In order to sell a book, you have to know what kind of book is selling! And while you’re reading, you’ll be able to pick up on the techniques of other writers.
2. Bad books
Just like it’s important to know a good book, it’s important to recognize a bad book when you read one. Of course, you don’t need to read these very often. But considering what you would edit in others’ writing can help you develop your own.
3. Writing books
Believe it or not, books about writing are valuable resources for writers. There are all kinds of books out there for different genres and different aspects of writing.
4. Grammar books
I know, I know. This one isn’t quite as fun. But grammar rules are always changing, so it’s important to keep up with the times. You may want to invest in a style guide (likely the Chicago Manual of Style) if you often find yourself with grammar questions.
If you’re not a literary person, this can seem dull. But there’s got to be some reason the classics have survived as long as they have. Don’t you want to learn the secret to writing a book that will be read for hundreds of years? Do some research into what’s made these stories successful.
If you want your characters to be realistic, read about how real people work. This is fascinating stuff! When you really learn what makes people tick, your characters will come alive. And that’s not to mention all of the intriguing illnesses and disorders that might sneak their way into your story!
7. Writer biographies
I’m not a big fan of biographies, but I still pick up an author bio every once in a while. Why? Because it gives insight into the history of publishing and authorship. And it can give you some ideas about what to do—and what not to do—with your life as an author.
8. Book reviews
How do you know whether readers will like your book? By listening to what readers are saying! In book reviews, readers will talk about what they like and don’t like in their books. Take that information into account!
9. Things in your genre
The best inspiration comes from similar works. For example, when my mind gets caught up in a science fiction world, I often think, “Wouldn’t it be cool if _____ happened?” Write those ideas down so you can make them happen!
Read anything. Read everything. Read whatever you can get your hands on. The more you branch out, the more unique your own writing will become. And who knows? You may stumble across a new genre to test out!
MEET THE AUTHOR
Megan Alms is a professional writer from Indianapolis. She publishes articles, short stories, poems, reviews, devotions, and scripts, and wants to help other writers find success in the publishing industry.