Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Selling Your Writing to Sailing Magazines: A Review

If there is one overwhelmingly popular way that would-be cruisers dream of filling the cruising kitty while underway, it is by writing. And why not? Ample time and a daily cocktail of equal parts adventure and inspiration provide plenty of fodder for stories. Not to mention the fact that the sea will often bring out the desire to wax poetic in a person. Sadly, writing doesn't always pay the bills...or, any bills for that matter. Not only is writing a famously meager way to make a living, but the cruising world is small and the publications that cater to us - and the audiences that read them - are limited.

BUT...all is not lost! There are many cruisers selling words and making decent money with their writing, and you can be one of them. The new book "Selling Your Writing to the Boating Magazines (and other niche mags)" is a step by step guide on how to, well... sell your writing to boating magazines. Turns out, there are tricks to successfully writing for niche publications and industry-proved ways to ensure your piece stands out in the crowd. While it is difficult to make a bonafide living by writing articles, published stories can be a fantastic way to drop coins (and sometimes many!) into the cruising kitty. You just need to know how.

"Selling Your Writing to the Boating Magazines (and other niche mags)" is your book. Author Micheal Robertson is not only a fellow live-aboard cruiser, but one of the people making a decent chunk of change with his writing, and has been for years. You might recognize his name among the authors of the fantastic book, >>>"Voyaging with Kids"<<< and he is regularly featured in the most popular sailing publications, so he knows what he is talking about when it comes to pitching magazines. His book is not only for sailors either, the tips and tricks can be applied to any niche publication. While his examples, contacts and anecdotes will be almost exclusively related to the sailing industry, they will be helpful to any writer try to break into the industry.

I obviously have a vested interest in this subject because, in time, I have big plans to ramp up my writing and (hopefully) make more money with it - so when he reached out to me for a review, I jumped at the chance...

The book is short, sweet and to the point. I read it in three days, so it is by no means overwhelming, which I loved. It assumes you know nothing about publishing, which makes it very easy for a layman to read. It's laid out in a very organized "step by step" way - from pitch to payment - any really demystifies the world of publication. "Selling Your Writing to the Boating Magazines (and other niche mags)" takes you through each and every step of the publishing process, he offers tips on how to make your piece stand out and how to forge good relationships with editors. In short, Michael lays out everything for you in a clean, easy to understand format. The only thing he doesn't do is write your piece for you.

Not convinced? Some other review snippets from very prominent cruisers and industry insiders:
“From now on when I get queries from sailors wanting to know how to get started as writers for the sailing press, I’ll recommend this book. It’s not just the book editors have been waiting for, it’s the book long awaited by every sailor who hopes to make a buck while pursuing his sailing dream.” —Karen Larson, Publisher of Good Old Boat
“Concise, useful and encouraging for any aspiring magazine writer, not just those in the sailing field.”—Lin Pardey, author of more than 400 magazine articles 
"Michael Robertson has done a great job composing a primer of practicalities for freelance writers. His clear advice is reinforced by having been widely published himself, allowing him to cite numerous useful examples from his own efforts."
—Tim Queeney, Editor of Ocean Navigator 
"If you’ve ever thought about sharing your passion by writing about what you love, you need this book. Michael Robertson has put together the ultimate toolkit for launching your freelancing dream." —Beth A. Leonard, freelancer, speaker, and author who supported herself for two decades writing from her boat
If you have dreams to sail off into the sunset and want to pen "freelance writer" in the occupation box on your customs forms, you need this book.

Who knows? You might even become the next >>>Fatty Goodlander<<<....

Happy writing!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free of charge in return for my honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are my own.


Michael Robertson said...

Thanks for the nice words Brittany! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Michael

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Unknown said...

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John Hilston said...

Boating has always been an adventurous experience for me.
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Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to try my hand at being a writer. When I was a student, I often helped my friends in writing nursing paper reviews and I enjoyed it. I think it's worth a try.

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