Getting Started as a Freelance Writer, Expanded Edition

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This expanded edition goes beyond advice on making a living as a business writer to include the more creative forms of writing. There are new chapters on writing and selling poems, short stories, novels, and essays, plus a new section on cartooning. Existing chapters have been brought up to date. You learn to start, run, and build a freelance writing business doing whatever type of writing you prefer.
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This expanded edition goes beyond advice on making a living as a business writer to include the more creative forms of writing. There are new chapters on writing and selling poems, short stories, novels, and essays, plus a new section on cartooning. Existing chapters have been brought up to date. You learn to start, run, and build a freelance writing business doing whatever type of writing you prefer.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
In Getting Started As A Freelance Writer, professional writer Robert W. Bly draws upon more than twenty-five years of experience and expertise (he became a self-made millionaire while still in his thirties and is the author of more than one hundred articles and sixty books) offers aspiring writers and authors a comprehensive understanding of the highly competitive process of becoming a published freelance writer.

Introducing readers to a complete knowledge of where the work for writers is to be found, how to get paid assignments, the fine art of negotiating fees and contracts, how to turn out acceptable manuscripts, and how to insure getting paid, Getting Started As A Freelance Writer provides a concise exploration and complete knowledge of what freelance writing is all about. -Midwest Book Review, June 29, 2009

An informed and informative resource for a sustainable progression into the world of profitable writing and freelance authorship, Getting Started As A Freelance Writer is very strongly recommended as a key "how to" reference for anyone at the beginning of their professional writing career.

Many people, at one time or another, fantasize about writing a book or screenplay. We all have stories to tell or opinions to foist on the deserving public. Wouldn’t it be great if you could make money by publishing your words?

Bob Bly does. He makes a very good living – more than $600,000 a year, in fact. Bob writes stories. And essays. And advertising copy.

Some of Bob’s writing – his copywriting – earns him a very high per-word rate. Other writing – essays and even books on a wide range of topics – brings him more modest income but great emotional rewards.

By any measure, Bob is an extremely successful writer. He has written some of the most successful direct mail promotions of all time. And he has authored more than 60 books, more than a few of which have been bestsellers.

What amazes me about Bob’s writing is that it is always good. If you write for a living, as I do, you can appreciate how rare a quality that is.

Bob’s newly revised and expanded Getting Started as a Freelance Writer is no exception. Bob sent me a copy two days ago and I stayed up that night and read it cover-to-cover. It was, as expected, thoughtful, comprehensive and lucid. It was jam packed with helpful advice from Bob and other writers, including yours truly, such as:

Where the work is
How to get assignments
How to do online research
The art of negotiating fees and contracts The secret to turning out good manuscripts How to get paid as much as you deserve And lots more If the fantasy of the writer’s life is still tugging at your heart strings, get a copy of Getting Started as a Freelance Writer and read it right away.
--Michael Masterson, Ready Fire Aim Newsletter

Michelle Connell, Christian Communicator; September 2006
How do you get started in a writing career? How do you write a book proposal? How do you analyze a magazine you want to break into? How do you know if you're ready to write full-time or if you should moonlight?

Bly, an author of more than 100 articles and 60 books, answers these questions and many more that writers have about this business. The fact that he became a millionaire from his writing and earns over $600,000 yearly lends credibility to his answers. Though it is not our intention to make millions, since we primarily want to get God's Word out, there is a lot of information in this book to help any writer from beginner to advanced.

Other topics include how to network, how to crack new markets, what to charge for various services, and how to equip your office. Bly uses many examples from his own writings, but he quotes other writers and publishers as well.

Every chapter is broken into shorter topics, and the book is easy to read in short segments or by chapter. It isn't necessary to read the chapters in order or to read them all if you are only interested in commercial writing or writing books or writing magazine articles. Appendices list writers' organizations, Web sites, books, and software that aid writers in their work.

Getting Started As a Freelance Writer is a tool you'll want on your bookshelf and one you'll use often.
--Michelle Connell, Christian Communicator; September 2006

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591810698
  • Publisher: National Book Network
  • Publication date: 4/25/2008
  • Series: Culture Tools Series
  • Edition description: Expanded Edition
  • Pages: 290
  • Sales rank: 1,371,071
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     xv
Introduction     1
Do You Really Want to Be a Writer?     5
Ten Secrets of Success     7
The Sarton Syndrome     8
The Question of Talent     14
The Publishing Conundrum     15
Money and the Working Writer     17
Things You Need to Know and do Before You Start     21
Money     22
Logos, Letterhead, and Business Cards     23
Recommended Computer Systems and Internet Connections     23
Filing     25
How to Do Online Research     26
Reference Books You Should Own     27
Organizations and Societies Worth Joining     27
Publications     28
Websites for Writers     29
Setting Up Your Home Office     29
Zoning     31
Incorporation     31
Taxes     32
The Self-Confident Writer     33
Does Moonlighting Become You?     33
Can You Moonlight?     34
Moonlighting Problems and How to Handle Them     36
Overcoming Guilt     37
Best Projects for Moonlighters     38
Moonlighting Fundamentals     39
Moonlighting Money     40
Making the Transition from Moonlighting to Full-Time Freelancer     40
Specialist Versus Generalist     41
Money and the Freelance Writer     47
Stop Haggling over Nickels and Dimes     48
Negotiating Rules     50
How to Set and Get the Fees You Deserve     51
Getting Paid     53
Start Saving Today     55
Retirement and the Writer     58
The Freelance Writer's Business Plan     61
Creating Your Business Plan     61
Tips for Working Moms and Dads Who Write at Home     68
Entry-Level Assignments to Get You Started     71
Local Newspapers     71
Comic Books     72
Cartoons     72
Nonfiction Books     74
Ghostwriting     75
Copywriting     75
Travel Writing     75
Resume Writing     76
Trade Publications     77
Writing for Small-Press Magazines     88
Three Ways to Crack New Markets     89
Magazine Articles: The Writer's Bread and Butter     91
Know Your Market     91
How to Write Winning Query Letters      93
Should You Enclose Clips with Your Query Letter?     97
More Tips for Succeeding as a Magazine Writer     98
Marketing and Self-Promotion for Writers     101
Twenty Tips for Successful Self-Promotion     103
How to Network Effectively with Editors, Prospects, and Fellow Writers     105
Create a Bait Piece     107
How to Get the Most Out of a Book Signing or Event     111
More PR Tips for Writers     112
Venues for Book Promotion     116
Hiring Your Own Publicist     116
Gaining Visibility in the Marketplace     117
Big Bucks in Business Writing     119
What to Charge Business Clients     120
Finding Clients     121
Writing Copy that Sells     124
Tips for Beginners     126
Choosing Your Market     127
Moving Up From Rookie to Pro     128
Working with Agents and Book Proposals     129
Why Having an Agent Gives You an Edge     130
Getting Your First Agent     130
The Agent's Percentage     131
Writing Your Book Proposal     132
Building Your Website and Publishing Your Ezine     141
Creating Your Website      142
Seven Steps to Creating an Effective Freelance Writer's Website     143
Promoting Yourself with an Online Newsletter     146
Do You Need a Blog?     149
Writing for the Internet and Multimedia     153
Two Worst Online Writing Opportunities     154
Five Most Lucrative Online Writing Assignments     156
Getting Online Writing Assignments     162
The Pot of Gold: Selling Your Own Information Products Online     164
Maximizing Your Personal Productivity     169
Make Personal Productivity a Business Priority     169
Six Biggest Time Wasters for Writers     172
Nine Ways to Increase Your Personal Productivity     173
Energy and Environment     175
Smart Writing     175
Sell Smart     176
Go High-Tech     179
The Quality Curve     179
More Productivity Tips     182
Overcoming Writer's Block     184
Awaken the Poet Inside You     187
Does Writing Poetry Pay?     187
Getting Ready to Write a Poem     188
Attend Poetry Readings     190
Tools You Need     190
Are Poetry Contests a Crock?      191
Submitting Your Poems     191
Chapbooks     192
Writing Short Fiction   Harlan Ellison     195
The Great American Novel     205
Writing Your Novel     205
Getting an Agent     206
Finding a Publisher     209
Promoting Your Novel     211
Writing and Selling the Personal Essay     215
Essay Basics     216
Qualifications     216
Coming Up with Essay Ideas     217
Writing the Essay     220
Essay Markets     221
Marketing Your Essays     222
Growing Your Business     225
The Lottery Method     225
The Business Method     226
Conventional Writing Usually Does Not Pay     226
Six Steps to Getting Clients     227
How to Handle Dissatisfied Clients     228
Hiring an Assistant: Can It Work for You?     231
Where to Find Affordable Help     232
How to Get Out of a Business Slump     233
More Advice on Getting Out of Your Writing Slump     235
Making Your Writing Dreams Come True     237
Getting Published: The Self-Publishing Option     237
Seven Steps to Becoming Rich and Successful as a Freelance Writer     240
Parting Thoughts: 19 Tips for a Successful Freelance Career     243
Notes     245
Books     251
Websites     253
Software     257
Organizations     259
About the Author     263
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Steps to Making Your Writing Dream Come True

    Steps to Making Your Writing Dream Come True Robert Bly's book "Getting Started as a Freelance Writer" covers the basic elements with keys to becoming a successful freelance writer. Bly's methods are backed up by his firsthand experience. Bly provides motivation and detailed information in a highly organized format. A glimpse at the table of contents gives the reader a summary outline of the contents of the fifteen chapters of the book. Topical headers, bulleted summary statements, and numbered lists add to the ready reference value of the book for frequent review and immediate assimilation. I enjoyed the direct quotes from and references to well known successful authors used to illustrate specific keys for adapting successful writing techniques, developing a personal writing style, or philosophy of writing. "Getting Started as a Freelance Writer" is an important resource for anyone seriously considering freelance writing as a career. Practical guidelines and motivational principles. Highly recommended.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Lots of good information in a no nonsense manner.

    Robert Bly does an excellent job describing the different writing markets available. He only describes the markets in where you earn money, such as copywriting, ghostwriting etc. He describes how to get into the field of writing and also gives good advice if you are a seasoned writer looking for extra money. There are a lot of good online websites, which I have already started to use, described in this book.

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