Tuesday, October 16, 2007

POST #32: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know about the upcoming freelance writing seminar this month. Details.

Many have inquired about what will be discussed at the seminar. So, in order to answer your questions and to get you prepared for what to expect, I started a series of posts entitled "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career" (which will continue, despite the notice below).

Freelance Writing Seminar Cancelled: Unfortunately, due to my stepfather's illness, which I wrote about in the last newsletter, the seminar has been cancelled. But, you can still take a class on how to start a freelance writing career. Click here for details.

To start at the beginning of the "40 Days" series, click here. And, welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

SECTION I: All About Freelancing for Newspapers

Interview with Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Sue contacted me a few months ago to ask me to review her book, Freelancing for Newspapers.

As this is a genre I’ve had limited experience with, I was more than happy to read about this freelance writing niche to learn more about it. And, what a read it was!

Book Review: Freelancing for Newspapers
Dispensed in 10 chapters, Freelancing for Newspapers, is THE book for those who want to know how to break into this discipline.

Sue takes the reader by the hand – without being condescending – and leads them step-by-step through what this medium is all about. Novices and experienced writers alike can learn a lot. For example, Sue devotes a whole chapter to interviews (Chapter 6: Conducting Effective Interviews). What writer couldn’t use this knowledge?

What I liked most about the book is Sue’s explanation of how accessible this market is – and how to go about approaching editors for jobs. She is also blatantly honest about what the market is not (ie, high-paying) – which, in my opinion, is even more valuable.

The chapter I enjoyed the most was Getting Paid and Getting More Assignments (Chapter 9). Why? Because she detailed minutiae such as how to present an invoice. Now, with 14+ years experience as a freelance commercial writer, of course, I know how to do this. BUT, as Sue writes in a different sector, seeing how her invoice differed from the ones I usually send out was educational.

It’s details like this that makes this book a must read for anyone even remotely considering freelancing for newspapers. And, based on the case Sue lays out in her book, it’s a medium any smart freelancer would gladly take a shot at.

My copy is marked up and dog-eared a lot!

See the end of this interview for details on how to order your copy of Freelancing for Newspapers.

Yuwanda Black, Publisher
How to Start a Successful Freelance Career Newsletter


1. I prefer to start with some background, specifically: What did you do before you were a freelance writer? IE, what paid the bills?

My initial reaction to this question was: my husband. But no, it was a long time before I met Fred and had someone to lean on financially.

FREE E-Report: How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer! Simply send in your email address and the report will be emailed to you absolutely free.

Coming Soon! Freelance Writing Tees: Laugh-out-loud tees highlighting the ups, downs, joys and sorrows of being a freelance writer. You won’t want to be caught without one!
I graduated with a degree in journalism from San Jose State University. My internship at the Milpitas Post between my junior and senior years turned into a part-time job which later became full-time.

Over the years, I worked at numerous newspapers as a reporter, photographer, copyeditor, and editor. There were some lean times between jobs when I dabbled in retail, secretarial work and typesetting, but mostly I worked for newspapers.

I was also writing freelance articles, poetry and short stories on the side and occasionally selling them. In 1987, I had a book contract and enough steady freelance work to allow me to quit my newspaper job.

I freelanced full-time for seven years, until a freelance gig turned into a job with the Metro newspaper chain in San Jose. I stayed there until we moved to Oregon in 1996. I tried a year at the News-Times here in Newport, but by then I was hooked on freelancing and getting too busy to hold a regular job.

If you add up the years, I have freelanced full-time about 17 years. My books provide some royalty income. I also make some money as a musician and by teaching writing workshops.

2. Do you freelance full- or part-time, and for how long?

To read the rest of Sue's interview, click here to access the latest issue of the newsletter.

BONUS READ! Inside you will find links to all previous issues as well, which includes interviews with freelancers who make money blogging, writing case studies, writing for the B2B sector -- and so much more.

NOTE: There will be no more posts this week. My stepfather passed away this past Friday, so I'm taking the rest of the week off. I'll see you back here on Monday. FYI, orders (ebooks, e-course, e-reports) will still be processed on a 24-48 hour turnaround basis.
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter? There are freelancers who make very good livings at what they love. Inkwell Editorial's newsletter features these successful professionals who put to rest the phrase, "starving freelancer." Subscribe to read all previous issues.

Current Issue: Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers. Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced freelance writer, this is one market that eagerly accepts freelancers, as Sue outlines in her book.

Next Issue: 11/7. Ghostwriting: Want to know what type of work is out there in this genre? How much it pays? Where to find it? How to go about getting it? Ghostwriter Amanda Evans will give us the skinny on this freelance writing niche

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
Copyright Notice: May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. Freelance success stories, e-courses, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Get the e-report, How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer -- free! Log on to http://www.freelancewritingwebsite.com/ for details.
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