“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” —Marcus Tullius Cicero
In an earlier post, I talked about squeezing by-products from your creative work. This time it’s squeezing by-products from others’ creative work, i.e. their books.
I love my library. The many books I’ve read surrounding me as I write encourages me. For years, I felt guilty for not giving the books away. I’ve loaned out many, but…
Then my guilt vanished when I discovered so many ways to “reuse” them for me and for others.
Whether you’re an author, a blogger, or a workshop leader:
- You can glean new uses for the books on your bookshelves. click to tweet
1. I write a lot of blog posts on writing. While making a point, I pull books from my shelves and find published examples to show what I mean.
2. I credit the author for the examples I use from books. This gives other authors exposure, especially as to how they cleverly performed a technique.
3. I have trouble sometimes in finding the answer to an uncommon grammar, style, or punctuation question in my reference books. So, I peruse books on my shelves. I often find how at least one publisher handled the issue. Using the search function on my e-books makes this easier
4. I give a quote in each of my blog posts. I usually search online for quotes. Often, though, I remember something an author said in one of the books on my shelves that’s the perfect quote.
5. I lead workshops on writing. I’ll take a load of books with me to use for examples. Once, I handed each participant a book and had each read aloud the opening paragraph. Then we voted on the best opening hook. This started discussion. It also gave other authors exposure.
6. I gathered 50 of my print and e-book inspirational romance novels recently and read the last two pages. I learned the popular elements inspirational romance authors leave their readers with at the end of their books. It gave me content for a blog post and a new ending idea I want to try.
7. I send my agent book proposals. In them, I list novels similar to mine. This helps the publisher know how marketable my book might be. I prefer to compare my book’s similarities and unique differences to books I’ve read and have on hand to refresh my memory.
8. I’ve seen how loaning books to people has caused them to purchase the authors’ other books.
9. I visited a shut-in for years. Every week I brought her books from my shelves. They kept her going, and they gave us something fun to talk about.
10. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention we can press flowers or four-leaf clovers in our books.
- Put the books in your bookcases to work. click to tweet
How have you put your shelved books to work?