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SPAWNews, April, 1997



Kathy Schultz is not only our new Ventura Chapter President, she is also the new Editor of SPAWNews! (As if she didn't have enough to do.) If you have articles you'd like to submit, please call her at 805/644-9843.

Ken Armstrong is back at work on getting the Oahu Chapter going and Gail Hiebert is forming a chapter in Olympia, Washington. If you'd like to join and/or to volunteer your help, please contact them.

Patricia Fry's new book, Creative Grandparenting Across the Miles, has just been published. It includes dozens of creative ideas for enjoying a close relationship with grandchildren whether they live far away or just down the street. (Liguori Publications; $5.95) You may order it directly from Patty.

Melvin R. Bloom's book, Letters to Bridgie, An Enchanting Correspondence for the Young at Heart is a delightful read for any age. Bloom sends letters to Bridgie as a bird named "Tweets" because Bridgie never gets any mail. (Publisher's Paradigm; $6.95) Contact Mel for ordering info.


Please send us information on your new releases, book signings or other news so that we may publish it in the newsletter. PMA Offers Reduced Rates to SPAWN Members! Reminder: Publishers Marketing Association (PMA) offers reduced membership rates to SPAWN members. The $80 annual membership is only $54 for SPAWNers. PMA has moved to 627 Aviation Way, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. Call 310/372-2732 or FAX 310/374-3342 to enroll!


An informational time was had by all at SPAWN's "Marketing and Promotion Seminar" held March 22 at the Ventura Townehouse. Presenters Richard F.X. O'Connor and Virginia Lawrence educated us about the many ways to go about selling a book.

O'Connor, Acquisitions Editor at Renaissance Press in Los Angeles, has been in the publishing industry for 30 years, and had a great many tales to tell about advance money, the difficulties of finding an agent (it's just as hard as finding a publisher) or a good editor, and rejections. His anecdotes included the one about how Joseph Heller's Catch 22 was turned down by 25 publishers before it found a home, and has since sold millions. Such stories warm the hearts of writers. He discussed the practical aspects of contractual arrangements, giving away review copies, self-publishing, mailing lists, using 800 phone numbers to sell books, and distribution, which he stressed is the most critical factor in the publication and marketing of a book. O'Connor has authored seven books, and his most recent, How to Market You and Your Book was available for sale and scooped up by several participants.

Virginia Lawrence, SPAWN's resident Internet expert, followed O'Connor with an equally compelling presentation about the myriad ways to sell books on the Internet. She shared some mouthwatering figures about book sales sold on the Internet, via the online Amazon bookstore and other venues. Lawrence explained how to create a website to sell books and how to make your unique selling points clear. The goal, she said, is to make the site a destination for browsers. She covered the Seven Tips for getting visitors to your site, as well as information about advertising on the Internet. The sheer number of avenues available on the Internet was a surprise to many attendees, and Lawrence's explanations were easy for ordinary, non-Web-literate people to understand. Everyone knew a great deal more about marketing and promotion when they left at 5 p.m. than they had when they arrived at 1! -K.S.

The World Wide Web

By Virginia Lawrence

How can we use the World Wide Web? Why bother with it? Is it all hype? Well, the Web gets plenty of hype, but the Web also offers us astounding opportunities. We can benefit from research, education, inter-personal communication, easy purchasing, and sales on the Web.

You aren't on the Web yet, and it all sounds too confusing? Remember, getting on the World Wide Web is the most confusing part. You'll need hardware, software, and an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Hardware You can use either a PC or a Mac with a modem. If you don't have a modem, go to Fry's or any Comp USA and get a 28,800 baud modem. It will cost about $125, plus a little extra for installation.

Software and ISP

Your Internet Service Provider will furnish the necessary software. You need a provider offering effortless access and helpful technical support. For many reasons, AOL is not ideal, but does make it easy to get going. When You Get on the Web, the SPAWN site is designed to help you to take advantage of the best features of the Web for small publishers, artists, and writers.

After you get on the Web, start looking around as slowly as you wish. Just log on to the SPAWN site and click on the most interesting of the highlighted links.. You can start from the list of major topics on the left side of the page, or use the Index to the Site.

Go ahead, do a little research just for fun. Look at the movie database to find out who wrote your favorite movie. Read the first chapter of the serialized illustrated novel, Dead Kelly.

When you feel comfortable with clicking on a link to move to a different page or site, you can start using the Web's resources in your work. Check out the legal services sites for important information on copyrights or free and inexpensive contract forms. Read the SPAWN article on publishing or look at the printers' sites.

You can find the information you need on the Web if you start from the SPAWN site.

Olympia, WA

The first Olympia Chapter meeting was held March 13 at the Barnes and Noble Cafe. Nine writers and artists attended. SPAWN's mission statement was presented by artist and sculptor Gail Hiebert, and another meeting is being planned for mid-April. For further information, contact Olympia Chapter President Hiebert at 360/459-5010, Fax 360/438-9049. -G.H.


Oahu Chapter President Ken Armstrong's efforts to get the chapter afloat were temporarily detoured by a sudden career change, but he's now back in action. Call him at 808/261-7362, or Email, for information about the first meeting.

Chapter News


There will be no meeting in April. The UCLA Festival of Books is the same day as our usual meeting, April 20.. Many Chapter members will be at the Festival, in the SPAWN booth, until late in the day. Regular meetings will resume on Sunday, May18. Three fascinating speakers enlivened the March 16 Ventura Chapter meeting, beginning with SPAWN member Ed Elrod, co-owner of the Ventura Bookstore and a successful bookseller for 20 years. Author Louise Cabral presented her book, Islands of Recall, based on her experiences teaching people how to write their autobiographies. Linda Perret spoke about her publishing company, Jester Press, and her comedy writers' newsletter. Linda has written for Bob Hope and a host of other comedians. See you May 18! Call Chapter President Kathy Schultz at 805/644-9843 for further information. -K.S.

Santa Barbara

SPAWN's Santa Barbara Chapter meets at the beautiful Karpeles Manuscript Library and Museum which presents unique changing exhibitions and provides space for meetings. The April 12 meeting will feature three speakers.

Penny Davies, founder and co-owner of Santa Barbara's Earthling Bookshop for 24 years, has sponsored over 1000 authors' book signings and promotional events. She will describe the steps to a successful book-signing.

Patricia Fry, SPAWN's Associate Director, is the author of hundreds of magazine articles and seven published books. She will address "Getting Your Articles Published."

Frederic Hunter, UCSB Screenwriting professor, playwright, television writer, former foreign correspondent and magazine editor, will speak on "One Man's Introduction to Small Publishing." For further information, contact Santa Barbara Chapter President Andora Hodgin at 805/962-4680. -A.H.

Conejo Valley

The Conejo Valley Chapter will meet Monday, April 28, 7 p.m., at the home of Louise Cabral, 29376 Mulholland Hwy in Agoura. Speakers are yet to be confirmed, but will include one or more representatives of graphic arts firms who will explain the graphics and printing services they provide to publishers.

The March meeting featured a member presentation by Jock MacKelvie, who is self-publishing his latest book as part of a strategy to win acceptance for it from a major commercial publisher. This approach capitalizes on the growing practice among commercial publishers of scanning the output of self-publishers and acquiring titles with broader sales appeal. Jock presented "Chapter 1" in this effort, with the promise of more to come as he lives through it. Call Chapter President Paul Doebler at 805/388-7297 for information. -P..D.

Olympia, WA

The first Olympia Chapter meeting was held March 13 at the Barnes and Noble Cafe. Nine writers and artists attended. SPAWN's mission statement was presented by artist and sculptor Gail Hiebert, and another meeting is being planned for mid-April. For further information, contact Olympia Chapter President Hiebert at 360/459-5010, Fax 360/438-9049. -G.H.


Oahu Chapter President Ken Armstrong's efforts to get the chapter afloat were temporarily detoured by a sudden career change, but he's now back in action. Call him at 808/261-7362, or Email, for information about the first meeting.


Members get our monthly newsletter, a free Internet web page and directory listing, the opportunity to participate in book fairs, reduced seminar fees, and free admission to all of our Chapters' meetings, and more. Members are also encouraged to promote their book signings, art shows and other events in the newsletter and SPAWN Internet site free of charge.

Karpeles Manuscript Library & Museum and New SPAWN Chapters T hanks to Marsha Karpeles, one of SPAWN's Advisors and the Executive Director of all of the Karpeles Manuscript Libraries and Museums, we may have new chapters of SPAWN starting in at least two more of their museums. They have seven throughout the country! (SPAWN's Santa Barbara Chapter meets in the Karpeles Library on Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara)

Dave Shawver, Director of the Karpeles Manuscript Library in Tacoma has expressed an interest in having a SPAWN Chapter there. This Museum is located at 407 G Street, Tacoma, WA 98405. Call him at 206/383-2575 to help get one started.

Jerry Spencer, Director of the Karpeles Library in Charleston would also like to see a SPAWN chapter meet in their Museum at 68 Spring Street, Charleston, SC 29403. His phone number is 803/853-4651. This is an opportunity made in heaven for SPAWN. There couldn't be a more appropriate place for SPAWN members to meet than in one of these beautiful historical manuscript libraries. The Karpeles Manuscript Library is dedicated to the preservation of the original handwritten letters and documents of great men and women of the past who have changed and shaped history. If you have a chance, stop in to see these treasures. Admission is free.

Spawn Membership

May 19 will mark the anniversary of our first meeting ever of SPAWN. Our first newsletter came out in June 1996. Our annual memberships officially started on July 1, the beginning of our first full fiscal year, which means that it's getting close to membership renewal time. And SPAWN wants to offer all members a special gift for renewing before June 30—one free admission to an upcoming seminar!

If you also bring in a new member you will receive TWO free SPAWN seminars! First time members who join before July 1 will receive the rest of this fiscal year free. As of July 1, 1997, membership dues will be $60 a year.

New Member Directories

We have an updated member directory. If you would like to receive it, please notify the office or pick it up at a meeting. We would appreciate a donation of $1 to help cover printing costs.




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