Best Books for Writers
If you stop learning, then you stop growing, you stop improving, and your writing grows stale very quickly. A good way to keep learning is to arm yourself with tried and true resources that are easily accessible. The Online Writer’s Companion: A Complete Guide to Earning Your Living as a Freelancer is a great learning resource for writers who are trying to break into or move ahead in the freelance writing world. This book was written by FWU’s own PJ Aitken, and you can read more about it here on this site.
Below are some additional tried and true resources, the best books for writers who are trying to earn a little money or simply hone their craft:
Best Books for Writers: Increase Your Freelance Income
Writer’s Market 2016: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published by Robert Lee Brewer
The annually updated Writer’s Market is the be-all-end-all resource guide for writing markets. It includes thousands of up-to-date contact and submission information for book publishers, magazines, agents, and even writing contests with cash prizes. It also includes valuable how-to information on how to write a query letter, find an agent, write a book proposal and much more. It’s available as an online version with search and filter capabilities, as well as a submission tracking tool.
The 4,500 up to date contact listing for the publishing world in this annually updated resource, are worth their weight in gold. If you are a writer who is struggling to find your way to getting published, this industry recognized guide is your compass. Over 80 inspirational and how-to articles include everything about the publishing process including working with agents or publishers, negotiating finance or legal issues, and the editing process. Something for every writer, whether poet, travel writer, fiction writer, graphic novelist, or anything in between, you’ll find help here.
Secrets to E-Book Publishing Success (Smashwords Guides 3) by Mark Coker
This is a book you will want to consider if you are thinking about self-publishing an e-book. Mark shares 30 different secrets he and other bestselling e-book authors learned the hard way, from experience.
Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer by Moira Anderson Allen
For the first-time writer who is just starting out and needs some help with the basics of becoming a freelance writer and getting paid, the insights from Moira Allen’s 30 years of experience on both sides of the publishing desk is a huge advantage. This is a must have for any freelance writer’s library.
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work By Mason Currey.
In this book, the author meticulously researched the habits of over 100 different writers. If you’re struggling with the writing process, discipline, focus, or motivation, and haven’t yet established a daily writing routine, you will find many helpful insights here.
Best Books for Writers: Improve Your Writing
Writer’s Digest: If you’re a writer with any experience, you’re already aware of Writer’s Digest and rely on it for inspiration, information, and learning. If you’re a new writer or haven’t heard of Writer’s Digest, it’s definitely worth saving to your favorite bookmarks.
On Writing-10th Anniversary Edition A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
This is hailed as one of the most got-to-have resource books for writers. No writer library is complete without this memoir on how one of the legends became a paid writer.
Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark
This is a toolbox that writers can use to find practical inspiration. Decades of experience into 50 tools to help any writer become more fluent and effective.
The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White.
If you have the older version of this book, you will definitely want to get the updated modern version to add to your library. This is the favored resource of English professors everywhere for grammar, word use, commonly misspelled words, punctuation, etc. It should be right next to your dictionary.
Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish by James Scott Bell.
If writing fiction is your passion, then this book is a must read. Plot is one aspect of writing that can be mind boggling for new writers and James Bell breaks it down using a few simple examples. He also shares some plotting systems and tips for plot and structure that are very helpful.
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
A book that reminds you amid laughter and sage advice, that writing is about more than mechanics and structure, but instead a combination of the mind, heart, and soul. If you’ve been distracted by self-doubt or social media, this book is designed to help you get your pen to the page
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser.
With a nearly 5-star Amazon rating from readers, this book has sold over 1 million copies. A time-tested writer’s resource of basic writing principles combined with the wisdom of an experienced writer. It’s a must-have addition to the resource library for non-fiction writers.
I’ve done my best to include the tried and true, time-tested best books for writers in this list but keep in mind this is only a smattering of what is available on the market today. These are the resources you will turn to again and again as you hone you craft and work to get your writing into the world. Do you have a favorite writer’s resource on your shelf that isn’t included here? Share it in the comments below.