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Writing, Publishing, And Business Books For Indie Authors

Writing, Publishing, and Business Books for Indie Authors

It's safe to say that writers are usually prolific readers too. Over in the AskALLi team, we thought we would collate a mid-year reading list for you, whether you're on a beach, or huddled up by a fire, this mega-list will help to stock up your e-readers and bookshelves full of books every indie should read. This is ALLi's books for indie authors.

Writing Craft Books

We all want to sell more books, but without being able to write a solid novel with a great storyline, characters that draw readers in and story that hooks a reader, we won't sell many copies. Craft is the basis of being an author. In our selection below, are a range of craft books from plotting and understanding story structure through to character creation and prose.


Save the Cat by Blake Snyder recommended by Tim Lewis, the perfect book for helping you plot your story using Hollywood techniques.

The Heroine’s Journey by Gail Carriger recommended by Sara Rosett because it gave her a new way of looking at story and plot. “Turns out, I was writing the heroine journey all along and didn’t know it!”

Writing into the Dark by Dean Wesley Smith, recommended by Val Neil. Val says “It's a good book if you’re a discovery writer but feeling guilty about it. My only caveat is it’s a very short read, like 40 pages.

Plot. Write. Promote: Writing And Selling Your Novel by Jane Holland. Recommended by EM Powell. EM's Goodreads review says: “Jane's warts-and-all descriptions of some of the issues she's faced in her career are great fun but also a valuable insight into the ups and downs of publishing.”

Rhetorics of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn, recommended by Dan Holloway. Dan says, “This is the book that gave us the term “portal fantasy”,  for anyone whose work involves characters that cross any threshold, magical, real, or metaphorical this is the one book you have to read.”

Into the Woods by John Yorke, recommended by Becci Louise. Becci says “This taught me SO much about narrative structure!”
The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass recommended by Sacha Black. “This is one of those books that will change your writing forever. I'll never be able to look at emotion in the same way.”
The Emotion Thesauri Series by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. Angela and Becca have a number of books in their series now, covering emotions, positive and negative traits, wounds and more. Recommended by literary agents, writers and professionals time and time again, they're a classic for any writers bookshelf.

Mindset Books

Mindset is the basis of every successful long term business. Grit is required by every creative to get through the dark days, the low sales months, and equally, to keep your feet on the ground when the sales boom, the positive reviews pour in and the praise is plentiful. Good days or bad, mindset is everything when it comes to creating a prospering creative business.


Messy by Tim Harford. Recommended by Dan Holloway, Dan says “The book that tells you it's not only OK not to be a planner but that it can be positively beneficial”

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and Successful Author Mindset by Joanna Penn. Both recommended by Tiffany Dickinson. Tiffany says:

“I read both twice, then gifted The War of Art to two creatives I know. Pressfield kicked me in the butt while making me laugh, and I appreciate Penn's transparency and realism in her non-fiction.”

The Indie Author Mindset by Adam Croft

Dear Writer, You Need to Quit by Becca Syme

Art and Fear by David Bayles

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

Money Books

Whether we like it or not, money is a crucial part of a business. We need to earn it, save it, invest it and use it wisely. But positive money mindset is hard to come by, as is money education. These books will help you build the foundations of your financial knowledge.


Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki recommended by Tim Lewis, a great starter book for sorting your finances out and the basics of investing.
The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape recommended by Sacha Black, this one is especially good for writers in Australia and New Zealand.

Marketing Books

Marketing can be a topic riddled with resistance. We're creatives, selling But, to sell books, we must learn to market. Whether it's advertising, platform building, branding or social media, we must find a way to market and promote our books. This list will help you grow your marketing knowledge.


Influence by Robert Cialdini recommended by Tim Lewis, this book gives you a great understanding of the psychology of influencing others.

Release Strategies by Craig Martelle, recommended by Val Neil. Val says, “He [Martelle] breaks down various release strategies so you can figure out which one works best for you. He also includes extremely detailed pre-launch checklists.”

Susan Appleyard recommends any of David Gaughran‘s books, Susan says, “David Gaughran writes with a thoroughly-researched knowledge of his subject and a dose of humour.”

Becci Lousie agrees with Susan, but specifically recommends Following by David Gaughran “I loved this book!”

The Smarter Screen by Shlomo Benartzi, and recommended by Dan Holloway. “Takes online marketing down to the real mechanics by looking at the science of what people look at first when presented with a website”

Also recommended by Becci is Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque. A firm favorite by anyone wanting to improve their newsletter skills.

Wide for the Win and Killing it on Kobo by Mark Lefebvre. If you want to take your books wide, this book is for you. Packed with advice and strategies, it's a fantastic guide to wide marketing and mindset.

Sizzling Synopsis by Bryan Cohen

Romance Your Brand: Building a Marketable Genre Fiction Series by Zoe York

How to Write A Series: A Guide to Series Types and Structure plus Troubleshooting Tips and Marketing Tactics by Sara Rosett

How to Market a Book by Ricardo Fayet

Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart: A Totally Unconventional Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media by Janet Murray

Business Books

The moment you publish a book, the moment you sell your first copy, you're in business. Many creatives recoil from that fact, but it's important to embrace your creative business and nurture it until it prospers. This list of books will help you foster growth in your creative business.


Known by Mark Schaefer recommended by Tim Lewis

ALLi Books

ALLi members can download complimentary ebook copies of all of these guide books in the Member Zone. Navigate to and log in. Then navigate to the following menu: PUBLICATIONS > GUIDEBOOKS. Other formats are available to members and non-members in ALLi’s Bookshop
Our Guide Books include:
ALLi Short Guides
We have a number of short guides covering the following topics:
ALLi members can download complimentary ebook copies of all of these short guides in the Member Zone. Navigate to and log in. Then navigate to the following menu: PUBLICATIONS > SHORTGUIDES. Other formats are available to members and non-members in ALLi’s Bookshop

Classic Writing Books

“Classics” in the classical sense can be marmite, some people love them some hate them. When it comes to writing, there are some classic books filled with rich writing advice that truly are a must read. Here's a list of both modern and not so modern classic writing books the AskALLi team collated for you.


This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. I’ve begun wondering about a How to Write Humour book and looking at these lists, there might be a gap in the market – hurrah!!

    (Probably isn’t but I’m remaining positive because there’s probably a book in here that says that’s a good idea)

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