I’m thrilled to welcome Kelly James-Enger to the blog to talk about her five favorite freelancing books. Earlier this year, I began doing more freelancing again and needed help. I turned to Kelly James-Enger’s new book and my new favorite resource: Dollars and Deadlines: Make Money Writing Articles for Print and Online Markets. Today, Kelly shares with us five of her favorite freelancing books:
I’m the first to admit that I knew nothing when I launched my fulltime freelance career in January, 1997. That was back before the Internet had thousands of websites, blogs, and online communities I could turn to as I attempted to find my way. I’d never taken a journalism class and only had two clips to my name when I quit my job as an attorney to become self-employed.
What saved me? Books. Books on freelancing, books on self-employment, and books on marketing. I read everything I could find that was somehow related to my new career, and incorporated my knowledge into my business. Even today, as an author myself, I’m always on the prowl for books that may help me work more efficiently, make more money, and improve my craft as a writer. Some of my favorite books on writing include:
The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner (Riverhead, 2001). This book was recommended by a friend of mine, and I devoured it in one sitting. Lerner’s description of the writer’s inner dialogue (“I am great. I am shit. I am great. I am shit. I am great. I am shit.”) has always stayed with me, and the book is fascinating, funny, and full of anecdotes about the real world of book publishing.
How to Write a Book Proposal, fourth edition by Michael Larsen (Writer’s Digest Books, 1997; fourth edition, 2011). When I wanted to make the transition from magazine freelancer to published author, I relied on an earlier edition of this practical, info-packed book. It’s a how-to guide for any writer who wants to sell his nonfiction book to a traditional publisher.
The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Freelance Writer in Six Months or Less by Peter Bowerman (Fanove Publishing, 2000). If you want to write for corporations, businesses, and nonprofits, you can’t do better than Bowerman. His book is loaded with lots of practical suggestions and samples for writers who want to crack this lucrative market. (If you’re interested in self-publishing, his more recent book, The Well-Fed Self-Publisher is an invaluable guide to the process and will help you avoid common pitfalls.)
The ASJA Guide to Freelance Writing by Timothy Harper, editor (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2003). While this book is ten years old, it still provides an excellent overview of issues facing fulltime and part-time freelancers. Each chapter is written by a different ASJA member, and covers topics ranging from queries to reslanting to taxes and networking.
Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer’s Guide to Making More Money, second edition, by Kelly James-Enger (Improvise Press, 2013). I wrote the first edition of this book with only a few years’ of fulltime freelance experience, and heard from hundreds of writers after it was first published in 2003. I revised and updated it this year, and it includes two dozen templates, marketing and social media advice, techniques to work more efficiently and tips from more than 20 successful six-figure freelancers. I believe it’s the best book I’ve written on freelancing, and I hope you’ll find it as helpful as other readers have!
Your turn: What’s your favorite freelancing book?
About the author. Kelly James-Enger is the author of books including Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer’s Guide to Making More Money, second edition and Dollars and Deadlines: Make Money Writing Articles for Print and Online Markets. Both books are available through any brick-and-mortar or online bookstore. You can also order copies directly through Improvise Press; use the discount code “IMPROVISEPRESS” (all caps/no breaks) when you order for 20 percent off of each book.