This section lists books and major community websites. It does not include the dozens of blogs, blog posts, and online magazine articles I referred to while writing this book, and that I recommend to readers. Links need care and feeding, so they’re best kept online where they can be maintained. You can find them, arranged by topic, at incisive.nu/elements.
If you’re thinking of giving content strategy a shot, don’t try to pick which of the following to read and bookmark. Start with Halvorson and Jones, and read on from there.
Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman, Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business, (Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons, 2011).
Kristina Halvorson, Content Strategy for the Web, (California: New Riders, 2009).
Colleen Jones, Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content, (California: New Riders, 2011).
Ann Rockley, Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy, (California: New Riders, 2003).
Richard Sheffield, The Web Content Strategist’s Bible, (Georgia: CLUEfox Publishing, 2009).
A List Apart magazine, content strategy section
If you plan to work on the web, you need to understand the disciplines that work together to make websites. These classics will get you up to speed.
Dan M. Brown, Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning, Second Edition, (California: New Riders, 2010).
Jesse James Garrett, The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond, Second Edition, (California: New Riders, 2010).
Steve Krug, Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Second Edition, (California: New Riders, 2005).
Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites, Second Edition, (Massachusetts: O’Reilly Media, 2006).
Janice (Ginny) Redish, Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works, (San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann, 2007).
Jeffrey Zeldman with Ethan Marcotte, Designing with Web Standards, Third Edition, (California: New Riders, 2009).
The essence of editorial work lies not in style guides and arguments about grammar, but in the ability to cultivate relationships, manage chaos, and serve readers. It’s not a profession to be learned from books, but these three very different takes will help.
Leonard S. Marcus, Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom, (New York: HarperCollins, 2000).
Arthur Plotnik, The Elements of Editing, (New York: Collier Books, 1982).
William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White, eds., The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition, (New York: Longman, 1999). Also excellent is the original full text of Strunk’s 1918 edition online.
Museum workers have much to teach anyone who cares for stores of valuable information or seeks to educate, intrigue, and enlighten. From practice to theory, these texts will give you a peek into the curatorial world.
Bettina Carbonell, ed., Museum Studies: An Anthology of Contexts, (Massachusetts: Wiley-Blackwell, 2003).
James Cuno, Whose Muse?: Art Museums and the Public Trust, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006).
Nina Simon, The Participatory Museum, (Museum 2.0, 2010). Full text online.
Many content strategy books, articles, and posts assume the need for persuasion. For a more hardcore approach and a consideration of the ethics and principles of rhetoric, try these starting points.
Patricia Bizzell, The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Times to the Present, (New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000).
James Conger, The Necessary Art of Persuasion, (Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press, 2008).
Taken in addition to the information architecture primers listed under Essential Cross-Training, these texts and sites offer a glimpse at the weird and interesting things happening at the intersection of content and technology.
Ann Rockley, Steve Manning, and Charles Cooper, DITA 101: Fundamentals of DITA for Authors and Managers, Second Edition, (Ontario: The Rockley Group, Inc., 2010)