10 Ways to Make Books Earn Their Shelf Space in Your Bookcase

by | Writing

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” —Marcus Tullius Cicero

 

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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:

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  • You can glean new uses for the books on your bookshelves. click to tweet

photoUses for the Books on Your Bookshelves

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.
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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.

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How have you put your shelved books to work?

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American Christian Fiction Writers

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