Monday, June 28, 2010

Self-syndication Options and Benefits

Many writers think of syndication as a specialized niche meant for just a few Erma or Abby-type writers. I’d like to change that line of thinking. Self-syndication is a flexible means to sell your work to multiple sources and cash multiple paychecks. If you let yourself get creative, there are lots of different paths syndication can lead you on.

Often, syndicated work in done in the form of a column. The column might be written daily or weekly. This is only one example of syndication. Think outside the column and I’m sure you can come up with more. Group like articles together to make a self-syndicated series. Offer your services to a glossy magazine not as a freelancer, but as a self-syndicated columnist. Are you a blogger? With a little work, it’s likely that your blog could become a self-syndicated column. Offer to ghostwrite self-syndicated articles for someone who would benefit from a column, but doesn’t have the time or skills to do the work herself.

Self-syndication brings numerous benefits to you as a writer. When you print your articles in multiple places, more readers have the opportunity to see your words, note your byline and follow your work. You gain faithful readers – every writer’s good luck charm.

The best news is that with self-syndication, you can bill more than once for the same column or article. The very word “syndication” denotes resale, so there’s no talk of first rights or all rights to your piece. If you are self-syndicated, editors and publishers know and understand that the work will be available elsewhere.

With self-syndication, you keep all rights to your work. A byline (and often a photo) accompanies your article. Typically, a short bio is included at the end of the piece. In other words, self-syndication promotes your writing by putting your name, photo and bio information with each article printed.

Is the business portion of self-syndication difficult or a lot of work? Not more than regular freelancing. With self-syndication, you do the writing as well as handle the business end of things. For most freelancers, this isn’t any different from everyday life. If you are a freelancer, chances are you know all about record keeping and invoicing.

Is self-syndication for you? If you are a freelancer, I think there’s a good chance self-syndication can benefit your career in some way, at some point. Like a good dictionary, self-syndication is a tool for every writer to keep on his or her bookshelf, ready to be taken out and used when needed.
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Jill Pertler is a self-syndicated columnist and author of The Do-It-Yourselfer’s Guide to Self-Syndication, which gives a practical, hands-on, step-by-step approach to self-syndication. You can get it online (paperback and e-book) at Booklocker.com and through Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com.

Jill’s Slices of Life columns have been touching peoples’ hearts and tickling their funny bones since 2002. They are currently published in over 75 newspapers in the upper Midwest. You can read them here.

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5 comments :

  1. Very cool. Always heard of syndication but not self-syndication. Now I got yet another thing to look into for myself, LOL

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  2. This is good information, Jill. I always thought syndication was what someone else (like a newspaper) did for you when your columns were popular. The connection to blogging never crossed my mind, and I didn't know self-syndication was an option.

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  3. Very interesting. It seems like the Internet has opened more opportunities for writers.

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  4. I'm surprised more journalists who have gotten laid off from their newspaper jobs haven't figured this out. They already know how to write for this venue - why not spin it into the big wide world of news - print or on-line? Market on-line, too. You can make at least as much money selling a good piece of writing to 100 newspapers across the country, as one right in town.

    Thanks for the great info, Jill. Looking forward to more information about this.

    Dani

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  5. Now if I could just come up with a worthwhile subject to write about...

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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