Free Half-Hogging Information For Freelance Writers?
As you all know by now, Going The Half Hog: Freelance Writing Without Marketing will soon be published. Since I’ve been somewhat obsessed with getting it done and consequently talking about it a lot, I’ve run into several people who’ve asked me the same two questions:
Is it true that almost everything in the book is available on ScrawlBug for free? And if that’s true… why am I publishing a book? Aren’t I cutting my nose off despite my face (as they say)?
There are a lot of answers to those questions, so I thought I’d clear the matter up publicly instead of replying to each individual who asks.
And yes, I know there are three questions there: the third sort of runs on from the second.
Let’s start with the first question, since it has a nice, easy answer: yes, almost everything in the book is available on ScrawlBug for free. There are a few extra bits in the book but pretty much all the vitalstuff is already online.
What about the whole “nose and face” thing? By publishing everything for free here, aren’t I defeating the point of a book you have to pay to read?
For starters, let me lay out three important facts:
- Nothing I’ve learned over the last three years of being a freelance writer has cost me any money.¹
- At heart, I’m an information-sharing hippy who believes that education should be free for everyone.
- I intensely dislike marketing, which is why there are no ads on this blog and why the book’s about freelance writing without marketing (duh).
That should answer why virtually all the information is available here for free. If it doesn’t, er… try reading the three points again!
Now, the big question is why I’m publishing a book with a price tag.
When you’ve had an idea slowly constructing itself in your brain like some kind of time-lapsed Lego film, with pieces flying in from all over the place and slotting themselves neatly into place, it’s hard to resist the urge to catch it on paper, bind it and sit it on the shelf, to regard in times of adversity, against the flapping of the flames.
On a less personal level, when I started squeezing the Half Hog out of my synapses, one of the most annoying parts of the process was searching for and collating the content I wanted to include from ScrawlBug. Anyone who’s ever tried to do this knows two things:
- The WordPress search sucks.
- Categories never work the way you wish they did.
It was a massive job to go through the whole of the site, piece everything together and assign entries to the different parts of the book where they would appear. Even once I’d figured out how to export a WordPress blog as text (or PDF in my case)² it was a major undertaking.
All the information is in one place and in order, so it’s easy to read and refer to.
So there you have it. If you don’t mind hunting around the ScrawlBug site, using the WP search engine (I pity the fool who tries that) or going through everything to collate the information you want, it’s all free. If not, the book will only set you back $10-$15 (price TBD) and will save you the hassle.
Plus you can carry it around with you or use it to prop open a door. Awesome.
Have you signed up for your chance to win a free copy of Going The Half Hog?
¹ If you exclude getting scammed once and paying for a month’s membership on a bidding site to try it out, that is.
² Lordy me, have I really been working on the book since June? How time flies when you’re beating yourself senseless against the brick wall of writer’s block.