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Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer: How to Win Top Writing Assignments [Paperback]

Jenna Glatzer
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 2004
Step-by-step instructions on how writers can earn top dollar writing for magazines are provided in this book. Secrets are revealed about what the high-paying magazines really want, how to build relationships with editors, how to ascertain which sections of a magazine are open to freelancers, what kinds of stories are in demand, what to do if a deadbeat publisher doesn’t pay up, how to market reprints, and how to become an expert in one’s chosen writing field. Basic terms like query, clips, and source sheet are defined for beginning writers, and tips on everything from coming up with an idea to pitching a syndicated column are also included. Writers learn about the little-known sources top freelancers use to find new stories and experts. In addition, they learn how to get their first paying assignments even if they have no prior clips, how to negotiate for better pay, how to find high-paying magazines that aren’t swamped with queries, and how to worm their way into editors’ inboxes even if their e-mail addresses aren’t publicized.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Beginning with plenty of realistic words of caution, veteran freelancer Glazer (Outwitting Writer’s Block and Other Problems of the Pen; Words You Thought You Knew) provides a practical guide for aspiring writers who want to earn a living doing what they love. Glatzer takes readers through the must-do basics—from sending clean, spell-checked cover letters to avoiding harassing busy editors—then delves into the processes of generating ideas, pitching, landing assignments and negotiating contracts. Once a writer has the assignment, she also has to know how to do research, conduct good interviews with experts and provide solid back-up ("if a fact-checker complains loudly enough that Writer X’s article was full of holes, or that the source material was badly organized or unreliable, an editor might not hire Writer X again"). In this honest and thorough volume, Glatzer gives the inside scoop on all of these things, and many other facets of the business that novices (and, quite frankly, many experienced writers) might not realize they need to consider.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"An in-your-hand education in professional writing." —Christian Communicator


"Really shows what publications are looking for in a writer."  —Dawn Papandrea, managing editor, The Collegebound Network


"A 'behind closed doors' look at freelancing...advice that will keep you ahead of the competition."  —The Writer


"Covers everything novice and experienced writers need to know to succeed at freelancing."  —Sheri McConnell, founder and president of the National Association of Women Writers


"A must-read for freelancers and wanna-be-freelancers."  —Julia Rosien, senior editor, ePregnancy magazine


"A must-read for any freelancer wanting to break into the business and stay there."  —Colleen Oakley, editor, Women's Health & Fitness 

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
So, what's a "real living" anyway, and can a freelance writer really earn one? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as my college class June 4 2004
Format:Paperback
I took a college course in magazine writing and this book was every bit as detailed --even more so, given all the sidebars with helpful websites. The writing style is conversational and easy to read. There are so many books on the shelves about freelance writing but this is the one to get.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars The freelance writer's bible June 26 2004
Format:Paperback
This book is an absolute must for any writer who is serious about making a real living through freelancing. Jenna Glatzer is a freelancer who has been there and back, and she freely shares her experiences in painstaking detail. The reader will learn the business from A to Z, including how to select a topic, how to indentify and approach markets, how to query properly, and how to ingratiate oneself with finicky editors. There's even sound advice on how to manage one's writing business, and it's all written in Glatzer's down-to-earth, conversational style. A wonderful road map for the highway to writing success!
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Sustain a Lucrative Career while Wearing Pajamas June 7 2004
Format:Paperback
Book Review by Maryanne Raphael, Writers World

Sustain a Lucrative Career while Wearing Pajamas
.
MAKE A REAL LIVING AS A FREELANCE WRITER explains how to be successful "in today's publishing climate where the Internet rules and stamps are nearly obsolete and the articles that earned front-page headlines last decade wouldn't even get short blurbs today." The book shows how to earn top dollars writing for magazines, how to write a marketable story, how to know what sections of a magazine welcome freelancers, how to market reprints, and how to become an expert in your chosen field.
Author Jenna Glatzer is the editor-in-chief of Absolute Write and author of Outwitting Writer's Block. She is a full time writer from NYC who has published 9 books and hundreds of articles. Her style makes reading fun with her quick wit, vast experience, knowledge of her subject and her use of meaningful quotes, relevant anecdotes and helpful resources.
She says, "You'll have to learn where to find writing markets and how to study them, write irresistible query letters, make editors fall in love with you, get regular assignments, negotiate, make deadbeats pay up and more." She helps discover your strengths and how to use them.,, shows you how to set goals, see writing as a business and get started.
"You must find something worth telling to a mass audience," she says, "and convince the 'powers that be' that you're the right person to tell it."
She even tells how to make the most of rejection slips, how to network, write a column, interview, write for the Internet, have a Web Site, and make your article timely.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes a good read April 18 2004
By Debbie
Format:Paperback
This was an easy-to-read book written with a "you can do it" attitude - good for writers who are new to the field or are trying to break into bigger markets.
The book is a good mix of the author's experience (what worked and what she learned from mistakes she made), and quotes from editors and other established writers.
Very helpful were the websites with additional helpful information, like a fax site where you can receive your faxes by e-mail at no cost (i.e. no need for a fax machine), websites for writers, websites for finding sources, etc.
Also helpful were sections on negotiating contracts, how to pitch a story, how to study the market for your work (and the importance in doing so), how fact checking works, and how to find story ideas (and spin them off into even more ideas).
If you're the type who does well with assignments, the book has assignments you can do like one on coming up with ideas.
The book is less how to write, than the mechanics behind getting assignments and following through on them. It takes the mystique out of the process. I ended up earmarking a bunch of pages to go back to, and have already used some of the information (mainly websites) to further my own writing.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes a good read April 18 2004
By Debbie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This was an easy-to-read book written with a "you can do it" attitude - good for writers who are new to the field or are trying to break into bigger markets.
The book is a good mix of the author's experience (what worked and what she learned from mistakes she made), and quotes from editors and other established writers.
Very helpful were the websites with additional helpful information, like a fax site where you can receive your faxes by e-mail at no cost (i.e. no need for a fax machine), websites for writers, websites for finding sources, etc.
Also helpful were sections on negotiating contracts, how to pitch a story, how to study the market for your work (and the importance in doing so), how fact checking works, and how to find story ideas (and spin them off into even more ideas).
If you're the type who does well with assignments, the book has assignments you can do like one on coming up with ideas.
The book is less how to write, than the mechanics behind getting assignments and following through on them. It takes the mystique out of the process. I ended up earmarking a bunch of pages to go back to, and have already used some of the information (mainly websites) to further my own writing.
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sustain a Lucrative Career while Wearing Pajamas June 7 2004
By Maryanne Raphael - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Book Review by Maryanne Raphael, Writers World

Sustain a Lucrative Career while Wearing Pajamas
.
MAKE A REAL LIVING AS A FREELANCE WRITER explains how to be successful "in today's publishing climate where the Internet rules and stamps are nearly obsolete and the articles that earned front-page headlines last decade wouldn't even get short blurbs today." The book shows how to earn top dollars writing for magazines, how to write a marketable story, how to know what sections of a magazine welcome freelancers, how to market reprints, and how to become an expert in your chosen field.
Author Jenna Glatzer is the editor-in-chief of Absolute Write and author of Outwitting Writer's Block. She is a full time writer from NYC who has published 9 books and hundreds of articles. Her style makes reading fun with her quick wit, vast experience, knowledge of her subject and her use of meaningful quotes, relevant anecdotes and helpful resources.
She says, "You'll have to learn where to find writing markets and how to study them, write irresistible query letters, make editors fall in love with you, get regular assignments, negotiate, make deadbeats pay up and more." She helps discover your strengths and how to use them.,, shows you how to set goals, see writing as a business and get started.
"You must find something worth telling to a mass audience," she says, "and convince the `powers that be' that you're the right person to tell it."
She even tells how to make the most of rejection slips, how to network, write a column, interview, write for the Internet, have a Web Site, and make your article timely. She shows how to become your editor's favorite by being "reliable, accurate, nice, respectful of the editor's time and by proposing plenty of new ideas with regularity."
Author Glatzer helps readers learn from her mistakes as well as her achievements. After stating that big magazines do not want stories that have appeared elsewhere, she tells how she goofed once . "You shouldn't be a dummy like me and actually emphasize this as a selling point in your query."
The book tells everything you need to know about taxes once you start earning money from your writing. By the time you finish this book, according to the author, "You'll have the insider knowledge you need to figure out what sells to whom and how to build up and sustain a lucrative career while wearing pajamas." I'd recommend the book to anyone who wants to try freelance writing.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable Information in a Conversational Tone Aug. 4 2005
By Sally DeLellis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
You could easily finish this book in one sitting; Glatzer's tone is amicable and the information is very accessible. My favorite aspect is that there are many quotes from editors of the most popular magazines (Woman's Day, etc.), as well as lots of other tips specific to magazines that are in my chosen women's genre.

Glatzer uses a great method of coming up with story ideas; you take a very general concept - she used cats as her example, and then she suggests categories pertaining to cats (or whatever your general concept may be) that are a bit more specific. Fill out her chart completely and you'll arrive at 10+ different article topics. I've alread made a spreadsheet mimicing her chart and plan to use this once a week to brainstorm article ideas.

For the aspiring freelance magazine writer, this book is extremely useful!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a pro- she tells it like it is! April 1 2005
By Donna Talarico - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have many books on freelance writing. And I have had some luke-warm results in my relatively new freelance career. But, the books I have read in the past were either written too text-booky- or were filled with things that every other book contained- it just had a different title!

However, reading Glatzer's book was a great change of pace. It was not even the content- but her voice that made it such a great read. She is a passionate freelancer with wonderful success- yet in reading her words, I realize that she once was just like me. It was personal and uplifting and tongue-in-cheek at times- her style matches mine. So this book meshed well with my personality, and therefore, it has rejuvanated my spirits that my work can one day be in major magazines.

Her book told real stories- real successes and real roadblocks. Seeing real magazine names and all her other true stories gives her an immense amount of credibility. Her willingness to share is wonderful.

Look at some other freelance books- are they from successful writers that you have heard of, or can easily find clips of? Not really- they are from someone who wants to write- and therefore tells others how-- not with Glatzer.

I am actually taking a magazines class now, and I gave the book to my profressors- I think it should be demanded by journalism professors everywhere to open students to the world of freelancing!
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Write it down July 25 2004
By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
MAKE A REAL LIVING AS A FREELANCE WRITER is a definitive guide for

individuals seeking a career in this arena. Jenna Glatzer shares that

when she began freelancing she made numerous mistakes. And although

she had taken a few writing courses, no one taught her how to sell

articles or columns. Additionally, the library offered very little

assistance; most of the material was outdated, or, if current it did

not offer good business advice. So she saw a need for this book.

Because writing is such a volatile market, in 2001, the writer's union

conducted a study to see how the market, for freelance writers, has

changed over four decades. In real dollars, freelance rates have declined

more than fifty percent since the sixties. Major magazines offered one

dollar per word in 1966 and in 1998 the rate was the same. She stresses

one key point: to make a living as a freelance writer you must be more

knowledgeable than eighty-four percent of the writers in the business

and you must be be properly armed to compete with the remaining sixteen

percent.

Jeanna Glatzer, now in the top sixteen percent of freelancers, is the

editor and chief of AbsoluteWrite.com, one of the most poplar online

magazines for writers, and has published nine books on the subject.

MAKE A REAL LIVING AS A FREELANCE WRITER consists of 17 chapters which

share some important steps to gain success in one of the hardest literary

arenas to earn a living. Glatzer feels confident that by the time you

finish this book you will have the necessary ingredients to compete

with established writers and win top writing assignments. If you aspire

to enter the world of freelance writers this book is a great investment.

Reviewed by aNN

of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
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