1. The Four Hour Work Week

This book will help you focus on what’s most important in your life, learn to delegate and outsource non-key activities, and be more productive.

Four Hour Work Week

2. Trust Me, I’m Lying

This is probably the most informative book ever written about the current state of blogs and the media. Any author interested in PR and blogging should definitely read this book.

trust me im lying

3. The Perfection of Marketing

Probably the most clear and simple book ever written on branding. You’ll never need to buy a big, boring marketing textbook after you read this.

The perfection of marketing

4. 61 Ways to Sell More Nonfiction Books

Like the title says, just 61 different marketing tactics you can use to help sell more nonfiction books. (I’d still recommend it to all fiction authors as well!)

61 Ways to Sell More Nonfiction Books

5. Positioning

Thinking about advertising? Don’t even do it until you read this book on positioning. Otherwise, you’ll probably just be throwing money away. You’ll love the section on selecting a brand name (great for book titles!)


6. Purple Cow

Don’t fall into the trap of trying to fit in. Stand out. One of Seth Godin’s best books on marketing.

Purple Cow

7. Secrets of the Six-Figure Author

If you’re serious about becoming a full-time author, you need to have the right mindset, systems and team in place. This book shows you how.

Secrets of the Six Figure Author

8. Choose Yourself!

James Altucher’s blog went from about 0 to over 5 million visitors in just a few years.

Hint: you might learn something from him.

Choose Yourself!

9. 80/20 Sales & Marketing

At least 80% of the time and money you’re currently spending on marketing your books is being wasted. Do you know which 80% it is?

80/20 Sales & Marketing

10. Contagious

Want to go viral and sell millions of books like 50 Shades of Grey? Then you need to understand what makes a book contagious.


11. Being Wrong

Perfectionism is probably the biggest obstacle most authors have. This book will cure you of it, and give you a deep appreciation for your own humanity and imperfection.

Being Wrong

12. Growth Hacker Marketing

Most of us think we need to market and advertise like the big companies. Nothing could be further from the truth. Learn how to grow your business and book sales without any money. Work smarter!

Growth Hacker Marketing

13. Quiet

For those writers who are introverts, or anyone who is close to an introvert… a must-read book. Embrace your inner introvert and learn to use your special powers for good.


14. Newsjacking

Newsjacking is here to stay. Find out what it is and how you can use it to get massive publicity and exposure… without spending a dime.


15. Pitch Anything

Want to find an agent, publisher or new readers? Then you better understand how to sell. This no-nonsense book is the best I’ve ever read on selling. Every author should read this.

Pitch Anything

16. The 50th Law of Power

50 Cent is one of the most successful artists and entrepreneurs of all time. This book shares the mindset and strategies he used to go from a broke drug-dealer to one of the richest men and greatest philanthropists in the world. Every artist can learn a lot from this insightful book.

The 50th Law of Power

17. The Big Leap

Our biggest enemy on the road to becoming a successful author is ourselves. In this life-changing book, you’ll learn how to stop self-sabotaging so you can achieve the success you’re looking for – and keep it!

The Big Leap

18. POP!: Create the Perfect Pitch, Title, and Tagline for Anything

A great guidebook on choosing book titles, taglines, brand names and marketing messages. Just one idea from this book could help you sell a lot more books.

POP! Create the Perfect Pitch, Title, and Tagline for Anything

19. Zero Limits

This little book changed my life forever. The only limits you have are the limits you impose on yourself.

Zero Limits

20. Adweek Copywriting Manual

Copywriting is the most important form of writing when it comes to selling books. Learn to master the art of copywriting in this classic by one of the world’s most successful copywriters of all time.

The Adweek Copywriting Handbook


21. The Writer’s Journey

A classic on the structure of story. Every author, fiction and non-fiction alike, should read this book.

The Writer’s Journey

22. The Magic of Thinking Big

One of the most inspirational books I’ve ever read. You’ll never think the same way after you read it.

The Magic of Thinking Big

23. Think and Grow Rich

The classic book on personal development and success. Devour it.

Think and Grow Rich

24. Rich Dad Poor Dad

Do you want to be a bestselling author or a best-writing author? This book will show you the difference.

Rich Dad Poor Dad

25. The Kindle Publishing Bible

No-nonsense strategies and tactics for selling books online today.

The Kindle Publishing Bible

26. David and Goliath

Most people underestimate the benefits of being small, unknown and broke. This book will show you the advantages and resources you have right now but aren’t utilizing as well as you could.

David and Goliath

27. I Never Metaphor I Didn’t Like

Metaphors are powerful. Learn to use them well with this fun and educational book.

I Never Metaphor I Didn’t Like

28. Write it Forward

A great book by a great author on the art and business of writing books as a profession.

Write it Forward

29. How to Make One Hell of a Profit and Still Get to Heaven

Society can make us think that earning a lot of money is a bad thing. But the truth is, if you have a great book that can help educate, entertain and inspire others, you’re doing the world a disservice by not selling a lot of copies.

How to Make One Hell of a Profit and Still Get to Heaven

30. The Irresistible Offer

A great little book on how you communicate what you’re actually selling. Hint: it’s not your book.

The Irresistible Offer

31. The Tipping Point

Sometimes little changes can have huge results. You better understand this powerful concept if you want to go from selling a few books to selling millions.

The Tipping Point

32. Merchants of Culture

This book should be required reading for anyone even considering publishing a book. It’s an in-depth look into the world of trade publishing in the US and UK. It also provides a great overview of the recent history of publishing since the 1900’s and the beginnings of the ebook revolution.

Merchants of Culture

33. On Writing Well

A classic, and well worth the time to read. It’s easy to read, down-to-earth and deeply insightful. Everyone knows you need to write a great book. This is one that will actually show you how.

On Writing Well

34. Simple and Direct

Simple and Direct isn’t just a classic – it’s a way of life. Don’t fall for big words and poetic arguments. Often, writing simple and direct is the best way to go.

Simple and Direct

Have you found a book that helped your career as an author? Post your suggestions in the comments below!

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Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.

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