What we publish and how to submit your story
Note: We are currently not accepting new writers. While BAOS was created with the intention of supporting all voices on the platform, editing is a full-time job that pays nothing, and sadly, our editors don’t have the time anymore. We’ll still be accepting all stories from our existing writers, but aren’t accepting new writers until further notice.
However, if you REALLY want to write for BAOS, follow us on Twitter. Twice every month, we run a “new writer adding” Tweet session where you can share your Medium profile with us, and if we think you fit, we’ll add you as a writer.
Welcome to Books Are Our Superpower, the place where we can talk as much as we want about the books we love so dearly.
If you want to be published in the publication, you have come to the right place, for we are on the lookout for new writers with powerful voices who don’t hesitate to write their hearts out about the books they love so dearly and the books that shaped their lives.
Enjoy reading, and hope to hear from you soon.
Before we start, below is a quick summary of what we are looking for BAOS in video format:
1. What We Publish
Book summaries, recommendations, rants, discussions — as long as it is related to books, your piece is welcome on Books Are Our Superpower.
We are looking for compelling personal stories with a clear takeaway for the reader. Write about how a book influenced you, about how much you were inspired by it, and how you felt motivated to implement those lessons in your life.
Write about your favourite books and urge readers to pick them up — list 10 (or 50) books of your preferred genre. Write about how a book left you in tears or taught you to be a better human being.
1.1 What we don’t publish
If your article is simply a book review, we are sorry, but Books Are Our Superpower is not the right place for that. However, there are several other publications on Medium explicitly dedicated to book reviews. You can check them out here.
2. What It Means to be Published on BAOS
You are the author, and you will retain all rights to the story. If you wish to republish it on your own website or blog, you are free to do that. Keep in mind, however, that if you choose to publish with BAOS, it is to remain here. Removing an already-published piece from the publication is not encouraged.
When your story is published with BAOS, it will be shared with the community of book lovers on this platform.
We also repost each story on our Twitter page, so it is definitely going to grab some extra eyeballs. We also share snippets of our highest-performing stories on Instagram. Don’t forget to follow us there.
Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.
3. Before Submitting Your Story
Here are some guidelines to help you make sure your story is best fitted for the publication.
3.1 Your Medium profile
Set up your Medium profile with a headshot of yours as the profile picture and a crisp bio that lets us know who you are and what you write about. Feel free to add any external links to your website or book in your bio.
Follow Medium’s curation guidelines to ensure that your story is formatted in the proper manner. Don’t keep massive chunks of texts as they significantly lower readability.
- Choose a title that lets the reader know exactly what to expect from the story. For example — My Favourite Book is not a good title. However, the same article can be renamed as How Salman Rushdie’s Midnight Children Changed My Perspective on India in 1947.
- Type the title in Title Case, i.e. with all the major words capitalised. You can use the Title Case Converter if you have any doubts as to how to write your titles.
- For the subtitle, use sentence case without any punctuation marks at the end. There should be no punctuation mark at the end of the subtitle.
- Use a relevant (high-resolution and duty-free) featured image and credit the owner or creator of the photograph. You can use Unsplash for good quality images that fit with the theme of your story.
3.3 The language
Make sure your story has no grammar errors. If English is not your first language, you can use the free Grammarly Chrome extension to have a quick look through your story before submitting it. The best news is: it works on Medium.
If the editors find some errors in your story, we will either correct them or leave you a note saying how you can filter them out. We reserve the right to make minor grammatical edits so your story is free from errors. If you’re not comfortable with minor grammar edits made by the editors, you’re free to publish your story elsewhere.
3.4 Word limit
We are looking for thought-provoking stories that leave an impact on the reader. The ideal word count can be anywhere between 800 to 1200 words. If you feel your point can be conveyed in fewer words than 800, you are welcome to submit, but make sure the takeaway for the reader is clear and actionable.
3.5 Use proper tags
3.6 Regarding affiliate links
From Medium Rules:
You must disclose affiliate links or payment for a post. Affiliate links, such as link out to Amazon with your code, or any other link out where you will receive a commission or other value, are allowed in posts. But, you must disclose somewhere in the post that it includes affiliate links. If you have received payment, goods or services, or something else of value in exchange for writing a post, you must still disclose this fact in writing within your post (as per FTC Rules and Guides).
3.7 Be careful with CTAs
If you wish to include a Call to Action (CTA) at the bottom of your story, make sure it fits in one sentence and is not too aggressive. Refer to Best Practices for Calls to Action in Partner Posts for more details.
NOTE: We give preference to unpublished drafts. However, we are also open to publishing older articles ONLY if the editors specifically request them.
3.8 No Clickbait
Generally, we’re looking for well-developed stories with a solid structure and a clear takeaway for the reader. Consider what Medium Staff says about this:
In short, curators are looking for thoughtful, clearly written pieces that tell a compelling story, convey an interesting idea, or share a smart point of view. These can take many forms …We explicitly do not want to distribute misinformation, stories with clickbait headlines, stories that are primarily marketing a product or service, stories that use photos that the author doesn’t have the rights to use, or stories with excessive typos and errors.
This is exactly what BAOS editors feel.
4. How to Submit
Make sure your story meets the requirement of our Style Guide:
Once you are a writer and your story is ready, click on the three dots at the top right of your story and select “Add to publication”.
From the list that pops up, select “Books Are Our Superpower” and click on “Save”.
The final step is to select the green button that says “Submit” right next to the three dots. When you click on this, a page will prop up where you can add five relevant tags and choose whether or not you wish to put your story behind Medium’s paywall.
BAOS prefers if you make your story eligible to earn money and allow curators to recommend it to interested readers in the topics.
We will process all submitted stories within three business days. If we reject your story, we will leave a note explaining why. If we think it would do better with some edits, we will let you know our thoughts. Under no circumstances will we edit any part of your story (except grammatical errors) without your consent.
If you need further help, you can read this post to clear your doubts.
If you have just joined the publication, we at BAOS welcome you warmly and look forward to reading your stories.
5. Our Discord Server
If you are a writer or reader, feel free to join our Discord Server. That is where most of the fun happens and you can connect better with the amazing community. We talk about our favourite books, share our current reads, look for feedback on articles and talk about everything related to books and writing.
That is all from our side.
We will keep updating this piece as and when we make changes to the guidelines.
Till then, keep writing, keep reading, and keep spreading the joy of books.
January 26, 2021
- Emails without a link to an unpublished draft and without the @ version of your profile will not be acknowledged.
- No longer accepting already published articles unless specifically requested by the editors.
January 11, 2021
Compulsory to send a link to unpublished drafts before being added as a writer.
October 28, 2020
Added the rule about no clickbait.
October 10, 2020
- Only adding new writers every Sunday.
- Updated rules regarding affiliate links.
September 30, 2020
Updated the method to submit (new submissions are to be made through email and not as comments on this post).
August 29, 2020
Introduced our Discord server and invited all readers and writers to join.
August 16, 2020
Added a new Style Guide to let writers know about the kind of content we publish. Changed the publishing policy to giving preference to unpublished drafts and publishing only three older articles per author per month.