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Ready, Aim, Specialize!: Create Your Own Writing Specialty and Make More Money! [Kindle Edition]

Kelly James-Enger
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Offering established and novice freelancers suggestions on specializing, this handbook guides writers towards more successful careers. As this analysis demonstrates, when freelancers concentrate on one type of writing rather than being a general freelancer, they discover a lucrative niche in the writing market. Using the advice supplied in this reference, writers will be able to make more money, focus their careers, and learn a more effective way of freelancing. The book lays out the basics of 10 key markets—including health, parenting, and home and garden—and provides a series of interactive exercises to help discover which is the writer's best fit. Published writers and unpublished hopefuls alike will benefit from this valuable and informed guidebook.

Editorial Reviews


"A powerful resource for aspiring and established writers. If you're looking to become a better writer and boost your income . . . this book is chock-full of sound business acumen and advice."  —Samual Greengard, former president, American Society of Journalists and Authors

About the Author

Kelly James-Enger quit her job as an attorney to become a full-time freelance writer, publishing articles for Redbook, Woman's Day, Family Circle, and many other major national magazines. She is the author of Did You Get the Vibe and Six-Figure Freelancing. She lives in Downers Grove, Illinois. 

Product Details

  • File Size: 2117 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Marion Street Press, LLC; 2nd edition (March 31, 2003)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002XULWD4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,591 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her advice works! March 1, 2005
After reading this book and employing the techniques she recommended, I made my first freelance non-fiction sale...on the first try. Since then I've dogeared and highlighted this book, which has lead to more than ten assignments and a solid beginning to my freelancing career.

Thanks, Kelly, for a great book!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
and Ready, Aim, Specialize! tells you how. James-Enger shares the details, resources, and secrets you need to know about the top ten freelancing specialties: health, business and finance, parenting, travel, essays, diet, nutrition and food, technology, fitness and sports, profiles and features, and home and garden.

If you're not sure which area is for you, just read the first chapter. A simple exercise tells you where to focus.
In "Tales from the Front," James-Enger interviewed over 50 successful freelancers from each specialty for their tips and success stories. These interviews are like having personal mentors who tell you the most important steps to take as you pursue a new area.
Each specialty chapter also includes the nuts and bolts on how to crack the market and a large list of resources. Where do business writers find their experts? Find out in chapter seven. Should travel writers take complimentary trips from travel agencies? Read what the specialists think in chapter 10.
Every freelancer trying to make a living writing should read this book. Why? James-Enger knows what it takes to thrive (she has a six-figure writing income!), and this book leads you step-by-step from everyday generalist to successful specialist.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get on Track With Read, Aim, Specialize December 31, 2004
I've been a part-time freelance writer for a number of years, and I think I've been fairly successful at it. However, I have to admit that Kelly's book really made me stop and think about what I was doing. Not only did it give me the confidence to try to make my writing a full-time job, her practical advice has provided me with a way to do it. Though I thoroughly read through her book a few times, I still find myself picking it up again and again, and it's finally got a permanent spot on the bookshelf over my computer desk. I recommend this book to writers like myself who have wanted to write full-time but weren't sure if it was even possible as well as those who want to start a freelance writing career.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant resource for writer's July 23, 2003
OK, so you want to be a writer? Here is the book you are going to start with! You will find crisp, fresh advice from an author who walks her talk. Ready, Aim, Specialize shows you specifically how to build a successful writing career.
You are going to learn how to get interviews, get interviews with EXPERTS, and learn how to get from print...and paid.
The text is up to date and will be a resource you will use every week in your career as you break into the hottest markets!Kelly James-Enger shows you how to win in a challenging field!
Kevin Hogan, Psy.D.
The Psychology of Persuasion: How to Persuade Others to Your Way of Thinking
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Resource for New Writers July 27, 2005
If you're a new writer and would like to focus on a few specific areas, then "Ready, Aim, Specialize!" will benefit you. In addition to advice specific to ten or so genres, each chapter features a helpful list of print and internet resources; if you are an experienced writer you'll probably be familiar with them already, as well as most of the information James-Enger imparts throughout the book.

If you are a brand-new writer and are seeking information on freelancing as a whole, look at "The Renegade Writer." But for those wanting to focus on health, travel, parenting, etc..."Ready, Aim, Specialize!" will give you your money's worth.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not what it claims to be May 19, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very disappointed in this book. Contrary to it's description, it does not help you develop a specialty of your own, but describes a bunch of pre-existing specialties. The book is really just a collection of magazine quality articles covering the only the very basics of each area. There are entire books written about writing in the subjects of the various chapters that are far more useful as books about writing than is this one. This book could only be useful to somebody who needs the obvious pointed out to them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Queries, Questions, and Quests July 4, 2004
Kelly James-Enger thoroughly explains how to earn a living as a freelance writer. She begins by explaining the value of specialization, and then shows writers how to use their education and life experience to choose their own specialities. She follows these opening chapters with an insightful chapter that helps demystify the murky realm of queries. The subsequent case study is a practical and highly useful outline for freelancers who require a clear understanding of the steps involved in getting an article published. Finally, the chapters on ten hot markets serve as a useful guide to specialization, pointing out the rewards and challenges associated with each specialty. James-Enger has not only written a lucid and well organized text, but has anticipated a host of questions commonly posed by freelance writers. Whether your quest is improved productivity or a new career as a freelance writer, this book is for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good advice from a real expert... April 17, 2004
By A Customer
Kelly James-Enger is one of those rare writers who also knows how to share her success with others who strive for a career in freelance journalism. Her book is filled with solid tips on how to break into the marketplace and then create a solid niche for your work. One of her most important messages is to "believe in yourself" - and she is right on target! Bottom line is: If we want people to value our skills, we must first show that we value ourselves. (Review by: Marion E. Gold, author of the "Personal Publicity Planner: A Guide to Marketing You" and "Top Cops: Profiles of Women in Command.)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Six Star Book!
Kelly James-Enger is definitely an author worth reading. After finishing her book, Six Figure Freelancing: The Writer's Guide To Making More Money (which you should also read for... Read more
Published on May 24, 2010 by J. M. Parducci
5.0 out of 5 stars Tap into New Writing $$$
This is a must read not just for aspiring writers, but especially for those who are already published. Read more
Published on December 16, 2008 by Stephanie M. Davenport
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Advice to Find Your Own Writing Niche
Many writers flounder around trying many different areas of the market before they specialize and find their particular niche. Read more
Published on May 15, 2006 by W. Terry Whalin
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Resource for Freelance Writing
It has taken me years to realize that you can't be an expert on everything, so it is better to decide on a few interests and develop your knowledge base. Read more
Published on January 28, 2006 by Rebecca of Amazon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for Writers
Kelly's book has helpful information for any writer, regardless of your number of years in the business or your chosen specialty. Read more
Published on March 23, 2004 by Lauren Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have For All Writers
Kelly James-Enger shows readers how to effectively start at square one and move to the rank of respected writer/author. Read more
Published on March 9, 2004 by Maureen Callahan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book that's Right on Target!
I have read and re-read this book - most recently with a highlighter and sticky tags. Now I have it front and center on my bookshelf for easy reference. Read more
Published on March 7, 2004 by J.J. Turner
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More About the Author

Hi there and thanks for checking out my author page!

As a full-time self-employed freelance writer for 16+ years, several of my books show freelancers how they can develop and maintain successful careers, whether they're new to the business or are more seasoned. (Yeah, that's code for "older.") My latest books include Dollars and Deadlines: Make Money Writing Articles for Print and Online Markets (available on Kindle--print version coming soon); Writer for Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success; and Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: The Writer's Guide to Making Money Ghostwriting and Coauthoring Books. Today most of my writing work is ghostwriting/coauthoring books for health, fitness, and nutrition professionals. In other words, I get paid to accumulate useless facts that may or may not come in handy if I ever get on Jeopardy.

I'm a novelist too. I write contemporary women's fiction--books about women today, the problems they face, and how they overcome them. I've always been fascinated by relationships, and love writing about them. My newest novel, The Honesty Index, explores the lives of two former "BFF" who are now in their mid-30s and whose lives have grown apart--yet who still need each other more than ever before. My earlier two books, Did you Get the Vibe? (available in print and on Kindle), and White Bikini Panties (available on Kindle) are "chick lit" and are fun, engaging reads. And I like my characters to figure out how to solve their own problems--just like in "real life."

What else should you know? I'm the mom of two little kids who struggles to make time to write fiction; I've lived in the Chicago suburbs (Downers Grove) for fourteen years; and like most women, I'm constantly trying to find that work/life balance. Most days I fail but am having a great time regardless. Thanks for checking out my page, and I hope you enjoy my work!


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