For many people making a living by writing is their dream. Is it really possible to make a living this way? Of course, people are doing it every day. Here is some information about some of the ways you can write as a business and what being in this business entails.
There are a wide variety of ways to make a living as a writer. You can write fiction or nonfiction, poetry, books, magazine articles, pamplets, and advertisements, to name only a few of the venues for writers, You can contract for writing jobs as a freelance writer, self-publish your own work, or find an agent to represent you to major publishers. The references below provide you with information on each of these and more.
Writers are part of the NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code of 711510, Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers. The NAICS definition of the independent artists, writers, and performers is "independent (i.e., freelance) individuals primarily engaged in performing in artistic productions, in creating artistic and cultural works or productions, or in providing technical expertise necessary for these productions. This industry also includes athletes and other celebrities exclusively engaged in endorsing products and making speeches or public appearances for which they receive a fee."
Detailed listings for more than 8,000 editors who buy what you write.
Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law
Defines usage, spelling, and grammar for newspaper editors, but very useful for any writer.
The Chicago Manual
The most important guide for preparing and editing book manuscripts for publication.
The Complete Guide
to Self Publishing
Published by the Writer's Digest.
Guide to Publishing Children's Books
Practical advice on getting started as a children's author.
Damn! Why Didn't I
The process of publishing nonfiction, from idea, research, query letters, and proposals to agents, contract negotiations, and promotion.
How to analyze a magazine's underlying editorial matrix and to shape stories accordingly.
Getting Your Book
Published for Dummies
How to choose a book idea, get inspired to write, find a market for your work, choose a publisher, act as your own agent, negotiate your contract, & self-publish on the Web.
How to Publish
A complete system of article submission geared to maximaize your odds of getting an acceptance, and avoiding those errors that can turn off an editor.
How to Publish
Your Poetry: A Practical Guide
A guide to publishing your poetry in magazines, books, pamphlets, and on the Internet.
Kirsch's Guide to
the Book Contract
For authors, publishers, editors and agents.
Literary Law Guide
Copyrights, trademarks and contracts in plain language.
A guide to writing, formatting, and selling your script.
A practical reference for finding the "right" word.
Selling Your Novel
Fundamentals, techniques and fine tuning.
Theory and methods plus advice on drafting a book proposal and relevant legal issues.
One of the largest circulation poetry magazines in the U.S., APR presents the best of contemporary poetry plus a wide range of work in translation, reviews, essays, interviews, and commentary from some of the most exciting writers of our time.
Rates the best and worst in new books by summarizing book reviews from over 40 major publications and reviews.
Profiles and interviews the top writers of today and the voices of tomorrow.
Poets and Writers
Includes interviews with poets and fiction writers as well as essays written by established authors, with news about the publishing community and coverage of political issues of interest to writers.
Covers trade news, book design and manufacture, bookselling and merchandising, plus interviews with influential authors and publishing principles.
Today's best-selling writers discuss dialogue, plotting, characterization, suspense, romantic fiction; non-fiction writers cover interviewing, research, finding good subjects, how and when to query, turning personal experience into salable articles and books.
Focuses on writers and their trade: the craft of writing, the tools for writing, the markets for writing. Features offer specific advice on how to write and sell magazine and newspaper articles, novels and nonfiction books, plays, poetry, scripts - anything involving the written word.