These are all the writing self-help books I've read (and re-read) except for the last one that I'm still working on. I've studied them, considered their suggestions (some didn't work for me but might prove perfect for another author), and I've learned from all of them.
The very first was basic, which is what I needed. I was living in the little town of Hanford, California in 2005 and decided I'd write a book and maybe others. I did what I thought would be the first step and drove down to the single bookstore in the Hanford Mall and looked for books on how to write a book. There was only one: You Can Write A Novel by James V. Smith, Jr. The cover at the time was blue with gold print. To the left is how the current cover looks on Amazon. This was perfect for a beginner. It went into the basics - actually had me making index cards with character traits, scene cards. It had templates you could use to "log" your plot. The book went over what I know as basics now, things like discussions on what cliches are and how not to use them and why. I really thought writing a book would be easy. Yeah, right, but then that's another story.
Then came this one by Sol Stein. Great. Loved it. Helpful. Again, I was going to write a book and it would be easy. Again, in hindsight - yeah, right!
Here are others I finished reading and dove back into many, many times.
Hooked (below) is the most recent self-help book I've read. It's an invaluable resource and I will read it again and again. The Weekend Novelist Re-Writes the Novel is one I started, but stopped halfway through. It is very good and very needed for my work in progress, A Promotion to Die For, but I don't need to finish it now. A Promotion to Die For is not yet complete enough for me to "re-write" it for publication. When every chapter is complete, I'll finish reading The Weekend Novelist Re-Writes the Novel and use it as a resource to polish my finished project before submitting it to my publisher.
If you're an author, what self-help books do you use? Do they help you? Do you absorb all the information or, like me, do you have to re-read and review over and over?