Friday, October 16, 2009

Freelance Writing Tip

We get a lot of requests from authors to have their book reviewed by magazines, especially national magazines. Yes, many magazines do reviews, but authors seeking them are faced with at least 2 challenges:

1) There are 8000 books released every week. No magazine can possibly review them all.

2) Reviews are a flash in the pan, so they don’t often turn into large sales.

Fortunately for the enterprising author, there is a better way to get exposure from magazines: become a freelance writer. Magazines use freelance writers all the time, and they often pay for articles they print. When you write an article, you get to write your own bio, and you can use that bio to plug your book. Here’s an example:

Bob Smith is the author of The Book You Can’t Put Down, published by Tate Publishing and available at stores or at He is a lifelong reader and has enjoyed writing since college. He lives with his wife, 3 kids, 2 dogs and his favorite pen in Anywhere, USA.

The more you do this well, the more you’ll be asked to do it. One of our authors has just gotten her second regular columnist job.

Rebecca Ingram Powell ( is the author of Season of Change: Parenting Your Middle Schooler with Passion and Purpose. Listen to the great news she just shared with us: “My family will be featured on the cover of ‘Home Educating Family’ magazine, the Nov/Dec 2009 issue. There will also be an article about us and our ministries. My books, including Season of Change, will be promoted in a sidebar.”

As great as all that news is, it’s still just a one-time feature that’s here today and gone tomorrow. Now here’s the best part: “I have also accepted a position with this magazine beginning in January as a columnist. I will write a monthly feature called, ‘The Middle School Mom.’ The magazine will also be promoting my book at 26 home education conferences during the spring and summer of 2010.”

This is a perfect example of what doors are open to you now that you are a published author.

Fiction authors, don’t think this is only for non-fiction. There are plenty of magazines that feature short stories, which can help you keep your skills sharp while you’re marketing your book. Furthermore, you wrote your book to make at least one point, and it is an illustration of your main theme. Identify your main theme and your sub-themes, and now you have key words for non-fiction magazine articles.

That doesn’t mean it is easy, however. The best way to start is to identify a few key words for your book. Type them into your favorite search engine followed by the word “magazine”. The results that come up will give you a great place to start positioning yourself as a recognized expert in your field. After all, you wrote the book on it!

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