Most of the books I own about songwriting are about writing lyrics. When I first picked up this book, my idea was still that I'd write lyrics and find somebody else who writes music. We'd help each other out and somehow a song would be born.
Hah! Little did I know that it's possible for someone like me, with a good ear for words and rhythm, but no musical training since third grade, and no guitar playing since before Janis Joplin split from Big Brother, to actually begin to write not only lyrics, but also chords and melody.
David Hodge's The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Art of Songwriting is a keeper, not only for me but also for friends who've been involved with the musical end of this art for years.
P.S. Yes, I'm playing the guitar again. Yes, it helps with song writing. Yes, David Hodge has a book in the CIG series for that, too. Buy this book first and that one next, or the other way around. Doesn't matter. You'll be using both!