Are you a fan of resolutions? I know I am. I figured the best way to realize our goals is to start them now, as opposed to next week or the beginning of the new year. We are also better off when we accept that there will always be obstacles, cheat days and even weeks. Sometimes, it will seem like the world is conspiring against you. Hell, maybe it is. The universe works in mysterious ways, and I don’t really care about the hows and whys anymore. Okay, maybe I do a little, but it is best if we don’t get hung up.
OK, back to your resolutions. So what if you already had Nutella and other chocolate today? (Yes, I’m talking about me.) Don’t order a mocha at the café. Opt for filter coffee or another healthier option that you like. Take the stairs. Walk 5000 more steps. Turn up the volume and dance away to your favorite song. You can have a cheat day and do your exercise. If you can’t or won’t abstain, you can always work to offset the effects in a way that fits your lifestyle.
You forgot to eat salad at lunch? Make some salad for dinner. Salad doesn’t fill you up? Add protein to it. There are quick fixes to a lot of our problems. Let’s fix the small things, so that if the big things do come, we are a bit more prepared.
If you wrote 2000 fewer words than you are supposed to, go to a productive space and write away. If that production company ignored your email about one script, follow up politely. If your follow-up is not answered or is rejected, send another script. We can do this, people! Yes, it is frustrating hard work with a lot of elements outside our control or influence. So we can at least kick ass at the stuff that is within our abilities.
We can really make 2018 our year.
A resolutions post will come before the year ends, but this post is about my favorite e-books. A follow-up post will arrive that features best blogs and my favorite e-courses.
This post comes with the help of my own library, meaning I own every one of these books. Enjoy!
*Please note that this post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay extra, but everything you buy through my links help keep me update this blog more often and with better, more comprehensive content. I don’t recommend anything I haven’t bought and/or used and loved myself.
Start Your Career as a Freelance Writer by Moira Allen
Moira Allen is one of my favorite writers. She is the creator of The Writing World. As far as I know she is no longer updating, but that website will take years to get through. It is just chock full of great content on all aspects of writing. But if you are looking to start a freelance writing career and like me, prefer a book you can come back to as often as you like, then I recommend her Start Your Career as a Freelance Writer. Truth: I bought it after I’d been freelancing a couple of years. You can skip or skim through more familiar chapters such as equipment, but chapters like setting goals, coping with rejection, starting your article, finding the right markets, queries and submissions, expanding your freelancing business, rights and contracts, and more, are evergreen and chapters you will want to refer to again and again.
The Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing by Amber Adrian
The Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing is a part of the Unconventional Guides series by popular blogger and bestselling author Chris Guillebeau. It comes in two different packages: Pen-for-hire ($39) and editor-in-chief ($58). I own editor-in-chief.
Pen-for-hire includes The Ultimate Freelancers Guide, which is a 55-page guide written by experienced freelance writer Amber Adrian. It covers starting, getting clients, getting paid and what to charge, creating a routine and dealing with freelancing-related fears, building a business and more. These 55 pages are complemented with The Big List or Links and Resources, “Rejection Be Damned” Tools for Success. You can check here for more details.
If you go for the editor-in-chief package, in addition to pen-for-hire’s contents, you get Sample Pitches and Letters of Introduction, Eight Big Bonus Author Interviews, and an additional 44-minute audio interview with veteran travel writer Kristin Luna.
The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing: Write, Work, and Thrive on Your Own Terms by Zachary Petit
I get into a bit of detail The Essential Guide to Freelancewriting by Zachary Petit in my post Do You Need to Buy Another Writing Resource? The Impulsive Information Product Shopper’s Checklist. Zachary Petit is a former editor of Writer’s Digest and a veteran freelance writer. He is funny, honest, practical and experienced. The book covers basics, ideas, author platforms, getting published, pitching, interviewing (so detailed and valuable: I learned a ton in this chapter!), actually writing, people behind the scenes, and business basics.
The book is paved with awesome quotes about writing, the below being my favorite.
“The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.” Philip Roth
The Ultimate Freelancer’s Guidebook: Learn How to Land the Best Jobs, Build Your Brand, and Be Your Own Boss, by Yuwanda Black
Yuwanda Black is a veteran writer who runs the blog Inkwell Editorial. I first heard about the book (and about her) through her guest post on Productive Writers by John Soares. I loved the website. I checked out the contents of the book and decided my library needed this. Her comprehensive guidebook features chapters on mindset, what to sell and what to charge, writing your business plan, start-up costs, building a brand on a budget, marketing, landing first clients, structuring your workday, working with clients, getting ongoing clients, whether to incorporate, common pitfalls to avoid, medical insurance, doing your math, and success stories.
Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer by Jenna Glatzer
Jenna Glatzer is an award-winning and prolific writer and ghostwriter. She has a testimonial from Celine Dion on her author page. Let that sink in for a second. She has written for Writer’s Digest, Woman’s World, Prevention and more.
Now that we got her credentials out of the way, let’s dive into the content of the book. Chapters are about getting started, finding ideas, finding markets, studying markets, breaking in and personal essays, pitching, style, querying, reprints and spin-offs, submitting/copyrights and keeping track, getting paid/negotiating and submitting the article, interviews, becoming a favorite freelancer, relationships with editors, networking/diversifying clips and more, delving deeper, the life of a writer for hire, examples of successful queries, and useful jargon.
That’s a lot of books. Now let’s do a useful Q & A to help you shop smartly.
- Do I need all of these books?
Of course not. But not all books and guides are created equal, and you’d be surprised to know how, in addition to wisdom shared by all or most writers mentioned here, the books create different and equally awesome nuggets. They don’t contradict each other, but rather complement. Do you need to buy even one of them? It depends! Can you spare the fee? And do you find yourself stuck at some point in your career and unable to move forward or improve? Then yes, start with one. Pick the one that appeals to you most. And before going on a buying spree, please, oh please, implement the advice in the first one you bought.
- How do I pick?
If they all sound good to you and money isn’t a problem, you can just flip a coin. Or close your eyes and pick randomly. They are all equally good. They were all created by successful veteran writers. But if you pay attention to content, they differ from each other, so pick according to your needs. Remember, you can ask Kindle to send a free chapter if you want to get a taste of their writing style and how the book is.
- If they are all awesome, why do you need them all?
Because they are all awesome. Because I’m a shopaholic. Because I need motivation and inspiration. Because I can afford them. Because I study successful information products as I am working to create my own. (That’s right, stay tuned!). And as I mentioned above, they are complementary.
It is more like… I wanted all. I love having a comprehensive library. And I do learn new things or remember things I forget to implement.
Any more questions? Ask away in the comments. Please mention if you own any of these products and how you feel about them.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!