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Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Review Day: Writing How-To Books

I'm trying to read lots of writing/marketing how-to books this year. In fact, I'm trying to read at least two a month. These are small, novella or ebook type things that just give helpful tips either to authors, or to anybody marketing, or running a business in general. Today, I'll be reviewing the last five of these types of books that I've read.

Becoming the 1% by Dennis Crosby

What it's about: I totally loved this book! It is so great. I think I've mentioned it in a couple of posts, but haven't actually reviewed it. This book is about PRODUCTIVITY. It gives tips on planning and making lists that will increase your productivity by 500% in only a couple of weeks. The 1% the title refers to is the top 1% of productive people in the world, which you can become by following these tips.

Did it help me? Yes. I was already a list-maker by nature, but this gave me a great way to structure my lists as well as lots of small things I wasn't doing that can make a big difference. I think Crosby has made me a list-maker for life. Anyone who needs to structure what little time they have to get optimal work done (pretty much all authors) should read this!

(Kindle Edition: $3.99. Scroll down for purchase link.)

How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload on Amazon.com by Penny C. Sansevieri

What it's about: This short ebook could be read in one sitting. It focuses on the basics of Amazon that will help you use your Amazon account to it's max. It goes over basic things like categories and writing great descriptions, but it also goes into Amazon's Algorithms, perfect keywords, and why Shelfari matters. 

Did it help me? Yes. There were several things--like shelfari--that I wasn't taking advantage of and am now working steadily to get set up. Overall I found this book informative and am glad I got the chance to read it.

(Kindle Edition: $1.99. Scroll down for purchase link.)

From Freelance to Freedom by Michelle Shaeffer

What it's about: This was basically the transcript of an interview. Michelle Shaffer--who I follow--interviews Debra Jason, who has been a Freelance writer for decades. She gives tips on how to create and maintain your own freelance business.

Did this help me? I'll admit to being a bit disappointed with this one. For one, I believe it was a free download and I didn't entirely know what it was when I put it on my kindle. It wasn't bad, by any means, but it just didn't give very useful information. The tips Debra Jason gives are things like 'never give up,' 'remain positive' and such. Now, I'm all about this kind of attitude, but I think I was hoping for more practical tips that could be applied to a business. So, if you're looking for positive self-talk pick me up, this is the download for you. If you want more practical tips, I'd skip it.

(Kindle Edition: $2.99. Scroll down for purchase link.)

How to Love Your Job or Find a New One by Joanna Penn

What it's about: I've followed Johanna's blog, The Creative Penn, for more than a year now. She's an indie author who's been around the block a few times and definitely knows her stuff. This book gives tips on how to go from where you are in your career to where you want to be. If you hate your job, or just wish you had a different one, Joanna has some tips for you.

Did this help me? Yes. I will say that neither finding nor loving my job particularly applied to me for various reasons. Even so, I found some great tips and useful information in these pages. Her other book, How to Market a Book, was probably better in my opinion, but that's because it's more applicable to me. That book had SOOO many great tips in it. But, if you're someone who doesn't like your job or has a dream job you've always aimed for and never obtained, this is definitely the book for you! I'd recommend it.

(Since I downloaded this, Joanna has changed the title for marketing. It is now available under the title, Career Change. Kindle Edition $4.99. Scroll down for purchase link.)

Making Killer Profiles on Google Plus by Evo Terra

What it's about: I've known for some time that I needed to be more active on Google Plus. I do post my blogs there, but I'm not familiar enough with the platform to really use it to my advantage. This book is a step-by-step guide for how authors can maximize their use of the Google Plus platform, use it to get their name out there and ultimately sell their books.

Did this help me? Definitely. This was exactly the guide to Google Plus I was looking for. Whether you're totally clueless about Google Plus, have been on it for some time but would like to learn more, or are anywhere in between, this books if full of great tips and shortcuts. Anyone trying to run a legitimate business MUST BE on Google Plus! Evo knows his stuff and gives very helpful instructions. Definitely read this one.

(Kindle Edition $4.95. Purchase link below.)


  1. It sounds like Penny's book is worth the money!

  2. Hi dear L.K.Hill! truly like to reading on productivity tips. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information. I'll definitely add this great post in my article section.