Both magazines and book publishers purchase manuscripts for the same reason: to make money. Magazines make money with ad sales, subscriptions and newsstand or in-store purchases. Of course, many magazines now are available on-line as well; they may make money via subscriptions or a variety of types of on-line advertising. Book publishers make money purely through books sales; today these sales might come in the form of e-books or printed books.
What does this mean to you, the aspiring journalist or author? It means that if you want publishers to purchase your manuscripts you must find a way to help them make money. Here are five ways get a magazine article or a book published:
- Help sell ads. When it comes to magazines and newspapers, or any type of e-zine offering some sort of advertisements, the way to help make money involves writing coming up with an idea that sells ads. I write for a trade publication and the articles they assign me always cater to their advertisers. Look at any major magazine and you will see ads that cater to the audience of the magazine and the types of articles running in that particular issue. Advertisers help keep publications in business. Find the publication’s editorial schedule and propose an article the ad reps can sell around, and you’ll surely sell an article as well. You also can research keywords that will pull in people that might purchase related items. How-to articles that lend themselves to related salable items work as well.
- Add value. Provide a solution to a problem. Books and articles that fill a need in the marketplace and in readers lives tend to sell well. They make good business sense. If you can show that many people will find your manuscript useful, publishers will see dollar signs and purchase it.
- Prove a large market exists for your manuscript or idea. If a lot of readers want or need the information you are going to provide, publishers will start counting the dollars they will make from your article or book. Lots of readers equals lots of sales. That means you have help the publisher make money.
- Reach a big audience by having a platform. If you can prove that lots of people know who you are and love to read what you write or what you have to say and will, therefore, run out and buy a copy of your book or a copy of the magazine that has published your article, publishers will purchase your writing. A big platform coupled with a good idea represents a sure-fire way to get your work published–even if you aren’t a great writer.
- Be a good business person (not just a writer but a promoter and marketer, too). When a publisher of any type realizes that you will help promote your article or book, your odds of getting a contract increase tremendously. Publishers want good business partners, not just good writers. Good writers don’t always make publishers a lot of money. Good business people make publishers a lot of money. A good writer who happens to be a good business person increases a publisher’s odds of making money. If you are both–or are willing to work at being both–you increase your odds of selling your work to a publisher.
For a weekly dose of personalized help achieving your goal of getting your article or book published, check out my new Laser Writing Coach Club. Membership is very limited! Just six “members” can join and then call in for a group coaching session each week in which I will provide a 10-minute laser coaching session for each member while all members get to learn by listening to the questions being asked and the answers being given. In addition, each member gets one 15-minute private laser coaching session per month. Sessions revolve around writing, editing and publishing coaching and mentoring. The club provides a cost saving over normal coaching or mentoring fees as well.