How Do I Sell My Story to the Press?

For many people approaching a national newspaper or magazine can be a nerve-wracking experience – and something they only do once in a lifetime. It might be they suddenly find themselves at the centre of a big story with reporters camped outside their front door. And they don’t know which way to turn. Maybe they want to expose an injustice or gain press coverage in a newspaper, magazine or on TV for their business or charity. Or perhaps they simply want to earn some extra money. They have read real-life stories in magazines in newspapers and magazines and wonder if they too could make some money by selling their story. For more info please vist these website

So, what are the different ways they can go about selling a story to the press? And how do you know if your story is interesting enough to sell?

Firstly, unless you are at the centre of a media storm (more about that later) the only way you will know if your story is placeable in a newspaper or magazine is to put it out there.

Your choices are:

Selling your story directly to a newspaper or magazine.

There is nothing to stop you approaching an editor yourself. Simply ring the publication of your choice and ask who the best person is to send your story to. The majority of news and feature desks will prefer you to email a short synopsis of your story. Do make it short – just a few paragraphs – as editors are busy people and won’t have time to read much more. You need to include the basic points about your story. For example, if you want to sell a relationship story, then say so. “My husband left me for my best friend” is better than starting right at the beginning and going through so much detail that the editor needs to read reams before he or she gets to this. Then ensure you enclose your name and a contact number. A small photo is also a good idea.

If your story is of interest, you can be assured you will quickly receive a phone call. If not, it can be worth a follow-up email or telephone call. But if after a couple of days you still haven’t received any interest, then you can assume there probably isn’t any. In this case simply try the next newspaper or magazine on your list (remembering to find the right person to send your story to again.)

If an editor is interested – great! Just ensure they put in writing how much you will be paid for your story and what they expect from you. For example, will you need to pose for a photo, can they sell your story on to any other publication and when will they pay you (usually it is a few weeks after publication.)

Whilst it is possible to sell your story to a newspaper or magazine yourself (and be very happy) many people now prefer to go through a sell my story media agent. A top media agent will be selling stories on a daily basis to magazines, newspapers and even TV. He or she will be able to gain you multiple deals and even initiate a bidding war between magazines and newspapers (which will make more money for you or gain greater publicity.) He or she will also be able to give you a good idea how much your story is worth and be able to market your story properly to make it strong and saleable.

Some agents will simply broker your story to a newspaper or magazine, gaining you a deal (which they might take a set fee for from a publication or a pre-arranged percentage of your fee) and then you will speak to a staff journalist directly.

A few will also write your story for you (they are paid for writing it) and will also negotiate a separate fee from the newspaper or magazine for you.

Whichever agent you choose (and only approach them one at a time as only one can sell your story) ask to see newspaper or magazine cuttings with their byline on them. A good experienced agent and journalist should have lots! Finally, if you find yourself at the centre of a media storm then the best advice is to seek out an agent. Again, ask that agent for cuttings or which other clients he or she has recently represented.


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