Categorized | Business Authors

The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed: The Only Personal Finance System for People with Not-So-Regular Jobs

A short bio:

Joseph D’Agnese and Denise Kiernan are a husband-and-wife writing team who have written on such diverse topics as personal finance, American history, math and science. Besides The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-timers and the Self-Employed (Random House) they are probably best known for their book, Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame & Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence (Quirk). They are long-time journalists who have written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Discover, and other publications.

Why did you write this book?

We have both been freelance writers and producers for more than a dozen years or so. A few years ago we tried looking for a book like this in bookstores and came up empty-handed. Every other personal finance book on the market pays lip service to the needs of the self-employed worker but is mainly written for people who have the typical 9-to-5 job. We didn’t think this advice was accurate because most freelancers we know earn, save, and manage their money very differently than people who have regular jobs. The way we saw it, freelancers needed concrete, solid advice about things like: what to do when a client doesn’t pay, or when payments are late and the bill are piling up, or when you get a windfall and aren’t sure how to allocate or save that money. We developed a system that works no matter the income level. We pitched the book to editors and Random House jumped on it. We’re gratified by the phenomenal response and enthusiasm of readers who tell us this is the book they’ve been waiting for. We know! We were waiting for it too. We didn’t find it out there, so we wrote it.

Why should readers buy your book and what they will get out of it?

Freelancers are usually experts in one field. They know how to write copy, fix bikes, heal minds, bake delicious treats, or whatever else they do for a living. But no one ever teaches you how to manage the money you earn, on the off chance that you are going to pursue the self-employed life. Our book can save you a lot of time. It tells you how to save, what kinds of bank and checking accounts you need, how to save for a rainy day, and how to build wealth for your dreams and your future. Every other personal finance book on the planet promises the same thing. But ours is the only one that tells you how to achieve all that on an erratic income that is common to the self-employed lifestyle. Our readers are young people just out of school who are striking out on their own, and they are retirees who have left six-figure jobs and are trying to earn a respectable income in their dream second career.

Do you do speaking events? What do you talk about?

We speak at bookstores, libraries, college campuses, co-working spaces and writer spaces. Mostly, we talk about what freelancers and self-employed people have long suspected but have been afraid to talk about: that we freelancers really do earn and save differently than everyone else out there. More than likely your income will fluctuate greatly from month to month, so you need a powerful system for managing that money that fits your earning style. We talk about the great unsaid in the modern workplace: That freelancers are the wave of the future. Work as we know it is changing forever, and no one in the mainstream media is talking about it in a big way.

Do you do your own marketing or PR? What is a good marketing / PR strategy for a budding author?

Of course we do our own marketing and PR! Even though our publisher is one of the biggest in the world, they cannot do it all. We have found that the best way to market your book is to fold multiple book promotion events into your ordinary work life. In other words, if you’re traveling on business—to see clients, do research, investigate business options—research venues that might want to hear you speak ahead of time and do a talk, a signing, an interview in whatever city you’re in. Social media is great but it’s no substitution for meeting readers face-to-face, hear their stories, and let them enrich your understanding of your own work. Everywhere you go, collect business cards and emails and keep growing your list of readers and fans. If they like your book, chances are they’ll tell others about it. But you have to connect with them on a personal level to make that happen.

Do you Tweet, Facebook, myspace or use any other social media to get the word out?

In a word, yes. We do all of that. But we focus our day-to-day energies on Twitter ( because we like the real-time interaction with entrepreneurs and readers. We try to post at least one interesting idea or article on our Facebook fan page ( every day, and we try to connect with as many influencers via email as we can. Again, social media is an important way to interact with fans and exchange ideas, but it can’t be the only way. Most business authors have other things to do besides tweeting ceaselessly online. You have to strike that balance between promotion and earning in your profession as well.

What free online or offline tools do you use?

We love, love, love Tweetdeck (; it effortlessly organizes our outreach. The Ranktouch ( iPhone app isn’t free, but it helps us stay on top of Amazon rankings from time to time. BookTour ( is wonderful for posting upcoming author events and creating an easy link you can send people about where you’ll be speaking next.

How many freelancers or independent contractors are out there?

It’s a huge market, and someone bright will figure out a way to harness the genius and energy of it all soon enough. The numbers have been growing but the U.S. government doesn’t track is especially well. We’re talking about a third of the U.S. workforce. It’s a number that’s now north of 40 million people.

What is the best advice you never got?

“You are already self-employed.” It’s true. We don’t care what kind of work you do or how “secure” your job is. The sooner you realize that you work for yourself, the better off you’ll be and the more opportunities you’ll see coming your way.

What is the one thing that you did right?

Both of us have been offered high-paying full-time jobs over the years, and these offers always seemed to materialize when we needed them most and were perhaps down on self-employment. But rather than leap for the imagined security of a full-time job with benefits, we listened to the voice inside ourselves that said no. We listened, and today we’ve got more books published and selling than we ever thought possible. We would not have had the time to be that productive if we had taken full-time jobs.

What was the biggest transition you had to make?

We were both traditionally employed back in the day. The biggest transition was making the leap to freelance work, without the safety net that a traditional job supposedly promises. Knowing how to make your own way, earn your own living, drum up clients and work, is the only security you need. Bosses are superfluous when you know how to make your own living.

What books would you recommend to others?

We love “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominquez; “The Millionaire Next Door,” by Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko; and the little-known classic “The Richest Man in Babylon,” by George S. Clason.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

Shoestring Book Reviews

Shoestring Venture Reviews
Richard Hooker on Jim Blasingame

Shoestring Fans and Followers



Business Book: How to Start a Business

Shoestring Book

Shoestring Venture in iTunes Store

Shoestring Venture - Steve Monas & Richard Hooker

Shoestring Kindle Version # 1 for e-Commerce, # 1 for Small Business, # 1 for Startup 99 cents

Business Book – Shoestring Venture: The Startup Bible

Shoestring Book Reviews

Shoestring Venture Reviews

Invesp landing page optimization
Powered By Invesp
Wikio - Top Blogs - Business