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The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Commercial Freelancer in Six Months or Less Perfect Paperback – October 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


When it comes to commercial copywriting, I implore you to listen to every word that comes from Peter Bowerman. There is NOBODY I'd recommend more than Peter, and you'll see why the moment you dig into this excellent book. Peter walks the walk, applying his ideas to his everyday business. He cares enormously about helping you live the dream: his books have literally transformed the lives of tens of thousands of writers. Michael A. Stelzner, Author Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged --Michael Stelzner

When the first edition of The Well-Fed Writer first came out, I said it provided the best advice on how to make more money writing for corporate clients I had ever read. This new edition expanded, up-to-date, and with even more sound strategies for freelance success allows me to reaffirm my original opinion. Bob Bly, Copywriting Guru; Author of 75 books, including Secrets of a Freelance Writer --Bob Bly

Peter has more experience helping writers make a good living than just about anyone I know. So I wasn't surprised to find this updated edition of TWFW packed solid with valuable tips and strategies. His chapter on cold calling, particularly, is a must-read. As a 15-year copywriting veteran, I can tell you, there s more practical advice here than in any other book of its kind I've ever read. Steve Slaunwhite, Copywriter, Author Start and Run a Copywriting Business (and other writing titles) --Steve Slaunwhite

About the Author

In 1993, after a 15-year career in sales and marketing, Peter Bowerman turned his sights to freelance commercial writing. With NO industry experience, NO previous paid writing experience and NO writing background or training, he built a commercial freelancing business in Atlanta, Georgia from fantasy to full-time in less than four months. His corporate client list has included The Coca-Cola Company, BellSouth, IBM, UPS, Holiday Inn, Cingular Wireless, DuPont, American Express, Mercedes-Benz, The Discovery Channel, Junior Achievement, Georgia-Pacific, the CDC, and many others. He is the author of the award winning Book-of-the-Month Club selection, The Well-Fed Writer, and its companion volume (and triple award-finalist), TWFW: Back For Seconds, how-to standards in his chosen field of lucrative commercial freelancing. In late 2009, he released the revised edition of the original TWFW, containing the heavily updated and combined content of both original WFW titles. He has published over 250 articles and editorials, leads seminars on writing and is a professional coach on both commercial freelancing business start-up and self-publishing. What many people don't realize is that Bowerman has self-published quite successfully all his books. In 2007, he released The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living, a detailed how-to guide to making your book a commercial success minus the big publisher or hefty marketing budget. The book chronicles his own self-publishing path, which yielded 53,000 copies of his first two books in print, and a full-time living for more than seven years (and counting). Through his wellfedwriter web site, Bowerman offers his commercial freelancing readers a monthly ezine (publishing nonstop since May 2002), a blog, and knowledgebase all at no charge. He is a sought-after speaker at writers conferences, and offers one-on-one coaching services for aspiring (or established) commercial writers and self-publishers.

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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Fanove Publishing; Second edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967059879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967059877
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Since 1993, Peter Bowerman has made a lie out of the conventional wisdom that "starving" and "writing" are eternally joined at the hip. And, along the way, through four books, he has shared that message with thousands of other writers and authors longing for a way to pursue their love of writing, and actually have it pay all their bills - and a lot more.

It was in 1993 that Bowerman leveraged a 15-year sales/marketing career into a full-time living as a freelance commercial writer. With NO paid professional writing experience, NO writing training, and NO industry contacts, he was paying all his bills in under four months - using the techniques outlined in his books and seminars.

Over the years, his commercial client list has included The Coca-Cola Company, BellSouth, IBM, UPS, American Express, Mercedes-Benz, The Discovery Channel, Junior Achievement and many others. Check out what commercial writing entails and looks like at his portfolio at writeinc dot biz.

In 2000, building on his success (and not at all impressed with the sad and sorry calculus of conventional publishing), Bowerman wrote and self-published the award-winning triple book-club selection: The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Freelance Writer in Six Months or Less.

The book was described as "a detailed how-to for helping writers - seasoned and aspiring - launch, build and grow a 'commercial' freelancing practice: writing for businesses, and for hourly rates of $50-125."

The book achieved the following milestones:

* A selection of Book-of-the-Month Club, Quality Paperback Book Club, and Writer's Digest Book Club (second best-selling Featured Alternate in more than two years)

* Second Place: ForeWord magazine Book of the Year Awards (Career category)

* Finalist: Publisher's Marketing Association Ben Franklin Awards (Best First Book)

* Honorable Mention: Writer's Digest National Self-Published Book Awards

* 53,000 copies in print of both books (as of 6/09)

In 2004, he released a companion volume: "The Well-Fed Writer: Back For Seconds" (triple-award finalist), also self-published.

Together, the two books have provided him with a full-time living for eight-plus years - all the step-by-step "how-to" details of which are chronicled in his award-winning 2007 release, The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living ( The book, sold on Amazon, has garnered (at press time) roughly 100 reviews with an average rating of five stars.

In late 2009, he released the revised edition of "The Well-Fed Writer" - which combined and heavily updated the two original "Well-Fed Writer" titles. Through his wellfedwriter dot com site, he offers Well-Fed Writer readers a popular no-charge ezine (since 2002), blog and knowledgebase.

He also provides coaching services both for those starting a commercial freelancing business (or trying to boost an existing one), or those planning on self-publishing a book. In addition, in early 2010, he launched Title Tailor (dot com), offering book titling and back cover copywriting services to publishers and self-publishing authors of non-fiction books.

He has published over 250 columns and articles, leads seminars on writing, and is a popular speaker at writers conferences across the country.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Pamela H. Owens on June 24, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
I really do not remember how I found out about this book, but it has literally changed my professional life. I have been a full-time writer and editor for about two years and was plugging along with billings of $3-4K a month; but within two months I looked at my billings and they are now at $7-8,000 a month! Just me! Wow! I didn't start from scratch as many people who read this book will be doing; I already had in place some of the basics. But I was able to take Peter's recommendations and double my billings! I live in one of the states hardest hit by the economic meltdown.

I did not read the previous editions, so I cannot compare this newest addition to those. I just know that Peter starts by blasting the "starving writer" meme and helping people to realize that writing is both a skill and an art that cannot be done by "just anybody with a computer". Although Peter lets people know that although they do not have to be professionally trained writers to become well-fed writers, they do have to do the work necessary to become skilled at the craft of writing and the business of marketing themselves.

Peter gives step-by-step instructions on how to build a well-paying writing business for yourself using all of the latest tools and techniques available. Most importantly, all through the book, directly and indirectly, Peter reminds writers that they are WORTH charging real rates. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme; but solid advice on building a real business at a nice even pace over the next several months.

I did raise my hourly rate from $55 to $75/hour and my per word rates from $0.10 to $1.00 - $1.50 per word, but more importantly--I almost exclusively charge by the project and use my hourly and per word rates as just benchmarks.
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105 of 120 people found the following review helpful By V. Vankooten on May 12, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
I had bought Bowerman's original edition and picked up the newest one last year. It's obvious he missed the "freelance collapse" of 2009, as much of his advice just doesn't pan out now. I've been writing for commercial markets since 2005, and after a fantastic year in 2008, I'm making 1/4 of that the past two years...and I'm commanding money in the top pay bracket. Companies just aren't hiring and are pulling it in-house or cutting advertising/marketing budgets altogether. Not that it's his fault, but do realize that the market right now is different than the one he is writing about.

I also have some credibility issues with a writer who doesn't know the difference between "phase" and "faze" and a few other basic homonym differences. That's freshman college stuff.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By L. Bonin on January 1, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
I bought the first edition of TWFW several years ago, and hesitated before buying the new version -- would it really have enough new information to make the purchase worthwhile? Actually, yes -- this time around, Bowerman has inserted plenty of examples from other writers so that, whatever your challenge, you can find a story from someone whose background or experiences are close to your own. Because Bowerman comes from a sales background, I always felt a little overwhelmed by his cold call methods in the first book -- easy for him! But in the second book, there are plenty of examples from people who loathe the idea of picking up the phone to drum up business -- and that's just one example. Lots of tools, lots of ideas, lots of good stuff -- now I have two books that are dogeared from overuse!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By P. Wallace on October 10, 2009
Format: Perfect Paperback
Peter Bowerman is the soul of generosity as he lays out everything one needs to know in order to run a successful free lance copywriting business. From cost benefits to the client, to demystifying sales and marketing and cold calling, Peter shows how any ambitious and decent writer can promote their copywriting business and achieve a steady stream of work projects.

Peter is well-qualified, with 31 plus years in sales and marketing, which is key to achieving success in this field. As such, Peter explains prospecting for clients and following up with them, and all the ingredients necessary to mount a successful marketing strategy.

Peter writes in-depth about the ins and outs of securing copywriting work from business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients: client meetings, pricing, networking, document types, smaller copywriting markets, and what it takes to get major league copywriting rates of $125.00/hr. and above.

Peter includes plenty of success stories from other copywriters who have read his book(s), and how they met the challenges of getting their free lance businesses up and running. He also includes a plethora of copywriting resources.

All in all, you will be a well-fed reader by the time you're done with his primer on running a free lance commercial writing service.

To sum up, Peter offers several packages of copywriting resource material, including The Deluxe Well-Fed Tool Box and the Well-Fed Writer's Time-Line. I have only scanned through these materials, because I'm so inundated with resource material for copywriting through Peter's professional affiliations that it will take some months to absorb it all. But, I can assure you that you'll find more meat and potatos, i.e.
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