A 2015 book list for Technical Communicators

Two years ago, we asked which books should Technical Authors read, and we received some great responses. It’s always worth revisiting this topic, so please let us know what we should add to this list:

  • Author Experience: Bridging the gap between people and technology in content management; Rick Yagodich
  • Best Practices for Technical Writers and Editors (IBM Press 3 book collection): DITA, Quality, and Style; Francis DeRespinis, Peter Hayward, Jana Jenkins, Amy Laird, Leslie McDonald and Eric Radzinski
  • Central Works in Technical Communication; Johndan Johnson-Eilola and Stuart Selber
  • Content Everywhere: Strategy and Structure for Future-Ready Content; Sara Wachter-Boettcher
  • Content Strategy for Mobile; Karen McGrane
  • Content Strategy for the Web; Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach
  • Conversation and Community; Anne Gentle
  • DITA for Practitioners Volume 1: Architecture and Technology; Eliot Kimber
  • Dynamics in Document Design: Creating Text for Readers; Karen Schriver
  • Enterprise Content Strategy: A Project Guide; Ann Rockley and Kevin Nichols
  • Information Space; Max Boisot
  • Letting Go of the Words; Ginny Redish
  • Managing Your Documentation Projects; JoAnn Hackos
  • Microsoft Manual of Style; Microsoft
  • Single Sourcing: Building Modular Documentation; Kurt Ament
  • Technical Communication; Mike Markel
  • Technical Editing; Judith Taritz
  • The Insider’s Guide to Technical Writing; Krista Van Laan
  • The Language of Content Strategy; Scott Abel and Rahel Bailie
  • The Nurnberg Funnel: Designing Minimalist Instruction for Practical Computer Skill; John Carroll



Thanks for the list – I quite agree, although I think it’s missing the DITA Style Guide, by Tony Self. An excellent primer to the ‘DITA’ set of mind.
Also, I can’t believe the Nurnberg funnel is *still* the seminal book for minimalism… Isn’t there a book more modern (and still in print?)

Alessandro Stazi

Hi Ellis. Very interesting list. I have already read five books in tle list.
I will provide the link to this post to the readers of my blog.
In Italy we were not always used to read in the original English version, but times are rapidly changing.
It’s a very interesting list not only for experts technical communicators but also for who want to start this profession and needs to acquire a solid base.
Thanks for your work.

Meghana Kulkarni

Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace (10th Edition)….. by Joseph M. Williams

Joe Welinske

You might want to consider the second edition of my book Developing User Assistance for Mobile Apps. It covers a growing area of interest and discusses how different it is to develop UA content for that arena.
The screen captures and resource links from the book are freely available here: http://www.welinske.com/duama/

Ellis Pratt

We have the first edition of your book Joe, and it is full of useful information. I must admit I didn’t know there was a second edition.

Joe Welinske

Yes, the second edition came out last September. The first edition was about 120 pages and the new one over 400. So there is quite a lot of new information.

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