Freelance Medical Writing: Make a 6-Figure Income and Work from Home Using Your Scientific/Medical Background

Emma Hitt Nichols
Regalia Publishing, LLC

This book appeared in Advance Copy, a column in which NASW book editor Lynne Lamberg asks NASW authors to tell how they came up with the idea for their book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. She also asks what they wish they had known before they began working on their book, what they might do differently the next time, and what tips they can offer aspiring authors. She then edits the A part of that Q&A to produce the author reports you see here. Publication of NASW members’ reports in Advance Copy does not indicate NASW’s endorsement of their books. NASW welcomes your comments, and hopes this column stimulates productive discussions. To join the discussion or submit your book, visit Advance Copy.

Medical writing has been described as one of the top interesting 6-figure jobs. It is a perfect career change for scientists and doctors who want to work at home and enjoy a better work-life balance. This series of books will help people get started in freelance medical writing. It can also be used a resource for the many online programs now teaching medical writing. These books cover the materials of Dr. Hitt Nichols' 6-Week Course, "Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Freelance Medical Writing Business."

The Week 1 book discusses the prerequisite skills and first steps of getting in to medical writing.

The Week 2 book discusses the basics for getting set up in business as a medical writer. This includes the basics of setting up a website appropriate for freelance medical writing; potential medical writing markets, how to get your first freelance medical writing clients, when to (and when not to) network and help others. Dr. Hitt Nichols also discusses freelance integrity — meeting deadlines, plagiarism, and other issues — and outlines the equipment and software you’ll need to set up shop.

The Week 3 book describes medical journalism — writing the medical news. This covers the scope of medical news writing, how to write the medical news, interviewing tips and techniques for news writers, and how to get medical news writing work.

The Week 4 book covers continuing medical education (CME) writing, discussing the scope of CME work; concepts in “fair balance;” writing effective CME, learning objectives, and questions; and defines “ghostwriting” and how it relates to the profession of medical writing.

In the Week 5 book, writing feature articles, Dr. Hitt Nichols describes the scope of writing feature articles with a medical focus, how to write feature articles, and interviewing tips and techniques for feature articles. Potential medical writing markets for feature articles, such as trade journals and online work, and how to get feature article writing work are also discussed.

Lastly, the Week 6 book describes running a freelance business once you have set it up, negotiating and collecting your pay, positioning yourself as a freelance writer, as well as contracts 101 for freelance medical writers, organizational tips for freelance medical writers, how to determine when to break up with a client, freelance customer service (keeping your clients happy and what to do when they are not), sending out invoices, and self-care for the busy freelancer.

March 2, 2015

Drexel University Online

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