Authorship, Publishing, Books and More

Fiction and Non-Fiction Writer’s Must Have Books


If you often wonder where ideas for posts come from, this one originated while I was dusting.  Actually dusting the bookshelves in my office. As I took each book off the shelf, I thought I’d share with you what I think are must have books.

I’ve divided them in fiction and non-fiction categories, but bottom line is, 99 percent of them can be useful for both authors and freelance writers.

I’m not claiming these are the ultimate lists but these goodies have helped me with everything from writing mysteries to putting together articles for clients.

So, here we go…


If writing for commercial markets is your dream then you definitely need these two books The Well-Fed Writer and Back For Seconds, both by Peter Bowerman (who I interviewed last year so check that out here at TWL).

The Copyeditor’s Handbook by Amy Einsohn (great for learning all sorts of things about writing, editors, and working with them)

Bryson’s Dictionary for Writers and Editors by Bill Bryson (check out all of his books because they’re a writer’s dream come true).

Associated Press and Style Book and Libel Manual (this was one of the first books I bought when I became a freelance writer).

Roget’s Super Thesaurus by Marc McCutcheon (any thesaurus is great but this one lives up to its name of being super).

The Writer’s Digest’s Desk Reference ( A spiral bound treasure that you’ll use over and over again)


20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias (if you’re having trouble plotting or just want to go more in depth on the topic, this is for you).

Sol on Writing-Sol Stein (I posted about this last year here at TWL).

Description and Setting by Ron Rozelle (Two writing elements that are my Achilles’ heel and this one saved the day).

Forensics and Fiction by D. P. Lyle (If like me you pen mysteries or have a plot with any mystery element in it, this one is not only fascinating but one of the best resources because it was written just for us authors).

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass (super agent to some of the biggest names in writing and this one I think is a must read….I’m even going to give it a separate post later this year).

So that’s my list. Of course, I have lots more but these would be my top picks to get your writing bookshelf started.

How about you, any favorites you’d like to share?



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