writing articles for magazines

Should You Write for Magazines and Newspapers?


Many authors are totally focused on writing books and overlook magazine-writing, trying to get “published” or to self-publish only books and nothing else.  They dream of seeing their own novel in bookstores.  However, there are many benefits from writing for magazines.

Excerpt from our upcoming book: “How to Make More Money With Writing”.

If you write articles, you reach more people than with books. Your book may sell 5,000 copies.  Certainly, some books turn into bestsellers, but with more than 500,000 new books a year – many books are fortunate to sell 5,000 copies.  With one article, you can reach millions of people.  As you write for magazines, it will give you increased confidence that you can write for publication, meet word limits and deadlines.

A fiction author recently was pondering if it is worth to write magazine articles and asked me if he should not better use his time to write for his own blog or website.  My answer: “Well, it depends on how many subscribers and readers your website or blog has…  Should your blog have less than a million readers per month, consider to write for these magazines with enormous readership numbers, such as:

  • AARP The Magazine 21,931,184
  • Better Homes And Gardens 7,624,505
  • Reader’s Digest 5,241,484
  • Good Housekeeping 4,396,795
  • National Geographic 4,001,937
  • People Magazine 3,690,031
  • Southern Living 2,824,751
  • O, The Oprah Magazine 2,417,589
  • Huffington Post 43 Million per month
  • Salon.com 7,7 Million per month
  • Travel & Leisure 950,000 magazine readers per month
  • Delta Sky Magazine over 5 Million Readers per month

Source: Wikipedia and Nielsen Report


  • US Newspaper’s Daily Circulation:
  • The Wall Street Journal 2,378,827
  • The New York Times at 1,865,318
  • USA Today 1,674,306

If only one percent of their readership finds your article and the byline with your name, website and book info … it’s worth to write for them.  Authors might not be able to pay these magazines and newspapers ads, but having a by-line and often even get paid for an article is worth to send a pitch to their editors.

How to Prepare for Magazine Writing
Helpful tips on how to pitch to magazine editors: Most important is to get to know and understand the magazine before you query, read 10 issues back.  You need to get a feel for magazine’s tone and readership to ensure that your query “fits” the publication.

Make a list of editors at prestigious magazines, blogs, and newspapers.  Send your pitch to dozens of editors at suitable media outlets.  However, editors change positions and publications with amazing speed.  Call the magazine and confirm the name and title of the editor you’re pitching to.

Very important: Learn how to write a query for magazines.  
Mention your background and experience and demonstrate why you’re pitching this article.  Just because you find a subject fascinating doesn’t mean the editor will, too.  Keep the magazine’s readers in mind as you pitch an idea.  Why does this story concern them?  Why will they want to read it?  Include facts, statistics or quotes, or to name experts you plan to interview for the story lets the editor know you’ve already done your homework about the topic.

If you can’t convincingly describe your subject, your approach and your qualifications in a page-long letter, chances are your query is too long or too general.  Your topic should be narrow enough so that you’re able to address it in the suggested word length.  Many magazines only want queries and don’t accepted completed manuscripts.

And last but not least: a query that’s easy to read and contains no typos or misspellings says that you’re a professional.  Don’t forget a catchy byline at the end of the article with two links to your book or website.  Offer your best photographs to illustrate your articles.

You do not have to write totally new articles, take what you have, re-write it a bit, add or subtract an introduction and conclusion.  The research for your books and often parts of your manuscript can be used for articles – in a huge variety of magazines and newspapers.  You can use published articles as clips to show to potential publishers and clients in all writing areas.

You will receive traffic, money, and credibility as a writer, and you will get a huge audience that you could never reach with your blog and Social Media alone!


Read the Contract – Word for Word
It’s is a binding legal document, just as a home loan or an employment contract! Many writers simply accept the contracts they receive.  They are afraid to try to negotiate with a publisher, or they’re not sure how to approach the issue.  While some contracts are easy to understand, most have at least one or more sections or clause that seems designed to confuse:

  • Exclusivity
  • Electronic rights
  • Legal Responsibilities
  • All-Rights Contracts

Contracts are written for the benefit of publishers, they will grab as many rights as possible…while you as the writer want to keep as much as you can, or be paid handsomely for the rights you do assign.  Once you know how to ask for contract changes, you’re more likely to get the contracts you want.

More Resources:

How to Write a Query Letter:

Publishing Contract Checklist

Six Rules for More Agreeable Agreements











Why Writing for Airline Magazines?



Almost every passenger reads during the flight through the magazine that is tucked into the seat in front of them. Many even take them home. Which means, with more than 250 in-flight magazines, there are lots of possibilities for professional writers to freelance for airline magazines.  Airline magazines have always been good patrons for freelance writers.

When the travel industry is succeeding, there are even more opportunities in the sector. Benefits of writing for airlines include:

  • high circulations of In-flight magazines
  • a wide reach
  • and a long shelf life

Airline magazines are a fantastic addition to your portfolio of published articles. Once you’ve been published in an in-flight magazine it is much easier to get assignments from other prestigious magazines.

What Types of Content do They Purchase?
In-flight magazines purchase many travel articles.  They also have a diverse range of content that includes general interest pieces as well as articles on business, entertainment, health, and lifestyle.  However, there should be some connection to the destinations to which the airline flies.
Getting a Foot in the Door.
If you are just starting out as a freelance writer, you will not have much chance of getting published in an in-flight magazine. Editors prefer to work with experienced, professional writers who have solid credentials.
If you have not yet built up a solid portfolio of magazine credits, begin by writing for local publications or target smaller magazines. Once you get some pieces published in local publications, raise the bar and target some regional publications. In the USA alone there are hundreds of smaller magazines freelance writers can write for.

A few airline magazines in North America include writer guidelines on their websites, but the majority, in other parts of the world do not publish their guidelines online. You certainly can write the editor a friendly note to request a copy of their writers guidelines.

Research the In-flight Magazine
Many airlines make media kits available from their websites. Use it to find out a lot about the airline’s passengers – and therefore about the audience for the in-flight magazine.  It also shows the editorial mission and calendar. Find the airline’s destinations / routes in the media kit as well.  In-flight magazines typically pay writers from $0.70 to $1.00 per word, and sometimes even more.

Read as Many Magazines as Possible
Most airline magazines are available online. Study all the issues for the past twelve, better twenty months and figure out:

  • What features does the magazine include?
  • What writing styles?
  • Lengths of articles?
  • Which destinations did the magazine cover already?
  • What hasn’t been covered for a while, or at all?
  • What is the editor(s) name(s) and title(s) from the Impressum / Masthead of the digital edition, or from the Contact webpage for the publication.

The audience on an airline flight is much more diverse than at other publications, and their magazines must cater to this diversity.  The content is chosen for their passengers to remain happy and calm.  Editors look for content that will entertain and relax their readers, not being controversial.

More Tips What to Pitch
Freelance specialist Gary McLaren: “Pitch a specific idea to an in-flight magazine, and not only a destination. Try to think of an idea that is seasonal or timely for a particular month. But pitch it six months in advance and consider the editorial calendar.”

“Alternatively, try to think of an “evergreen” idea, since in-flight magazines tend to have long lead times, and it may take them some time to consider your idea and respond. Follow the news for airlines in which you are interested. One of the best times to pitch a story is when the airline announces a new route.”

“Editors of in-flight magazines receive plenty of queries every week. However, many of those queries are from writers who do not research the publication properly! If you do, you have much better chances.”



Read also: How to Get Freelance Writing Jobs for Airlines – Lots of Tips and Links

How to Pitch to an In-flight Magazine

Author Gary McLaren offers: The Inflight Magazines Report, a listing of 250 inflight magazines with all details.



How to Repurpose Your Manuscript


Where does your next novel or nonfiction book takes place?  In your hometown or in a foreign city or country?  I bet you did a lot of research to describe those places.  Leverage this research work and all your travel experiences to write not only for travel or well-paying airline magazines, but also for newspapers or lifestyle magazines – print and online.  Travel articles are not for travel magazines only!

Why wait months or years until royalties for your books arrive, when you can easily write articles that pay faster – and a lot more per word count?

Travel Magazines Are Not the Only Possibility.
Seniors magazines, parenting magazines, business magazines, frugal-living magazines, newspapers – from free locals to national and international, and even pet magazines, they all print travel articles and city profiles.  Here are a few examples of topics that fit into a variety of magazines / newspapers:

  • How to save money when booking a rental car
  • Traveling with Fido to Canada – pet friendly hotels
  • How to spend your waiting hours between flights
  • The Gardens of Venice, Italy
  • Scenic road trips to …
  • Amazing weekend destinations in …
  • Dining and nightlife tips for …
  • Top Ten Things to Do on a Budget in …
  • Most interesting museums to go with kids in …
  • How to save money when taking a road trip
  • Gear and gadgets that cater to your kids travel joy
  • Tips for people with disabilities or medical conditions on air travel
  • Best wine sampling places / wineries in …
  • Marvellous National Parks of the North West
  • Historic places to visit in Southern Great Britain

What Works Best:
The first and most important step is to read many issues of the magazine or newspaper to find out if there was anything similar written before you query them.  Travel articles containing more than the 2,000 words including high-resolution images works usually best.
If you don’t have the necessary skills or equipment to offer stunning photos, contact regional or state tourist sites and ask them for photos to accompany your article.  They are almost always free to use.  It might take a couple of days or even weeks to receive their permission, so contact them early, and once your article is printed, send them a copy and a thank you note.  Another possibility is to check out free photo sites, such as Morguefile.com or any other site as described in a former blog: 7 Free Photo Sources.

Examples of Magazines You Can Write for:
Check out former blog posts where we provided details about magazines, using the search function on SavyBookWriters.wordpress.com and type in freelance writing or writing for magazines. Here are a couple more links:
Canadian Living
Family Fun
Every Day with Rachel Ray
The Ride Journal
Southern Living
Travel Smart
Boat Magazine
Midwest Living
Horse and Rider

Re-Purpose Your Writing Content.
Just to give you an example how you can re-purpose research and content of your novel, that may take place in medieval Great Britain or a travelogue you wrote about a trip to Europe: You could for example write an article about

  • horse staples in the UK for equestrian magazines,
  • bike riding paths in Denmark to a bike magazine,
  • fantastic gardens in Great Britain to garden magazines,
  • how to travel on a budget to European cities for a frugal living magazine,
  • a feature about pumpkin seed pressing in Austria for gourmet magazines,
  • an article about a historic flax or wool mill in France for a sewing or craft magazine,
  • a photo feature that you took in a boutique hotel for a fine interior magazine,
  • how to dress for city trips without looking like a tourist for fashion or lifestyle magazines …

Possibilities to write for magazines other than the traditional travel markets are virtually endless. Travel articles often cover one or more market boundaries.
Leverage every opportunity to “cross-over” into other non-travel magazines with your travel articles.  Best of all: writing for magazines or newspapers will allow you to add a two-sentence bio, including a link to your author website or to your book sales page, which will be then seen by a completely new audience.  A great way of book marketing and to expand your platform and portfolio!

More about writing for magazines and newspapers:







Get Paid to Market Your Book


Social Media has become part of our culture, and it helps to connect with your readers.  However when crawling through tweets and other posts on Social Media sites, one gets the impression that very few links are pointing to interesting, entertaining or helpful content – despite the fact that there are so many talented writers out there who could write great articles or show snippets of their books.  This would make their Social Media presence more valuable and would connect readers with the author’s writing craft.

Question: Whom Would you Believe More:

a) advertisements
b) newspaper / magazine articles
c) reading samples

Most consumers / readers are not excited by pure advertising, they prefer authentic content and like to read writing samples.

Why are authors trying to market their books only with a) when b) and c) are more authentic in the eyes of readers – or at least a mixture of a, b and c?  I am not telling a secret here: b and c are free book marketing.  On top of that: often authors can even make more money with writing newspaper and magazine articles, online or in print, than with their books.

And it is nothing new, if you work in marketing. From Coca Cola to Volkswagen to IKEA, content marketing is getting more and more foot hold. Read an article “Why Content Marketing Works”.
All these companies have to employ and pay a lot of money to “story tellers”.  However, you as an author, you have done the “content” part already in writing your book, you just need to use your content and “market” it, in order to give your readers samples of your writing or make them curious about your new book.  Study after study have shown that this marketing method can be hugely effective for turning your audience into paying customers.  When it’s done well, a content marketing strategy entertains your readers and shows them how good you are at writing.
Learn from these Writers:
In previous blogs we explained how: “Smart Authors Get Paid for Marketing Their Books!” and “FREE, Brilliant Book Marketing to a Million Audience“.

Write Something of Value for Readers.
– which is “by chance” part of your book, such as travel tips to the location of your books plot, museums, festivals or public transportation that are mentioned in your book.  You have to do your research for your books anyway, why not use the material you gather and write several articles that you can offer to the media – always mentioning your book.  Another way of content writing: Try to write as many guest blogs as possible for top bloggers that are high in Google and Alexa rankings.  It will give you and your books more exposure and new readers.

Why Asking for (media) Book Reviews?
When you could get both: book promotion and at the same time (often) being paid?  I know, it is a new concept to many writers, but when you think about it – it makes really sense: why use your time and effort to chase reviewers, when you can use your energy to leverage your books content and your research content – to create articles that you can pitch to both, print and online newspapers and magazines?  Read the stories of writers who have just done that.

Perfect for Shy Writers.
Content book marketing is also perfect for shy writers who might cringe at stepping outside their comfort zone.  They can promote their books at the end of each article they write and even add links to their website or book sales page.  Use sentences from your articles to build interesting posts and tweets.
BTW: Traditional media is more and more outsourcing, barely any full-time writing staff is left, which means they are open to pitches from freelance contributors…

Josh Pigford, a Social Media Marketing Guru, Wrote Recently:
“The bottom line is that people trust editorial content more than they trust advertisements (only). Do the right mix. Whether your business is as big as Colgate or whether you are a one-person start up, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to utilize this simple fact in order to engage your audience and build your customer base.” And Joe Chernov brought it to the point: “Creating content that is so valuable that people would pay for it, yet you give it away for free, is a reliable way to earn the public’s trust.”
Where to Find Markets for Your Writing?
Get the comprehensive guide to find publishers, agents, magazine and newspaper editors and thousands of addresses to online writing markets – including the online version and the latest additions and changes for a full year:  The Best Resource for Writers in 2016

Do’s and Don’ts in Content Writing and Blogging.

  • Headline attention – encourage readers to read the next line
  • Use keywords that resonate with your audience
  • Simple and direct works well
  • Exciting, interesting, controversial, sensational all work well
  • Numbers / lists / real data works well
  • Just don’t be boring
  • Don’t forget to install an opt-in email list to be able to contact your readers and fans!

Writing content will not transform your book into an overnight success, but it is a wonderful option for a long-term strategy, to build your author’s platform and it gives your readers a sample of your writing.


Food for Thought …




Checking out Sarah’s Reviews’s on Goodreads and her website, I looked a little bit closer at her favorite authors list.  As an avid reader, a very fair reviewer and book blogger she read many titles of these prolific writers.  Note: these authors wrote between 18, in words: eighteen and 98, in words: ninety-eight! books, and they are true role models to follow for anyone who complains that their first book is not a bestseller…


Jim Butcher 
author of 98 books, including Storm Front
Last book read by Skin Game (The Dresden Files)

Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resides mostly inside his own head, but his head can generally be found in his home town of Independence, Missouri.
Jim goes by the moniker Longshot in a number of online locales. He came by this name in the early 1990′s when he decided he would become a published author. Usually only 3 in 1000 who make such an attempt actually manage to become published; of those, only 1 in 10 make enough money to call it a living. The sale of a second series was the breakthrough that let him beat the long odds against attaining a career as a novelist.

Patricia Briggs 
author of 84 books , including Moon Called
Last book read by Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega)

Patricia Briggs was born in Butte, Montana to a children’s librarian who passed on to her kids a love of reading and books. Patricia grew up reading fairy tales and books about horses, and later developed an interest in folklore and history. When she decided to write a book of her own, a fantasy book seemed a natural choice. Patricia graduated from Montana State University with degrees in history and German and she worked for a while as a substitute teacher. Currently, she lives in Montana with her husband, children and six horses and writes full-time, much to the delight of her fans.

Veronica Roth 
author of 30 books , including Divergent
Last book read by Insurgent (Divergent)
Veronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT launched in 2013.  Some of her books made it even into movies!

Marissa Meyer 
author of 18 books , including Cinder
Last book read by Cress (The Lunar Chronicles)
She tells about herself: I live in Tacoma, Washington, with my fiancé and our two cats. In addition to my slight obsession with books and writing, I’m big on road-tripping, wine-tasting, and hunting for antiques. I’m represented by Jill Grinberg. CINDER, my debut novel, is a futuristic re-envisioning of Cinderella in which Cinder is a cyborg mechanic.

Exploring Routines of Famous Writers
You might discover certain patterns, such as: The best ways to get over the “blank page hurdle”. The trick to overcome this isn’t easy, but it’s surprisingly effective: give yourself permission to write badly, and just start writing. Many authors who write beautifully and make a lot of money, don’t sit down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts.  So, to get over the biggest hurdle—the blank page—just get writing. The secret to prolific writing is practice!




If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.


11 Tips on How to Get “Big Media” Reviews

Before you start reading these tips: Be aware that big media reviewers do not even accept 10% of the submissions they receive – and as an independent author you are competing with well-known traditional publishers. However you might be the lucky one, so give it a shot. Read these tips to whom you should send your submission, when, how and what.

1. Always check carefully submission rules!
Most review sites want hard copies of the book at least 3 months prior to publication. Even if you have planned to publish an e-book, get 30-50 copies printed at a digital printer, at CreateSpace or use any of the new Espresso-Publishers that are in major cities, but also deliver via mail or UPS. Having print copies is not only important for reviewers, but also for your book launch or book signings and to sell them to people who prefer print instead of e-books. Other reviewers, especially top book bloggers take books also after their release and more and more accept e-books.
2. Self-Published?
Don’t reveal right away that it is a self-published book. If you will be asked, by all means be honest. If your book can pass the “looks-like-it-is-professionally-published” test, then not mentioning it’s self-published will increase your chances of getting a review.
3. Don’t Overlook Local Newspapers
You may start sending out your review submission to your local newspapers, even weekly papers or to your former alumni magazine and test the waters first before you head out to the nationals. A review is serving your purpose as well as a feature article, mentioning your book. Start with preparing an Excel spread sheet or any kind of list, where you type in the title, name, address, phone/email of the recipient, the date of submission, their guidelines. Never, ever sent it: “to the editor” or “to whom it may…”
4. How to Approach Reviewers
There are a tons of books vying for attention, however, there is only so much space/time in a reviewer’s calendar. You may call or email a reviewer first to see if they have an interest in your book. It will save yourself time and money if they tell you no. If you have been given an okay, address it to the specific person you corresponded with and write Requested Material on the envelope.
5. Follow Editors/Reviewers Directions Carefully
Don’t give reviewers a reason to disqualify your book right off the bat. If they want a press release, make sure you send one. Don’t send galleys, if they want finished books. Verify that they review your genre of book before you submit. Follow their publication-date deadlines.
6. When should you send out your review submission?
January & February for spring and July & August for fall, because there’ll be less competition from major publishers. Avoid October and November as you will have too much competition. Don’t send it out to arrive at the editors office on a Monday. Best arrival days for your request are Thursday or Friday.
7. Things to Include:
Make sure that you include all your contact info: name, mailing address, website address, phone number, and email address. Use http://about.me to create an appealing info site about yourself and include it in your contact info. Important: Don’t forget all the book information: price, ISBN number, number of pages, and genre. Carefully pack your book in padded envelopes or in boxes. You want them to look professional and brand new when they arrive at the editors office.
8. Add a Media Kit 
Include your biography, high-resolution (600 dpi) pictures of both, you and your book cover(s), a book trailer link, a synopsis of the book, any press releases you may have, and contact information for you. Everything in your media kit/press release should look professional and polished.
9. Most important: 
Send a thank-you note/email to anyone who reviews your book. They took a long time reading and reviewing your work so you take five minutes and write them a thank-you!
Here a some links to reputable reviewers

  • Los Angeles Reviews
  • Armchair Reviews
  • ForeWord Reviews
  • Library Journal
  • Midwest Book Review
  • NY Times Reviews
  • Indie Reader

Paid Reviews:

  • Kirkus
  • Publishers Weekly

10. Write Your Own Article to Promote your Book
In former blogs I showed you how savvy authors use their writing skills to promote their books (and often get paid) for their articles – also not on HuffingtonPost, they are infamous for giving authors just the exposure to a million audience. Read about Steven Raichlen’s brilliant coup:  He wrote an article for Huffington Post Foodie Paradise: 10 Great Places to Eat in Martha’s Vineyard. In a salute to some of Steven Raichlen’s favorite local restaurants, coffee shops, lobster shacks, and ice cream parlors on Martha’s Vineyard, he had his characters visit the same places which he usually patronizes with his wife.
Or this Salon.com article by Sean Beaudoin:
“Sean has a publisher, however, as with all big (and small) publishers, he is responsible for his own book promotion, as he is not John Grisham. And even John Grisham bitches about his promo budget.” Sean explains: “Publishers used to do most of the marketing for the books they put out. The best an author could do was finish the last chapter and then show up reasonably sober for a tri-city book tour.”
So, what can we learn from Sean Beaudoin?
He makes almost everything right: I have never heard about him or his books. Now I do! Why?  He is
smart and wrote a guest post on Salon.com, a really great and funny peace of writing that makes readers wanting to see his books. And it allowed him to include lots of links to his website, his Facebook account, his Twitter handle and his YouTube trailer for his latest book.
Writing articles for newspapers and magazines allows you certainly to end your articles with an author bio, including mentioning of your book and where readers can order it.  And you might “meet” the editor, with whom you can network for a review of your next book. They are certainly more inclined to review a book from an author they personally know.

11. Literary Review Editors
are not the only ones who might accept your books for review, try columnists as well, especially if you write non-fiction. If your book is about an adventurous bike tour in Jamaica, you can send your review submission to both, the travel section editor of a major newspaper or to the sport editor of this publication. 




If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.international-ebooks.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 900 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:



http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+



Hyper Smash


Tagged: book reviewers, content marketing, Goodreads giveaway, how to get book reviews, Kirkus Review, Literary Reviewers, Midwest Book Review, National Media Book Reviewers, writing articles for magazines

%d bloggers like this: