Must Have Resources for Independent Writers

Essential Books for Self-Published Authors

There is no shortage of book lists and advice for self-published authors, but after having worked with hundreds of independent authors, Readers+Writers Journal has assembled a catalog of books that we think are key for writers. The longer, complete list is available in our online store, The Curated Book List, but the nine here represent our absolute “must haves” in three categories: books on creativity, on getting published and on book promotion.

Books on Writing and the Creative Process

On Writing, By Stephen King

Essential books on Writing KingThis classic is really two books in one. One part is an autobiography of King as writer, and the other is advice for aspiring authors. This is a seminal work on the craft of writing that manages to be both funny and useful. It’s hard to imagine any serious writer not having On Writing on his or her bookshelf. $11.99

essentials why writeWhy We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do

20 truly gifted writers muse on why they write, how they write and the tips and tricks they’ve learned from years of writing that make the process easier. Features essays from 20 writers, including: Isabel Allende, David Baldacci, James Frey, Sue Grafton, Sebastian Junger, Mary Karr, Armistead Maupin, and Jodi Picoult. $10.99

510Zyu7mhWL._SL210_The Artist’s Way, By Julia Cameron

Beginning with the premise that creativity is natural and innate to all humans, the author walks readers through a 12-week program that is designed to free creativity and remove blocks like fear, self-sabotage, and jealousy. $10.99

See All Our Writing  Picks

Books on Publishing

essential books lets get digitaLet’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should: Updated Second Edition, By David Gaughran

Gaughran is a major player in the self publishing movement, and he has written the most comprehensive guide to the process available. $4.99

Essential Books choosing a self publisherChoosing A Self Publishing Service 2014: The Alliance of Independent Authors Guide By Mick Rooney, Giacomo Giammatteo

An unbiased overview of all the self publishing services currently available. Reviewed by the authors who have used them. $4.84

See All Our Publishing  Picks

Books on Marketing

Essential Books Truckload on AmazonHow To Sell Your Books By The Truckload On Amazon.com, By Penny C. Sansevieri

Marketing guru Sansevieri on the tips and tricks to mastering the Amazon system, including choosing the correct category, book descriptions and author bios. If your book is for sale on Amazon, you need to start here. $1.99

Essential Books Make Art Make MoneyMake Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career, By Elizabeth Hyde Stevens

Creator of The Muppets, Jim Henson was undoubtedly a creative innovator. But he also became an astute businessman. This book explores how he balanced creativity with business, and provides a guide that other creatives can use for marketing. $7.48

essential books marketing a love storyMarketing: A Love Story: How to Matter to Your Customers, By Bernadette Jiwa

Though this book is not written specifically for book marketing, the principles that Jiwa lays out apply to any product, including a book. Her premise that traditional marketing and hard sell are of limited use in the digital age and that developing relationships with customers is ultimately what will sell any product. $2.99

essential books social mediaSocial Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books By Frances Caballo

Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. This guide succinctly explains how to use it without spending hours on it, and also outlines when NOT to use it. $2.99

See All Our Marketing Picks


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