With the rise of self-publishing, print-on-demand publishing, e-book publishing and other low-cost forms, the avalanche of business books released every year has only increased. Usually just hearing the titles makes my mind feel anesthetized--so many don't seem to say much that's new. But recently, several titles have caught my attention, and I've even found myself sitting down and giving them a read.
Here's what's on my bookshelf that I think is worth settling into bed with and staying up a few minutes later to read:
15 Bedtime Stories That Keep Entrepreneurs Awake At Night by David Ingram (Higherlife Development Services, Sept. 2009) offers new entrepreneurs a checklist of blunders to avoid, ticking off one problem in each chapter. From "don't cut corners" to "don't try to do everything," he expresses each message through compelling stories and practical solutions that should bring reassurance to those setting out to open a business.
I've written for Entrepreneur.com about ways to market your business online on the cheap, and experts tell me improving your natural search results is their top strategy. Now there's a book that explains in detail just how to do that. Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah (Wiley, Oct. 2009) brings the authors' expertise at inbound-marketing company HubSpot to you in book form. Having just recently gotten my first cold call from someone who found me from searching on "Seattle freelance writer" on Google, I can tell you natural search is huge for small businesses, and in these penny-pinching times it's a very inexpensive way to market.
I have a real fascination with how easy it is to become a young business owner in the 21st Century. Now, author Donna Fenn has distilled the methods these dorm-room entrepreneurs are using into useful tips for you in Upstarts! How GenY Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit From Their Success (McGraw-Hill Aug. 2009)
If you haven't discovered Alibaba yet, check it out--it's a top-30 site in China that's a vast global marketplace for sourcing merchandise. If you want to know how to get the most from this enormous resource, authors Brad and Debra Schepp explain how in The Official Alibaba.com Success Guide: Insider Tips and Strategies for Sourcing Products from the World's Largest B2B Marketplace (Wiley, Nov. 2009).