Landing Freelance Work with Your Book

You wrote a book. Great! Aside from selling it in ebook, print, and audiobook versions, how else can you leverage it for income? How about use it as the basis for getting some freelance work?

2016-04-20 Landing Freelance Work with Your Book

My Sad Story Pitching on Upwork

2016-04-20 journal notebook laptop pen paper page bookNot long ago, I decided to add freelance writing and editing on top of my indie publishing activities. The first place I went was Upwork, a site that helps freelancers and potential clients connect and collaborate. (I’ve worked with Upwork from the hiring side, too, and love their service.)

My initial foray into pitching clients was pretty dismal. I pitched numerous clients for proofreading and copyediting and couldn’t get a bite in the cesspool of competition. I was getting discouraged.

Don’t Pitch Useless Jobs

2016-04-20 writing writer pen paper page book journal notebook coffee mugThe first thing I did was to re-evaluate the kinds of clients I was pitching. You’d be amazed how many job descriptions on Upwork read like this:

I have a 24,000-word document that needs editing.

That’s it. No elaboration. No explanation of the content of the document. No idea what kind of editing we’re talking about–content editing, copyediting, or proofreading. Just words that need edits.

I stopped pitching these jobs. Given such limited information, how was I supposed to explain the ways in which I was the perfect fit for the job? “I can edit. Hire me.”

Pitching Awesome Clients

2016-04-20 writer writing pen paper pagesI started using a keener eye when looking for clients.

  • Did they specify what kind of editing or writing they were looking for?
  • Did they mention specific tasks that were a unique fit to my skill set?
  • Did they say what their document was about?

Here’s an example of a (pretend) client that would be a perfect fit for me:

Hello! I’ve written a 52,000-word memoir about growing up in foster care. I need help with the flow of the writing, grammar, and punctuation. I’d also really like help with formatting the book for Kindle and CreateSpace.

This is a job I could ace. Here’s why:

  • My book Journaling to Become a Better Writer is part memoir; so I have experience writing and publishing in the genre.
  • My up-coming series stars a girl who is growing up in foster care, so I’m very interested in the topic of this person’s book.
  • She’s told me exactly what she needs help with–and it amounts to both copyediting and proofreading, my two specialties.
  • To tie the knot on the deal, I’m one of few freelancers who can not only edit but also format.

Using Your Book to Clinch the Deal

2016-04-20 books pages wordsIf you’ve written a book, you’ve suddenly joined an elite club–never mind that anyone can write and publish a book now days. Potential clients are still impressed if you pitch them and say, “I’m the author of xyz.

Let’s say you’ve written a romance. If you’re looking for jobs on Upwork or other sites, you should zero in on people looking for help with their romance novel. You’re a shoe in!

Get creative, too. I leveraged my book about journaling to land a job proofreading a book about business and life success. How? I mentioned the important part: that when I sent my book past my beta readers, entire chapters went by with no red marks. I used that to prove that I was an attentive copyeditor and proofreader. And I was hired!

If you’re looking for freelance work to supplement your income, how can you leverage your book to land jobs?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *