How do Authors Get Paid for Marketing Their Books?     Answer: Content Marketing!

Benefits of Content Marketing vs Asking for Media Reviews

Almost every author I meet, worries about getting reviews for their books, getting known by readers and selling more books. No wonder – with millions of books competing for exposure! Book reviewers, both in the media, especially magazines, newspapers, or radio and avid readers/reviewers and book bloggers, are overwhelmed with requests.

But why asking for (media) reviews, when you could get both: book promotion and at the same time (often) being paid? I know, it is a new concept to many writers, but when you think about it – it makes really sense: why use your time and effort to chase reviewers, when you can use your energy to leverage your books content and your research content – to create articles that you can pitch to both, print and online newspapers and magazines?

Make use of your assets!
The three main assets you have:

– your writing skills
– the content you already wrote
– the research you have done for your book(s)

Write about anything
In recent blogs I introduced two writers who (indirectly) promoted their books to a million readers, just by writing

– about restaurants that are mentioned in his book (Steven Raichlen) in Huffington Post
– about how much he hates self-promotion (Sean Beaudoin) in Salon.com

Let your imagination soar
I was just talking with a client, who wrote a romance novel, how much material she has to write about for blogs and newspaper/magazine articles. Not only her book, but using all the research she has done for it. Keywords for her book are: Skiing, mountain, outdoors, FBI agent, inheritance, stolen jewels, gemstones, Montana etc.
Other than surf- or football magazines, she can write for pretty much any newspaper or magazine in English language media. Note, that I did not say any US-media! English language media are covering not only America, but half of the world: Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Canada etc. as well as all English internet content providers.

Two more benefits of writing content:

  1. You have lots of material to write about.
    You can tweet it, post on Facebook, put in your timeline on Google+ and mention in your blog – which you have certainly connected to your Amazon author page and to your Goodreads page.
  2. You get valuable back-links to your website/blog.
    In practically all articles you write, there is the “bio” or “about the author” where you can mention your book or your website – together with a link or sometimes maybe two. Click the links above to the two author blogs by Steven Raichlen and Sean Beaudoin, who wrote for Huffington Post and in Salon.com.

Learn the techniques to write for newspapers / magazines

Write newspaper style: the inverted pyramid.  Write in an inverted-pyramid style, with the conclusion first, details later. GoodDocuments.com gives these tips: “Write with the “punch line” first, starting with the conclusion, rather than building up. One way to learn to write this way is to write the section first with all the details, and then go back and start it with a lead sentence or two.”

Writing Successfully for the Web
Online readers’ attention span is 10 seconds long, so writing for online publications is a bit
different from writing for print. WritersDigest gives lots of tips what’s different in online writing to writing a novel.

Writing content can grow into free-lance writing
Ever wondered how freelance writers find markets for their craft and talent? Check out these websites/blogs forwriting markets or freelance writing for airlines,

Do your research – both about your topic (double-check everything) and the publication you are pitching, rely on your particular expertise about a place or subject matter, and produce insightful copy, aimed at a sophisticated audience.

Use a variety of media
Content book marketing includes not only blogging or writing articles for newspapers and magazines, but also podcasting, email marketing, creating online courses and even book marketing through webinars.

Perfect for shy writers
Content book marketing is also perfect for shy writers who might cringe at stepping outside their comfort zone. They can promote their books at the end of each article they write and even add links to their website or book sales page. Traditional media is more and more outsourcing, barely any full-time writing staff is left, which means they are open to pitches from freelance contributors.

Your articles are creating content people love to share, because it is either funny / witty or useful advice or otherwise interesting for readers. Content is used to draw in your ideal readers / reviewers and to build a platform. The result: you will increase your exposure, show your writing skills, grow a loyal following and attract reviewers – in one sentence:  Achieve success with your books – and in many cases, even get paid for it. Once you break the “glass-ceiling” – the sky will be the limit!


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