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on January 23, 2007
Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer will not teach you how to write. You need to do that yourself, with practice and feedback from people around you.

What this book will do is take you step by step through the trials of becoming a paid writer: everything from coming up with ideas to write about to structuring to the finished product, from querying editors for the first time to building a lasting relationship. The "rules" set down apply to multiple forms of writing, and not just for magazines, and references to other work are instructional and welcome.

There is also an excellent overview of how to manage your personal business as a freelancer, which for those of us "creative types," is certainly helpful.

The greatest part of this book, though, is its ability to lead the reader into types of writing for pay that many of us would never even consider. For instance, there is a chapter (written by a different author, suggesting the book's author knows her limits) on writing copy. Though I would never have thought to write copy, and almost skipped the chapter, following reading it and having been convinced that maybe this was a good way to suppliment income, I made some cold-calls as the book suggested, and a few days later, I already have a copy writing gig.

I would highly recommend this book to any competent writer that is looking to make a bit of money doing something that they love. If you can bring the work ethic, this book can bring the game plan.
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on December 25, 2003
I am a fan of Moira Allen's incredibly resourceful website WRITING-WORLD ([...]) and looked forward to reading her all-in-one guide on freelancing writing. As I expected, NO disappointments here - all you ever wanted to know about the basics of writing for magazines and going freelance is explained simply and expertly in this book.
I normally don't take more than 3 days to read a non-fiction book, but Moira Allen's took me over a week! You can have an idea just how comprehensive and thorough the contents must be. Fromtime management to setting goals, from finding ideas to handling accounts, Moira helps you to become a successful freelance writer, with her words of wisdom (born out of a 20+ year-old writing career) and conversational-yet-pithy 'tone'.
On the craft of writing, Moira teaches you how to face the first draft and write the perfect query to target the right market. There is a seperate division on rights and contacts and how to keep records and go full-time freelancing. You also have a special chapter by Peter Bowerman, the 'Guru' of Cold-Calling Strategy and the author of THE WELL-FED WRITER.
It doesn't matter if you're a clueless layman, a budding freelancer or a veteran freelancer. This book serves both as an excellent introduction on the freelance writing biz for new writers and as a refresher for experienced ones. Don't miss it!
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on February 20, 2008
The first third of the book is a review of how to write, how to do research, and what you should have in your office ("a chair," "a desk," "a place to store your writing supplies"), with which I am sure the average person looking to start a freelance writing career already knows. In fact, if you don't know how to write and conduct writing-related research, or have a place to put writing supplies, a career in writing probably never crossed your mind. For this, the book received four stars instead of five.

Still, I have to recommend this book to anyone trying to start a career in writing who doesn't know quite where to begin. The second two-thirds of the book are filled with a grand assortment of helpful hints and information that are vital to a successful freelance-writing career. In particular, her advice on figuring out exactly where you should look to publish your work is extremely valuable. An entire chapter is devoted to the submission process, which includes how to deal with editors who don't reply to your submissions and how to deal with rejections.

For me, the query letters she presents helped a great deal. She presents real letters-to-the-editor so there is no confusion about exactly what it should look like and what it must include. I didn't know about "hooking" with queries; I just assumed they were written like resume cover letters. Imagine how much failure I might have encountered, otherwise. And, not to be outdated, she even includes a chapter devoted to e-mail queries.

Overall, I thought this book was an excellent resource for a budding freelancer. I felt as though it would have been better for her to leave out the first few chapters and get to the point. However, once she got to the point, I was thrilled to pieces that I found this book. I'm sure you will be, too.
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on September 7, 2006
This book contains all of the essential information I needed to jump start my career as a freelance writer. Having some experience in the field in the distant past, I needed a refresher course and this book provided it. (It would be even more useful for someone without previous experience in the field.) Besides providing proper form for query letters and instruction on how to go about finding and approaching markets, it gives specific guidelines on the right way to pursue a freelance writing career, reasonable expectations and how to organize your work as a business.
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on January 17, 2012
I am a freelance writer and I'm in the first year of my career. I have been published online many times and I feel I have learned a lot about freelance writing. However, I recently felt like I was "missing" something in my endeavors, so I picked up "Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer" by Moira Allen to learn more about the business of freelance writing and publishing.

My first glance at the table of contents told me it was a book with a lot of information. And that's just what I needed - a book that covered all the bases.

The sequence of the book is logical, similar to a story, and it has short chapters, which makes the nine parts easy to read. Part one begins with a discussion about what it's like to be a freelance writer, including how to make time for writing and how to set goals. Part two explains how to write a publishable article, and includes advice on narrowing a topic, making an outline, performing research, conducting interviews, as well as essential tips on how to complete any writing assignment, whether it be an article or a novel. The remaining parts detail various aspects of getting published and the business of writing.

Allen's advice comes from many years of experience as a writer and an editor; she shares her well-rounded expertise (from having been on both sides of the desk) with the reader. Her writer's voice resembles that of an experienced colleague who gladly shares her knowledge with the reader in an encouraging, informative, and helpful way. As the author, she is believable, because you can "feel" the wisdom in her words.

As far as wanting to learn all the ins and outs of freelance writing, well, I did, and I had no questions remaining after I finished the book.

"Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer" is going to have a place in my home library, and I'm sure I'll use it as a guide again and again throughout my career.
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on February 7, 2004
Starting Your Career As A Freelance Writer by professional author Moira Anderson Allen is an extremely practical and detailed career guide for the aspiring writer seeking to become a paid professional. Starting Your Career As A Freelance Writer comprehensively and accessibly covers how to make time for writing; honing research and interview techniques; find markets for written work of all kinds; writing and marketing nonfiction books and articles, and a great deal more. A no-nonsense advice guide packed with tips, tricks, and techniques, Starting Your Career As A Freelance Writer is an absolute "must-read" for anyone seriously interested in developing a successful career as a professional freelance writing.
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on January 28, 2012
This is a really good book about writing.

Moira Anderson explains from the very beginning what to do if you want to work as a writer. The book is full of tips and good advices. She guides you through the whole process as if she were a friend, she tells you the whys and hows and what to expect. She also helps you develop ideas and always having themes to write about.

Some of the chapters include:
-Digging for ideas
-Writing articles for magazines
-What do editors want
-Writing for newspapers
-Conducting Interviews
-Exploring the markets
-Query letters
-Submission process
-Rights and contracts
-Prices

The book might start a little slow for people with some knowledge (like how to surf on the net and so on). But that's short and the information that comes later is really good. Every single page has many interesting tips, and as soon as you ask yourself something, the answer is already waiting in the next page.

Especially recommended for people that are interested in writing for magazines and newspapers.

Highly recommended!
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on February 19, 2014
There's a lot of good info in this book, which I really appreciate. I've been repeatedly surprised to find that the edits that have obviously been made to it since it's first printing are not well done. For an editor, writing a book to writers, to release a book with so many mistakes is a surprise. Despite the mistakes, I've used it faithfully as a reference and appreciate the information in it.
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on March 17, 2013
This is a must have book for anyone wanting to break into the world of freelance writing. This book tells you how all the do's and don'ts of the writing business. Whether you are looking to write magazine articles or your first novel, this book will give you the insight and inspiration to help you get where your going.
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on January 7, 2013
This book has everything, and I do mean everything you need to know about starting out as a Freelancer. Moira Allen makes getting started so easy to understand and lists the pitfalls to avoid. I am so pleased I read this book. I would reccomend it to anyone interested in getting started in writing for a career.
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