My books definitely have a message – looking at and appreciating art. When the first one came out, a friend said, “You can reach more people through an article than with a book.”
Check a magazine market and you’ll find magazines reach thousands of people while books get a first print run of between 2,000 and 5,000 copies.
Articles result in name recognition, getting your message across, and, if you are lucky, book promotion. I have to admit, an article can accomplish much more than my book.
Follow the advice of magazine writer’s guides to get started. The following few ideas work even if you are already published.
1. Start with what you know. Begin with small markets and write about something of interest to you and of which you are most knowledgeable. Short articles sometimes get your foot in the door. After you have a few clips, attack larger magazines. If you have written a book, write an article about it long before the release date. Wish I’d followed that example.
2. Reslant every idea. After you spend time researching an idea, slant it in different ways for other markets. Don’t let all that research go to waste.
3. Develop regulars. Once accepted by an editor, keep in contact whether you pitch to him or not. Keep your name in his mind.
4. Consider corporate work. This one is difficult for me but many people sell well to business newsletters, etc.
5. Do your market research and think outside the box. Study market guides. Make your submissions fit a market. Look for unexpected markets for your articles.
I just sent an article to several regional parenting magazines. I always offer “One Time Rights.” That way I can resell the same article slanted to the region or not changed at all.
Many writers query first. I tend to send the article unless a query is requested. It saves waiting time. When sending to a newspaper, advisors suggest you always send the whole article.
One source of job requests and markets listed by payment rates is the newsletter “Writing for Dollars,” http://www.writingfordollars.com. Check it out.
How many readers have you reached this year?