Since this site is all about how to represent yourself [think about / position / carry yourself] in the business it’s worth knowing some of the reference material that others in the business will assume you know about. At the very least, read some of the basic books about your craft.
Here are some books (and sites) that I believe are helpful to those starting out. This is by no means meant to be a list of the only helpful references, there are surely many books and sites beyond this list that are great.
Story by Robert Mckee
A classic, useful tome, a bit slow going but get it as an insurance policy.
Save The Cat by Blake Snyder
A fun and easy to read handbook that will stay with you.
Writing Television Sitcoms by Evan Smith
Useful and focused on premise driven comedy.
The Elements of Style by Strunk & White
This is an essential reference.
Making the Perfect Pitch by Katherine Sands
Knowing how to pitch is as essential as knowing how to write.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
About identifying and breaking through the inner barriers to creativity.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
A bit more of a spiritual approach to the creative path. Perhaps useful for making some new habits or breaking through some internal resistance etc.
John August’s Blog
A great site that covers the industry full of topical issues and insights.
Movies and Money by David Puttnam
A classic history about the great dealmakers and filmmakers from an iconic producer.
The Declaration of Independent Filmmaking by Mark Polish, Michale Polish and Jonathan Sheldon
A fun guide for first time independent filmmakers about the ups and downs of doing it outside the studio system.
The Real, Low Down, Dirty Truth About Hollywood Agenting by Rima Greer
A day to day POV on the culture and function of agents.
How To Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen
For those who want to build their IP from the ground up (book to film / TV etc).
How To Self-Publish Comics by Josh Blaylock
A primer on industry basics with great references on the business of creating comics.
How To Get a Literary Agent by Michael Larsen
Avoid some of the pitfalls but referencing this veteran book agents guide.