Books on Writing

Recommended Reading

Here are some books that we highly recommend you read (listed in alphabetical order by author within categories). Also note the list on the above menu for writers conferences.

Fiction Writing

Plot and Structure: (Techniques And Exercises For Crafting A Plot That Grips Readers From Start To Finish) by James Scott Bell – a study of the critical foundation of a great story.

Revision And Self-Editing by James Scott Bell – Learn how to edit your own work without destroying it. The great novelist James Michner once said something to the effect, “I’m an okay writer, but I am a great re-writer.”

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Rennie Browne and Dave King – This is a tremendous resource and is an essential tool for all novelists.

A Novel Idea: Best Advice on Writing Inspirational Fiction by ChiLibris – A brilliant collection of  articles by some of the top writers in the industry, including Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, Randy Alcorn, Terri Blackstock, Robin Jones Gunn, Jerry Jenkins, and Angela Hunt.

Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors by Brandilyn Collins – A unique approach to fiction writing, using the stage and method acting as a backdrop for exploring the craft.

The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction by Jeff Gerke – A great exploration of the art embedded in the creative process.

Plot Versus Character: A Balanced Approach to Writing Great Fiction by Jeff Gerke – Answers one of the great questions for novel writers.

Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson – if you are just getting started this is a great place to begin.

The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman – That first impression is everything in a novel. Lukeman gives invaluable advice for starting strong.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Christian Fiction by Ron Benrey – The title says it all. A beginner’s guide. Like going to your first writers conference.


Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah – Well written and insightful. Don’t try to go into the world of social media marketing until you’ve read this book.

Get Known Before The Book Deal: Use Your Personal Strengths To Grow An Author Platform by Christina Katz – a wise exploration of the key to personal branding and helping to build a platform that is attractive to a publisher.

Guerrilla Marketing for Writers by Jay Levinson – an unbelievable treasure of basic knowledge combined with years of marketing wisdom. This is a great place to start.

The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly, 2nd Edition by David Meerman Scott – The old way of doing publicity and marketing is no longer effective. Learn from one of the new masters of this field.

General Industry and Craft

Write His Answer: A Bible Study for Christian Writers, 2nd Edition by Marlene Bagnull – The only complete Bible study developed specifically for Christian writers.

Art of War for Writers: Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and Exercises by James Scott Bell – One of my favorite books. You will find yourself returning to it again and again.

The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style: Updated and Expanded Edition by Robert Hudson – The book on the subject. Covers all the issues not normally found in style guides like The Chicago Manual of Style.

Writing for the Soul: Instruction and Advice from an Extraordinary Writing Life by Jerry Jenkins – One of the most successful authors in the Christian industry explores his beginnings and give numerous tips on how others can also become published.

The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers by Betsy Lerner – profound insight into the creative process.

Book Proposals That Sell: 21 Secrets to Speed Your Success by W. Terry Whalin – The best book on topic by a long time master of the craft of book proposal writing.