Books for Writers: The Mega List

Want to catch up on your reading? Why not read about writing? Genius! Here's a list of the best books for writers. 

Remember in school when you had to cite your resources? What if I told you how to put that skill to some real life use? Hear me out.

When it comes to writing, authors must be sponges. Read books in your genre, take creative writing classes, follow authors on Twitter, keep up with writing blogs (*cough, cough*). These are all important practices toward becoming a better writer. These are resources. Get it? Good!

Reading about writing makes sense. Before I even started to write a sentence, I purchased my first writing book: Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland. It's a book that I still revisit over and over again. You know why? Because it's a good resource!

Let's take a journey. Say we're hiking. What do we need? Food, probably. A blanket, I guess. Ok, scratch this metaphor. I'm not  a hiker, can you tell? My point is that we need to be prepared, so let's get down to business with Books for Writers: the MEGA list (in no particular order).


  1. On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft by Stephen King
  2. One Year to a Writing Life: Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer's Art and Craft by Susan M. Tiberghien
  3. Why I Write: Thoughts on the Craft of Fiction (Back Bay Book) by Will Blythe
  4. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
  5. Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity by Ray Bradbury
  6. A Year of Writing Dangerously: 365 Days of Inspiration & Encouragement by Barbara Abercrombie

Writing Basics

  1. Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark
  2. The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman
  3. Wired for Story by Lisa Cron
  4. The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler
  5. Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go by Les Edgerton
  6. The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman
  7. Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
  8. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
  9. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by William Strunk Jr., E.B. White, Roger Angell
  10. Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot The Grips Readers from Start to Finish by James Scott Bell

Anthologies/The Writing Business

  1. The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing by the editors of Writer's Digest
  2. Crafting Novels & Short Stories by the editors of Writer's Digest
  3. 2016 Writer's Market byRobert Lee Brewer
  4. Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents by Jeff Herman
  5. The Writer's Notebook II: Craft Essays from Tin House by Christopher Beha

Beyond the Basics: Editing and More

  1. The Scene Book: A Primer for the Fiction Writer by Sandra Scofield
  2. The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master by Martha Alderson
  3. Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence by Roz Morris
  4. The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot by Charles Baxter
  5. Rock Your Plot: A Simple System for Plotting Your Novel by Cathy Yardley
  6. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print by Renni Browne
  7. The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within by Alan Watt
  8. Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose
  9. The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself by Susan Bell

Self-Publishing Tips

  1. Write. Publish. Repeat.: The No-Luck Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant
  2. The Fine Print of Self-Publishing: A Primer on Contacts, Printing Costs, Royalties, Distribution, Ebooks, and Marketing by Mark Levine
  3. Self-Publisher's Legal Handbook: The Step-by-Step Guide to the Legal Issues of Self-Publishing by Helen Sedwick
  4. The Self-Publisher's Ultimate Resource Guide: Every Indie Author's Directory to Help You Prepare, Publish and Promote Professional Looking Books by Joel Friedlander
  5. How I Sold 30,000 eBooks on Amazon's Kindle: An Easy-To-Follow Self-Publishing Guidebook by Martin Crosbie
  6. Self-Printed: The Sane Person's Guide to Self-Publishing by Catherine Ryan Howard
  7. How to Self-Publish a Book on Writing, Editing, Designing, Publishing and Marketing by Chris McMsullen
  8. Createspace and Kindle Self-Publishing Masterclass: The Step-by-Step Author's Guide to Writing, Publishing and Marketing Your Books on Amazon by Rick Smith
  9. Self-Publishing Books 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Publishing Your Book in Multiple Formats by Shelley Hitz
  10. Let's Get Digital: How to Self-Publish and Why You Should by David Gaughran

Book Marketing Tips

  1. Your First 1,000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book by Tim Grahl
  2. How to Market A Book by Joanna Penn
  3. Sell Your Book Like Wildfire: The Writer's Guide to Marketing and Publicity by Rob Eager
  4. Book Marketing is Dead: Book Promotion Secrets You MUST Know BEFORE You Publish by Derek Murphy
  5. Create Your Writer Platform: The Key to Building an Audience, Selling More Books, and Finding Success as an Author by Chuck Sambuchino
  6. Supercharge Your Kindle Sales: Simple Strategies to Boost Organic Traffic on Amazon, Sell More Books, and Blow Up Your Author Mailing List by Nick Stephenson

So what do you think? Have you read any of these? If I missed anything, which I'm sure I have, please comment below so I can check it out!