What good writing books would you recommend?

Clients often ask for my recommendation on books they should have on their shelves to use as a writing reference. While there are hundreds of books out there that can assist any experienced or novice writers, here are my top 5:

The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by William Strunk and E.B. White: Every reference shelf begins with this classic. It doesn’t matter what edition you have (I have the fourth); Strunk and White’s style manual is guaranteed to help you become a better writer.

Three of my favorite tips:

    1. Revise and rewrite.
    2. Do not explain too much.
    3. Omit needless words.

The Synonym Finder by J.I. Rodale: I was using Roget’s Thesaurus faithfully until I read that The Synonym Finder is vastly superior. Agreed. It’s more comprehensive than a thesaurus and simpler to use.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King: The first part of the book is a memoir, and eases you into the second part which delves into the writing craft. Although this book is primarily for novelists, much of the advice is applicable to business writing as well. King described the book as a guide for how a competent writer can become a good one.  One piece of advice: edit out unnecessary details and thoroughly avoid the use of unnecessary adverbs.

On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser: Remember some of those grammar rules you learned in elementary school and high school? Well, Zinsser teaches you that it’s ok to break some of them. For instance, he writes, “Many of us were taught that no sentence should begin with ‘but.’ If that’s what you learned, unlearn it–there’s no stronger word at the start.”

Content Rich: Writing Your Way to Wealth on the Web by Jon Wuebben: pastedGraphic.pdfWant to master SEO copywriting and how to be a better social media writer? This book is an invaluable resource. Wuebben teaches you how to improve your online copy to help generate traffic to your website.

Do you have a favorite resource that I may have missed? Let us know!

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About Daniel Casciato

Daniel Casciato has his own business as a social media consultant, freelance copywriter, ghostwriter, and ghostblogger. The Pittsburgh native loves his Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates. Learn more about him at www.DanielCasciato.com.

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