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Make A REAL LIVING as a Freelance Writer: How To Win Top Writing Assignments Paperback – May 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Beginning with plenty of realistic words of caution, veteran freelancer Glazer (Outwitting Writers Block and Other Problems of the Pen; Words You Thought You Knew) provides a practical guide for aspiring writers who want to earn a living doing what they love. Glatzer takes readers through the must-do basicsfrom sending clean, spell-checked cover letters to avoiding harassing busy editorsthen delves into the processes of generating ideas, pitching, landing assignments and negotiating contracts. Once a writer has the assignment, she also has to know how to do research, conduct good interviews with experts and provide solid back-up ("if a fact-checker complains loudly enough that Writer Xs article was full of holes, or that the source material was badly organized or unreliable, an editor might not hire Writer X again"). In this honest and thorough volume, Glatzer gives the inside scoop on all of these things, and many other facets of the business that novices (and, quite frankly, many experienced writers) might not realize they need to consider.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top customer reviews
Jenna writes with authority and just the right touch of humor. She includes lots of writing examples, which are a huge help in understanding what works and what doesn't, and most important, WHY.
The book also covers the jargon of freelance writing and guides you through the business aspects of it. I believe it's an indispensable tool that should be on the bookshelf of anyone looking to get paid to write (or better yet, open on the desk in front of them!)
I was very pleased with the book and recommend it without hesitation.
She starts out by informing us that her freelance writing bought her a house on a lake, a boat, a car, and interesting, expensive gifts for her boyfriend. Isn't that what we all want?
It is full of useful information and websites, such as how/why to get a business license and where to find quotes. Two highlights of the book for me are:
1. Her actual examples of successful query letters that resulted in paid writing assignments
2. Her encouragement. She wrote something like "You don't have to be the world's best writer to succeed in this business, just a resourceful one with fresh and interesting ideas to pitch." What freedom to think that I don't have to be a Hemingway or Fitzgerald in order to be "a writer." In my working life I'd cranked out some pretty good correspondence, communications, and grants, all spelled and punctuated correctly. I've subscribed to scores of magazines and know I can write like them. I've been complimented on my thank you notes over the years, so I know I am "good enough" to write, and this statement unleashed me to take a stab at freelancing. I like writing and have lots of ideas to share!
I read and highlighted Jenna's book, followed its advice. and shot off some query letters. Yesterday I opened a random email, and it was from an editor who wrote:
"We like your idea very much. We would like to use it as an evergreen piece and want 1200 words at 50 cents a word."
It's just like Jenna said! I got a paid assignment! Because I read the book, I knew what "evergreen" meant, and could calmly and professionally write back that I'd look forward to receiving the contract.
Unknown to the editor, my eyes grew wide with disbelief when I read her words, and I then collapsed on my keyboard and wept heaving tears of joy.
Thank you Jenna!
All that being said, the author definitely took quite a bit of care in putting together this book. Her tone indicates that she really does want to help the reader succeed. She presents what seems to be a very realistic view of freelancing.
My only suggestion is to try to process everything in smaller chunks if you are new like me. It is a very good book and I am glad to have made this purchase! Definitely at least four stars, despite my few moments of self doubt.
Worth the purchase price!
When it comes to venturing through the freelance writing world, it's not uncommon to take the first step with fear and a sort of sick feeling in your gut. You want to feel secure, want answers to all the hard questions, and you want your hand held. Well, Jenna's done all of that in this guide.
Don't let how slim this guide fool you at all. It isn't because it's lacking material, information and resources. On the contrary, it's bursting at the seams with everything a freelance writer needs to run a successful business. The key is that there's no fluff. Sure, there's a LOT of humor and personal experiences injected in just the right places. You won't find a lot of useless information just thicken the book up, though.
When I first started my business in 1999, I searched HIGH and LOW for an all-in-one reference to guide me through the process and never coule really find what I was looking for. Now, when I come across new writers in search of the same thing, I direct them to this book. And, each time they've talked to me about what they've learned from reading and USING this book, they've raved about how glad they were to have it right from the beginning.