Dear WordCount is a weekly advice column answering your questions about writing, blogging and running a freelance business. Got a question? Ask me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Today’s question is adapted from a query posted on FreelanceSuccess.com, the members-only message board for freelance writers, and an expanded version of my answer.]
I’m about to self-publish an e-book to promote my writing business. Does it make sense for me to take advantage of an offer from a professional association whose members are the ideal audience for my book? I initially offered the group a guest post as part of a virtual book tour. Now they’re asking if I want to publish an article of my choice, either new or reprinted from my blog, in their monthly newsletter. — S.W.
This sounds like a promising opportunity — if you’re getting something out of it.
If you’re offering to pay you for the articles, and the fee makes the work worth it for you, go for it.
If the organizaiton is willing to pay to re-run posts that you’ve previously published on your own website, or updates of older posts, that’s the equivalent of a reprint fee, where you’re making money from something you’ve already published — always a good deal.
Even if this organization isn’t offering to pay for the articles, there are a few ways you could make the arrangement work.
If they won’t pay but you can repurpose a post you’ve previously published on your own blog, and that wouldn’t take very much time or effort on your part, it may be worth reaching what you describe as the perfect audience for your e-book. This set up would only work, though, if you could run a blurb at the end of each article promoting the book, yourself or any other service you wanted readers to know about.
While this group’s membership sounds like your ideal audience, you won’t know for sure until you’ve tested this relationship. You could negotiate a trial run of three or four months worth of articles to see if you get enough business from the arrangement to make it worth entering into a long-term contract.
[Flickr photo by katerha]