Sometimes, you come across a reference book and wonder, ‘Why didn’t I find this sooner?’ April Taylor’s Internet Research for Fiction Writers is such a book. An earlier find would’ve saved me a good deal of time. Still, now that I have it on both my iPad and Mac, I can use it for the future and really get to grips with searching for information online.
The book is organised into easily absorbed sections and explains the process in steps that are simple to follow. April even gives examples and sets the reader short exercises to consolidate the learning. Sections include, Where to Search, which gives the URLs of a multitude of search engines, some of which you’ll know and others of which you’ve probably never heard. The author explains the various pros and cons of each. She then goes on to the next section, How to Search, where the reader learns how to use the Boolean search and the importance of keywords, explaining how to structure the question you’re asking so that you get the best possible results. There are other sections on, Evaluating What You Find; Pictures; Staying Safe and Within Copyright; Other Internet Sources; What To Do When You Can’t Find What You Want; Storage, Retrieval and Tasking; Useful Websites for Writers; and a useful glossary. In short, everything you need to know about searching the internet in the role of fiction writer.
April Taylor knows her stuff. She’s worked as a librarian and research information officer, and currently writes fiction, so has the necessary experience and expertise. The book is very well organised and logically set out. The numerous links make the whole process of learning and then using the knowledge extremely easy. If you write fiction, and you’re researching for your books, this is definitely one for your reference library. I’ll be dipping into it frequently and I definitely recommend you do the same.