The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing

Get started with a wonderful career as a freelance writer. This book will show you everything you need to know to earn and be successful.

Download from Amazon


Prime Your Freelance Writing Career for Success!

So you want to be a freelance writer. Great! But now you’re faced with a laundry list of questions: Should I freelance full time or part-time? Should I write for magazines, newspapers, or online markets? How do I dream up the perfect article idea, and how do I pitch it successfully? How do I negotiate contracts, foster relationships with editors, and start getting steady work while avoiding financial panic attacks and unpleasant ulcers?

The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing answers all of these questions–and much more. From breaking into navigating the basics of the business, this book is your road map to a fruitful and rewarding freelance life. You’ll learn how to:

    • Dig into various markets, including consumer magazines, trade journals, newspapers, and online venues.
    • Make your digital mark and build your writing platform.
    • Pitch like a pro and craft solid query letters that get responses.
    • Conduct professional interviews in person, by phone, or by e-mail.
    • Write and structure various types of articles, from front-of-the-book pieces to profiles and features.
    • Quit your lackluster day job, and live the life you’ve always wanted.

Filled with insider secrets, candid advice, and Zachary Petit’s trademark humor and blunt honesty, The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing won’t just show you how to survive your freelancing writing career–it will teach you how to truly thrive.

“Funny, useful, and yes, essential.” – A.J. JacobsNew York Times best-selling author, editor at large at Esquire magazine, NPR commentator, and columnist for Mental Floss magazine

“Zachary Petit is the best editor I ever worked for. His Essential Guide to Freelance Writing is as brilliant, incisive, and thorough as I expected. Do everything he says for a more successful career!” – Susan Shapiro, New School writing professor and New York Times bestselling author of What’s Never Said and Only As Good as Your Word: Writing Lessons From My Favorite Literary Gurus

“As both freelance writer and magazine editor, Zachary Petit has put together the finest (and most amusing) book I’ve read on how to break into professional writing and what to do once you get in the door. Funny, inspiring, and brimming with crucial nuts-and-bolts information, The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing should be on every freelancer’s bookshelf.” – Melissa Rossi, former travel columnist and author of the What Every American Should Know series.

“Want to score more writing gigs and earn well while doing what you love? Here’s your chance to learn the ins and outs of freelance writing from an actual editor and long-time writer who has seen it all–from difficult sources to snooze-worthy queries. Zachary’s book offers new writers insider tips, counterintuitive advice (that works!), and a few naughty words (c’mon, you know they’re funny).” – Linda Formichelli, co-author of Write Your Way Out of the Rat Race… and Step Into a Career You Love and co-owner of The Renegade Writer Blog and

“Getting started as a freelance writer can seem like a daunting game: so much information to sort through and so many rules and stumbling blocks that seem designed to keep you out. Zachary Petit knows all about it, and that’s why he wrote this book. It’s blessedly simple, yet packed with all the information you need to figure out your own unique path into this business. Zac’s hard-won wisdom is both educational and entertaining. The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing can save you tons of time, help you earn more money, and keep you out of trouble while you’re doing it. If you grab a copy and read it, you’ll be well equipped to dive into the wonderful, lively, rewarding world of freelance writing.” – Elizabeth Sims, prize-winning novelist, contributing editor for Writer’s Digest, and author of You’ve Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams.

“Zachary Petit’s The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing is exactly that: essential. Covering every topic a freelancer might need to understand, from query letters to tax deductions, Petit has created a veritable freelancer’s bible of insight and wisdom, replete with concrete examples. Suited for both the emerging writer hoping to break into the market and the trained veteran looking for a useful reference, The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing is a must-have for independent writers. One wonders how we have survived for so long without such a volume.” – Jacob M. Appel, author of Einstein’s Beach House

Zachary Petit is the editor of the National Magazine Award-winning publication PRINT, the content director of HOW and PRINT, a freelance journalist, and a lifelong literary and design nerd. Formerly, he was the longtime managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine and executive editor of several related newsstand titles. Alongside the thousands of articles he has penned as a staff writer and editor, covering everything from the secret lives of mall Santas to literary legends, his words regularly appear in National Geographic Kids, and have also popped up in the pages of National Geographic, Melissa Rossi’s What Every American Should Know book series, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and many other outlets. He has never eaten olive and is forever slightly uncomfortable writing about himself in the third person.