I picked up a paperback version and here I present my thoughts.
Until a couple of weeks ago, had someone mentioned Lulu, I’d have thought of the Scottish singer (pictured), but a post over at Zeldman.com introduced me to self-publishing site Lulu.com, where anyone can publish their content for a worldwide market. Cool – I thought, but didn’t expect to be purchasing something from the site any time soon. A couple of days later, and a visit to FreelanceSwitch revealed their new book about Freelancing, How to Be a Rockstar Freelancer was published on Lulu.
Having always loved books, I ignored the PDF version, and plumped straight for the ‘hard’ copy, perhaps ignoring the rather steep price of £19.29 for 216 pages. I’d banked on the book’s website heritage to produce something that could justify me spending that amount of money. I did have some reservations about the quality of the book itself, and I did draw some parallels with tip-style books that sometimes appear on gaming magazines.
Payment on the Lulu site was seamless, and within a few days, I received my copy of the book.
Initial impressions were good – although not ‘full-size’ when compared to traditional technical books I’m used to, it felt pleasing in the hand.
I approached the book from a beginner’s standpoint – I was hungry for knowledge and reassurance about my new freelancing lifestyle – and not surprisingly, I found the book’s writing style and content to be very similar to that of the website. I have seen some other reviews of the book that give the book criticism because it is a little too close to the website’s content, and that the book is merely a collation of the articles presented on the site. Although this might be a downside for some, I consider that good content is good content, and hey – I still like books.
A testimonial on the book says that freelancers of all experience will gain something from the book, but I feel that it is mostly suited to those with a minimal amount of experience. Freelancers who’ve been around for a while may feel cheated by the book’s price.
A positive point is that the book clearly explains not only how to succeed as a freelancer, but how to make the change from full-time job. Other areas of note include:
- Choosing a place of work
- Getting off the ground by securing projects
- Project scope and timing
- Pricing your work
- Tracking hours and milestones
- Working with clients and dealing with disputes and problem clients
- Invoicing and getting paid
- Marketing your services as a freelancer
- Expanding your business
A preview of the book can be found on the Lulu website.
Overall, I feel that it is a worthwhile read and gave me lots of tips and confidence with my freelance ‘plan’.
- Friendly, informative writing style
- Good coverage of a wide range of topics
- Best suited for beginners
- Price is too high for many
- Experienced freelancers may not gain much