For those of you who have never considered writing an article on the subject of your book, here’s some inspiration to become a journalist before ever beginning a book manuscript. New York Magazine contributor Jennifer Senior landed a book deal with Ecco following her popular article from July. “All Joy and No Fun: Why Parents Hate Parenting,” a piece in which she discussed recent studies about parental unhappiness, garnered Senior quite a bit of attention. Now she has a book, All Joy and No Fun: The Parent’s Paradox, scheduled for release on the HarperCollins imprint in the fall of 2013.
I can’t promise that any article you write will get you a book contract, of course. The fact that Senior’s article ended up being linked to on popular websites–ones not usually concerned with parenting issues, like BoingBoing and the Freaknomics blog–caused it to get noticed.in more places than just the magazine And the subject was poignant and pertinent, by which I mean it hit many people emotionally and it had relevance to their lives. Senior posed a bit of controversy as well; people thought she agreed that many parents are unhappy in their “job.” That added some buzz. If you can write about a subject that has all or most of these elements, or that ties into the news as well, and get it published in a well-read and popular magazine, you might find yourself getting noticed as well.
Even if you can’t, publishing articles on the subject of your book helps you build platform and create expert status for yourself. It creates a buzz around what you do and what you know. Consider sending off a query letter to a magazine editor today.