It might be a while before I receive the verdict on my first query letter (sent 20 days ago). There was no indication in the Writer’s Market (online version) as to how long I could expect to wait for a reply. It could be another month. So I want to start on letter number 2 and get it sent off to a yet-to-be-determined magazine editor for their consideration. One query letter does not a writer make.
I haven’t decided what to focus on this time. I am thinking about a photo round-up. That’s where you visit a number of related places, take pictures of each location, and then assemble a series of pictures with captions and comments under each photo to tie everything together. I’ve read that this can be a really effective way to put together interesting pieces for magazines. The photos help to make the article flow from shot to shot and make the article interesting. After I read a bit more about it, I’ll share the technique with you. The best part is that you can sell these round-ups over and over as reprints.
Your goal as a travel writer?
As a travel writer, what should your goal be? If you plan to make money on your work, your goal should be “work smarter, not harder”. Working smarter means to squeeze every nickel out of your work. Why write one article when you can write many and sell them often? That’s what you should strive to do – sell everything you do more than once (many times, in fact). Sell the original article, and then sell reprints. Change the article around a bit and sell the article to newspapers all over the country. The key for you as a writer, is to learn how to sell all of your work many times and collect many paychecks. If you had to spend $300.00 to travel to a place near your home, rent a hotel room, eat in restaurants and pay for admission to museums and various other attractions, you would have to sell your work for $300.00 just to break even. No one can afford to do that for very long. Making money is a very good motivator and will allow you to go more places and do more things.
In his book, The Travel Writer’s Guide, Gordon Burgett describes a trip to Santa Barbara, California. His plan is to write nine articles; having as many go-ahead letters from editors as possible. Once the original article has been published, he will offer reprints (called “second rights”) to other magazines that deal in reprints and usually pay on publication. Then, by modifying the travel article, he will send out newspaper articles to many of the regional newspapers and collect checks from those who purchase his work. So all-in-all, it is very clear that you won’t make much of a living if you just sell an article once. But compounding your earnings can be a very lucrative way to earn the income you want. So learn to sell your work over and over again. It will serve you well over the years as you build up successes and your reputation as a writer.
This makes me think of recording artists and book authors who produce a novel or an album of songs and then proceed to sell copies of their work for years and years, earning royalties and residual income for the rest of their lives. Movie actors and television stars do the same thing. As a travel writer, you need to sell your work many, many times, just as others do. If you don’t, you probably won’t realize the kind of income you want or need to have a satisfying career. So think about how you can (smartly) maximize your income and prosper!
This is all laid out for you in the Travel Writer’s Guide. I recommend you get a copy if you are serious about travel writing. It can be a confusing process at first. But, you’ll soon see that the process is doable and repeatable!
How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days
Test Your Niche Book First!
Travel Writer’s Guide (Trade Paperback Book)
How to Set Up and Market Your Own Seminar (audio series)
Come on! Who has had a success in selling your writing? I want to hear about it!