No matter what happens in life, my mind functions at a better pace when I write. If you write, you get it. The imagination needs creative outlets that markets provide.
Here are eight ways to imagine markets for your writing…and fatten your bank account too.
1.) Consulting fees and ghostwriting services – I’ve met potential clients (writers) that come to me for magazine sales advice, only to find they are driven by personal experiences that are newsworthy. I’ve worked on books about subjects as diverse as the human genome, as well as safe nursing homes for the elderly, and others. I charge a small meeting (consulting) fee, and going on to do book queries and proposals. Charge a flat rate or an hourly fee. (Warning, charging a flat rate for ghostwriting work can backfire because the client may start changing their mind about content during the researching and writing phase, or they may have thousands of revisions later.)
2.) Book co-authoring. I had a friend who wrote successful romances for a major publisher worldwide, but had never been successful in nonfiction writing. One day, we decided to co-author and book and the result, Rate Your Mate, is now on Booklocker.com. Now, along with her romance career, she has added a nonfiction credit proudly to her byline.
3.) Raise your writing hand and volunteer. I volunteered for ‘Reading is Fundamental’ when my kids were in elementary school, which provides a free book for each child. I met other teachers, learned about brand new children’s books, and networked. By helping set up a fun Clifford the Big Red Dog campaign, I learned a lot about the industry.
4.) Find new markets and get referrals from other writers. This is an often overlooked avenue to learn more about writing avenues. I’ve been in writing groups that have led to referrals for writing work. One professional writer’s group met monthly. A few times, members gave me jobs they couldn’t complete. My article on ‘Beach Volleyball’ appeared in NAUTILUS magazine and a nice byline and paycheck followed.
I once self-published a workbook titled ‘How to Take the Hell out of Learning to Sell.’ I used it at workshops at the community college where I taught writing. It helped many writers go on to make their own sales and have successful careers.
5.) Trading services. Offer to write for a person who offers a service you need.
6.) Cheerleading. It helps to have friends in the business who cheer you on and motivate you. I once bragged to a friend that I always sold more reprints near the holidays because editors were busy filling slots. She suggested I could ‘get more miles’ (reprint) from an article I’d successfully sold to the LA TIMES a few years prior. Encouraged, I contacted an ‘in flight’ magazine and a sale ensued in a Bahrain in-flight magazine, ORYX. I DID get more miles, as well as a nice fat check in time for Christmas shopping.
7.) Check out new market listings. The best way to get published is by perusing simple magazine markets and making a list of ones that fit your interests, next to five or six article ideas. WritersWeekly.com offers weekly listings that are fresh and not recycled from other sources to help you find what editors of specific magazines are looking for. Compose a query letter about your idea and, of course, include your sources and credits.
8.) Local Social Media! Go where no writer has gone before. Try new arenas. Get a fix on your local social media. Learn about new businesses in town and approach them about offering your services.
Donna Kordela has successfully written for magazines and newspaper for over twenty years. She taught writing at a local community college near where she resides in California. Her web site is www.Donnadiamond.net. Two of her published books are on www.Booklocker.com. She’s sold to such publications as: LA TIMES, THE BOSTON GLOBE, THE CHICAGO SUN TIMES, SCOUTING, BUSINESS TO BUSINESS, NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES, WOMAN, THE TOASTMASTER, GHOST and many more.