The Greatest Freelance Writing Tips in the World

by Linda Jones (The Greatest in the World Ltd, 2007): 160pp, £10.78 (hbk), ISBN 978 1905151172.

Reviewed by Louise Bolotin

Buy this book

Don't be fooled by the diminutive size of this handy how-to guide. It packs a wealth of information into its pages and is of far greater value than many bigger textbook guides on freelancing.

Plain speaking

Author Linda Jones offers plain-speaking advice and tips. Right from the get-go, she warns that there's no place to hide if you are an aspiring freelance writer and that a reality check is the first port of call (you are running a business, not being an artist in a garret).

From such auspicious beginnings, Jones covers a huge amount of territory from letting editors know you exist to how to get them to hire you via writing for magazines, the nationals or the internet, which all need very different approaches.

Common pitfalls

Interspersed throughout are lots of handy checklists, bullet points to remind you of essentials, obscure but interesting facts and useful chapter summaries. I can't begin to detail just how many valuable tips are stuffed in here – many of them cover ground that I learned the hard way over the course of my career (when a book like this would have saved me much grief).

Newcomers to the trade of professional writing would be wise to invest in this book if only to avoid some of the more common pitfalls that can happen to the inexperienced. But even the most seasoned hacks should find enough in here to inspire them, remind them or encourage them.

Most thumbed, dog-eared and used

Of all the books on freelancing and writing I have on my groaning bookshelves, I strongly suspect that The Greatest Freelancing Writing Tips in the World is the one that will end up being the most thumbed, dog-eared and used, simply because it's the most practical.

The author also has a linked blog that is crammed full of yet more useful advice, tips and guidance.

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