‘How can I sell my story for money?’
One woman’s real life account of how she sold her story… plus I give you some honest advice about selling your story.
When married mum of two Elaine Jewitt, 38, left her husband for 17- year-old Stewart, a friend of her daughter, Victoria, 15 and the same age as her son, friends and family were shocked. But eighteen months on the couple, decided they wanted to try for a baby. Their only problem was that 12 years ago Elaine had been sterilised and they needed the money to have that op reversed…
Here, Elaine, now 39, takes up the story….
I emailed a number of websites with my story. Obviously we wanted to get as much money as possible and this seemed the best way. But we had no idea whether anyone would be interested or not.
Looking back, emailing so many wasn’t a good idea! Within days we’d had so many calls we began to feel confused. Some were magazines, some were agencies and others were independent journalists – everyone said something different and we didn’t know which to trust.
One weekly women’s magazine even turned up on our doorstep waving a contract and an offer of £1200 if we went with them. They said we would never get as much as that going with a journalist or agency as they would have to be paid as well. It was a well-known magazine. The money was a lot to us and the offer was very tempting.
But Stewart and I decided to get advice before we signed – it turned out to be the best thing we ever did.
One of the agencies I had contacted was Featureworld. And Alison thought we could do better. Alison was the one person who took the time to describe honestly how it worked and we decided to put our trust in her.
Signed a deal
It was great telling people who rang that we’d signed with Featureworld – now they bothered Alison instead of us and we left everything to her.
Our story was sold first to the Daily Mirror, then to New! Magazine. We then went into Pick me Up and as Vicky wanted to tell her side, Alison got her a deal with the teen mag, Sugar. We were asked to go on TV, and we would have earned money for that. But we are really quite shy and decided not to.
Alison wrote the stories herself and they were read back to us – in the end it turned out to be a very simple and enjoyable process.
By getting Alison to sell our story to multiple publications, we have ended up with £4000, which is a lot more money than we could ever have hoped for and needless to say we are absolutely thrilled.”
- Avoid selling a story directly to a newspaper or magazine as they are likely to sell your story on without your consent – and you will lose out on money for further deals!
- Do not tell your story to your local paper first! Often local papers will sell your story onto the nationals with no fee to you.
- Selling your story through Featureworld means your story can be placed in multiple deals, and sold abroad, which gives you more money and greater coverage.
- Remember if you approach a newspaper or magazine directly and you have a saleable story of course you will receive an offer. But you will never know if that offer really was the best price unless you know what other publications would have offered for it.
- It is simply not true that magazines or newspapers will pay more if you go to them directly. The truth is they may pay you less because you don’t know what the market value of your story is.
- FIND OUT MORE: How to sell your story