Analyzed, Ranked and Exposed, has generously donated another carton of books to SPAWN for us to give FREE to new and renewing members. The supply is limited, so join SPAWN now. Pay $45/year for membership, get your FREE choice of 6 books or ebooks, including Mark Levine’s book, and gain access to SPAWNDiscuss, the SPAWN Market Update and other benefits of membership. Click on Join SPAWN Now.”


FREE 30-Minute telephone consultation with Mark Levine!!

Many of you, upon joining SPAWN or renewing your membership, have requested Mark Levine’s book, The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. For those of you who have received this book either through SPAWN or who have purchased it, Levine is offering something special. He will give you a FREE 30-minute consultation with him for the purpose of discussing the companies he has covered in the book or any other self-publishing related topic.

Simply email Sarah at to set up the call.

Tell Sarah that you received Levine’s book through SPAWN or that you purchased the book as a result of the book review we did in SPAWNews. Of course, if you purchased it on your own, you’re still entitled to the FREE consultation.

Online Courses Available—Discount for SPAWN Members
SPAWN Offers Online Courses for Authors and Freelance Writers

Starts July 1 (Enrollment extended through July 10.)
Book Proposal Workshop
8 weeks maximum (or work at your own pace and finish earlier)
Special Price of $125 for SPAWN members only—a $75 savings.
Complete a book proposal with the personal assistance of your instructor.

Starts August 1
How to Write and Sell Magazine Articles
6 weeks maximum (or work at your own pace and finish earlier)
Special Reduced Price $100 for SPAWN members only—a $25 savings.
Establish a Career or learn how to Promote Your Book through Magazine Articles.

Course Description: Book Proposal Workshop

Are you still trying to figure out what a Book Proposal is? Perhaps publishers have asked you for one, but you don’t know where to start or how to proceed. Here’s your opportunity to learn how to write a successful book proposal now and in the future. Your instructor, Patricia Fry, will teach you a formula that you can use for any book you plan.

The book proposal does more than communicate your intentions to a potential publisher. A well-designed proposal is an excellent marketing tool. It gives a publisher the information he/she needs in order to evaluate you and your entire project. But it also makes your life easier because you can use your proposal as a guide to writing your book. Probably the most valuable aspect of writing a book proposal is that during the process, you’ll find out if you truly have a worthwhile book at all. Likewise, the marketing component in your proposal will aid you in your promotional efforts once the book is completed.

While our focus will be on the more detailed nonfiction book proposal, students with novels and other fiction manuscripts will also learn how to prepare a book proposal for their projects.

Contact Patricia Fry for a course outline or with your questions.

Course Description: Article-Writing Course

Do you dream of building a career as a freelance writer? Would you like to promote your book through magazine articles? If so, this class is for you. Learn how to recognize good article ideas, write a query letter, find the right market for your work, write a successful article, submit your work and recycle your articles.

Perhaps you’ve tried to break into the magazine article market with no luck. Maybe the articles you’ve designed to promote your books are rejected. I’ll guide you through the process of developing an article for a magazine of your choice and ultimately submitting it. While I can’t guarantee publication, I can assure you a greater measure of success than you may have been experiencing on your own.

What could you possibly be doing wrong? Let me count the common mistakes:

  • Failing to study the magazine for which you want to write.
  • Approaching the wrong magazine with the wrong article.
  • Blatantly promoting your book in the article.
  • Neglecting to adhere to the requested word count.
  • Submitting a sloppy manuscript.
  • Retiring a good idea before exploring all of the possibilities.
  • Exercising poor research skills.
  • Thumbing your nose at protocol and submission guidelines.
  • Giving up too soon.

Whether you want to become a freelance writer or promote your book through magazine articles, the techniques and skills you learn here will go a long way toward helping you meet your goals.

Contact Patricia Fry for a Course Outline or with your questions.

How does an online course work?

Testimonials from Patricia Fry’s students:

Ask the Book Doctor:

About Ghostwriting, Ellipses, Single-spacing, and Freelance Work
By Bobbie Christmas

Q: How do I go about getting a contract I can use for ghostwriting?

A: What you need is a work-for-hire contract that can be adjusted a little to fit your needs. Search the Internet for a work-for-hire contract. You can probably find a free one you can use as a guideline.

To read more about these and other interesting topics, go to

Typos, Grammar, Ooops!
By Bonnie Myhrum

I was thinning the other day about writing an article on the importance of proofreading: then I thought, “Maybe its not that important. Any writer can read their own writing and find their mistakes, and, they have a Spell checker and Grammar checker in their Word Processing software, so why would they need a proofreader?”

What is wrong with this point of view?

Here is my answer: thinning, :, its, their, their, ,, they, Spell, Grammar, Word Processing, they.

To read the full article on the importance of proofreading, go to

by Patricia Fry

Dear Executive Director:

How can I get listed on your recommended printers page? Also what other types of exposure could I receive by becoming a member? Thanks again for your time. (note period added and space created between ? and Thanks.)

Printing Company Owner

Dear Printing Company Owner:

This would not be a good time to consider putting your print company on our recommended printers page as we are in the process of completely revamping our website. What I will do is give your email to our new webmaster. We are also forming a new leadership team and we will be re-evaluating those recommended companies. We’ll let you know when we have our requirements in place.

As for what exposure you would get from membership—you would be listed in the SPAWN Member Directory. This is at the SPAWN website, and is available to anyone who visits our site. It also has a search feature, so if someone was looking for a printer and they typed “printer” as the keyword (and you used “printer” in your profile), your company name would come up.

If you write articles for Spawnews, you can include a brief bio at the end of the article including your company name. We have 2,000 subscribers. Of course, the article would have to be informative and/or entertaining—we do not publish blatant promotion.

If you are participating in a writers’ conference or you just printed Danielle Steele’s latest book or you are using some sort of new technology in your printing company, you can submit an announcement with this information to be published in SPAWNews.

You can communicate with other members through SPAWNDiscuss. If you have a question or comment or want to start a conversation on any topic, you can do so through SPAWNDiscuss (email discussion group) and include your email “signature.”

Some new members introduce themselves and their companies or projects through SPAWNDiscuss.

We have a catalog of members’ books and services. As a member, you can pay a small fee to have your business listed in the online catalog. In the past, we have printed copies of the catalog and handed them out at special events held throughout the U.S.—the huge Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, for example (with 100,000 visitors). Hopefully, we will continue this practice—maybe even accelerate it.

We can’t say for sure what our activities and events will be in the near future, but I think everyone on the board is leaning toward more opportunity for member exposure throughout the U.S.

Perhaps you would like to present a podcast about the process of printing, printing costs, etc. at some point once we get set up to do that and if this is a direction our members want to go.

I hope that you will see the potential value in membership with SPAWN. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Patricia Fry

Book Review
By Sandra Cropsey

The Savvy Book Marketer’s Guide to Successful Social Marketing
By Dana Lynn Smith
Texana Publishing Consultants, LLC, 2009
211 pages, $24.00, ebook (free excerpt available)
For free book marketing tips, check out Dana’s blog at

The Spiritual Experience of a Book Review by Sandra Jones Cropsey

Finally, someone has turned the light on for social marketing and all under one roof! The Savvy Book Marketer’s Guide to Social Marketing is just that—SAVVY. From page one —How to Use This Book—Dana recognizes how daunting a task Internet marketing itself can be, especially for those of us who find the whole social marketing scene intimidating. The face of marketing has changed so very much in recent years that I find myself describing what often seems to be a fruitless exercise as wrestling a bear every day all day, only to be whipped again at close of the day to scamper off to dreamland where dreams of being pursued by hideous aliens is far less stressful.

While I have been a fan of Dana’s newsletter and blog, I was delighted when asked to review Dana’s newest book. Those of us who have been around the block a few times sometimes feel as though we are caught in a perpetual revolving door when it comes to Twitter, Facebook, My Space, Linked In, etc. To put it quite simply, we are computer challenged, which in layman’s terms translates to mean that while we have finally accepted that if we press “delete,” Rhode Island will not disappear, we still pause when the computer asks: “Are you sure you want to do that?” Presently, my personal response is: “I’m not competent to make that decision. Let me go ask the blender.”

To read the full review of The Savvy Book Marketer’s Guide to Successful Social Marketing, go to

Member Announcements

SPAWN Logo Contest

The SPAWN website is getting a makeover and we’d like you artistic types to help us modernize the logo. Here are the requirements:

  1. It must be rectangular shaped, as it will be placed in the upper left-hand corner of the website, and approximately 230 x 85 pixels.
  2. It should be versatile. That is, it should be “convertible” to black and white for print purposes and visible at both small and large sizes so that it can work for everything from business cards to trade show banners.
  3. Iconic. Ideally, the new logo will include the “pen” icon for continuity with past logos. (See the original logo at the top of this newsletter and at the website –
  4. Descriptive. Ideally, we’d like to incorporate both the acronym (SPAWN) and the full name, (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) into the logo.

The winner of the logo contest will receive a free SPAWN membership for one year. Of course, this will also be something you can put in your portfolio. Please submit your entries in GIF or JPG format (72 dpi) to Deadline July 15, 2009.


Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) will host their second annual seminar for publishers, or anyone interested in becoming a publisher, at the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in Denver.

Publishers’ Institute: Essential Skills for Entrepreneurs will be held on Monday, July 13, 2009, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm in Mineral Hall B&C, 3rd Floor of the Hyatt Regency at the Colorado Convention Center.

Topics presented include:

  • “Juggling the Publishing Plates: Time Management for Entrepreneurial Publishers”
    Presenter: Anne Fenske, Grace Acres Press
  • “Digital Printing, eBooks, and the Changing Landscape of Publishing”
    Presenter: Don Leeper, BookMobile
  • “Internet Publicity for the New Millennium” Presenter: Sarah Bolme, Christian Small Publishers Association

Individuals interested in attending the seminar can read more about each presenter and register for the Publishers’ Institute at The cost to attend the seminar is $20.00. Registration will also be taken at the event.

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InStock Conference
The Conference for Self Publishers
Hotel Monaco, San Francisco for more information.

The InStock Conference, a one-day conference for self publishers or those interested in self publishing, is coming to San Francisco July 18th. InStock will feature panels on marketing and the business of self-publishing, including publicity outreach, finding your audience, pricing your product and more. In addition, you’ll hear from successful authors and self publishers, representatives from the traditional arm of the book industry, and others. The InStock Conference will get you thinking strategically about the marketing and promotion of your book.

InStock has made a special offer to SPAWN members—if you mention Code Word Ashli and SPAWN, you will receive $50 off the regular price of $195 for the conference—you pay $145. In addition, if you are one of the first three people to email me at, you can get a FREE PASS to the conference.

Ashli Lewis
Abuzz Productions

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Regional Publishing University comes to the Twin Cities

Who should attend: publishers of all sizes, authors, writers who want to publish or be published, others in fields related to publishing. More information? Email

Where: Embassy Suites Minneapolis Airport, 7901 34th Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55425
When: August 14-15, 2009
Only Friday: $85, $75 (IBPA/MIPA/Other IBPA Affiliate)
Only Saturday: $175, $150;
Friday and Saturday: $225, $175 IBPA/MIPA and other Affiliate Members save $25.

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Tamara Sellman, director of MRCentral, announces the third annual Magic Carpet Ride, an innovative one-on-one creative writing mentorship exclusively designed to serve magical realist writers. This mentorship, valued at $2000*, will be awarded annually, and on a competitive basis, to a single applicant who is able to demonstrate:

  • a deep commitment to completing their work in progress
  • strong writing skills
  • a desire to learn and to succeed
  • a good understanding of the magical realist nature of their manuscript

The purpose of the Magic Carpet Ride mentorship is to assist a promising magical realist writer from anywhere in the world in the completion of a polished manuscript by the end of the session which can then be actively submitted to potential publishers. This competitive opportunity is the only of its kind to provide specialized instruction, direction, and motivation specifically for a writer of literary magical realism.

Postmark deadline for receipt of all application materials for the 2010 mentorship session is October 31, 2009. Email deadline for receipt of all application materials for the 2010 mentorship session is midnight [Pacific time], October 31, 2009.

More info:


Read about the latest contests at:


Read about the coming events at:

Note: SPAWNews advises “caveat emptor” when dealing with venues, contests or promotions unknown to you. SPAWN is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.

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Join SPAWN now and receive one FREE book! See the selection from which you can choose your book at the Member Benefits page. As a member, you can enjoy the benefits of the Members Only Area. There you will find:

  • Member Forum. In the SPAWN Forum, you can discuss publishing with knowledgeable published writers and publishers.
  • Market Update. This valuable Market Update will appear every month, letting us know exactly what is going on with magazine and book publishers.
  • Event Calendar where you can submit your events. After approval, your events will be available for all members to see.
  • Member Webpages where you can upload your HTML pages to build your own web site. Your Web pages will be viewable by everyone on the Internet.
  • Member Catalog where you can list your books and services
  • Member Discussion list where you can discuss your triumphs and questions with your publishing peers.