How to Become a Successful Writer? WRITE !

29 Jul


Even the shyest author, who would never speak at writer conferences or to a group of book lovers at a library, can write his or her way to success. I am not talking about your next book, which is certainly important, as your readers want to get more books from you, once they discovered you as an author.

So, what else can you write to become successful?

  • write short stories that you can sell (or give away) on Amazon
  • write articles for newspapers and magazines
  • write regularly blog articles
  • write guest blog

OMG, I hear you saying, the day has not enough hours… to do all this…
Write short stories
In a former blog post  I explained “why you should split your book apart and sell each piece separately” and “divide it in chapters which you can sell to magazines or to web publishers”. To use a chapter or two for a short story means no work at all, but you certainly could change or shorten it a bit. Offer these short stories for download on your website – this way you get the email of your readers. Install an opt-in email form and offer your readers at the same time to sign up in order to get regular info about free stories and new book releases.
Very important: Don’t just give the story away. Write a short bio or add an link, including your website, info about all your books and their sales link at the end of your short story. This way, readers meet the author (you) and get to know your books and might one order right away with the help of the link they find in the short story.
Upload short stories to Wattpad, Red Room, Goodreads or Booksie.

Why short stories?  With all the distractions from other, flashier forms of entertainment it can be a struggle to set aside an hour or two and a find a quiet spot to read a book. Short stories can be read in 20 minutes- while enjoying lunch break, riding the bus or standing in a queue.

Markets for Short Stories:  Authors who are aiming to supplement their income have to find markets at magazines, on or offer their books to Amazon for inclusion into “Kindle Shorts”. Stories between 2,000 and 5,000 words are most market-able, however there is demand for all lengths. Duetrope is an award-winning, free writers’ resource listing over 4150 current Fiction and Poetry publications, updated almost daily.

Write articles for newspapers and magazines
Be smart, and sell your magazine articles over and over again. As long as the markets don’t overlap, you can sell exactly the same article as many times as you like and, in this globally connected marketplace, it is easier than you think. However, you can only sell first rights, either print or electronic, once for the same piece. After that, unless you change the article significantly, you must offer it as a reprint for a lower fee.

If you change the article, you can sell it again for first rights. For example, you can turn a 600 word piece about traveling with a dog (a chapter of your memoir book) for a dog lovers magazine, into a similar length article for a regional newspaper and then a dog food website (e-rights). Then tweak it into an 900 word article for a national newspaper. Make make some minor changes and shorten the piece a bit for a travel or and airline magazine. Each time, you are able to sell it for first rights. Continue to sell it, however look also out for new markets in other English language media overseas.
Steven Raichlen’s brilliant coup: He wrote an article for Huffington Post Foodie Paradise: 10 Great Places to Eat in Martha’s Vineyard. In a salute to some of Steven Raichlen’s favorite local bars, restaurants, coffee shops, lobster shacks, and ice cream parlors on Martha’s Vineyard, he had his characters visit the same places which he usually patronizes with his wife. He writes in this article: “I hope you’ll discover them by reading “Island Apart”. And then he gives even a link to his book on Amazon, explaining that it is now available in paperback.

Writing this article, Steven Raichlen was able to mention his book to a million readership FOR FREE, as the famous Huffington Post is a blog-empire, newspaper and online news aggregator, is also ranked the most powerful blog in the world by “The Observer” and is number 42 in “The Guardian‘s” Top 100 Media List.

Why Blogging is #1 in Gaining Readers
“Blogging is not only fun and a way to interact with your readers, but it is an important part of your social media presence”, says Edmund S. Lee, a famous content marketing specialist: “Did you know that blogging is part of a complete social media strategy? The number one reason you need to include blogging as part of your marketing strategy is because it will gain you more readers and also more customers.”  He explains further: “There are a number of reasons why blogging brings an increase in website traffic and in customers. The first has to do with the art of search engine optimization, aka SEO, which means a higher ranking on Google”.

I might add: especially if you post your blog headlines regularly on Google+. And your blog gives your readers a reason to come back to your website on a regular basis. They will naturally see you as someone who provides value to their lives, which builds trust between you and your readers.

Write guest blogs
To get the most of your guest blogging, look for a blog with an audience that’s similar to yours, but preferably with a huge readership. This way you can greatly increase the number of your visitors. A smart move is also to look for book reviewer blogs, as they are mainly read by book lovers. At the same time you make friends with the reviewer and chances are very high to get your own book reviewed. Check out a former post about guest blogging etiquette.

It’s called content marketing …
Writing articles should become your standard operation procedure, no matter if blogs, articles for print or online – free or for a fee. Write and sell articles to newspapers, magazines and online. Reselling your work makes good business and time management sense, it cements your brand and gets your name and your books titles to a large audience. And even if you give away your articles (in exchange for email addresses of your readers) you gain something very important: Contact to your readers (and maybe reviewers) and future customers.




If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 820 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter,, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing 111Publishing @ Google+



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One response to “How to Become a Successful Writer? WRITE !

  1. R. Lynn

    July 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Tons of great information in your article that I never really thought about doing. Thanks for sharing!


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