There’s never been a better time to write a book about freelance writing, or freelancing. Although this book was published three years before the global economic crisis, “Six Figure Freelancing: The Writer’s Guide to Making More Money” by Kelly James-Enger (Random House; 2005) more and more people are working from their homes in order to keep their homes.
James-Enger used to be a full-time lawyer and part-time freelance writing. As her career as a lawyer progressed, she discovered that she hated it and was becoming more and more attracted to freelancing. She finally quit her job to freelance full time but not before doing some major research and putting away about a year’s salary in the bank. She is also quick to point out that a successful freelance writer is not just someone that can pull a six figure salary, but whether they love their job and can pay the bills.
James-Enger has an engaging, highly readable writing tone of voice. Reading this book makes you feel as if you were talking with a friend who happened to also be an excellent teacher. Throughout the book are helpful hints from everything to overall budgeting to attending writer’s conferences. James-Enger gets you excited about the prospect of being a full-time freelance writer.
The book is also well organized, has a great index, good bibliography and uses a large enough font that is easy on the eyes. She utilizes bullet points, subheadings and uses of different fonts in order to make finding information easier. This is helpful because this is a book a freelance writer will turn to again and again.
Unfortunately, Kelly-Enger’s book is aimed at magazine freelance writers and book authors. It does touch on business writing near the end of the book. This book does not address web content freelance writers or paid online journalists, which are quickly making up the bulk of the freelance writing industry. The traditional print magazine industry has, for the most part, closed all contacts with writers outside of their in-house staff.
Quite a large section of the book is spent on hustling editors to get assignments through emails, cold calls and networking. This is impossible for many of today’s freelance writers who cannot travel and cannot afford to make long-distance cold calls. Perhaps someday an experienced freelancer can use these tips, but a raw beginner or an online web content writer cannot.
Although there are many general tips a freelancer can use in this fast-paced, highly caffeinated book, “Six Figure Freelancing” can be utterly baffling to a beginner in today’s economy and publishing reality.