Saturday, November 28, 2009

An Important Book for Freelancers (and Other Writers Too!) in This Recession

I usually post book reviews at The New Book Review but this one! Well this one is such an important book. In this economy it may even be important to writers of fiction because it will help them make a living by writing! A caveat here. The author, Peter Bowerman, has been a friend of mine for some years--since I met him when we both spoke at a Small Publishers of North America College back in about 2001. But I became a fan because of his expertise and I wouldn't tell you this is an important book if it weren't. So, here is The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Commercial Freelancer in Six Months or Less!


In the course of communicating with customers and employees, companies of all sizes generate an enormous volume of writing. Yet, in today’s downsized business world, outsourcing is king. Many companies are asking: “Why pay salaries and benefits when freelancers – offering a wide range of talent and fresh “outsider” perspectives – give us only what we need, and only when we need it?”


In 1993, in less than four months, Peter Bowerman built a lucrative “paying-all-the-bills” commercial writing practice: writing for businesses, large and small and for hourly rates of $50-125+ (and did so with NO industry contacts, previous paid writing experience or writing training).

In 2000, he released The Well-Fed Writer, a detailed blueprint to help others do the same. The book became an award-winning Book-of-the-Month Club selection. In 2004, he released a companion volume (95% new content), TWFW: Back For Seconds (triple-award finalist), to fill in the gaps left by the original title.

The new title includes the heavily updated content of BOTH original titles.


In its 368 pages, this new edition demolishes the stereotype of the “starving writer,” and with the same level of exhaustive how-to detail that earned the original titles high marks from readers. Indeed, the book assumes nothing on the part of readers other than decent writing ability and a desire to turn it into a handsome living.

Drawing from the author’s own experiences and those of dozens of commercial writers worldwide, TWFW shows why it’s a promising field for good writers, what qualities you need to succeed, where the projects are, how to land them, what to charge, how to get paid, and how to get hired again and again – even with less-than-brilliant writing ability.


While marketing strategies fill the book, TWFW acknowledges the deathly fear of Sales and Marketing harbored by most “creatives,” and devotes an entire early chapter to demystifying the “Panic Pair” and helping readers develop a “marketing mindset” – minus the pulse-pounding anxiety.

In addition, the book speaks to writers with unusual writing niches as well as those building the business part-time or in smaller markets. Marketing by phone, email, direct mail, web sites and networking are all covered.


While the WFW titles have always appealed to writers (seasoned and aspiring), at-home Moms, ex-journalists and PR people, home-based business-seekers, 55+ career-changers, and others, the economic times have made the book attractive to another group: the many long-unemployed job seekers seeking to leverage past career experience into a flexible lucrative profession offering strong income potential along with enviable quality of life. All will find TWFW a useful tool to start, build and manage an unusually profitable writing business.

Please take a minute to let Peter and me know what you think of exploding that myth that the adjective "starving" must accompany the noun "writer." The comment link is sort of orangish. Find it below. (-:

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books for writers, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. Her FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". Some of her other blogs are, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog.

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