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:
- 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.
How to Write a Query Letter:
Publishing Contract Checklist
Six Rules for More Agreeable Agreements