It’s safe to say that writers are usually prolific readers too. Over in the AskALLi team, we thought we would collate a mid-year reading list for you, whether you’re on a beach, or huddled up by a fire, this mega-list will help to stock up your e-readers and bookshelves full of books every indie should read. This is ALLi’s books for indie authors.
Writing Craft Books
We all want to sell more books, but without being able to write a solid novel with a great storyline, characters that draw readers in and story that hooks a reader, we won’t sell many copies. Craft is the basis of being an author. In our selection below, are a range of craft books from plotting and understanding story structure through to character creation and prose.
The Heroine’s Journey by Gail Carriger recommended by Sara Rosett because it gave her a new way of looking at story and plot. “Turns out, I was writing the heroine journey all along and didn’t know it!”
Writing into the Dark by Dean Wesley Smith, recommended by Val Neil. Val says “It’s a good book if you’re a discovery writer but feeling guilty about it. My only caveat is it’s a very short read, like 40 pages.
Plot. Write. Promote: Writing And Selling Your Novel by Jane Holland. Recommended by EM Powell. EM’s Goodreads review says: “Jane’s warts-and-all descriptions of some of the issues she’s faced in her career are great fun but also a valuable insight into the ups and downs of publishing.”
Rhetorics of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn, recommended by Dan Holloway. Dan says, “This is the book that gave us the term “portal fantasy”, for anyone whose work involves characters that cross any threshold, magical, real, or metaphorical this is the one book you have to read.”
Mindset is the basis of every successful long term business. Grit is required by every creative to get through the dark days, the low sales months, and equally, to keep your feet on the ground when the sales boom, the positive reviews pour in and the praise is plentiful. Good days or bad, mindset is everything when it comes to creating a prospering creative business.
“I read both twice, then gifted The War of Art to two creatives I know. Pressfield kicked me in the butt while making me laugh, and I appreciate Penn’s transparency and realism in her non-fiction.”
Whether we like it or not, money is a crucial part of a business. We need to earn it, save it, invest it and use it wisely. But positive money mindset is hard to come by, as is money education. These books will help you build the foundations of your financial knowledge.
Marketing can be a topic riddled with resistance. We’re creatives, selling But, to sell books, we must learn to market. Whether it’s advertising, platform building, branding or social media, we must find a way to market and promote our books. This list will help you grow your marketing knowledge.
Release Strategies by Craig Martelle, recommended by Val Neil. Val says, “He [Martelle] breaks down various release strategies so you can figure out which one works best for you. He also includes extremely detailed pre-launch checklists.”
The Smarter Screen by Shlomo Benartzi, and recommended by Dan Holloway. “Takes online marketing down to the real mechanics by looking at the science of what people look at first when presented with a website”
Wide for the Win and Killing it on Kobo by Mark Lefebvre. If you want to take your books wide, this book is for you. Packed with advice and strategies, it’s a fantastic guide to wide marketing and mindset.
The moment you publish a book, the moment you sell your first copy, you’re in business. Many creatives recoil from that fact, but it’s important to embrace your creative business and nurture it until it prospers. This list of books will help you foster growth in your creative business.
- Creative Self-Publishing
- Choosing the Best Self-Publishing Services
- How Authors Sell Publishing Rights
- Your Book in Bookstores
- 150 Self-Publishing Questions Answered
Classic Writing Books
“Classics” in the classical sense can be marmite, some people love them some hate them. When it comes to writing, there are some classic books filled with rich writing advice that truly are a must read. Here’s a list of both modern and not so modern classic writing books the AskALLi team collated for you.
- Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing by Margaret Atwood
- Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
- On Writing: Critical Studies on Writing as an Art by Willa Cather
- How to Write Like Tolstoy: A Journey into the Minds of Our Greatest Writers by Richard Cohen
- Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere) by Lisa Cron
- Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work by Edwidge Danticat
- The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
- Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
- A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
- The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
- The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property by Lewis Hyde
- My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs: The Nobel Lecture by Kazuo Ishiguro
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
- Words Are My Matter: Writings on Life and Books by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
- The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner
- A Writer’s Notebook by W. Somerset Maugham
- Letters to a Young Writer: Some Practical and Philosophical Advice by Colum McCann
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
- A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders
- The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller by John Truby
- Poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge
- A Writer’s Diary By Virginia Woolf
- On Writing Well by William Zinsser