6 Classic Books to Read Before You Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business

Read these classic books for vital information and inspiration before you take the entrepreneurial plunge and start your own freelance writing business.

6 Books to Read Before You Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business

Are you thinking of starting your own freelance writing business or career?

Reading the words of those who have been down that entrepreneurial path before is a fantastic way to learn what you need to know about starting and running a successful business.

Here are six classic books you should read to glean vital information and inspiration before you take the entrepreneurial plunge.


1. Escape From Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim


Escapre from Cubical Nation.

Pamela Slim, a former corporate training manager, left her office job to go solo and has enjoyed every bit of it. In her groundbreaking book, based on her popular blog Escape from Cubicle Nation, Slim explores both the emotional issues of leaving the corporate world and the nuts and bolts of launching a business. Drawing on her own career, as well as stories from her coaching clients and blog readers, Slim will help you weigh your options and make a successful escape if you decide to go for it.


2. Creatively Self-Employed by Kriten Fischer


Creatively Self-Employed

If you think that working from home in your pajamas—writing a book, painting a masterpiece or designing a work of art—sounds like a fun, carefree life… you’re right! In this book, Fischer discusses what life is really like when you take the plunge into creative self-employment. From waiting for clients to pay up, battling the “lonelies” to gaining self-assurance and growing your business, you’ll get a candid look at authentic living—straight from those who are out there making it happen.


3. Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk


Crush It!- Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

Do you have a hobby you wish you could do all day? An obsession that keeps you up at night? Now is the perfect time to take those passions and make a living doing what you love. In CRUSH IT! Why NOW Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion, Vaynerchuk shows you how to use the power of the Internet to turn your real interests into real businesses. He captures attention with his pioneering, multi-faceted approach to personal branding and business. By the end of this book, you will have learned how to harness the power of the Internet to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true.


4. My So-Called Freelance Life by Michelle Goodman


My So-Called Freelance Life

Tired of clocking in and losing out? Want to pursue creative, fulfilling work on your own time and also make a living in the process? My So-Called Freelance Life is a how-to guidebook for women who want to avoid the daily grind and turn their freelance dreams into reality.

My So-Called Freelance Life blends candid, humorous anecdotes from a wide variety of freelancers with Goodman’s own personal experiences as a creative worker for hire. Whether you’re a freelance first-timer or a seasoned creative professional, copyediting queen or web guru, My So-Called Freelance Life is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in freelancing.


5. Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer by Moira Allen


Starting Your Career As a Freelance Writer

Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer demystifies the process of becoming a writer, discusses vital business issues of freelancing and gives aspiring writers all the tools they need to become successful freelance writers, get their names in print and start earning a healthy income from writing.

This resource walks you through the process of developing marketable ideas and then finding appropriate markets for those ideas. It includes effective tips on how to set writing goals, make time for writing, hone research and interview techniques, create outlines and first drafts, approach editors (online and offline) and prepare and submit material.

Whether you are looking to support yourself as a  full-time freelancer or supplement an existing career, Allen's book is a handy resource to have.


6. How to Make Money Writing by Lee Chapman


How to Make Money Writing

In his book, Lee Chapman writes about writing. Seems kind of obvious – to Lee anyway. But, Chapman has been a writer and publisher for the past 30 years. He has written everything from newspaper columns to publishing websites and blogs and writing books, reports, film scripts and just about every other form of writing, including the endlessly tedious but often very well paid job of technical writing. Writing is a topic he is well versed and good at.

From Chapman's book, you will learn that writing jobs are abounding. The Internet is making writing an even more attractive proposition than ever before. And, here's the thing: You don't even have to BE a writer to make money "writing" online. The opportunities - if you know where to find them - continue to explode. How to Make Money Writing explores the growing possibilities and opportunities for writers and for publishing your writing.

Updated April 2024.