Book Review – 102 Ways to Earn Money Writing 1,500 Words or Less


You can probably guess from all of my blogging, but I’m a fan of writing. With over 800 posts so far and no end in sight, I’ve written several hundred thousand words so far, and have no plans to stop. Still, if you’d like to earn money from writing a smaller number of words, what options do you have available?

102 Ways to Earn Money Writing 1,500 Words or Less presents, well, 102 ways for a would-be writer to make some money using their writing skills, without having to write novella length pieces in order to profit. Given how many people want to put their literary skills to work blogging and similar activities, it would be nice to get some other decent ideas. So, does this book provide some good ones, or leave you wanting more? Let’s find out!

Summary

102 Ways to Earn Money Writing 1,500 Words or Less starts with sharing how the author, I.J. Schecter, got into writing, and why he decided to write a book sharing more than one hundred ways to profit through writing. There’s also a list of ten advantages of making your living through freelance writing.

The 102 suggestions for ways to pursue your writing opportunities are broken up into five chapters, each one looking at a particular type of publication or other type of writing. Each suggestion throughout the book describes a type of writing, gives advice for how to research the type of writing, and mentions who to contact to get your writing published. There are also, throughout each chapter, various guides to writing in general, primarily in the form of interviews with editors or advice from other professional writers.

The first section of the book looks at writing for magazines, where some of the suggestions include everything from front-of-book pieces (the short pieces at the start of most magazines) to ratings and reviews, along with few more unusual suggestions like puzzles and travel articles. (If you aren’t already a long-time writer for the magazine, though, don’t expect them to cover your travel expenses; that was a particular point raised in the part on travel writing.)

Section two gets into writing for newspapers, in numerous different capacities. From op-ed pieces to regular columns, general news articles to beat reporting, numerous types of writing are described. If your talents tend more towards drawing, there’s also some discussion of getting yourself a comic strip or political cartoon (and the possibility of working with someone able to do some drawing to create comics together).

If focusing on nonfiction doesn’t do much for you, the third section of the book looks at literary outlets, such as literary journals and other such periodicals. If you’d like to get paid for writing short stories, poems, or dramatic pieces, among other types of literature, here’s where it’s covered. There’s also a discussion of how to apply translation skills (should you have any) as a way to earn yourself some money.

The fourth and largest section in the book covers corporate writing, which basically means any type of writing you can do for a business (whether that business is a huge corporation, a small company or a single individual, all of which are covered differently throughout the section). This section and the last section of the book also add another point to each suggestion, providing advice on what fee to charge for your service. The suggestions for this section cover nearly every type of writing that companies do, from speeches to press releases to company histories to FAQs. If companies need to write it, it’s mentioned in the nearly forty suggestions in this section.

The fifth and final section of the book covers, well, ‘Everything Under the Sun,’ just about every other place you could be paid for a short piece of writing. From getting paid to proofread and edit a resume or job application to greeting cards and legal arguments to TV and Radio scripts, any type of writing that can you money is included here. There are even some truly unusual suggestions, such as love poems, kid’s stories and erotica (yup, erotica, just in case you were thinking the book wasn’t thorough), if you are looking for a real unusual writing opportunity.

Pros

102 Ways to Earn Money Writing 1,500 Words or Less does pretty much what it describes, giving 102 suggestions for ways to earn money by writing. Many of the suggestions are not the sort of thing that would likely occur to most would be writers (such as greeting cards and legal documents). Each suggestion has some details on how to turn that sort of writing into a profit, from whom to contact to (in most cases) how much to reasonably charge.

Cons

As with most books that attempt to cover numerous suggestions at once, the level of detail for each suggestion is fairly short (less than two pages for each piece). As a result, you’ll probably need more detail about any given writing possibility before tackling it. Also, if you need help with your writing skills, you’ll need to look elsewhere; this book assumes that you are already a skilled enough to write any of the types of articles or stories listed in the book.

Overall

102 Ways to Earn Money Writing 1,500 Words or Less is a pretty good, though far from detailed, source of possible ways to put your writing skills to work earning money. You’ll likely need to find further sources fleshing out the ideas given (more than a few of the suggestions provide other sources to check), as the suggestions are fairly short and non-detailed themselves. Still, given how many of the suggestions are fairly unusual for most writers (erotica, anyone?), it can definitely serve as a means of providing writing ideas.

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