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Posted May 28, 2010
Two numbers in the title, and it still works!
I.J. Schechter really does present exactly 102 ways for the freelance writer to earn income from writing, and the book announces loudly each one with large, bold, white-on-black numbers. The cleverness continues. The "102" puts the number of goodies one higher than the more humdrum 101 (.Ways to ., Cook Artichokes, Do Your Laundry, etc.). The "1,500 Words" tells the serious writer that Schechter's ideas are each large enough to weed out the duffers, but short enough so that a good writer could secure many, many gigs for pay.
Choice of title aside, "102 Ways" ranks at the top of writers' how-to books. The author's straight-shooter style sometimes gets called "non-nonsense," but one will find enough humor sprinkled throughout the text to make the book flow smoothly. In fact, most of the book's charm lies in the matter-of-fact way which the reader sees that writing for income is quite a do-able thing. Chapter 4, "Corporate Writing," is easily worth the price of the book just by itself.
The author plainly states what "102 Ways" does, and does not do. The book does detail what each of the writing area topics entails as to whom to contact, what to offer as service, how much effort usually goes into it, etc. The book does NOT name what specific gig charge rates should be. Schechter tells us to find this crucial current information in several places, e.g., Writers Market - excellent, excellent approach. Most books are vulnerable to criticism, or at least a few cautionary words. This one does not. "102 Ways" gives you plenty of money's-worth. Buy the book.
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Posted January 29, 2012