Writers’ Resources: Books

Where Can I Get Help? Writing, I Mean

There are more books on the craft of writing than can be listed here. Thanks to the Internet, it is easier to find out whether a book will meet your needs when you can’t leaf through it in person. Book selling sites such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Chapters.Indigo permit readers to review books – and review readers to rate the reviews – giving buyers some idea of what to expect from a particular volume.

Here are some of the books on the craft of writing and getting published, as well as good reference tomes, that I have found to be particularly helpful:

Publish Your Non-Fiction Book: Strategies for Learning the Industry, Selling Your Book, and Building A Successful Career by Sharlene Martin and Anthony Flacco. The authors provide a terrific guide to getting published with enough details and examples to help writers overcome their anxieties and confusion about the process of going from writing to publishing.

Write The Perfect Book Proposal: by Jeff Herman and Deborah Levine Herman. We may be writers and know how to craft articles, essays and stories but non-fiction book proposals are animals of a different kind. The authors cover all aspects of the proposal – concept, title, overview, markets, competition, promotion, author background, outline, and sample chapter – in a clear, how-to format.

Elements of Writing Fiction – Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card

Rogets International Thesaurus by Robert Chapman. It need not be Rogets, but every writer should have a good thesaurus on hand. Don’t depend on the synonyms function in Microsoft Word as it is very limiting. A good English dictionary is also important to have to ensure you don’t misuse words and confuse your readers.

Writing Dialogue by Tom Charella. This book takes you from the basics – listening to dialogue in real life – to using silence, or non-dialogue, as a tool.

Get Known Before The Book Deal: Use Your Personal Strengths To Grow An Author Platform by Kristina Katz

Elements of Writing Fiction – Beginnings, Middles & Ends by Nancy Kress

The Elements of Style by William Strunk. Most writers have been introduced to this book in college and many still use it. I recently ordered my third copy as I keep lending it to other writers and losing it in their libraries.

On Writing Well by William Zinsser. Only just discovered this gem and would recommend it to all writers although the author directs it to non-fiction writers. Many of the topics covered this book – simplicity, clutter, style, words, usage, unity – apply to all styles of writing.

The Best American Writing series of books: you can learn a lot from other writers who have succeeded in your field and this series of books provides what the guest editor considers the best published works of the year. The annual editions feature well and lesser known writers in various genres: short stories, nonrequired reading, comics, essays, mystery, sports, travel, science and nature, and spiritual writing.