73 Must-read books for freelancers from freelancers

31.10.2016

Last September, we hosted a blog carnival on the topic “book recommendations for freelancers” at freelancermap.com. Today, thanks to the participation of 22 freelancers from all over the world we are able to present a great collection of books that will help every freelancer to thrive on their business and stay inspired.

We were delighted by the broad welcome that our initiative got and we would like to thank everyone who decided to participate and invested a little bit of their valuable time to share their favorite books with us. It’s great to see how professionals are keen to help others and share their experience with fellow colleagues and - in general - with our global community.

Finally, we were able to gather a great and large list of books which we hope will shed some light on the freelancing path. Some bestsellers are on the list, as also some new book titles that got our attention. We are sure they will also get yours too!

We got great recommendations for freelancers in every field. To help you find out the best books that cater to your needs, we have broken up the list into 5 different categories:

1. Business Essentials and Inspirational

2. Productivity and Time Management

3. Programming and Development

4. Design and Illustration

5. Marketing, Content and Social Media

We would like to briefly present all freelancers who allowed us to publish this great collection of books:

Alex Tamoykin -  Software developer living in LA who loves writing about tech and enjoys organizing talks at local tech meetups.
Augusto Pereira -  Freelance web developer based in Brazil with more than 5 years of experience in the field of web development. Passionate about Ubuntu and pen test.
Brooke Scovil - Passionate about illustration and graphic design. She is a full-time freelancer and has already illustrated comics, fantasy trading cards, books and more.
Claudia Rosa - Blogger, entrepreneur and wife. Claudia has been sharing online her experiences and tips since 2010.
Garik Himbebaugh - Blogger, entrepreneur and ardent coffee drinker. His passions are productivity and minimalism. On his blog, he shares his best tips to turn goals into actions.
Gustavo Sapienza - Full stack web developer specialized in WordPress. He works full-time as freelancer to have time to create startups and watch movies with his family.
Jo Harrison - Virtual assistant from the UK currently living in the French countryside. She also offers free advice on productivity, time management and social media tips on her blog.
Jorge Sánchez - Software developer with more than 14 years experience under his belt. Now he offers his services as freelancer to clients worldwide.
Krystel Leal - Portuguese digital marketing freelancer and traveler. She runs a website for digital nomads and remote workers.
Larissa Favery - Digital marketing freelancer, she has been helping companies worldwide with their campaigns in Brazil since 2014. She is part of the freelancermap team since 2016.
Leandro Dias - Frontend developer, he has been freelancing for more than 10 years and contributed to several media agencies in São Paulo. He recently started a website to promote the freelance lifestyle.
Luciane Costa - Journalist and freelance writer. She loves creating digital content for sites and blogs. Started freelancing to earn extra money and now she can’t think of turning back.
Mauricio Biasotto - Digital marketing (SEO and SEM) and PHP developer from Brazil. He has been working as a freelancer for almost 10 years.
Nipuna Dananjaya Kumara - Web and software developer with over 7 years of experience working as a freelancer.
Paulo Oliviera - Freelance digital marketing consultant, he provides services in content strategy and copywriting, social media strategies, online reputation management and website traffic growth.
Razvan Coca - Linux C++ developer and numerical simulations consultant. He is self-employed since 2014.
Renee Desuza - Freelance content writer and blogger who helps small business with their blogs and other content requirements.
Sarah Landrum -  Freelance writer and the founder of Punched Clocks, a career advice blog aimed at helping you create a career you love and enjoy.
Scott Greer - After gathering extensive experience as digital marketer, he founded Greer Interactive in 2015. He helps businesses develop effective digital marketing strategies.
Stefan Lindblad -  Freelance illustrator based in Stockholm, who also work as a graphic designer and book cover artist.
Stefano Scarpanti - With a master's degree in electronic engineering, he has been working as a Java/J2EE and Grails developer since 2014.
Thaís Dias - Full-time freelance graphic designer specialized in branding, visual identity, prints, packaging and digital design.
Thamires Moura - Graphic designer and digital marketing freelancer. She also runs a blog about the freelancing life.

Business Essentials and Inspirational Books for freelancers

1. Get Clients Now! A 28-Day Marketing Program by C.J. Hayden

This book is an absolute must-read if you want to have clients”, said Alex Tamoykin. Alex loves the cookbook format of Get Clients Now. The book describes a 28 step marketing program that leads you to have clients. Decide which tactics suit you best and put them into practice. This book is also a must-read for Jo Harrison. Even though she first read it a while ago, she often refers back to it if she needs to find new clients. “ I tend to follow it for a week or so and then put it down because I’ve already got all the new clients I wanted. It’s that simple! Get Clients Now! should be your marketing bible”.

2. What to do when it's your turn (and it's always your turn) by Seth Godin

In this one-of-a-kind book, Seth Godin includes a number of inspirational stories, photos and quotes to remind us that great work ultimately comes from courage, curiosity, empathy, generosity and love. As Scott Greer says; “On the surface, freelancing is wonderful because you empower yourself to take a new career path. This decision, however, is terrifying because it means you might fail. Then, as Godin explains in his book: “Failure is almost never as bad as we fear it will be, but it’s our fear that we feel, not the failure.”

3. Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind: Think rich to get rich by T. Harv Eker

Thamires Moura recommends this finance related book as it definitely made a difference to her. The book shows that there is no way out if you are investing in the wrong place. Thamires also shared with us an additional tip: “Read this book after reading "The power of habit”. Your past will never influence your financial life again”.

4. The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

You might have already heard about this book as it’s one of the bestsellers about the startup and entrepreneur culture. In a well-articulated manner, Ries provides an approach to creating and managing successful startups. If you want an immersion in the Silicon Valley culture and business development in general, Thamires recommends this book for you.

5. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

The $100 Startup was in the list of two freelancers, Krystel Leal and Claudia Rosa. Chris Guillebeau, the author of this book, is a digital nomad who has been traveling around the world gathering inspiring stories from people who built their businesses out of $100. Both of our freelancers agree that it's a must-read for everyone who dreams of having their own business. Claudia has an extra tip - “Avoid this book at nighttime or you will stay up all night until you finish it!” For her, one thing is certain: “If you read the book, you will immediately want to start your own business!”

6. Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau

Again, Guillebeau will encourage you to go out of your comfort zone and break all barriers. The author teaches the reader how to awaken the potential that is within oneself, put ideas into practice and explore one's greatest skills. Claudia says “Chris Guillebeau's books make us want to leave the place and go for our dreams almost immediately”.

7. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Krystel confesses it took her some time to start reading this book after having it. The reason: “The title sounded too utopian and superficial for me”. However, after overcoming this initial bias and reading it, she said: “the book really changed my mind”. It's an essential reading to understand what is behind financial and economic success and how the power of the mind can actually have influence over the money we earn and manage.

8. Wisdom from Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Krystel also recommends Wisdom from Rich Dad Poor Dad, a book that she devoured in just a few hours. With a story of two children, the book shows how two different points of view in regards of money and its management can lead to such different paths and results. This book is an easy read that will open your eyes. It's not money, stocks or work what makes people rich. It's just how we position ourselves against wealth and success what makes us happy.

9. Business Model You: A One-Page Method For Reinventing Your Career by Tim Clark

Luciane Costa discovered this book while cleaning closets at home and she did it in the perfect moment. She was taking the leap into full-time freelancing and Business Model You was a therapy for that early stage. It brought light when she had lost focus and was scared of the uncertainty of the freelance world. She was spending hours doing nothing and agonizing with the new situation and this book helped her to understand what she wanted and had to do to achieve her dream.

10. Be a Free Range Human: Escape the 9-5 by Marianne Cantwell

For Claudia this book ends with the old myth that in order to be a freelancer you have to work as a slave with no holidays or rest at all. Cantwell encourages people to seek for the perfect working life. That means, work on that what you really love while getting enough money to live well, but without having to be stuck in an office 8 to 12 hours per day. The book provides a series of tips on how to build your own business using technology to your advantage, being able to work from anywhere you want. The author introduces some tool tips that can be downloaded for free here.

11. Ego is the Enemy: The Fight to Master Our Greatest Opponent by Ryan Holiday

Scott highly recommends this book. The more experience you have, the more you think that you’re better than the rest. Narcissism is toxic and a big enemy for freelancers, since you have to maintain an honest approach in order to succeed. Holiday discusses a ton of examples where ego has reeked havoc on business leaders and well-known figures, all of whom had a clear path to success at one point. As Holiday writes: “The ability to evaluate one’s own ability is the most important skill of all”.

12. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

This is a very interesting book and extremely useful if you're a procrastinator. The book talks about our main inner enemies, those that we have to face every day and that harm both our creativity and our productivity. Pressfield gives you tips to recognize when your own unconscious attempts to sabotage you or deceive you causing stagnation in your path toward your dreams and projects. Claudia recommends this book to those who aspire to achieve a dream but are somehow being hold by fear.

13. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Mauricio recommends this worldwide bestseller that teaches you how to create empathy and improve your relationships. This book will not only help you in your personal life, but also in your professional career. You will learn how to deal with customers and this can really make a difference in your negotiations.

14. How To Stop Worrying And Start Living by Dale Carnegie

Second title from Dale Carnegie and second recommendation from Mauricio. He considers How to Stop Worrying and Start Living as a must-read for improving one’s emotional intelligence. The book shows you how to face difficult situations where you may be experiencing a mental fight with yourself.

15. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell

Paulo Oliveira considers that Outliers should be read by every freelancer. This book attempts to explain why some people succeed while others never reach the top. Gladwell says: “We often forget where the people come from ignoring their culture, family or generation”. If you want to learn why the Beatles are the greatest rock band all time, you must read this book!

16. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

For Alex Tamoykin all comes down to motivation: “In order to be successful in this business, you’ll need to stay motivated and motivate others”. This book goes deep in explaining what motivates people combined with scientific studies. The author proposes the three major things on the path to sustainable motivation: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Alex highly recommends this book!

17. Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur by Richard Branson

Richard Branson is a global entrepreneur and if you haven't heard about him before, he is the founder of all Virgin businesses around the world: airways, records, gyms and so on. Can you see the red logo now? Business Stripped Bare was one of the first books our freelancer Razvan Coca read to get ready for a business-mindset. Razvan says “It has a human tone and manages to explain - without being patronizing - how he made it.”

18. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Gilbert’s words inspired Renee DeSuza to keep trying and that's why this book got a place in her must-reads list. She told us “One of my favorite sections in the book is Done is Better Than Good where Gilbert says even though you think what you’re working on is bad keep going and finish it anyway. This might seem counterproductive to a freelancer because you want your client´s work to be great. But, if you are anything like me, you probably are a perfectionist. Agonizing over the perfect article, blog post or headline will make things more difficult. It might lead to you procrastinate over getting jobs because you don’t think you can write well enough. Big Magic is a great book and one I will be reading over and over again when I need a good pep talk.”

19. Freedom from Bosses Forever by Tony Robinson

Freedom from Bosses Forever is first up on Jo Harrison’s list. It’s a satirical book that absolutely does not detract from the value it provides. In Jo’s opinion, it enhances it. Think of it as a serious book about small business development written in a cordial and easy to understand style. If you want honest, relevant business advice, which is straight to the point and easy to digest, go for it!

20. Your Business Foundation Book by Christopher Briggs

Jo also recommends Your business Foundation, a book written by a guy who’s been at the bottom of the ladder and got the T-shirt several times over. Jo says “Unlike many other business-focused books, Your Business Foundation provides straightforward advice and assistance, without losing its messages in over-heavy business speak. As well as all the advice in the book about the best foundation on which to build your business, there’s also a namesake website which has even more tips and information on top.”

21. New Business: Next Steps by Ann Hawkins & Ed Goodman

This book is the perfect all-in-one guide if you've recently started or are thinking of starting a new business. For Jo Harrison, the best part about the book is the numerous case studies and examples that help you better understand the information that it provides.

22. Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson

Jo read this is a book even before she knew she wanted to start her own business. Nowadays, she refers back to it when she needs a bit of inspiration. She confesses that Richard Branson has always been a hero for her and when you read Losing My Virginity, you’ll realize that he has succeeded through sheer grit, determination, and guts. “Don’t be put off by the fact that this is a 500+ page book. Once you start it, you won’t be able to put it down – at least I couldn’t anyway.” - said Jo.

23. Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur by Derek Sivers

Anything You Want is an inspiring story of accidental entrepreneurship that Scott highly recommends for anyone getting their freelance business off the ground. “This book serves as a manifesto to entrepreneurs everywhere that a desire to help people and create positive change as it will often lead to financial success in the long term.” - said Scott.

24. The Challenger Sale: How To Take Control of the Customer Conversation By M. Dixon & B. Adamson

As Scott introduces, the moment you become a full-time freelancer, you’re officially a salesperson. Although the word “sales” has often a pretty negative connotation, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. While this book is technically written for larger companies and teams, it offers up a really insightful take on the sales process and plenty of relevant advice for freelancers. “In a nutshell, the focus is on how to challenge potential clients to think about their business before you actually pitch what you have to offer. All clients are concerned about growth first and foremost, so you can leverage this fact by helping them figure out their real problems before you sell anything. Once you start taking this empathetic approach (focusing on the prospect rather than yourself), it will ultimately be easier to land the client.”

25. Choose Yourself! by James Altucher

Scott finds Choose Yourself a really motivational book. He loves Altucher's writing style and unique approach to business. “Our entire lives are built around this notion of being chosen by others and told what to do. James Altucher wrote this book as a reminder that you can proactively take a different path because today’s world is more ripe for this move than ever before. It sounds trite, but you’re much more likely to experience true happiness if you take a stand for yourself.“

26. Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David, PhD

Scott picked this book because for him it is more valuable than anything you'll find in a conventional self-help book. Emotional agility is about training yourself to be adaptable through any scenario that life throws at you. Scott says, “freelancing requires far more agility than any traditional job. Through the good and the bad, we have to consciously and consistently temper our emotional responses. This book serves as a guide to better understand yourself by accepting your thoughts for what they are, tweaking your mindset and facing your fears head on.”

27. The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

A new book tip from Scott, who considers it a crucial read for any freelancer. It will give you a firm grasp on the tech landscape and where our world is headed in the near future. “Technology continues to change every aspect of the workplace, and freelancers have a unique opportunity to leverage these patterns and stay ahead of the curve.”- Scott says.

28. Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson

Gustavo Sapienza recommends for fellow entrepreneurs any book about Steve Jobs, including the worldwide bestselling biography of Walter Isaacson. In this book, Isaacson used several interviews with Steve Jobs and with more than hundred people who knew him to build an engaging narrative about Steve’s life and work. It doesn't matter if you love or hate Jobs and Apple: if you want to get a perspective of an entrepreneurial mastermind, you must check this book.

29. Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential by Carol S. Dweck

How far could have your parents and school teachers jeopardized your self-esteem and success by praising your intelligence and abilities? The world-renowned psychologist Carol Dweck included in this book twenty years of research about how having the right mindset can foster accomplishment. Claudia recommends it because “this is the kind of book that makes us reflect if everything that we learned until now is right or wrong” and she adds further: “sometimes we are led to believe that we are born in a certain way and that we can’t change. But with this book, we can see particular things that we can do change”.

30. The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership by James C. Hunter

This is classic book was recommended by Mauricio and it is a must-read for anyone who wants to be a better leader and a better person. As he pointed out, the story teaches you how to face daily situations, have better relationships, have better leadership and be respected by your peers.

31. Double Your freelancing rate by Brennan Dunn

If you think your are being underpaid or you are insecure about how much should you charge for a work, this book is the right choice for you. This brief book is a recommendation from Razvan and for him, it says it all and should be an introductory reading for any freelancer. Razvan says that the author has a calm and even tone and the online video-lectures that accompany the book are a plus.

32. Geração de Valor. Compartilhando Inspiração by Flávio Augusto da Silva (Only in Portuguese)

For the Portuguese speakers, both Mauricio Biasotto and Thamires Moura recommend the book Geração de Valor. According to them, it is a very motivational read, which emphasizes on personality and how everyone should invest their time and resources efficiently. Thamires loves this book as it reminds her of who she is and what her goals are.

33. A Menina do Vale by Bel Pesce (Only in Portuguese)

Gustavo believes that every freelancer is also an entrepreneur and reading books about entrepreneurship are always important to learn and stay motivated. A Menina do Vale is a book written by Bel Pesce, a Brazilian who studied Computer Science at MIT. In this book, Pesce shares the entrepreneurship lessons that she learned while working for big companies and startups in Silicon Valley. A must-read for anyone beginning as a freelancer or looking for inspiration. You can download a free version of the book here.
 
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Productivity and Time Management Books for freelancers

34. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity by David Allen

This bestseller about productivity was recommended by three of our freelancers. For Garik Himbebaugh, this book was life-changing: “This popular title changed the way I organize my life and my work.” Larissa Favery also recommends this book, affirming she can’t leave home without a notebook and a pen to clear thoughts and capture ideas as soon as they appear. She always tries to apply the “2 minute rule”, that means, if a task can be done in two minutes or less, just do it! Alex also adds: “As you get more clients, you’ll need to do more business development, answer more emails, phone calls, etc. Combining it with coding which is a flow based activity is an art of it’s own. I like the Getting Things Done book because it talks about a framework that allows for efficient execution of both (coding and business development)”. Overall, this book will help you to manage your business more effectively, respond to your clients more promptly, have clearer focus, and reduce stress.

35. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change by Charles Duhigg

This book allowed Thamires to identify what is behind our habits, routines or addictions and to face procrastination. Furthermore, The Power of Habit was huge in helping Garik to learn and follow a framework to replace bad habits with good habits. This book will help freelancers to overcome bad and unproductive habits and will make them more productive and effective. He concludes: “You’ll be amazed to find yourself doing these tasks almost automatically!“.

36. The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek is a best seller in the category of Time Management and as such, was recommended by 3 freelancers: Kristel Leal, Claudia and Mauricio. It’s a popular book for remote workers and professionals working online and looking for a boost in their productivity. For Claudia, “Ferris words are inspiring and even funny at times.” Mauricio adds “It’s a nice book to think about the way we work. With it, you will understand that having a work/life balance is more important than we think it is.”

37. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland

This book was included in the must-read list of 3 freelancers from very different fields: Stefano Scarpanti, Thamires, and Mauricio. The three of them agree that SCRUM can not just be used for software, it’s a whole way to manage a project splitting it into pieces, eliminating work that doesn't lead to results, helping your whole team to stay aligned within the process and delivering a better product for the end user in a shorter time.

38. Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way by Steven Pressfield

Our freelancer Scott recommend us this powerful read about fighting resistance and embracing a primitive approach to creativity and work. Pressfield constantly emphasizes the importance of getting started over getting prepared. Procrastination is a common thing among freelancers and this book will help you get things done. Scott’s tip: “Start it now. Finish it. Ship it. Repeat.”

39. Eat That Frog!: Get More of the Important Things Done - Today! by Brain Tracy

Garik recommends this book to everyone who struggles with procrastination (and who doesn’t?). Eat That frog! helped him to conquer his inner procrastination with some tactics. The book is easy to follow and includes action steps that can be implemented immediately.

40. 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse

Kruse presents you time management hacks from real entrepreneurs and billionaires. Garik really likes the rich examples in this book and the wealth of interviews that the author uses to support his points. This book helped Garik develop and implement a morning routine, which significantly improved his productivity each and every day.

41. The 80/20 Principle: The Secret of Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch

Garik used to give all of his tasks equal priority but this book opened his eyes. For him, The 80/20 Principle is definitely a must-read as it can improve everyone’s freelance work by helping you identify the 20% of activities you do that get you 80% of your results. By focusing on those items, you can multiply your business results in the same amount of time you usually spend working.

42. The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller

This is the last productivity book that Garik includes in his must-read list. “Gary Keller helped me focus on just one thing and make that thing excellent. The book uses strong examples and ideas for how to go about this, ultimately making this another game changer for me.“ He would highly recommend this book if you’re currently diverting your focus and trying to chase multiple rabbits. As the Japanese proverb goes: “If you chase two rabbits, you will catch neither”.
 
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Programming and Development Books for freelancers

43.The Unified Modeling Language User Guide by Booch, Rumbaugh, Jacobson

Stefano recommends this book about UML mainly because: ”there are many and many technical books on Java, Java7, Java8, Spring and IoC, Hibernate and ORM, and so on; but they are all very specific to my field. UML is a very clean and powerful approach to software design and documentation.” For him, having a built-in attitude in his own development process to document or to make forward engineering is a key feature for a successful freelancer.

44.Head First Software Development by Dan Pilone, Russ Miles

Stefano also recommends this book. “Head first is a brilliant and energetic reading about many everyday strategies to organize freelancer's work and to beat deadlines with clients and handle all they exaggerate needs.“ - Stefano says.

45.Head First Java by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates

Another book from the Head First Series got a place in our must-read list. Nipuna Dananjaya Kumara highly recommends Head first Java for anyone who is interested in Java programming. This book will help you get started in Java quickly and has a very reader-friendly approach.

46.The Software Craftsman: Professionalism, Pragmatism, Pride by Sandro Macuso

“Be a Better Developer and Deliver Better Code”. Jorge Sánchez highly recommends The Software Craftsman. Jorge sympathizes with the notion of “software craftsmanship” and he thinks it can really help developers to be better professionals. If you love development and praise for excellence, you can’t afford to miss the chance to read this book.

47.Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code by Martin Fowler

Jorge read this book 8 years ago and since then, his coding was no longer the same. Refactoring is one of the key techniques behind the success of agile software development and Fowler explains through the whole book what refactoring is and how it can be done step by step.

48.Test Driven Development: By Example by Kent Beck

This and the next two books were also recommendations from Jorge to every developer. Ken Beck is the father of TDD and with this book began a revolutionary way to create software that today still not every developer dominates. Jorge says: “Definitely a book to have on the shelf and look into from time to time.”

49.Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture by Martin Fowler

Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture was a key point in Jorge’s professional experience as a software developer. With the help of an expert group of contributors, Fowler distills over forty recurring solutions into patterns in an easy to read way and with several examples. It’s an indispensable handbook of solutions that are applicable to any enterprise application platform and a book from which you can always learn something new every time you read it.

50.Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin

In this book, Robert C. Martin shows the importance of writing clean code that can be easily understood. Clean Code is good at providing a general overview of what it means to be a software professional no matter the programming language you focus on. Rules, examples, and even sample transformations are provided within this book.

51.Oracle Essentials: Oracle Database 11g by Rick Greenwald, Robert Stackowiak, Jonathan Stern

Leandro Dias points out this book as essential for anyone who wants to learn Oracle 11g or update previously acquired knowledge. This illustrated and didactic book from the famous O'reilly's series approaches themes such as security, multiuser, transaction processing, data structure, performance and more. He affirms: “This book is extremely complete and practical!”.

52. PHP – Programando com Orientação a Objeto by Pablo Dall’Oglio (Only in Portuguese)

This book is for the Portuguese speakers and PHP programmers out there. Mauricio points out that this book about object-oriented PHP helped him to change the way he used to program his systems. It also improved his coding and boosted his productivity.

53.Métodos Ágeis Para Desenvolvimento de Software by Fabiano Milani

This book is about using the agile approach for software development. It was written by more than 20 experts in the field of software development and pioneers of implementing the agile method in Brazil. This book is only available in Portuguese and was recommended by the programmer and web developer Augusto Pereira.
 
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Design and Illustration Books for freelancers

 

54.Business Cards: The Art of Saying Hello by Mike Dorrian and Liz Farrelly

Stefan Lindblad is an illustrator and graphic design freelancer from Stockholm. He recommends reading this book as it is packed with visual inspiration. Business Cards gives you a perfect broad view what a business card is and could be. “It makes it easier to hiring outside the box!” - Stefan says.

55.Bring it Home with Coreldraw: A Guide to in-House Graphic Design by Roger Wambolt

Stefan included this book in his must-reads list and he says: “Don’t focus on the title it’s not just about CorelDRAW. No matter if you’re a Corel, Adobe, Autodesk or any free open source program, this book will help you accomplish great graphic design jobs”.

56.How to be an Illustrator by Darrel Rees

This book gives you an idea of how it is to work as a freelance illustrator. The book is easy to read and contains lots of insightful, first-hand experiences to learn from. Definitely a must for all those graphic designers looking to work in illustration professionally. It shares real life stories to learn from. Furthermore, “It’s a great book and is beautifully made as well.” - Stefan says.

57.Starting Your Career as a Freelance Illustrator or Graphic Designer by Michael Fleishman

Brooke Scovil is passionate about illustration and graphic design. She doesn't know anyone better than Fleishman when it comes to helping newbies get their feet wet in the world of freelance graphics and illustration. Fleishman had been a freelance illustrator and graphic designer for twenty-five years when his book was published in 2001. He really knows what it takes to get started.

58.Graphic Artist's Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines by Graphic Artist's Guild

Along with her first recommendation, Brooke presents another must-read for graphic artists looking to do freelance work or those who already took the leap. Brooke says: “The absolute most comprehensive and complete guide you will ever need to pricing your work as a freelance graphic designer or illustrator.” This book includes not just extensive details on how to price your work but also all the legal information you need to know.

59. “Typografisk Handbok” by Christer Hellmark (Only in Swedish)

Stefan recommends this book for our Swedish and curious readers. Stefan says: “If you use fonts in your design, you really must learn the craft. Don’t dabble and hope for the best too long. We all work on the fly. But deliver great results and give your clients something they are willing to pay for”.  

60.Viver de Design (Série Oficina) by Gilberto Strunck (Only in Portuguese)

If you want to start a solid career as a designer, this book is for you. Thais Dias points out that the book brings precious information like relationship with the client, how to set your price, establishing a design office with partners, taxes, outsourcing, management, marketing and much more.

61.Quanto custa meu Design? Gestão financeira para freelancers by André Beltrão (Only in Portuguese)

Another recommendation from Thais, this book brings an important topic with real life examples: finances for designers. How to determine project prices, give discounts, start a business and deal with clients without drama.

62.Valor do design, O - Guia adg Brasil de pratica profissional do designer grafico by Adg Brasil (Only in Portuguese)

Thais also mentions the book produced by the Brazilian Graphic Designers Association (ADG), which brings together several topics related to the daily life of a designer. It reaches from working ethics in the design field to statements and bios of designers.
 
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Marketing, Content and Social Media Books for freelancers

 

63.Marketing Management by Philip Kotler

Mauricio says this book is definitely a must-read for every marketing student in college. Philip Kotler is one of the world’s leading authorities on marketing and this book is surely worth a read. It’s really well-written and engaging and will help you get an overview on how to manage and market your company (yeah, your freelance business is actually a company!).

64.The Art of Community: Building the New Age of Participation by Jono Bacon

Paulo highly recommends The Art of Community to anyone interested in understanding how to build, motivate and inspire a group of people. The book has lots of examples to help keep things real and it is really easy to read.

65.Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder

Save the cat! will help you to better understand the pattern and structure behind a novel. Blake Snyder was one of the top screenwriting mentors in the world and his famous writing process will be the industry standard for decades to come. Brooke says: “You can apply the principles and techniques you learn from this book to your own works for television, film, comics, novels, short stories, and more.”

66. A Arte da Guerra no Marketing by Pedro Barbosa (Only in Portuguese)

Krystel included this book in her top books for freelancers. This is a book to understand how close the marketing and management areas are. It is a clear proof that a marketing book doesn’t necessarily have to be boring or technical! If you want to check out a book in English from the same author, you can find it on Amazon here.    

67.Conversion Optimization: The Art and Science of Converting Prospects to Customers by K. Saleh & A. Shukairy

This is another book that took Mauricio to an upper level. This book shows you how you can turn your website visitors into clients and what you should avoid. Conversion Optimization addresses every aspect of the process, from landing visitors to finalizing the sale. This is a well-written reference guide and highly recommended!

68.The Complete Social Media Community Manager's Guide by Marty Weintraub

Paulo recommends this book for social media community managers and of course, if you want to use social media to promote your freelance business. The book features proven tactics and techniques for effective management and includes more than 40 field-tested tools and templates. If you're a social community manager, learn how to grow a community and achieve the results you need.

69.Content Strategy for the Web (Voices That Matter) by Kristina Halvorson, Melissa Rach

The motto “content is king” has been repeated ad nauseam in the marketing field, but well, that’s the truth! Without meaningful content, your website isn't worth much to your main audiences. Using plain language, this book will help you out to understand what content strategy stands for and how to create a solid strategy. For Paulo, this book is conversational and easy to understand and a must-read for digital marketers out there.

70.Advanced Google AdWords by Brad Geddes

Last recommendation from Paulo. This book provides insight into AdWords' functionality and advanced features. It’s full of examples, tactics, and hands-on tutorials and highly recommended to those who already have at least some basic knowledge of AdWords. Definitely a must-read for everybody who is working within the PPC industry.

71.TOP 101 growth hacks - 2: by Aladdin Happy

This is a second book from the growth hacking series of Aladdin Happy. It gives short snippets of actionable growth hacking ideas and tricks which are also shared in Aladddin’s invitation-only community of growth hackers. Larissa says it is a valuable reference for marketers to bookmark and always look back for inspiration.

72.Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity by Avinash Kaushik

Avinash Kaushik is the Analytics Evangelist for Google and Larissa points out this book is a must-read for anyone in the digital marketing field. It sheds new light on how to analyze web data, including insights on how to create actionable strategies, solve challenges such as measuring social media and multichannel campaigns, A/B testing and much more. Some of the topics are covered in Avinashs’ blog Occam’s Razor.

73.Perfecting Your Pitch by Ronald M. Shapiro

Since most freelancers face trouble when it comes to selling their services. Sarah recommends this book that will help you to market your freelancing business and pick up the right words when making a pitch to a potential client. It’s a great book for approaching any situation where you need to get something from someone.
 
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