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How to Make a Living As a Writer

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  569 ratings  ·  74 reviews
It's the best time on Earth to be a writer

More writers are making money today than at any other time in history. For centuries few have been able to support themselves from the quill or the keyboard alone.

Not anymore. With the rise of ebooks and indie publishing there are now more opportunities than ever for writers to generate substantial income from their work. And there
Kindle Edition, 258 pages
Published October 29th 2014 by Compendium Press
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PollyAnna Joy
Aug 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Honestly, if you're a writer and you want to grow as a writer, you can't go wrong reading anything written by James Scott Bell. HOW TO MAKE A LIVING AS A WRITER gives the basics of being a writer and making a living at it. If you can read through this book and still want to be a writer--to write, then you're on the right track. If, however, you read Bell's book and get discouraged, then being a writer is NOT for you. Bell lays it on the line and shares the hard truth: writing is NOT easy--it is ...more
Gry Ranfelt
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lots of good, credible advice in here, but before I go on I must point something out that I found increasingly jarring as I read.

James Scott Bell repeatedly implores you to expand your reading, to challenge yourself, in order to become a better writer. He claims to do this himself, but there is avidence to the contrary.
I noticed that almost all of the writers he referred to throughout the book were men. The few women were Joanna Penn, K.M Weiland, Harper Lee, Suzanne Collins and a very few other
Tonya Burrows
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lots of good info here. I have a feeling I'll be re-reading my highlights often. ...more
Kristen Kieffer
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you're a writer, buy this book. Simple as that. Inside its pages, Bell shares a wealth of information about making a living as a writer, exploring it from all angles and encouraging you to ditch society's idea of a successful writer and start making your career goals a reality today. I can't recommend this enough. ...more
Carrie Daws
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
He starts with,"I have this quaint notion that it's okay for writers to make money from their writing," and ends with, "Nourish a life outside your writing." Mr. Bell has packed a lot into this book, and it is well worth the writer's time to read it. Sure, as others have pointed out, much of the information here is easily found elsewhere, but here it is all in one neat volume--very convenient. I found several tidbits that tweaked what I was already doing, and big chunks that confirmed I was on t ...more
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Yet another book about how to be a writer and make money at it. In many ways it says the same as others (write every day, keep learning and growing, stay fit and healthy, don’t give up because of critical reviews) but he did offer some new-to-me ideas (e.g. if you write in the morning, also write a little bit right before going to sleep, so your unconscious is focused on the story while you’re drifting in and out of sleep).

Like most of these how-to books, there’s a lot of filler in between the
Aaron N. Hall
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
James gives a lot of practical, actionable advice to writers such as myself that want to make this their career. I've changed the way I approach writing thanks to his advice. I'd recommend this book to every aspiring writer. ...more
Aug 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This book had general information. I was hoping to learn more on where the author gets his ideas and creativity as well as what his daily life looks and his writing process (perhaps samples of his notebook scribblings would be interesting). Also, I've previously read about most of the information in this book from other sources and therefore the information wasn't "new." ...more
Dominic Bellavance
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: essai, lu-en-2016
Un guide qui en couvre large, mais n'approfondit à peu près rien. L'auteur donne quelques "recettes" qui sont seraient garantes du succès. Un gros bof, je n'ai à peu près rien tiré de cette lecture, à part peut-être quelques trucs pour rédiger son "pitch de vente" sur des sites comme Amazon et Kobo. C'est de toute évidence une publication destinée aux véritables débutants, mais je n'oserais même pas recommander cette lecture à ceux qui commencent, justement à cause de la présence des recettes qu ...more
C.J. Darlington
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing-how-to
There are so many nuggets of wisdom in this book. Every single one of James Scott Bell's writing how-to books are must-reads for writers. This one is ideal for those who want to push themselves closer to full-time status. In today's writing climate it isn't a pie in the sky notion to make a living with your writing, and Bell explains the tools you'll need to get there. James Scott Bell is always encouraging, entertaining, and trustworthy. This one is worth reading more than once. In fact, this i ...more
Adam Collings
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing, non-fiction
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to start a career (or side-career) in writing. It provides a broad overview of activities and options. It fits in nicely with other books on the subject that I have read.
M.L. Bullock
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Just what I needed!

Great! I picked up some pointers from this book. Well worth the read. If you're thinking of becoming a writer, you need this book.
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Really good book. James Scott Bell writes clearly and sensibly, giving advice you can use the moment you set the book down. It is definitely a resource I will keep close at hand.
Peter Butler
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
James Scott Bell has authored numerous books on how to write and fiction novels both in the tradition and self-publishing markets. He is a lawyer as well and wrote his book, How to Make a Living as a Writer, as a guide for those who love to write and would like to make a living from it.

Bell begins by looking at how to write successfully and the need to understand that if you want to make a living as a writer, you need to understand that this is your business.

He goes on to explain how to set u
Chris Garner
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-writing
Although the first 18 chapters of How to Make a Living as a Writer were helpful, I was disappointed with most of what followed. The further along I got in the book, the more rushed it felt. The chapters became shorter and shorter, and the content became more and more superficial.

Besides that, I also found that one of the chapters contained at least partially reused material from Plot & Structure (another book by Bell), which was obviously very dissatisfying. As I got to the end, all of these fa
Nola Lorraine
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
In this useful guide, James Scott Bell covers the professional side of writing, from business essentials and strategies for reaching your goals, to different publishing models, to tips on writing in different genres. If you've been around writing circles for a while, you will have heard a lot of these tips before. However, it's always good to have a refresher. As it's a fairly short book, there wasn't a lot of detail on some topics, but it did give me some new ideas. It helped reinforce for me t ...more
Gabe Novoa
May 12, 2020 rated it liked it
This was okay! There were some good and interesting ideas, and I appreciated the emphasis at the end about not getting so caught up in writing and productivity that you don’t enjoy But there was also some prescriptivism that I didn’t love, and some unacknowledged privilege that made some of the advice, to me, fall short.

On a neutral point: a lot of it was geared toward self-publishing which wasn’t particularly useful for me, but others may definitely find that helpful.
Susan Misey
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
James Scott Bell is a master writer and a master teacher. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to make writing their day job. (All of his writing books are top-notch.) This book is appropriate for all levels of writers--from those just starting out on their journey to those of us who have been plugging away for some time. As Bell says, we writers must always continue learning more about our craft. Any of his books are a great place to begin. :)
Tristen Ashchi
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Because you want to understand and get back to writing

If you're a real writer, and you've doubted yourself, or maybe need some insight, Mr. Bell has got you with this book.

I laughed, I learned, and chapter 26 literally brought tears to my eyes. (And this is nonfiction folks!)

So, shut up and buy it. You'll thank yourself, Mr. Bell got writing it, and even me for the peer-pressure.

And since I know it's coming: You're welcome.
Dan Earl
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Book Every Writer Should Read

James Scott Bell hits another home run with this overview of the publishing industry and how to make a living in it. Readers will be well rewarded with insights on everything from plot to marketing. I got more than the cover price for this book. Happy reading!
Glen Robins
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
James Scott Bell nails it in this book. He covers every aspect of writing and publishing and being an entrepreneur. He gives great advice, shares wisdom, and gives encouragement to writers at every stage of their careers. I'll be reading more of his stuff because I like his engaging style, his subtle wit, and his positive outlook on life. ...more
Juneta Key
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing-craft
Wise Advice

Wise, engaging and lots of information you can use. A favorite writer on the craft and publishing. Love the info on short stories. Novellas and such and time management.
Jack Frosch
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So much practical advice and great inights

I always worry that these kinds of books will be 70% common sense, 25% fluff, and 5% valuable insights. Not this book! From the first page to the last, the author truly delivers on his subject: How to make a living as a writer.
Melinda Brinkman
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great resource to pick and choose as you need information for the different areas of writing. My 15-year old is planning her first NaNoWrMo next month and I will have her read the NaNoWrMo section. I really enjoyed this book.
Ryanne Harper
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a newbie writer, this book was full of useful information. James Scott Bell is realistic about the amount of work you have to put in, but he also offers up a lot of tips and is very motivational. I can't wait to start putting his method to use. ...more
Jay Matthew
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Useful start to the writers’ trek into the art of writing

Very good conversational style by the author makes this book easy to follow and packed with lots of practical advice for the new-to-career writer
Mr Kevin R Davis
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Packed with information

Pretty much all you need to know to get started as writer and progress to making a living as a writer.
Tara Cignarella
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I rally enjoyed this one... learned a few things.. learned I do some stuff right and some stuff not so right. lol
Deidrea DeWitt
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One Stop Writer’s Book

This book covers many different topics that all writers need to think about. Great advice and tips. I recommend it!
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Clear, concise, and almost zero fluff. Nearly 100% useful and actionable content. A great book for writers who don't know where to start in regards to a career. ...more
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Jim is a former trial lawyer who now writes and speaks full time. He is the bestselling author of Try Dying, No Legal Grounds, Presumed Guilty, Glimpses of Paradise, Breach of Promise and several other thrillers. He is a winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Inspirational Fiction, and was a fiction columnist for Writers Digest magazine. He has written two books in the Writers' Digest serie ...more

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