Book Recs [Writer’s Resources]


If you’re interested in being a writer, as many voracious readers are, you might be like me and really appreciate some good resources for writing. Whether they’re how to guides or what to do next tips, any information is useful, right? (Well, no, not *any* information, but there is a lot of good stuff out there and it’s worth looking around.)

I’ve been doing research on several different topics for a while now, the main ones being “how to get published”. (This will probably be my last topic on my How To Write A Novel series, but I haven’t decided yet.) This is a really difficult question to answer because it’s so involved and has so many different defining factors. Just because you’ve written an awesome novel doesn’t mean that you will have a bestseller or even be published!

Crazy, right?

Which I think is why a lot of authors have gone the self-publishing route. (Let me be clear, I don’t disagree with this at all! If you can get with a big name publisher, more power to you, but it’s not all sunshine and daisies even then. It still involves a lot of work, a lot of selling yourself, and a lot less money than you need to live.) This means you, as the author have to be a *lot* more involved in the whole process. From editing to book covers to blurbs and marketing and formatting – all of that now falls on your shoulders. (For the record, a lot of this is *still* on your shoulders even when you get with a big name publisher. Unless you’re a big name yourself, you’re not going to get as much attention, money, or effort from your publisher as most people think.)

Makes you think twice about doing it, right?

Probably. But it shouldn’t. Because if you really want to get your book out there, but don’t have to cater to picky, conglomerate publishers who aren’t going to like what you’re writing, just because you haven’t already sold something, then self-publishing might be the answer. You get paid very little, but immediately. (Possibly more, but maybe not.) You have control over what’s in your book and on your book. And you, ultimately, make all of the calls.

So it’s not all terrible. It’s just a lot of work.

Since this is so much work, I thought I would throw a few informational resources out there for you guys to check out.


Free and generally much shorter than a book, websites tend to be packed full of really good information that is easily accessible and broken down into bite sized, easily digested chunks of information.

Here’s a good list of resources that I like to use:

How to Write Shop – YA query letters (this site is good in general, but this post is about a query letter which is the first step to “selling” your book to a publisher or agent)

7 Tips to Promote Your Self-Published Book – Joanna Penn is AWESOME and I’m going to list one of her books later. Check out her site for general writer’s info, but this post is about marketing your book once you get it “live”.

Marketing Tools for Self-Published Authors – this one isn’t as “pretty” as the others in formatting/setup, but the info is good. Just go to the bolded points in the article to navigate.

40 Publishers That Accept Unsolicited Manuscripts – this one is really useful because a LOT of publishers will only consider looking at your manuscript if you have an agent. And having an agent isn’t necessarily bad, but you should definitely get some info on that before diving in. So if you’re not sure you want an agent, check out these publishers.

5 Elements … to Sell More Books – a good read with some suggestions on how to get your book to sell. A nice, quick read.


Successful Self-Publishing by Joanna Penn – this one has a lot of really useful information in a very easy to read format. I love Penn and appreciate her suggestions. (I think she’s got a series of informational books on similar subjects, but this is the only one I’ve been reading thus far.) Her ebook was free on Amazon. (Amazon | Goodreads)

Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell – this is good if you’re just starting out. It focuses on craft and the specifics of writing more than the publishing aspect. (Right now you can get this from Amazon for free if you have Kindle Unlimited.) (Amazon | Goodreads)

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King – you know I’m all about editing! For those of us on a budget, this is a good resource for doing as much editing on your own before investing in a real editor. (Amazon | Goodreads)

45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt – I haven’t read this one personally, but it gets strong reviews and sounds like a good resource for anyone struggling with coming up with characters. (Right now you can get this from Amazon for free if you have Kindle Unlimited.) (Amazon | Goodreads)

The Mental Game of Writing by James Scott Bell – I’m including this one even though I haven’t read it yet just because I really WANT to. It’s on my list of “to buy when I have the money” (nonfiction version). It looks really good and if you’ll notice another of his books appears on this list, too, so I’m very hopeful. That being said, I haven’t read it so go to this one at your own risk – and if you do, let me know how it is! (It’s only $2.99 as the Kindle version.) (Amazon | Goodreads)

There are TONS more out there and if you guys have some recommendations, share them in the comments below! I’d love to hear them.

I know this was mostly focusing on publishing this time, but I hope that you guys get something out of the other books, too. I’m going to continue my How To series soon, but in the meantime, these can tide you over! The Kindle versions of some of them are pretty cheap and even free for those with Kindle Unlimited! If they aren’t, I always recommend searching for used copies, but stay away from sites that you’re unfamiliar with. I made that mistake just once in college and got off lucky – they didn’t get my personal info or my money, but it was a near thing. If you aren’t sure of a site, search for reviews OF THE SITE. They’ll usually tell you if you can trust them.

(Additionally, some of these may be duplicates from me other post about writer’s resources here. If so, I apologize!)

Thanks for checking out my post and I hope that it helps you guys out some! If you’ve got helpful tips or suggestions, share them below. I love to hear them.


E.C. Orr

P.S. If any of the links are wrong, please let me know so that I can change them. Thanks!