Thursday, December 09, 2010

What Better Gift for a Writer Than Career-Bettering Books?

So, the deadline is approaching. That is, online bookstores will soon no longer guarantee delivery on books for Christmas. So, just to get you hopping, here are a couple I'd like to suggest as gifts for fellow writers!
Yep, books are frugal. A real value for your money. So, while you're ordering them for others, order a couple for yourself!

Have you ever wondered why people collect things like all of Stephen King’s books or why some book covers attract people more than others and, by extension, why branding works? Read How Pleasure Works, a new book published by W.W. Norton and authored by Paul Bloom. One point: we love fiction not “because it’s an escape, but because it allows us to practice for real life.”  Trust me. This book will help anyone market book books better.

Also check out Copycats: How Smart Companies Use Imitation to Gain a Strategic Edge by Oded Shenkar (from Harvard Business).  I've often suggested borrowing   marketing ideas from the big guys.  I've also suggested that authors read my HowToDoItFrugally series for retailers. That seems like learning from another industry, but it isn't really. Authors and publishers are all--at some level--retailers ( . I've also suggested that we authors learn from the king-size booboos those so-called smart companies  make.


Here’s another book for your consideration:  Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Youngme Moon from Crown Business.


As long as I’m talking books, how about the term “usage books?” I’m surprised more authors don’t know about them. They help with most things that perplex us, like pored vs. poured, even when they seem interchangeable in so many instances. Here are a few “usage books:”

Fowler’s Modern American Usage

Garner’s Modern American Usage
Webster’s Modern American Usage

My favorite grammar guru, June Casagrande says, usage books are “written for our convenience . . . “, meaning they make it easy on us readers and researchers to find what we need. She suggests you check “vale of tears.” Is it “veil” or “vale”?  When we put our reasoning caps on, we can come up with very good reasons why either could be correct.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog:

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