100 books like The Content Strategy Toolkit

By Meghan Casey,

Here are 100 books that The Content Strategy Toolkit fans have personally recommended if you like The Content Strategy Toolkit. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Strategic Writing for UX: Drive Engagement, Conversion, and Retention with Every Word

Rachel McConnell Author Of Why You Need a Content Team and How to Build One

From my list on copywriters looking to move into UX content design.

Why am I passionate about this?

I moved into content design from a career in brand and marketing, at a time when the discipline was emerging and not many people really knew what it was. Much of my time since has been spent educating people and organisations and sharing knowledge to help them make better content decisions. Throughout this time, I’ve learnt most of what I know through the experience of working with the design teams, but so many books have also helped me along the way and made my work so much better. I love content design – having the power to improve people's experiences with brands through words is so rewarding, and these books will inspire others to do the same.

Rachel's book list on copywriters looking to move into UX content design

Rachel McConnell Why did Rachel love this book?

For anyone just starting out in content design or UX writing, this book is a must-have. It focuses on the technicalities of creating user-centered microcopy for web journeys, and includes frameworks and guidance to help you get it right. It also features one of my favourite exercises to try with designers – a conversational design workshop to help everyone consider the content before jumping into visual design. Torrey’s extensive knowledge comes from designing content for companies like Google and Microsoft, so she knows her stuff!

By Torrey Podmajersky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Strategic Writing for UX as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When you depend on users to perform specific actions-like buying tickets, playing a game, or riding public transit-well-placed words are most effective. But how do you choose the right words? And how do you know if they work? With this practical book, you'll learn how to write strategically for UX, using tools to build foundational pieces for UI text and UX voice strategy.

UX content strategist Torrey Podmajersky provides strategies for converting, engaging, supporting, and re-attracting users. You'll use frameworks and patterns for content, methods to measure the content's effectiveness, and processes to create the collaboration necessary for success. You'll…


Book cover of Nicely Said: Writing for the Web with Style and Purpose

Rachel McConnell Author Of Why You Need a Content Team and How to Build One

From my list on copywriters looking to move into UX content design.

Why am I passionate about this?

I moved into content design from a career in brand and marketing, at a time when the discipline was emerging and not many people really knew what it was. Much of my time since has been spent educating people and organisations and sharing knowledge to help them make better content decisions. Throughout this time, I’ve learnt most of what I know through the experience of working with the design teams, but so many books have also helped me along the way and made my work so much better. I love content design – having the power to improve people's experiences with brands through words is so rewarding, and these books will inspire others to do the same.

Rachel's book list on copywriters looking to move into UX content design

Rachel McConnell Why did Rachel love this book?

I’m picking this book because it’s actually useful for anyone in content, whether you’re a marketing strategist, UX writer, or content designer. It’s easy to read, and a lovely overview of creating more effective content – with guidance on how to adapt tone for different scenarios, and a brilliant exercise for proposition development. It was one of the first books I read about web content, and still one of the books I refer back to again and again.

By Nicole Fenton, Kate Kiefer-Lee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nicely Said as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Whether you're new to web writing, or you're a professional writer looking to deepen your skills, this book is for you. You'll learn how to write web copy that addresses your readers' needs and supports your business goals.

Learn from real-world examples and interviews with people who put these ideas into action every day: Kristina Halvorson of Brain Traffic, Tiffani Jones Brown of Pinterest, Randy J. Hunt of Etsy, Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom, Mandy Brown of Editorially, Sarah Richards of GOV.UK, and more.
Topics include:

* Write marketing copy, interface flows, blog posts, legal policies, and emails
* Develop…


Book cover of Writing Is Designing

Rachel McConnell Author Of Why You Need a Content Team and How to Build One

From my list on copywriters looking to move into UX content design.

Why am I passionate about this?

I moved into content design from a career in brand and marketing, at a time when the discipline was emerging and not many people really knew what it was. Much of my time since has been spent educating people and organisations and sharing knowledge to help them make better content decisions. Throughout this time, I’ve learnt most of what I know through the experience of working with the design teams, but so many books have also helped me along the way and made my work so much better. I love content design – having the power to improve people's experiences with brands through words is so rewarding, and these books will inspire others to do the same.

Rachel's book list on copywriters looking to move into UX content design

Rachel McConnell Why did Rachel love this book?

I first read this book as a technical reviewer and loved how the book almost felt like a double-act, with both Andy and Michael sharing their tips for great content design. The book takes you through the design process for good content, from creating the content itself to testing and measuring with your team. It’s simply written and laid out, so it doesn’t feel like a technical read, and you’ll feel well-equipped to approach even the trickiest content design challenges.

By Michael J. Metts, Andy Welfle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Writing Is Designing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Without words, apps would be an unusable jumble of shapes and icons, while voice interfaces and chatbots wouldn't even exist. Words make software human–centered, and require just as much thought as the branding and code. This book will show you how to give your users clarity, test your words, and collaborate with your team. You'll see that writing is designing.


Book cover of Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

Jeff Johnson Author Of Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Guidelines

From my list on making digital technology usable and useful.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been designing user interfaces since graduate school at Stanford, where I studied psychology and computer science. Over the five decades since then, I have designed many digital products and services, learning a lot about how to make them usable and useful. Two decades ago, I turned more towards sharing my knowledge and experience through writing (articles and books) and teaching (professionals and students). I’ve taught at Stanford University, Mills College, the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), the University of San Francisco, and at professional conferences and companies. Google invited me twice to speak in their Authors @ Google series, and ACM and SIGCHI have given me several awards.

Jeff's book list on making digital technology usable and useful

Jeff Johnson Why did Jeff love this book?

If you design Web sites, you’ve almost certainly already read Steve’s book; it may be the best-selling Web design book of all time.  If not, do.

It succinctly explains most of what designers need to know about Website usability. The title of the book – Don’t Make Me Think – is the book’s main point: “If your website makes me think about how to use it, distracting me from my own goals (e.g., booking a flight), I’m out of here.” 

In relatively few pages, Steve explains how to design Websites so visitors need not think about how to use them.

By Steve Krug,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Don't Make Me Think as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Since Don't Make Me Think was first published in 2000, hundreds of thousands of Web designers and developers have relied on usability guru Steve Krug's guide to help them understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, commonsensical, and eminently practical, it's one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject.

Now Steve returns with fresh perspective to reexamine the principles that made Don't Make Me Think a classic-with updated examples and a new chapter on mobile usability. And it's still short, profusely illustrated...and best of all-fun to read.

If you've read it before, you'll rediscover…


Book cover of Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works

Jeff Johnson Author Of Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Guidelines

From my list on making digital technology usable and useful.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been designing user interfaces since graduate school at Stanford, where I studied psychology and computer science. Over the five decades since then, I have designed many digital products and services, learning a lot about how to make them usable and useful. Two decades ago, I turned more towards sharing my knowledge and experience through writing (articles and books) and teaching (professionals and students). I’ve taught at Stanford University, Mills College, the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), the University of San Francisco, and at professional conferences and companies. Google invited me twice to speak in their Authors @ Google series, and ACM and SIGCHI have given me several awards.

Jeff's book list on making digital technology usable and useful

Jeff Johnson Why did Jeff love this book?

When people browse or search the Web for information, they don’t read; they scan, looking for anything matching their goal. Scan, click, scan, click, etc. 

Most web designers include waaay too much text in their sites, slowing people down, frustrating poor readers (which unfortunately is a large percentage of the population). Most text on the Web is simply ignored. 

I like Ginny’s book because it does a great job of driving that point home and explaining how to cut the text down to what is necessary. It has become a classic in the UX and Web design fields.

By Janice (Ginny) Redish,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Letting Go of the Words as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Web site design and development continues to become more sophisticated. An important part of this maturity originates with well-laid-out and well-written content. Ginny Redish is a world-renowned expert on information design and how to produce clear writing in plain language for the web. All of the invaluable information that she shared in the first edition is included with numerous new examples. New information on content strategy for web sites, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media make this once again the only book you need to own to optimize your writing for the web.


Book cover of The Agility Factor: Building Adaptable Organizations for Superior Performance

Dave Ulrich Author Of Reinventing the Organization: How Companies Can Deliver Radically Greater Value in Fast-Changing Markets

From my list on how to improve organizations.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dave Ulrich is the Rensis Likert Professor at the Ross School of Business and a partner at the RBL Group, a consulting firm focused on helping organizations and leaders deliver value. He has published over 200 articles and book chapters and over 30 books. The organizations where we live, work, play, and worship affect every part of our lives. Organizations turn individual competencies into collective capabilities, isolated events into sustained patterns, and personal values into collective values. In short, organizations matter in our lives. By adapting their answer to “what is an organization,” leaders, employees, customers, and investors will be better able to improve their organization's experiences.

Dave's book list on how to improve organizations

Dave Ulrich Why did Dave love this book?

Ed Lawler has a lifetime of melding academic theory and organization practice. In this research based book, he and his colleagues not only recognize that agility matters, but they do research to validate processes that create organization agility. Agility is one of the emerging capabilities for a successful organization in today’s changing world. Anything El Lawler works is well thought out, researched, and usable.

By Edward E. Lawler, Thomas D. Williams, Christopher G. Worley

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Agility Factor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A research-based approach to achieving long-term profitability in business What does it take to guarantee success and profitability over time? Authors Christopher G. Worley, a senior research scientist, Thomas D. Williams, an executive advisor, and Edward E. Lawler III, one of the country's leading management experts, set out to find the answer. In The Agility Factor: Building Adaptable Organizations for Superior Performance the authors reveal the factors that drive long-term profitability based on the practices of successful companies that have consistently outperformed their peers. Of the 234 large companies across 18 industries that were studied, there were few companies that…


Book cover of No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention

Tom Gilb Author Of Competitive Engineering: A Handbook For Systems Engineering, Requirements Engineering, and Software Engineering Using Planguage

From my list on learning successful invention and business methods.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a self-taught guy, having started in my first job at IBM Oslo, when I was 18 years old, as punched card machine operator, and plug-board ‘programmer'. I did night studies in sociology/philosophy for 10 years at University of Oslo. I read about 30 books a year, and I’m 82 in 2023. I have spent most of my career as an independent international consultant to corporations and governments, while building up my ideas of useful methods to solve problems. In retirement, I love to spread my ideas, and learn more. I also write about 5 new books a year, when at my Oslofjord Summer cabin. They're all digital and free or free samples. 

Tom's book list on learning successful invention and business methods

Tom Gilb Why did Tom love this book?

From my notes after I read it, “Great content and organization. Triggered me to write and plan a 2022 Book.”

There was specific practical content like removing vacation policy, removing travel and expenses policy. An opening the books, which showed the practices behind the no rules idea, and their consequent results in the business. As a consultant, these give me a tool for discussion with clients. What if you did the same?

Again a great leader, and successful businessperson, using persistence and imagination to deal with the forces against change.

By Erin Meyer, Reed Hastings,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked No Rules Rules as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hard work is irrelevant. Be radically honest. Adequate performance gets a generous severance. And never, ever try to please your boss.

These are some of the ground rules if you work at Netflix. They are part of a unique cultural experiment that explains how the company has transformed itself at lightning speed from a DVD mail order service into a streaming superpower - with 125 million fervent subscribers and a market capitalisation bigger than Disney.

Finally Reed Hastings, Netflix Chairman and CEO, is sharing the secrets that have revolutionised the entertainment and tech industries. With INSEAD business school professor Erin…


Book cover of It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy

Gary DePaul Author Of Nine Practices of 21st Century Leadership: A Guide for Inspiring Creativity, Innovation, and Engagement

From my list on contemporary leadership books that guide us in the new normal.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 2014, I was laid off from my management role at Lowe’s Home Improvement. Instead of starting another job, I took several months to reflect on my leadership experiences and researched how leadership has evolved in the 21st Century. Based on a detailed analysis of 14 books, including the five I recommend, I wrote my first book that explains how to practice 21st-century leadership (now in its second edition). After publishing, I’ve written another leadership book, several blogs, and have been a keynote speaker. I now host the Unlabeled Leadership Podcast, which helps listeners learn how everyday people practice leadership.

Gary's book list on contemporary leadership books that guide us in the new normal

Gary DePaul Why did Gary love this book?

If you are like me and want to figure out how to help your team become unstuck, you are not alone!

Through his real-life journey, you’ll discover how Captain Abrashoff transformed the crew of the USS Benfold from being low in morale and underperforming to one of the most engaged and high-performing crew in the Navy! I found his story impressively illustrates behaviors that anyone can adopt to build a team’s culture.

After reading the book, I had the privilege of meeting Abrashoff and hearing him talk about his Navy experience, which exemplified the value of his book even more. Abrashoff’s examples and stories can be your call to action that helps you transform a group of employees into a high-performing team!

By Michael Abrashoff,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked It's Your Ship as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of Captain D. Michael Abrashoff and his command of USS Benfold has become legendary inside and outside the Navy. Now Abrashoff offers this fascinating tale of top-down change for anyone trying to navigate today's uncertain business seas. When Captain Abrashoff took over as commander of USS Benfold, a ship armed with every cutting-edge system available, it was like a business that had all the latest technology but only some of the productivity. Knowing that responsibility for improving performance rested with him, he realized he had to improve his own leadership skills before he could improve his ship. Within…


Book cover of HR from the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources

Jon Younger Author Of Agile Talent: How to Source and Manage Outside Experts

From my list on talent management.

Why am I passionate about this?

The future of talent management is now. I’m a teacher, consultant, and board member who is deeply interested in the social and economic impact of the freelance revolution. Millions of people around the world are now working for themselves as independent professionals or “solopreneurs”. Millions more are taking on freelance assignments to augment their income or increase their expertise and experience. Technology makes it possible for professionals in many fields to work remotely and free themselves from the limitations of their local economy. These benefits organizations by offering greater access to talent and gives professionals greater access to opportunity. 

Jon's book list on talent management

Jon Younger Why did Jon love this book?

This book brought global survey data, case examples, and thought leadership together in recommending a new approach to HR that has since become a standard: driving the organizational capabilities the business needs to flourish competitively, and deliver superior value to customers. Six critical HR competencies based on research are described and best practices shared. The new model of HR proposed in this book has been broadly adopted.

By Dave Ulrich, Jon Younger, Wayne Brockbank , Mike Ulrich

Why should I read it?

1 author picked HR from the Outside In as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"This definitive work on HR competencies provides ideas and tools that help HR professionals develop their career and make their organization effective."
-Edward E. Lawler III, Professor, University of Southern California

"This book is a crucial blueprint of what it takes to succeed. A must have for every HR professional."
-Lynda Gratton, Professor, London Business School

"One single concept changed the HR world forever: 'HR business partner'. Through consistent cycles of research and practical application, Dave and his team have produced and update the most comprehensive set of HR competencies ever."
-Horacio Quiros, President, World Federation of People Management Associations…


Book cover of Strategies for Change: Logical Incrementalism

Jon Younger Author Of Agile Talent: How to Source and Manage Outside Experts

From my list on talent management.

Why am I passionate about this?

The future of talent management is now. I’m a teacher, consultant, and board member who is deeply interested in the social and economic impact of the freelance revolution. Millions of people around the world are now working for themselves as independent professionals or “solopreneurs”. Millions more are taking on freelance assignments to augment their income or increase their expertise and experience. Technology makes it possible for professionals in many fields to work remotely and free themselves from the limitations of their local economy. These benefits organizations by offering greater access to talent and gives professionals greater access to opportunity. 

Jon's book list on talent management

Jon Younger Why did Jon love this book?

Quinn’s book should be read by every organization and talent specialist. He reminds us through both data and case study that radical change requires a transformational mindset combined with what he calls strategic incrementalism. His book provides a rich mix of examples, tools, and methods for continuously improving the organization and workforce to meet current and likely future challenges. 

By James Brian Quinn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Strategies for Change as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Quinn, James Brian


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