And so, today, we are going to talk about the books on writing that must be on your 2019 reading list (or listening to, if Audible is your thing).
Are you ready? Start your engines! You’re about to embark on something magical as you craft your writing skills.
Books On Writing: On Writing
Of course, we can’t have an article about books on writing without including the famous one from Stephen King.
My college advisor would disown me for including it (what’s that pop culture muck you’re promoting), but I have to give credit where credit is due.
On Writing is a memoir of sorts, but it will help you hone your craft like nothing else you can pick up and, well, read.
It’s broken into seven sections and they detail his life as a writer.
- What Writing Is
- On Writing
- On Living: A Postscript
- And Furthermore, Part I: Door Shut, Door Open
- And Furthermore, Part II: A Booklike
- Further to Furthermore, Part III
Up to nearly 90 books published and more than 70 movies, he knows his stuff.
He tells a story about how is wife rescued an early manuscript of Carrie from the trash.
I had four problems with what I’d written. First, … the story didn’t move me emotionally. Second, … I didn’t much like the lead character. Carrie White seemed thick and passive, a ready-made victim. … Third, … [I] was not feeling at home with either the surroundings or my all-girl cast of supporting characters. … Fourth, … the story wouldn’t pay unless it was pretty long. … I couldn’t see wasting two weeks, maybe even a month, creating a novella I didn’t like and wouldn’t be able to sell. So I threw it away.
And we all know how that turned out.
So read the book. If you’ve read it already, re-read it. Hone your craft and be ready to rock it in 2019.
Books On Writing: Everybody Writes
Yes, I absolutely would put Ann Handley’s book in the same camp as Stephen King.
Not only is she a fabulous writer who connects well with her audience, she’s hilarious.
Everybody Writes is for, well, everyone.
It doesn’t matter if you create content for a living or simply write emails, you are a writer.
And that’s what Ann sets out to help you improve with her fun and easy-to-read business book.
- How to write better. (Or, for “adult-onset writers”: How to hate writing less.)
- Easy grammar and usage rules tailored for business in a fun, memorable way. (Enough to keep you looking sharp, but not too much to overwhelm you.)
- Giving your audience the gift of your true story, told well. Empathy and humanity and inspiration are key here, so the book covers that, too.
- Best practices for creating credible, trustworthy content steeped in some time-honored rules of solid journalism. Because publishing content and talking directly to your customers is, at its heart, a privilege.
- “Things Marketers Write”: The fundamentals of 17 specific kinds of content that marketers are often tasked with crafting.
- Content Tools: The sharpest tools you need to get the job done.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or a professional, this book has something for you.
It’s part writing guide, part handbook, and all-around reliable desk companion for anyone crafting the written word in any way.
Books on Writing: Content Chemistry
Speaking of reliable desk companions, Content Chemistry is another one of those.
Andy Crestodina, the book’s author, once offered to send me a free—and updated—copy of Content Chemistry, if I would let him use my copy of his very first version in speeches.
This is because his first version sits on my desk, is dog-eared and tagged, and has notes galore in it.
I refused to give it up!
(But I did take a picture of it that I allow him to use. It is his book after all. And he still sent me an updated version. That’s what kind of guy he is.)
He updates it every year because things change so often and this book is part science and part art.
If you’re not up-to-speed on how search and content work together, this book is not just a nice-to-read, it’s a must-read.
Andy will keep you current, help you understand the latest trends, and give you the tools you need to help you content shine on the first page of Google results.
Because, as he says, the second page of Google results is where you hide all the dead bodies.
(In other words, no one ever looks there.)
Let Andy help you both hone your craft and become a master at search engine optimization, too.
Other Books On Writing
Now it’s your turn.
It’s hard to narrow books on writing down to just three, but we are just on the third day of our series.
So I shall open the floor to you.
Which other books on writing would you include…and why?