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SPAWNews, January, 2006

Wendy Dager, Editor

For contributions to the newsletter and Letters to the Editor, please e-mail the editor of SPAWNews:

Those of you who are SPAWN members, be sure to go to the first page of the site, and click on the "Visit Member Area" button. You will be asked to log in.

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Table of Contents

- Editor’s Note

- Market Update

- Book Reviews

- Selling Online with Credit Cards vs. PayPal

- Ask the Book Doctor

- A Computer Security Note

- Member News

- Opportunities

- Contests

- Events and More

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Editor’s Note

By Wendy Dager

It is with great sadness we report the death of author, editor, public speaker, book marketing consultant, and SPAWNews columnist Richard F.X. O’Connor. Richard died from complications of emphysema on December 16, at his home in Santa Barbara, California. SPAWN’s executive board, SPAWNews staff and SPAWN members offer heartfelt condolences to his wife, Helene.

The last time Richard (I called him F.X., because I thought it was cool) and I communicated via e-mail, he told me he was no longer able to send a regular column to SPAWNews due to health problems. He never let on how ill he was, and his e-mails were always friendly and funny.

I was in awe of his years of experience in the publishing world, which has changed considerably since he was marketing director at Doubleday. Richard had an inimitable way of writing about the legends of publishing, and it was always fascinating to read about the "old days."

When I was putting this editor’s note together, I attempted to take snippets from Richard’s past SPAWNews columns so you could see samples of his wit. I couldn’t, because his stories are so involved and brilliant that they’re best if you read them in their entirety. Instead, for your enjoyment, here is one of my favorite Richard F.X. O’Connor columns.

Chutzpah Gets a Writer Published

By Richard F.X. O’Connor

I was introduced to my favorite fishing hole by a publishing "connection." The spot is Tim Pond Wilderness Camps in a remote area of northwestern Maine, where dry fly fishing for trout is the order of the day.

In the late 60s, Thomas Gardner Paynter, the VP and buyer for Walden was introduced to the camp by Bob Quinn, a salesman for Rand McNally who invited Tom and the buyer at Woolworth to a few days of fishing. Back then the Rand McNally Atlas sold well at Walden and Woolworth.

In 1972 Tom (TGP to us) brought me and a bunch of others to Tim Pond—and my life was changed forever. Until that time I had been a fresh- and saltwater fisherman. But this world of seven and eight foot lightweight fly rods—with the line 20 and 30 feet in the air, zipping past my ear, to land precisely where I had seen a trout jump—was an epiphany. I had found the Nirvana of fishing.

Naturally I wanted to share this out-of-the-way "haunt" with others, so I wrote an inquiry letter to Field and Stream magazine.

In essence what my query letter said was: "Hey, I love this place and I’m going to write an article whether or not you guys are I interested. So there."

Lo and behold, I got a letter back from the Managing Editor who assigned me a reference number and told me to submit whenever the article was ready.

Two years and two IRS deductible trips to Tim Pond later (research for an article, after all), I not only sent a 2,500-word article but also photos, hoping to get a cover photo, which paid more than the article. F&S then lost the submission, which I found out by asking its progress six months later.

Well, I guilted them and resubmitted and was given a date when the article would appear. Near pub date, I got a call saying that F&S had subsequently done market research showing that shorter articles were better and if I would cut it to 750 words plus two sidebars it would run in the next issue. This was on a Friday and the deadline was the following Monday. I did it and the article ran. And it’s the most treasured of my writing accomplishments…an example of what a little chutzpah will do.

While I don’t recommend that approach to writers, it remains an example of the advice to write about that which you know, the wedding of my private passion with my ability to string sentences together.

The postscript to the story is that I own a copy of a Rand McNally Atlas that does not show Tim Pond on a Maine map. Seems the late Bob Quinn was not as keen as I to have notoriety for our haunt, so he had the cartographers at Rand remove it. It was subsequently reinstated. In thirty years, I was lucky enough to do battle with the elusive square-tailed trout on 25 visits, which left me with the wisdom that trout are smarter than humans.

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Market Update

By Patricia Fry

The January 2006 edition of the SPAWN Market Update focuses on the "A" in SPAWN--Artists. Those of you who dream of selling your art, photography or crafts won't want to miss my article, "Promotion: Your Success as an Artist Depends on It." If you've ever wondered how and where to sell your art and why people aren't clamoring to your door to buy it, you have to read this article. I give dozens of tips and ideas for creating a successful business from your art. Learn how to turn your passion into cash. To top off this extremely valuable article, I post my interview with working artist, Susan Alcott Jardine.

Here’s what you’ll find this month:

  • Informative tips and resources for working artists and crafters
  • Where to go for PCIPs and bar codes
  • What simple change can make a ho-hum project a successful one
  • Who offers you a FREE business plan
  • 10 ideas for promoting and selling your art
  • How complimentary products can help YOU sell more of yours
  • Learn how a real working artist promotes herself and her work
  • A list you already have that could be used as a customer base
  • What’s needed to become licensed artist

Not a member yet? Want to see what you’re missing? Contact to get a sneak peek.

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Book Review

By Patricia Fry

The Street Smart Writer: Self Defense Against Sharks and Scams in the Writing World

By Jenna Glatzer with Daniel Steven

Nomad Press, 2006

ISBN: Pending

Price: Pending

300 pages

This book is only in the galley stage at present. I assume it will hit the stores sometime after the first of the year. Watch for it in a bookstore near you or order it from Nomad Press ( because, if you are a freelance writer and/or author, this book belongs in your library.

You may recognize Jenna Glatzer’s name. She is the founder of and the author of 15 books, including the authorized biography of Celine Dion. As a writer/author, you’ll be more familiar with her book, "Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer."

For this book, "The Street Smart Writer: Self Defense Against Sharks and Scams in the Writing World", she teams up with attorney Daniel Steven. Together, they get right to the crux of your burning questions—how does a writer/author recognize and protect him/herself from the many scams that plague this industry?

To read the complete review of "The Street Smart Writer: Self Defense Against Sharks and Scams in the Writing World", go to

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Book Review

By Patricia Fry

265 Troubleshooting Strategies for Writing Nonfiction

By Barbara Fine Clouse

McGraw Hill

178 pages $14.95

ISBN: 0-07-144539-0

Here’s an interesting and useful book for the nonfiction writer. Barbara Clouse, a former college composition instructor and now a teacher of writing teachers, wrote this book with four tasks in mind: prewriting, drafting, revising and editing. Her method is appropriate for creative nonfiction as well as something as mundane as a business letter.

If you sometimes have trouble coming up with something to write, thinking of the right word or determining where to put a comma, read more about this book at

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Book Review

By Patricia Fry

Master Class in Fiction Writing, Techniques From Austen, Hemingway and Other Greats

By Adam Sexton

McGraw Hill

228 pages--$16.95

ISBN: 0-07-144877-2

Here’s a novel idea for you novelists—a book designed to teach you techniques used by some of the world’s master writers. If you’ve been looking for just the right teacher, look no further. Who could be better than Jane Austin, Ernest Hemingway, William Falkner, Joseph Conrad, Vladimir Nabokov and Iris Murdoch? Author Adam Sexton has tapped into the skills and talents of these and other great writers—each of them bringing a different dimension to the writing pad. Learn style and voice from Hemingway and dialogue from Murdoch. Let Conrad teach you his techniques for plotting.

To read more about how you can learn from the masters, go to

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Selling Online with Credit Cards vs. PayPal

By Virginia Lawrence

A client recently asked whether her online bookstore should be set up so that customers pay with PayPal rather than with a credit card. As a consumer she feels safe with PayPal. She knows that when she has a problem with a purchase, she can contest the purchase through PayPal.

My response to that store owner was my usual response to clients who are considering PayPal instead of a credit card merchant account: PayPal is most helpful for person-to-person sales, as on eBay.

To learn more about why some consumers like PayPal and some merchants dislike PayPal, go to

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Ask the Book Doctor: About Book Doctoring

By Bobbie Christmas

To learn more about this and other topics, go to

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A Computer Security Note (January 1, 2006)

from Virginia Lawrence

Just in time for the new year, there is an obnoxious new computer exploit to guard against. It's called the Zero Day Exploit of the WMF Flaw, and it's being distributed by thousands of otherwise legitimate Web sites. The ads on those Web sites are exploiting a Microsoft flaw to install software on every computer that visits the site. They install, and then the software can get full control of the computer. The experts say that right now the exploits are "only" installing spyware and/or fake anti-spyware software. This will definitely change as more virus writers become involved.

Please read the quick steps to take to protect your computer:

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Member News

SPAWN member Fran Halpern was the guest interviewee in this week's edition of the National Association of Women Writers newsletter and SPAWN member Cathe Jones was the featured writer.

Simon Teakettle Ink, a patron of Great Canadian Theatre Company for more than two decades, has arranged a unique collaboration with the equity theatre company based in Ottawa. All three books written by Barbara Florio Graham are now for sale at GCTC, with 30% of the retail price going to the theatre’s building fund. For details:

Patricia Fry will teach a 3-session course on "The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book" through Focus on the Masters in Ventura, CA, February 25, March 4 and March 18, 2006. Go to for additional information and to access an enrollment form.

Patricia Fry's latest book, "The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book" has arrived. Nearly 100 people took advantage of her prepublication discount offer. Order this incredibly informative 328-page book now for $19.95. For more information:

Patricia Fry is now blogging. See what she has to say at

SPAWN founder Mary Embree is coordinating The Ventura Book Festival, "Celebrating Diversity," on Saturday, March 11, 2006. Read Events below for full details.

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Note: SPAWNews advises "caveat emptor" when dealing with venues, contests or promotions unknown to you.

Speaker Services is offering two complimentary teleclasses: "Be a Radio Host using AudioAcrobat," Monday, January 16, 4:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. PST and "The Communion Approach to Public Speaking, Presentation and Performance," Monday, January 30, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST. For information: or

For information about the Marketplace at the Speakers' Summit on March 3-5:

The Santa Barbara Writers Conference newsletter is sent three times per year, with news about seminars, workshops, scholarships and success stories. To subscribe, e-mail

St. Louis Writers Guild has launched a writing project to involve the public in writing a tongue-in-cheek book about the Mississippi River--what it's REALLY like! It's an anthology of brief recollections, observations, laments, celebrations, humor, and soapbox tirades--all aimed at revealing aspects of life on the Big Muddy. The working title is "MIGHTY OR MUDDY? Reflections on the Mississippi River by Those Who Know it Well." Publication is planned for October 2006, after which the original submissions binder (with autographed submissions) will be raffled or auctioned off. This is a St. Louis literary, historical event. For more information: Deadline is August 31, 2006. The address to send submissions is St. Louis Writers Guild, Collaborative Book Project, POB 771765, St. Louis, MO 63177, or fax: 314-821-3823.

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Note: SPAWNews advises "caveat emptor" when dealing with venues, contests or promotions unknown to you.

Read about the latest contests at

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Events and More

Please note: Although SPAWNews does its best to filter announcements and press releases for various events, seminars, and classes, we cannot guarantee a successful experience for all who attend.

Read about the coming events at

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SPAWN is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.

Donations are tax deductible.

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Join SPAWN now and receive one FREE book by Patricia Fry. 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.

Join SPAWN now by clicking on the "Join SPAWN Now" button at the top of this page.

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SPAWNews SPAWN is a nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax deductible.

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

PMB 123

323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110

Ojai, CA 93023


Telephone: 805-646-3045

Fax: 805-640-8213

Wendy Dager

SPAWNews Editor, Membership and Database Coordinator


Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

SPAWN Webmaster


Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

SPAWN Executive Director


Patricia Fry

SPAWN President


Advisory Council

Carol Doering

Dallas Glenn

Rosalie Heacock

Literary Agent

Andora Hodgin

Writer, Editor, Publicist

Irwin Zucker

Book Publicist

Jim Lane


Marcia Grad-Powers


Melvin Powers


Dan Poynter

Author, Publisher

Jean Wade


Board of Directors (as of December 1, 2003)

Patricia Fry

Author, Publisher

President of SPAWN

Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

Writer, Editor, Webmaster

Executive Director of SPAWN

Ruth Hibbard

Treasurer of SPAWN

Richard F.X. O'Connor

Author, Publisher, Editor, Consultant

Tamara Dever

Book Designer

SPAWN Founder

Mary Embree

Author, Editor, Literary Consultant of SPAWN


To promote the literary arts and provide education, information, resources and a supportive networking environment for artists, writers, and other creative people interested in the publishing process.

Submission Guidelines

Members and Nonmembers: Please send your press releases, seminar information, and books for review to

Wendy Dager,



PMB 123

323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110

Ojai, CA 93023

or email

SPAWN membership dues are $45 per year; spouses, half-price. Make your check payable to SPAWN and mail to P.O. Box 2653, Ventura, CA 93002-2653. Or click on Member Application to fill out the secure online form and pay your dues by credit card.

SPAWNews, Member Directory and Web site listings, and discounts for SPAWN events are included in membership.

SPAWN is a nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax deductible.

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

PMB 123

323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110

Ojai, CA 93023



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