Now enrolling: 30 Days to Freelancing Success
This implementation bootcamp will get you doing the work and bringing in clients in 30 days flat.
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
Hi again, writer friends,
My freelancing goal this year is to get more work from fewer clients. While part of it is so I can cut down on the pitching and admin in order to have a better work-life balance, the bigger reason is that I want to create time for writing all the book ideas I have floating around in my head.
So many of us think of traditional publishing as the path forward, not because it makes good business sense, but because there’s this myth among newer writers that if you’re with a publisher, you can focus your time and energy on writing, not marketing.
I’ve signed with four literary agents in the last ten years—including PFD in the UK and Trident Media in the US—and not only has this led to no actual career building, but the work of signing with those agents, writing proposals, getting books they deemed “excellent” into “even better shape so they can bring in six-figure advances”, and entertaining endless requests for revisions and marketing has taken me away from the act of creating.
Conversely, when I indie published my books, I wrote nine in two years. As I write this, I’ve had 49 consecutive months of book sales. Consistent book income in my bank account every month, without fail, for the last 49 months. (And, if we’re being honest, I haven’t even done a good job of promoting them.)
So I’m taking a step back and organizing my life this year. Scaling the automated and passive income from the work I’ve already done, while creating space in my life to write more.
And that starts with taking care of my time and income. Steadying both so I don’t have the stress of either as I move forward with my plans.
This means getting more assignments from fewer clients, as I mentioned.
And I’ve been using the principles in 30 Days to Freelancing Success to do it. (See what I did there?)
The course is open for enrollment until January 26. You’ll want to get in before then.
Enjoy the issue!
Natasha Khullar Relph
Editor, The Wordling
THE WORDLING RESOURCE
How to Pitch: Pitching guidelines for 200+ publications
We know that finding markets to pitch your story ideas, understanding what they’re looking for, and making sure they pay an amount you’re comfortable with can be the most time-consuming and frustrating part of the job. So we’ve tried to make it easier for you.
Here’s a list of publications, organized by subject and with a note of their pay rates, each with a link to their guidelines. Happy pitching!
IN THE NEWS:
Who wrote Prince Harry’s memoir?
It’s everywhere you look. In bookshops, on the news, on TikTok. Even this damn newsletter won’t shut up about it. But it’s not Prince Harry’s memoir Spare I’m interested in; it’s his ghostwriter J.R. Moehringer.
Specifically, the role of the ghostwriter in modern publishing.
Why it matters:
It wasn’t all that long ago that ghostwriters were publishing’s best-kept secret. Ghostwriters almost never got credit or acknowledgement, especially if they were writing books for celebrities. In the early 2000s, ghostwriters started getting mentions in the acknowledgements section and, over time, cover credit. It’s only recently that celebrities have started acknowledging that the book they “wrote” wasn’t actually written by them.
Increasingly, the public has become aware of the role of the ghostwriter, too.
What was once a gated field that was difficult to break into, is now much more open, and writers such as J.R. Moehringer and Michelle Burford prove that ghostwriting is as much an art and craft as any other genre.
Which means, you guessed it, more opportunities for growth and more income potential.
Ghostwriters are high in demand across many industries. Publishers are hiring writers not just to write celebrity memoirs, but their novels. Entrepreneurs have long been paying ghostwriters to write op-eds, but this has now extended to LinkedIn posts and even Twitter threads. Much of this work is high paying.
Not all jobs are created equal, however. A ghostwriter I know who was paid a “life-changing amount” to write a celebrity memoir told me he had one half-hour interview with the celebrity and ended up having to pull together published articles to conduct his research.
That said, the demand for ghostwriters skyrocketed in 2022. And all signs point to this trend continuing in the coming year.
- In audiobook news, Spanish-language audiobooks are seeing massive growth in major markets.
- In today’s series of crimes of passion, Filippo Bernardini, who impersonated agents and publishers over email to obtain novels and other works from writers and their representatives, has pleaded guilty to stealing more than 1,000 unpublished manuscripts. Everyone’s still scratching their heads over why he did it.
- And, finally, in this episode of is-everyone-but-me-on-TikTok, Barnes & Noble is getting with the in crowd with their inaugural BookTok festival. It will be a ticketed event and feature a lineup of “authors who have grown their readership through bookseller support and reader engagement on TikTok.”
NEW ON THE WORDLING
No Clips? No Problem: How to Get Freelancing Work When You Have No Experience
How to bring in the clients when you have no clips, no credits, and no contacts.
Freelance Writing: A Three-Year Plan for Growth
If you’re looking to grow quickly in your freelancing writing career, here’s a step-by-step three-year plan for success.
THE WORDLING READ:
The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Making Six Figures
“I’ve gotten numerous webinars, courses, and ebooks on this subject in the past 20 years and none of them has compared to this one (except [Natasha’s] other book!)” – Amazon reviewer
“Even after 10 years as a freelancer, this book is exactly what I needed to teach me about the business of writing and position myself as a professional… Natasha is like the friend who will give it to you straight and make you chuckle while she does it.” – A. Filley, Amazon reviewer
“Even writers who regularly make six figures will find plenty of worthwhile information in this book. I wish it had been around when I was starting out as a freelance medical writer! The mix of inspiring and practical information is super helpful.” – Kristin H, Amazon reviewer
If you want to grow, you must learn. No matter how high you go, if you want to go higher, find people who’ve done what you want to do and soak up their teachings. Learn everything you possibly can from them.
Learning and doing.
You need both.
INDIA: “By Indian standards a three-day book fair is hardly an ambitious project, but this will be Chennai’s first International Book Fair, put together at short notice. ‘We needed to make a start somewhere.’ The event, which will run January 16-18, is not to be confused with the 46 year old public-facing Chennai Book Fair which in 2022 clocked 1.5 million visitors and sold $1.5 million worth of books.”
SENEGAL: “The health of a prominent Senegalese journalist detained on charges of exposing confidential government information is deteriorating after a nearly three-week hunger strike, according to his lawyers, who say that he has refused care from doctors at the hospital where he is being treated.”
ALGERIA: “For decades, many in Algerian media have relied on institutional advertising provided by the National Agency for Publishing and Advertising, the government body used by the state to oversee editorial content. This let the media benefit from a myriad of public advertisers, as long as they maintained an editorial line that didn’t cross the government in power. As more and more news outlets have deviated from the government line, these outlets have seen their resources suddenly dry up.”
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
My advice to women in general: even if you’re doing a nine-to-give job, treat yourself like a boss.
– Nicki Minaj
SHARE THE WORDLING
The Wordlings, try as they might, never get to Inbox zero. Share The Wordling with a writer friend who’s always behind on emails.
Support The Wordling with a tip.