This is a re-post of an article originally published on 12/07/11 on the Grist for the Muse blog.  I decided to re-post it now because I’m currently re-reading it to help me get fired up for seeking out my own freelance work.  It is still one of the most incredible books out there on freelance writing.  This is essential for any freelance writer’s bookshelf.

The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Commercial Freelancer in Six Months or Less (the revised edition) Includes heavily updated content from the original Well-Fed Writer (published in 2000) and The Well-Fed Writer: Back for Seconds.  This book includes everything that has made all of Mr. Bowerman’s books best sellers. The easy, conversational tone of the book, the numerous examples of how other writers have found their success in the marketplace, many links and resources for more information about the topics contained within the book. These resources range from other authors’ and successful freelancers’ websites, to recommended online newsletters and e-zines that you should be subscribing to, books that provide additional information about these topics and serve as essential desk reference material for any serious freelance commercial writer out there.

Don’t be fooled by the title of the book.  The book deals very little with the writing process or how to create specific written content. Bowerman provides links and suggested resources to get additional details about these specifics.  This book is about how to build a freelance commercial writing business providing information that I have not found anywhere else on how to set up your business, generating sales via cold calling, where to find customers, how to set rates and get paid, how to “adapt” your business to thrive in small markets, and how to take the business from part time (while you are still working a day job) to full time.

Bowerman’s practical advice in addition to the can-do spirit of the book can’t help but to motivate  you to take action today.  The numerous testimonials and side-bar articles written by numerous experts more suited to provide that specific information than Bowerman , is what makes the book truly unique and valuable.  He could have researched these topics and interviewed these experts, but instead turns them loose to provide the reader with first-hand knowledge and also gives the reader an additional resource to consult while taking on the challenges of the business.

This book addresses many topics of current interest to freelancers these days such as using social networking and how to push your business to earn more than $125 per hour.

The WFW is an essential resource for anyone who is serious about writing for a living or has dreamed of striking out on their own as a freelance writer.  Bowerman is a knowledgeable guide since he’s been through every step of the process himself, having started a writing business in the Greater-Atlanta area back in the early 90’s with no experience or industry contacts.  He knows how to build a business because of his experience, but also though the other writers and professionals that he has networked with over the years.  If you are looking for a way to make good money as a professional writer, then buy this book, read it and re-read it.

Buy it from Amazon here: The Well-Fed Writer

Rating ***** (Well Worth it at Full Retail Price)

About Ratings: ***** — Well Worth it at Full Retail Price; **** — Buy on Sale/Discounted; *** — Buy Used; ** — Borrow It from the Library; * — Waste of a Good Tree

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