There are several books on writing that you should add to your library:
- How to Be Your Own Literary Agent by Richard Curtis
The basics of contracts and what agents do. Required reading before you sign your name to a book contract. If you get interested, you should also buy the author’s Beyond the Bestseller, a clear look at the publishing industry and how it works.
- The Writer’s Market (annual)
The most commonly available source of information about publishers and magazines. There are profiles of hundreds of publishers and magazines, their focuses, and contact information. There are also profiles of a number of agents.
An exceptional guide (updated annually) for people looking for information about publishers and agents.
- 1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer
John Kremer’s book will excite you with the opportunities for marketing your books. Most of the ideas are ways to market your book over and above anything your publisher might be doing for you (though you can frequently get your publisher to do more by pitching ideas to them).
- The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
This book is a 12-week self-taught course on creativity. You can do it by yourself, but it really works best with a small study group both for the commitment and the interaction and insights. This is a vital component of examining and understanding your motivation prior to making a career change… and choosing to write books as a large part of your professional life is definitely a career change.
- The Secrets of Consulting by Gerry Weinberg
Although this is slightly tangential to being an author, this is an amazing book for the independent worker. Gerry makes his points by telling stories and creating aphorisms, maxims, and rules that stick with you, like “Rudy’s Rutabaga Rule: Once you solve your number-one problem, your number-two problem gets a promotion.” You’ll want to read this book every year.
- Clutter’s Last Stand by Don Aslett
An amazingly helpful book on how to keep clutter out of your life. Don Aslett runs a multi-million dollar cleaning organization and writes dozens of fun, approachable books on cleaning and organizing. This is a book no author should be without.
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
None of us are in this business for our health. This book gives you the basics on how to become rich and it won’t put you to sleep while you read it (unlike most other books of this kind).