Why Freelance Writers Should Consider Becoming Authors

Carol Tice

Nina Amir

By Nina Amir

I always wanted to be a writer and make my living by getting paid for my words.

However, I didn’t set out to be an author. I set out to be a magazine journalist.

I began my writing career with dreams of working in Manhattan for a glossy consumer magazine like Self or Glamour. I wanted to write, but my degree in magazine journalism had trained me to edit as well. I knew I’d have to start in an editorial position.

Unwilling to take an entry-level position in New York City as a receptionist, I took an editorial job at a regional magazine instead.

I went on to work for several such magazines and later for a corporation and then a small business prior to taking the Big Leap and hanging up my full-time freelancer shingle. Although I considered myself a “real” writer at this point, editing jobs continued to provide me with income.

Then, one day a friend asked me to edit a book. That event was one of two that changed the trajectory of my career.

I remembered my college professor telling me, “A book is just a string of articles on the same topic. If you can write an article, you can write a book.” I assumed that meant with my journalistic and editorial experience I could also edit a book, so I did. And then I did another and another…

After a number of years, I began to wonder why I wasn’t writing books.

I entertained the thought of becoming an author. I soon learned that I first needed something called a “platform.” (A platform is everything you do that creates a base of fans ready to buy your book when released.)

So I started blogging to promote myself and my forthcoming book. That was the second event that changed the trajectory of my career.

I loved blogging. So I started another blog and another and another…And the popularity of those blogs helped me attract a literary agent.

Then I got the crazy idea to start a blog on which I would write a book post by post to teach other writers how they could write, publish and promote their books by doing the exact same thing. In other words, I blogged a book about how to blog a book.

And lo and behold, my agent got me a contract for a publishing deal! I went from freelance writer (and editor) to author.

Becoming a blogger and an author has changed my writing career in profound ways. It has helped me gain:

  • More writing work
  • More editing work
  • More freelance assignments
  • Higher pay for writing assignments

It also hopefully will help me get more book deals in the future. (I get paid an advance for these books and then royalties on sales.)

If you decide to author a book—even if you self-publish a book–a whole new world will open up to you. That published book means you know something about writing books. Thus, you can offer your services as a:

  • ghostwriter
  • book writer
  • ebook writer
  • booklet writer

You also become the expert on the topic of your book. This means you can get freelance writing assignments on that topic—and command more pay for those assignments.

Of course, you can write more books, make more money from those books, and then again increase the income from your freelance writing business in general, too.

Some writers and journalists don’t want to author books. Becoming an author has enhanced everything I do as a freelance writer and journalist. In fact, it’s made it more possible for me to make my living by getting paid for my words.

Nina Amir is an Inspiration to Creation Coach and the author of How to Blog a Book: Write, Publish and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time (Writer’s Digest Books), 10 short self-published books and five blogs. Sign up for a free author, book or blog-to-book coaching session with Nina or receive her 5-Day Published Author Training Series by visiting www.copywrightcommunications.com or ninaamir.com.

35 Comments

  1. Cathie Barash

    I enjoyed reading your article. I recently became a published author for my book entitled, The Right Relationship Starts with You. I didn’t have a platform before writing it but have been developing one through my blog, helpwithyourlife.wordpress.com. I too, love blogging and connecting with other people who share a passion for writing and for self-growth. I hope to write for a magazine or get a publishing contract for another book one day. Your words were inspirational and very helpful. Thank you.

  2. Anne Galivan

    My blog was originally a book idea. When the internet exploded I saw the potential to reach people with my homeschooling expertise, and Homeschooling911.com was born.

    What I didn’t realize at the time was that my blog could eventually build a platform for me as a writer, so that when I get ready to write a book, I will have the “street cred” I need.

    Now I’ve come full-circle and while I plan to continue my blog for years to come, I’ve also decided my original book idea is still one that is needed and will sell. I’ve written an outline for it and done lots of writing in my head…I should start working on it next year. How long it will take to write it I have no idea since I have other writing projects planned as well. But I appreciate you sharing your story because it has reminded me that my plan can, and will, work!

  3. Deborah

    Thanks for your work. Much appreciated.

    I love writing. I am writing a memoir honoring my mother’s last wish to die at home, which is about global ageing, death, relationships, spiritual development, care, control, perception.
    I am also have interests in writing about relationships, my work as a facilitator/coach. My question is do I need 2 blogs – one for the book and one for the general posts or is one blog landing page suitable for both?

    • Carol Tice

      I always advise starting with one site and seeing if it’ll work, as doing two is twice the work. 😉

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