Writing to Sell

Writers write. We’ve all heard it. At workshops, in magazines, and from our writing friends. It’s practically a mantra, “writers write, writers write, writers write…”

Those words are usually used in talking about writing our projects. WE hear, either in our head or from others, when we hit a ‘writers block. It’s the answer we get from more proficient writers when they are asked how they became such good writers, “writing, writers write.”

Have you ever thought about those words applying to SELLING your writing?  Joel Schwartzberg, author of the popular, THE FORTY YEAR OLD VERSION (yes, the book was the foundation for the movie, used those words, “writers write,” in an interview with Steve Harrison, explaining one of the methods he used for selling his book.

True, Joel had several tips, but they all revolved around writing. Joel wrote new essays for a variety of sources, which always included a path to his book. If his writing was online, an ezine, or another blog, the path was a link directly to his book. If his words appeared in print, CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL, The New Jersey Monthly, and  Newsweek, to name a few, a short bio including information about his book was included.

Check your copy of CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL. You’ll find several of the essay authors also have a book (or ten) that is listed in their bio. Most anthologies do the same.There are several inspirational anthology opportunities with varying pay rates. The website for writers, AbsoluteWrite, has a listing of anthologies looking for submissions. Some of the listings are no longer accepting submissions, and there are probably other anthology sources. If you know of any, please share them in the comments.

Anthologies aren’t the only vehicle available to increase our readers. You’ll notice Joel was also published in several magazines, including the regional New Jersey Monthly and the more national  Newsweek. Being published in either type will increase your readership.

Colleen Plimpton, author of  MENTORS IN THE GARDEN OF LIFE, has an article in the  January 2012 issue of Toastmaster Magazine,(an international publication) “The Magic of Sense Appeal” The article is about bringing a speech to life by using sensory detail (sound familiar?) she detailed how speakers could use sensory details to keep an audience involved in a speech. True, Colleen is a speaker, she’s a member of Toastmasters, however her book isn’t a collection of speeches, or a speaking how-to. No, her book, is a memoir, about her life and the lessons she learned from those who passed through it. Colleen is a gardener, her website is mostly about gardening. Yet that article in Toastmaster Magazine, sent me, and probably hundreds of others to both her website and her book. Sales were made possible to new readers because of the article.

If you belong to an organization that publishes a magazine, or newsletter, whether regional, national, or international readership, submit articles to that magazine. You know what they want, you are one of them. When your article is published, so is information about your book, reaching more potential readers, and buyers for your book.

So, you don’t want to write for an anthology, and don’t belong to an organization with a publication. Never fear, you do have interests. Right? Whether or not your book is about those interests doesn’t matter. Write the article the magazine needs, then information about your book will be in your bio.

Where are you being published? In addition to your book. Add information about your book, website, and or blog, to your bio. You never know when that little blurb will bring you new readers.

Next week we’ll look at some of your online options for writing to promote your book. In the meantime, where are some of the places your published that promotes your writing?




4 thoughts on “Writing to Sell

  1. Janet K Brown

    Nita, you gave some good advice. The short stuff all counts toward selling the longer stuff. Even our websites and blogs show off our writing. Good words of wisdom. Our local RWA chapter used to have a newsletter & I published in that. But, it folded. Thanks for reminding me to look @ other avenues such as that.

  2. Pingback: Publishing on your blog…Don’t unless you already have a copyright in place! | C.K. Garner Blog Paper Scissor

  3. Frank

    Good advice, Nita. This interweb thingy allows us to leave our virtual business cards (with links to our work) pretty much wherever we wander.


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