Hey humans of the Internet! Do you dig reading my Shop Talk and Ask The Freelance Dude columns here on the ye olde work blog? If so, then you’re going to (hopefully) love this. I’ve been working hard behind the scenes for the past year to write a full book covering the many ins and outs of how to freelance in the video game industry. The book, lovingly dubbed “Up Up Down Down Left WRITE: The Freelance Guide to Video Game Journalism,“ is about two-thirds finished, and I’m getting everything together that I need to wrap-up the book and self-publish it. But I need your help to push this thing over the finish line and make it super awesome, so I’m launching a Kickstarter later this week! Here’s a little more detail about the project.
UPDATE! The Kickstarter IS LIVE! (Mwuhahaha)
What’s in the book?
Up Up Down Down Left WRITE is a detailed guide to game journalism that specifically focuses on the freelance side of things, from getting started and scoring those first paying assignments to troubleshooting and expanding your business. This book includes many of my Shop Talk pieces, which I’ve expanded, updated, and re-worked substantially from their earlier versions posted on the site, alongside a ton of new content and extra insider info. I’ve included a rough breakdown of chapters towards the bottom of this post, though this will likely change somewhat as the book nears completion.
Please Give Me a Hand (Because You Are Awesome)
I’ll need all the help I can get to make the upcoming Kickstarter for the book a success. I’ve got lots of cool rewards, including physical goodies, access to early print and digital copies of the book ahead of the official launch, opportunities to help shape the book itself, and a chance to chat with me or meet in person to talk shop.
Any support you’d be willing to give would be greatly appreciated. If you’ve found my online ramblings inspiring, amusing, or helpful in any way, please considering contributing to this project as a backer or letting your peeps know about it. If you’re an editor, writer, or other awesome person I’ve worked with that has the ability to help get the word out about this project, I’d be super grateful if you can post about the book Kickstarter on Twitter, Facebook, your Blog, or other social media format once the Kickstarter page goes live in a few days. That would mean a lot to me.
Chapters! (Rough Draft)
Part I: Underwear and Keyboards
1) Demystifying The Freelance Life
2) The Awesome (And Not So Awesome) Things About Being A Freelance Game Journalist
3) Do You Have What It Takes To Freelance?
Part II: Battle Plans
4) Getting Started
5) On Writing For Free
6) Pay Rates
7) Setting and Meeting Goals
8) Chasing The Work
9) Getting Down To Business
10) Navigating Tax Hell
Part III: The Craft
12) What Do I Write?
13) Anatomy of a Pitch
14) Pitching Dos and Don’ts
15) Firing From The Hip (Don’t Shoot Yourself)
16) After The Pitch
17) Working With Editors
18) Improving Your work
19) Maximizing Productivity
Part IV: In The Trenches
20) Working with PR
21) Surviving the Busy Season and the Slow Spells
22) Covering Conventions
23) By The Power of Debug
24) More on Money Matters
25) Expanding Your Freelance Business
Part V: Troubleshooting
26) Rowdy Readers and How To Deal With Them
27) On Eggs in Baskets
28) Beating The Freelance Doldrums
29) The Move (aka Relocating Hell)
…and possibly more.
Keep your eyes peeled for the official Kickstarter launch this week. I expect to flick the magic switch and get this sucker live within the next few days.