I took Photo 60, which is a business class for photographers, last semester and our teacher recommended a book called The Photographer's Survival Guide. In this semester I'm taking Photo 6, which is an advanced commercial photography class, and we already got homework to do during the winter break. One of them were a book report about any photography related book, so I decided to go with The Photographer's Survival Guide.
The Photographer's Survival Guide covers a lot of great subjects, like developing or finding your own style, printed and web portfolio, advertising and marketing, bidding, doing the job, how to keep marketing yourself, stock photography and creative outlets. Every chapter starts with a few worst-case scenarios and solutions to those. Also the book has question and answer sections, where agencies, art buyers, etc. are giving their opinion, in almost every chapter. The book comes with a CD, which has all the essential business forms and check lists.
I think that the most valuable things in this book are choices and tips for creating a portfolio for every budjet, introduction of both commercial and editorial company structures, introduction of triple bids, explanation of what to include in your estimates, ideas about how to handle difficult or unhappy customers, explanation of what is rep and how to find one and introduction of stock photography.
I can highly recommend this book to all starting photographers, because it covers pretty much all the aspects of doing business as a photographer. Even though I already took Photo 60, I felt much more confident about getting my career going after reading the book. It gives a lot of resources, like information, forms, links and explanation of terms, that you will need to start your career.