My Astoria guide is still on hold, likely until June. There were some problems with last-minute map stuff, or so I’m told. No worries, it will be great when it’s out there. Meanwhile, do you know what’s better than getting paid for your work?
Getting paid twice.
I’m not suggesting selling two identical articles to two different magazines — that’s a breach of the writing contract, and of the trust from your publisher. However, you can easily sell multiple articles from the same idea, and the same research. This maximizes your return on the investment of your effort. For example, I spent several weeks researching the Astoria guidebook. When it publishes, I get paid royalties…plus I have my first book deal, which is instrumental in getting more book deals. However, there’s a lot of information that didn’t get covered in detail during the book. Here are some articles that I’ve written or pitched for other publishers:
- A detailed piece on golf courses in the area for GolfLinks.com.
- A review of the new Indian restaurant that’s coming to town.
- A historical piece for the 200 year anniversary of Astoria.
- Another historical piece about the fires in Astoria.
- A review of the bicycle tours in Astoria I’m pitching to cycling and travel sites.
- An article for a writing magazine about getting multiple assignments out of the same research.
- A book excerpt for local travel and lifestyle magazines, or possibly for an in-flight magazine that serves the Pacific Northwest.
In a year or so, some of the rights to those articles will revert to me based on the contract I sign with various publishers. At that point, I can try to sell reprint rights — with full disclosure to the new buyer — and get paid a third time with a new batch of sales. Because it’s Astoria, and not New York or another international destination, it’s a thin resale market. But I should be able to find one or two.
Writing professionally means spending at least as much of your time finding work as you do writing. Using this kind of cascading series of assignments from the same idea and research helps you make the most of that time.
Thanks for listening.