When you finish the Final Copyedit Workflow section you will receive the starting_to_market notification. This is a great time to:
Think about writing an article or two on spec that your publicist can pitch to publications.
List Priorities for in-house PR in Promotional Plans. This is the space to add in any publications you think are worth trying, publications that you would love to be featured in.
Your publicist’s time is limited – make the best use of them, such as using them to pitch to publications who might not accept pitches direct from you, the writer. Get in the habit of pitching your own work, before and after publication.
Judy Hall is a world-renowned author/expert in the Mind Body Spirit field. Her articles appear regularly in the UK Spirituality media, including Kindred Spirit and Spirit and Destiny magazine. So there was little that we could do to build Judy’s profile with the British MBS press. Instead we looked to the USA. Judy’s sales are strong across the pond, so introducing her to specific MBS press was not difficult. Pitching blog/articles to a variety of MBS magazines and blogs, allowed us to place a number of them in smaller sites, Bellésprit Magazine, subscription magazine Crystal Resonance and a mention in Fountain International Magazine. I have to say that in this particular PR push, the publicist contacted over 35 editors of magazines and blogs. We also secured a regular column for Judy, in a new blog site OtherSide Press.
Louis Profeta, used LinkedIn to post some articles around his book, The Patient in Room Nine Says He’s God, published in 2010. Sales had trickled down to single figures per month, with occasional boosts if the author had been active with TV or Radio. So he used the LinkedIn site to post some articles and this put him in front of the blogging community and the editors there. He chose a topic that was hot news in October 2014 – Ebola, and wrote a great article. His sales in the month following jumped to three figures. Although the sales dropped afterwards they didn’t disappear and Louis followed this article with a second in June 2014, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/were-living-age-cel... which went viral and again the sales of the book rose to hundreds. The editor of LinkedIn then decided that he would publish all of Louis’ articles. The latest such offering was January 2016, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/i-know-you-love-me-... and the sales are now in five figures.
Title your extract appropriately: start with “An extract from title by author”.
End your piece with a short biography, where you can list your published books, and your online links. Add ISBNs for ebook and print, price, page extent, and publication date if that is still ahead. The magazine editor may not include it all, but leave it to them to edit down rather than add it in – or the book itself might not get a mention.
Include your book-cover graphic and headshot in your pitch (high-res if it is a print magazine). Magazines often like to publish an author photo and short biography alongside the extract.
Do not put copyright notices on the extract. To editors, it signals the work of amateurs distrustful and paranoid about having work stolen. Copyright notices are not necessary for protection.
Feel free to cut, edit and amend your extract to make it appropriate for the publication.
You might need to write a short lead-in and a lead-out to modify your extract so that the end result is an article with a beginning, middle and end. If so, you can title your piece "Adapted from title by author).
CAUTION! If you prepare your extract by copying and pasting from your final text PDF, then you will likely have to reformat it, as italics, bold fonts and other bits and pieces won’t be copied faithfully!
The vast majority of articles written for papers, or extracts taken from books, involve no payment.
Academics write to get known amongst their peers and improve their career prospects with citations, popular authors write to promote their books.
In the middle, there is a tiny cadre of journalists who can earn decent money from writing for national magazines. Which can be substantial, but you need to be in that kind of loop already. It never hurts to ask if there is payment though, and an average rate for most non-nationals is around $100 for every 1000 words.
If anyone requests permission to use an excerpt from the book, or a quotation, there is no need to check with us, just say “Yes, the publisher agrees.”
We do not get into correspondence and form-filling on this. If they want to pay up to £100/$100, which is rare enough, just agree and take the money – whatever the contract says, the paperwork involved in processing it from our side and then splitting it with you etc. is not really worth it.
It only becomes a question if there is a lot of money involved, and that is unfortunately rare.
Ask for credit to be given: title, author, publisher and if they can include the imprint website.
The length of the extract does not really matter, unless it is getting to be 10%+ of the book.
On the timing, it is obviously preferable if it comes out around the time of publication or later. But better to have the word being spread around rather than not spread at all.