Resources for Writers


There are many books on the business of publishing, and getting published. When you go to the ubiquitous online bookseller and type the words “getting book published”, you will see what are most popular, and up to date. I have listed a few below that I recommend. You can find these titles where ever books are sold, or at your local library. You can spend forever looking up information online about getting published.  You will save yourself a lot of time looking at two web sites:  Preditors and Editors and Writers Beware. These sites offers  lot of good cautionary news to writers, with good links to sites on specific topics.  Finally, you should be sure to go to genre search engine at the Association of Author’s Representatives (AAR) site. The AAR will give you good information on what agents can do for you and a full listing of other reputable agents.

If you have not been published before, you should also know about DEVELOPMENTAL EDITORS (DE) and/or “ghostwriters”. Given the current climate inside publishing, most agents want to offer acquisitions editors projects that are as close to “production ready” as feasible. One advantage from which any new writer can benefit is to invest in an independent developmental editor. A local writer’s group can offer wonderful support, and a social experience, and advice (both good and bad).  However, when you hire a qualified developmental editor, you are getting professional editorial guidance, feedback, and polish.  In some cases, it may be worth investing in a writer for hire to actually write your book for you; these are called “ghost writers”. On advantage of working with a good ghost writer is that they know the nuances of the industry and they can also help you put together your submission materials. A few recommended places to start looking for a DE or a ghost, would be Book Editor’s Alliance, Philip Turner Book Productions, or Words into Print. You can also find good information about independent editors and assessment services at the Editorial Freelancers Association web site, and at the  Writer’s Beware web site.

As for basic writing skills, I would like to thank Ms. Amelia from the Greater Salt Lake area who brought to my attention this wonderful online resource called The Resource Guide to Writing Basics to help writers of all ages and walks of life.


THE FAST TRACK COURSE ON HOW TO WRITE A NONFICTION BOOK PROPOSAL by Stephen Blake Mettee. This book is just want it says. There is solid information that will bring a writer up to speed on what to expect, structure of your proposal, agency agreements, and even some basics on book contracts. Highly recommended.

THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO GETTING YOUR BOOK PUBLISHED by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry. Considered by insiders one of the better books on the subject. (as of 2015…getting a bit dated, but still worthwhile).

HOW TO WRITE A BOOK PROPOSAL by Michael Larsen. Micheal is a respected agent. This book is like a lesson in getting your book published. Surprising current for a book published in 2011.

And especially for academics…GETTING IT PUBLISHED: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books by William Germano(as of 2015…getting a bit dated, but still worthwhile).


WRITING FOR STORY: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction by Jon Franklin. If you want to write nonfiction narratives, this book is essential reading. Trust us; this is a book every nonfiction writer should read and reread.

ELEMENTS OF EXPRESSION by Arthur Plotnik. This book will help any writer add snap, crackle and pop to the page.

ON WRITING WELL: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser. If you haven’t read this book, you’ve missed one of the best books ever written on the subject.

SPUNK & BITE: A Writer’s Guide to Punchier, More Engaging Language & Style by Arthur Plotnik. This edgy book encourages writers to put Strunk and White back on the shelf if they want to make their writing sparkle. Art practices what he preaches, making for a fun read.


THE COPYRIGHT PERMISSION AND LIBEL HANDBOOK by Lloyd Jassin et al. A modestly priced basic, plain-English introductio

COPYRIGHT HANDBOOK: What Every Writer Needs to Know by Stephen Fishman  and  GETTING PERMISSION: How to License & Clear Copyrighted Materials Online & Off by Richard Stim. These Nolo Press books offer clear and excellent guidance not only about the legal basics when it comes copyright, text and illustration permissions and on how to research permissions and negotiate the lowest fees. Well worth the investment.