Do you work in Public Relations? Are you a literary agent, a TV director who makes reality documentaries or a producer of a daytime TV chat show? Perhaps you are an intern working at a PR company or on a magazine? You might be a trainee journalist on a local paper. Maybe you are an expert in website Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or gaining publicity on Facebook or Twitter? Or you might be working in a busy charity press office or running a successful blog. If so, read on…
When I started this blog 18 months ago it had just a few posts and a handful of visitors a day. But today it has over 1000 pages and posts, is currently viewed by just under 10,000 unique visitors a month and its popularity is fast increasing. It began as a way for visitors to sell my story website Featureworld to read the stories behind the headlines – to read what happens when people sell their story to the press – and that will always be its first premise. But, when I began, I also wanted Sell Your Story UK to become a helpful resource for anyone considering selling their true real life story to a magazine, newspaper or television. At the same time, I wanted to help non-fiction authors, charities and small businesses gain publicity for free.
Today I am regularly asked the same questions time and again – how do I become a journalist? (it was so long ago for me that I don’t think my experience of becoming a tea girl at a press agency straight from my rough comprehensive is relevant any more…), how do I break into TV? what are literary agents looking for in a non-fiction book? how can I find a ghostwriter? can a PR agency help establish my brand? what’s a typical day like for a film editor? … numerous questions allied to the field of real life journalism that I can’t answer!
So I am now on the hunt for ‘experts’ to write a short piece on their field for Sell Your Story UK. In return for helping me build up the valuable advice sections on Sell Your Story UK you will gain a dofollow link to your website, some free advertising for your company, blog or yourself and hopefully some new fans or new business.
Incidentally, don’t be put off if you don’t love writing. If you don’t want to pen your own small piece, I can email you a template of questions or someone can ring you and have a quick chat on the phone.
If you have an idea for a blog for Sell Your Story UK either email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in this quick form Here.
Teresa’s delicate story about how shame over her different sized wonky breasts stopped her dating appears in REVEAL magazine this week.When Teresa emailed me through my sell my story form she was very unsure about whether she wanted to go ahead.
In fact, we spoke for a few weeks before Teresa made up her mind she did want to sell her story to a magazine.
Teresa’s unusual real life story was in demand by many mags but in the end we chose Reveal and Teresa is delighted with the sensitive way her story has been portrayed and also the lovely photo of her.
It took a lot for Teresa to speak out. For years she suffered terrible humiliation when one boob didn’t grow much and the other grew a lot. Understandably she was so upset she never wanted to date in case a man discovered the truth about her body. And she became terribly depressed. In fact it was only when she eventually broke down to a GP in her twenties that she confessed her low feelings were all around her breasts. Thankfully, she was offered cosmetic surgery on the NHS to correct her boobs. She then met a man – who had no idea of her past – and finally became intimate at the age of 26.
Teresa said: “I am so happy to have spoken about this. Alison couldn’t have chosen a better magazine for me. I was very happy with the story in Reveal magazine and the way they set it out.”
If you have a particularly personal story to sell then do contact me in confidence and we can discuss all the options. Speak to Alison.
When they met over twenty years ago Julia was best friends with Paul’s wife Tracy. Tracy even made Julia’s wedding dress and Paul and Tracy came to her wedding. They even went out as a foursome.
But then the couples drifted apart and for years dropped all contact … that was until recently when Paul rediscovered Julia via Facebook. By then both had split from their spouses and they began dating. Last month they married, returning home just in time from honeymoon to buy copies of the Mirror to add to their wedding album…
Meanwhile yesterday another Featureworld interviewee appeared in a newspaper – this time THE SUN.Lisa Rogers was just 17 when she gave birth to Jessica, now 19. Then a couple of months ago Jessica gave birth to Harry, making Lisa a granny. Incredibly, Lisa only recently had Jessica’s sister, Lily – who is an aunt to Harry. Lisa tells the newspaper how at first she was shocked at being such a young gran but now Harry is here, she is loving her new role! Plus mum and daughter are more like friends, going with their kids to mums and tots groups.
Julia and Lisa were both paid for their time telling their stories – and both got beautiful cuttings to boot. If you would like to sell a story, contact me here: Sell My Story
Well done to Featureworld interviewee Dr Alex Shergold on having her book Chronicles of Michael Part one published.
In 2008 Alex emailed me through the Sell My Story contact form of my Featureworld website. Her husband Michael had been contacted by social services telling him he was the dad of a son he never knew he had. Andrew, five, was born after Michael had split with a previous girlfriend and Michael had no idea he even existed. More bizarre Social Services wanted him to agree to Andrew, whose mum could no longer care for him, being adopted.
As you can imagine, this was a bombshell for Alex and Michael – but in fact Alex stood by him. More than this, they both felt if Michael had a son, they did not want him to be adopted by stranger and he should live with them. However, when they went to social services, they discovered he was already living with the family that wanted him. And social services didn’t even want to consider that Michael and Alex could have him instead (despite the fact they both had other children themselves.) As Alex and Michael looked into this more, they then discovered what they believed was the real reason why social services rang Michael. Andrew had a medical problem that meant unless he had a transplant from a blood relative, he would not live beyond his teenage years.
They wanted Michael to agree to give Andrew this transplant – but bizarrely even if he agreed, Michael would never be allowed to see Andrew. Incredibly, if the transplant worked, Andrew would also never be told it was from his father.
At the time social services placed an injunction on this story to stop it being told. But after a legal battle, this was lifted and I wrote this story for the Mail on Sunday newspaper. You can click on the book cover to read it.
Today Michael is still fighting to see Andrew – and now Alex has written a book about their battle for Michael’s son. It is available from Amazon here.
Do you have a story to sell? Why not contact me here for free advice: Sell my Story advice
Real life story of the family with SIX generations appears in THE SUN newspaper today.
When last Friday Wendy Mumford emailed me through my sell my story website and told me her granddaughter had just had a baby – and he was the sixth generation in their family, I was amazed. I have written about a number of five generation stories before (and even those are rare) but never six generations.
And today their delightful story appears over two pages in The Sun newspaper. Theirs is a fascinating story. Gladys Sweeting is 91 and her story about how she had seven babies at home with no pain relief – and then how her husband announced the babies’ births in the street – is in stark comparison to great-great-great granddaughter Jessica’s story. Jessica, 19, recently gave birth to 8Ib 10oz Harry – and she announced the birth by text and then on Facebook. Meanwhile, while Gladys was confined to bed for weeks after each birth, Jessica was out the same day and shopping the next.
Life when Gladys gave birth was completely different – there was no NHS and treatment for infection was still maggots. Hardly anyone had electricity let alone a TV – and the Internet was years away.
Wendy says: “We knew having six generations was pretty special as we were in our local paper when Jessica was born because we were a family of five generations then. We are very close. We live nearby to one another and feel very lucky that everyone is going strong. It’s been lovely to celebrate with a big story in a national newspaper.”
Do you have a touching story that would be suitable for a national newspaper such as The Sun? Do let me know here: Sell your Story.
Selfless generosity of my younger sister gave me a baby – real-life story in the DAILY MAIL newspaper yesterday.
Proving that stories in national newspapers do not have to be nasty or sensationalist to be printed, this delightful story appeared in the news section of the Daily Mail yesterday.
When Cheryl was 17 she discovered she’d been born without a womb. The news was absolutely devastating and she believed she might not ever meet a man who wanted her, let alone have a baby.
Fortunately when she met Jason, he loved her anyway. But although the couple tried very hard to make a life without children, she couldn’t put her dreams of being a mum on hold for ever and began looking into surrogacy.
It was then that younger sister Lyndsay Wootton offered to carry Cheryl’s baby for her.
As Cheryl still has ovaries, she and Jason underwent IVF and her eggs were fertilised with Jason’s sperm – but the resulting embryo was put back into Lyndsay’s uterus.
Lyndsay then gave birth to Cheryl and Jason’s son Elliot. Lyndsay tells me it was the ‘easiest decision I have ever made’ and needless to say her generosity has given her sister and brother-in-law a wonderful gift. In fact, Cheryl says she can never thank Lyndsay enough.
Regular sellyourstoryuk blog readers might recall a version of this story has already appeared via Featureworld in the Sunday People newspaper but as is common when interviewees come to me to sell a story, I always endeavour to gain them multiple deals. So you might not be surprised to know that this wonderful story will be appearing in Take a Break magazine on Thursday and a baby magazine has also offered to print Cheryl’s story.
Do you have a heart-warming, emotional story about something special that has happened to you and your family? If you feel your story would make a lovely read and are looking to maximise coverage, do email me some details here: Sell My Story.
Looking for some extra cash for a holiday or to buy some clothes for a trip away? Well, you could always sell your story to help pay for it…!
Currently I am looking for great real life stories to sell to magazines and newspapers.
Any story with a summery feel to it is welcome. Here’s some ideas…
* Holidays from hell. Been on a nightmare plane flight or boat trip? Stayed in a half-built hotel – then make sure you take some photos as they will help sell your story on your return.
* Wedding stories… getting married the same day as Kate and Wills? Had a wedding disaster? Been jilted at the altar? Then take heart, at least everyone will want to buy your story.
* Holiday romances. Met the love of your life abroad? Are you giving everything up to live in a mud hut with the new man or woman in your life?
* Suffered terrible sunburn? Want to warn others of the dangers of sunbathing or forgetting to take the malaria pills? Are you suing a holiday company …
* Saved someone’s life? Been bitten by snake or a shark – obviously you have survived…!
* Got caught up in a crisis? Don’t forget to contact me if your flight is hideously delayed for some ridiculous reason, or you get caught up in another ash cloud. You can spend your time selling your story.
* Taking your pet abroad? Perhaps you have lots of photos from a trip around the world with your dog or maybe you spend thousands flying your cat to your Spanish villa and back.
* Lost a load of weight to go on your hols? Do you have great before pics of you as a beached whale on holiday – and looking sylph like this year?
* Given birth abroad – flew to the States and back and you didn’t know you were nine months pregnant (I sold a story before like this five times for that interviewee!).
* Been a victim of crime abroad? Been jailed abroad for a crime you didn’t commit?
* Going on the holiday of a lifetime? Packing up everything in the UK to move after a holiday?
* Taking the mother-in-law away with you?
* Heading for divorce after another nightmare holiday with your spouse?
Potentially a good real life story can earn you up to thousands of pounds and pay for your holiday.
To see if your real life story is saleable, contact me here: Sell My Story