13 Top Books on How to Freelance as a Writer

How to freelance successfully

There is no shortage of lists when it comes to recommending books for writers.

This one is on how to freelance as a writer. I have selected the best books and I personally own all of them. Can’t praise them enough.

This is how this list works ..  if you are a budding freelancer, choose something from the Starting Out section. If you are wondering whether you should have a go at commercial writing, well, dive into that section. Copywriting? No worries, there are titles to have you up and running in no time.

Each title is followed by a short book description to give you an idea of what to expect. Also, there is some overlap but I have tried my best to place the title in the appropriate category.

What are you waiting for? Let’s begin.

FOR THOSE WHO ARE STARTING OUT (AND SEASONED PROS TOO)

#1 The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle by Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Savage, Ed Gandia

Whether you call yourself a freelancer, consultant, independent contractor or solo professional of any kind, The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle shows you how to get the clients, income, and lifestyle you deserve. So you can put more money in the bank, enjoy more time with your family and make a great living doing what you truly love to do, free from the burden of employment…forever!

#2 Starting Your Career As a Freelance Writer (Second Edition) by Moira Anderson Allen

If you’ve always dreamed of making a living as a writer, this book will take you where you want to go. It demystifies the process of becoming a writer and gives aspiring writers all the tools they need to become successful freelance writers, get their names in print, and start earning a healthy income from writing.

This edition includes an entirely new section on the “online writer,” discussing how to set up your own website, whether you need a blog, how to effectively participate in social networking sites, and information on electronic publishing, POD and more. New chapters provide guidance on writing for international markets and other writing opportunities such as ghostwriting, speech-writing, technical writing, copyediting, teaching, etc.

#3 Writer for Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success by Kelly James-Enger

This is a book for writers who simply want to earn a regular pay check. Author Kelly James-Enger details 101 secrets to success, organized into five overarching strategies. You’ll be able to implement what you learn immediately. James-Enger looks at the “whole freelancer,” addressing both the craft and business of freelancing.

#4 My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire by Michelle Goodman

Tired of clocking in and losing out? Want to pursue creative, fulfilling work on your own time and also make a living in the process? My So-Called Freelance Life is a how-to guidebook for women who want to avoid the daily grind and turn their freelance dreams into reality. Michelle Goodman offers tips, advice, how-to’s, and everything else a woman needs to pursue a freelance career.

Far more than your normal business guidebook, My So-Called Freelance Life blends candid, humorous anecdotes from a wide variety of freelancers with Goodman’s own personal experiences as a creative worker for hire. Whether you’re a freelance first-timer or a seasoned creative professional, copyediting queen or web guru, My So-Called Freelance Life is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in freelancing.

FOR MAGAZINES & PUBLICATIONS

#5 Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer: How to Win Top Writing Assignments by Jenna Glatzer

Step-by-step instructions on how writers can earn top dollar writing for magazines are provided in this book. Secrets are revealed about what the high-paying magazines really want, how to build relationships with editors, how to ascertain which sections of a magazine are open to freelancers, what kinds of stories are in demand, what to do if a deadbeat publisher doesn’t pay up, how to market reprints, and how to become an expert in one’s chosen writing field.

#6 The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success by Linda Formichelli

Illustrates that breaking the traditional “rules” of freelancing can lead to success by revealing tips that the most successful freelancers use.

#7 Writer Mama: How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids by Christina Katz

Children change your life, but they don’t necessarily have to end your career! As a mom, you want to spend as much time with your children as possible. But you’d also like to make some money doing something you enjoy. How do you get the best of both worlds? Writer Mama by experienced freelancer Christina Katz tells you how. You can start a stay-at-home freelance writing career tailored to fit your family and lifestyle.

You’ll love the short chapters, sidebars, and exercises that let you get the information you need in small doses that fit into your busy schedule.

FOR COMMERCIAL WRITING GIGS

#8 The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Commercial Freelancer in Six Months or Less by Peter Bowerman

Businesses Need Writers, and Will Pay Handsomely For Them… Attention: Aspiring writers, career-changers, at-home Moms, journalists, staff writers, recent college grads, 55+ or anyone else who loves to write, knows they’re good at it, and wants to make a GOOD living at it. Here’s your roadmap to hourly rates of $50-125+ and a writing lifestyle most can only dream of in the lucrative field of commercial freelancing – writing for companies and creative entities.

What sort of writing? Marketing brochures, ad copy, newsletters, direct mail campaigns, web content, sales sheets, case studies, white papers, trade articles and dozens of other project types. In short, any writing project a business would have to execute in the normal operation of their business.

#9 102 Ways to Earn Money Writing 1,500 Words or Less: The Ultimate Freelancer’s Guide by  I.J. Schecter

Can you make a living writing? Absolutely! Award-winning freelancer and highly sought communications consultant I.J. Schecter delivers ideas for finding freelance work in traditional markets like magazines and newspapers, as well as in unique markets including fast-food tray liner copy, person-to-person correspondence (including love letters!), resumes, menus and many others!

Each of the 102 ways has a “Get This Gig” section that tells you where to start, who to contact, and what to charge so you can immediately apply what you learn.

FOR FINDING CLIENTS

#10 Get Clients Now!(TM): A 28-Day Marketing Program for Professionals, Consultants, and Coaches by C. J. Hayden

Get Clients Now empowers readers with practical, proven strategies for choosing the right marketing tactics for their situation and personality, diagnosing exactly what’s missing in their marketing and fixing it, and replacing unproductive cold calling with the power of relationship marketing.

Filled with hundreds of tool and techniques, as well as a powerful 28-day plan that enables readers to energise their marketing efforts and dramatically increase their client base, the second edition contains up-to-the-minute strategies for relationship-based marketing in the Internet age.

#11 Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling by Michael Port

Book Yourself Solid reveals why self-promotion is a critical factor to success, giving you a unique perspective that makes this guide much more than an ordinary “how to” manual for getting more clients and raising a business profile. Through verbal and written exercises, you’ll discover the keys to developing a strong marketing plan and brand image.

FOR COPYWRITING PROFESSIONALS

#12 Secrets of a Freelance Writer, Third Edition: How to Make $100,000 a Year or More by Robert W. Bly

In this new edition, you’ll find out how to make $100,000 a year–or much more–writing ads, annual reports, brochures, catalogs, newsletters, direct mail, Web pages, CD-ROMs, press releases, and other projects for corporations, small businesses, associations, nonprofit organizations, the government, and other commercial clients.

You’ll also learn how to start out as a freelancer, market yourself to clients, create a successful personal Web site to cull more sales leads, follow up on potential customers to build your practice, and run your business on a day-to-day basis. Secrets of a Freelance Writer is the definitive guide to building a successful and lucrative freelance writing practice.

#13 Start & Run a Copywriting Business by Steve Slaunwhite

Turn your talent into dollars by learning to write ads, brochures, direct mail, websites, and business-to-business and e-mail marketing materials. Make writing your business!

Corporations and agencies outsource most of their copywriting and need copywriters more than ever today–including for Internet marketing. Most copywriters cannot keep up with the demand for their services, and many make between $50,000 and $150,000. Start & Run a Copywriting Business is your essential guide to getting started and prospering in an industry that offers substantial income, flexible hours, and stimulating work.

Wow .. aren’t you spoilt for choice? Which one do you think you will be ordering first?

About the author:

Marya Jan can be found helping small business owners revamp their blog content at Writing Happiness – finalist Top 10 Writing Blogs 2012 here at Write to Done.

About the author

Marya Jan

Marya Jan is a freelance blogger and online copywriter. Her blog Writing Happiness is a proud Finalist: Top Ten Writing Blogs 2011/12 here at Write to Done. Grab her free ebook How to Write Blog Content that Works. You can also follow her on twitter @WritingH

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