The best books for freelancers

1 authors have picked their favorite books about freelancers and why they recommend each book.

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Money-Smart Solopreneur

By Laura D. Adams,

Book cover of Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers

There’s a reason why people who want to become their own boss often test the waters while they are still drawing a paycheck from their 9-5. It’s a scary business wondering how you’re going to pay the rent, put food on the table, clothe your kids, pay taxes, etc. when you have always had the safety net of regular employment. Ms. Adams pulls no punches in encouraging readers to take a reality check regarding their finances, legal considerations, and even the long-term vision of whatever solo enterprise they want to launch.

Who am I?

From the time I first learned to write, I knew this was something in my blood I had to pursue and that I’d one day make a comfortable living at it. Writing is a solitary craft to be sure, and although I worked in other industries for a number of years, I knew I’d eventually have to take a leap of faith and pursue this professionally. I’m passionate about encouraging fellow wordsmiths and dreamers, and the business books I’ve written reflect my expertise in Audience Analysis and Message Design, a specialization I’ve also tapped for my novels and stage plays.

I wrote...

Office for One: The Sole Proprietor's Survival Guide

By Christina Hamlett,

Book cover of Office for One: The Sole Proprietor's Survival Guide

What is my book about?

It was the best of times: The giddy excitement of launching your first solo business and being your own boss. It was the worst of times: The stress-inducing panic of realizing there's no one to whom you can delegate all the marketing, accounting, and housekeeping tasks necessary to make that business a success.

Office For One: The Sole Proprietor's Survival Guide is an indispensable resource for any entrepreneur who wants to go it alone without getting lonely. Over 30 experts worldwide offer tips and advice on topics such as tuning out the naysayers, maintaining balance and boundaries, handling legalities and financial challenges, courting (and keeping!) clients, marketing on a shoestring budget, networking, cracking the media code, growing a sustainable vision, and addressing rubicons and burnouts.

Start Your Proofreading Side-Hustle

By Ashan R. Hampton,

Book cover of Start Your Proofreading Side-Hustle: Maximize Your Writing Skills

This book played a part in my main source of income. Starting my own proofreading business wasn’t easy. I did have help from others, but I wanted to mention this book as a good starter to give insight and ideas on how to start your own freelance proofreading business. You can start it as a side-hustle, or you can go full-time, it’s up to you!

Who am I?

I’ve been a writer since I was fourteen (possibly before that) and I’ve been an official freelance proofreader/copyeditor since 2019. I’ve published over thirty books and proofread or copyedited over sixty-two manuscripts as of this writing. I’ve garnered enough experience in both fields to, at least, be considered.

I wrote...

Make Your Writing Zing With Proofreading A Through Z!: Tips for Writers, Authors, and Publishers Alike

By John Irvin,

Book cover of Make Your Writing Zing With Proofreading A Through Z!: Tips for Writers, Authors, and Publishers Alike

What is my book about?

Do you love words and writing them down? Are you afraid your book isn’t going to quite cut it because you just know there are some typos in there? Are you unsure about a specific spelling or punctuation rule? This book gives fun little tips that could help any author or book publisher who cares about their writing!

If You Want to Write

By Brenda Ueland,

Book cover of If You Want to Write

Many of us are a bit afraid of stepping out and trying something new. That applies especially with creative work. “I’m just not that good,” we tell ourselves—or voices from our past tell us. Brenda Ueland was a long-time Chicago creative writing instructor, and her little book is strong encouragement (and a bit of a kick in the pants) about risk-taking and learning about our super-powers in the process.

Who am I?

Creativity is a practical, problem-solving, risk-taking endeavor, something we all do, whether we claim it or not. After working for many years with groups of graduate business students, artists, writers, business professionals, women in recovery, men in prison, with those just discovering their creative ability—and with myself and my own creative journey, I realize the question isn’t “Am I creative?” The question is “Am I using it?” or “Am I continuing to grow?” Nothing is more exciting than watching others as they realize just how creative they are.

I wrote...

Create! Developing Your Creative Process

By Cathy Pickens,

Book cover of Create! Developing Your Creative Process

What is my book about?

What is creativity, exactly? In what ways am I creative? How can I be more creative? What is my own personal creative process? If I could be more creative, what would it mean for my personal life and career?

Create! is a six-step guide to developing your individual creativity, a roadmap tested and enthusiastically endorsed by hundreds of workshop participants, from those who already defined themselves as creative to those who didn't (yet). With author and creativity expert Cathy Pickens as your guide, you'll discover your best creative process and, if you're not careful, a whole lot about your creative self.

If You Want to Write

By Brenda Ueland,

Book cover of If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit

Writers often struggle to think of themselves as “writers” because the world has us believing that we can only carry that title if we are successfully published, and of course words such as “success” and even “published” can be fraught with subjective controversy. One of the lessons I learned from Brenda Ueland, among other great thinkers, is that we need to focus first on our own authenticity and only much, much later dare we think about what the world might have to say. This allowed me to let go and move on and trust myself on my writing path. It wasn’t easy, but as emphasized in If You Want to Write, we will be all right if we believe in our inner richness.  

Who am I?

As a published author with an MFA in Writing, I know how hard writing can be in terms of how to find a muse, employ an elusive craft, and deal with the soul-shaking consequences of digging deep. But as a survivor of life, including multiple moves, broken relationships, alcoholism, illness, and debilitating grief, I've also experienced the transformative power of writing. I took that belief into the community, and developed writing workshops for cancer survivors, women facing domestic violence, and many other people wrestling with trauma and illness, often recommending some of these books in my workshops. And along the way, I’ve witnessed time and again what the written word can do. 

I wrote...

Writing Through the Muck: Finding Self and Story for Personal Growth, Healing, and Transcendence

By G. Elizabeth Kretchmer,

Book cover of Writing Through the Muck: Finding Self and Story for Personal Growth, Healing, and Transcendence

What is my book about?

Life can be hard. When we get knocked off our feet and into the muck, writing can sometimes offer the leverage we need to climb out. Inspired by dozens of writing workshops for cancer patients, domestic violence survivors, and others seeking inner truth, Writing Through the Muck offers thoughtful insight and encouragement for anyone who wants to discover holistic wellness through the written word.

You’ll find: surprising evidence that shows why writing is good for you; easy-to-use tools and techniques to awaken thoughts and memories; dozens of poems and quotes to enlighten and motivate; fresh, new ways to look at yourself and your stories; and more than fifty creative writing prompts that will get you going on your journey to growth and healing today.

Humble Inquiry

By Edgar H. Schein, Peter A. Schein,

Book cover of Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling

Over a number of decades, Schein has been one of the guiding thinkers in professional services and consultancy. His books are always worth reading as the advice is sounds and practical. In this book he talks about how it is better, and more productive, to help people by the practice of asking questions rather than giving answers. The model in the book goes completely against the stereotype of the consultant as a brash and overconfident individual pretending to be an expert who can tell anyone the answer to any question. Instead, Schein proposes a model that would be more familiar to those with a coaching background. It is brilliant advice.

Who am I?

I am one of those people who has several careers going on at once. I am widely known as a professional writer and have written 18 books, mostly professional and business books, but I have also written in the self-help genre and some fiction. In parallel with this, I am an independent consultant and have run my consultancy business Enixus Limited for almost 20 years helping large organisations worldwide with complex change programmes. Most of my business books weave together my love of writing with my professional interests and experiences.

I wrote...

The Freelance Consultant: Your Comprehensive Guide to Starting an Independent Business

By Richard Newton,

Book cover of The Freelance Consultant: Your Comprehensive Guide to Starting an Independent Business

What is my book about?

My professional books always start with observations about the world of work – observations that lead me to question something, and this results in a book that sets out to answer those questions. This book started with a number of observations, but central to that was noting that there was a huge difference in the levels of success of the most successful and the least successful freelance consultants. By ‘success’ I don’t just mean money, I mean the ability to achieve the goals you want to achieve when you set out as a freelancer. This may be about money, but often it is about freedom, independence and having the work life balance you want. In this book through my own experiences, but also using the stories of 13 other freelance consultants I explore what it is that the successful freelancers do, that their less successful peers don’t.

The Autobiography of a Newspaper Girl

By Elizabeth L. Banks,

Book cover of The Autobiography of a Newspaper Girl

When researching the newspaper angle of my book, I was already aware of the exploits of Nellie Bly, the New York-based pioneer of investigative, undercover journalism. But I wanted to try and track down a journalist who had achieved similar feats in late Victorian and Edwardian London. Enter Elizabeth Banks, an American journalist who emigrated to London at the turn of the century, and plied her trade as a freelancer, selling exposes on the lives of parlour maids, laundry workers, and flower sellers to the likes of The Illustrated London News. Pluck doesn’t even come close to covering her bravery and bravado – some memorable details from her book include her smuggling a camping stove into a London hotel because she couldn’t afford the dining room food, and pestering editors up and down Fleet Street to publish her words. She was a true entrepreneurial London woman, at a…

Who am I?

This eclectic soiree of books is pretty symbolic of my reading taste – as long as it’s extraordinary, or larger than real life, I’m there for it. I moved to London when I was 22, to undertake my Masters at Shakespeare’s Globe, and after living in a small village, followed by a small university town, it really did feel like arriving at the centre of the universe. I love books that capture the way the spirit of London – its strange, anarchic, punkish, dangerous, and historic forms – can shape a woman into the person she is meant to be. That was what I wanted to capture with The Hourglass Factory’s heroine Frankie George. 

I wrote...

The Hourglass Factory

By Lucy Ribchester,

Book cover of The Hourglass Factory

What is my book about?

The suffragette movement is reaching fever pitch but for broke Fleet Street tomboy Frankie George, just getting by in the cut-throat world of newspapers is hard enough. Sent to interview trapeze artist Ebony Diamond, Frankie finds herself fascinated by the tightly laced acrobat and follows her across London to a Mayfair corset shop that hides more than one dark secret.

When Ebony Diamond mysteriously disappears in the middle of a performance, Frankie is drawn into a world of tricks, society columnists, corset fetishists, suffragettes and circus freaks. How did Ebony vanish, who was she afraid of, and what goes on behind the doors of the mysterious Hourglass Factory?

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