Your publisher has asked you to write some articles to promote your book.
"Wait, didn't I just write an entire book? Isn't that enough?"
It would be if you were already a famous author (ouch!).
If you're not famous yet, you need all the publicity you can get. Especially free publicity. The media is the perfect place for new authors to be. Ideally you want the media calling you and interviewing you for TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and blogs. But it takes time for these media people to realize you exist.
You need to get noticed. Right now, your best bet is to write your own articles (that's why your publisher probably asked you in the first place). Just think-- if you can get an article published, think how many people could read it and then perhaps buy your book.
Hopefully you're convinced that writing your own article is a good idea. Now, the next step is figuring out what to write about.
Your topic is very important. Think about this carefully.
"That's easy... my book. I'll just summarize my book."
Um no. Please don't do that. As a journalist by training and profession (on a freelance basis now that I have three little kiddlets at home), I can tell you that no one will accept an article like that. This is what they want: news. Something that is current. Something that people are talking about. They are very picky, trust me. Only the most current and exciting news will get published.
Obviously your topic should relate to your book somehow -- but only bits and pieces.The rest should be news. When you pick a topic and write your article, a good balance between NEWS and BITS RELATING TO YOUR BOOK is the most ideal. It can help a new author get published while getting the word out about his/her book. Does that make sense? In essence, you are proving, through writing a news article, that your book is news. That this media outlet should publish your article and pay attention to you.
"But my book just came out. Isn't that 'news' enough?"
Nope. Sorry. Do you realize how many books come out EVERYDAY? A book coming out isn't news in and of itself, unless it's by a famous person OR relating to something that's already in the news. Get it?
You need to write an article. And make sure your topic includes news.
How do you find out what is "news" right now? Read the New York Times. Watch the evening news. Go to Google News and type in key words that also describe your book. Then head to Twitter and do some searching.
Come up with any topics yet?
One new author, Adele M. Gill, wrote up an article for American Book Publishing, the company that published her book 7 Pathways to Hope. She recently wrote an article called Top 10 Healing Benefits of Prayer and ABP published it on their company blog. The article mentioned and linked to a recent news story about a boy who almost drowned. It was very current but also tied back to her book's topic very well.
Through marrying a topic similar to what she talks about in her book along with some real news, the blog post was able to get some attention through other media as well. This is just what an article should do.