Another useful tool for writers is books on the craft of writing and genre specific books on writing.
In my opinion when you decide you want to write, the first thing you should do is visit a book store, either brick and mortar or online and peruse your choices. And there are many to choose from!
For a beginner the best way to go is a general book about writing. A book that explains not only the creative process, but the business side as well. There are great books that explain and give examples of query letters to both agents and publishers, proposal packages, manuscript and synopsis format, the difference between a non-fiction and fiction proposal, etc. etc. etc.
One advantage to reading a general book about the craft of writing is they can introduce you to all types of writing, memoir, article, short story, magazine, and books. They encourage you and cover the realities of a writing career, like the length of time it takes to get published.
The genre specific writing books are invaluable to the beginner or seasoned pro. They cover the tried and true as well as the new trends. These books are key to getting your foot in the door of the appropriate publishers.
Here is a list of a few I've found helpful:
Writing the Christian Romance by Gail Gaymer Martin
The Giblin Guide to Writing Children's Books by James Cross Giblin
Write the Perfect Book Proposal by James Herman and Deborah Levine Herman
On Writing by Stephen King
Writing Short Stories for Young People by George Edward Stanley
The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes and Heroines by Cowden, LaFever and Viders
If you have a favorite book on writing, please leave a comment and let us know! Just remember my comments are moderated so they won't show up immediately.