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The Well-Fed Writer

Peter Bowerman wrote The Well-Fed Writer so writers could, as his subtitle says find “Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Commercial Freelancer in Six Months or Less” He knows what he’s talking about, and that’s what he calls commercial writing – I might call it copywriting or marketing communications, but he’s right – you can make a good, even better than good, living doing commercial writing.

But there’s really more here than just commercial writing. Any writer, particularly, but not exclusively non-fiction writers, can learn how to market their skills with this book.

Peter accomplishes this by squarely facing the fact that most of us don’t like marketing and would rather do almost anything else including the dishes. He knows that and he demystifies marketing to make it if not delightful at least manageable.

He even strongly suggests cold calling! But he makes it palatable, or as close to palatable as possible.

There’s all sorts of reassurance, including the fact that you’re dealing business-to-business, hence out of the telemarketing category we all hate – you know, calling people in their homes at dinner time. There’s none of that. He points out that businesses expect and even welcome such marketing efforts, and he’s right.

And if you simply can’t bring yourself to cold call, he has a ton of other ideas about how you can get your name and your skills out there so people can buy from you.

He also addresses how to actually do commercial writing well, plus add all the details of actually setting up your freelance writing business and making it work well.

Although aimed at commercial writing, this book is a must have for anyone with any sort of writing business.

Buy The Well-Fed Writer now!

You can get the flavor of his writing from the article he did for me – Write For Food(& Good Money, Nice Vacations, Flexible Lifestyle, and More… and you can visit his info packed website – The Well Fed Writer. He’s also got a blog there.


{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Samson Midigo January 20, 2012, 2:49 pm

    If I knew then what I know having read the Well-Fed Writer, I’d be miles in my writing career.

    Samson Midigo

    • annew January 23, 2012, 1:34 pm

      An excellent Book, Samson. Glad you found it.

  • Mark Keating October 6, 2009, 10:43 am


    I highly recommend “The Well-Fed Writer” for anyone that wants to start (or grow) their own freelance writing business.

    Peter’s second edition of TWFW just came out a few months ago, and I snapped it up as soon as I heard about it. I read the first edition, and I count is as one of the major influences in my decision to start my freelance commercial writing business.

    Actually, calling it a second edition doesn’t really do it justice. Content from his second book (“Back for Seconds”) has been incorporated, as well as up-to-date strategies for marketing using the internet.

    I too was intrigued that cold-calling remains one of his most highly recommended tactics, but Peter’s rationale is solid. With the information resources available through the internet and online databases, identifying the right person to talk to about freelancing is easier than ever. Personally, I HATE cold-calling, but I have to admit, it is effective. And think about it from the perspective of your prospect: which tactic is more likely to get your attention – an email solicitation from someone you’ve never heard of, or a real, live person on the other end of the telephone? Of course, it also helps to be targeted with your calling, and do some homework on the company first. Looking for possible connections helps too – through LinkedIn, or industry associations, local Chamber of Commerce – something to make that first approach a little “warmer.” The way I look at it, you’re going to have to talk to your prospect sooner or later. Might as well take the bull by the horns.

    I don’t want to give anyone the impression that the book is only about cold-calling. Peter also discusses other marketing methods, possible writing projects, clients, computer hardware and software, setting rates, resources for writers, and tons of encouragement, all in a friendly, light tone that makes it easy to absorb (even at 300+ pages).

    Highly, highly recommended reading.

    .-= Mark Keating´s last blog ..Bring more jobs to Ohio the goal of solar energy tour =-.

  • Colin October 2, 2009, 10:31 am

    RE: The Well-Fed Writer
    Looks like you had an old copy since you picture ‘Back for Seconds’. Peter Bowerman has just published ‘The Well-Fed Writer 2009’ which is updated and includes ‘Back for Seconds’. His ‘Well-Fed Self Publisher’ is even better!
    Thanks for your own hints, tips and inspiration
    Colin [Margate, Kent UK]

    • Anne October 2, 2009, 1:02 pm

      Am I behind? Thanks for the heads up!

  • Lori October 2, 2009, 9:08 am

    Absolutely is a must-have. I have it. :)

    Cold calling does something magical – it connects you with a live person. Imagine that! Emails are easy to ignore, but talking with someone, even on the phone, can help you get across your personality a bit, and really connect with someone. I think if you approach cold calling like asking for the job, you’ll never do it. Approach it like you’re about to meet a new person and you want to get to know what they do for a living. They’ll appreciate the interest, and you’ll appreciate one more contact.

    • Anne October 2, 2009, 9:58 am

      Great advice… meeting a new person …I’d add to that meeting a new person you want to help… coming from a what I can I do for them position makes it easier too.

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