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Write a Book with Someone Famous?

Writing Coach Lisa Tener
Writing Coach Lisa Tener

One of my clients sent me an e-mail tempted to invest $2,700 to $5,500 to be a contributor in a book that would feature articles by three famous authors (I won’t name names here) and a whole bunch of other “investors” who would get their articles published.

The e-mail touts this as a fast way to become a bestselling author, and you’ll make your money back when you sell the 50 books they send you. Sounds good, right?

I’ve talked to authors who’ve done this deal and those I talked to were not happy with their results. The books are quite expensive to purchase and, because they’re written as a sales tool without much thought to audience, there’s not a huge pull for people to actually buy them. One author said she still has 35 of her 50 copies piled in her closet.

Now, you can give them away but just about everyone who gets one will know how you got published. Very few people will be under the mistaken impression that you were approached by Mr. Very Famous Author to contribute to his new book because of your expertise in the field. No offense.

You can guess my opinion on the whole deal–it’s a fantastic deal–for the company that sells these.

Wendy Walker, Editor of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms
Wendy Walker, Editor of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms

However, I do think there’s a much easier way to capitalize on a terrific brand. Last year, Wendy Walker sent me an e-mail inviting me to submit to Chicken Soup for the Soul–Power Moms. Not only did I submit a story but I told several clients to submit something, many of whom had no publishing credits to date, but were good writers.

Now, they are about to become published authors with a well known brand. They can use this credit to get publicity on TV, Radio, the internet and in print, and they can use it to build their platform and strengthen their book proposal for the full book that they’re currently writing. All this will make it much easier to get a literary agent and a publisher for their book.

With a Chicken Soup for the Soul book, your credibility is much greater than these pay and publish anthologies–everyone knows you’re not paying to be in the book. You have the power of an immensely popular brand behind your writing, there’s a huge marketing team getting your name out there (your bio in the book can include your website and other information about the services you provide)–it’s a win-win for everyone.

By Contributing to a Chicken Soup book, you become associated with a powerful brand.
By Contributing to a Chicken Soup book, you become associated with a powerful brand.

How to do it? Go to the Chicken Soup for the Soul website and click on the submit a story link (or just click here). You’ll find information on upcoming books you can submit stories for, as well as instructions on how to submit. My advice is to hire a good editor or writing coach so that you increase your chances of getting into the book. I’m happy to provide a referral if you’re looking for someone (just e-mail me at [email protected]).

What’s the pay? $200 and 10 books. Not much money but that’s not the point, is it?

Let me know when you get in!

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


    • lisatener says

      It’s important to be aware that sites like do not hold the sway with search engines that they used to. If you are posting articles online, think about where your audience goes–probably more of a specific niche website than a general articles site. And see what kind of traffic is coming from there by using a tool like google analytics. If you’re not getting visitors from the article, don’t bother posting there again. You’re probably not getting much “link juice” if any from the link.

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