Customer Reviews: Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business
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on October 1, 2010
I found this book to not only be an interesting read but very informative too. It starts off as a guide for those who have never freelanced before but as you move on through the chapters it suggests that you have started your business and by the end it talks about the future.

It is a great book for those who are starting out at the very beginning but is also useful for people (like me) who have been working for themselves for a while. There is information on setting up a portfolio, what kind of person you need to be to be able to do this sort of work and has a big focus on those that work for clients.

For me, the best parts of the book were the profile interviews with other creative freelancers who are successful in their own business as well as the chapters on pricing, agents and balancing work and personal life.

The pricing chapter was particularly helpful to me, so much so that I actually wished I could hug the authors when I read it.

I also appreciated the chapter on finding an agent and whether that might be the right decision for you. The balancing of work and personal life (something I'm not that great at) was also helpful, especially from a standpoint from someone who's been-there-done-that.

The book is honest and funny at times and it doesn't make the world of freelancing sound like a whole lot of long lunches and never ending holidays, which I think adds to its usefulness. But it doesn't make it sound like a hell that you'll wish you never entered either. I will also note that while it is written for an American audience, other than the parts about becoming a business in a legal sense and the tax requirements, it seems pretty universal and certainly applicable to Australian and international readers.

I will be keeping this book close to hand so that I can refer to it over and over, I think it will be a great resource and I'm already considering buying another copy for a friend of mine who I think will benefit from it too.

Thanks to Meg and Joy for writing this resource, I think it's the kind of book that will stay relevant for years to come.
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on December 3, 2010
This is hardly "the ultimate guide." If you're really wanting to freelance, this is fluff and fantasy. It's a cutesy book with some good information, but light on reality. One point not addressed was what one should do, and which happens if you don't get paid, and is rather important! Seriously if you want to get started, the book to get into is the Graphic Artist's Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines, The Freelancer's'Bible, and/or join the Graphic Artist's Guild and/or AIGA. There are any number of books better than this. Fun to look at, but not very useful. Do NOT quit your job based on this book. Seriously disappointing.
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on September 1, 2010
I haven't been freelancing for long, but I've been in the game long enough to not be too much of a newbie. I knew a lot of the nuts and bolts information about freelancing, but Creative Inc. was such a motivational help to keep me going strong! It's so nice to read a book on this topic without being discouraged about legal jargon and business plans galore! Creative Inc. is the perfect mix of detailed information and friendly advice. The interviews with a diverse selection of freelancers is also really encouraging. Everyone in the book really understands what you are going through and has been there themselves. I think this book is a great buy for any type of designer/creative looking to work for themselves. Hey, if you're stuck behind a cubicle, read this and it will certainly change your life.
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on June 28, 2011
I was pretty disappointed in this book. As the other reviewers have said, there was a serious lack of "how to" in this how-to guide but also, it was almost strictly for designers/artists. There are creative freelancers (writers, copywriters, brand strategists, etc.) that were wholly ignored by this book claiming to serve the whole creative freelance umbrella. Unless you're looking to be a visual arts freelancer, this book is not for you.
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on February 23, 2011
This isn't the ultimate guide to freelancing. It's a cute book with inspirational stories and huge tabbed paragraphs. Actually, the huge tab is what I found most upsetting...because honestly, for designers you'd like one of the ladies would know better than to do that. It's such an eyesore.

The list of references and go-to places for information is helpful though, and I give the book credit for that but a lot of this book is fluff and common sense. A lot of the information in this book can be obtained through general research elsewhere. And for a lot of chapters, I felt that this guide was like having a camp counselor talk to me about accepting my emotions and expressing my feelings... not really getting down to the nitty-gritty.

This book is for very light beginners, ones who most likely haven't gone to school for design. Not that, to become a great designer you need a great degree or anything but going to school for this stuff definitely exposes you already to at least having a starting knowledge...a starting knowledge that's more than this little cute book can offer.

All in all, this book is disappointing in terms of content. Cute layout with huge tabbed paragraphs...seriously, those tabs should have been halved.
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on September 13, 2010
Creative, Inc. was a very helpful & quick read this past month for me. I have hit a point in my freelance career where I will need to decide to grow, to start a studio name, and do a lot of more serious planning as this skill of mine becomes more of my full-time focus. The girls did a great job in this book giving you just enough information to get you asking all the right questions, without overly complicating topics that could probably each have their own sets of books because they can get involved. It's a perfect insight for a native to the industry (like me) or a new graduate or younger professional trying to gather all the information before making an informed decision. There are a lot of interviews from real professionals from all different creative industries, such as graphic designers, animation freelancers a CPS's insight on taxes and illustrators.

If you are thinking about freelancing and want to get an idea of how to start, what is involved and where to go from here, this book is for you.
If you are working in the business, feel stuck, scared or just need some inspiration to get things moving, this $11 is well spent for a quick read to get your mind moving again.

I look forward to more in the future.
(specifically on the topic of when and how to decide to start using a studio name vs. your own as a freelancer!)
wink wink.
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on March 20, 2014
I had higher expectations for an ultimate guide on freelancing, but it is worth the price of admission. I changed my initial review of this book, because the book is an entertaining read even though the quality information is sparse. I did detect a slight gender bias, and a large bias towards graphic designers despite the overarching title. I had a feeling while reading this that the author wrote this book for women like herself then tried to extend it to a wider audience as an afterthought to boost sales. This book does have some useful information, but the reader will have to dig for it. This is the type of book you read once. The Graphic Artist's Guild Handbook serves as a better guide and reference altogether.
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on May 18, 2013
I'm an experienced copywriter but new to the freelancing world. My problem with this book is that the title should REALLY be: "Design Inc."

While it also didn't feel like an "Ultimate" guide, I have no problem with that part of the title, a little exaggeration never hurt anybody, but the "Creative" part about it mislead me into buying a book that wasn't for me. Pretty surprised that copywriters were barely mentioned considering the bulk of the freelance market is mostly comprised of designers, photographers and writers.

In a nutshell, this book is for you if: you're a newbie designer or other visual arts and/or new to freelancing.

Fellow copywriters, this book is not for you. "Creative" just seemed a little too broad in this case.
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on December 31, 2010
This book is a great motivational read and really pumps you up. However, it didn't have much information about being a creative entrepreneur. It contained things that were mostly common sense. I got the impression that these two authors are in the business of selling books, not running a freelance business. All in all it was a fun read but I wouldn't say it's a necessary read for a creative looking to start their own business.
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on June 27, 2014
There is some good stuff in here, but much of the book is filled with interviews of successful freelancers. Pretty much half of the book is interviews. If you are looking for a more in depth guide. Keep shopping.
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