Articles are a good first step for most authors, both before they are published and to promote their work.
Articles can help you to build a reputation and gets your name out there in the world as a writer. It adds to one's credentials and can lead traffic back to the author's website. If you are an expert in any field, write an article on the subject. You can write on any subject - your hobbies, your professional work & knowledge, your experience, a local event, and your book or future book's topic.
Magazines, websites, newspapers, books - all are good places to submit your article. Some will pay you for your articles, particularly magazines, while others will simply be a source of free publicity & resume building.
Writersdigest.com has a list of places that accept articles. (Plus a whole lot more!)
Other websites that accept articles are articlecity.com, ezinearticles.com and ideamarketers.com, plus there are thousands of sites that would accept an article that appeals to their audience.
So get your name out there!