Betsie's Literary Page Newsletter
So much too read & so much to do!
For the last two weeks I've been courted by a
business, who's business it is to obtain reviewers
for authors/publishers. Here is there explanation after
I questioned their motives...
"ABR is a B2B. We are similar to a publicity agent
who is hired so the author or publisher can utilize the
agent's database of contacts and thus network
THROUGH that agent to the end users. Although ABR
is much more, think of us as something of a dating
service for the publishing world. We match
forthcoming and new titles with reviewers and
commentators (and readers) from the digital, print,
and radio world." This may sound good, but the
author still has to write up his own info (pitch) in
order to attract any attention.
I did however take a peek at all the books they had
listed and found there were well over 300! Details for
each book revealed how many hits, as well as
requests. The majority I looked at had over 15 hits
& "0" requests!
Obtaining reviews is not that hard, and if you're going
shell out cash you may as well hire a publicist who
can do a whole lot more than toss your book into a
Next week I'll cover how to query production
IN THE NEWS
Author green lights Cholera film
After denying Hollywood for years, Gabriel García
Márquez agrees to sell the rights to his 1985 novel
Unswerving defender of Fidel Castro and Latin
American literary patriarch he may be, but Gabriel
García Márquez appears to have finally succumbed to
Hollywood's call, signing over the film rights to Love in
the Time of Cholera.
The Los Angeles production company Stone Village
Pictures is reportedly paying the Colombian Nobel
laureate between one and three million dollars to
make a movie of what producer Scot Steindorff
recently termed "the best love story ever told, next
to Romeo and Juliet".
Despite selling millions of books around the globe, the
76-year-old novelist, who is battling with cancer, is
said to be worried about the financial future of his
lifetime partner Mercedes and their two sons Gonzalo
Fox buys rights to "The Pacific Solution"
Twentieth Century Fox is understood to have paid
over $10 million for the exclusive film rights to John
Howard's recent and most well-received work, The
The large production company, which owns a studio
complex in Sydney, has been on the lookout in recent
months for a strong, local story which defines the
US Teens Can Buy The Entire Russian GDP by
According to The U.S. Teens Market, a new report
from Packaged Facts, by 2006 12- to 19-year-olds in
the United States are projected to have a buying
power that will top the $182 billion gross domestic
product of Russia, increasing a staggering 27.7% to
$190 billion between 2001 and 2006 due to higher
earnings from jobs held by teens, as well as a jump in
family expenditures on teens.
"Teens are increasingly in control of purchasing
decisions, both for themselves and within families,"
said Don Montuori, Acquisitions Editor of Packaged
Facts. "Since 1999 we have seen jumps in the
economic influence of teens' preferences in almost
every product area, including clothing, personal care
items, technology and entertainment."
As the buying power of teens increases, the
percentage of teens that come from multicultural
backgrounds is also projected to grow. According to
the report, by 2006 non-Hispanic Whites will only
account for 60% of the total teens population and
the Hispanic population will constitute the largest
minority group. Not surprisingly, an increasingly
diverse and wealthy population of teens has caught
the attention of marketers who are quickly moving to
position their products as appealing to a multicultural
Mountains and Plains Booksellers Association Fall
Trade Show will be held from September 16 - 19
at the Marriott Denver Tech Center in Denver. This
year's show will once again feature educational
panels and the Saturday Night Author Reception.
And, in response to the popularity of last year's
reception, a Friday Night Author Reception has been
added. ABA will provide educational programming, as
well as an exhibit focusing on "Book Sense Gift Cards:
One Year Later," featuring live demonstrations.
Association staff will also be on hand to gather
member input on ABA education initiatives, as well as
to provide general information.
WAILEA, MAUI - The multi-Emmy-winning
writer/producer Aaron Sorkin (An American President,
West Wing, A Few Good Men) will join Pulitzer Prize-
winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein (The Heidi
Chronicles) and the brightest stars of the literary and
entertainment worlds at the 12th Annual Maui Writers
Conference this Labor Day weekend, September 2 to
6 at the Wailea Marriott Resort.
Alicia Maldonado: A
Mother Lost by Ardain Isma
Publisher: iUniverse; (January 2004)
Hardcover / Paperback: 286 pp
$17.95 / $27.95 Canada
Rating: Highly Recommended
Pay attention to mind over matters!
August 25, 2004
Based on a true story, Ardain Isma tells the turmoil
surrounding one family forced to flee Havana, Cuba to
escape political unrest during the Batista Regime of
Miguel Maldonado along with his wife, Elena, and their
two children, Mario, and Alicia settle in Haiti.
The Maldonado's are wealthy real-estate owners and
all adjust to this change except, Alicia. She is quite
homesick and a loner who has trouble learning the
language, as well as adapting to Haiti's diverse
Alicia and their neighbor's son, Richard, of mulatta
descent become fast friends at a young age. Their
friendship grows to love and they eventually marry.
The mixed couple overcomes racial and cultural
differences, and blessed with two daughters. Then
Richard dies, and Alicia falls into a deep depression.
Sometime later Alicia remarries a devout Haitian
Military Officer, who is divorced with two children of
his own. This blended family then has two additional
children. But suddenly, Alicia is slapped in the face
with her husband's infidelity. She is unable to come
to terms with Georges unfaithfulness. Along with her
youngest son, Jean-Marie, Alicia disappears without a
Twelve years go by, before fate intervenes, and
Alicia is face to face with the family she walked out
I thoroughly enjoyed this tear-jerking, tragic drama of
life gone wrong by the choices we make. Moreover, I
commend the author for his depictions of raw
emotions displayed by the characters. BRAVO Mr.
** BOOKS NOT YET RELEASED
Wedding for A Knight
by Sue-Ellen Welfonder
Publisher: Warner Forever, Mass Market (September
Genre/Market: Fiction/ Historical Romance
ISBN Number: 0446613819
Paperback; 384 Pages
* Also available as an eBook
Rating: Highly Recommended
Love Conquers All !
August 16, 2004
Magnus MacKinnon has loved Amicia since the first
time they met but a feud between their families and
the lack of a family fortune all but kills his hopes for a
future with her. He begins a process of rebuilding the
family fortune so he can claim her for his own. When
his fortune is lost, his hope is gone. When against all
odds, Lady Amicia MacLean is wed by proxy to the
man of her dreams it is her belief that he knows and
welcomes their union. Her hopes are dashed when he
arrives home angry to discover a proxy wife and her
dowry succeeding to revamp his family's home and
lands where he failed. Amicia only knows she must
rely on the heritage and sexual tips passed down by
her clan's women to claim his heart before he sends
Sue-Ellen Welfonder shows a love for historical
Scotland that will lighten and inspire the reader. I
highly recommend this book to everyone interested in
Reviewed by Deven D. Vasko
Light On Snow by
Publisher: Little, Brown and Co. (October 2004)
Genre: Adult Fiction
ISBN Number: 0316781487
Hardcover; 304 Pp
Also available as a Time Warner AudioBook and an
Rating: Highly Recommended
Light on Snow shines!
August 16, 2004
During an evening walk in the woods, Nicky and her
father find an abandoned baby left to die in the
snow. This single event begins a healing process
avoided far too long by the family. Two years
before, Nicky's family was ripped apart with the death
of her mother and sister, leaving a broken man and
lonely little girl. They strive to cope. In the days
after finding the baby, Nicky is obsessed with why a
mother would leave a baby to die and one feels that
perhaps Nicky has felt abandon not only by her father
who is barely able to exist but also by her mother.
When the young mother comes to find a way to
thank them for saving her baby, she helps Nicky
begin to answer the questions in her heart and
causes the first real communication between father
and daughter. Healing begins.
Anita Shreve once again, shows her mastery of the
human emotions during extreme situations. I highly
recommend this novel as well as any other novels
written by Ms. Shreve. You will not be disappointed.
Reviewed by Deven D. Vasko
Big Mind Film Inc
I am looking for a low budget, edgy, character driven
horror or science fiction script suitable for production
on digital video. Prefer stories with scientific
underpinnings rather than those depending solely on
Canadian nationality is a bonus, but certainly not an
I have a 20-year history in the industry as a director,
second unit director and asst director. My credits can
be seen on IMDB.com.
Please email a logline followed with a synopsis to
Roman Buchok: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am looking for a completed feel-good family script
that will be heartwarming and inspirational, which will
be entertaining for children and humorous and
intelligent enough for adults.
Here are a few examples: 'Around the World in Eighty
Days', 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate
Factory', 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang', 'A Christmas
Story'. (Not looking for a holiday script).
Budget for this film will not Exceed 10 million, US.
Prefer non-WGA writer.
Mark Fernandez at this time does not have producing
credits, however, he is an experienced and
successful entrepreneur in a variety of start-ups
such as King Security Services and Firenze Gourmet
Foods. He has good connections in the industry and
knows the financing world.
Please email a logline followed with a synopsis to:
AGENTS SEEKING SCREEWRITERS
Chadwick & Gros Literary Agency (U.K.) -
We market screenplays exclusively. We cater to new
blood, skilled and potentially salable script writers
who have yet to be discovered.
We accept queries in October of each year. Query
Tony Seigan, Associate Director & Overseas Officer
for C&G UK: ChadGros@peoplepc.com.
Dramatic Publishing - has an open
submission policy and we are always interested in
receiving new plays to review for publication.
Linda Habjan, Acquisitions Editor
311 Washington St.
Woodstock, IL 60098
Due to the large number of scripts that we receive
our current response time is 10 to 12 weeks.
If you are submitting a musical:
311 Washington St.
Woodstock, IL 60098
You must include a cassette tape of all the songs
and any sheet music you have. A videotape of a full
production of the piece is also helpful but not
Also see Venture Literary further down below.
PUBLISHERS SEEKING WRITERS
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS
Publishes scholarly and general interest books, with
an emphasis on Texana, folklore, military history, and
Currently seeking "goose-bumpy, hair-raising true
stories of ghostly encounters from the 'average Joe'
for our first non- fiction anthology. Stories should be
incidents that have happened to you or someone
close to you...Submissions must be no longer than
3000 words. If your story is selected, you will receive
a one-time fee of US $50.00 for all rights and a copy
of the book upon publication."
LERNER PUBLISHING GROUP
Publishes high quality children's books for K-12
schools and libraries
Publishes nonfiction on antiques and collectibles,
cookbooks, America's Civil War, American South,
Appalachian (Southern Mountains) region, genealogy
books, computer books, and history/biography.
Where To Get Published For Free Online
Accepting cutting edge short fiction, political satire, reviews.
This online showcase site offers writers of all levels of
experience an opportunity to display their own works
of fiction for free.
Accepts short stories and other writing. Get details
** Spec-Script Library
A free resource featuring new and original scripts for
film & tv, created to connect scriptwriters with the
local national and international film and television
The World Poetry project
Site created to provide online access to a variety of
poetry from writers all over the world. You must be a
published poet to submit your work for possible
inclusion on this site. Read poems by other writers or
consider sending your own work after you read the
specific requirements listed at the site.
Provides a free place for writers to display their work
online and more... They say "We will never reject
For authors seeking book reviews or features - submit
request - but be sure your book fits magazine
Ms. Sara Good, Editorial Assistant
1633 Broadway - 44th Floor
New York, NY 10019
Will do holiday gift giving section coving "all kinds of
fun and creative gifts."
Ms. Cathy Whittemore, Senior Editor
244 Main Street
Northampton, MA 1060
Will do a holiday feature on the "best toys and
games -- award winning toys and games.
55 Bergen Street
Frequency: 1 x month
Editorial Profile: Publication provides the reader of
romantic fiction with reviews, author profiles, how-to
books, and information about writers' conventions.
7334 173rd Street
Fresh Meadows, NY
Frequency: 2 x month
Editorial Profile: Online magazine covers the charity
circuit, fund-raising dinners, benefits, social events,
the society world, and the world of entertainment;
includes film reviews, theater reviews, and interviews.
Books & Culture
465 Gundersen Drive
Carol Stream, IL
Frequency: 6 x year
Editorial Profile: Publication provides a Christian
analysis of the books and ideas that shape our
World Literature Today
University of Oklahoma
110 Monnet Hall
Frequency: 4 x year
Editorial Profile: Publication contains essays on
contemporary writers, literature, and literary
movements, as well as reviews of fiction, poetry,
drama, criticism, and biographies from around the
Filming for all movies listed began as of August 1,
2004 - cast & filming locations included.
Never Let Go (Adventure/Drama)
(Washington D.C., Paris, Russia, Philippines,
32 Reilly Road
La Grangeville, NY 12540-612
Cast: Francis Dumaurier, Bill Vassari
Two of One Heart (Romantic Comedy)
(Jersey City, Philadelphia, New York)
401 Lake Blvd
Lindenwold, NJ 08021
Cast: Maureen McDonough
The Last Brown Beret (Drama)
1055 Sanborn Avenue, #201
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Cast: Del Zamora
Sheherzade: The Untold Story
(Los Angeles, Pakistan, Uzbekhistan)
756 South Orange Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Cast: Leigh Taylor Young, Mimi Kennedy
Casanova (Romantic Comedy)
Touchstone Pictures/Mark Gordon Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Cast: Heath Ledger, Sienna Miller
9200 Sunset Blvd., 4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Cast: Emilio Estevez
What Are RSS Feeds
An explanation of "6 Ways to More Sales During A
Slow Season," specifically for questions
regarding: "#4 - For crying out loud get that news
What Are RSS Feeds?
In short: a new way to generate content from your
website and it's called RSS.
RSS also known as rich site summary or real simply
syndication, arrived on the scene a number of years
ago, but was only recently embraced by webmasters
as a means to effectively syndicate content. RSS
Feeds provide webmasters and content providers an
avenue to provide concise summaries to prospective
readers. Thousands of commercial web sites and
blogs now publish content summaries in an RSS feed.
Each item in the feed typically contains a headline;
article summary and link back to the online article.
Benefit to the Webmaster
As the web has become more crowded webmasters
have been striving to provide fresh and up to date
content for their website visitors. Many webmasters
have discovered they can easily utilize the
information in RSS feeds to provide fresh web
RSS feeds are composed in XML, which is a very
simple markup language. Similar to HTML, XML uses
tags to identify fields. Webmasters can easily parse
the RSS feed and dynamically create web pages that
contain headlines and summaries. The feeds will
continuously update, supplying a steady stream of
automatically generated fresh content.
Benefit to Web Surfers
The beauty of RSS is that readers can quickly scan
headlines (titles) and read articles of interest.
Because the information is condensed and provided in
a single location users can generally review more
information in a shorter time frame. Additional
information is only a click away. Best of all readers
choose the feeds they wish to see, there is no spam
with RSS. If you are not completely thrilled with the
content appearing in a feed simply remove it from the
newsreader. The technology is a pull technology
rather than push technology, meaning the content is
not forced on the consumers, who pull the content
they want to see.
RSS feeds can be viewed in a news aggregator or
reader, which constantly updates and shows unread
feeds. I found the functionality of the newsreaders to
be similar to a simple email client. Consumers
generally enter the URL of any RSS feeds that
interest them. Topics with a common theme can be
segregated into related groups.
Finding Topic Specific Relevant Feeds
In order to find feeds that provide niche information
users can search Feedster. Feedster is a rapidly
growing news search engine that indexes information
contained within RSS feeds. Searches for topic
specific feeds can be conducted and feeds can be
retrieved for syndication.
RSS has effectively standardized the format for
content delivery and has effectively defined the
accepted standard for content distribution and
syndication. RSS will likely rival email as a means of
content distribution in another few years. The shear
simplicity makes the technology very appealing.
If Content is King, then surely Relevance is Queen!
There has been a lot of to-ing and fro-ing in the
search engine world of late and there are lots of
conspiracy theories as to why these things happen.
It is easy as a webmaster to get caught up in these
webs of intrigue.
You get email notes about them, you view so-called
experts' thoughts on bulletin Boards - hey you
probably even read things in newsletter articles!
The big driver for webmasters currently appears to be
content and link building.
While link building is important I don't believe it makes
Queen. Maybe a Prince. Content and links DO go
hand in hand but, without relevance, the Kingdom is
doomed. Sorry I will stop the analogy now! :-)
If your site is about finance, then finance content is
best supported by finance link exchanges. Relevance!
If your site is about finance, then finance content
supported by casino link exchanges from a PR8 site
while in the short term may help, but all the signs are
saying this is not a long term strategy.
Okay, so what is the best strategy?
Keep EVERYTHING relevant. It is that simple.
Make sure that you only swap or link to sites that are
relevant to the content on your pages. Yes I am
suggesting link exchanging on pages of your site not
a links page.
Links pages seem to be being abused. There are
rumors that pages called links, resources or partners
are not passing page rank. You could be wasting your
time building links that are not giving you any
Delivering relevant links from relevant content is the
With a content-poor site it is difficult, you have to
add link pages or create a links directory. A five-page
site will need to add 10 or 12 good link pages to
compete and even then with algorithm changes, this
may not be prudent.
Having a site with 400 pages means you can easily
add 3 links per page, so you have 1200 link options
Hopefully this explains that relevance runs a close
second to content.
Always bear in mind when writing content that
relevant links will not only boost your search engine
rankings, but you will also add a service to your
How to get free publicity to your website?
Write and submit Articles to EZines and Newsletters.
This is probably more effective then all other things
combined. It costs almost nothing and brings BIG
results. I said almost because there can be some
There are millions of ezines and newsletters and
online publications. And guess what - every editor is
always, always interested in good articles. The best
thing is to write about something that you are very
familiar with. But it should be at least something that
really interests you and you can write as you learn
about it. So, pick a subject and do some research on
the major search engines. Note whatever seems
interesting and all the links that you find. Especially
note those resources with free or more detailed
Now you need to come up with a good headline. The
best bet is to scan through some newspapers. What
catches your eye? Take your subject and merge that
with the ideas for your headline.
Then just sit down and write an article using your
knowledge and the notes from your research. Use
plain English. No fancy words and no self-promotion.
If you subscribe to a couple of ezines and read the
articles, you will quickly get a feeling. Add your
contact information to the end of the article (Byline).
Here you may also offer a special or a free
something. Brief and not more than six lines. But do
not include a direct sales pitch or an affiliate link.
Your potential publisher just will not publish the
article if it looks like straight advertising. After you
read your article a couple times, found and corrected
the errors, you are ready to publish it.
General announcements work. But better is if you
contact publishers directly. During your research, you
hopefully already found some publications that may
be interested in your article. You should build up your
own list of publications that reach your target
market, and submit frequently for best results. You
can even offer to write a special "first run" article for
publications that have a very large circulation. If you
master this technique you can get your name and
your website in front of 100,000 or even millions of
** A quick note here: BLP does accept articles, as
well as stories, poetry,and excerpts. Our subscriber
base is now over 3000 readers. Publishers, publicist,
producers, authors, screenwriters and directors make
up about 15% of our readers. Still there are
many other ezines and newsletters you can submit
to, below are just a few.
Literary Agents Seeking Clients
Literary Agent Seeking Proposals
I am seeking proposals for several sports publishing
houses. Genre: sports related books, ficton, non-
ficton, cookbooks by sports personalities, books on
teams, players, teams rivalries, inspirational books,
sports fundamentals books, college sports
Proposals can be for a work in progress, a complete
manuscript or an idea for a book.
Please include in your email,your name and phone
number. For all other reading this I only represent
sports related books. TheNetGazette@sbcglobal.net
The Carolyn Swayze Literary Agency Ltd. -
The Carolyn Swayze Literary Agency Ltd. represents
some of the finest Canadian authors writing today.
Represents literary fiction, commercial fiction, and a
very limited list of juvenile and teen books.
Please send material double-spaced, single-sided,
loose pages (no binding or binders). Use a font which
is easy to read, such as Arial or Times Roman, in 11
or 12 point size.
Send submissions by regular mail (not courier, not
registered), to W.R.P.O. Box 39588, White Rock, B.C.,
Canada, V4B 5L6.
If acknowledgement of receipt of materials is
required, please enclose stamped, self-addressed
Venture Literary does not charge a fee to
review submissions. Please e-mail all query letters to
email@example.com. We will not accept
unsolicited queries, proposals, or manuscripts via snail
mail, and all snail mail submissions will be discarded
unopened. If we are interested in your e-mail query,
we will contact you directly and request a hardcopy
of the proposal or manuscript.
If we request your material, please send hardcopy
(along with an SASE and the requisite postage) to:
..........Suite 105, #141
..........8895 Towne Centre Drive
..........San Diego, CA 92122
For all film inquiries, please contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 619-807-1887
Books & Such Literary Agency - Sells books
to a wide range of publishers in such categories as
women's fiction, general fiction, nonfiction, gift
books, children's picture books, easy readers, and
LOOKING TO SET UP A BOOKSIGNING OR AUTHOR EVENT?
Popular Texas Independent Bookstores
2421 Bissonnet Street
Houston, Texas 77005
Houston's independent bookstore since 1974.
6th & Lamar
603 N. Lamar
Austin, TX 78703
The Largest Bookstore in Texas open 9AM-11PM CST,
364 days a year.
918 W. 12th St
A full service independent bookstore serving the
reading and resource needs of all women, their
friends, families and children.
Crossroads Market & Bookstore
3930 Cedar Springs
With a cafe open from 7am until midnight and a wide
selection of mainstream titles, Crossroads is like any
other small neighborhood bookstore. The only
difference is, it's a gay-owned business in the middle
of Dallas' large and thriving gay community. Featuring
all new books, the store can special order anything in
13350 Dallas Pkwy #3200
972 387 1720.
Open Hours: 9:30am-9pm Mon-Thu; 9:30am-9:30pm
Fri-Sat; 10:30am-6pm Sun.
Probably the most distinguishing characteristic of SB
& Co. is that it is in the Galleria! Otherwise, it is a
fine book and music store with an excellent selection
(with emphasis on the classics, of course!).
The Twig Book Shop
San Antonio, TX
210 826 6411
Open Hours: 9:30am-8pm Mon-Thu; 9:30am- 5:30pm
Fri & Sat; noon-5pm Sun
This independent bookseller specializes in books from
local authors and carries an awesome inventory of
Texana books and regional literature. Frequent book
signings and dedicated customer service make this
book store one of the most pleasant destinations for
A Good Read
2211 Northwest Military Highway
San Antonio, TX
2311 Ship's Mechanic Row
BLP REVIEWER FAVORITES
One brief moment was all it took to change Detective
Thomas Pillar's life forever. Faced with a decision
between the death of many versus the death of one,
a child, Pillar chooses the death of one.
From the moment you pick the up this book, you are
immersed in the world of ancient Persia.
Laura Finnegan is the type of woman a man could
easily love - she's beautiful, graceful, mysterious,
vulnerable, and missing!
Simon says, "no body, no crime scene, no witness =