Book Writing Resources

Where you are in your book writing journey will determine which of these resources will be most useful to you.  These are some of the resources I've used on my own author journey.  I have tested every recommendation on this page. .

Before digging into these great resources, I need to make an important disclosure:

Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I only recommend products that I love and have experience with, and that I recommend them because they are helpful and useful. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Courses on how to write, publish and market books

How to Write a Novel by The Creative Penn

How to Write a Novel is a course by bestselling thriller author Joanna Penn that will take you step-by-step through understanding story structure and the elements of a fiction novel, and then writing and editing your manuscript.  Her clear and concise teaching style and the valuable information she teaches will get you from idea to finished manuscript.

How to Write a Nonfiction Book by The Creative Penn

How to Write a Nonfiction Book is a course by bestselling author Joanna Penn that will take you step by step through everything you need to write a nonfiction book that will stand out in a crowded market. The course addresses everything from the mindset issues that can stop your writing to the various business models for non-fiction writers, identifying your target market and where your book fits into the eco-system, how to structure, research and write your book in a productive and tinely fashion, how to self-edit and work with professional editors to complete the manuscript, how to turn your manuscript into multiple streams of income, and how to market your non-fiction book.

Self-Publishing School by Chandler Bolt

Self-Publishing School is a comprehensive course that teaches all aspects of book writing and self-publishing that is designed to take you from idea to finished manuscript and then to all aspects of self-publishing, including such topics as how to choose a book designer and editor for your book, how to launch the book, how to market it, how to get reviews for your book, how to get influencers to promote your book, and how to turn it into an audiobook. Both fiction and nonfiction authors will get a lot out of this course.

Creative Freedom by The Creative Penn

Creative Freedom by bestselling author entrepreneur Joanna Penn is a step-by-step guide to how to make a living with your writing.  When I took this course, it made me realize that I was leaving a lot of money on the table and what changes I need to make to maximize my author earnings. It's a very comprehensive course that teaches you all about book marketing, running an author business, and monetizing your intellectual property.

Self-Publishing 101 by Mark Dawson

Self Publishing 101 by bestselling author and creator of the Self-Publishing Formula.  This is the best and most comprehensive course I know on how to get your books finished, published, launched and into the hands of raving fans. Mark teaches you everything you need to know from the moment you finish your first draft. Specifically, he teaches you how to format your books, get great covers, upload your books to all the major book selling platforms, have your books show up in searches, find your perfect readers and get them on your mailing list, build email drip campaigns introducing your readers to your books and getting them to move on to your other books, put together effective and profitable ad campaigns, etc.

Tools for Writers

Tools I Use to Write Books

There are some great tools available to authors that can help make writing books easier.  They range from software programs to equipment.  Here are a few that I use.

Dragon Dictation Software – I use Dragon Professional software to dictate drafts of my books.  The software automatically transcribes the recordings of my dictation in my computer and is 99% accurate.  It's the best software I know to use for this purpose and I love it.

Books for Writers

Books on How to Write a Book

If you've never written a book before and don't know where to start, here are some great books to get you started.  Don't worry, you don't have to read them all (although it wouldn't hurt).  Just pick the ones that resonate with you and your goals.

Published by Chandler Bolt, the creator of Self-Publishing School, is a comprehensive step-by-step guide that takes you from the blank page, to the outline, to the manuscript to te published book and beyond in an easy to understand and efficient manner.

Goal Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon is, in my opinion, a must read for fiction writers.  No matter what type of fiction you write, this book will teach you how goal, motivation, and conflict are the foundation of everything that happens in a story.  It will help you avoid sagging middles and teach you how to fix them.  You'll learn how to use conflict to create a good story and how to get your characters to do what they need to do for your plot in a believable way. The techniques you learn in this book will help you plotting, character development, sharpening scenes, pitching ideas to an editor, and even evaluating whether a story idea will work.

Books on Revision (how to revise your manuscript):

An oldie but a goodie, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King is my go to book for revising fiction.  In this revised and updated second edition, they teach you how to apply their editing techniques to your work. With chapters on dialogue, exposition, point of view, interior monologue, and other techniques, they take you through the same processes an expert editor would go through to perfect your manuscript and illustrate each point with examples.

Books on The Writer's Life, Journey & Mindset

The Successful Author Mindset by Joanna Penn takes a good look and offers advice on how to deal with the myriad of mindset states and emotional issues a writer may experience on their journey including self-doubt, fear of failure, the need for validation, perfectionism, writer’s block, comparisonitis, overwhelm, and more.

In The Healthy Writer Joanna Penn and her  co-author is Dr Euan Lawson explore the physical conditions some writers experience including back pain, weight gain, anxiety, depression, sleep issues, neck pain, eye strain, stress, loneliness, digestive issues, etc. nd provides great insight, advice and tips on how to manage the writing life in healthier ways. 

On Writing, by Stephen King is a memoir in which he shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work. It's a revealing and practical look at the writer's craft that reveals many of the necessary tools of the trade for any aspiring author.

Bird by Bird is  a book filled with great advice on writing and on life by acclaimed bestselling author Anne Lamott.

Books on Self-Publishing

Successful Self-Publishing by Joanna Penn provides a detailed and comprehensive overview of the self-publishing process, including step-by-step instructions on how to publish books on various platforms, strategy, and industry best practices.

Books on Book Marketing

How to Market a Book is a great book with comprehensive tips,tricks and long-term strategies for authors who want to sell more books and build a long-term income. Both traditionally published and self-published authors will find this book extremely useful. There are short-term tactics for those who want to boost immediate sales, but the focus of the book is more about instilling values and marketing principles that will help your long-term career as a writer.

Books on the Author Business

Business for Authors is a comprehensive guide to how to build a success author business.  In it, Joanna Penn goes into detail about all the ways in which an author can profit from books and all the ways in which books can help us profit in other ways.