Peter Bowerman is clearly a talented and successful copywriter but can he pass his skills to wannabe writers via this book? While the book definitely got me motivated, and I am starting to bring some money in as a writer, I do think Peter may underestimate how his own character, personality and background in sales may have impacted his own progress. Having said that, any aspiring commercial writer will glean valuable industry know-how in these pages. Don't be too surprised, though, if you're not quite able to jack in the day-job by the end of the stated 6 months.
After I read The Well Fed Writer, I must have told lots of people who are also interested in making a living out of freelance writing, to read the book. In a nutshell - It's brilliant. The tone is inspiring; the information is really useful and the guy who wrote the book seems really lovely. So if you're thinking about venturing into the world of freelance copywriting, this is the book to buy.
I bought this for new ideas and ways of being in the marketplace.It delivered; not only in new ideas, but also in reinforcing what I already new with a fresh presentation of tried and tested means. Anyone can read it, anyone wanting to be a Freelancer should.
The book is, in effect, a marketing manual for the would-be serious freelance writer. Thus there is much about how to choose products and services (free is not always second-rate compared to exorbitant, it turns out), and how to approach potential clients. There is good advice about website design and what you should provide on the site, a wealth of websites to explore, and guest sections by other writers (including a few I've come across in the blogosphere, and whom I respect as writers).
There are a couple of niggling things. One is that although Bowerman makes it clear that social networking is very important in today's economy (schools that ban them, please take note), he admits that he himself isn't a member of any of them. That is disappointing because he may have been able to distil into a few bullet points the best way of making contacts in such spaces from his own first-hand experience.
As far as I can tell, there is no information about print-on-demand. Given that writers can be their own publishers these days, a section on that would not, I think, have gone amiss. There was a section about it in his companion book, The Well-Fed Publisher, in which he disparages the use of PoD (although at that time Lulu had only just appeared on the scene, and Bowerman himself had not used it yet).
However, given the readability of the book, such annoyances can be overlooked. Although the jocular (in parts) tone can start to sound a bit forced occasionally, it more often has the effect of making you want to look up that website or read such and such a blog.
Full of hidden gems and a cornucopia of resources. Buy it.
The Well-Fed Writer shows that writers do not have to starve to write for a living. In fact, there are plenty of opportunities for those who want to take them. All it takes is the will and a little hard work.
The Well-Fed Writer is THE resource for anyone thinking about freelance copywriting. Copywriting can be a very lucrative industry but truthfully it's not for everyone. It takes more than the ability to write well. Freelance Copywriters also have to be assertive and confident on their abilities.
The Well-Fed Writer presents all the facts in a straight forward manner. The author even shows the reader how to start building their own business and how to work up to charging $125 an hour.