After WritersWeekly.com published my article, Paying Personal Essay Markets, a publicist who had read my article contacted me and inquired if I’d be interested in reviewing a book on sexual child abuse. She’d supply me with the book plus the opportunity to interview the author, but I’d be responsible for writing, querying and ultimately selling the book review.
At first, I was skeptical and I questioned my ability to produce a quality book review on such a horrendous crime. I had no idea how to approach the topic or what publications to submit queries to. My book review experience was limited but I concluded that even if I didn’t sell the review, I’d gain some valuable experience in book review writing and marketing. Furthermore, the publicist may prove to be a valuable contact in the future.
After reading the book, I decided that I’d submit only twenty queries to prospective markets. If my efforts didn’t garnish any interest, I’d send a detailed report to the publicist complete with the publication’s names and responses as proof of my efforts. After query number eight, the editor of the Women’s Independent Press contacted me and requested the completed book review. She agreed to purchase the review and requested an interview with the author to run in the woman’s showcase. A few weeks later, I sold another short piece to a different publication. When I contacted the publicist announcing that I ‘d successfully sold the book review, an interview and a service article, I was ecstatic to learn that I was only one of two writers that had followed through and sold a review of the book. Initially, two hundred writers had received advance copies.
When I accepted the invitation to review the book, I felt I was attempting to write an article way out of my league, but something kept coming to mind: A successful writer writes beyond their comfort zone to gain experience and expertise. By challenging myself to write beyond my comfort zone, I realized I was capable of writing a quality book review and discovered another income producing avenue for my writing efforts.
Christine Cristiano has been freelance writing for ten years and hangs her hat in Ontario, Canada. Her work has appeared in several local and national markets including Income Opportunities, The Toronto Sun Newspaper, Friends and Neighbors Newspaper, Writersweekly.com, Employment Times, Big Apple Parents, Women’s Independent Press and others.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: WritersWeekly.com always advises writers to write a complete article (or book review) only after a contract is in hand. As you can see from this story, approximately 198 writers wasted their time reading this book and writing reviews that were never published. Congrats to Christine for selling hers!