Shayla's Favorite Reads

Looking for guidance on publishing, marketing, or writing? These are all books I've personally read and highly recommend. Each book has personally helped me, and I know they'll help you too in your bookish journey.

 
 

Publishing 101 by Jane Friedman

Whether you’ve finished a manuscript or just have the seeds of an idea, learn how to smartly approach editors and agents with your work, while avoiding the pitfalls of first-time authorship.

 

The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman

The Business of Being a Writer offers the business education writers need but so rarely receive. It is meant for early-career writers looking to develop a realistic set of expectations about making money from their work or for working writers who want a better understanding of the industry. Writers will gain a comprehensive picture of how the publishing world works—from queries and agents to blogging and advertising—and will learn how they can best position themselves for success over the long term.

 

Writer's Market 2018 

Want to get published and paid for your writing? Let Writer's Market 2018 guide you with thousands of publishing opportunities—including listings for book publishers, consumer and trade magazines, contests and awards, and literary agents. These listings feature contact and submission information so you can get started right away.

 
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Guide to Literary Agents 2018

No matter what you're writing—fiction or nonfiction, books for adults or children—securing a literary agent will help you get the best book deal possible from a traditional publisher. With listing information for more than 1,000 agents who represent writers and their books, Guide to Literary Agents 2018 will be your go-to resource.

 

Your First Novel by Ann Rittenberg and Laura Whitcomb

  • How to best structure your research so that you can save time later
  • How to card your story before you start writing
  • What to consider when developing your cast of characters
  • How to adapt classic story structures to fit your own ideas
  • What agents do at those three-hour power lunches—and how it affects you
  • What makes an agent instantly reject a manuscript
  • How to correctly translate submission guidelines
  • What happens if you get multiple offers—or no offers at all
 

The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

One of the biggest problem areas for writers is conveying a character's emotions to the reader in a unique, compelling way. This book comes to the rescue by highlighting 75 emotions and listing the possible body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for each.

 

Story Trumps Structure by Steven James

Award-winning novelist Steven James explains how to trust the narrative process to make your story believable, compelling, and engaging, and debunks the common myths that hold writers back from creating their best work.

  • Ditch your outline and learn to write organically.
  • Set up promises for readers - and deliver on them.
  • Discover how to craft a satisfying climax.
  • Master the subtleties of characterization.
  • Add mind-blowing twists to your fiction.
 

The Novel Planner by Kristen Kieffer

The Novel Planner is the perfect daily planner for authors. Hobby writers, first-time novelists, and professional authors alike will love the structure and organization this daily planner provides.

 

The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists

This book will inspire, nourish, and provide the needed kick in the pants to turn the wannabes into doers! The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists is full of "aha" experiences as the reader uncovers the collected wisdom from the cream of today’s fiction writers.

 

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

On Writing Well has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in the age of e-mail and the Internet. 

Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you fundamental priciples as well as the insights of a distinguished writer and teacher. With more than a million copies sold, this volume has stood the test of time and remains a valuable resource for writers and would-be writers.

 

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

 

The Subversive Copy Editor by Carol Fisher Saller

Longtime manuscript editor and Chicago Manual of Style guru Carol Fisher Saller has negotiated many a standoff between a writer and editor refusing to compromise on the “rights” and “wrongs” of prose styling. Saller realized that when these sides squared off, it was often the reader who lost. In her search for practical strategies for keeping the peace, The Subversive Copy Editor was born. Saller’s ideas struck a chord, and the little book with big advice quickly became a must-have reference for copy editors everywhere.
 

 

Now Write! Fiction Writing Exercises from Today's Best Writers & Teachers by Sherry Ellis

What's the secret behind the successful and prolific careers of critically acclaimed novelists and short story writers Amy Bloom, Steve Almond, Jayne Anne Phillips, Alison Lurie, and others? Divine assistance? Otherworldly talent? An unsettlingly close relationship with the Muse? While the rest of us are staring at blank sheets of paper, struggling to come up with a first sentence, these writers are busy polishing off story after story and novel after novel. Despite producing work that may seem effortless, all of them have a simple technique for fending off writer's block: the writing exercise. In Now Write!, Sherry Ellis collects the personal writing exercises of today's best writers and lays bare the secret to their success. 

 

The Elements of Style by Strunk & White

You know the authors' names. You recognize the title. You've probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual. This book's unique tone, wit and charm have conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers.

 

Starting Your Career as a Freelance Editor

If you've ever considered editing as a career, this book will help you on your new path. You’ll learn about the requirements in various fields, how to get started, the step-by-step facets of setting up and conducting your editing services, working with writers and publishers, promoting yourself and your expertise, and determining what to charge.

 

The Healthy Writer by Joanna Penn & Dr. Euan Lawson

Do you suffer from physical pain relating to your writing life? Are you struggling with back pain, weight gain related to sedentary working, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, neck pain, eye strain, stress, loneliness, digestive issues, or Repetitive Strain Injury? These are the most common issues reported by writers and if you struggle with any of them, you are not alone. Writing is not a physically healthy job, but if you want a long-term writing career, then you need to look after your body. 

 

Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer

Ten years ago, Roy Peter Clark, America's most influential writing teacher, whittled down almost thirty years of experience in journalism, writing, and teaching into a series of fifty short essays on different aspects of writing. In the past decade, Writing Tools has become a classic guidebook for novices and experts alike and remains one of the best loved books on writing available.
 

 

Writing Deep Scenes by Martha Alderson and Jordan Rosenfeld

Whether you're planning your first novel or have already written a first draft, you need to master the concepts of plot and scene to truly realize your story's potential. Writing Deep Scenes teaches you how to write strong, layered, and engaging scenes—the secret to memorable, page-turning plots.

 

A Writer's Guide to Characterization by Victoria Lynn Schmidt

In the best novels, characters undergo dramatic changes that keep readers turning pages. A Writer's Guide to Characterization shows you how to develop such meaningful character arcs in your own work—stories of transformation that will resonate with readers long after the story ends.

 

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my  brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy.  Just take it bird by bird.'"

 

On Being Stuck by Laraine Herring

Writer’s block. If you are a writer, you know it can be a haunting, terrifying force—a wolf at the door, a vast conspiracy, something that keeps you up at night, spinning your wheels, going nowhere. But what if we’ve been thinking about writer’s block all wrong? What if, by paying attention to its qualities and inquiring into its hidden gifts, we can release that power?

 

Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk

In this lively, practical, and inspiring book, Gary dissects every current major social media platform so that anyone, from a plumber to a professional ice skater, will know exactly how to amplify his or her personal brand on each. He offers both theoretical and tactical advice on how to become the biggest thing on old standbys like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat; podcast platforms like Spotify, Soundcloud, iHeartRadio, and iTunes; and other emerging platforms such as Musical.ly. For those with more experience, Crushing It! illuminates some little-known nuances and provides innovative tips and clever tweaks proven to enhance more common tried-and-true strategies.