Becoming a freelance designer or writer is so easy my elderly father’s girlfriend, who also is 80-ish and who doesn’t have a clue what freelancers do, could set up shop within 24 hours, including the time it would take to hang a shingle outside the door of her condo and get her business cards printed.
The fact is, anyone can become a freelancer. The trick is making a living doing it. If you’ve been successfully working as a freelancer for any length of time, you know what I mean. You spend more time hunting for work and dealing with clients (few of them are appreciative sweethearts) than actually putting a stylus to a tablet, a mouse to a screen or your fingers on a keyboard.
Freelance designer and author Jeremy Tuber has written two e-Books: Being a Starving Artist Sucks and Verbal Kung Fu for Freelancers. Both a similar (they overlap in many sections). While the emphasis is on making a go of being a freelance graphic designer, much of these two e-books apply to most kinds of freelance work. They’re not just for designers, in other words.
BASAS is geared toward would-be and experienced freelancers. You’ll learn how to price projects, negotiate the best price for any project, use advanced techniques your competitors might not know, how to market yourself and win new business.
VKFFF picks ups where BASAS leaves off, and that is, how to deal with clients. I know from experience that dealing with clients is often the toughest part of the job. They’ll whine about the price, they’ll try to get more work out of you than you’ve agreed upon, and there’s often politics going on behind the client’s desk so that the person you’re dealing with doesn’t really have the authority to make decisions. Worst, some clients will simply try to cheat you out of your dough, which is where preparing a contract or a proposal can help you get what you deserve.
As a long time, full-time freelancer (I write/edit Web copy via The Editorial Engine) I can tell you with certainty that both books will sharpen your freelance chops. Depending on how long you’ve been at the game, you might find much of the territory these books cover to be quite familiar. For example, at one time or the other, I have dealt with every single kind of client that Tuber mentions. I learned the very hard way how I should work with these Philistines and even know when to make the painful decision to dump some of them. I only wish I had read these books first. It would have saved me not only time, but would have taught me how to successfully resolve some tough situations.
Both books are clearly written, easy to follow and to pick up, put down and pick up where you left off without losing your train of thought. They’re the kind of how-tos that you can refer to again and again. Both are well organized into chapters that are readily accessible, especially in the form of e-Books on your iPhone/iPod touch or using an Amazon Kindle.
If you do a search for Tuber on iTunes, the two books will pop up selling for $4.99 each. If you go directly to the App Store description, however, you’ll find BASAS priced at $1.99 and VKFFF at $4.99. I’m not sure why that is–it may be an unannounced sale or a glitch in the system. Either way, and at either price, both are worth paying for. If you aspire to be a freelancer, start with BASAS; if you’re experienced, go with VKFFF. Bonus: They’re tax deductible if you file a Schedule C with your taxes (and you should be filing a Schedule C if you are self-employed).