Showing posts with label Take An Underused Author Path. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Take An Underused Author Path. Show all posts

Take An Underused Author Path


By Terry Whalin 
@terrywhalin

As I meet writers at conferences and speak with them, the majority are focused on publishing a book. It makes sense most people speak to me about books since I’ve been an acquisitions editor at a New York publisher for over ten years. There are over 7,000 new books published every day (including the self-published books). This number shows the huge volume of printed books pouring into the marketplace. Yet if you study the sales numbers, you gain a different perspective. The average self-published book sells 100 to 200 copies during the lifetime of the book. I know it takes a lot of effort and energy to write a 50,000-word nonfiction book or an 80,000-word novel. In this article, I want to point out an underused path for your writing which has much greater audience reach and potential: writing for print magazines.

Many years ago, I began writing for print magazines. These publications have a high standard of quality (much more than online which is much easier), help you to learn to write for a particular reader and to a particular word length. One of the huge benefits is reaching more readers with your work and building your presence and reputation in the marketplace. It is common in the magazine world to reach 100,000 or 200,000 people. My 250-word devotion in The Upper Room reached over six million readers.  

How to Begin

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, every writer can write for print magazines. The Christian Writer’s Market Guide lists many of these publications. Each one has different publishing needs and requirements. It’s basic but many people skip this important step: read and follow the submission guidelines. The editor is telling you exactly what they need and expect you to follow their guidance. When I was an editor at Decision with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, I was amazed to see the many submissions which had no connection to the editorial needs of the publication. These articles and queries were quickly rejected and not published. Our circulation back then was 1.8 million copies, and with each rejection. the writer missed an opportunity to reach these readers.

While there are many different types of magazine articles, I encourage you to try writing a type of article that every writer can do: the personal experience story. Whether you are brand new or experienced, each of us have unusual experiences. It’s key to capture the dialogue and details when it happens, then use this raw material for your storytelling. You can also use personal experience stories in devotions or how-to articles because these personal experiences will add value to your article.

An Insider Tip

When you look at the various magazines and publications, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the possibilities. Let me give you an idea where to begin--if you write for the Christian market: Sunday school take-home publications. These editors need material for 52 weeks which is more frequent than a monthly publication. They use personal experience stories but follow their submission guidelines to give them the right material.

If you have published books, in one or two sentences at the end of the article, you can include a single website link for the reader. This process is a simple way to build your platform and credibility in the publishing world because literary agents and book editors read magazines as they search for writers. 

While many of the Christian magazines, don’t pay much, the opportunity and exposure make them an underused path to publishing—yet one I continue using and recommend you do as well. 

Tweetable: 

Are you looking for an underused author path to publishing? This prolific writer and editor gives the details here. (ClickToTweet)

W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in California. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. Get Terry’s recent book, 10 Publishing Myths for only $10, free shipping and bonuses worth over $200. To help writers catch the attention of editors and agents, Terry wrote his bestselling Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Check out his free Ebook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com. Connect with Terry on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Honoring Your Voice

As a writer, your voice is one of your most powerful assets. Whether you write fiction, non-fiction, novels, screenplays, marketing copy, y...