As way of an introduction, I get a good number of 'free' stuff in the mail. Some of it comes from smart PR firms that contact me to see if I want it - because they hope I'll write about it. Other stuff just appears in my mailbox. And gets either ignored or tossed. (I can't keep everything.)
Most of my free stuff comes in the form of business books. I accept many books - but am not able to write about all of them. Today, I will be listing 5 of my choices for the Top 10 Business Books of 2006 - knowing that a couple of the entries are not yet out. My copies are review advance copies. All of these books, though, are worthy of your time and money. Tomorrow, I'll add the last 5.
1. Firms of Endearment by David B. Wolfe, Raj Sisodia and Jag Sheth. [Wharton School Publishing] The sub-title of this book really tells the story: "How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose." I am not yet done with this book, but I already know it's the #1 book of the year. Get it. Read it. And learn. With a foreword by Warren Bennis,distinguished professor of business administration University of Southern California, you know this book packs a wallop. What impresses me, as I finish the last two chapters, is the overwhelming evidence the authors present to prove that Tim Sanders was right; love is the killer app. My question is: the authors know it, Tim Sanders knows it, you and I know it - so why is the world still mired in serving "the bottom line?" Maybe I'll find out in those last chapters. Watch for more word on this book.
2. Waiting for Your Cat to Bark by Bryan & Jeffrey Eisenberg with Lisa T. Davis. [Thomas Nelson Publishers] I have recommended this book to more than a dozen people - who have all gone out to buy it, likely at Amazon. Wish they'd used my associates account, but regardless of that, they did the right thing by purchasing this book. I can't possibly list all the 'secrets' Bryan and Jeffrey give away in this book. They cover all the bases - and SHOW you how to "persuade customers when they ignore marketing." It's a quick read - conversational in tone - and packed full of opportunity.
3. Small is the New Big by Seth Godin. [Penguin Group] Everyone already knows this book, of course. Seth is the best marketer on the planet. When he says "be remarkable" he isn't kidding. I think the cover shot of this book probably helped sell it better than anything else. Who can resist babies? Even doll-babies? This book isn't a "marketing" book, per se. It's Seth talking to the world. It's a conversation between Seth and the reader. It's a peek inside Seth's active imagination - with hopes to spark something new and original in yours. Try it. And, get over to the ZList and add your blog.
4. Word of Mouth Marketing by Andy Sernovitz. [Kaplan Publishing] I wrote about this in November, and thought I might not include it in this list - since it's only December and why repeat myself? But, this is a necessary book to have on your bookshelf, so here it is again. Andy has announced that he's leaving WOMMA, and he will be missed, but his book will live on for years to come, supporting the tenents and ethics of WOMMA. In the shrinking world of the 21st century, where everyone is connected by one click of a mouse, it pays to understand and participate in word of mouth marketing. Learn how to do that effectively in this book. Really.
5. Blog Schmog by Robert W. Bly [Thomas Nelson Publishers] Good old Bob Bly. He of direct marketing fame. He couldn't resist giving blogs and bloggers their comeuppance. Over at our business blogging blog, Tom isn't in agreement with Bob - going as far as coining a new term for Bob's concept: Blyopia. From my point of view, I have to side with Tom. Not because he's my partner, but because he's right. On the other hand, don't dismiss this book out of hand. It's a worthwhile read for anyone - established bloggers, newbies, and those who are just thinking about blogging. Bob has taken the time to uncover issues with blogging (his issues, mostly - if you talk to real bloggers, those issues are non-issues), and to point out some of the misinformation circling the net, about blogging. I found it interesting that Bob actually does more in support of blogging (if you approach it properly) than in criticism. It seemed to me that he was trying to be fair, albeit, while paying homage to his god: direct marketing. I think you should grab a copy of this book and judge for yourself. Is Bob Bly right? Or, is he just trying to get more attention to his own blog, which I would link to but...the darn thing doesn't come up ??? ...by writing a book against blogging? For the record, his assertion that you can't make money blogging is full of bull. Over 70% of my business comes from this blog. *** I must also admit that Bob quotes me several times in his book. In favor of blogging, of course! For more input, check out this post over at Simplenomics.