Every writer deserves at least one new book about the craft for the holidays. This week, I'm offering a few suggestions for books about writing and publishing in general. Next week I'll share books geared toward the fantasy writer.
Editor Betsy Lerner brings an insider's perspective on what makes writers tick and then shows us how a publishing house really works. If you write, you want this book.
PART I deals with the writing psyche. Witty, insightful, and illuminating, sometimes painfully so.
PART II covers the publication process, from the time you get an agent to the day your book comes into the world. Straightforward and sobering.
You're probably wondering how this book ended up on a fantasy writer's shelf. Easy. Beinhart's no-nonsense advice crosses genres and covers everything from scene construction to narrative drive to the four methods of creating characters. Filled with examples from well-known mysteries. A must-have if you write whodunits, and an excellent resource for everyone else.
Written in the late '30s and still timely. Brenda Ueland, an author knighted by the king of Norway, believes everyone is talented, original, and has something important to say. I especially like Chapter X: Why Women who do too much housework should neglect it for their writing. Done!
I bought this book directly from the authors after their lively presentation at a local SCBWI conference. Literary agent Arielle Eckstut and her co-author/husband, writer David Henry Sterry, have compiled an entertaining, comprehensive overview of how to become a successfully published author. One of the few books I've read that deals with the hard facts of contracts and royalties, as well as the reality of book launches and what it takes to keep a book "alive". Definitely worth adding to your collection.
NOTE: Per Mr. Sterry (see comments), there's a new, updated version of this above book, renamed THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO GETTING YOUR BOOK PUBLISHED. Check it out!
And last, but not least, two others I've mentioned in previous posts:
SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS
by Renni Browne & Dave King
THE SCENE BOOK
by Sandra Scofield