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.

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.

March 25, 2015

Advance Copy

The path from idea to book may take myriad routes. The Advance Copy column, started in 2000 by NASW volunteer book editor Lynne Lamberg, features NASW authors telling the stories behind their books. Authors are asked to report how they got their idea, honed it into a proposal, found an agent and a publisher, funded and conducted their research, and organized their writing process. They also are asked to share what they wish they’d known when they started or would do differently next time, and what advice they can offer aspiring authors. Lamberg edits the authors’ answers to produce the Advance Copy reports.

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