I recently finished reading Creative, Inc. I’d heard that it was one of the best informational books around for creative freelancers, and I’ve been feeling like I could use a little motivation/information. The price was certainly right, and it was a pretty quick read.
I think this would be a great book to buy if you are thinking of making the transition to freelance. It provides a great overview of the things you will have to deal with as a freelancer, and it does a fantastic job of motivating you to be your best freelance self, charge what you are worth, and not succumb to the classic freelance workaholic situation.
I found the section about creative burnout particularly helpful. Too often, it’s easy to feel like you’re burning out, but you can’t afford/don’t deserve to take a break. It was nice to have the reminder that this happens to everyone, and sometimes the best thing to do is just walk away for a little bit.
However, I wouldn’t consider it to be the ULTIMATE guide to freelancing. While overall, the tone was friendly, helpful, and not condescending, I felt like they too often skimmed over sections where I would have loved to have some more nitty-gritty information. For example, while the tax-paying section had a lot of helpful information, I still don’t feel like I now have a working knowledge – or resource – for how to really handle all of that. When they talk about gaining clients, I didn’t find a lot of helpful real-world strategies for actually building your client base. When they talk about approaching larger companies for work, they don’t have any strategies for how to stand out from the crowd – or how to even get responses. It was kind of frustrating to get through what felt like the introductory paragraphs of a section, feel excited to learn more tips and strategies – and turn the page and realize that section was over.
Overall, I would recommend this if you are are thinking about being a freelancer, but aren’t quite there yet. It will be a helpful, engaging overview – the section about how to price yourself is particularly helpful – but you will definitely need to do some more digging as you progress down this career path.