We all know that reading is one of the best ways to improve your writing skills. But what are the best books for freelance writers specifically?
On Becoming a Writer
Word Work isn’t teaching your to write better copy, or how to publish your first novel, but how to be a writer. It combines sympathetic understanding with actionable advice and covers topics like tackling procrastination, finding inspiration, and striving for long-term happiness.
“Being a writer is not just about typing. It’s also about surviving the roller-coaster of the creative journey.” The path to becoming a successful freelance writer isn’t straight. There are a lot of ups and downs that happen before you can earn a comfortable living as a freelance writer. The book explores rejection, writer’s block, fear of failure, and a variety of other challenges to creative process.
Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer outlines the step-by-step process that anyone can use to launch a successful freelance writing business. This book offers value for both experienced and new writers, and covers some key topics like setting up a home office, pitching ideas, approaching editors, and more.
Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell, the authors of Renegade Writer, have been writing for magazines successful for more than 20 years. But they do things a little differently.
On Writing Content
Ann Handley is a prolific writer and marketer. She is the mastermind behind MarketingProfs, a marketing training and education company with over 600,000 subscribers. Everybody Writes is one of the best resources on creating compelling messaging.
- The Content Code: Six Essential Strategies to Ignite Your Content, Your Marketing, and Your Business
The Content Code wants to give you the formula for successful content marketing, so if you write content for companies then this is a must-read. Written by Mark Schaefer, a globally-recognized writer, speaker, and consultant. The book explores 6 strategies for successful content marketing, like the psychology of sharing and the connection between brands and content.
The Copywriter’s Handbook is a back-to-the-basics approach to crafting clear and persuasive copy that drives sales. What makes this book special is that it applies to anyone that works for with copy – not just for copywriters. Advertising managers, freelance writers, account executives and anyone else that deals with copy can take something away from it.
Seth Godin is the author of a dozen best-selling books including The Purple Cow and a veritable legend of business writing. All Marketers Are Liars is focused on how to tell compelling, believable, and authentic stories. What is your story? Do people believe it? Is it actually true?
That’s why it’s so important for freelance writers to be skilled at crafting relatable brand stories.
On Finding and Landing Clients
Created by Carol Tice and Chris Marlow, How to Get Freelance Clients is a no-bullshit approach for how to land freelance writing clients. The book includes practice advice from three expert writers on attracting and negotiating with clients, as well as answers to some of the common questions new writers have about getting clients.
How Clients Buy is the complete guide to sell your services. No matter how good of a writer you are, you need to be able to convince people to buy from you.
On Motivation and Balance
- The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal
Being your own boss is the best part of freelance writing, and the worst part. The Power of Full Engagement is focused on helping professional find balance while working from home, and maintain a high level of performance without burning out.
Fast Company describes this book as: “Combines the gritty toughmindedness of the best coaches with the gentle-but-insistent inspiration of the most effective spiritual advisers”
People choose to become a freelance writers for all kinds of reasons. A Writer’s Guide to Persistence is your roadmap for navigating the tumultuous road of becoming a freelance writer.
Sometimes we could all use a little kick up the back side to help us get stuff done. But Shut Up and Writer doesn’t just try to guilt you into writing more – it offers practice advice to help you writer more. This review summed up the book well: “I didn’t know this book would motivate me the way it has. If you want proven strategies for writing more, this is the book for you.
On Social Media
Freelance writers that are storytelling masters are enjoying a ton of success right now. Gary Vaynerchuk is a NYT best-selling author and social media expert, and his book Jab, Jab, Jab. Right Hook is a blueprint for writers creating social content.
There are few writers more sought after right now than those that understand the art of social media. That’s because word-of-mouth and social proof has never been more important than it is today. Written by Guy Kawasaki, the godfather of evangelist marketing, The Art of Social Media is the essential guide for promoting a business on social.
On Growing a Business
Creativity isn’t limited to the “creatives.”
Anyone has the potential to unleash their creative side and find innovative ways to solve problems. Creative Confidences aims to help people tap into their inner-creativity and lead more productive careers and lives.
As a freelance writer, your writing isn’t a hobby, it’s a business. And that means you need to run your writing practice like it’s a business.
Whether you’re a new writer looking to setup your writing business or an established writer looking to take your practice to the next level, this book is a must have.
Other Good Reads
Escape From Cubicle Nation is a book that’s all about giving your the courage to quit the corporate world and work for yourself.
Written by Pamela Slim, a former corporate training manager, this book offers practice advice to help you consider your options and pull the trigger when the time is right.
Scam are an unfortunately reality of doing business online. And many new writers learn this the hard way. The Street-Smart Writer is all about helping freelancer spot honest managers, understand their value, and avoid getting caught up with contract mistakes. Other sections break down things like how to spot a useless writing competition, and knowing when a conference is just an expensive waste of money.