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The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Commercial Freelancer in Six Months or Less Perfect Paperback – Oct 1 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The Well-Fed Writer is THE resource for anyone thinking about freelance copywriting. Copywriting can be a very lucrative industry but truthfully it's not for everyone. It takes more than the ability to write well. Freelance Copywriters also have to be assertive and confident on their abilities.
The Well-Fed Writer presents all the facts in a straight forward manner. The author even shows the reader how to start building their own business and how to work up to charging $125 an hour.
I recommend this book to writers I mentor, especially those leaving full-time communications jobs who want to carve out time to write fiction or perhaps a memoir. It's a sensible plan that works!
Long before Bowerman's first book, I diversified my business so that I devote 30% of my time to business/commerical clients, 30% to teaching and mentoring (including as a book publishing consultant), and 30% to writing for regular paying markets. That leaves me 10% of my time to work on creative projects.
Mr. Bowerman writes in an engaging, easy to read manner, and his book is packed with good advice. He explains what works, what doesn't, and takes a lot of the mystery and stress out of promoting your business. This book should be required reading for all freelance businesses.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I did not read the previous editions, so I cannot compare this newest addition to those. I just know that Peter starts by blasting the "starving writer" meme and helping people to realize that writing is both a skill and an art that cannot be done by "just anybody with a computer". Although Peter lets people know that although they do not have to be professionally trained writers to become well-fed writers, they do have to do the work necessary to become skilled at the craft of writing and the business of marketing themselves.
Peter gives step-by-step instructions on how to build a well-paying writing business for yourself using all of the latest tools and techniques available. Most importantly, all through the book, directly and indirectly, Peter reminds writers that they are WORTH charging real rates. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme; but solid advice on building a real business at a nice even pace over the next several months.
I did raise my hourly rate from $55 to $75/hour and my per word rates from $0.10 to $1.00 - $1.50 per word, but more importantly--I almost exclusively charge by the project and use my hourly and per word rates as just benchmarks. I have almost more work than I can handle AFTER I changed my rate schedule.
So, if you are one of those writers who is struggling with less-than-U.S. minimum-wage writing projects and trying to compete with people who charge or will only pay $0.01/word or less, get this book NOW. Then get a yellow highlighter and a pen and paper--remember those?--and read, highlight, take notes and read again. Then stop complaining about the economy and overseas competition and revise your entire business to not only reward yourself with a decent annual compensation ($60,000- $100,000 or more) before the end of twelve months, but also a well-balanced work life.
I also have some credibility issues with a writer who doesn't know the difference between "phase" and "faze" and a few other basic homonym differences. That's freshman college stuff.
Peter is well-qualified, with 31 plus years in sales and marketing, which is key to achieving success in this field. As such, Peter explains prospecting for clients and following up with them, and all the ingredients necessary to mount a successful marketing strategy.
Peter writes in-depth about the ins and outs of securing copywriting work from business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients: client meetings, pricing, networking, document types, smaller copywriting markets, and what it takes to get major league copywriting rates of $125.00/hr. and above.
Peter includes plenty of success stories from other copywriters who have read his book(s), and how they met the challenges of getting their free lance businesses up and running. He also includes a plethora of copywriting resources.
All in all, you will be a well-fed reader by the time you're done with his primer on running a free lance commercial writing service.
To sum up, Peter offers several packages of copywriting resource material, including The Deluxe Well-Fed Tool Box and the Well-Fed Writer's Time-Line. I have only scanned through these materials, because I'm so inundated with resource material for copywriting through Peter's professional affiliations that it will take some months to absorb it all. But, I can assure you that you'll find more meat and potatos, i.e., practical resources for setting up a successful copywriting business.
The only downside (if there truly is one) is that Peter doesn't cover the legal aspects of doing business (taxes, fictitious business names, business licenses, etc.), and I was initially looking for this information too. But that information is easily obtainable through your local Small Business Administration, which offers on-going courses in all legal matters of setting up a small business.
If you're a writer of at least average ability and serious about starting a free lance commercial writing service, I highly recommend Peter's book as a go-to resource for your daily free-lance business operations.
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