Great Student Resources: Books About Publishing

There are a lot of great books about publishing – biographies, histories, analyses, and more. In order to provide students with recommendations for great resources, I have compiled a list of some of the most useful titles on the publishing industry.  There are books about digital issues, marketing, design, and other relevant subjects. The list is not limited to the book publishing industry, but also includes books about magazines. There are even a few titles about self-publishing.

The list is organized by subject and then alphabetically within that subject area. Publishers are not included, only the date of publication.

This is a list that has been compiled over the years – some new books, some old. Even the older books can have relevance because they provide historical references.

After browsing the list, you may want to post a comment about a book on the list that you liked (or didn’t), or other books you’ve found helpful. We will update the list every semester.

-Professor Soares



  • Biographies
  • Children’s Books (about and biographies)
  • Design and Production
  • Digital Issues
  • Editorial
  • General Industry Overviews
  • Law and Ethics
  • Magazines
  • Marketing
  • Self-publishing

An asterisk * indicates that the title is being used for a course in the program.


Biographies of Publishing Greats:

*Another Life: A Memoir of Other People by Michael Korda (2000)

At Random: The Reminiscences of Bennett Cerf by Bennett Cerf and Christopher Cerf (2002)

Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom by Leonard Marcus (2000)
Nordstrom was the director of Harper’s Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973.

Lives and Letters by Robert Gottlieb (2011)

Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened By the Moon by Leonard Marcus (1999)
An editor and writer, “Brownie” wrote over 100 children’s books including Goodnight Moon, which is still in print more than 60 years later.

Maxwell Perkins: Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg (2002)

The Sons of Maxwell Perkins: Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and Their Editor by Maxwell Perkins (2004)

The Time of Their Lives: The Golden Age of Great American Publishers, Their Editors and Authors by Al Silverman (2008)


Books on the Children’s Book Publishing Industry:

*From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books (revised edition) by Kathleen T. Horning (2010)

Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children’s Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became An American Icon Along the Way by Leonard Marcus (2007)

Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults by Cheryl Klein (2011)
Klein was an assistant editor to Arthur A. Levine when he acquired the Harry Potter series. She was an integral part of the Potter series editorial team.

The Seuss, the Whole Seuss and Nothing But the Seuss: A Visual Biography of Theodor Seuss Geisel by Charles D. Cohen (2004)


Books on Design and Production:

Art Direction and Editorial Design by Yolanda Zappaterra (2007)

The Art of American Book Covers: 1875-1930 by Richard Minsky (2010)

Book Design by Andrew Haslam (2006)

*Book Production Procedures for Today’s Technologies (2nd Edition) by Fred Dahl (2006)

Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig by Steven Heller and Elaine Lustig Cohen (2010)

By Its Cover: Modern American Book Cover Design by Ned Drew and Paul Sternberger (2005)

Chip Kidd: Book One: Work: 1986-2006 (Bk. 1) by Chip Kidd (2005)

Designing with Type: The Essential Guide to Typography (5th Edition) by James Craig, William Bevington, Irene Korol Scala (2006)

The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst (2004)

Front Cover: Great Book Jackets and Cover Design by Alan Powers (2006)

*Getting it Printed: How to Work With Printers and Graphic Imaging Services to Assure Quality, Stay on Schedule and Control Costs (4th Edition) by Mark Beach and Eric Kenly (2004)

Graphic Design: Now In Production by Ian Albinson (2010)

Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop by Timothy Samara (2005)

Penguin by Design: A Cover Story 1935-2005 by Phil Baines (2006)

Penguin 75: Designers, Authors, Commentary (the Good, the Bad . . .), edited by Paul Buckley (2010)

Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students (2nd edition) by Ellen Lupton (2010)

Turning Pages: Editorial Design for Print Media by Robert Klanten and Sven Ehmann (2010)

Understanding Color: An Introduction for Designers by Linda Holtzschu (2011)


Books on the Digital Revolution:

The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future by Robert Darnton (2010)

The Future of the Book edited by Geoffrey Nunberg (1996)

The Future of the Book in the Digital Age by Phil Cope and Angus Phillips (2006)

The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age by Sven Birkerts (2006)

Print is Dead: Books in Our Digital Age by Jeff Gomez (2009)


Books on Editorial:

The Art of Literary Publishing: Editors on Their Craft by Bill Henderson (1995)

*Book Commissioning and Acquisition by Gill Davies (2004)

Bookmaking: Editing, Design, Production (3rd edition) by Marshall Lee (2009)

*Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers by Scott Norton (2009)

*The Editor in Chief: A Management Guide for Magazine Editors (2nd edition) by Benton Rain Patterson and Coleman E.P. Patterson (2003)

*Editors on Editing: What Writers Need to Know About What Editors Do, edited by Gerald Gross (1994)


Books on the General Trade Publishing Industry:

Book Business: Publishing Past, Present, and Future by Jason Epstein (2002)

The Book Publisher’s Handbook: The Seven Keys to Publishing Success With Six Case Studies by Eric Kampmann (2007)

The Book Publishing Industry (2nd edition) by Albert Greco (2004)

The Business of Books: How the International Conglomerates Took Over Publishing and Changed the Way We Read by Andre Schiffrin (2001)

The Late Age of Print: Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to Control by Ted Striphas (2011)

The Making of a Bestseller: Success Stories from Authors and the Editors, Agents, and Booksellers Behind Them by Brian Hill and Dee Power (2005)

Merchants of Culture by John B. Thompson (2010)

*Publishing for Profit by Thomas Woll (2006)

So Many Books: Reading and Publishing in an Age of Abundance by Gabriel Zaid (2003)

*Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud (1994)


Books on the Legal Aspects and Ethics of Publishing:

The Copyright Handbook: What Every Writer Needs to Know by Stephen Fishman J.D. (2011)

The Copyright Permission and Libel Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers by Lloyd J. Jassin and Steve C. Schecter (1998)

E-Publishing and Digital Libraries: Legal and Organizational Issues (Premier Reference Source) by Ioannis Iglezakis, Tatiana-Eleni Synodinou, and Sarantos Kapidakis (2010)

Getting Permission: How to License & Clear Copyrighted Materials Online & Off by Richard Stim (2010)

How To Fix Copyright by William Patry (2012)
Patry is the Senior Copyright Counsel for Google

*The Little Book of Plagiarism by Richard A. Posner (2007)

*Major Principles of Media Law (2011 Edition) by Wayne Overbeck and Genelle Belmas (2011)

Negotiating a Book Contract: A Guide for Authors, Agents and Lawyers by Mark Levine  (2009)

The Writer’s Legal Guide: An Authors Guild Desk Reference by Tad Crawford and Kay Murray (2002)


Books on Magazines:

The Best American Magazine Writing 2011, edited by The American Society of Magazine Editors

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011, edited by Mary Roach and Tim Folger

The Best American Sports Writing 2011, edited by Jane Leavy and Glenn Stout

The Best American Travel Writing 2011, edited by Sloane Crosley and Jason Wilson

Feature and Magazine Writing: Action, Angle and Anecdotes by David E. Sumner and Holly G. Miller (2009)

*The Layers of Magazine Editing by Michael Robert Evans (2004)

The Magazine from Cover to Cover by Sammye Johnson (2006)

*Magazines: A Complete Guide to the Industry by David E. Sumner and Shirrel Rhoades (2006)

Magazines (Media Industries) by Shirrel Rhoades and David E. Sumner (2006)


Books on Marketing and Sales:

*Advertising & IMC: Principles and Practice (9th Edition) (Advertising: Principles and Practice) by Sandra Moriarty, Nancy D Mitchell, and William D. Wells (2011)

*The Complete Guide to Book Marketing by David Cole (2004)

*Guerrilla Social Media Marketing: 100+ Weapons to Grow Your Online Influence, Attract Customers, and Drive Profits by Jay Conrad Levinson and Shane Gibson (2010)

*How to Make Real Money Selling Books: A Complete Guide to the Book Publishers’ World of Special Sales by Brian Jud (2009)

How to Market Books: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Profit and Exploiting All Channels to Market (4th edition) by Alison Baverstock (2008)

*The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott (2010)

1001 Ways to Market Your Books (1001 Ways to Market Your Books: For Authors and Publishers) by John Kremer (2006)

*Principles of Marketing by John F. Tanner and Mary Anne Raymond (2010)

*Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption by Laura Miller (2007)


Books on Self-Publishing and Starting Your Own Business:

Aiming at Amazon: The NEW Business of Self Publishing, or How to Publish Your Books with Print on Demand and Online Book Marketing on by Aaron Shephard (2007)

The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote and Sell Your Own Book by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier (2010)

Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book by Dan Poynter (2007)

The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, Fourth Edition – Everything You Need to Know About the Costs, Contracts, and Process of Self-Publishing by Mark Levine (2011)

*How to Start a Magazine: And Publish It Profitably by James B. Kobak (2002)

How to Start and Run A Small Book Publishing Company: A Small Business Guide to Self-Publishing and Independent Publishing by Peter Hupalo (2002)

Publish Your First Magazine: A Practical Guide For Wannabe Publishers by Lorraine Phillips (2009)

Start Your Own Self-Publishing Business by Entrepreneur Press (2003)

The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living by Peter Bowerman (2006)