Ship Modeling from Stem to Stern (by Milton Roth) discusses all the critical aspects of this fascinating hobby, including hundreds of tips and techniques. It's well written, comprehensive, and practical, with very good pictures and drawings, plus suggested fixes for common problems.
Ship Modeling Simplified (by Frank Mastini), among the usual wealth of practical advice, helps decipher complicated plans, suggests what additional tools you might find handy, and does an excellent job of covering painting and decorating. The drawings are superb and the glossary of nautical terms a godsend for the beginner.
Both are highly recommended as complementary, and are priced 20 below cover list.