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Reviewed by Major Keary
SitePoint is an Australian company, based in Melbourne, that describes itself thus: "SitePoint specialises in publishing fun, practical, and easy-to-understand content for web professionals". That is a fair statement; their titles are authoritative, well-designed in respect of both content and typography, very well written, and focus on real—rather than theoretical—issues. In The Principles of Successful Freelancing the discussion is not technical, but rather in the form of a conversation about freelancing. The term, conversation, is used to distinguish the style from that of would-be motivational messiahs. The Principles of Successful Freelancing works well and is commended to anyone contemplating a move to freelancing.
SitePoint books usually focus on web technologies. The Principles of Successful Freelancing is written for people with skills and experience in that field, but it is of practical value to any aspiring freelancer or contractor regardless of his or her particular expertise. I was especially impressed by the way in which Miles Burke has transcended borders: whether the aspiring freelancer is in Mumbai or Melbourne, London or Los Angeles, Beijing or Berlin, the conversation is relevant. The protocols and practices of doing business vary in different locations, but the principles are the same.
Case studies and interviews are included in the text and help draw together the strings of a topic and bring the main issues into focus. Given the modest page count (some 175 pages) the breadth and depth of coverage is surprising. The style is relaxed, but not at the expense of detail; there is no padding or patronising simplespeak, and readers are not left floundering in technospeak. The author achieves an excellent balance: easy to read and provides a detailed, comprehensive account of everything one needs to know about freelancing.
Miles Burke: The Principles of Successful Freelancing
Published by SitePoint <http://www.sitepoint.com>, 185 pp., RRP AU$ 59.95
The Australian distributor of SitePoint books is Woodslane <www.woodslane.com.au>