Saturday, January 5, 2019

What Are Some Good Books on the Art of Writing?

What Are Some Good Books on the Art of Writing?
I get some version of this question all the time. I talk about some in my new book The Self-Publishing Manual. Below is an excerpt from the book

1. Writing Your Book
The steps to writing your book can many, there are no strict rules of thumb. There are a million ways to write a book and many good books on it. The one you choose will be the one that fits your style. Questions you might consider asking yourself is. Is your book all text or all pictures or a combination of both? Are you writing a novel, creating a children’s book, a how-to book, cookbook, or poetry book? Whatever it is, begin by putting your ideas down on paper or on a computer. Create an outline or mind map of ideas. You can also dictate or record yourself speaking your ideas and then transcribe and edit. Let the creative ideas flow and build one on top of the other. You will begin to see the magic of your writing abilities take form.

This book isn’t about the mechanics of writing, it is about publishing what you have written. But I do have my technique for writing books. I call it the 
Top Ten Technique for Creating a Book. You can read more in the Self-Publishing Manual.

My advice is to write your book using a standard word processing program like MS-Word or Google Docs. Keep the layout simple. Leave the formatting to your graphic designer. Below are many resources available to help you with your writing.

Some of the book writing resources that I like:
• Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, this is a classic
• One of my favorite resources is Steven Pressfield’s blog and his books. He is a wonderful writer of fiction, non-fiction and the process of writing. Check out “The Series” area of his blog. Pressfield has an entire series of excellent how-to books on writing. Including, The War of Art, Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative. 
The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know, Shawn Coyne
On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft, Steven King
On Writing Well, William Zinsser
The Writing Life, Annie Dillard
How to Write Bestselling Fiction, Dean Koontz
The Elements of Style, Strunk and White
Write, Publish, Repeat, by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant. This book is a must on how to manage your writing and build a career and income from your books. This is one of the best I have read on how to structure your books to lead your readers from one book the next. I recommend it.
•  Joanna Penn and blog and books. Joanna is a British best-selling thriller author. Penn writes on writing, marketing, publishing and making a living as an author. Her book How to Market a Book is excellent.

J. Bruce Jones is an international best-selling author. He has created or authored over 40 published books. The Self-Publishing Manual shares Bruce's secrets from over 30 years of graphic design and publishing.

The Self-Publishing Manual is available at

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