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Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer Paperback – September 1, 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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$19.95 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Few know the ins and outs of freelancing better than Moira Allen. In her comprehensive guide, she walks you through everything you need to know to get started and become successful. This is an essential read for freelance writers.” —Jeff Reich, editor, The Writer magazine
 
“This book is a clear, comprehensive, example-packed, practical, and wise compendium of advice for any freelancer. Don’t be fooled by the title—Moira Allen has given us an excellent introduction for beginners and an invaluable reference for experienced writers. My copy is already stickied with reminders.”—Noelle Sterne, editor, writing coach, and author of Trust Your Life: Forgive Yourself and Go After Your Dreams
 
“Moira Allen's advice is sound, practical, and comprehensive. Her long history of helping writers makes this book invaluable to the beginning freelancer.”—Barbara Florio Graham, author and publishing consultant
  --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Moira Allen hosts the popular Website for writers called writing-world.com. She is the author of several books, including writing.com and The Writer’s Guide to Queries, Pitches, and Proposals. A longtime instructor of freelance and creative writing, she lives in Chesapeake, VA.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Allworth Press; First Edition edition (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158115304X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581153040
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,781,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matthew Wilding on January 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
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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