Below I’ve listed some of my favorite non-fiction books for authors, listed by category. Whether you’re trying to improve your craft or don’t know where to start with marketing the book you wrote, and need help setting up ads these books run the gambit of all these topics and more. This is by no means a comprehensive list but the books I’ve read over nearly ten years of self publishing that I’ve found useful and insightful.
If you pick one book out of all these start here. A comprehensive guide to marketing as an author in an easy way to understand and takes you through the basics of marketing for those who have no marketing knowledge at all.
A great primer for those exclusive to Amazon or who primarly sell on Amazon. Helpful to read and better understand HOW amazon works and help you craft a launch plan.
Easily accessible, a fun read and actionable plans. The writing wives are brilliant and this book is perfect for first time authors about to launch or more experienced authors looking to craft a launch plan.
Another excellent resource on launching and understanding how Amazon works and if you’re looking to make a splash with a launch, Chris Fox has done the work and continues to do the work. He’s an excellent teacher and this book has tons of value.
For More Experience Marketers:
Wrote a passion project and have no idea how to sell it. T. Taylor does an excellent job of breaking down universal elements of story and help you sell your books to those who are most excited to read them.
An excellent deep dive into the reader journey from browsing on bookseller sites to being your biggest cheerleader. Highly reccomended to help suplement your marketing plans.
Books by Advertising Platform
I would suggest brushing up on marketing tactics before diving into the individual platforms to give you a better foundation to save you wasted time and money.
If you choose ONE platform to focus on, I’d suggest Amazon Ads and Ryan’s methods are the simplest and easiest to follow in my opinion.
There’s no better book about Facebook ads! In my opinion Facebook ads are more complicated than Amazon ads but the writing wives make it easy to understand.
Hands down, the best resource on Bookbub ads. No one knows Bookbub ads better than David. Highly reccomended especially for wide authors.
Blurbs are hard, but Libbie Hawker makes it very simple and easy by breaking down the elements of blurbs into parts.
An absolute must read for anyone wanting to learn about newsletters. Tammi is the QUEEN of Newsletters and if you read ONE book, make it this one.
Patty Jansen runs a successful promotion newsletter for Fantasy and Scifi and her insights are so smart and wonderful. Highly reccomend you read this book to expand your newsletter strategies.
Self Publishing How To
There’s a lot of books on Self Publishing and everyone approaches it a little differently. Some of these books tackle the mechanics and some of it goes into startegies. I’ve broken these down into subcategories to better guide you on what I think you should read and when.
If you read one book:
Great overview of selfpublish in a simple and straightforward way. Excellent resource for those that are brand new and don’t know where to start.
You’ve gotten through the basics, you’ve set our sights on making this self publishing thing work. Read this first before the others mentioned on this list. Joe has a lot of really smart advice and helps frame things in an easily accesible way.
Mindset & Motivation
No one’s process is the same. I’ve read a lot of books searching for my writing method and at times it can be overwhelming. If you read any of these books and something resonates with you, then great. If not don’t feel like you NEED to do what these books say.
If you read one book:
Looking at the cover you might think I’m crazy. But in my opinion this book is a MUST read for all authors. Becca breaks down author strengths and gives some honest, tough love advice. For me reading this book was life changing.
This book was a total mindset shift for me back when I read it way back in 2015. While it may not work for you, I feel it really helped me find what did work for me.
Writing can be hard, but Joanna Pen’s kind and information tone really helped me solidify my goals as a writer.
I love everything by James Scott Bell but this was one of my first introductions to him and its a wonderful resource for ALL authors.
Outling doesn’t work for everybody and it shouldn’t be a requirement for everyone. For me personally, I enjoyed learning about the bones of a story to better craft stories. If you like having a road map these are my personal favorite books on the subject.
Looking to improve your craft, I’ve read a lot of books on writing over the years but these are the books I reccomend over and over again. Whether you plan or pants, there’s something to be learned from all these books.
You might be confused as to why this book is here in writing instead of marketing. Personally, I think writing to market speaks to a deeper place at the heart of craft where a writer learns how to please readers as opposed to themselves. Chris Fox goes deeper into how to research markets and craft books to reader expectations but I personally think there are deeper lessons to be learned about good story telling in general, which is why its here.
I use these books all the time while writing. I keep the physical versions on my desk for when I need a quick reference for inspiration, absolutely great resource! There’s even more in the series but these are my three favorites.