If you want to know the secrets of travel writing success, then bypass Thomas A Williams’ Get Paid to Write! and pick up something else.
But if your goal is to learn the art of freelance writing and how to make money at it, then this book is worth your time.
Get Paid to Write! is simply a guide to freelance writing. Nonetheless, the 13 easy-to-read, straightforward chapters can be applied to travel writing, or any other form of writing you might practice in order to make money.
And in these tight financial times, isn’t the ability to write beyond the travel genre a good thing?
A lot of writing books tend to rehash the same old suggestions on the subject, and this book does the same by noting the elements of a strong query, uncovering the “secrets” of freelance masters (they write every day, they revise what the write, etc.) and offering tips on how to read a magazine like a writer.
However, this book also has chapters on more unconventional ways that writers can make money, such as writing and selling e-books, manuals, special reports and similar products, and how to write for businesses. There is also a thorough chapter dedicated to business details such as rights and contracts that is organized well and easy to understand.
I was particularly intrigued by the last chapter, How to Build Your Reputation as a Writer, which suggests that writers prepare a media kit about themselves, their achievements and their specialties. I’ve never heard of this before and would be interested in knowing if writers who do this have success with it.
What Could Be Better:
Like I noted earlier, if you’re looking for a book that tells you how to become a travel writer, this isn’t it. There are no travel-specific suggestions, though many of the general tips in the book can be applied to travel writing. What it lacks is any discussion of press trips, different types of specific travel articles or reviews and ethics.
This book was published in 2004, so while many writing tactics are, in fact, ageless, there are things missing from the book. I’m impressed that Williams was writing e-books six years ago, but there are additional opportunities and issues that have popped up since then, such as writing apps, blogging and social media, that should be added if the book is ever updated.
This book presents new ideas and information I haven’t found anywhere else, so those looking for inspiration might especially enjoy this book, and those who want basic but solid advice on freelance writing should get a copy of Get Paid to Write!.
But if you need the nitty gritties on travel writing, choose another book.
What Travel Writing books do you recommend? Share your advice!