The books on this list will help you grow your skills, get more clients, and increase your income.
I’ve collected a list of my favorites writing books from over the last 15 or so years. Here they are in no particular order.
General Nonfiction Writing
These books will help you with everything from sentence structure to story ideas and beyond.
- On Writing Well
- The Art of Slow Writing: Reflections on Time, Craft, and Creativity
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
- Comedy Writing Secrets
- Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide For Writing and Publishing Nonfiction
- Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process
- The Writer’s Journey
- The Hero with a Thousand Faces
- How to Write Anything: A Complete Guide
- It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences
- Meander, Spiral, Explode: Design and Pattern in Narrative
- Stein on Writing
- Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies
- Writing to Learn: How to Write – and Think Clearly – About Any Subject Matter at All
- To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction
- Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
- Word Up! How to Write Powerful Sentences and Paragraphs
These books show you how to harness the power of storytelling to write compelling nonfiction narrative.
- The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human
- Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writer’s Guide
- Three Uses of the Knife: On the Nature and Purpose of Drama
- The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know
- Long Story Short: The Only Storytelling Guide You’ll Ever Need
- Storytelling and the Art of Imagination
These books will show you how to write a moving memoir or autobiography.
- The Art of Memoir
- Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir
- Writing Your Life: A Guide to Writing Autobiographies
- Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art
Every writer should know at least the basics of business writing, and these books will give you a solid foundation.
- The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells
- Great Leads: The Six Easiest Ways to Start any Sales Message
- Writing to Persuade: How to Bring People Over to Your Side
- The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion Through the Art of Storytelling
These books will help you uncover the stories, emotions, and thoughts of your writing subjects.
Writing is half the battle. Editing is the other half. These reference books will show you how to effectively edit any copy that you write or that comes across your desk.
- Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications
- The Editor’s Companion
- Persuasive Business Proposals
- Roget’s Thesaurus
- The American Heritage Dictionary
- The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers
- Hodges Harbrace College Handbook
Just a head’s up. I’ve added a few affiliate links to this post. If you get any of the books on this list, I may get a small commission. This helps me cover the cost of running the website and comes at no extra charge to you.