Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My Amazon Shopping Spree

As promised I'm sharing the books I recently purchased during my Amazon shopping spree thanks to the $100 Amazon Gift Certificate I won from the Writer's Round-About contest. It was a close race and everyone wrote fabulous entries, so I am honored and blessed to have placed 1st with the serious competition I had! In retrospect, I do believe this certificate is the first thing I've ever won in my life! That makes it even more special.

I really put a lot of thought into my purchases. None of my selections were made in haste as I've been dreaming of the following titles for quite some time now.
I don't know how many books someone else would have ended up with for $100 but I came out with a total of eight. Yes, eight! Can you believe it? I will admit that I went over budget a smidgen. Normally, I'd cringe to go over budget as I take great pride in my wise spending abilities - or call it cheap if you want. :-)

Onto the lovely bookshelf additions.... Here's a list of the eight books I'll soon be able to hold in my hands and gobble up every page of, along with the reasons why I chose them.

1. Contracts Companion for Writers (Literary Entrepreneur series) - I've wanted this one since I read about it in Hope Clark's newsletter (Funds for Writers) and I'm really excited that it's on its way! I feel much better about my future dealings with contracts knowing I'll be able to reach for it anytime something is in question. This one, along with the Copyright book below, comes with forms on CD-Rom!

2. Copyright Companion for Writers (Literary Entrepreneur series) - I think this is an awesome resource for writers to have. It sounds like there is a lot of information about the copyright of our work and I think it's wise to educate ourselves as much as possible so we know how to protect our words.

3. Feminine Wiles: Creative Techniques for Writing Women's Features Stories That Sell - Many of my readers who have been around a while know my story: I'm a survivor of domestic violence, had a complete hysterectomy in my twenties, have lost over 100 pounds, along with other valleys and triumphs. Writing stories that speak to women's hearts, souls, minds, and makes a real impact on their futures (and of those who love them) is so important to me. Before I can do that, I have to kick it up a notch with my writing so I can make it into the bigger magazine markets and reach a bigger audience of women readers. This book, I believe, will be a huge stepping stone in that direction.

4. The Associated Press Stylebook on Briefing on Media Law - Some markets/clients want you to use AP Style as a reference. So, to cover myself I decided to get both this book and The Chicago Manual of Style you see below. It's something I thought about a lot and am pleased with my decision to have both as handy references. Regardless of which publication or clients I end up writing for, and whichever style they request I use, I'll be covered.

5. The Chicago Manual of Style
- I've seen a lot of magazine guidelines and other guidelines that require the writer to use this manual as a reference. I'm on pins and needles to get my hands on this one! I look forward to devouring the wisdom that lays within this (nearly 1,000 pages) hardcover gem!

6. The Copywriter's Handbook, Third Edition: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells - When I first got to the place where I could use my hands and type and write again, I never thought I'd even consider copywriting. Why would I? I only wanted to write in magazines, anthologies, and newspapers. But the longer I write, the more avenues I open my eyes to, and I think you should too. There's a huge world out there and a lot of writing opportunities are available by stepping out into new horizons, experiencing new things, and quenching my never ending thirst for knowledge and learning by taking those opportunities. I feel what I learn from this book will take me far!

7. The Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock: The Freelance Writer's Guide to Selling More Work Faster (The Renegade Writer's Freelance Writing series) - Need I say anything? I've heard (ok read) on blogs, Websites, in reviews, and even personal emails how totally amazing and helpful this book really is. I was going to get the other book in this series but my other selections won out as I felt they'd really help me the most at the moment. I would recommend you get both books in this series, though, if you can.

8. WordPress For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) - Ok, a while back I ran a poll. The majority of my readers voted in favor of my move to WordPress. The tech side of the writing business is something I was never aware was so important and to say it's not one of my strong points is an understatement! That's where this book comes in. I checked out other WordPress books but from the excerpt I read from this one, I feel it will lead me through all the steps so I'll feel more confident as I spread my cyber wings and fly off to another blogging platform, one I know nothing about.

And, there you go, my faithful readers. These are my selections and my thoughts for choosing them. Do you disagree with my choices? Do you have any of these books? Do you recommend any of these books? Do you feel I've made sound choices and will experience a huge boost in my writing adventures and sales? Don't be shy! Share with us in the comments.

Oh, and I'll be reviewing each of these books as I wade through them, so keep your eyes peeled for those posts!

Be sure to drop by Writing FORWARD. Melissa Donovan is running an awesome contest!

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