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5 Great Books About Freelancing

While you can’t become a freelance proofreader without learning the ins and outs of language, punctuation, and grammar, knowing the business side of things is also essential. Below are some great books about the art of freelancing, written by authors with valuable advice about establishing yourself as a sole trader. They cover many aspects of freelance life, including marketing, taxes, finding clients, and building a website.

For books to help further develop your craft, meanwhile, check out these books on proofreading and editing.

1. ​Marketing Your Editing and Proofreading Business​, Louise Harnby

Louise Harnby has worked for over 30 years as a freelance proofreader. This is her excellent three-part guide designed to help you improve your freelance marketing skills:

  • Part I introduces you to the concepts behind marketing and aims to build your understanding of marketing strategy.
  • Part II contains a series of marketing activities that you can complete to improve your client outreach
  • Finally, part III provides a sample outline of a marketing plan that you can follow step by step or use as a starting point to develop your own ideas.

Harnby’s book is great for those early in their proofreading career. This practical guide provides reassurance – and real-life action points – for those intimidated by the prospect of moving into the world of self-marketing for the first time.

2. Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers, Louise Harnby

While Harnby’s other book focuses on developing your marketing skills, Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers is a comprehensive overview of running a freelance business.

Topics covered include:

Many of these chapters also feature several practical tasks to help you hone your business development skills.

Our favorite part of this book, however, is the several case studies by editorial freelancers reflecting on how they started out. Not only are these packed with great advice, but they’re so reassuring to read when you’re taking the somewhat intimidating leap into freelance life.

3. The Freelancer’s Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Have the Career of Your Dreams—On Your Terms, Sara Horowitz

First published in 2012, Horowitz’s book is an established and authoritative text aimed at freelancers in any industry.

This is a much broader and more comprehensive guide to freelancing than many of the other books in this list. Horowitz’s advice goes all the way from big-issue topics like managing your finances to the minutiae of what to keep in your home office desk drawer.

The Freelancer’s Bible is a comprehensive manual designed to offer support throughout freelancers’ careers. And as the founder of the Freelancers Union, Horowitz has shown her commitment to advocating for the welfare of freelancers in the US and beyond.

4. How to Start a Home-Based Editorial Services Business, Barbara Fuller

This book by Barbara Fuller is another guide to setting up a freelance editing business. In it, Fuller clearly outlines the required skills for editing. She also documents the common expectations of various clients in the editing world, with a focus on the publishing industry.

Fuller begins by offering valuable advice on how to determine whether freelance editing is right for you (though if you’re here, you may already know this!). She then moves on to discussing key elements of the trade, such as:

  • The skills you need to be a successful freelance editor
  • Which services you can offer, and how to decide what to charge for them
  • The expectations of publishing houses (which are important to be aware of if you wish to work with them)
  • How to size up legal and ethical issues in the freelance world

This book is excellent for those unsure of where to start in pursuing a career in freelance proofreading and editing.

5. Taking This Show on the Road: A Proofreader’s Guide to Digital Nomadism, Catherine Turner

Great for those looking to freelance proofreading as a work-from-anywhere opportunity, Turner’s guide outlines how to take your freelance proofreading business on the road.

As an experienced proofreader and equally experienced traveler, Turner has compiled her experience into a pocket-sized guide to “digital nomadism.”

Turner begins with some of the more standard advice on setting up a freelance proofreading business. But she then goes on to provide specific advice for travelers, including:

  • Preparing to take your business on the road
  • Advice about overcoming the challenges of working while you travel
  • How to organize your time so you can enjoy yourself while still meeting deadlines
  • Tips for staying healthy as you travel
  • Case studies and advice from other nomadic freelancers
  • Bonus resources, including a travel itinerary, a packing list, and a before-you-go checklist

If you’re considering becoming a freelance proofreader so you can work while you travel, or you want to take your existing work on the road, this guide might be perfect for you!

Become a Proofreader

These books about freelancing are great tools to develop your freelance business, but first you need the technical know-how. If you would like to become a freelance proofreader, our Becoming A Proofreader course guarantees you work with a passing grade. Sign up to our free trial today!

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