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SPAWNews, August 1998 - Archives Available

A Very Special Thank You

by Mary Embree

As we begin a new phase of SPAWN, I would like to acknowledge all the people who have been instrumental in forming and running SPAWN. Patricia Fry has been my advisor, my rock, and my right hand from the beginning. Board Member Jim Lane was always there to help me through the challenges of organizing and administering SPAWN. Virginia Lawrence, also a Board Member, has designed our website and continues to administer it without any compensation other than our heartfelt thanks. Greg and Lorraine Armgardt designed our logo for our letterhead as well as our newsletter. Kathy Schultz volunteered to help out at both the Ventura and Santa Barbara Chapters. She was also Ventura Chapter President and newsletter editor until she got a full-time job and could no longer devote the time necessary. Andora Hodgin, who has more experience developing nonprofit organizations than anyone I know, dedicated herself to building the Santa Barbara Chapter. The exciting, innovative events she put on every month always drew lots of people. Louise Cabral was not only the Conejo Valley Chapter President but she loaned her beautiful home every month for the meetings. Another unsung hero is Hal Ranzenhofer who always seems to be there whenever he is needed to help at meetings. He also folds, tapes, labels, stamps and mails all our newsletters every month; and now has taken over as editor of SPAWNews.

These are only a few of the members who have been active. Others have volunteered to be greeters, speakers and seminar leaders, to promote, send out news releases, provide refreshments, open their homes to meetings and provide many other services for SPAWN. Among them are Harriet Ackert, Imogene Bercaw, Tana Bevan, Janice Birlenbach, Betty Britton, Joe Cardella, Jari Chevalier, Linda Conover, Sara Culmone, Carol Doering, Ed Elrod, Dallas Glenn, Richard Goggin, Helen Gordon, Diana Johnson, Joyce Lombard, Jock MacKelvie, Nanci Masulis, Maurine Moore, Patricia Moore, Janice Penney, Linda Perret, Dan Poynter, Debbie Puente, Molly and Ed Rockey, Pam and Cary Savitch, Jerry Schiller, Paula Spellman, Mary and Neal Steffen, Roni Tagliaferri, John Taylor-Convery, Patti Teel, Kittie Templeton, Jay Tunney, Merita Valenti, Elaine Watson, Kent Weigel, Brian Williams, and Ramona Winner. There are so many people who have helped in so many ways; please forgive me if I have left anyone out.

We have also received expert advice from our Advisors. In addition to Patricia Fry we have received guidance from Literary Agent Rosalie Heacock and Book Publicist Irwin Zucker. Board Members Marcia and Melvin Powers launched SPAWN, speaking at our first meeting and bringing gifts of their bestselling books to all in attendance. Marsha Karpeles has turned over the beautiful meeting room in her Santa Barbara Karpeles Manuscript Library and Museum to us every month. Richard O'Connor has spoken at our meetings and conducted seminars, giving our members a wealth of information on writing, publishing and promoting. John Woodward has been there for SPAWN with any legal advice we needed. And I've saved Frances Halpern for last because if it hadn't been for her promoting SPAWN in her Los Angeles Times column and radio show, we might never have gotten off the ground. SPAWN belongs to all of us and it is because of the people who have volunteered to take on the various tasks of running it that it exists at all. Won't you join this illustrious group of people by volunteering a few hours each month or even now and then to help spur us on to even bigger and better things? Please contact your chapter president and ask how you can help.

For all those who have given selflessly of their time, again, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Chapter News

Santa Barbara County Chapter

Next meeting: Saturday, August 8.

Santa Barbara novelist and popular fiction instructor Duane Unkefer will offer "Ten Tips for Selling Your Novel." In this candid overview of the process, he will share his experiences pursuant to the publication of his best-selling novel Gray Eagles.

Duane Unkefer is currently editing his new novel while working on two novellas. He is an instructor for the SBCC Adult Education Program and the Santa Barbara Writers Conference. He has published a handbook, Basic Fiction, and numerous articles and short stories. His freelance work includes editing and critiquing novel manuscripts for new writers.

The Chapter meets at the Karpeles Manuscript Library & Museum. See page 4 for address and directions. For more information, please contact Santa Barbara County Chapter President Dallas Glenn at 805/899-1174.

Ventura County Chapter

Next meeting: Wed., September 30. The theme for this meeting is "Networking at its Best." Speaker Diana Johnson, a self-published author, takes the audience down the bumpy road of self-publishing, covering the process from A to Z. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Newbury Park Branch Library, 2331 Borchard Road. For more information contact Ventura County

Chapter President Carol Doering at 805/493-1081.

No meeting in August.

If you would not be forgotten,

As soon as you are dead and rotten,

Either write things worthy reading,

Or do things worth the writing.

~ Benjamin Franklin

Publicity Releases

by Virginia Lawrence

When we consider the possibility of a publicity release, we think of the standard release. A standard release simply states the important news. It's the most common type of release, aimed at getting the book or the publishing company mentioned in an article in the targeted publications. That's a good, serviceable release, but we can create two more types of press releases which might help us even more.

The Article Release

In the Article Release, we can describe what our product news says about society today. For example, a press release announcing a book on adult dating could include some of the information in the book. We tell the editor exactly why we wrote the book. If we tell the editor why the book is important to today's busy adults, we are giving the editor a reason to publish an article on that topic. Of course, the editor will include the important details on the book within the resulting article.

The Tease Release

In the Tease Release, we provide some intriguing information, but we leave some questions unanswered. This is a difficult release to write. It needs enough detail to interest an editor, yet it omits some important points. Why? Because the Tease Release is most likely to generate a phone call from an editor. Once you have the editor on the phone, you can give him all kinds of reasons for writing a story about your book.

Preparing a Publicity Release

A publicity release is double-spaced and extends no more than two pages. It goes out in a standard format with certain standard contents.

Upper Left Corner: Gives the timeliness of the release:


Upper Right Corner: Gives the contact information for the release:

For Further Information Contact:

Name of Contact Person

Phone Number of Contact Person


The headline is the most important part of the release, because it clearly states why the release is important. The headline doesn't announce why the release is important to the publisher who sent it out. Rather, the headline tells why the news is important to the editor reading the release. You want a riveting headline, so be boastful about the importance of the book.


The first paragraph after the headline summarizes the release. It clarifies the concept stated in the headline.

Background, Credentials, and Quotes:

This section describes the publishing company and the author. This section shows the reader why the author is the best person to write this book. This section includes one or more quotable quotes, followed by the reason why this author is an authority.

Call to Action:

The final paragraph tells the reader what you want him to do. This section can list the radio or TV talk shows where the author made a successful appearance, or it can list recent articles on the author's topic. Finally, it tells the editor to call to book an appearance or to call for an interview on an exciting story.

Note that we told the reader right at the top of the page when to release the news, who to contact for more, and what the news is. Then we filled in the blanks and asked for the call.

SPAWN Affiliates

We'd like to remind you of our affiliation with both Publishers Marketing Association (PMA) and Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN). For anyone who is self-publishing or considering it, membership in these organizations is a must. And both have extended special offers to SPAWN members.

PMA offers their normally $80 membership to SPAWN members for only $54. PMA is a trade association representing independent publishers. They offer cooperative marketing and educational programs. 627 Aviation Way, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266; 310/372-2732; fax: 310/374-3342; Email:

SPAN's membership fee of $90 is only $60 for SPAWN members. They offer discounts on shipping, products and services and simplified access to Visa and MasterCard merchant status. Their address is P.O. Box 1306-NRL, Buena Vista, CO 81211. Email

New SPAWN Members

Atkins, Jan Bus: 805/969-3262

Realtor, Santana Properties Fax: 805/969-2739

Santa Barbara, CA

Specializing in residential and commercial real estate in the south county. Trade magazine writer

de Camaret, Deborah Bus: 805/966-5277

27 E. Victoria St. Cottage Fax: 805/963-8837

Santa Barbara, CA 93101

MA, MFCC, private practice

Harper, Claudia Bus/res: 805/565-9536

1415 School House Road Fax: 805/565-8716

Santa Barbara, CA 93108

Poet, author (1st book out Nov. 1998), proofreader, assistant editor newsletters; media contact for some nonprofits

Johnston, D. Gordon Bus/fax: 805/650-3626 Ventura, CA

Writer, short stories and novels. Author of dozens of scientific articles and essays (published)

Lake, Judi Lynn Bus/fax: 516/283-6339

158 Fish Cove Road

Southampton, NY 11968

Professional book design and typesetting. Low cost printing arranged. Manuscripts critiqued. Editorial services provided

Pochini, Judy Bus/res: 805/966-9013

1324 State - J173

Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Freelance journalist. Now researching and writing a Northern Italian/North Beach cookbook

Romero, Melissa Bus/res: 805/649-5894

Oakview, CA

Author, fiction: young adult, adult. Author of The Long Way Home due out in 1999

Wilkins, Ken Bus/res: 818/892-6047

Honey Comb Tales

16822 Itasca Street

Northridge, CA 91343

Author & distributor of self-published books. Author of Marvin's Mansion, a children's book

Wortham, Jim, Owner/publisher Bus/res: 812/273-4672

Marathon International Book Co.

P.O. Box 32,

Madison, IN 47250-0032

Publisher of nonfiction books. Recent title: Making Dollars with Pennies - How the Small Investor Can Beat the Wizards on Wall Street ($19.95 retail) by R. Max Bowser.


Carol Doering

Diana M. Johnson

Joyce A. Kovelman

Marcy Young (new Email:

A Message from the Santa Barbara County Chapter President

by Dallas Glenn

I would like to thank everyone who attended our July meeting. Beverly Jackson's candid stories were delightful. Afterwards, we all networked. And that is what we will do at all of our meetings. It is, after all, what we're all about!

I encourage all of you to bring your cards, flyers, etc., and boast! Place any information you have about yourself on the table with all the other flyers when you come in. We want to know more about you! Also, I would like to see the Santa Barbara Chapter develop a network of several writing critique groups. All writers need feedback so please don't be shy.

To our cousins in the music, dance, and fine art arenas, please call me with your suggestions. Perhaps you know of someone who can be a speaker at one of our meetings. I look forward to seeing all you wonderful people at our August 8th meeting.

Member News

Patricia Fry's book, Creative Grandparenting Across the Miles: Ideas for Sharing Love, Faith and Family Traditions (Ligouri Publications) won a third place award in the Family Life category of the Catholic Press Association contest for books published in 1997. Sales have been brisk and the book is currently being reprinted. To order a copy of this award-winning book, contact Patricia at 805/646-3045.

Hal Ranzenhofer is back home and recovering rapidly. He will be returning to the job of Editor of SPAWNews in September. Welcome home, Hal! We missed you.

Mary Cresswell will not be taking on the position of Executive Director of SPAWN at this time. She still wants to be involved in some way but prior commitments must be taken care of before she can devote the time necessary to the job. Many thanks, Mary, for your enthusiasm and help.

Mary Embree is the host of a new interview show on Avenue Cable. Her first guest was Frances Halpern and the next show will feature Richard F.X. O'Connor. The show, called "The Writing Life" explores the various facets of writing. The first show aired in July and will be rerun. However, as the show does not yet have a regular time slot, you will have to call Avenue Cable for future air dates.

Small Press Book Awards

Reviews of the 1998 Small Press Book Award winners and finalists are published in the July-August issue of Independent Publisher. They were chosen from over 1100 titles for concept, content, design, and production values in 36 different categories.

If you would like a complimentary copy of Independent Publisher or the 1998 Small Press Book Awards special review section, contact the magazine. For more information, contact Jim Barnes at 800/706-4636.

SPAWNews is published by

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

P.O. Box 2653, Ventura, CA 93002


Telephone & Fax: 805/643-2403

Hal Ranzenhofer

Editor, SPAWNews

Telephone: 805/984-3216


Virginia Lawrence

SPAWN Webmaster


Dallas Glenn

President, Santa Barbara County Chapter

Carol Doering

President, Ventura County Chapter

Advisory Council

Patricia Fry

Author, Publisher

Rosalie Heacock

Literary Agent

Andora Hodgin

Writer, Editor, Publicist

Irwin Zucker

Book Publicist

Board of Directors

Mary Embree

Author, Editor, Literary Consultant

Founder and President of SPAWN

Jim Lane

Writer, Publisher

Vice President of SPAWN

Virginia Lawrence, PhD

Writer, Editor, Webmaster

Secretary of SPAWN

John C. Woodward, Esq.

Attorney at Law

Treasurer of SPAWN

Frances Halpern

Author, Columnist, Talk-show Host

Marsha Karpeles

Executive Director, Manuscript Libraries

Richard F.X. O'Connor

Author, Publisher, Editor, Consultant

Marcia Grad-Powers

Author, Senior Editor, Publishing

Melvin Powers

Author, Publisher


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


SANTA BARBARA CHAPTER: Saturday, August 8, 1:30 p.m.

Karpeles Manuscript Library, 21 W. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara

Directions: 101 Freeway to Carrillo, right on Carrillo, left on Chapala,

right on Anapamu. (Parking in back, off Chapala, just before Anapamu.)

Guest donation: $5

VENTURA COUNTY CHAPTER: No meeting in July and August!

SPAWN membership dues are $45 per year.

Spouses of members may join for half of the fee.

Subscriptions to SPAWNews are $15 per year for nonmembers.

Members receive SPAWNews as part of their membership.




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