Hitt Nichols: Freelance Medical Writing

Freelance Medical Writing cover


Emma Hitt Nichols, PhD
Regalia Publishing, LLC, February 4, 2015, $29.95

Hitt Nichols reports:

This book is based on the materials I developed for my six-week online course on how to get started as a freelance medical writer. The book is directed towards people with an advanced science degree, such as an MD or PhD, and aims to help them transition into a career as a freelance medical writer.

Emma Hitt Nichols

Emma Hitt Nichols

My own transition into medical writing was born out of the pain of having spent years working on my PhD, before realizing I did not want to go into a scientific/academic career. Thankfully, I found medical writing. It is a passion of mine to help others do the same.

Here’s the book’s outline:

  • Week 1 discusses prerequisite skills and first steps needed to transition into freelance medical writing. This section describes the scope of medical writing and types of skills needed for medical writing and for freelancing.
  • Week 2 discusses basics of getting set up in business as a medical writer, including meeting deadlines, avoiding plagiarism, and other issues, as well as equipment and software needed.
  • Week 3 describes medical journalism.
  • Week 4 covers writing for continuing medical education (CME).
  • Week 5 discusses writing feature articles with a medical focus.
  • Week 6 describes running a freelance business, negotiating and collecting pay, positioning oneself as a freelance writer, and other topics.

I am glad I decided to self publish since I get to keep all the profits. A college has told me they are considering using the book for their curriculum, which is very exciting. I worry the tone is somewhat irreverent for academia, but my contact told me that is not a concern.

I wish I’d known before starting how difficult it is to write and finish a book when trying to do many other things. I would have found a way to clear my calendar for a month or longer, and delve into the writing, rather than stringing it out for years.

Buy this book now in the ScienceWriters bookstore.


NASW members: Will your book be published soon? Take advantage of this opportunity for shameless self-promotion.

Tell your fellow NASW members how you came up with the idea for your book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. Include what you wish you had known before you started this project, or had done differently.

See https://www.nasw.org/advance-copy-submission-guidelines.

Send info and images to Lynne Lamberg, NASW book editor, llamberg@nasw.org.

Mar. 25, 2015

Advance Copy

For this column, 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 constitute NASW's endorsement of their books. NASW welcomes your comments and hopes this column stimulates productive discussions.

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