Indie Life – 10 Must have Books on Writing and Publishing

IndieLife7Welcome to another Indie Life post! Today I’m going to share a resource list of books for the Indie Author. Each of these books I have read cover to cover and love for one reason or another. Allow me to share.

2,000 to 10,000 by Rachel Aaron. I recently completed a 10 month trauma of writer’s block which was recently halted by this book by Rachel Aaron: 2k-10l If writing fast fascinates you, as it does me, you’ll love this quick, cheap, but valuable read on how to increase your productivity.

Next is my all time favorite book on plotting, and story telling, a book that I reread EVERY time I start a new book, Chris Vogler’s A Writer’s Journey. Based on Joseph Campbell’s research on myth it’s useful to any writer. vogler


Next is another book along the same lines. Save the Cat by Blake Snyder is another screenwriter’s take on how to tell a story. This takes it from a different angle than Vogler’s. save the cat



21 plots21 Master Plots by Ronald Tobias is a book I picked up early on in my writing career and whenever I’m considering an entirely different style I read through this book. Each chapter lays out the basics of a different plot line. It’s really great to make sure you’re hitting all the important events that readers expect from different stories, like the difference between a quest and an adventure story.


Goal, Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon. You won’t be able to find this one, except maybe in a library. I wish they would print this one again. I borrowed it while it was still in print and sorely wish I had purchased it for my craft bookself. Alas, it has some of the best information on breaking down goal, motivation, and conflict. Other books discuss this, but for me this book is by far the easiest to follow.

fire in fictionDonald Maass is a genius. There, I said it. It’s true. You should read all his books on writing, they are worth your time. The Fire in Fiction taught me a great deal about conflict and tension in my writing. If you can commit what is here to memory your writing will be awesome. (I was going to toss in a flame reference… but I don’t want to be cheesy. )

novel in 90

I found Alan Watt’s book The 90-day novel while writing my third novel. They say every book you write is different. Alan’s take on novel writing is different than what I’ve focused on in the past which was mostly plot. This book starts, stays and finishes with character motivation. A great book.

lets get visibleYou can’t be Indie and not know who David Gaughran is. Check out his blog, always great information. His lateast book Let’s get Visible is about launching your book and keeping it up there in the rankings. Most of this information I have gleaned from the bajillion websites I read on self-pub, but he also covers Amazon’s algorithms as of the April 2013. And it’s very important to be up to date on what is going on in the world of our distributors.

building your fan base duolit

If you’re self-pubbing or not, Duolit is a duo you should check out. Shannon and Toni have a great system of passing information on to us writers with regards to marketing our work. They have free pdf’s, inexpensive guides and great online courses. The give you the basics AND duolitthe nitty gritty, stuff you can put to use asap, and you should! Building your Fanbase gives you examples and tells you what you need to do, step by step. I could just hug them both. Book Marketing Basics helps you with um, everything.


One last book that I think every writer should have is this: A mentor novel. A book you LOVE, that you wish to emulate, and that falls under your style and genre. Breaking down my own mentor books has been very educational to me as a writer. I think I might just use that for a whole other blog post. 🙂

So tell me what is on your list of MUST HAVE books?

Happy Reading and Writing!

Check out other Indie Life posts on the list below.

1. Susan Kaye Quinn, Author 2. Steena Holmes
3. Claudia Lefeve 4. Author Laura Diamond Lucid Dreamer
5. ali cross 6. Tonya Fitzharris
7. Katie Klein 8. Larry Kollar
9. Faith McKay 10. Civil War Horror
11. Ansha Kotyk 12. Chandara Writes
13. Amy Gregory 14. Secondhand Shoes, A Novel
15. Terri J. Haynes 16. The Open Vein, E.J. Wesley
17. Secondhand Shoes, A Novel 18. Eclectic
19. Lisa M. Buske 20. Sandra Ulbrich Almazan
21. Heather Allen 22. J.R. Pearse Nelson
23. Rochelle Maya Callen, Author 24. Melissa Pearl
25. Cherie Reich 26. PK HREZO
27. Travel Experiences 28. Victoria Escobar
29. J.L. Campbell 30. Planet Tommo
31. K. A. Last 32. The Murphey Saga
33. Tyrean’s Writing Spot 34. Suzy Turner
35. Jessica Bell 36. Aurora Smith
37. Laura Pauling 38. C.M. Brown
39. Barb Best Humor blog 40. Stephen Tremp
41. Jennifer Writes Things Sometimes 42. LindaHarper
43. Cynthia Marcano 44. Capri Montgomery
45. Shah Wharton’s WordsinSync 46. Indiscriminate Writes
47. Rachel Bateman 48. Tony Noland
49. C. M. Keller, Screwing Up Time 50. RaShelle Workman
51. J.J. Bonds 52. HilaryMB
53. Why I love the indie life 54. A First Look at Indie Life
55. Teri Hall 56. Emily White
57. Mary Pax 58. Anne O’Connell
59. The Irony of Vengeance 60. Mama Diaries
61. Cerita Lucu 62. Co-Authors Rebecca Gober and Courtney Nuckels
63. Isobel Loren 64. Beta Readers
65. Self Book Publishing Tips 66. Notes from the Jovian frontier
67. L.E. Waters~Fantasy Prone 68. Dana Tyler, Romance Writer
69. I Am Just Julie 70. Laura Rae Amos
71. The Indie Children’s Authors Connection 72. Christian Superheroes
73. Ellie Garratt 74. Baju Batik Wanita
75. Write Me, Kaye Draper 76. Can You Make a Living Writing? (Author Nikki Jefford)
77. Corvus Rising 78. Nicole R. Taylor
79. Sally Rogers-Davidson 80. Shelbi Wescott
81. Ada Winder 82. Poison Arrow Pubs
83. Paulita 84. Michelle Isenhoff
85. A. J. M. Mousseau 86. Catherine Stine’s Idea City
87. The Lina Lamont Fan Club 88. Patricia Sands
89. Donna Hosie 90. Rinelle Grey
91. Word by Word 92. Defending the Pen
93. Author Jacqueline Gardner 94. Taryn Taylor
95. Riann Colton 96. Strange Pegs
97. author Karen Walker


Posted in For Writers, Indie Life Tagged with: , , ,
8 comments on “Indie Life – 10 Must have Books on Writing and Publishing
  1. Great choices. Some of those I’ve read. Some I haven’t. Some I want to!! And I love breaking down novels I love. 🙂

  2. Mary Pax says:

    I read Save the Cat rather recently and loved, loved, loved it. It made me more of a preplanner… just in time for my next book. I have Let’s Get Visible on my Nook, but haven’t read it yet.

    Indie and Small Press Book Marketing was pretty good. And I love Jack Bickham’s Scene & Structure and Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer.

    I need to check out Duolit. Thanks.

    • ansha says:

      Mary, I’d say “quick, read it” because before too long the information will be out dated! And thanks for the book recommendations I’ll have to check them out.

  3. Rinelle Grey says:

    Some good books here. Some I’ve heard of, some I haven’t. I’m planning to check out Let’s Get Digital some time soon.

    I’m mostly a panster, so I tend not to read many plot driven books. I’m read about the technical side of writing more often. A book I’ve read a lot is Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson.

    • ansha says:

      I’ll need to check out the Deep POV book, that is definitely something I’d like to learn more about handling! Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. I have quite a few of the books on your list. I would add:
    1. Plot Whisperer by Martha Anderson
    2. Plot vs Character by Jeff Gerke
    3. First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman
    4. Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
    5. Novel Shortcuts by Laura Whitcomb

  5. Debra Dixon says:

    GMC is still in print. You can get it from the original small publisher by going to: Or go to my website and click the button that says, “Just Want GMC?”

    And GMC will be out in ebook formats for the first time in just a few weeks.

    Thanks for including the book on your list.

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