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Thursday, July 01, 2010

How To Books Competition and Article-Writing Opportunity

Here's an interesting opportunity for those of you who (like me) write how-to articles.

Oxford-based How To Books are holding a competition in July to celebrate the launch of the new authors' area on their website.

How To Books, for anyone who may not know, are well-established UK publishers of concise, practical guides on a huge range of topics. Their books cover everything from How to Write for Television to How to Buy a Home in Spain. Not all of their titles nowadays start with 'How To', by the way!

In early 2009, How To Books took the radical decision to make the content of all their books available free online at Rather than being paid by the word, authors were to receive a share of the advertising revenue their books generated.

More recently, How To Books took the decision to open up the site to articles as well. Some of these are written by How To Books' existing authors, but anyone is free to submit work. If an article is accepted by the site's professional editors, the author is paid a quarterly royalty based on the advertising revenue their work generates.

In the current competition, How To Books are offering a prize of £200 (around $300 US) for the best article submitted through the website in July. Articles must help readers do something practical, but can be on any of the subject areas covered by How To Books. These include Abroad, Business, Careers, Family, Learning, Money, Property, Wellbeing and Writing. Browse the site to get some ideas!

The competition is open to anyone in the world, as long as they are over the age of 18. You can also enter multiple articles - as long as they are original - and each will be considered for the prize. Most articles are around 300 to 500 words, although you can go longer if your subject warrants it. More information can be found in the site's writers' guidelines and the competition terms and conditions.

To submit an article, you simply have to register on the Write For Us page and follow the on-screen instructions. All articles submitted in July will be automatically considered for the prize.

One thing I particularly like about this competition is that, although there is only one prize on offer, anyone who has an article accepted for publication will receive royalties from the advertising displayed around it. Articles on this high-profile site will also help establish your writing credentials, and you can include a link to your homepage if you wish as well.

Good luck if you decide to submit an article. But at the very least, do check out the How To Books website when you get a chance, as there is some great, free reading to be found there!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: As from 1 August 2010, How To Books are no longer paying royalties to the authors of articles published on their site. Please see my comments below for more information.

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Blogger lisags21 said...

Thanks for sharing this information. I may submit an article or two to How To Books to see if they think that my articles are good enough for their site.

How To Articles

9:16 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

No problem. It's certainly worth a shot. How To Books are currently trying to build up the number of articles on the site - hence this competition, of course.

My advice would be to spend a bit of time studying articles already published on the site. One thing I've noticed through doing this is that many of the articles are based around bullet-point lists, so I think it would be well worth copying this approach.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous deb said...

Hi Nick, interesting site. I can't find any info on the site regarding royalty sharing though. In fact they say in their terms and conditions that they do not pay royalties and they take full rights. You seem to know something I can't find info about, so can you clarify? Many thanks.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Thanks, Deb. It looks as if How To Books may have changed their terms and conditions. I've emailed my contact there and am waiting to find out more. As soon as I know what is going on, I will post details here. In the mean time, I would recommend caution if you are looking to make a sideline income from this source.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

I've now had confirmation from How To Books that they have stopped paying royalties to the writers of articles on their site from the start of August. This is basically because they are unhappy about how Google has been calculating AdSense payments.

How To Books say that they will do their best to calculate how much authors are owed up to the end of July and ensure they receive this. They hope it may be possible to reinstate this scheme or a similar one in future, but for now the only benefit of having your article on this site will be the link it gives to your own site. This is the same as many article directories, of course.

I have asked How To Books to let me know if the scheme is reinstated, and will of course let readers of my blog know at that time.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous deb said...

Many thanks for getting to the bottom of this, Nick, and making the situation clear. I appreciate you taking the time to follow up and I'm sure many other writers do too.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

No problem, Deb. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

10:19 AM  
Blogger The Best . . . said...

Question: Why am I getting this sent to me in October 2010?

11:34 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Answer: It shouldn't have been sent again in October. If it was, something has gone wrong with the system, for which my apologies.

Are you sure you're not confusing it with my more recent article about How To Books new article contests though? That's at This was posted in October, so if you subscribe to my blog by email or RSS, you should have received it recently.

9:15 AM  

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