If the book appears here, I have read it, want to read it, or am in process – at least as far as it pertains to the type of writing/platform building that I intend to pursue: my thoughts included. Some books are free. Some books are linked to affiliates. See my affiliate disclosure to learn more.
- Zinsser, William. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction. I cannot tell you how important this book has been in developing a sound view of communication. Zinsser is an excellent communicator himself, teaching fundamental tools of communication through writing. Anyone who desires to live the writer’s life or who just wants to communicate well with words should read Zinsser’s timeless book.
- The Chicago Manual of Style. If you are interested in editing or publishing or writing a well researched book, this book is a must have reference. Be sure to get the updated edition, which is presently the 16th. I use this book like a Bible when editing other people’s work and my own when appropriate.
- The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style. This manual is so helpful if you desire to write for a Christian book publisher. It shows standard capitalizations of Christian words and phrases, abbreviations, style, book formatting, citation, proofreading symbols and so much more. This is my second Bible when it comes to editing and style when working with professional books.
- Hacker, Diana. A Writer’s Reference. This book is fabulous for a quick grammar check. The plastic comb edition has easy tabs and indexes which make it easy to find applicable punctuation. It also includes MLA and APA documentation for paper writing.
- Strunk and White. Elements of Style. No writing repertoire would be complete without this classic book. Many writers read through this book yearly. I have read it through once and should probably do so again soon. At the time of posting this link, Amazon was offering a free Kindle version. Check and see if you could download a free version today.
- Bly, Robert (Bob). The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells. This book is foundational if you want to learn copywriting. The first five chapters are indispensable and I recommend memorizing the key points. Chapters six and 11 are also critical, dealing with print advertising and writing for the Web. The remainder of the book is perfect for reference and makes for good skimming. This is the book that Bob Bly recommends as a first step if you are serious about learning copywriting.
- Bly, Robert. Secrets of a Freelance Writer, Third Edition: How to Make $100,000 a Year or More. This book was recommended by Bob Bly as the second step towards pursuing freelance copywriting. Another great resource and highly recommended.
- Rowse, Darren & Garrett, Chris. ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income. This book is a great resource if you are considering using blogging as a tool towards copywriting or increasing your income.
- Miller, Donald. How to Tell a Story. This book is available online for free. It is an excellent resource for understanding what motivates the human psyche. The focus is on story and plot development and how you can use it in your daily life, writing, and speaking to be a better communicator.
- Hyatt, Michael. Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. This book is a New York Times Bestseller, and I can’t recommend it enough if you have a message that you want the world to hear. I am over half-way through and then I have Hyatt’s next book to read, which I will list below.
- Hyatt, Micheal and Daniel Harkavy. Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life you Want. This book is already a bestseller. Seth Godin says, “A step-by-step approach to one of life’s greatest challenges.” What is that challenge? Planning your life so that you can discover and accomplish the things that are important to you. Hyatt offered a free life planning book in the past. I have read that and it was transformational. I am sure this will be too.
- Lyles, Dick. Winning Habits: 4 Secrets that Will Change the Rest of your Life If you are looking to read a good piece of literature — this book is not it! But if you are looking to gain insights into some work habits that could change your life. Winning Habits accomplishes the goal. Read my review here.
- Adler, Mortimer J. and Charles Van Doren. How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading. This book takes reading to a whole new level. If you really want to learn and retain knowledge and gain understanding and insight into the books you read, this is the book for you. If a person followed all the advice given here, including the recommended reading plan, they’d without a doubt be among the most educated people in society. This book could be listed under self improvement.
- Hopkins, Tom. How to Master the Art of Selling. This book is a fun and challenging read. It gets you into the art or science behind selling. It includes techniques as well as motivation. It is especially useful if you are in the field of sales. However, we are all trying to sell something — even if it is just an idea. Therefore, I highly recommend this book. It is ethically driven and very useful.