Curated Collections

collection of books on a shelf

Welcome to the Open Library Curated Collections homepage! Here you will find a variety of collections spanning a wide range of topics, with the best part being every collection has been curated by a patron just like you! If you are interested in creating your own collection, see the link at the bottom of this page.

The Book Awards Library

  • Bisexual Book Awards
  • Euler Book Prize
  • Ferro-Grumley Award
  • Hugo Awards
  • Lambda Literary Awards
  • Nebula Awards
  • Newbery Medal
  • Otherwise (Tiptree) Award
  • Phantastik-Preis der Stadt Wetzlar
  • Publishing Triangle Awards
  • Ruth Benedict Prize
  • Stonewall Book Awards
  • Story Olympiade
  • Wolfgang-Hohlbein-Preis

Juvenile Literature Awards

  • Caldecott Medal
  • Ezra Jack Keats Award
  • Theodore Seuss Geisel Award
  • Newbery Award
  • Pura Belpré Geisel Award
  • Sibert Award

The Banned & Challenged Books Library

  • Banned & Challenged Books by School System
  • Goddard School District
  • Mat Su Valley: Banned Book Challenge
  • Read the Books That Schools Want to Ban: Featured in The Atlantic
  • Top 10 Most Challenged Books Lists
  • Great Books (The St. Johns List)
  • Homeschool Resources
  • K-12 Library - English
  • K-12 Library - Croatian
  • Learn Math from Start to Finish
  • Summer of Math
  • Ukrainian Literature School Curriculum (in progress)

Empowering Communities

  • Expanding Girls' Horizons in Science and Engineering
  • LGBTQ+ 🏳️‍🌈
  • 1000 Black Girl Books Library

Fiction Series

  • Bodice Rippers
  • Choose Your Own Adventure
  • Fear Street
  • Nightmare Hall
  • Rainbow Magic
  • Sleazy Pulp
  • The Boxcar Children
  • The Hardy Boys
  • Tolkien's Birthday Collection
  • Warhammer 40,000
  • Warhammer Fantasy

The Haunted Library

A specially curated collection of Young Adult Horror Books and Series.

Author Collections

  • James Patterson
  • V.C. Andrews
  • Happy New Year 2021!
  • February 24 - International Day of Education
  • Christmas Time
  • January | February | March | April | May | June | July
  • August | September | October | November | December
  • Spring | Summer | Fall | Winter

Special Collections

  • A Bible Collection
  • Historia de España en viñetas
  • OliverSpeaks
  • Origami: The Art of Paper Folding
  • Peanuts: Good Grief, Charlie Schulz! (in progress)
  • Read the Movie
  • TV People Books
  • Understanding Politics


  • Schweizer Buchpreis

All Collections

  • /collections/100-best-mystery-and-thriller-books-of-all-time
  • /collections/CYOA
  • /collections/Dark_Romance
  • /collections/Goosebumps
  • /collections/HomeSchool
  • /collections/LGBTQ
  • /collections/Marley-Dias-1000BlackGirlBooks-Library
  • /collections/Rainbow_Magic
  • /collections/Schweizer_Buchpreis_Gewinner
  • /collections/Supply_Chain
  • /collections/[A_Bible_Collection]
  • /collections/[CHRISTMAS-TIME]
  • /collections/[Historical_Romance_Bodice_Rippers]
  • /collections/[Sleezy_Pulp]
  • /collections/[oliverspeaks]
  • /collections/ala-frequently-challenged
  • /collections/an_awfully_beastly_business
  • /collections/animorphs
  • /collections/april
  • /collections/are_you_afraid_of_the_dark
  • /collections/august
  • /collections/banned-books
  • /collections/banned-challenged-in-schools
  • /collections/bisexual-book-awards
  • /collections/bodice-rippers
  • /collections/book-awards
  • /collections/boxcar-children
  • /collections/caldecott-medal
  • /collections/cascaborra-historia-de-espana-en-vinetas
  • /collections/challenged-goddard-school-district
  • /collections/cultural-resource-center
  • /collections/dan-brown
  • /collections/december
  • /collections/dinotopia
  • /collections/dragonriders-of-pern
  • /collections/euler-book-prize
  • /collections/expanding-girls-horizons-science-engineering
  • /collections/fear-street
  • /collections/february
  • /collections/ferro-grumley-award
  • /collections/greatbooks
  • /collections/happy-new-year-2021
  • /collections/hardy-boys
  • /collections/hugo-awards
  • /collections/international-day-of-education
  • /collections/james-patterson
  • /collections/jericho-list
  • /collections/july
  • /collections/june
  • /collections/k-12
  • /collections/k-12.en
  • /collections/
  • /collections/lambda-literary-awards
  • /collections/learn-math-from-start-to-finish
  • /collections/march
  • /collections/mat-su-valley-banned-book-challenge
  • /collections/may
  • /collections/nebula-awards
  • /collections/newbery-medal
  • /collections/nightmare-hall
  • /collections/november
  • /collections/nyt-best-sellers
  • /collections/nyt-bestsellers
  • /collections/october
  • /collections/old-school-d&d
  • /collections/oliverspeaks
  • /collections/one-piece
  • /collections/origami
  • /collections/otherwise-tiptree-award
  • /collections/peanuts
  • /collections/read-the-movie
  • /collections/ruth-benedict-prize
  • /collections/science_fiction
  • /collections/september
  • /collections/star-trek
  • /collections/star-wars
  • /collections/stonewall-book-awards
  • /collections/summer
  • /collections/summer-of-math-2023
  • /collections/test
  • /collections/test-follow-merged-works
  • /collections/texas-challenged
  • /collections/textbooks
  • /collections/the_haunted_library
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/an_awfully_beastly_business
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/apple_publishing
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/araminta_spook
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/assorted_ya_horror_books
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/based_on_movies_shows_and_games
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/bone_chillers
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/buffy_the_vampire_slayer
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/burlap_hall_mysteries
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/christopher_pike
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/creepers
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/dark_forces
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/dark_hearts
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/deadtime_stories
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/descendants
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/doomsday_mall
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/edgar_and_ellen
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/ellen_and_corey
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/emily_the_strange
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/fangs_-_vampire_spy
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/fifth_grade_monsters
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/five_nights_at_freddy’s
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/fleshcreepers
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/frightfully_friendly_ghosties
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/frightville
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/ghost_twins
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/ghostbusters
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/ghosthunters
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/ghostville_elementary
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/graveyard_school
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/gremlins
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/grizzly_tales
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/haunted
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/haunted_canada
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/horror_high
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/ihorror
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/invisible_fiends
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/kitty_slade
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/meet_the_kreeps
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/men_in_black
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/monster_high
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/monster_makers
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/monstrum_house
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/mostly_ghostly
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/mr._midnight
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/my_babysitter_is_a_vampire
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/my_sister_the_vampire
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/my_teacher_is_an_alien
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/mysterium
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/night_frights
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/nightmare_academy
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/nightmare_hall
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/nightmare_inn
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/nightmares
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/oliver_moon
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/oliver_nocturne
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/past_midnight
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/phantom_rider
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/point_horror
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/poison_apple
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/riverdale
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/scary_stories_for_sleep-overs
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/scary_stories_for_stormy_night
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/scary_stories_that_will_make_you_scream
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/scary_tales
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/scooby_doo
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/scream_street
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/screaming_sands
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/supernatural
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/the_bailey_city_collection
  • /collections/the_haunted_library/the_bailey_city_monsters
  • /collections/thomas-aquinas-collection
  • /collections/tolkien-birthday-collection
  • /collections/tom-clancy
  • /collections/triangle-awards
  • /collections/tv-people-books
  • /collections/ukrainian-literature-school-curriculum
  • /collections/understanding_politics
  • /collections/v-c-andrews
  • /collections/warhammer-40k-collection
  • /collections/warhammer-fantasy-collection

Want to create your own special Collection? Check out these instructions for Librarians

  • Created January 4, 2023
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  • Grades 6-12
  • School Leaders

FREE Poetry Worksheet Bundle! Perfect for National Poetry Month.

40+ Best Reading Websites for Home and Classroom Learning

Games, e-books, videos, and so much more!

books resources and help

Fluent reading may be the most important skill anyone can master. Just a few minutes a day helps build the reading fluency that provides lifelong benefits. Reading websites for kids are one way to support their reading journey.

How can reading websites help kids, parents, and teachers?

While reading books together is always an important activity, emergent readers also need other types of practice. They benefit from activities that focus more specifically on phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and other key parts of reading fluency. To learn more about these elements, explore the science of reading here.

Many reading websites offer games, exercises, and other activities that give kids a chance to develop these important reading skills. Studies show it only takes 15 minutes of practice each day to build reading fluency. When kids play interactive reading games online, or complete short lessons with follow-up activities, they get those 15 important minutes in an easy, effective way.

How To Use Reading Websites

Teachers can use reading websites as part of their lesson plans or as individual classroom activities. They can be a fun option for fast finishers or a good way to provide extra support for kids who need more practice on a certain skill. Many of the reading websites on our list provide free access for teachers who use the site in their classroom, making them a valuable resource for your toolkit.

At home, parents and families will also find a lot of value in reading websites. To make the most of them, it can be helpful to understand your child’s current reading level first. Ask your child’s teacher to share this information, and then learn more about how reading levels work here . It’s also a good idea to ask your child’s teacher if there are any areas they could use extra help with, and then look for games or activities to support those skills.

The goal of most reading websites is to make reading fun and exciting for students. Take advantage of that to make screen time more meaningful. Look for sites that your student actively enjoys using, and you’ll find those 15 minutes of daily reading practice just fly by!

There are options for all ages, helping students learn to read, discover new books, track and share progress, and more. There’s a big selection of free options, but there are some excellent paid sites that schools and parents may want to check out too.

  • Best Free Reading Websites for Kids
  • Best Paid Reading Websites for Kids  

These free reading websites give kids practice that won’t break the bank. Get free e-books, games, activities, and more!

This site hooks kids through fun games that meet learning standards. In addition to reading, students can brush up on math, science, social studies, arts, and music. A free account gives you basic access with ads. Paid Premium Family and Classroom plans are also available. (Grades Pre-K–6)

Between the Lions

Watch videos from the popular PBS series, including read-along folktales and fables, clever song videos of letter sounds, and more. (Grades Pre-K–1)


Think of this like Goodreads for kids. It’s a safe place for reviewing and sharing books, making reading a social adventure. (Grades K–8)

This is another site that bills itself as “Goodreads for kids,” and it offers similar features. Read kid-friendly reviews, post your own, find recommendations, track reading goals, and more. (Grades K–8)

This fantastic digital library service helps people with print-related disabilities read independently. (Grades Pre-K–12)

This library includes thousands of high-interest, standards-aligned reading passages and lessons. You can search for texts by book, genre, grade level, literary device, and theme. (Grades 3–12)

The kid-friendly news articles on DOGONews make it easy to assign reading. Each article has reading/interest-level guidelines, and you can access the site in English or Spanish. It’s free to assign articles for reading. Paid plans provide discussion questions and quizzes too. (Grades 1–12)

If you’re looking for reading websites with digital books, this site has thousands of them, along with audiobooks and videos. You’ll find endless popular titles from your favorite publishers. Teachers can track student progress as they read too. Epic is free for teachers and classrooms, with paid plans available for parents. (Grades Pre-K–8)

Fact Monster: All About Books

Kids who love books will want to check out this site. They’ll find fascinating facts about many of their favorite reads. (Grades 1–8)

Test your vocabulary while earning rice for those in need! Each time you play, you’re helping the United Nations World Food Programme provide food to those around the world who need it. (Grades 2–12)

In addition to learning games and videos, Funbrain has a selection of free books to read online. You’ll find favorites like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Judy Moody. (Grades Pre-K–8)

International Children’s Digital Library

A no-frills site from the University of Maryland, ICDL has more than 4,000 free e-books kids can read online. There are a variety of books in languages other than English too. (Grades K–8)

Into the Book

Into the Book is a reading comprehension site that focuses on reading strategies teachers work on every day. Kids get practice using prior knowledge, making connections, questioning, visualizing, inferring, summarizing, evaluating, and synthesizing. (Grades K–6)

Khan Academy

This is one of the most well-known free learning sites around, and their reading and language arts courses are top-notch. There’s nothing flashy, but kids will get good practice with accompanying lessons and quizzes. (Grades 2–9)

Khan Academy Kids

This reading app and site is designed especially for kids just learning to read. There are supplemental materials for parents and teachers too. (Grades Pre-K–2)

Nat Geo Education

This amazing compilation of nonfiction has all the quality of National Geographic magazine, leveled and accessible for young readers. (Grades K–5)

Created by Oxford University Press, this U.K. site has plenty to offer for any kid learning to read. There are free e-books and games, plus tips for parents and teachers. (Grades Pre-K–2)

Reading Bear

Reading Bear teaches beginning readers vocabulary and concepts while systematically introducing all the main phonetic patterns of written English. (Grades Pre-K–1)

Gain access to several thousand leveled books, including favorites like Curious George and the nonfiction National Geographic Kids titles. Teacher and classroom access is free. (Grades Pre-K–7)

Read Theory

Read Theory offers online reading activities for all ages and ability levels. The program adapts to students’ individual ability levels and presents them with thousands of skill-building exercises that suit their needs. (Grades K–12)

Get literacy lessons that include comprehension and short passages to analyze. Use them online, via your classroom projector, or print to send work home. (Grades K–12)

Roy: Tale of a Singing Zebra

Kids will enjoy the punctuation, reading, and spelling games on this cute, simple site. You’ll also find online guided reading stories and lesson plans for teachers. (Grades Pre-K–2)

Scholastic Kids Press

Students will love reading news articles written by other kids just like them! This regularly updated site includes articles on current events, with kid reporters from around the globe. (Grades 4–8)

Storyline Online

Storyline Online features videos of read-alouds by celebrities with creative illustrations. Each book also has a supplemental curriculum for teachers and parents to use. (Grades Pre-K–4)

Get the experience of going to the library without leaving the house at StoryPlace. Find animated videos of stories, with activities, sing-along songs, and more. (Grades Pre-K–1)

Story Time From Space

What’s better than a read-aloud? A read-aloud done by someone in space! This reading website features real astronauts reading books they love, often with a STEM theme. (Grades Pre-K–5)

Teaching Kids News

TKN provides readable, teachable news articles for kids. You’ll also find media literacy activities and tips on how to discuss challenging news topics with kids. (Grades 3–8)

Vooks bills itself as the first streaming service dedicated to animated storybooks. There’s a small free collection of books, plus teachers get classroom access for one device at no cost. Parents can pay a monthly fee for access. (Grades Pre-K–2)   

Sometimes it’s worth it to invest in a learning program. These are some of the best ones around, according to teachers and parents.

ABC Mouse offers learning that spans the curriculum. Their reading program starts at the very beginning with the alphabet and takes kids through to fluent reading and writing. (Monthly or annual subscription after 30-day free trial; Grades Pre-K–2)

Adventure Academy

Brought to you by the same folks who created ABC Mouse, Adventure Academy offers reading practice for older kids. They can also work on math, science, and more. (Monthly or annual subscription after 30-day free trial; Grades 3–8)

Boost Reading

Students take on a series of personalized quests as they learn and practice reading. The characters and story lines keep them coming back for more. (Contact them for pricing; Grades K–5)

HOMER promises to create a personalized reading program for every child, based on their interests and current skill levels. Membership also includes access to 200+ interactive animated stories, with a whole section dedicated to favorite Sesame Street characters. (Monthly and annual subscriptions after 30-day trial; Grades Pre-K–2)

IXL’s personalized learning experiences cover a variety of subjects. Their language arts curriculum includes spelling, vocabulary, phonics, and more advanced topics. (Family, Classroom, and School/District pricing available; Grades K–12)

Kids learning to read can benefit from Lalilo’s phonics and reading comprehension activities. The adaptive exercises provide an individualized experience for each student. (Free 60-day trial, contact for pricing; Grades Pre-K–2)

This collection of e-books includes titles from around the world in a variety of languages. It’s always growing as publishers and authors upload their new books. (Individual and school subscriptions available; Grades K–8)

Teach younger students the right way to research with PebbleGo. You can be sure they’re using safe, reliable resources as they learn about subjects like animals, biographies, and more. (Annual subscriptions by school; Grades K–3)

This site provides leveled books with interactive quizzes and other activities to reinforce reading comprehension. It includes books in English, French, and Spanish. (Annual subscription; Grades K–5)

Reading Eggs

Play games, sing songs, and practice reading, vocabulary, phonics, and more. Looking for help for older kids who need additional practice? Check out Reading Eggspress. (Monthly or yearly subscription after 30-day free trial; Grades Pre-K–6)

This site teaches children to read with the help of phonetics. Kids sing songs to help them learn and get lots of practice putting it all together. (Yearly membership fee; Grades Pre-K–3)


Help students make deeper connections to books with author interviews, read-aloud videos, activities, and more. (Yearly license fees; Grades K–12)

This is a cool reading website for schools, offering talking animated picture books that kids will truly love. School accounts provide access to every computer in every classroom. You can also offer home access through your school website. (Annual subscription; Grades K–8)

Vocabulary A-Z

Give kids vocab practice with customizable word lists. Students can play games online, while teachers can get lessons and printables to support the learning. (One-time purchase; Grades K–5)

Whooo’s Reading

Get your students thinking with open-ended quiz questions that provide a strong alternative to multiple-choice questions. Students get feedback as they write, including reminders to cite evidence and answer all parts of the question. (Free basic trial membership, with premium annual subscriptions for teachers and classrooms; Grades Pre-K–12)

What’s on your list of the best reading websites for kids? Share your ideas in our We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out the best reading apps for kids ..

The best reading websites engage kids of all ages. Help them learn to read, discover new books, track and share progress, and more.

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What Is the Science of Reading

What Is the Science of Reading?

Evidence-based research on what really works for kids. Continue Reading

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Home — Blog — Discover & Learn — An Updated List of Resources with Free Books

An Updated List of Resources with Free Books

Resources with Free Books

Why Seek Free Books Online?

In basic terms, finding resources that offer books free of charge is like visiting a virtual library without leaving the comfort of your home. Many college students and book students found a secret asylum during the pandemic times as they have rediscovered their love for reading. It’s always good when you can get something for free and discover new amazing worlds and the authors that inspire you and let you travel along. Getting free books online is always an adventure that will keep you occupied for hours. It’s also a great chance to find out more about various subjects and the countries by exploring international markets and independent folks who have published their works online.

As a way to help you discover book resources where you can enjoy your share of reading, we have compiled a list of various resources and open libraries that will focus on science fiction or the classic novels that you will find helpful in your college or school education. This article, structured as an expository essay , aims to guide you through the myriad of online resources available for free books. By detailing each platform's offerings, we not only shed light on the practical aspects of these resources but also on their profound impact on education and self-improvement. Through clear, informative descriptions, you are equipped to navigate the digital landscape of literature, making informed decisions about which free online library best suits their needs. Some of these resources will be familiar to you while the rest will be new. Most importantly, these offer free books that you can enjoy anytime!

10 Free Book Resources You Should Use 📖

  • Planet EBook . If you are after classic literature and need to get back to your beloved childhood books or the romantic novels of the past, this resource with a great selection of free ebooks will be helpful. The website is aimed at the older readers but there are many good books for the schoolchildren as well. 
  • Amazon Free eBooks . It is a great collection of free titles that is updated every hour. You will be notified about the latest Amazon entries, which means that you will find out about those books that have only appeared on the market. You can even set subject reminders! 
  • . It is another free resource for students that has lots of publications for both adults and kids. The best part is that it has many titles that are not easy to find in print, which is why college students will find this resource useful. There are many novels that have been set to film, so take your time to explore! 
  • NewsELA . When you are looking for a collection of news reports or book reports, reviews, or anything that is related to literary works or the news, this website will help you to stay aware and use only high-quality content for your needs. 
  • Scholastic News . Sometimes finding free books to read may be insufficient, which is why this charity resource will provide you with free articles and book snippets that will have all the necessary information for citing and essay writing. 
  • Storynory . If you prefer to listen to your books in audio format, this source might be a suitable option. It has both simple and more advanced titles, which will be good for ESL students or those who want to practice their pronunciation. 
  • Project Gutenberg . One of the oldest online libraries that need no introduction for avid book readers. A great selection of book classics! 
  • International Children's Library . If you would like to access children's books from all over the world and see translated works of the authors that are not so famous in the English-speaking world, it's the way to go. 
  • 2020ok - Education . A collection of free educational ebook examples that are meant for educators, college professors, and those looking for education titles. 
  • Baen Free Library . Another great open library resource worth checking for thousands of authors that deal with fantasy and science fiction. A rare collection of carefully chosen titles! 

Educational Resources That Help Students 

When you have a list of books to read, it's essential to focus on various educational resources that are meant to help you achieve success with your assignments. As you find a free book website , you will have to use quotes and seek explanations for what you have read. This is where these websites help: 

- Khan Academy . It has lots of free educational resources that range from English classes to creative writing. If you ever wanted to write a story, check it out! 

- Quizlet . Let's assume that you have found some book. Now it's time to put it all together. Quizlet allows you to browse through thousands of presentations created by educators and fellow students. Just enter the book's title or author's name to get the idea. 

- Purdue Writing Lab . If you always wanted to write about correct citing in MLA, Chicago, APA, or Vancouver, it is the way to go as you will see examples regarding how to cite various books. 

- Hippocampus . It has video presentations and helps with Biology, Chemistry, Sociology, Psychology, and many other related subjects. The information is presented via video files, so it's a great way to learn. 

- TED Talk Videos . These are not only covering STEM subjects but also focus on topics like fashion, rock music, famous book authors, and more. While these won't let you read online books for free , the presence of celebrity guest lecturers is second to none! 

Now let’s proceed with even more open libraries that offer free books for your enjoyment and school exploration. 

Additional Free Online Book Resources & Libraries

Here are some other helpful and new resources that help you access free ebooks and audiobooks online: 

  • Goodreads . Contrary to the popular belief, Goodreads offers free ebooks and excerpts free of charge in PDF or Kindle format. 
  • Internet Archive . Also known as the Wayback machine, it's a great volunteering and charity resource that represents a library of ancient and rare texts, online fantasy books, romance stories, and anything that has been typed and printed. Over 32 million ebooks for your pleasure! 
  • Z-Library . Another interesting resource that gets five stars from most online reviewers. They claim to be the largest ebook library, yet not all entries are free. You can still find most titles free of charge if you subscribe by email. 
  • Digital Public Library of America . Let's not forget the classics as it has free ebooks PDF format for those authors and subjects that you learn as a college student. 
  • As you might have guessed, it offers free ebooks and provides over 50,000 free ebooks from classics to science fiction and romance stories. It feels like a library and even has online recommendations and comments from fellow readers. 
  • Little Free Library . Although it's run by volunteers, it is a non-profit organization that aims to provide access to books online. A good example of giving it away to people. 
  • Fletcher Free Library . It has both ebooks free of charge and audiobooks for students that prefer to listen due to learning challenges or the lack of time. The digital quality of audiobooks is mostly very good. 
  • Wiley Online Library . You might have heard about this project that helps children in Africa receive books. It's free and provides help to the young readers elsewhere as you access the books and leave your reviews. 
  • World Digital Library . Another great resource that provides access to numerous books, presentations, educational materials, and more. It has many genres and you will enjoy reading through recommendations in more than one language. 
  • Oakland Public Library . Many cities in the USA (and universities) have online libraries as well, so take your time to enter your city's name and add the word "library" as you explore certain series or look for an old collective of detective stories. They may have a place where you can access the free ebooks online with an app or a computer , depending on what's available . You may also be interested Why Reading and Writing Are Important I don’t remember how I learned to read or write but its an important skill to know. Reading and writing can help with any little problems. readin...

What Free Online Library Should I Choose? 

Remember that every library online is unique and you won't be able to find all the necessary books in one place. It is a reason why we have listed so many entries for your pleasure and to help you save time as you are looking for free online books . For example, if you are into fantasy books, Baen Free Library will be your best choice. If you would like to read scanned classics and enjoy the yellow pages of the books, Gutenberg Project will help you access the first editions of the immortal creations by Mark Twain or Herbert Wells. We recommend checking at least three resources as you are looking for free books because there is always something interesting you can find and take your reading to another level! 

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Resources for Literacy

Books for Kids offers resources to promote early literacy and literacy-developing habits within homes and communities.

Some or all of these resources should be useful for families, educators, health-care providers, child-care providers, and other nonprofits serving children and families.

  • Book Selections  — Information for selecting appropriate books for children
  • Home Libraries  — The whys and hows of creating a collection of children’s books at home for regular use
  • Related Websites  — A list of online resources for literacy information
  • Workshops — Please call us directly for more information about workshops that Read to Grow might present to different groups (parents, educators, health-care providers, and others). Call our Books for Kids staff (Linda Sylvester or Evelyn Tomasello) at: 203.488.6800.

Book Selections

Home libraries, related websites.

Parents of newborns and young children should look for books with colorful pictures or photos and just a few words on each page. Babies and toddlers love pictures of children’s faces, showing smiles and different emotions.

Don’t worry if your child isn’t old enough to understand even simple words. Children need to hear words over and over again to recognize those words and speech patterns. Repetition of words and reading the same books and stories many times are what babies grow to love.

As a child starts to read, you might want to guide her or his book selections. Here are a few tips for your child:

1. A book might be too easy if:

  • I have read it many times.
  • I understand and can retell the story without much effort.
  • I know and understand almost every word.
  • I can read the book smoothly and fluently without much practice.

2. A book might be too hard if:

  • There are five or more words on a page that I don’t recognize. I have read two pages and there are 5 words I don’t understand.
  • I am confused about what is happening in the story.
  • When I read the words they sound choppy and slow.
  • I need help when I am reading the book.

3. A book might be just right if:

  • The book is new to me, and the topic is interesting to me.
  • I understand what is happening in most of the story.
  • I can retell what I read.
  • I recognize most of the words on the page, but there are some words to work on.
  • I can read the book by myself but may need help when I hit a tough spot.

Reading just-right books provides the perfect balance so that readers feel successful, enjoy reading and grow in their abilities. If books are too easy, children will become stagnant in their reading. Books too high above their reading levels will do nothing but frustrate them. You want your children to be happy and confident readers.

Research shows that having books in the home is one of the best ways to support and encourage your child’s learning and academic achievements. In fact, the number of books in a home is a stronger predictor of a child’s eventual level of education than are the household income and the parents’ levels of education.

Having a home library delivers the message that books are fun, important and part of everyday life.

Tips for starting a home library:

  • Ask for books as gifts for your child (or for you);
  • Look for inexpensive books at tag sales;
  • Look for inexpensive books at second-hand stores;
  • Make your own special books with your child at home.

Tips for creating accessible spaces for books:

  • Put books in a large basket, a plastic laundry basket, a milk crate, or a sturdy cardboard box and put that container in the corner of a room—not out of sight and not out of reach.
  • Build a reading nook with a large cardboard box (on its side) and a crib mattress, a blanket, and/or pillows;
  • Use a low-level bookshelf that won’t topple over.

Search “home libraries for children” for more ideas. Also, look at these websites :

  • American Library Association
  • My Home Library
  • Reading Rockets

Online Resources for Information on Literacy

For books and reading activities:.

  • 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten
  • American Library Association  
  • Center for the Book
  • Children’s Book Council
  • The Children’s Literature Web Guide
  • Colorín Colorado
  • Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
  • Esme Raji Codell
  • Jim Trelease’s Home Page
  • National Children’s Literacy Website
  • ReadKiddoRead
  • Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)

For Early Literacy:

  • Family Reading Partnership
  • Raising Readers
  • Reach Out and Read
  • Zero to Three

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The 7 Best Self-Help Books to Change Your Life

Find yourself in one of these versatile, mind-changing reads

Mary K. Tatum is a licensed mental health counselor and psychotherapist and has worked in the field of psychology for over 15 years, with seven years in the private practice setting.

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Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.

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Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity,, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.

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Until proven otherwise, it’s safe to assume that—as the saying goes—nobody’s perfect. That means we have room for at least some improvement in our lives . And no, we’re not talking about getting a higher-paying job or a new haircut: we’re referring to inner improvement . This involves working on managing some of our less-than-desirable habits and traits—things like being unable to trust other people, having difficulties with interpersonal communication, or lacking self-confidence. 

That’s where self-help books can come in handy. It’s basically like someone has thought extensively about the general challenge you’re facing, and then walks you through steps to help you figure it out—or at least think about it more clearly. To be clear: self-help books are not a replacement for working with mental health professionals. If you’re dealing with a mental illness, seek out a credentialed person you can speak with in person (or over a video call). But for situations without a clinical element, a self-help book can make a difference.

To help you narrow down your options, here are the best self-help books according to the experts.

"A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" by Eckhart Tolle

Can be helpful to reivist certain passages, as needed

Discusses how to effectively process and find meaning in suffering

A lot of overlap with content found in the author's previous book

Many consider Eckhart Tolle one of the great thought leaders our time. Prior to " A New Earth ," Tolle wrote "The Power of Now," a best seller and must-read. The reason "A New Earth" makes this list is quite simple: it goes beyond teaching how to live in the moment and helps readers learn how to turn their suffering into peace. All types of suffering are addressed in the book, from anger and grief to jealousy and anxiety.

Tolle talks a lot about the ego and how to separate ourselves from it. His examples and recommended exercises are not just hocus pocus; they really work and are something anyone can do. Whether your suffering is rooted in jealousy, anger, grief, sadness, anxiety, or depression , Tolle will help you see life from varied perspectives, awakening you to your life’s purpose.

This book is great as a reference point, too. Those who pick up a copy will read it front to back then revisit Tolle's words over and over again. Others will keep it by their nightstands and flip to a chapter when they’re feeling some excess baggage creep in and could use some words of wisdom.

Price at time of publication: $18

"You Are a Badass" by Jen Sincero

Engaging exercises

Accessible writing style

Not the most empathetic towards people with depression

Contains some microaggressions and fat shaming

Far too often, fear gets the best of us. Jen Sincero helps readers go beyond that fear in her New York Times best seller " You Are a Badass ." What sets this self-help book apart from the others are the engaging end-of-chapter exercises.

Instead of casting the book aside and letting it collect dust after you read the last page, you'll be inspired to go back and reflect on the previous exercises you responded to. The exercises also drive home the points Sincero makes through her writing. When you feel a dip in your confidence, going back to your entries will put a positive spin on your day and remind you why you should show yourself more self-love . Also make sure to check out Sincero's follow-up book, "You Are a Badass at Making Money."

Price at time of publication: $8

Dr. Leela R. Magavi, MD, psychiatrist and regional medical director for Community Psychiatry.

Some self-help books include daily therapeutic activities and provide comfort and guidance to individuals who are suffering. I recommend individuals meet with a psychiatrist and therapist, and concurrently utilize self-help books to expedite their healing.

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" by Sean Covey

Text is broken up using cartoons and quotes

Could be beneficial for both teens and parents

Updated in 2014, but still can feel outdated

Unnecessary references to dieting and losing weight

Many have read, or at least have heard about, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey. Covey's son Sean followed in his footsteps, making a spinoff version for teenagers that uses the same principles to help young adults master formative areas of their lives.

To make this self-help book age-appropriate and downright fun to read, Covey breaks up the text with cartoons, quotes, brainstorming ideas, and stories from real teens to bring the book together. " The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens " covers   topics like  body image , friendships, relationships, goal-setting, peer pressure, bullying, internet safety, and so much more. Gift this book to your teenage son, daughter, niece, nephew, or grandchild. It's the perfect keepsake to pass down to future generations of teens too.

"What Are You Hungry For?" by Deepak Chopra

Helps readers understand their reasons for certain types of eating

More than simply a guide to healthy eating

Even though it’s not a traditional weight loss book, that component being included at all might turn some people off

Can feel like any other book on weight loss and our relationship with food

Deepak Chopra is the self-help guru of our time, and any one of his books could be recommended for various reasons. " What Are You Hungry For? " will help you see your relationship with food in an entirely new light.

While this self-help book could be considered a guide to help with weight loss, it’s really so much more. Chopra does talk about losing weight and also gives a pretty regimented recommendation on what to eat. But he also digs deeper into the reasoning behind our desire to seek this transformation, and fulfillment is at the center of this argument.

Since change isn’t easy for most, the book offers a lot of intention-setting tips to help readers determine the motives behind their goals. Attaching an emotion to the things you want in life, health-related or otherwise, makes it easier to stay the course when the going gets tough.

Price at time of publication: $16

"Declutter Your Mind" by S.J. Scott

Tackles negative thinking patterns—something a lot of people struggle with

Includes helpful, actionable exercises

May not feel as applicable to people who aren’t self-employed

Writing can feel self-promotional at times

The subtitle of this book provides great insight into the heart of the book: How to stop worrying, relieve anxiety and eliminate negative thinking. " Declutter Your Mind " is a book that is very hands-on with its reader and full of various exercises to engage your mindset. You will learn the causes of mental clutter, how to change negative thoughts to positive ones, strategies to help with rocky relationships, how to identify what’s important to you, the importance of meditation, how to goal set, and much more.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress, worry, or anxiety, this powerful book will do its part in offering various techniques, tips, and tricks to cope with an overactive mind. Reviewers consistently note how much they enjoy the actionable exercises in the book and that the co-authors offer more than a sermon on the importance of living mindfully and in the moment.

Price at time of publication: $15

"Big Magic: Create Living Beyond Fear" by Elizabeth Gilbert

Great for creative people (or those who want to be more creative)

Accessible and conversational writing style makes it easy to read

Gilbert’s “tough love” approach doesn't always translate

Reads more as a memoir than a self-help book in parts

For one reason or another, some were turned off by Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling "Eat Pray Love". But don’t let that turn you away from reading her other material, in particular, " Big Magic ". If you’re an artist or creator of any type and have struggled with a blockage that prevents you from pursuing your calling to its fullest, you’ll want to give this a read.

From creating new habits (and ridding yourself of old ones) to overcoming fear and surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals, Gilbert hits the nail on the head as she dissects the obstacles a creative person may face in pursuing their dreams. Her honest, conversational, no-BS tone will light a fire in your soul and help you be upfront with yourself about what you want from life. A highlight of this book is the usage of real-life examples from regular men and women across the country who have endured in their creative feats.

Price at time of publication: $21

"The Wisdom of Sundays" by Oprah Winfrey

Full of what Oprah Winfrey considers “life-changing insights”

It’s like sitting in on a conversation between Oprah and major thought leaders

Print can be small and hard to read at times

Oprah is the queen of interviewing spiritual gurus, world leaders, therapists, doctors, and other thought leaders. " The Wisdom of Sundays " takes the best-of-the-best from these conversations and combines them into one uplifting read.

The book has 240 pages full of snippets from what Oprah refers to as "life-changing insights". Authors in The Wisdom of Sundays include   Shonda Rimes, Cheryl Strayed, Tony Robbins, Thich Nhat Hahn, Wayne Dyer, and so many more. Take your time with each individual page to make sure you don't skim over any of the wonderful and thought-provoking insights inside.

Price at time of publication: $28

Final Verdict

This one’s tricky, because a self-help book that one person hated could be the one that changed another person’s life. Having said that, if you’re new to the genre, you probably want to stick with a book with a broader appeal, like "Declutter Your Mind" ( view on Amazon ). While not everyone is looking to mold a highly effective teen, everyone does have something that makes them anxious, and this book provides a manageable way of identifying and addressing some of the ones that are holding you back. 

What to Look for in a Self-Help Book

Selecting a self-help book is, for the most part, a highly personal decision (with the exception  being cases when a book is so popular you feel the need to read it, even if you wouldn’t have done so on your own). Given that this genre is not one-size-fits-all—and that people respond to a wide range of styles, topics, and tones—finding the right self-help books for yourself can be a process of trial and error. But, to help guide you through that process, here are a few general things to look for when purchasing a self-help book:

Writing style and tone:

First, think about what kind of book that is likely to be the most helpful in your current situation, as well as the kind you’d actually like to read. These two categories don’t necessarily overlap. For example, you may think you want a clinical-sounding, research-backed guide through a particular condition or situation, but in reality, would find it so boring that you’d never pick it up. And a self-help book just sitting on the shelf isn’t helping anyone.

If you think you’d respond well to something funny, or that it would help hold your interest, look for a self-help book that injects humor into its pages. (And yes, highly qualified experts with fancy degrees can also be hilarious.)

Something your therapist recommends:

If you are working with some type of therapist or counselor , ask them for recommendations for self-help books. Not only are they probably very familiar with this genre, but they also have gotten to know you during your sessions, and may have a good idea of the type of book that you’d benefit from the most.

In addition to tone, self-help books also come in several different formats. “Some individuals fare better with more structure and guidance, while others excel with more creative and fluid feedback,” Dr. Leela R. Magavi, MD , psychiatrist and regional medical director for Community Psychiatry explains. “Some people enjoy reading about concepts, while others prefer completing daily tasks and worksheets.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Like many things in life, what you get out of self-help books depends on the time and effort you put into not only reading them, but also doing the work. And no, that doesn’t necessarily include actual worksheets: the “work” also involves taking what you’ve read, sitting with it, processing it, and figuring out how you can use it in your own life (if applicable). 

“Self-help books can, in truth, be very helpful if an individual puts forth the effort to integrate the information learned from the book into their daily life,” Summer R. Thompson , DNP, PMHNP-BC, a mental health nurse practitioner at Community Psychiatry explains.

When someone finds the right self-help book and puts the time into reading it and doing the work, it can have a number of benefits. One is that they can “provide a concrete blueprint for an individual who has identified an issue in their life to navigate addressing it in a healthy manner on their own,” Thompson explains.   

In addition to providing a general blueprint for how a person can approach some of their biggest challenges, self-help books can add structure to individuals’ day-to-day life. “They can motivate individuals to try different strategies and venture into uncomfortable territory,” says Dr. Leela R. Magavi, MD , psychiatrist and regional medical director for Community Psychiatry .

Beyond that, Magavi notes that self-help books can lead to more fluid and healthy communication at work and at home, and many allow individuals to remain introspective and practice self-compassion. “It helps individuals identify ways in which they can respond to inevitable stress in a more positive way, and reiterates the fact that they have the power to write their own story and determine their own emotional experience,” she explains.

What the Experts Say

“Self-help books have helped many men and women initiate the often-daunting task of processing their thoughts and assessing their insecurities and weaknesses. Self-help books allow individuals to try different techniques and find what works the best for them to assuage anxiety and confront tumultuous times with grace.” — Dr. Leela R. Magavi, MD , psychiatrist and regional medical director for Community Psychiatry . 

“When looking at self-help books, it is important to look for books that provide clear and attainable goals in the context of the issue you are addressing. If a book makes recommendations that you do not feel are achievable in the context of your life, the book will likely not be very helpful to you and end up collecting dust rather than being an effective self-improvement tool.” — Summer R. Thompson , DNP, PMHNP-BC, mental health nurse practitioner at Community Psychiatry

Why Trust Verywell Mind?

Erinne Magee is a freelance writer covering health, wellness and lifestyle topics. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more.

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Yuko

As a seasoned health writer and editor with a special focus on mental health and well-being, Elizabeth Yuko understands how powerful stress-relieving activities can be for many people—as well as the fact that they’re not one-size-fits-all. With decades of first-hand experience dealing with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, she’s always on the lookout for new (and research-backed) products, techniques, and services that can help people cope with stress and other mental health challenges. 

By Mary K. Tatum, MS, LMHC Mary is a licensed mental health counselor and psychotherapist with 15 years of experience working in the psychology field. She earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Bluefield College and a Master of Science in Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She began in social work and then moved to drug rehab settings, working as a therapist, group facilitator, and clinical director. She specializes in family dynamic systems, trauma recovery, improving resilience, addiction recovery, and the psychology of successful business management.

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Last updated on Jan 18, 2023

Reedsy’s Recommended Writer’s Resources for 2024

Here at Reedsy, we’re fortunate to work with some of the finest talents in the publishing industry — and these experts have shared their experience and knowledge with us in the form of tips, interviews and how-to guides. From developing fascinating characters to motivating yourself and submitting to writing contests, we’ve published articles on so many topics that it’s hard to keep track of them all.

On this page, we’re rounding up some of the best Reedsy articles so far, alongside some of our favorite, most trusted resources from elsewhere on the web. If there’s something specific you need help with, head to the relevant category in the table of contents for easier browsing. 

Finding ideas and inspiration

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When you’re just looking for a nudge toward a creative idea, an element of randomness can help you get going. To get you started, the links below comprise our best and most entertaining options, from generators and prompts to our list of ideas for books.

50+ Book Ideas (and 11 Ways to Find Even More!) : A look at some of the ways authors come up with book ideas: from writing prompts to tarot cards and Craigslist ads, the point is to be fearlessly creative.

Title Generator : Give our title generator a whirl, then see if you can come up with a story to accompany the title. Here are just a few examples of the cryptic titles you can get: The Waxed Painting , Clue of the Forgotten Cottage , Ceasefire of the Senses .

Plot Generator : Need a premise for a story in a hurry? Try out this fun, free tool for creating a story out of thin air. You can lock certain variables while continuing to tweak others for maximum fun.

Creative Writing Prompts : Dip into our archive of over 1,100 prompts and, if you like, take part in our weekly short story contest. If you’re after specific genre ideas, you can browse 37 different genre categories.



Get our Book Development Template

Use this template to go from a vague idea to a solid plan for a first draft.

Tips for writing different genres

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If you aren’t fully familiar with the distinctions between each category, head to our blog post outlining the most common book genres . Otherwise, you’ll find our writing tips for each genre below, complete with insights from pros.

🐉 Writing fantasy : Seven of the top fantasy editors in the industry share their expert tips on writing fantastical worlds and characters pursuing noble quests.

🏎 Writing thrillers : In this post, we break down the science of thriller writing into seven heart-stopping steps.

🚌 Writing Young Adult fiction : A guide on writing YA fiction straight from editor Kate Angelella .

🧪 Writing science fiction : Six tips from experienced science fiction editors who have worked at Penguin Random House, Dundurn Press, and Jolly Fish Press.

🔎 Writing mysteries : From hiding clues and establishing the perfect motive to constructing an intriguing sleuth, our tips for mystery writers will help you craft the perfect crime.

💕 Writing romance : Our best tips for breathing life into beloved tropes and helping your characters reach their heartwarming happy ever after.

🎭 Writing literary fiction : For writers keen to experiment, our steps to writing literary fiction help you find the writerly playground you need — as long as you’ve got something to say.

🧒🏾 Writing children's books : A step-by-step guide to writing for children, from figuring out your target age group to taking your readers seriously and polishing up your messy first draft.

👶🏻 Writing picture books : Looking to become the next Julia Donaldson or Doctor Seuss? You could do a lot worse than starting right here.   

🧑🏼‍🎓 Writing nonfiction : Our guide to planning, outlining, writing, and publishing nonfiction.

🧘‍♀️ Writing self-help : Our post covers Identifying the problem you’ll help your readers manage, persuading them to listen to you, and taking the stage to show them how to best help themselves.

🍲 Writing cookbooks : For those with culinary talents worth sharing, this blog post walks you through turning your recipes into a book people will want on their kitchen shelf.

📝 Writing memoirs : Our guide to memoirs examines the many forms a memoir can take, then helps you outline yours and step into your own narrative.

🦸🏿 Writing comic books : A two-part guide to producing and publishing your own series of comic books — superheroes optional.

Which genre (or subgenre) am I writing?

Find out which genre your book belongs to. It only takes a minute!

Starting to write a book

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How to Build a Solid Writing Routine : A free Reedsy Learning course that will show you how to regularly find time for your writing.

How to Outline Your Novel : Grab three free outlining templates in this comprehensive guide to laying the groundwork for your first draft.

How to Start a Story : 11 professional editors share their best tips on how to start a story and seize your reader’s attention straight away.

How to Overcome Writer's Block : Vanquish the writer's dreaded foe, writer's block, once and for all! This post has 20+ strategies that you can use to get unstuck.

NaNoWriMo Pep Talks : A nonprofit known best for its annual November writing challenge, this website is also packed full of pep talks from beloved authors like Neil Gaiman, Brandon Sanderson, Meg Cabot, and Maggie Stiefvater. For more on the November challenge, head to our own NaNoWriMo post .

Self-Care for Authors : A blog post from our friends at Self-Publishing Formula, this is a great reminder that while productivity is important in the short term, mental health is even more important in the long term.

The 25+ Best Writing Tools : If you believe that a workman is only as good as his tools, make sure to check out this list of the most efficient writing aids to bolster your work.

The Best Novel Writing Software : The 21st century has given us the gift of technology. These are the best, most affordable pieces of novel writing software that writers shouldn’t miss.

The 16 Best Writing Apps : An impressive range of writing, editing, and productivity-enhancing apps for every kind of writer, from authors to content writers.

ProWritingAid : An editing and proofreading software that’s better suited to fiction writers than its giant competitor Grammarly , ProWritingAid is worth checking out. We’ve also reviewed it here on the Reedsy blog!



The Reedsy Book Editor

Use the Boards feature to plan, organize, or research anything.

Learning about craft elements

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There’s a number of craft topics we keep getting questions about because they’re integral to writing a good book, and often complicated to get right. With guidance on topics like writing complex characters and organizing your work’s structure, this is our blog’s educational corner. Time to put your learning hat on! 👩‍🎓

Character Development : A character with a convincing arc is key to a satisfying book. This article will help you develop characters your readers won’t forget.

Dynamic vs Static Characters : A comparison of two important types of characters you’ll have to get to grips with.

The Ultimate Character Profile Template (Free download): Grab a free character profile template to supplement your character development. 

Point of View : A 4-part series on choosing the best point of view for your novel — first, second, third person, or multiple points of view? We also take a look at the differences between third person omniscient and limited POVs.

Mastering Story Structure : An in-depth guide to story structure, plus resources for using some of the most popular structural frameworks in storytelling.

Writing Dialogue : Learn how to write dialogue that doesn’t sound like two planks of wood talking to each other. Check out 150+ Other Words for "Said" To Supercharge Your Writing to download a free supplemental resource.

Diversity Style Guide : If you’re worried about how you’ve represented a particular group in your work and want to ensure you use respectful and sensitive language, this free resource allows you to search up specific terms for use advice compiled by various journalistic bodies.


The Ultimate Worldbuilding Template

130 questions to help create a world readers want to visit again and again.

Revising your work and leveling up your skills

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Got a first draft together, and wondering where to go next? Typically, writers run their projects through a few rounds of self-editing first, then enlist the help of professional editors and volunteer beta readers.

How to Edit a Book : Download our free editing checklist that can guide you through the tricky minefield of editing a book.

How to Self-Edit Your Own Writing : Our top tips for refining your own prose, trimming off the excess and keeping only what’s of value.

Guide to Professional Editing : A look at how professional editors can help writers improve their books and grow their skills.

Reedsy’s Editors for Hire : If you didn’t already know, you can hire the industry’s most experienced editors right here on Reedsy. 

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An Intro to Beta Readers : For a second opinion on your novel, turn to a writer's best friend: the beta reader.

51 Online Critique Circles to Improve Your Writing : If you’re looking for a source of regular feedback and don’t mind helping others in return, join a writing group. They’re a brilliant source of both insights and camaraderie.

The Ultimate List of Writing Contests : A great way to get your name out there, build up your writing credentials, and pocket some cash, writing contests have helped countless writers rise up from obscurity. Don’t forget Reedsy’s weekly prompts contest, of course!

Best Writing Communities and Best Writing Websites : Take a look at these lists to find tons of support and even more tips on how to succeed as a writer.  

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Publishing your work 

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Once you’ve got a polished manuscript in your hands, it’s time to assess your publishing options. Without complicating matters, you will have two avenues to explore: you can look for a publishing deal, or you can self-publish. If you aren’t sure which option is right for you, check out our 1-minute quiz below, or head to our post comparing the two types of publishing .

Is self-publishing or traditional publishing right for you?

Takes one minute!

Traditional publishing

 If you’re serious about going down the traditional publishing route, you will need to think about submitting a query to a literary agent — or perhaps directly to publishers.

How to Publish a Book : A full publishing guide of best practices, whether you want to self-publish or publish traditionally.

The Best Literary Agents Seeking Submissions : Our Reedsy-vetted directory of 600+ literary agents across all genres and categories, with information on how and where to query them.

The Best Book Publishing Companies : A comprehensive directory of the best publishers, vetted by the team at Reedsy. 

How to Write a Query Letter in 7 Steps : A step-by-step guide (including a handy printable checklist) on crafting a killer query letter that will get agents to request your manuscript.

How to Find a Literary Agent for Your Book : Some more guidance on how to find the right literary agent for you.

How to Write a Book Proposal : A step-by-step guide (including a comprehensive template) on crafting a killer book proposal that will get agents to notice your nonfiction book.


If you choose to take charge and self-publish a book, you’ll soon find yourself with a lot of questions. After all, you’re basically going to do the work of the publisher by yourself. But that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone — with Reedsy, you can now work with the best editors, designers, and marketers in the publishing business.

How to Self-Publish a Book : In which we show you how to self-publish an awesome book in seven simple steps.

The Best Self-Publishing Companies All Authors Should Know : Our picks for the best self-publishing companies in the industry today.

Author Scams and Publishing Companies to Avoid : Unfortunately, there are plenty of self-publishing companies out there that just want your money. Learn which ones to avoid and how to spot them with this guide.

The Complete Guide to Amazon Self-Publishing : The King of eBook retailers is a complicated platform, but a great option for self-publishers. We boil it down to the essentials.

How Much Does It Cost to Self-Publish a Book? : Using data from the Reedsy network, we unveil the current costs of hiring pros like developmental editors, proofreaders, designers, and formatters.

How Does Reedsy Choose Its Professionals? : We’re a professional marketplace with a difference, in that we accept only 3% of all the applications we receive from professionals. Find out more about our selection process.

Marketing yourself and your book

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Many writers assume that a traditional book deal will mean they have zero marketing duties. The truth is that both indie and traditionally published authors have to invest significant time in promoting their own work, as big publishers spend much of their marketing budget on household names or celebrity authors. Regardless of how you’re publishing, the resources below can help you figure out how to reach people with your book.

How to Build an Author Website : We walk you through seven simple steps for setting up and populating a key marketing tool, your author website.

6 Steps for Building Your Author Mailing List : As Reedsy’s Ricardo Fayet always says, any sale you make when you don’t have a mailing list is a lost opportunity. Find out how to start yours and start building a relationship with your readers.

How to Market a Book: Overperform in a Crowded Market by Ricardo Fayet (book): For a friendly and comprehensive guide answering all your marketing questions, download Reedsy's free ebook. 

Social Media for Writers — The Complete Guide : Everything you need to know about the major platforms and how to use them.

Facebook Advertising for Authors : A must-read two-part series from best-selling author Mark Dawson, covering a platform that allows you to target very specific segments based on things like location, gender, age, and interests.

BookBub Ads Expert by David Gaughran (book): A book walking you through the intricacies of BookBub’s ad platform, from our friend and marketing expert David Gaughran.

70+ Book Marketing Ideas To Rocket-Boost Your Sales : Whether you’re just getting started or are feeling stuck, there’s definitely something to inspire you in this list of 70 ways to market your book.

Keeping current with the publishing industry

The publishing industry never sits still. From reading trends to new technologies to policy changes by Amazon, it’s beneficial for every author to keep up with what publishers and big players in the self-publishing industry are up to. The resources below can help you do just that. 

The Hot Sheet (paid newsletter): Jane Friedman’s newsletter offers in-depth, journalistic coverage of publishing developments in both traditional and indie publishing communities.

Writer Beware : Blog alerting the indie community to reports of scammy behaviors. It’s sponsored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association, and has helped countless writers avoid industry pitfalls.

Alliance of Independent Authors : A membership association for self-publishing authors, ALLi champions the rights and interests of indie writers — for example, 2022 saw ALLi successfully campaign against Amazon’s ebook return policy, which was then revised. 

The Creative Penn Podcast : Run by author and entrepreneur Joanna Penn, one of the most trusted voices in publishing, this podcast can help you keep up with industry news as well as technological developments, the latter being a topic Joanna is consistently curious about. 

Catapult’s Don’t Write Alone series : This series of essays published by Catapult aims to bring a sense of solidarity to writers dealing with similar struggles — check it out for essays relating to rejection, motivation, productivity, and craft improvement.

Writer’s Digest : You probably don’t need our recommendation to check out this popular magazine — its many years of website archives are a treasure trove of advice on countless subjects relating to writing and publishing a book.

Nathan Bransford : Author and former literary agent Nathan Bransford runs a blog that shares invaluable insights from the literary trenches. His resources on all things literary agent are great for any author new to the ways of traditional publishing.

Self-Publishing Insiders podcast : Draft2Digital’s podcast tackles a wide range of self-publishing topics, from crafting a better book to marketing it successfully. Our favorite episode? The one featuring Reedsy’s Ricardo Fayet , of course.

Smith Publicity’s podcast : This podcast sees guests share tips on book marketing and publicity — topics have ranged from understanding reader niches to becoming an in-demand public speaker, amplifying marginalized voices, and establishing yourself as a thought leader.

Self-Publishing Show Live : One of our favorite conferences relating to indie publishing, SPS Live takes place annually in London. The largest of its kind across the Atlantic, you’ll no doubt meet hundreds of enthusiastic, energetic indie authors at this conference — and us, of course! Come along to meet the Reedsy gang and get inspiration from your fellow authors.

The path to publication can have its tricky moments, but you’re never on it alone. With all of the resources available on the internet, there’s always someone you can turn to for advice. If you fancy hearing from us when we publish new guides and tips from the world of publishing, sign up to our newsletter here .

3 responses

Angela Ackerman says:

29/12/2016 – 19:47

Good to see this all put together--I get a lot of very broad publishing questions that can't be answered simply in an email or DM, so this article is a good go-to for me to pass on. ;) Angela

↪️ Reedsy replied:

30/12/2016 – 09:52

Glad you like it, Angela! That's also why we decided to compile this list of resources. And thanks for pointing authors to our blog! :)

Natasha says:

21/08/2019 – 03:14

Thank you for sharing!

Comments are currently closed.

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10 self-help books that even therapists read

S elf-help books are resources that provide guidance for personal growth and overcoming obstacles. They cover a variety of topics, such as relationships, productivity, mindfulness and success. Through practical advice and inspiring stories, these books aim to empower readers to improve their lives and reach their full potential.

I began reading self-help books in high school due to my own personal struggles and want of becoming better. While not every book is right for me, I found looking at recommendations from therapists and other psychologists beneficial. Sometimes it’s nice to get help from an expert.

Daniel Tomasulo, a counseling psychologist and the academic director at Teachers College, Columbia University, said to The New York Times , “Almost every therapist I know has a whole list of self-help books to recommend.”

Here is a list of 10 self-help books therapists read and recommend.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, the Deseret News may earn a commission for purchases made through affiliate links.

1. ‘ Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones’

By James Clear.

Suggested by Wondermind , “Atomic Habits” provides a proven framework for daily improvement, offering practical strategies for forming good habits, breaking bad ones and mastering small behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

Author James Clear, a leading expert on habit formation, reveals how to make positive changes by focusing on your system rather than your goals. Drawing on insights from biology, psychology and neuroscience, Clear presents an easy-to-understand guide for creating inevitable good habits and eliminating bad ones. From winning championships to quitting smoking or reducing stress, “Atomic Habits” reshapes thinking about progress and success, according to the book’s description .

2. ‘ Homecoming: Healing Trauma to Reclaim Your Authentic Self’

By Thema Bryant.

As suggested by The New York Times , the author, Thema Bryant, a trauma therapist, minister and professor, offers a unique perspective on health, hope and healing trauma. Drawing on her clinical expertise, spirituality and personal journey of recovery, Bryant helps individuals believe in their ability to heal while avoiding the superficial language often found in self-help books.

Feeling disconnected from yourself can show up in various ways, such as trying to please others, feeling sad or worried and holding onto anger. Healing begins by understanding and expressing your feelings honestly and reconnecting with neglected parts of yourself. “Homecoming” helps you do this and shows you how to connect with your community, even if you face challenges like racism, sexism, heartbreak, grief or trauma, per the book’s description .

3. ‘ Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion’

By Gregory Boyle.

The New York Times found “Tattoos on the Heart” comprises genuine, unfiltered stories about individuals the author, Gregory Boyle, encountered in his work, offering valuable lessons from their journeys. Boyle is a Jesuit priest who established Homeboy Industries, a program aiding former gang members’ rehabilitation and reintegration.

The book, which includes multiple essays organized by theme, helps individuals discover how their lives can be enriched by finding joy in loving and being loved without conditions. Each chapter shares Boyle’s insightful wisdom about universal connection and redemption, emphasizing the significance of unconditional love and combating despair. “Tattoos on the Heart” is a beautiful reminder that every life is precious, according to the book’s description .

4. ‘ The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity’

By Julia Cameron.

The New York Times shares another therapist-recommended book: “The Artist’s Way.” Julia Cameron offers a 12-week journey to rediscover your innate creativity, though dealing with depression and addiction. The book’s program has an enduring impact for everyone, not just artists or writers, as creativity serves as healing.

The program starts with two important tools for creative recovery: the Morning Pages, where you write three pages of thoughts each day, and the Artist Date, a special time for your inner artist. Cameron provides many exercises, activities and prompts to explore each chapter fully. She also suggests forming a “Creative Cluster” of fellow artists to support each other, per the book’s description .

5. ‘ The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World’

By the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams.

Suggested by The New York Times , the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu delved into their own life experiences to explore how we can can find joy in the midst of personal and collective suffering.

The authors delve into the “Nature of True Joy” and confront obstacles like fear, stress and grief. They offer the “Eight Pillars of Joy” for lasting happiness, sharing stories, wisdom and science. They also provide their daily “Joy Practices” for emotional and spiritual well-being, according to the book’s description .

6. ‘ The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science’

By Norman Doidge.

As suggested by Wondermind , “The Brain That Changes Itself” is easy to understand and filled with thought-provoking tales about the brain.

Norman Doidge introduces us to scientists and individuals whose lives were transformed by neuroplasticity, which challenges the idea that the brain is fixed. From stroke patients regaining speech to a woman born with half a brain adapting fully, the book changes how we see our brains and human potential, per the book’s description .

7. ‘ The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence’

By Gavin de Becker.

Syracuse University , sharing this next therapist-recommended book, finds threats lurk everywhere. However, the author, Gavin de Becker, believes we can all feel safer by tuning into our sixth sense about danger.

De Becker, a renowned expert in predicting violence, draws from his experience protecting celebrities and using advanced risk assessment systems. He offers advice on dealing with street crime, domestic abuse and workplace violence. Through real-life examples, he emphasizes the importance of trusting our instincts for self-protection. This book is a must-read for anyone concerned about their safety, according to the book’s description .

8. ‘ The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living’

By Russ Harris.

As suggested by The New York Times , “The Happiness Trap” introduces Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, a method that encourages embracing negative thoughts and feelings instead of fighting against them.

Through this book, you can discover how to clarify your values, cultivate self-compassion and achieve genuine satisfaction to manage stress and anxiety, break harmful patterns, conquer self-doubt and nurture healthier relationships. “The Happiness Trap” is a resource for all individuals, per the book’s description .

9. ‘ The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate and Ignite Your Positive Personality’

By Ryan M. Niemiec and Robert E. McGrath.

The New York Times also suggests “The Power of Character Strengths.” The guide helps people learn to identify, appreciate and nurture their best qualities by developing character strengths. It encourages shifting focus from what’s negative to what’s positive and strong.

In this book, you’ll explore your 24 strengths with leading experts and authors to discover how activating your positive traits can boost resilience, reduce stress and enhance well-being, per the book’s description .

10. ‘ The Worry Cure: Seven Steps to Stop Worry From Stopping You’

By Robert Leahy.

The final therapist-recommended book in this list is suggested by Wondermind . Author Robert Leahy guides readers to identify worry patterns and shift them, regain control of their time and embrace uncertainty.

Whether you’re a chronic or occasional worrier, “The Worry Cure” addresses general and specific worries in areas like relationships, health, money, work and approval-seeking. The book helps you achieve a healthier, more fulfilling life, according to the book’s description .

Physical copies can be found online for purchase or at a local library. Audio versions are also available in similar locations.

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15 resilience books for life’s challenging moments


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The 15 best resilience books to read

Resilience doesn’t have to be perfect.

Roadblocks and difficult moments are part of life. 

In the long run, those challenges can make you stronger and teach you valuable lessons. But they also cause pain and stress when you’re in the thick of them.

When your career or personal life isn’t going the way you planned, it’s normal to feel low or anxious about what’s to come. Daily commitments like work and social events might push you to put on a good face, but doing so is easier said than done. Even if life goes on, the struggle might continue, and it’s healthy to address your emotions and work through them instead of pretending everything’s okay. 

One of the most critical tools for life’s trying seasons is resilience . Resilience, or inner strength, helps you manage your emotions and foster a positive mental attitude . But it’s not necessarily a natural trait. You build resilience over time, gaining the self-knowledge and coping mechanisms you need to approach problems with courage and perseverance. 

Whether you want to hone your skills before a setback strikes or figure out how to navigate a career change , reading resilience books can help. Expert-backed advice and words of encouragement might be just what you need to fortify your emotional toolkit and keep on smiling.

Libraries, local stores, and ebook distributors are full of good books for mental health. These growth-oriented texts supplement your learning and allow you to explore a range of viewpoints at your own pace. 

Keep in mind that if you’re really struggling, you should speak to a mental health professional . A personal growth book can’t replace a therapist, and sometimes you need more support than what you can accomplish on your own. There’s nothing wrong with seeking help .

If all you need is some literary encouragement, the following 15 self-help books on resilience are all great choices. They’ll accompany you on your journey to managing anxiety , leaning into your strengths, and understanding that adversity is an inevitable part of life — and, sometimes, an opportunity for growth.


1. Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Option B , a New York Times-bestselling book from former Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and psychologist Adam Grant, takes a personal and technical approach to rethinking adversity. The text explores Sandberg’s difficult time after the death of her husband and how she learned to strengthen her “resilience muscles” to find fulfillment after tragedy. 

Leaning on Grant’s insights from the mental health field, the author duo unpacks the human capacity for survival and joy, demonstrating how to take a B-route when the best-laid option-A plans don’t pan out. It’s also an effective handbook for those coping with grief after the loss of a loved one.

2. Rising Strong, by Brené Brown

Researcher and professor Brené Brown’s Rising Strong acknowledges the anxiety of addressing pain. It’s scary to face what hurts you — no matter how deep or shallow the wound — and Brown gives readers a practical guide for finding strength in any situation. 

Brown will walk you through reckoning with your emotions and accepting their truth, becoming more resilient with every challenge. The book also comes with a companion reading guide to fill out like a journal and help you discover more about yourself.

3. The Power of Meaning, by Emily Esfahani Smith 

Author, speaker, and journalist Emily Esfahani Smith shows readers how to create a meaningful life without giving up on the one they already have. In The Power of Meaning , Esfahani Smith shatters the misconception that you can only find true purpose by stepping out of your situation and going on a spiritual journey. 

Instead, the author shows how fostering relationships and finding a sense of direction are the roots of a fulfilling life. She also reminds you of the importance of telling your story and remaining curious, bolstering those suggestions with real-life anecdotes of her time doing the same. 

4. The Art of Resilience, by Ross Edgley 

Adventurer, sports enthusiast, and best-selling author Ross Edgley grounds his lessons in the human body in The Art of Resilience . Edgley has swum around Great Britain, pulled a car while running a marathon, and scaled a Mount Everest-sized rope. His secret to overcoming life's hurdles? Mental strength . 

In one of the best books about mental resilience, Edgley shares his insights from overcoming pain and achieving seemingly impossible goals , positing that a “mind over matter” worldview really does work. It’ll prove that you can do whatever you set your mind to, whether that’s getting a promotion or reaching a fitness goal .

5. Room, by Emma Donoghue 

Sometimes, fiction delivers the most poignant life lessons. Emma Donoghue’s best-selling novel Room is as much a book on mental strength as the non-fiction guides on the topic. The text explores a mother’s resilience as she protects her young son from the terrors of the outside world by creating a healthy, happy universe for him within the confines of a room. The son experiences a rich childhood without knowing that he and his mother are captives. 

Room demonstrates mental toughness in the mother’s overriding desire to protect and seek a better future — and her son’s ability to believe in the good in the world. The New York Times says that this novel “presents an utterly unique way to talk about love, all the while giving us a fresh, expansive eye on the world in which we live.”

6. Resilient, by Dr. Rick Hanson with Forrest Hanson

Adversity may root itself in challenging events you can’t control, and sometimes, a negative mindset makes those experiences worse. In Resilient , psychologist Dr. Rick Hanson and Forrest Hanson demonstrate how to cultivate gratitude and enjoy the fruits of a calmer, happier life. 

This book about resilience is a must-read if you wish to move beyond mental strength anecdotes and add tangible tools to your belt. Dr. Hanson will show you how to tap into the emotional intelligence and soft skills you already have so you're well-prepared the next time adversity strikes. 


7. Freedom from Anxious Thoughts and Feelings, by Scott Symington

It’s normal to feel anxious in a stressful moment. This is your body’s way of reminding you that you’re sensing a threat. But you can learn to control anxiety with the help of a mental health professional and books on overcoming adversity like this one. 

In Freedom from Anxious Thoughts and Feelings , psychologist Scott Symington shares his breakthrough method for controlling panic. His proprietary approach, the “two-screen method,” demonstrates how to redirect thoughts in acute moments of crisis. This is another excellent read for anyone seeking actionable techniques for mindfulness and emotional management.

8. Grit, by Angela Duckworth

In Grit , psychologist Angela Duckworth smashes the myth that only talent leads to success. Instead, purpose and hard work are what fuel achievements — and that takes resilience. 

Through first-hand anecdotes, historical tales of overcoming adversity, and insights from high-achieving professionals, Duckworth makes the case that you can do anything you put your mind to. Anything but an empty argument, Duckworth backs up her thesis on grit with an explanation of what happens in your head when something defeats you and how to get back up.

9. Emotional Agility, by Susan David 

Not everything in life follows a logical course. And psychologist Dr. Susan David understands that. In Emotional Agility , she demonstrates a counterintuitive approach to achieving fulfillment. In her four-step agility method, Dr. David helps you practice acceptance , keep a clear head, and maintain an open mind, inviting you to rethink avoidance when hardship arises. 

With this text, you’ll be able to take small steps toward adaptability , an essential skill in fostering a more resilient mind. Even Brené Brown calls it “an incredible book.”

10. The Resilience Factor, by Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte

Authors Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte team up in The Resilience Factor to deliver an essential life lesson: threats are real, and everyone has to deal with them. A solid choice for readers hoping to sharpen their resilience, this book on mental toughness invites you to get to work. 

At the beginning, you’ll complete a questionnaire on your current state of resilience before delving into Reivich and Shatte’s seven “Resilience Factor” strategies. Find out how to improve your self-perception, better your physical health, and take risks for a fuller, more realized life. 


11. Micro-Resilience, by Bonnie St. John and Allen Haines 

“Resilience” can be an intimidating word. It represents a hard-won quality that people foster through life’s trials. But you don’t have to endure a crisis to build this skill. Everyone earns resilience piece-wise, and you may not even realize you’re doing it. 

In Micro-Resilience , motivational speaker and paralympic athlete Bonnie St. John and her filmmaker husband Allen P. Haines propose that resilience is all about the little things. People actually learn more from daily “bruising” than from life’s most significant traumas. 

This text is an excellent addition to your reading list if you’re seeking small, short-term coping and recovery skills in addition to advice for weathering major storms. John and Haines will teach you restorative techniques for bouncing back after roadblocks of any size — maintaining a more positive, resilient baseline. 

12. Resilience, by Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy

Have you ever struggled in a challenging situation where someone else thrives? What’s a crushing hardship for one may be an opportunity to rebound for another, and that can sometimes be a hard pill to swallow. This is what Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy’s Resilience discusses.

But instead of taking a micro-level approach to the subject and looking at how resilience might affect your life, the authors go macro. They consider this topic in coral reefs and conflict zones and unpack the rebounding tactics built into corporate planning, social innovation, and ecological security. These lessons teach you what resilience looks like across industries and social issues, giving you the opportunity to reflect on the state of the world and what you can apply to your own life.

13. The Yes Brain, by Dr. Dan Siegel 

Imagine if you’d received a formal education on resilience when you were young. As an adult, you might be more aware of how setbacks pushed you forward and trials fostered strength. Dr. Dan Siegel’s The Yes Brain is a tool that parents can use to do just that with their children. 

This comprehensive guide for parents will teach you how to change your child’s “no brain” to a “yes brain,” helping them shake off avoidance when facing life’s little annoyances. Dr. Siegel poses the idea that children with a “yes brain” are more apt to explore — fostering creativity , empathy , and a penchant for pushing out of their comfort zone . 

14. The Dip, by Seth Godin

Triple-best-seller (New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal) The Dip offers a fresh take on the resiliency question. Author Seth Godin says that sometimes, it’s okay to quit. And in some cases, it might even be the best thing to do. 

Godin’s thesis is that there are two types of pitfalls: the kind you can get out of and the kind you can’t. Knowing how to recognize the difference between an obstacle and an impasse helps you know when to fire up your resilient afterburners and grit your way through a project or cut your losses. 

This text will teach you to identify a surmountable roadblock — what Godin calls a “dip” — and push past it stronger and braver than ever. It’ll also instruct you in the art of letting go and understanding that quitting can free you up to take on a new pursuit.

15. Willpower, by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney

Psychologist Roy Baumeister and New York Times science journalist John Tierney team up to explore the virtue of self-control in Willpower . They explore how at times, being resilient means avoiding a tempting offer that’ll set you back, like saying “no” to that vacation when you’re in a tough financial spot. 

This book will show you how to harness the resilience you’ve worked hard to earn at times when you want to give up or stray from the course. Goals can sometimes contribute to life’s challenges, but they reap significant rewards. Baumeister and Tierney will teach you to power through the hard times, so you can buy a home, switch careers at 40 , or achieve whatever other personal or professional goal you hope. 


Resilience gives you the self-support you need during a tough time, but you may not always be able to draw from it fully. Maybe you’re having trouble keeping a clear head or aren’t sure how to adapt to new situations. Resilience books offer fresh ideas you might never have considered and give you the tools you need to persevere — and books on leadership and career growth can do the same.

Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

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Table of Contents

Why Most Resources on Book Writing Aren’t Very Good

  • The Scribe Method is Different
  • Scribe’s Free Resources

The Best Ways to Get Help with Writing a Book

books resources and help

There are tons of books, blogs, and online courses claiming to teach you how to write a nonfiction book.

Almost none of them are useful for first time Authors.

They act as if writing tips like “start off strong” and “focus on substance” will help you write your book.

Tips like this are not only useless, they’re worse: They give you the impression of help, without any actual substance, like an EMT who drives by a car accident and says “Do CPR!”

If you want actual help with writing a book, read this article first. You’ll be better prepared to begin the writing process—and more likely to actually finish your book .

Below I cover:

  • Why most resources on book writing aren’t very good.
  • How we teach the book writing process differently at Scribe.
  • Scribe’s free resources including our blog, book, and online course.

Note: The following article is specifically for nonfiction Authors. If you need help with creative writing or writing fiction , this isn’t the article for you.

There are many reasons why, but here are the 3 big ones:

1. No One Covers Book Positioning

I have yet to find a single resource on book writing that covers an in-depth process for book positioning —yet positioning is the most important part of writing a nonfiction book .

Book positioning is the process of getting clear on why you are writing the book and what you want to accomplish with it.

Who’s going to read it? Why will they care?

If you don’t answer these questions before you start writing, at best, you’ll end up writing the wrong book (in that it doesn’t achieve what you want), and at worst, you’ll write a book that makes you look bad.

2. They Tell You What to Do, Not How to Do It

Most of the resources on book writing give you vague pronouncements about what to do without explaining in detail how to do it.

They’ll say, “Choose a coffee shop or writing space. Then set a daily word count. Then create an outline.” And you’re left wondering, “Okay, well, how do I do that?”

Telling you what to do isn’t enough. Good resources guide you in detail on how to do each step.

3. They Don’t Explain Why Their Advice Works

Lastly, because most advice is written by people who’ve never published their own books (at least real books that actually sell copies to real readers), most resources don’t explain why the advice works.

This ambiguity signals that the Author or coach behind the advice doesn’t know what they’re doing. They are simply repeating advice they’ve heard in other places, like a game of book writing telephone.

How We Teach the Book Writing Process Differently at Scribe

I developed the Scribe Method book writing process using my experience writing 4 New York Times Bestselling books, and helping thousands of people write books, including people like Peter Thiel, Tim Ferriss, David Goggins, Tiffany Haddish, Dave Asprey, Nassim Taleb, and many more.

Whether you read our blog, book, or take our online course, the process for writing your nonfiction book is the same. The Scribe Method is successful for 2 reasons:

1. Our Emphasis on Teaching Book Positioning

The most successful professional writers—people like the ones I just mentioned—spend almost as much time on book positioning as they do on writing their book.

This step is completely unintuitive for Authors writing their first book. Most aspiring Authors have never even heard of book positioning. They come with a desire to write a book, but don’t have a well formed book idea .

Writing a great book requires you to think deeply about what your book is — before you write it.

When we teach The Scribe Method , we guide Authors through an in-depth positioning process. It involves answering the 3 most important questions to ask before writing a nonfiction book:

  • Objectives: What do you want your book to accomplish, for your reader and for yourself?
  • Audience: Who must the book reach?
  • Idea: What will you say, and why will the audience care?

By focusing on this first, we set Authors on a path to write a book that resonates with their audience and achieves their goals. This is why positioning is so important: It ensures you get what you want, while delivering the reader what they want, as well.

We spend a lot of time on this in our Guided Author workshops (more than our Authors expect). Months after our clients have finished their books, they often comment on how important positioning was to their success.

2. Our Process Is Battle Tested Over Thousands of Authors

The Scribe Method doesn’t just tell you what the steps are to write your book—it explains in detail how to approach each step. It includes detailed examples and explanations to demonstrate our method.

Unlike most resources, thousands of successful Authors have used our process. Every step was developed to solve a common problem that our Authors have faced while writing their books. This experience allows us to explain exactly why our advice works.

This means every piece of our advice is there for a reason. When we recommend setting a daily word count or scheduling regular writing time, we do so because we’ve seen the effectiveness of these writing habits for our Authors. And we have the success stories to prove it .

Thinking about getting professional support to help you write your best book ? Schedule a free consultation to speak with one of our Author Strategists and see if our coaching service is right for you.

Scribe’s Free Resources to Help You Write Your Book

Here are the resources we’ve created for you to learn The Scribe Method for free:

1. Our Online Course: Scribe Book School

If you’d prefer to learn our process through an online course, try Scribe Book School .

There are 4 modules available:

  • How to write your nonfiction book.
  • How to write your memoir.
  • How to publish your book.

The course includes everything covered in The Scribe Method book, presented in video form.

2. The Scribe Blog

Scribe’s blog is the best blog on the internet for nonfiction Authors. It doesn’t just focus on how to write well. It teaches you everything you need to know about positioning, writing, editing, and publishing your book.

In contrast to most blogs on book writing, it also teaches you how to navigate the emotional hurdles of writing a book.

I recommend you start with the following posts:

What I Tell Authors Who Want to Write a Book But Don’t Know Where to Start

I explain everything you need to know about the positioning process and provide real world examples that demonstrate how to position your book properly.

Step by Step Guide on How to Write a Nonfiction Book

I break down how we teach Scribe Authors to create a writing plan, write their book, and edit their book.

The 6 Book Writing Fears, and How to Beat Them

I walk you through the 6 common fears Authors face and provide insight into how you can reframe those fears to help you.

3. Our Book: The Scribe Method

The Scribe Method is our bestseller on writing and publishing. It teaches the exact process we use with our clients at Scribe.

Everything in The Scribe Method is practical, actionable, and straightforward. There’s no fluffy “write what you know” or “believe in yourself” advice.

It covers everything you need—including preparing to write your book, positioning , outlining , drafting , editing , designing , and publishing .

Why Free Informational Resources Aren’t Enough For Most Authors

When people ask me for help with writing a book, many think they just need information on the book writing process.

“ What are the steps?” they’ll ask .

I usually respond by giving them The Scribe Method . I say, “ Here is the exact process we use with our clients. It’s the same process we used with massive bestsellers like David Goggins and Tiffany Haddish. Read this, and you’ll understand how to write a good nonfiction book . ”

Occasionally, that person will follow the process we cover in the book and do the whole thing independently. But these individuals are very rare .

Most Authors realize there’s a lot more to writing a book than knowing how to do the steps. Writing well is a deeply emotional process. It brings up feelings of uncertainty, fear, and overwhelm that are difficult to face alone.

Finding the right forms of support and accountability often outweigh even the most detailed information on how to write a book.

That’s why we developed our nonfiction book coaching service—Guided Author. In addition to all the information Authors need, we provide accountability and coaching to guide them through the emotional journey of writing their books.

Below, I’ll walk you through how Guided Author works and everything it includes.

How Scribe Guided Author Works

Guided Author (GA) is designed for entrepreneurs, consultants, executives, and professionals who work full-time but remain dedicated to writing their book.

You’ll begin with a 3-day book writing workshop (led by me and our head of book coaching) at our office in Austin. We work with you to ensure you’re crystal clear on your positioning before you begin writing your first draft.

We also spend time teaching you about Author psychology and how to overcome the emotional hurdles involved with writing a book.

When the workshop ends, you get access to our private writing community. There you join our world class writing coaches and other published Authors who’ve gone through Guided Author. They support you and answer questions as you do the hard work of writing your book.

You also get to attend weekly group coaching calls with senior Scribe editors and coaches. They help you work through common challenges like writer’s block and procrastination, and guide you in making key decisions about your book.

Lastly, Guided Author includes self-publishing. We not only help you write your entire book, we ensure that it gets published and into the hands of readers. Everything involved in the design and editing process, as well as printing and distribution, is handled by our team.

Scribe Guided Author costs $18,000 ($1,500/month for 12 months). In addition to the workshop, writing community, and weekly group coaching calls, it also includes:

  • Quarterly masterclasses with me.
  • A full edit of your completed manuscript (done by professional editors).
  • Full publishing services, including a beautifully designed cover, hardcover, paperback, and eBook formats.
  • Full distribution services, including print and eBook distribution,
  • Marketing consult and guidance.
  • First week promotions to help you become an AmazonBestselling Author (including graphics for social media and an interview on our podcast Author Hour ).

Guide Author is open for enrollment. Click here to learn more or schedule a consult to speak with one of our Author Strategists. If you decide writing a book sounds like too much work, check out interview-based ghostwriting service Scribe Professional .

The Scribe Crew

Read this next.

How to Choose the Best Book Ghostwriting Package for Your Book

How to Choose the Best Ghostwriting Company for Your Nonfiction Book

How to Choose a Financial Book Ghostwriter

More From Forbes

Ai and the author: how ai is transforming book writing.

Forbes Business Development Council

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Miles Rote is the Chief of Author Strategy at KAA, empowering authors through book writing, editing & publishing navigation. See our books.

Many people want to write a book, but few actually do it because of how difficult the process can be. I’ve interviewed thousands of business professionals and thought leaders about their books, and consistent themes resonate through them all.

It’s not a lack of desire or inspiration that keeps them from doing it. It’s lack of time, unfamiliarity with the industry, and the intimidation of a blank page. But in the age of generative AI and modern publishing, the arduous journey from a blank page to a published book is no longer what it used to be.

How To Use AI To Enhance The Book-Writing Process

Many of the titles we know and love are ghostwritten by other people. That doesn’t mean the book isn’t from the author or isn’t their words. On the contrary, a talented ghostwriter amplifies the author’s voice.

AI can do something similar: Help us extract the ideas we have in our head and piece them together for a book. AI's role is therefore less about writing the book and more about enhancing the ability to start and finish one.

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Can it replace high-quality ghostwriters or editors? No, but here are a few strategies to use AI to help with the book-writing process.

• Ideation: AI can help overcome the dreaded blank page syndrome. By inputting a theme or a basic premise, AI can suggest creative ideas, character arcs or even entire story outlines to kickstart the creative process.

• Structuring: Organizing a book can be daunting. AI can help in outlining chapters, suggesting narrative structures and even advising on pacing and plot progression.

• Research: AI can swiftly summarize relevant information, provide historical context or even suggest thematic material, significantly reducing the time spent on research. It can also review your writing and poke holes in your arguments.

• Language And Style: For those struggling with grammar, sentence structure or stylistic elements, AI tools offer real-time suggestions for improvement, enhancing the readability and professionalism of the text.

• Character And Plot Development: Especially in fiction, crafting compelling characters and plots is vital. AI can suggest character traits, plot twists or even dialogue options, enriching the narrative.

AI Tools To Help Write Your Book

The market has become saturated with AI writing aids, each offering unique features. You can do some online research to discover many more, but I'll focus on three of my recommendations below.

Use Perplexity For Research

While Perplexity AI utilizes a combination of its own proprietary and existing AI models to power its services, its real strength is providing the most current information available, making it akin to having an up-to-date news reporter at your disposal. It’s like having a team of virtual assistants Googling and researching on your behalf.

• Pros: Fast and reliable research with citations, real-time information, contextual understanding, versatility.

• Cons: Content creation, rewriting, chain prompting.

Use ChatGPT For Writing

The paid version of ChatGPT continues to be a leading tool for a variety of writing tasks. It’s easy to use and is the most popular tool, in part because of its Custom GPTs feature.

• Pros: Content creation, ideation, rewriting, plot structure, chain prompting, custom GPTs.

• Cons: Can’t analyze large amounts of text, not great at research.

Pro tip: Check out the Creative Writing Coach custom GPT to assist with fiction writing.

Use Claude For Analysis

Claude is unique in that it has a very large context window, allowing you to enter more than 5X the information compared to ChatGPT. This means you can reference significant portions of your manuscript for consistency, coherence and plot holes so you can make improvements on pacing and structure. Claude can also analyze large PDF files (think ebooks) to assist with research.

• Pros: Analyzing large chunks of text, analyzing PDFs, character development, consistency.

• Cons: Content creation, rewriting, less well-known.

Tips for Using AI To Help Write Your Book

Get good at prompting..

The quality of your prompt will define the quality of the output. The better you get at prompting AI with the right questions, the better answers you’ll receive.

Blend AI suggestions with your creativity.

AI tools provide suggestions; it's your job to select, refine and integrate these into your book. Use AI-generated ideas as a springboard for your creativity, not a replacement.

Maintain authenticity.

While using AI, it's essential to retain your voice and ensure the story reflects your vision. AI should augment your narrative, not define it. When overused, generative AI tends to flatten your voice, not enhance it.

Integrate with traditional writing practices.

AI tools are most effective when used in conjunction with human intuition, creativity and editorial judgment. Regular writing routines, feedback from peers or mentors and personal reflections are just as crucial in the writing process as AI assistance.

Embracing AI As A Collaborative Partner In Writing

AI in book writing offers a new way to enhance your creative process, break through barriers and bring about more efficiency. However, the heart of your book—its message, emotion and connection with readers—comes from you, the author.

Over-reliance on AI can lead to homogenized content that doesn’t interest or help readers. Even when used appropriately, it’s still important to work with professional editors to elevate your manuscript from good to great. Looking ahead, AI's role in writing is poised to grow. We can anticipate more sophisticated AI tools that offer even more nuanced suggestions and insights. However, the essence of storytelling will still remain a profoundly human endeavor.

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Miles Rote

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St. Mary’s community offers up summer reading options

Home » Gold & Blue Magazine » St. Mary’s community offers up summer reading options

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by Nathaniel Miller

It’s a hot book summer and these books, all written by St. Mary’s University alumni, range from poetry to a collection of columns, highlighting the vast talents and experiences of the University community.

Cover image of Somos Nopales with butterfly landing on cactus

Somos Nopales Eddie Vega (B.A. ’99), pictured above on left  Flowersong Press, 2024 

The San Antonio Poet Laureate’s latest book of poetry has been described as beautiful, powerful and a little bit chingón. Serving as a tour of Vega’s journey as the son of an immigrant parent, the book navigates a world where cultures collide and co-mingle.  

Cover image of a young Cary Clack with the title More Finish Lines to Cross

More Finish Lines to Cross: Notes on Race, Redemption, and Hope Cary Clack (B.A. ’85), pictured above on right Trinity University Press, 2024 

As a San Antonio Express-News columnist, Clack has written on numerous topics. His latest book is a collection of columns since returning to the newspaper in 2019, including the topics of politics and national and global news with a local perspective.  

Judge Wolff stands at a podium in this cover image.

95 Power Principles: Strategies for Effective Leadership in Local Government The Hon. Nelson W. Wolff (B.B.A. ’66, J.D. ’66), University Distinguished Service Professor  Elm Grove Publishing, 2023 

If you’re looking for a word of advice on how to be a better leader in local government (building on the University’s focus on servant leadership), Wolff has 95 of them, drawing on his decades of experience in state and local government.  

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Christian Elguera Olórtegui, a novelist who teaches Spanish at St. Mary’s University, has won a top literary prize in his home country of Peru, the Copé Award.

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Center for Loss & Life Transition

Books & Resources to Help Kids & Teens

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Helping Children Cope With Grief

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Helping Teenagers Cope With Grief

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Healing Your Grieving Heart for Teens: 100 Practical Ideas

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Healing Your Grieving Heart for Kids: 100 Practical Ideas

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Helping Infants and Toddlers When Someone They Love Dies

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Healing a Child’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas for Families, Friends and Caregivers

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Finding the Words: How to talk with children and teens about death, suicide, funerals, homicide, cremation, and other end-of-life matters

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Healing a Teen’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas for Families, Friends and Caregivers

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My Grief Rights Wallet Cards

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Healing a Child’s Grieving Heart Set

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Companioning the Grieving Child: A Soulful Guide for Caregivers

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The Companioning the Grieving Child Curriculum Book: Activities to Help Children and Teens Heal

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Sarah’s Journey: One Child’s Experience with the Death of Her Father

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A Teen’s View of Grief DVD

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Solar eclipse 2024: Follow the path of totality

Solar eclipse, how to follow today's solar eclipse, even if you're not near totality.

Emily Alfin Johnson

books resources and help

A person uses a pair of binoculars to watch the moon pass infront of the Earth's star marking a total eclipse in Vigo, northwestern Spain on March 20, 2015. MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

A person uses a pair of binoculars to watch the moon pass infront of the Earth's star marking a total eclipse in Vigo, northwestern Spain on March 20, 2015.

Totality in the U.S. starts today around 1:30 p.m. CT/2:30 ET and continues until 2:30 p.m. CT/3:30 p.m. ET lasting for a few minutes in each location.

But if you're not within the path, you can enjoy totality vicariously thanks to our incredible network of Member stations (mouse over the map below to see them all!) You can find a livestream of totality from multiple locations here , as well as specific feeds to make sure you get the best view, regardless of the weather in your region! Plus, NPR will be sharing highlights from across the NPR Network throughout the day Monday if you're unable to get out and see it in real time.

More resources to enjoy the eclipse

  • Sharing the eclipse with tiny humans?  Check out these  kid-friendly total solar eclipse learning guides  from Vermont Public's  But Why,  and this great explainer from KERA Kids on  the difference between a solar and a lunar eclipse .
  • Feeling whimsical?  Here are three ways to  sprinkle a little magic into your eclipse experience .
  • Plan to wander into the wild for the best view?   Here are some tips from outdoor experts.
  • Tips from Bill Nye  on the best ways to enjoy the eclipse.
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Seo coauthors chapter on data science and accessibility

Assistant Professor JooYoung Seo and Mine Dogucu, professor of statistics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California Irvine, have coauthored a chapter in the new book Teaching Accessible Computing . The goal of the book, which is edited by Alannah Oleson, Amy J. Ko and Richard Ladner, is to help educators feel confident in introducing topics related to disability and accessible computing and integrating accessibility into their courses.

In their chapter, Data Science + Accessibility , Seo and Dogucu identify three key aspects to building accessibility in data science—computational reproducibility, data representation, and social and cultural value. According to the authors, the future of accessible data visualization lies in multimodal approaches, through which multiple sensory channels are employed to offer a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the data. The chapter describes Seo's multimodal access and interactive data representation (MAIDR) project, which is creating open-source tools that can augment visual charts into touchable (braille), readable (text), and audible (sound) representations.

Seo and Dogucu are developing course materials to help instructors teach accessibility in data science courses. They have both received grants from the nonprofit organization Teach Access, which supports faculty efforts to teach undergraduate students about accessible technology design and development. Their paper " Teaching Visual Accessibility in Introductory Data Science Classes with Multi-Modal Data Representations ," published in the Journal of Data Science , provided the framework for the new chapter. 

"Accessibility is more than just a principle—it's a practice. It's a commitment to ensuring that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can participate in and contribute to data science. It's about recognizing and valuing diversity, and about striving for inclusivity in all aspects of our work," explained Seo and Dogucu in their chapter.

Seo is an RStudio double-certified data science instructor and accessibility expert who is certified by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). His research focuses on how to make computational literacy more accessible to people with dis/abilities using multimodal data representation. He earned his PhD from the Learning, Design, and Technology Program at Pennsylvania State University.

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Venus Williams Announces New Health and Wellness Book: ‘Goal is to Share the Tips and Tricks that Helped Me’ (Exclusive)

'STRIVE,’ a new book on wellness will be released this fall

books resources and help

Victor Boyko/Getty

Venus Williams is sharing her knowledge of health and wellness.

The tennis pro, 43, announced exclusively with PEOPLE that she will be releasing her new book called STRIVE , which aims to help readers achieve the lifestyle they want by implementing a set of principles in their lives.

“As an athlete, I know the perseverance and consistency it takes to accomplish your goals and get true results. With STRIVE, my goal is to share the tips and tricks that helped me in my own personal wellness and nutrition journey,” Williams said, in a press release.

“These are the tools that kept me from burning out on a lifestyle that I wanted and believed in, a lifestyle that helped me feel confident, powerful and capable,” she added.

In the book, the professional athlete will highlight the eight essential tenets that have been helpful in her life —“Observe, Appreciate, Balance, Enrich, Soothe, Believe, Inspire and Strive” — and provide ways for readers to apply those words to different aspects of their lives including, diet, activities, their environment and even themselves. 

In addition, Williams will share personal anecdotes that, according to the publisher, will serve as an “extension” for her message of “self-empowerment, resilience and the pursuit of one’s best self.”

In recent years, Williams has branched out in the health and wellness entrepreneurship space, adding Happy Viking , a plant-based protein company, to her list of business endeavors in addition to her other ventures V Starr and Palazzo .

“Venus invites readers to experience her own tried and true strategies for body empowerment and emotional empowerment as well,” HarperVia, Amistad and HarperCollins Español Deputy Publisher Tara Parsons said in a statement.

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The book will be published with Amistad , a imprint of Harper Collins which "aims to educate, entertain, and empower readers interested in the past, present and future of Black people throughout the diaspora," according to the publisher's website.

This is Williams' second book with Harper Collins, following her 2010 book Come to Win .

STRIVE will be released on Sept. 10, 2024.

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Books H.E.L.P.

Books H.E.L.P. is a program that helps eligible Antelope Valley College students borrow course textbooks and calculators until the agreed return date, free of charge—stand-alone a ccess codes for statistics courses (StatCrunch and MyMathLab -MML).

Hours for Pickup and Dropoff:  Monday is CLOSED;  Tuesday through Thursday (March 12 - March 14): 8 AM - 10 AM and 12 PM - 2 PM. After March 14, by appointment only. To make an appointment, call extension 661-722-6300, extension 6375.


  • To be eligible for the Books H.E.L.P. Program, students must be:
  • Currently, be enrolled as an AVC Student.
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  • Have a current Education Plan and are on track for degree/certificate completion.
  • FAFSA/DREAM ACT/Financial Aid Verification of Funds Form/AB540 application completed at the AVC Financial Aid office for the academic year that books are requested.
  • Submit a complete online Books H.E.L.P. application by the deadline
  • No prior penalties within the Books H.E.L.P. program.
  • Have reviewed Books H.E.L.P terms and fines guidelines ( see here )

Students are served on a first-come, first-served basis according to each person’s needs and Books H.E.L.P. ranking criteria. Students must apply each semester. Books H.E.L.P. Committee has the right to deny the application at any time. 

Note : If the instructor has not submitted their book request to the bookstore, the book will not show on the book listing. Please reach out to the instructor regarding book availability.

Students wishing to apply must submit a complete online book request application.

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Spring 2024  Application

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