My Top 10 Marketing Books for 2012

I remember this clearly – It’s a warm summer morning, birds are singing, school’s out and I’m all of seven years old, or darn close if that wasn’t the exact age…

Sitting next to me on the front porch is a stack of books about two feet high that I gathered up from the shelves in the living room and my intention is to devour each and every last one of them… today!

Fast forward… I’m still there in that space, hungry for whatever knowledge and smarts and interesting stuff those wondrous objects can impart. And the stack grows ever higher…

With that in mind and the new year and gift-giving season upon us, I thought I share with you the tip of a mountainous iceberg of non-fiction books on my “Read ASAP” list – my “Top 10 for 2012″…

10. Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
– This is a great read, as well as top sales training

9. Tested Advertising Methods, by John Caples
– A classic, lays out time-tested principles of direct response marketing

8. Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande
– More than half of successful marketing is implementation… how would you feel flying with a pilot who had no checklist?

7. The Secret Life of Houdini – The Making of America’s First Superhero, by William Kalush
– A superb example of the art of influence

6. No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent, by Dan Kennedy (anything in the No BS Series for that matter)
– Timely, essential reading

5. How to Write a Great Ad, by Victor Schwab
– Another classic, recommended by John Carlton

4. The True Believer, by Eric Hoffer
– On cultivating “Customers for Life”

3. Thick Face, Black Heart: The Warrior Philosophy for Conquering the Challenges of Business and Life by Chin-Ning Chu
– ‘Nuf said?

2. eMyth Revisited, by Michael Gerber
– If your business cannot expand beyond you, all you have is a job and your employer is a crazy person.

1. Dave Barry’s Money Secrets, by Dave Barry (well, sort of non-fiction…)
– Just to put a little perspective on everything…

There’s a saying that goes, at a certain point, you “grow weary of much study”… Meaning get off your butt and try stuff. Gary Halbert said “You guys don’t need more ideas… You just need to get out there and do more of the ideas you already have.”

Still, I notice that every great marketer and entrepreneur I know voraciously soaks up new ideas, and adapts them to their current systems . I hope you get at least one or two from the list above.

BTW, here’s a little copywriting tip for you: If you’re looking for relevant, timely and probably very effective headline ideas, check the New York Times Bestseller List. As example, one of my favorites, by Larry Winget: “Shut Up, Quit Whining and Get a Life!” – the title almost says it all.

Keep on succeeding!


Some people skate to the puck. I skate to where the puck is going to be. ~ Wayne Gretzky