Our guest today is Daisy McCarty, author of Make Freelancing REALLY Pay: Communication and Negotiation Strategies That Take You to the Top. Daisy is a self-educated writer and co-founder of Freelance Text, a professional services firm that specializes in web content creation. Since transitioning out of a seven year career in Corporate Procurement in 2008, Daisy has been using her negotiating skills to navigate to the higher levels of the online writing industry. Today, she mentors informally at Professional Freelancers Network, and offers formal one-on-one consulting services to freelancers who are ready to increase their income.
Thank you for this interview, Daisy. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I’m a self-educated writer and the co-founder of Freelance Text, a professional services firm that specializes in content creation for businesses. I transitioned to the freelance industry from a career in Corporate Procurement about six years ago. I had no professional experience as a writer before I decided to become a freelancer. I did a lot of writing growing up, but hadn’t pursued that interest as an adult. I had to really work to brush up on my skills, but it paid off!
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
Make Freelancing REALLY Pay is a collection of practical strategies designed to address the most common challenges new and struggling freelancers face. It covers topics such as how to attract and select the best clients, create income stability, and charge respectable rates for freelance services.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
Non-fiction in the “how to” genre gives me the chance to offer readers solutions that can improve their lives. That’s a pretty tempting opportunity for a writer who wants to make a difference.
What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
Cutting out some of the parts I really liked because they weren’t an ideal fit for what I was trying to achieve with this particular book. Every communication and negotiation strategy is intended to be broadly applicable since my book is for freelancers in all industries. That meant I had to avoid just focusing on tips for writers. In the end, I’m very satisfied with the choices I made. I did end up with a lot of “leftover” strategies that turned into great blog posts.
Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
I self-published my ebook using the tools at Amazon and Smashwords.
Was it the right choice for you?
Absolutely! I’ve heard from other authors that they still have to do the lion’s share of the work in marketing their books even when they have a publishing deal. I’m all about taking responsibility for my own success, so I decided to self-publish and cut out the middleman. I hired an editor, a graphic designer, a photographer, a web developer, a social media firm, and a PR agency. I like having this level of control over the publishing process. It’s a great learning experience. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to choose my own team of professional freelancers to work with throughout the publication process. They’ve all been fantastic.
How are you promoting your book thus far?
I am promoting my book via my website and blog, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, guest posting, collaborating with providers of freelance training courses, and a virtual tour with Pump Up Your Book.
How is that going for you?
It’s still early in the marketing game in terms of sales numbers, but I’m generating a lot of interest, getting awesome reviews, and forming some great collaborative relationships. I sell about one book through my website for every copy I sell on Amazon. All the sales through my site are for international readers (Australia, Canada, Europe). So I’m obviously reaching a pretty broadly dispersed audience. That’s very exciting!
Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?
Several of my sales have been a direct result of interactions on LinkedIn. I’m a member of a number of freelance discussion groups and drop in a few times a week to offer advice to other freelancers. Several freelancers have purchased my book as a result of my interactions with them on LinkedIn. There’s nothing that sells a “how to” book better than showing that you know what you are talking about and that you truly want to help others.
Do you have another job besides writing?
No, this is what I have been doing for almost six years with no other source of income. Fortunately, I can make a full-time income just working part-time these days. I have lots of free time to pursue other interests and enjoy with my family.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
Start early—before you even write the book. This helps you gauge the level of interest, target your book properly, and ensure everything is in place for a big push once you publish. By the time you get done with the editing process, you’re likely to be worn out. That’s not the time to start from scratch with promotion. Get your website, blog and social media off the ground well in advance of your publication date.
What’s next for you?
I’m thinking about writing a workbook for new freelancers. It would give step by step guidance and practical exercises for people who are just starting out. I’m also interested in spending more time working as an illustrator. Writing is a great way to pay the bills, but art is my passion.
Thank you for this interview, Daisy. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
You can find me at my website http://makefreelancingpay.com. There are buttons that lead to all my social media profiles in the right sidebar. Thanks for the opportunity to share my book with your readers!
BUY YOUR COPY OF MAKE FREELANCING REALLY PAY AT AMAZON.