Six Figure Freelancing: The Writer’s Guide to Making More Money
By Kelly James-Enger
Random House Reference, 2005
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Review by Patricia Fry
Kelly James-Enger has become successful at something many of us just think about. She quit her job in the rat race to become a fulltime writer. Within three years, she matched her former salary as an attorney and within six years, she was earning a six-figure income. Her new book, published by Random House, tells all.
Within this 300-page book, James-Enger demonstrates the writing ability and shares the process that launched her on the road to freelance success. She has divided the information into three primary sections. One must first have the right mindset (think business). The second section focuses on your sense of efficiency (time management). Last, you must make connections (market yourself). Sounds simple, doesn’t it? It is if you follow the author’s recommendations.
I especially like the fact that this author shares her own experiences throughout the book. We learn, for example, that she started her writing career without benefit of a journalism background and earned $17,000 her first year. Her income increased to over $100,000 by year six. She read everything she could about the business of writing. So what does she do for the money? Whatever it takes. According to James-Enger, "I’d already discovered that the markets for short fiction were few and far between." So, as she says, "I decided to take my writing career in a more lucrative direction." She began by writing magazine articles.
James-Enger offers numerous tips. For example, you can earn more money writing for magazines by re-slanting your most popular articles. She tells how she parlayed her knowledge of weight loss into around $70,000 over time. She talks about making money with reprints. She provides samples of some of her great query letters.
But this author doesn’t make all her money through magazine articles. She also writes for businesses. She says that freelancing for businesses and corporations is more lucrative than writing for magazines and book publishers. A good writer can charge $50 to $100 per hour for this kind of work.
Many people fail in their attempt to make a living as a writer, says James-Enger, because we are focusing in the wrong direction. She says, "If you want to make money as a freelancer, stop thinking of yourself as a writer first. Instead, consider yourself a self-employed businessperson—whose business happens to be writing."
James-Enger’s book is truly a valuable guide for anyone wanting to start or expand a freelance writing business. I found it to be a no-nonsense how-to, jammed with vital information and meaningful anecdotes. This is a book of hope and practical guidance for any writer who wants to establish a freelance business.
–Patricia Fry, President of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) http://www.spawn.org and author 16 books including "The Successful Writer’s Handbook." http://www.matilijapress.com