Business Books for Writers – A Writing Career Vs “I Want to Write”

These business books for writers will help you build a writing career and take you from “I want to write” to earning a living with your words! Every month I make more money as a freelance writer and blogger, because I treat writing like a business. Being businesslike about writing includes a steady diet of books for entrepreneurs and small business owners — and luckily, many of them are fascinating!

These business book tips will help you build a profitable, long-term, sustainable writing career.

Before the tips, a quip:

“Forget the notion of ‘I can’t do it’ and remind yourself ‘I can do it – it’s just a matter of figuring out when and how,” writes Julie Watson in Great Tips for Your Small Business: Increase Your Profit and Joy in Your Work.

You can build a writing career and earn a living as a freelance writer, blogger, or book author! You just need to find your niche, stay focused, and keep learning about writing, editing, publishing, and working as a writer. I especially love business books like Great Tips for Your Small Business — this one in particular offers a wide variety of helpful, practical, effective tips.

Here are some of my favorite books for entrepreneurs and small business owners…

A Writing Career Versus the “I Wanna Write” Itch

When I first started freelance writing four years ago, my husband used to throw around the phrase “your writing career.” That stymied me – all I wanted to do was write! I didn’t think of writing as my career and sole source of income. I certainly didn’t think of it as his ticket to early retirement (which he’s now been claiming for a year. Fine by me – when he “retires”, I’m putting him to work as my business manager).

What was my tipping point? That is, did something specific take me from “I wanna write” to “I earned over $3,000 last month from my blogs and web articles — not including my freelance writing income”?  Yup. My tipping point was hearing bestselling author Bob Mayer speak at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference. He said he can’t afford writer’s block and he can’t wait for the muse. He’s got bills to pay, kids to feed, and a wife to stay married to – he simply can’t sit around waiting for inspiration to strike!

Are you waiting for a visit from the muse? Stop it. To build a successful writing career, you need to be strategic, disciplined, and focused. You also need to surround yourself with the right resources and mentors, which is what these business books for writers are all about.

Business Books for Writers

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell is fascinating, even though it doesn’t offer specific tips for building a writing career. Gladwell discusses numerous factors that go into creating and running a successful business, which may help you see your writing career in a different light.

Secrets of a Freelance Writer: How to Make $100,000 a Year or More by Bob Bly is one of the best books on making money writing. Actually, any book about writing by Bly is worth reading! He’s got freelancing and copywriting down to a science, and he happily shares his secrets.

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Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition by Guy Kawasaki one of those books I wish I had the knowledge, talent, and experience to write. I know that one of his other books — The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything — is more popular, but I love Reality Check. It’s not just packed with tips for entrepreneurs, it’s also shares a lot of people, communication, and basic life skills.

Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead by Nancy Ancowitz is a fantastic business book for introverted writers who aren’t thrilled with the idea of marketing their services, books, or blog.

Friends with Benefits: A Social Media Marketing Handbook by Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo — they’re both online marketing and communication experts. Despite the fact that I’m not groovin’ on the Friends With Benefits title — it confuses me — this has excellent information on how to promote yourself and build your writing business (any business, not just writing) with online marketing tools.

When Smart People Fail by Carole Hyatt and Linda Gottlieb. I bought this book when waiting to hear if I was accepted into grad school. It’s a fantastic business book for writers because it describes how to bounce back from rejection and failure. (And yes, I was accepted into grad school, but decided not to go).

 If you struggle with writing motivation and self-discipline, read 73 Ways to Fire Up (or Just Fire!) the Muse: How to Write When You Don’t Wanna, or Think You Can’t. It’s my ebook, and it contains tips from dozens of freelance writers and published authors to help with everything from self-doubt to critical family members to fear of success.

Fellow scribes, do you have any favorite writing or business books? I welcome your tips below…

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