Selling my Novel: How to get your non-fiction book or novel published…

‘How do I sell my novel?‘ Getting a book or novel published is always hard at first. But there are ways into the very competitive book industry. I can show you how…

Sell Your Story, by Alison Smith-Squire

Everything you need to know about writing a book and selling it!

Selling your story to a newspaper or magazine can be the first step to writing your own book. And if you have already written your book then we champion authors to gain them unrivalled publicity in top national newspapers, in magazines and on national TV.

NEW! Planning on writing a book? Sell Your Story – How to gain publicity for your book or novel is now available from Amazon! Click on the link to the left…


The ultimate guide to getting started on your book – plus which literary agents and publishers to send your book to.

Writing your own Book… and read on to see we are experts at gaining novelists publicity…



Cy Black came to Featureworld to gain publicity for her new novel, False Gods, The Ecstasy.

Her book, which explored the theme of absent fathers, was inspired by her own childhood and bringing up her own two daughters as a single mother.

We were able to gain Cy the publicity to launch her book by placing her story over two pages of the DAILY MAIL and her book was promoted at the bottom of her article.

Read Cy’s story and see it printed in the newspaper here.

CHERRY WILLOUGHBY  When Love is not Enough - story of adoption

When Cherry Willoughby’s story about her adoption gone wrong appeared via Featureworld in the Daily Mail newspaper, and later two women’s magazines, it inspired her to write her own book.

She has since self-published her book When Love is not Enough and even set up her own website to promote it.

She says: “Up until now, failed adoptions are a hidden part of society, the lack of support and failings of the professionals are being finally revealed with books like mine.

“I am thankful to Featureworld for helping me get my story out there.”

Read Cherry’s story

More: How to get a book deal


Featureworld Interviewee Shirley Yanez has book on seduction published…

Featureworld Interviewee Shirley Yanez

Two years ago Shirley Yanez’s article about why she’d given up sex and remained celibate for ten years appeared over two pages in the DAILY MIRROR newspaper. And now we are delighted to announce that Shirley has recently had a book published. Shirley’s book – The Sport of Seduction – and aimed at men is available from Amazon.

After her story was printed in the newspaper, Shirley said: “Selling my story boosted my own profile and I have been asked to do talks on radio and TV. As a professional life coach, it also gave me the impetus to start my own website, Venus Cow.

“If you are going to sell your story to the world it is very important to find someone who is experienced at understanding your emotions, Alison was just brilliant and made me feel at ease.”

We wish Shirley every success with her new book.

Read Shirley’s story here: Why I’m Celibate


Looking for a publicist or to raise your profile? How to gain free publicity


Nobody Cared by Terrie O'Brien

Terrie O’Brian first contacted us two years ago and we sold her story to the SUNDAY PEOPLE and PICK ME UP magazine. After reading the features in the newspaper and the magazine, her story was picked up by a top publisher and in July 2012 printed as a paperback book. Terrie first emailed Featureworld in 2010 to sell her shocking real life abuse story. Read it here in the newspaper and see it in the magazine.

Pregnant by the babysitter at the age of 11


Matthew Watkinson, a veterinary surgeon

Matthew Watkinson, a veterinary surgeon, wanted to publicise his book and his inside expose about the truth regarding the veterinary profession was printed in the Daily Mail.

Selling your story to a newspaper or magazine is also a fantastic way to promote your book. Sarah Strudwick’s book, Infidelity Unwrapped, was mentioned in her article for the Daily Mail, which posed the question, Is there an adultery gene?

Sarah, a life counsellor, wrote her ebook (available from to help other couples to spot the signs that one of them is having an affair.

How one man gained invaluable publicity for his book by selling his story through Featureworld…

Ian Colquhoun

When Ian Colquhoun lost his legs, he thought it was the end of the world. In fact, it turned out to be the best thing that happened to him. For, the former warehouseman went back to his first love, writing.

Through Featureworld, Ian’s incredible story appeared in a double page spread in the Daily Mirror along with a plug for his biography, Burnt Mirage.

Within days his publisher had received a phone call from Richard and Judy programme asking if he would like to go onto the show. “Yes, I would be thrilled!” was obviously Ian’s response. As any would-be novelist knows, the Channel 4 show runs the prestigious Richard and Judy Book Club and is widely regarded as one of the most influential programmes for authors to appear on.

Ian, from Scotland, whose story also later appeared in Pick me Up magazine, travelled to London to go onto the programme to talk about his book. He is now writing his next one.

Burnt (Mirage £7.99) is now on sale.

Meanwhile, Ian has since had a new book published – Nine Lives: Amputees and Limb Absence.

To gain publicity for Ian’s new book, I suggested I sell one of the true-life stories  in it. The story of Paige Allen, an amputee and Child of Courage, who was forced out of her home by cruel bullies, was featured in the Sunday Mirror – it even made the front page in Scotland. And, at the bottom of the copy, Featureworld ensured Ian’s book was plugged…

Ian’s book is available from Amazon priced £6.95.

Promote your novel

If you have a true-life story behind writing your novel, for example you’ve overcome an illness or tragedy, then fill in the quick enquiry form to the right of this page or email me a few details as I may be able to sell your real-life story for you and help promote your novel.

I also suggest reading Sell a Story which gives some useful tips on approaching a literary agent.

However, selling a novel, short stories or your poetry to a literary agent or book publisher is very specialised and I can recommend the following websites: is a voluntarily run website for new and unpublished writers. :on-line publishers of all genres of writing. Writers can also publish their profile. Readers review works and the reader’s choice become ‘pick of the month’ – a good way of testing the market.

THINKING … I want to sell my story as a book? Then, read on…

Book Publishing

Most days I receive an email from someone telling me they have a story to sell and asking me advice on how to write a book or sell their story as a novel. But what are the chances of your story becoming a bestseller?

Selling your story as a novel or memoir – a guide to selling your story for money

Many people dream of seeing their story in print but the truth is that selling your story as a novel or book is very hard indeed and unfortunately only a very few people manage it. And of those that do sell their novel to a publisher, only a tiny number will actually make enough money out of it to sell stories for a living.

Writing a book is very time consuming – the average novel is around 60,000 to 80,000 words. And whilst many people ask me if I can ghost write their story for them (unfortunately I can’t!) or find someone who will, the truth is that publishers are looking for people who have a talent for writing themselves. Publishers want to invest in writers who can churn out one novel after another. So it’s worth being honest – do you really have what it takes to write and sell a book?

If you are still not put off – good! This is the sort of perseverance you will need to succeed in the world of book writing and selling.

If you are really determined you need to plan your novel in detail and then get writing. Publishers and literary agents will expect to see a synopsis of your book (including how your story ends so they know you have a satisfactory one) plus the first three chapters. Before you send your book to any of them, you also need to enclose a biography about yourself (remember to sell yourself and make yourself sound exciting!) It’s also worth checking the submission guidelines. Some literary agents and publishers will expect you to send this in the post whilst others will be happy to receive an email.

If a publisher or agent is interested you will no doubt be rewarded with a phone call. But be prepared for rejection. This is part of any writer’s life and does not mean you won’t eventually sell your story so don’t take it personally. Instead, package your chapters up again and send it to the next agent or publisher on your list.

The truth is that many people will actually write several whole novels before one is finally published. Others might be luckier and the first agent they send their manuscript to will be interested. Until you try you won’t know if you can sell your story or not.

Even if you cannot sell your story, there are other options. For example, you could self-publish your story so friends and family can enjoy it. Your personal story – perhaps you have written a diary – can also be passed down through the generations.

A good website that has a list of literary agents, publishers and for a small fee, can also help you write your book is

Selling a story to a newspaper or magazine can help you sell a book…

And of course there is another way to sell your story and gain fame and fortune … you could email me and I could sell your story to a newspaper or magazine for you!

Do be aware that I do not sell fiction stories. But if you have a real life story to sell then telling it to a newspaper or magazine first can be a very good way of making that first step. This is because it gets you and your story out there…

Appearing in a national publication can give you a great portfolio of newspaper and magazine cuttings to show publishers. It can also help launch you on the path to fame as quite often TV producers from chat shows to documentaries will also be interested in your story. It is well known that publishers adore selling celebrity’s stories. Put simply, celebrity sells. So it makes sense to raise your own profile before approaching a publisher with your own story as it shows you can gain publicity and are a marketable individual. Publicity of course is an important part of marketing a story – without this no-one will know your book even exists to buy it!

It’s also not unknown for publishers to approach ordinary people whose amazing real life story has been printed in the nationals or in a magazine with a view to turning their story into a book. And when your book is published, you can often sell your story again to promote it. Some newspapers even serialise books.

What about selling my story as a film or movie?

People often write telling me their story could be sold to make a film or movie. It might well make a great film – eventually – but the way to get to Hollywood is by raising your profile first by selling your story to a newspaper or magazine or by actually getting down to writing that novel.

Promoting your fiction book

Whilst I am not the sort of agent that can sell your fiction story to a publisher, I can sell a story about you or something you have experienced to promote your novel. Perhaps an affair gave you a great idea about writing your first chick lit novel. Or maybe you have a health condition that you want to talk about. Many health sections in national newspapers particularly are happy to give you book a plug in payment for your story about a recent operation.

Selling short fiction stories and poetry

Unfortunately, unlike the true-life story market, there is a much smaller market for short fiction stories although some women’s magazines might accept them. In this case you should contact the magazine directly that you wish to sell your short fiction story to and ask them for their writing guidelines. Often they will have a specific length fiction stories must run to and a list of storylines they are not interested in. Obviously marketing and selling your true story to a magazine or a national newspaper is a different business and one that I specialise in.

Sadly, there are few outlets to sell poetry to but you might find some websites will accept it.

Meanwhile,  if you have a true real life story you want to sell to a national newspaper, women’s magazine or TV documentary or programme, then contact me using the enquiry form.

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