This issue features over 40 resources, news items and opportunities for published and yet-to-be-published authors as well as writers hoping to earn a living through their craft. You’ll find links to book marketing sites, publishers seeking manuscripts and 6 job boards for writers. Learn more about some of the Internet tools available to authors busily promoting their books and get access to advice from marketing experts. Carefully study this issue of the SPAWN Market Update, adopt some of the recommendations and you will sell books. If you’re seriously seeking a publisher or writing work, the information in this, past and future issues could create the stepping stones to making that happen.
From the Editor –Changes to the 11-year-old SPAWN Market Update
Here’s What’s New—Introducing bookazines, BookBaby has a FREE option, changes at Scriptapalooza, updates in the Christian market, Zola’s new acquisition, Smashwords success, introducing Shelf-Awarness and more!
Opportunities for Writers—6 job boards
Publishing Opportunities for Authors—Manuscripts needed for sexy romance, children’s books, poetry, short story collections, novels, business books and more!
Opportunities for Book Promotion—10 opps, including the top ten of everything for promotion, get on radio, win $3,000, marketing tips from the experts, reach your audience through magazines and more.
Resources for Authors—3 resources you probably should consider.
From the Editor
We’ve been compiling the SPAWN Market Update every month for you since 2003—for eleven years. That’s around 130 issues and thousands upon thousands of tips, information bits, news, resources and ideas for authors, freelance writers and artists. Most of the issues are archived for your convenience at http://www.spawn.org
This year, I’m making a few changes. While I’ll still include the interesting opportunities I come across for writers, screenwriters and artists, I won’t post regular sections. The focus will be on authors. If, however, there are enough of you who were reading these sections and using some of the information and resources within, let me know and I’ll reconsider. I may produce special issues for freelance writers and artists, if there’s a need. I’ve also dropped the Going, Going, Gone section.
I invite you to bring me news, information and resources. And if there’s something you’d like to see us cover, let us know. We provide the SPAWN Market Update for your information—to help you become more successful in the tremendously competitive world of publishing. It’s one of the perks of membership. So be sure to take advantage and read each and every issue. Patricia@spawn.org.
Note: The companies, sites, publications, etc. listed in this newsletter does not imply an endorsement or recommendation. Please do your own research to discover if the resource is right for you and your project.
Here’s What’s New
Have you seen a bookazine? These are evidently becoming prominent on newsstands. A bookazine is a cross between a magazine and a paperback book. There are no advertisements. The cost is generally around $9.99.
BookBaby now has a free publishing option. What does this mean? You supply the final ePub file and BookBaby distributes it for free. You get 85% royalties. Check out the other options, as well. http://www.bookbaby.com
Ebook lending in libraries? They said it would never work. However, several libraries across the US now report that they facilitated over a million ebook lends during 2013.
Scriptapalooza has started the year with some changes. The fees for entering their contests have been lowered, their prizes have increased to as much as $50,000 and their igottapitch is now FREE. Igottapitch is a program through which you can pitch your ideas to Hollywood. Learn more at http://www.igottapitch.com Go to http://www.scriptapalooza.com to find out about the changes they’ve made for you in 2014.
The Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) celebrates its 10th anniversary this month. If you write for the Christian market, visit http://www.christianpublishers.net to see what they can offer you by way of publishing or marketing opportunities.
Zola has acquired the struggling Bookish. They will keep the Bookish name and website. http://www.bookish.com
The total title count at Smashwords is now over 276,000. They picked up around 25,000 new authors in 2013 and they claim that authors earned $20 million in sales through Smashwords last year. They promise improvements in distribution and a faster reporting system. If you’d like to be a part of this growing company and watch your book sales soar, visit http://www.smashwords.com to determine if this company is right for your project.
Do you want to know what’s going on in the world of publishing? Tune into Media Bistro on the web: www.mediabistro.com
Here’s an interesting article about brain function and reading, indicating that brain function is boosted for days after reading a novel. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/brain-function-boosted-for-days-after-reading-a-novel-9028302.html
Shelf-Awareness publishes two newsletters—one for readers and one for those in the book industry. Want to know about new books coming out? Perhaps you’d like to get your book listed. Start here. http://www.shelf-awareness.com. Sign up FREE
Opportunities for Writers
Have you visited Writing Career? Here you’ll find paying markets for writers and authors. For example, in January, these opportunities were available: HeroesandHeartbreakers will pay $1,000 for romance manuscripts, another magazine pays $125 for Christian stories, a new literary publication is open for submissions, a publisher seeks manuscripts for an ebook series, Apex Magazine is now open to science fiction and horror stories, Bible Advocate seeks articles and pays $50. http://www.writingcareer.com
Here are a five more job boards for writers:
Publishing Opportunities for Authors
The editors at Harlequin Intrigue Noir are seeking dark, sexy romance stories for their new series. Here are a few examples of the types of material they want, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Blue Velvet,” “Tequila Sunrise” and “Haywire.” They want to see around 70,000 words. http://www.harlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=1793&chapter=0
Crystal Spirit Publishing, Inc. is seeking manuscripts for children’s books, business topics, erotica, romance, inspirational, poetry and even short story collections. I could not tell from their website whether they are a pay-to-publish company or traditional publisher. Here are their submission guidelines: http://www.crystalspiritinc.com/submissions.html
Take Two Publishing is looking for new and exciting stories. They publish books that are so good the acquisitions editors lose sleep because they just can’t put them down. If you believe your story meets their submission guidelines, they’d love to hear from you! They’re looking for fresh fiction that features compelling female characters. Whether they love them, hate them, or change their minds halfway through the book, they want you to make them feel something for your characters. Humor is encouraged. In fact, if you can make them laugh out loud more than once, you’ll earn huge bonus points! But that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy a good cry, too. http://www.taketwopublishing.com It appears that they publish ebooks.
Rebecca Friedman has started her own literary agency. She’s seeking commercial and literary fiction. She is particularly interested in suspense, women’s fiction, contemporary romance and young adult. She will also take a look at memoirs. http://rfliterary.com
Amazon Publishing has launched StoryFront, a new imprint for short fiction. Check out the opportunities: http://www.amazon.com/StoryFront
Here are Writer’s Market’s suggestions for three publishers to try in 2014:
Submit to The Career Press for books on career and business self-improvement and related topics. http://www.careerpress.com
Gryphon House seeks manuscripts designed for teachers and parents of students. http://www.gryphonhouse.com
Ripple Grove Press publishes children’s picture books. http://www.ripplegrovepress.com
For those with novel manuscripts, consider the following:
Grit City Publications http://www.gritcitypublications.com Publishes fiction in many genres, including erotica, fantasy, gothic, horror, mystery, occult, romance, suspense, young adult, dark humor and more.
Sol Books http://www.solbooks.com. Publishes adventure, ethnic, fantasy, historical, horror, humor, literary, mystery, science fiction, Western and more.
Graphia http://www.graphiabooks.com Publishes fiction for young adults.
Opportunities for Book Promotion
Fran Silverman has a new blog at http://talkradioadvocate.blogspot.com Here, you can learn more about promoting your book on radio and you can find links to radio stations that interview authors.
If you’re a self-published author—and I’m sure this includes true self-published authors (who have established their own company) as well as those who went with a pay-to-publish company—you’re eligible for the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Early bird deadline is April 1, 2014. Each category’s first place winner receives $1,000 and one grand prize winner will win $3,000 and a trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference, plus many other prizes. Learn more here: http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/selfpublished
Book Viral is a site that promotes books for authors. In reviewing this site, I have found nothing indicating that there is a fee, but I suspect that once you’ve had your free review, you’ll be presented with offers for a fee. As we recommend with all of the resources we mention, please do your own homework. Know what you’re getting into. Here’s where to start: http://www.bookviral.com
I receive Marsha Friedman’s PR Insider. To subscribe: email@example.com. Here are her 4 Marketing Must-Do’s for 2014: Define your marketing goals. Develop your own marketing database. Maintain your marketing budget even when sales slump. Use every marketing tool available to you.
I’d like to comment on this last one. So often, authors will become comfortable within a particular promotional activity or they cease promoting altogether. And then they wonder why book sales are down or why they have stopped altogether. Folks, if you want your book to sell and if you want sales to continue, you must promote the book and continue promoting it. And you need to pursue (at least explore) every marketing tool available. Use social media; go out and meet your public face-to-face; arrange for radio/TV interviews; solicit reviews and submit stories/articles to newspapers, newsletters and magazines; create a website and a blog and promote them widely. Do these things and you will sell more books than if you do nothing at all. Read every issue of SPAWNews and the SPAWN Market Update and you will have more ideas and resources for marketing your book than you will have time for.
Are you unsure about which radio stations, newspapers, magazines, etc. have the largest audience? Check out Cision at http://navigator.cision.com/cisiontop10.aspx Here, you’ll find lists of the top ten in each category—the top ten pet magazines, top ten radio stations in Texas or top ten daily newspapers in a particular state, for example. What a great resource for those of you seeking book promotion opportunities.
Get exposure for your book through stories or articles in the publications your audience reads. Here are a few newer magazines you may not have heard of.
inBetween Magazine. http://www.inbetween.ca. they want articles featuring tips and advice on all topics of interest to parents of teens and young adults. Does your book relate to health issues, nutrition, family or relationships? This might be your audience.
Radius celebrates the past, present and future. They publish feature stories, profiles, interviews and articles focused on the urban lifestyle. http://www.radius-newark.com
Have your book promoted at WhizBuzz (http://www.derekhaines.ch/whizbuzz ) before 40,000 visitors for $59.00
Resources for Authors
Moira Allen has a new book for writers. The Writer’s Guide to Holidays, Celebrations and Awareness Dates. This is a great idea for those of you who write articles or stories to promote your books. There’s something being celebrated almost every day of the year. Tie these popular and obscure holidays and other noted dates to the topic of your book and create meaningful, useful articles and stories. Check it out here: http://www.writing-world./com/year/holidays.shtml
Have you heard of NokBok? This is a new retailer similar to Scribd and Oyster. For $4.95/month, a customer can read as many books as he likes and the author gets paid depending on how much of their book was read. If someone reads 80% of a book, the author gets 50% of the cover price. I attempted to learn more about this resource, but was not able to get onto the website. I suggest that you give it a try. https://nokbok.com/how-nokbok-works
Book Forum is a website that features books. They also produce a magazine. As a reader and an author, you might want to check this site out. http://www.bookforum.com