There are lots of great freelancing books out there, and in this article I’ll talk about my personal favorites. I’ve kept the focus on freelancing for the main list (unlike some other articles that include everything and anything!). But there are a few honorable mentions later on that are slightly less freelance-centric, but still useful for beginners.
The 8 best books for freelancers in 2024 are:
- Survival Skills for Freelancers by Sarah Townsend
- The Multi-Hyphen Method by Emma Gannon
- The Freelancer’s Bible by Sara Horowitz and Toni Sciarra Poynter
- Stop Thinking Like a Freelancer by Liam Veitch
- The Freelance Introvert by Tom Albrighton
- Freelancing: The Blueprint by Tyler Ford
- Falling Off the Ladder by Helen Hill
- The Six-Figure Freelancer by Laura Briggs
These books allow you to absorb a considerable amount of valuable information and improve your skills in a relatively short space of time. I’ll keep updating this list from time to time as new great books come out!
The 8 Best Books For Freelancers In 2024
1. Survival Skills For Freelancers By Sarah Townsend
Pages: 212 | Best For: All kinds of freelancers
Up first we have Survival Skills for Freelancers, a book packed with information to help you become a more confident freelancer and survive in what can be quite a ruthless industry. It’s a little over 200 pages, but it has so much value for freelancers at all stages of their self-employed journey.
The author, Sarah Townsend, has more than 20 years of experience as a freelance copywriter. And it’s clear when you read this book that she has picked up a lot of wisdom along the way. I found the book both educational (of course) and entertaining – which again isn’t a surprise given her wealth of experience with words!
The book includes lessons about:
- Staying focused and productive in the isolated world of self-employment
- How to build your network, grasp opportunities, and know your worth
- Deal with the negative sides of freelancing
2. The Multi-Hyphen Method by Emma Gannon
Pages: 288 | Best For: Freelancers looking for more flexibility and diversification
In The Multi-Hyphen Method, Emma Gannon explains how you can make different projects and interests work together at the same time, without having to choose just one. She completely deconstructs the idea that we all need a 9-5 job, and she describes how your work can be flexible and explains how your income can come from different sources.
The Multi-Hyphen Method offers practical advice and exercises based on research, real-life examples, and her personal experience that you can reflect on and adapt to your freelancing situation.
The book introduces the term “multi-hyphenate” — this essentially means you are capable of designing a career that combines and reflects your various interests and talents. You do this in a cohesive way that gives you flexibility, happiness, and career longevity.
So, if you have a passion for many different things and would like to find a career path in which you can use them all without having to spread yourself thin, this book is perfect for you!
Note: For more information, you can check out our full review of The Multi-Hyphen Method
3. The Freelancer’s Bible By Sara Horowitz And Toni Sciarra Poynter
Pages: 496 | Best For: Beginner freelancers looking to learn how it all works
Sara Horowitz, the founder of the Freelancer’s Union, along with Toni Sciarra Poynter, wrote The Freelancer’s Bible with the intention of covering everything a freelancer needs to know about the career path. Creating contracts, negotiating with clients, and building networks are just a few of the important things she delves into in the book.
The book is divided into five sections:
- Getting started
- Getting work
- Growing your business
- Managing your business
- Your business and your community
It’s filled with high-quality and reliable advice, and it should be kept close to your place of work, for whenever you need some quick tips on how to be a better freelancer!
If you’re a beginner freelancer looking to learn about everything that goes into the trade, or if you want to take your freelancing career to the next level, this one is worth picking up. While there is a lot of information to absorb at one time, and there are quite a few plugs for the Freelancer’s Union, it’s super easy to read and there are even some interactive elements like quizzes and checklists!
4. Stop Thinking Like A Freelancer By Liam Veitch
Pages: 251 | Best For: Those looking to understand the challenges of freelancing
Stop Thinking Like a Freelancer is a hard reality check on freelancing and everything it entails. In it, Liam Veitch gives you an honest insight into real problems freelancers face, while still providing handy, practical tips to overcome them. Veitch wants you to be aware of the darker corners of this career path, while still giving you the tools to survive and thrive.
The author explores what he calls the five phases of running and growing your business. These are:
- Becoming ready for evolution
- Attracting dream clients
- Building your platform
- Creating predictability
- Working less while earning more
It’s a fairly quick (and easy) read, and it’s one you can easily refer to from time to time. If you’re ready to turn a hobby into a successful business, then this book is for you!
5. The Freelance Introvert by Tom Albrighton
Pages: 181 | Best For: Freelancers that love working on their own
This next book will be a popular one with any freelancers that enjoy the isolated aspect of freelancing. In The Freelance Introvert, freelance copywriter Tom Albrighton deals with some of the most important issues that freelancers face. Largely those stemming from the fact you do most of your work solo.
To many, including me, this is a great part of freelancing. But there’s no doubt it comes with its challenges. The book tackles these head-on, going through things like:
- How to set boundaries
- How freelancing can be great for introverts
- Setting prices that suit your level of expertise
- Building your confidence as a freelancer
If you think of yourself as an introvert, and you either are already freelancing or want to start, this book is really the perfect choice!
6. Freelancing: The Blueprint By Tyler Ford
Pages: 24 | Best For: Those looking for a quick guide to freelancing
The Freelancing Blueprint covers the ins and outs of freelancing. It’s a bit different to the other freelancing books on this list, being just 24 pages long. However, this makes it a super quick read that’s packed with value for the beginner freelancer.
For beginners, the author lays down some steps that’ll help anyone become a top-earning freelancer in 90 days. For more experienced freelancers, he goes further on topics like how to improve monetization.
The Freelancing Blueprint breaks things down into small, specific, and practical steps, followed by many top-earning freelancers, that can you can easily implement in your own freelancing career.
If you’re looking for a (very) quick guide that will help you set up your freelancing career and let you in on some of the industry’s secrets, then this book is for you.
7. Falling Off The Ladder By Helen Hill
Pages: 296 | Best For: Those thinking of making the move to freelancing from a traditional job
The next entry on our list of the best books for freelancers is Falling Off The Ladder. This is a book all about thriving in self-employment. Helen Hill uses this book to illustrate the importance of having the right mindset and mentality for succeeding on your own terms.
The book takes its name from the idea of falling off the traditional career ladder and into self-employment for various reasons. This concept will ring true for many freelancers, who perhaps moved into the style of work from a more traditional stint of employment, maybe even seemingly by accident.
However, regardless of how you found yourself venturing into the world of freelancing, this book has plenty of value to offer.
Through various interactive activities, Helen Hill encourages you to reflect on your own position as a self-employed person. You’ll find yourself affirming your reasons and motivations for becoming and remaining a freelancer. This can help build your confidence and reassure you that you’re working towards the right goals.
Falling Off The Ladder is a great read for both beginner and advanced freelancers alike.
Note: You can also check out our full review of Falling Off The Ladder
8. The Six-Figure Freelancer by Laura Briggs
Pages: 216 | Best For: Freelancers looking to upgrade their earnings
Finally we have The Six-Figure Freelancer by Laura Briggs. The title is sure to grab anyone’s attention, as it’s what many of us aspire to become. The author has plenty of freelancing experience, primarily as a writer, but she has also spoken at TEDx three times and written 4 other books. So she’s the perfect person to teach you about taking your freelance business to the next level.
The gig economy can be a scary place. There is a lot of uncertainty and even more competition, so knowing your place in all of it can be tough as a beginner freelancer. This book provides a roadmap designed to help you understand the value you add to the industry, and how you can leverage that to make more money.
With a focus on finding high-ticket clients and capitalizing on big-money projects, this book is the ideal companion for any freelancer that wants to make more money – i.e. everyone!
Other Freelancing Books To Consider
These are a few books I feel aren’t a must-read for all freelancers, or perhaps are more indirectly beneficial. Nonetheless, they’re all worth checking out.
The 4 Hour Workweek By Tim Ferriss
Pages: 416 | Best For: Those looking for motivation to take their life into their own hands
In The 4 Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss gives you some solid insight into how you can get more done while working fewer hours. He goes into some often-overlooked topics like scalability, outsourcing, automation of tasks, and more that can help you feel less overburdened as a freelancer.
While the book takes a more general approach to working less and earning more, it’s still very useful for freelancers.
He shares how he went from making $40,000 per year while working 80 hours per week to making $40,000 per month while only working 4 hours per week. What freelancer wouldn’t want that career trajectory?
If you’re interested in finding a way to be more productive while still feeling laid-back, this easy-going yet informative book is the right choice for you. It may not have you working 4 hours per week, but it will definitely open your eyes to what you’re capable of!
Getting Things Done: The Art Of Stress-Free Productivity By David Allen
Pages: 352 | Best For: Freelancers in need of a productivity boost
Getting Things Done offers readers a new approach to improving performance, capacity, and innovation when it comes to dealing with the demands of your work and personal life. In the book, David Allen discusses the art of getting things done, providing practical steps to increase your productivity.
Allen presents you with an honest approach about his personal experiences over the years and how they can be helpful for readers who require a change of pace. He believes that everyone can be efficient in whatever they do, as long as they learn how to get things done.
This book might be just what you need if you:
- Have trouble catching up with your emails
- Watch your to-do lists grow instead of shrink
- Feel like there are never enough hours in the day
Atomic Habits By James Clear
Pages: 320 | Best For: Freelancers that need to form good habits and kick bad ones
The last book I’ll talk about in this article is another one I listened to as an audiobook (which I strongly recommend as it’s narrated by the author!). Atomic Habits teaches you how to stop bad habits and how to make better ones with greater ease. How does this relate to freelancing? Well what freelancer wouldn’t benefit from a more structured life?
There are many aspects of freelancing that people forget are pretty unique to the career path. You’re likely at a desk most of the day all by yourself, probably not drinking enough water or getting out of your seat often enough. I know that’s often the case for me!
In this book, James Clear gives you all the tools you need to fix that aspect of your life. You’ll learn how to tweak your routines to work towards a better (and happier) life. This can have both a direct and indirect impact on your freelancing career. I found it helped me become more focused and productive—and really the book was just a joy to listen to!
More Great Freelancing Resources
That does it for our list of the best books for freelancers! Feel free to bookmark this post as a reference, and check back from time to time to see what’s new! We also have guides on the best books for freelance writers and the best copywriting books.
Also check out these guides:
Raquel is a freelance writer with a knack for technology and a passion for science. She draws on her own years of freelance writing experience to craft articles for Freelance Ready on topics including freelancing on Fiverr and the popular blogging platform Medium.com. Learn more about Raquel here.
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