Writers Journal: Professional Development – Books

Welcome back to Austen Promises and the Writer’s Journal!


A year or so ago, I did a post about podcasts, but podcasts don’t make up all of my professional development. Books are a big part of it, too, possibly a bigger part than podcasts.

In the last year, I have begun purchasing books to help me improve my writing and marketing. Some I have as ebooks, for both Kindle and Nook. Those are nice and inexpensive, and I get good info from them. My big issue with ebooks for learning is that there is no easy way to take notes and have them be instantly accessible. So, I have begun buying many professional development books as print copies. Some I have in both. If I buy an ebook that I find super helpful and that I want to take notes in, I purchase a print copy of it. My Newsletter Ninja book is highlighted, written in, and marked with sticky note flags. Looks a lot like a mini college textbook. 😀 

As I survey my book purchases, I see that they cover a lot of areas. I have a book called Amazon Ads: Decoded by Brian Meeks, which talks about (obviously) Amazon ads. I have another book titled, Help! My Facebook Ads Suck by Michael Cooper. I have begun both books, but have not gotten far.

From Joanna Penn, one of my favorite podcasters, I have a book and workbook called How to Write Non-fiction. As soon as I figure out what I know that I could actually help anyone with, I’m going to write a non-fiction book. 🙂 

Just the other day, I received in the mail a copy of The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. This is probably one of my best all-time professional development purchases, because showing and not telling is not something I do naturally. It’s not even something I really like, but I see the value and wisdom in doing it, so I’m working on improving that skill.

Speaking of thesauruses, I bought a big, hardback one a couple years ago. I use that thing a lot.

My all-time favorite professional development book has to be Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque. I won this in ebook form in a writer’s group, and as I began to read it, I started realizing that I needed notes and things in it. So, I bought it in paperback. It was an easy read and kept my attention, and is chock-full of information. The only thing it didn’t have was examples. However, someone in a writer’s group, who shares my need for a sample to model my work after, took pity on me and laid out how she does her onboarding sequence. With that, I was able to plot my own, and now, just a couple days later, I have a four-email sequence that allows new mailing list subscribers to get to know me and me them. (Well, a little.)

Information changes quickly nowadays, and as I look at these books, I know that the data and numbers in some have already changed. For example, in the Amazon Ads book, Brian Meeks mentions a certain amount for “bids” in those ads. Since the book came out, Amazon has changed the recommended bid to a much higher number. The biggest part of the information is still valid, but some has changed. At some point, Brian may have to revise his book.

The Newsletter Ninja book, on the other hand, was written with the design that it would stay “evergreen,” meaning the information contained within would not change. If I write one, that’s what I’m going to do. Who wants to have to rewrite the same book every year?

Do you like to have actual physical books for your professional development, or do you prefer ebooks? Maybe you’d rather listen to a podcast or watch a YouTube video? Whatever method you choose, you can never go wrong by learning new things.

Come back next Wednesday for another peek into my journal! <3

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2 thoughts on “Writers Journal: Professional Development – Books

  1. I love The Emotional Thesaurus! I also have a ton of graphics that I have saved on Pinterest, long lists of different sorts of words (words to use instead of “very,” or “went, or to describe the character’s voice or eyes). Of course, I can’t guarantee that all of this is helpful, since I haven’t TECHNICALLY started writing my first book yet, but I plan to soon! 😊

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