Book Review - Write More, Sell More by Robert Bly
More reading on writing... :-) This time, it was Robert Bly's book Write More, Sell More. This book appeals to me as it addresses a core value I hold dear... making money. And if you are looking at freelance writing as your sole means of income, I would recommend you get a copy of this book. It will help you think through many of the issues surrounding looking at your writing as a business.
Some writers will probably look at this book as a crass attempt to reduce the art of putting words on paper to nothing more than a means to make money. But realistically, if writing is what you do for a living, that's what it comes down to. He discusses what it takes to write faster and better, as well as what it takes to be a more prolific writer. Some of these tips are common sense (set regular work hours, set writing goals), and some are different ways of looking at your work vs. pay. For instance, writing two articles in one day for $1000 is better than writing one article over 2 days for $1750, in that you are getting a better hourly return for your labor. Multiple lower paying jobs that can be cranked out in hours can be more lucrative than one single premium article that takes a longer time to finish. That's not to say that a longer article is always a bad idea, especially if it gains you entry into a new publication or outlet. But you should always keep the ratio of time expended to dollars received in order to maximize your only commodity... time.
Some parts of the book are a little dated (this was written in 1998) when it comes to computers and technology. But that doesn't detract from the overall message. Also, some people might be put off by what seems to be a "aren't I good at this?" attitude that occasionally seeps in. Still, there is plenty of material here that will help you as a writer realize a better return on your effort when it comes to the check.