The Best Books to Improve Your Writing Skills

writing helpWriting doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Creativity is a fire that needs to be stoked and fed to keep burning. We’ve already discussed the benefits of writing workshops and writers retreats – the chance to surround yourself with other creatives, the chance to immerse yourself in nature and let it inspire you. The following books will help strengthen your writing and improve your craft. There’s nothing wrong with getting writing help. These books will provide that invaluable writing help you need to grow and flourish as a self-publisher. From style guides to self-publishing how-tos, you’ll want all five of these books on your shelf.

General Writing Help: Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style

This book is perfect for writers and non-writers alike. This language style guide is classic. The first edition was published in 1920, and it’s seen numerous reprints since. From comma rules to tips to clarify your prose, The Elements of Style is a good weapon to have in your arsenal. It’s a good foundation to have, a sort of crash-course on all things writing.

Self-Publishing Help: Joanna Penn’s Successful Self-Publishing: How to self-publish and market your book in ebook and print

Joanna Penn is a New York Times bestselling author, a podcast host, and instructor. She’s written, collectively, over 30 books. From instructional books to workbooks to thrillers to romance novels, Joanna Penn has done it all. Penn knows all about self-publishing because she’s been doing it for almost a decade. Joanna Penn left her day job in 2011 to become a full-time author, and it’s paid off. In Successful Self-Publishing, she writes all about how and why to self-publish, how to market fiction and nonfiction, costs, what you need to know, and much, much more.

Self-Publishing Help: Barb Drozdowich’s How to Self-Publish a Book: For the Technology Challenged Author

Barb Drozdowich set out to make self-publishing a little less confusing when she wrote How to Self-Publish a Book: For the Technology Challenged Author. There is a lot to learn and do when writing, composing, formatting, and self-publishing your book. And, if you aren’t particularly computer-savvy, it’s even harder. At DiggyPOD we try to make it as easy as possible for you to write, format, and send us your files, but if you need a little extra help, turn to Barb Drozdowich.

Fiction Writing Help: Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird

Bird by Bird has been a staple since the 1990s. Part reflection on her own writing journey and part instruction, Anne Lamott offers invaluable writing advice. Some of it is standard: she discusses plot, character, setting, and other writing basics. Other parts of the book are less concrete and more subjective: she discusses jealousy and self-doubt and other issues writers will likely face during the duration of their career.Though Bird by Bird isn’t about self-publishing specifically, it earns a spot on this recommended reading list.

Writing Help: Stephen King, On Writing

You’ve likely read one of King’s many books or seen the movies inspired by them, but On Writing shows a different side of King. Like Bird by Bird, King’s On Writing is part memoir, part valuable writing instruction from arguably the best horror writer. Stephen King’s writing advice was hard earned, and you’d do well to heed it.

This list is by no means exhaustive. You can also check out these other helpful titles:

  • Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir, edited by Russell Baker and William Zinsser
  • Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
  • A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver

How to Self-Publish a Book with DiggyPOD

All this writing help has to culminate in something – why not a book? When you self-publish with DiggyPOD, we make it as easy as possible to convert your book files into print-ready PDFs, choose how you’d like the book to look, and order however many copies you need. We even ship them right to your door!

Follow these five easy steps, and you’ll officially be a published author.

Review our file format requirements.

First thing’s first, you need to know how to format your book files in order for them to print correctly! Review our format guidelines to see exactly what we need in order to print your gorgeous book. These guidelines include making sure that you have separate PDF files for the cover as well as interior of the book, that your fonts are embedded in both files, that any graphics or images used are high-resolution, and that your PDF page size matches what you’ve ordered.

Download our free interior book template.

The interior pages of your book must match the book size you order. Review our interior book templates and margins guide to make sure you set up the pages of your book correctly. Download a template or watch one of our guide videos. Don’t skip this important step of the process, because this ensures your book prints beautifully.

Create a book cover.

If others are going to judge your book by its cover, then make sure they’re left with a good impression. Put your best foot forward with your book cover. Use this helpful DIY Book Cover Layout guide that walks you through image resolution and dimension, text placement, book spine design, barcode/ISBN placement and more. Not good at design? We offer professional cover design for only $99.

Convert all files into PDFs.

Converting your book into a PDF ensures that it’ll print properly. Our video tutorial walks you through creating a PDF and font embedding. Once you have turned your book files into a PDF file, you will want to review the files one last time before sending them to be printed. Be sure to catch any stray spelling or grammar mistakes.

Finally, place your order!

It’s just a click away! Order 100 copies of your book and they ship for free.