Before You Self-Publish, Read These

shutterstock_129157112Writing is a craft, and like any craft, you must hone and perfect your skills before you can achieve greatness. In writing, it is wise to learn from some of the best writers out there. Just because you’ve chosen to self-publish and don’t have to query agents and sell to publishing houses, doesn’t mean that you can skimp out on quality. Choose to self-publish your very best work, and allow these authors to help you in the process.

Here are the very best books to read before you self-publish

Elements of Style, Strunk & White

self-publishThis book is a must-have for everyone, not just writers. Strunk & White make grammar and punctuation simple in Elements of Style. From comma rules to basic sentence structure, Stunk & White have your back. Consider it a crash course on the English language. 

 

 

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott 

bird-by-birdWidely considered one of the very best books on writing, Lamott teaches us about writing, creativity, and, as the title would imply, life itself. A favorite quote from Bird by Bird is, “One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places and explore. Another is that writing motivates you to look closely at life, at life as it lurches by and tramps around.”

 

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King

onwritingTake it from the king (yes, pun-intended) of horror himself: “you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” King addresses how writing isn’t easy, and it can definitely be scary. But if you put in the work, you can create something truly beautiful.

 

 

41yobzdf1rl-_sx330_bo1204203200_The Writing Life, Annie Dillard

Dillard’s work, though convoluted and confusing at times, is a must-read for writers. Dillard uses language in so captivating a way, to read her work is to be wooed, to fall in love with language all over again. In The Writing Life, Dillard perfectly captures what it is to be a writer. Frustrating though it can be, the writing life is a good life.

Making Shapely Fiction, Jerome Stern 

41b7cysgfvl-_sx324_bo1204203200_Stern’s Making Shapely Fiction is the fiction writer’s Elements of Style. This book is all about the technicalities of creative writing, not just writing in general. The book teaches the reader what works in fiction and what doesn’t work.

 

 

 

Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir, William Zinsser

51czt3kshhl-_sx338_bo1204203200_Though Zinsser’s Inventing the Truth is about memoir, the lessons can be applied to writing as a whole. Within this collection, memoirists discuss their journey, how their work impacted their family and friends, and how they, ultimately, had to create the truth. In whatever you write, create your truth.

 

Have a favorite instructional book that wasn’t on this list? Comment yours below!

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5 Comments on Before You Self-Publish, Read These

  1. Michael
    December 9, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Thank you for your advice. I just ordered three of the books you recommended.

    Reply
    • Hannah Gordon
      December 12, 2016 at 11:25 am

      We hope you enjoy them!

      Reply

3Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Before You Self-Publish, Read These

  1. […] Now, yes, this isn’t writing, per say, but the more you read, the better a writer you’ll be. Set aside some time to read—there doesn’t need to be a set daily limit, since you’re already planning on writing every day. But maybe two or three times a week set aside a half hour to an hour to settle down with a good book. Fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, so long as you’re surrounding yourself with words, you can’t go wrong. If you want to read books that specifically intended to help you grow as a writer, check out our blog on the best books for writers. […]

  2. […] is William Zinsser’s Inventing the Truth, which, if you keep up-to-date on our blog, you know we recommend for both memoirists and writers in general. In Zinsser’s collection of essays by popular memoirists, the truth is relative. How you remember […]

  3. […] you follow our blog, you’ll know we already wrote a blog about the very best books for writers—regardless of what publishing route those writers choose. However, for self-published writers, […]

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