Books For Authors

You can tell a lot about a person by what they read. I have this weird habit of keeping track of every single book I’ve read since I was in grade school. For one reason or another, these books helped with my career as an author.

Maybe they will help you as well? Here are the top 30 on my list of non-fiction books:

30.  “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” by Harold S. Kushner. Lesson: Authors will be humbled from time-to-time. We need to know how to move forward without blaming ourselves or others.

29. “Tuesday’s With Morrie,” by Mitch Alborn. Lesson: Appreciate every moment and breath you have. Never stop writing. Never stop reading. Never stop trying.

28. “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living,” by Dale Carnegie. Lesson: You cannot write books, if you are always worried about something.

27. “The One Minute Manager,” by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. Lesson: Authors need to wear lots of hats. Learn to use your time productively.

26. “How Stuff Works,” by Marshall Brain. Lesson: Authors need to know how everything works, in order to give the story a realistic feel.

25. “Everyday American English Expressions,” by Richard A. Spears, Betty Birner, and Steve Kleinedler. Lesson: Authors use a thesaurus to change things up. The dialogue has to be treated the same.

24. “Fit For Life,” by Harvey Diamond. Lesson: Better eat heatlhy and stay in shape if you want to enjoy those huge royalties down the road.

23. “Out of Box Thinking,” by Mike Vance and Diane Deacon. Lesson: Whether you are writing, marketing, or coming up with a business plan, you need to stretch your imagination for ideas.

22. “Checklist for Life,” by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Lesson: Every single emotion and feeling in your life will come out in your stories. Make sure you understand how to control those emotions and feelings.

21. “The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking,” by Dale Carnegie. Lesson: Public speaking is terrifying, although necessary for authors to build an audience.

20. “Your Best Life Now,” by Joel Osteen. Lesson: Authors need to enjoy everything they have right now, in order to really enjoy more success later. 

19. “How to Talk American,” by Jim “The Mad Monk” Crotty. Lesson: If you live in New York and are writing about a character who lives in Texas, you will have to understand the lingo and traditions.

18. “Jesus, Inc.” by Laurie Beth Jones. Lesson: The most productive path is the spiritual road. Author’s have many setbacks and it can be tough to believe that their dreams will come true.

17. “The Ultimate Book of Business Thinking,” by Des Dearlove. Lesson: Being an author is like running a business. Build your name and product the same as the best companies in the world.

16. “Creating Character Emotions,” by Ann Hood. Lesson: Authors should bring out real emotions in their fictitious characters.

15. “The Playmakers,” by Tim Walsh. Lesson: Inventions, dreams, and imagination can have a lasting impact, long after you are gone. Write and publish books, knowing that your goal is to bring joy and inspiration to others for many generations.

14. “The First Five Pages,” by Noah Lukeman. Lesson: Authors need to know the basics, taught only by those who have spent many years in the publishing business.

13. “It’s Your Time,” by Joel Osteen. Lesson: What if you were two weeks away from your dreams coming true, but you just quit? It would be a shame if the world did not see your book.

12. “Be Your Own Literary Agent,” by Martin Levin. Lesson: Take control of your career, rather than depend on others.

11. “Masters of Success,” by Misner and Morgan. Lesson: The most successful people went through the hardest times.

10. “Your Novel Proposal from Creation to Contract,” by Blythe Camenson and Marshall I. Cook. Lesson: Authors need to understand how the publishing industry works, before trying to be a part of it.

9. “Doing Business by the Good Book,” by David L. Steward. Lesson: When the entire world tells you that it is not realistic to be successful as an author, how will you react? The author that is still trying after ten years, is the author I want to help.

8. “Awaken the Giant Within,” by Anthony Robbins. Lesson: Constant And Never-ending Improvement is how authors build themselves and their books into the bestsellers list.

7. “The Purpose Driven Life,” by Rick Warren. Lesson: Your purpose is to be an author. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

6. “Signs & Symbols,” by Miranda Bruce-Matford. Lesson: Every object can be changed to a great work of fiction.

5. “God is My CEO,” by Larry Julian. Lesson: In a bottom line world, authors need to stick with their principles.

4. “The Elements of Style,” by Strunk and White. Lesson: There is a correct way and incorrect way to write books. This has not changed in 80 years. Know the mechanics of a great novel.

3. “The Describer’s Dictionary,” by David Grambs. Lesson: If the author’s visual description is entertaining, the book will be entertaining.

2. “On Writing,” by Stephen King. Lesson: There is one reason why Stephen King is always on the top…He tells it like it is and does not hold back.

1. “Your Book,” by You. Lesson: Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, the only way to be on the bestsellers list…is if you are the best seller of your book.

Ron Knight

Author of “2-10”

Novelist, Reader, and Co-Founder of UP Authors

Manager: Melissa Link


Ron Knight

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