You don’t pick up a book with a title like, “Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer,” without a clear purpose. And as a guide for new writers trying to find a way to market themselves, it serves that purpose.
One drawback to the book is the very limited focus with which Allen advises freelancers. The majority of her advice focuses on pitching articles to magazines and newspapers. Something that doesn’t help is the fact that the book was published in 2011, making it somewhat dated in regard to rising markets like social media and blogging. There is nothing inherently wrong with this approach, since it is still relevant today. It merely excludes a major market that new freelancers can tap into, which can add confusion to the process of hunting for work.
With that said, the book is otherwise a good, comprehensive reference on many aspects of freelance writing that I hadn’t even considered, like organization and taxes. Allen includes essential information of this sort and includes useful examples of documents like query letters, tracking sheets, and more (that I gladly refer when writing documents for my own search efforts). She breaks everything down in a way that makes it easy to understand and digest. But it’s a lot of information, so it’s easy to forget exactly how to file taxes for freelance income before you’ve earned your first dollar. Because of this, I will probably buy a copy of this book so I can refer to its advice at all stages of the process.