Photo by Jas Min on Unsplash

The Writer’s Bookshelf: 10 Books for Creative Authors

Books no writer should ignore.

Mary Good Books
4 min readOct 24, 2023


You have heard some of them, but have you read all of them?

  1. On Writing Well by William Zinsser (Ratings on Amazon 4.7/5)

This a classic book for almost anyone who wants to learn how to write specifically in the nonfiction genre. Zinsser explains what and why you need to practice writing principles like simplicity, consistency, voice, editing, and enthusiasm in order to hook your readers.

2. Writing That Works by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson (Ratings on Amazon 4.4/5)

This book is essential for professionals who need to communicate their thoughts concisely in their writing medium. You will learn to write anything from e-mails, letters, proposals, presentations, reports, resumes, speeches, sales, you name it. The book provides a lot of writing samples which are bound to make you competent and results-guarenteed.

3. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. (Ratings on Amazon 4.7/5)

Named one of the 100 best and most influential books written in English since 1923. This book will guide you into elementary rules of usage, principles of composition, words and expressions commonly misused, words often misspelled, among other things. The book has several editions with an increase in pages as you go: 43pages (1918), 52pages (1920), 71pages (1959) and 105pages (1999), I read the 4th version.

4. The Art and Business of Online Writing by Nicolas Cole (Ratings on Amazon 4.7/5)

is one of the most popular writers on Medium where he writes more than 15 different topics. He was the no.1 most-read writer on Quora in 2015, and a top 10 contributing writer for Inc Magazine in 2016 to 2018. In this book, Cole explains almost everything you need to know about online writing in this digital age.

5. The Adweek Copywriting Handbooks by Joseph Sugarman (Ratings on Amazon 4.7/5)

Written by a legendary copywriter, this book will provide you with guidance on how to write a copy that will motivate and move customers to buy into your business. Published in 2006, this masterpiece will change your business through the advertising techniques provided.

6. The Boron Letters by Bond Halbert and Gary Halbert (Ratings on Amazon 4.5/5)

Gary Helbert, a successful copywriter was sentenced to prison in 1980s for business tax fraud. This book is a collection of 25 letters to his son, Bond. This book is aimed at copywriting professionals, explaining the secrets of effective marketing. It will help you find customers and write to them effectively.

7. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (Ratings on Amazon 4.6/5)

“Bird by bird” is a metaphor for “one small step at a time”. In this book, Anne believes that writers should start small in order to become better writers. The book offers a warm, humorous and illuminating view of the stuff's writers go through, some insights on the process of writing and how to confront different challenges.

8. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (Ratings on Amazon 4.7/5)

In this million-copy bestseller, Stephen Kings accounts his life experiences as a young writer and his advice to other writers especially fiction writers. Well written and brilliant structured, this book deserves a place in your bookshelf. I also wrote a summary of the writing lessons from this book here.

9. 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing by Gary Provost (Ratings on Amazon 4.5/5)

Written by one of the most beloved writing instructors, this book is a must read by everyone who aspires to become better writer whether a businessperson, a student or a professional writer. Filled with instructive examples, this book will provide you with writing tips to use every time you write.

10. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (Ratings on Amazon 4.5/5)

This book will show you how to recognize your biggest enemy and how to win the war with this internal foe. You will be inspired to write more and unleash your potential of creative writing.

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or tools) to write. Simple as that. — Stephen King