It is a cold, wet, windy December day; just the kind of day to curl up with a good book or to indulge in a spot of Internet book shopping. I love reading novels as much as anyone but I also try to ensure that I read books which will inspire me and enhance my career in some way. These books might not be linked to writing; books about art and music, dance and theatre, biographies of people I admire and so on, have all had a positive effect on how I write.Filling the creative well is often even more important than drawing from the creative juices; if you don't fill you mind with new thoughts, feelings, people, places and experiences then what will you write about? Inspiration is all around us all the time and simple things can often be enough to light the creative spark. With this in mind I spent time this morning perusing the bookshelves in my study to find books which will help those of you who wish to write. I have chosen five books which are invaluable to new writers and which focus on the business aspects of writing and being published. In my opinion these are must have titles for any writer, at any level.
Top Five Writer's Books for Getting Published
1. How NOT to Write a Novel by David Armstrong
2. Writer's & Artists Yearbook
3. Write Right! by Jan Venolia
4. Solutions for Writers by Sol Stein
5. 501 Writers' Questions Answered by Nancy Smith
The Writers & Artists Yearbook is a directory of agents and publishers in the UK and abroad. Published each autumn, it lists editors names and contact details, submissions guidelines and publishing type so it is the go-to guide for those trying to find a way in; if an agent or publisher is not listed here, then be very wary! Jan Venolia has written a guide to correct grammar and punctuation to help you produce good, clean saleable copy, while Sol Stein offers a book of solutions to common problems. Nancy Smith's book of answers will tell you everything you ever wanted to know including how many copies you need to sell to be a best-seller, which is surprisingly few. Finally David Armstrong offers a truthful account of what the life of a mid-list author is really like; I love this book and it is one of my favourites. It tells is like it is rather than perpetuating the myth of the instant millionaire publishing deal! It makes me laugh out loud and nod in shared experience; but if you prefer the myth then this book will cut too deep for you. Good Luck!