Early Christmas present: Good reading for writers

It’s the holidays, time for giving, so this week I’m offering some links to articles and books full of helpful information. Next week, get ready for a Christmas stocking full of prompts, ideas to get you writing.

1) “How to Sell Loads of Books” by Russell Blake

This one is aimed at people publishing their own books, but it includes great career advice for all of us. Highlights include: finding time to write, investing in writing as a business and being successful while staying true to yourself. Among Blake’s recommendations: don’t genre-hop. Pick one and stay with it. Give it a read and let me know what you think.

2) Compass Points – Photography for Writers: Using Photos to Sell More of Your Words by Simon Whaley.

I looked to this slim volume to answer some questions I had about digital photography, and it answered them. I’m going to have to reread the bit about pixels, etc., a few more times, but it’s there to be read. Just remember 300, the magic number for print-publishable pix. Now I know more about digital cameras and how they work. A couple things seem dated. Who sends their work out on “CD-ROMs” anymore? I also wish this book said more about online publications. The book is very, very British, both in language and content. Chapters cover cameras, photo techniques, the legalities of commercial photography, photo software, and marketing. It’s a little basic for me but perfect for someone just starting out.

3) “You can try to be the next Hemingway—for $6,000” by Suzanne McGee, the Guardian, Aug. 28, 2014.

How much does it really cost to self-publish a book and do a good job of it? This article lays it out step by step, including how much it costs. Read the comments, too, and see if you agree.

4) Nina Amir, guru for the November nonfiction marathon, NaNonFiWrimo, has an extensive list of books for nonfiction writers on her website. You might want to peruse them—and request a few for Christmas. She has also written a couple of books for writers herself, including The Write Nonfiction NOW! Guide to Writing a Book in 30 Days, Authorpreneur: How to Build a Business around Your Book, and The Nonfiction Book Proposal Demystified: An Easy-Schmeasy Guide to Writing a Business Plan for Your Book.

I’m sure there are more. Feel free to share. And also, if you have prompt suggestions, include them in the comments.

Now let’s go write.