Top 10 Productivity Books For Ambitious Writers

The self-publishing business is all about speed of delivery and consistent quality. While the latter is open to interpretation, a speedy delivery is something quite tangible — and trainable. It’s very important to be able to write good books fast, and publish them on a consistent schedule. It offers you credibility, professionalism, and a steady increase in readers.

A while ago, I’ve made a list of the many Writing Advice Books I’ve read, and how useful each of them has been to me. Now it’s time to give you a TOP 10 list of the awesome Writing Productivity books in my arsenal. Some of these have been truly transformative, and have helped me cross that line between flailing amateur writer, and emerging professional author. I’m dead certain they’ll help you too!

I tried to sort this list by how useful each of the books have been to me, but your mileage may vary. So give each of them a fair chance! 🙂

I have also included a snippet of the books’ Amazon descriptions, so you can get an idea what they’re about. I could‘ve written a short review for each of them, but that falls into the 80% of my 80/20*, so I’ll pass. (See what a smart productivity choice that was? 😛 )

* If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please check out Pareto’s Principle.

I hope at least one of these will have some great “hacks” to increase your productivity! Good luck!


10. “Writing Faster FTW,” by L.A. Witt

Writing Faster FTW

Writing faster, for the win!

Frustrated with your writing output? Looking for ways to get the words moving?

L.A. Witt has written and published over 70 romance novels and novellas since 2008, and in Writing Faster For The Win, she shares some techniques for getting the words out of your head and onto the screen faster than before. Whether it’s shaking off insecurities and self-doubt, streamlining the research process, or writing out of sequence, you may just find the advice you’ve been looking for.


9. “Eat That Frog! 21 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time,” by Brian Tracy

Eat That Frog!

There’s an old saying that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that it’s probably the worst thing you’ll do all day. Using “eat that frog” as a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of your day—the one you are most likely to procrastinate on, but also probably the one that can have the greatest positive impact on your life—Eat That Frog! shows you how to zero in on these critical tasks and organize your day. You’ll not only get more done faster, but get the right things done.


8. “Write Better, Faster: How to Triple Your Writing Speed and Write More Every Day,” by Monica Leonelle

Write Better, Faster

In 2012, fiction author Monica Leonelle made a life-changing decision to learn to write faster. Through months of trial-and-error, hundreds of hours of experimentation, and dozens of manuscripts, she tweaked and honed until she could easily write 10,000 words in a day, at speeds over 3500+ words per hour!

Write Better, Faster: How To Triple Your Writing Speed and Write More Every Day will help you kick your excuses and get more writing done. As part of the Growth Hacking For Storytellers series, it explores how to hack your writing routine to be more efficient, more productive, and have a ton of fun in the process!


7. “Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential,” by Carol Dweck


Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success-but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success.

With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals-personal and professional.

Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.


6. “5000 Words Per Hour, Write Faster, Write Smarter,” by Chris Fox

5000 Words Per Hour

The fastest way to succeed as an author is to write more books. How do you do that with a day job, family, school or all your other time commitments? The secret is efficiency.

5K WPH will help you maximize your writing time by building effective habits that both measure and increase your writing speed.

– Create an effective writing habit
– Track and improve your Words Per Hour
– Stop the endless editing and tinkering so you can finish your draft
– Use voice dictation software to dramatically increase words per hour.

It’s time to shift your writing into high gear. Write Faster, Write Smarter!


5. “For Love or Money, Crafting a Self-Publishing Career,” by Susan Kaye Quinn

For Love or Money

Do you write for love or money? With the advent of indie publishing, this question vexes writers like it never has before—for the first time, you can literally chase trends, feeding the fans of that lucrative genre that’s flying off the shelves.

But what if the stories you love to write aren’t the kind that are selling like ice water in July? How do you create a career in writing that you both love and hits the financial success you need to justify the hours spent at the keyboard?

This book is for authors willing to take a hard look at themselves and the market and then take the risks necessary to create their dream writing career.


4. “The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer’s Block,” by Hillary Rettig

The 7 Secrets of the Prolific

Hillary Rettig shows how fear, scarcity, ambivalence, and other inner obstacles trigger a Disempowerment Cascade that can derail even the most dedicated writer. How perfectionism plays a more serious role in underproductivity than most writers realize. And how some criticisms and rejections can linger, hidden, for years and even decades, undermining your productivity.

Then she shows you how to interrupt the Cascade, recognize and defuse the perfectionism, and recover from the criticisms and rejections all so you can return to your work as quickly as possible.

She also shows you ways to boost your writing pace so you can get more done than you had ever imagined.


3. “2K to 10K,” by Rachel Aaron

2K to 10K

Have you ever wanted to double your daily word counts? Do you feel like you’re crawling through your story, struggling for each paragraph?

Would you like to get more words every day without increasing the time you spend writing or sacrificing quality? It’s not impossible, it’s not even that hard.

This is the story of how, with a few simple changes, I boosted my daily writing from 2000 words to over 10k a day, and how you can, too.


2. “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” by Greg McKeown


Being an Essentialist is about a disciplined way of thinking. It means challenging the core assumption of ‘We can have it all’ and ‘I have to do everything’ and replacing it with the pursuit of ‘the right thing, in the right way, at the right time’.

By applying a more selective criteria for what is essential, the pursuit of less allows us to regain control of our own choices so we can channel our time, energy and effort into making the highest possible contribution toward the goals and activities that matter.



And the absolute BEST book of them all, the one that truly changed the way I’m thinking about productivity in general, and my writing in particular, is this gem here:

1. “The One Thing: The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results,” by Gary Keller

The ONE Thing


You want fewer distractions and less on your plate. The daily barrage of e-mails, texts, tweets, messages, and meetings distract you and stress you out. The simultaneous demands of work and family are taking a toll. And what’s the cost? Second-rate work, missed deadlines, smaller pay cheques, fewer promotions-and lots of stress.


You want more productivity from your work. More income for a better lifestyle. You want more satisfaction from life, and more time for yourself, your family, and your friends.


Published by Veronica Sicoe

Science Fiction Author — I deliver the aliens.

8 thoughts on “Top 10 Productivity Books For Ambitious Writers

  1. Thanks for this list Veronica. There are a few here that I’ve never heard of before, so more books to add to my reading list is always a good thing. 😉


  2. I intend to write a book on this subject myself.

    Chapter One – WRITE FASTER, DAMMIT!!!

    Chapter Two – Check Facebook.

    Chapter Three – Check kboards.

    Chapter Four – Uuuhhh…what was I doing?



    1. Yeah, wordcounts over 4K are only possible with dictation, and that’s entirely out of the question for me as I’m never alone when I write.
      3.5K are well within reach for a good typist. I could do that, but only if I took dictation, LOL.

      My top speed for drafting fiction right now is 1.6K. I would be ecstatic if I reached an average of 2K.

      Here’s to us trying to get there, eh? 🙂


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