Whether you're a new freelance writer or you have decades of experience in freelancing, there is always more to learn. That's why building a professional library is a smart idea.

You can learn or refresh yourself on the basics of being in business for yourself. Good books for freelance writers can teach you about new marketing tactics you haven't tried before. And if nothing else, they can inspire you to push through the tough times because they can serve as a reminder that you aren't alone in your struggles.

To help you build your professional library, here are five of my favorite books for freelance writers.

  • The Well-Fed Writer -- by Peter Bowerman -- This is hands-down my favorite book in the niche. Peter Bowerman's book is written in a great conversational style. It's very well-organized. It includes plenty of real-world case studies from other freelance writers. And it not only helps new freelance writers kick off their careers, but it shows them how to protect themselves in the process. Even though it focuses on commercial freelance writing opportunities, the vast majority of information in the book applies to all freelance writers. If you only buy and read one book on freelancing before going out on your own, it should be this one.
  • The Wealthy Freelancer -- by Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Savage, and Ed Gandia -- This book isn't specifically for freelance writers, but the information it provides very much applies. This book has a strong emphasis on the "work smarter, not harder" principle that I'm such a fan of. If you're looking to earn more as a freelance writer while still having plenty of free time for friends, family, and hobbies, this is a good book for you.
  • The Wealthy Writer -- by Michael Meanwell -- This is another book for commercial writers, but most of the information would be just as useful for other types of freelance writers. The highlight, for me, is Meanwell's section on public relations for writers. Obviously coming from a PR background, this appeals to me. But it's something far too many books ignore in favor of only talking about marketing tactics. And when you run a freelance writing business, you deal with personal branding. And that means you'd better understand basic PR and reputation management. If you need somewhere to start, this book can help.
  • The Renegade Writer -- by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell -- You might already read their Renegade Writer blog, but if you haven't picked up the authors' book yet, you should give it a read. It's the shortest book on this list, but that doesn't make it light on helpful information for freelance writers. This book is about breaking the "rules" you hear so much about, and doing it in a way that can make you stand out from the crowd.
  • The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed-- by Joseph D'Agnese and Denise Kiernan -- This book is another one that doesn't apply solely to freelance writers, but the information is worth having. That's especially true if you're a new freelancer and you're not sure what to expect financially. After all, things change when you don't have a steady paycheck and you have to play the financial role of both employer and employee. You won't learn how to run a successful freelance writing business. But you will learn how to better manage your freelance income which can help you avoid the feast-famine cycle so common in freelancing.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? What other books would you recommend to freelance writers? Tell us in the comments.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. Through her company, 3 Beat Media, she operates All Indie Writers, NakedPR.com, BizAmmo.com, and numerous other blogs.

Jenn has over 15 years experience writing for others, over 11 years experience in blogging, and 9 years experience in indie e-book publishing. She is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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