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The cover has a picture of a California surfer dude surfing get it? At first glance, it seemed about two steps below a "for Dummies" book, and what I expected or at least desired from a book on this topic was serious advice, not some flippant idiot dispensing watered-down aphorisms. But hey, I thought, the publisher sent Slashdot a review copy, might as well read it.
If nothing else, it might be bad enough to write a really funny review. The author is quite intelligible and coherent -- they just need to fire the cover artist.
The author starts with a humorous quiz designed to point out that you have to market yourself to succeed -- and that there may be quite a few non-obvious barriers to marketing yourself. Chapter 3 is an overview of a single project from beginning to end. He then covers work habits and forming a personal network of contacts. The next chapter covers tools of the trades: computers and software. Chapter 7 covers setting up a business. He talks about contracts, which basically boils down to the very simple advice: write it down, all of it.
He has a few strategies for pricing services at whatever the customer is willing to pay. This is probably one of the harder tasks to master, and his advice here is good -- present a tiered proposal, with low, medium and high bids for different amounts of work.
He covers project management briefly -- very briefly. But for small jobs, sure. Short sections on dealing with bad clients and other contractors are useful. He finishes with discussions of the law and taxes. Overall, I enjoyed the book.
FROM SERF TO SURFER BECOMING A NETWORK CONSULTANT PDF
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From Serf to Surfer: Becoming a Network Consultant