The editor of a writing-related ezine said to me the other day, "I don't know why more authors don't offer us articles. We almost always publish them along with their bio. It's great publicity for their books."
Why not promote your book doing what you love best -- writing? Here are several examples to help get your started.
Many popular magazines and ezines use book excerpts. Of course, they generally want excerpts from books that relate to their magazine -- cooking magazines want excerpts from cookbooks, a travel magazine will quote travel books and poetry magazines want to excerpt poetry books.
Use your imagination to come up with more possibilities. If your book features Native American art in Southern California, for example, a California history or travel magazine might be interested in publishing your chapter on California tribes. An excerpt from a book on tax tips for home-based businesses might provide a good article for a writer's magazine.
Submit articles on topics only remotely related to your book and still promote it. I wrote a book called "Creative Grandparenting Across the Miles" and I've promoted it through articles featuring storytelling techniques for grandparents, how to teach grandchildren money awareness, how grandparents can uphold family traditions and tips for helping grandparents bond with their new grandbaby. But I can also plug this book even if I'm writing an article about snails. I might mention, for example, that when I was writing the grandparent book, I met a grandfather who paid his 5-year old grandson a penny apiece to catch garden snails.
I've also used articles to promote my book, The Mainland Luau: How to Capture the Flavor of Hawaii in Your Own Backyard. There are the obvious articles: "Eight Ways to Roast a Pig," "Recipes for Your Backyard Luau," "Fresh-Flower Lei-Making," "The Family Reunion Luau" and "Tips for Learning the Hawaiian Language." And there are the obscure: how about a piece on early culture comparisons for an ethnic or history magazine; flower arranging for a floral or gardening magazine; examining the lost continent of Lemuria (now the Hawaiian Islands) for a travel, history or New Age magazine or the mechanics of writing a how-to book for a writer's magazine? Do you see how I could promote the luau book in any of these articles?
You can almost always get a tagline at the end of an article. Use this as an opportunity to promote your book. I often write: Patricia Fry is the author of several books including Creative Grandparenting Across the Miles: Ideas for Sharing Love, Faith and Family Traditions (Liguori Publications). If the topic of the article more closely relates to the luau book, my journal-keeping book, my writing books, the metaphysical book or one of my local history books, I promote those instead.
The most effective articles for marketing your book are those relying on your expertise. I've written articles as an expert on the importance of grandparents in a child's life, how to be a better grandparent, tips for traveling with your grandchildren, long-distance grandparenting, how parents can help strengthen the relationship between their child and the grandparents and how to choose gifts for grandchildren. Anyone interested in reading one of these articles may also want to read my book.
Most magazine and ezine editors will reject articles that blatantly promote a product, so keep your article from sounding like a sales pitch for your book. Simply write a useful and informative article suitable to a particular magazine and mention your book where appropriate.
Expect to be paid anywhere from $50 to $1,000 for an article based on your book. You might also be asked to give away some of your promotional pieces. And why not, if it means having them published in a national magazine that's read by anywhere from 20,000 to 500,000 people?
By now, you probably have dozens of ideas for marketing your book through articles. To come up with even more:
Do articles sell books? I believe so. I've sold dozens of articles based on the luau book and have, as a result made a lot of book sales. Less than a year after self-publishing The Mainland Luau, I reprinted it. A year later, my stock was running low again and, because of my good sales record, I had an offer that I couldn't resist from Island Heritage Publishing Company in Hawaii. Now they publish and distribute this book under the new title, Entertaining Hawaiian Style.
Writing a book is fun. Promoting it can be terrifying and intimidating. That's why I recommend to authors that they start their book promotion efforts doing something they love -- writing.
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