Some nonfiction writers don’t aspire to write books. They simply want to become journalists and write for publications. Maybe this describes you. I started out wanting a career as a magazine journalist.
Other nonfiction writers do want to write books. However, they need the ability to write articles just as much as their more-journalistically inclined counterparts. Writing about the subject of their books for publications can provide a great promotional vehicle and drive up book sales. Maybe you fall into this category. After I published a book, I began writing articles on that topic.
If you plan to write a nonfiction book, you might want to learn how to write for publication. Getting published in magazines and newspapers, as well as in online publications, represents one way to build your author platform. Today, aspiring nonfiction authors must have a large platform to attract publishers—especially large publishing houses. If you want to self-publish, you also need a platform to help you succeed. A platform, or, most simply said, a built-in readership for your book, helps you sell books. Possibly, you fall into this category of nonfiction writer—aspiring author. Today, I still seek out publications interested in articles related to the book I want to publish in the future.
Since almost all types of nonfiction writers need the ability to write for publication, we start off the year with five nonfiction writing prompts focused on writing for publication.
Nonfiction Writing Prompt #5: Develop an Article Idea and Pitch It
Develop an article idea you can submit to a publication, offline or in print, that supports your desire to build author platform, promote an existing book or create a career as a freelance journalist.
To write for magazines and newspapers, you must come up with an idea appropriate for the readership of that publication. If you also want to promote your book or build expertise in a certain area, find publications interested in the subject of your book or in your area of authority.
Research publications online and off, develop your idea, and target it to the publication’s market. Then write a query letter, and send a query letter to the appropriate editor.
Here are a couple blog posts that might help you:
- How to Query a Magazine Editor and Land an Assignment
- Blast Out Article Queries to Get More Writing Assignments in a Month
- Five Things to Avoid for a Pristine Query Letter
Share your idea and get feedback by leaving a comment below. Or do so in the Nonfiction Writers’ University Forum.
For more information on how to develop an article idea and to create and send a query letter to a magazine editor, receive this month’s Nonfiction Writers’ University (NFWU) Homework Assignment. It’s chock full of tips! Join here at the low introductory rate!
Also, learn “How to Start Your Freelance Writing Career” when you attend the January Nonfiction Writers’ University members-only teleseminar! Join the NFWU to ensure your spot. (Members also get recordings of the events, access to the forum, bonus products, and more…) Learn about the benefits of membership when you click here.
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