10 business books to read this summer

Whether you want to learn how to write better, influence people or design an infographic, there’s a book on this list for you.


It’s summer. Now that the days are longer, there’s more time for barbecuing, road trips and, of course, catching up on all the books you’ve been meaning to read.

Whether you’re interested in marketing or seeking business advice, you’ve come to the right place. As you (hopefully) find time to prop up your feet and relax this summer, here are some books to stimulate your mind:

1. “Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

Whether you’re authoring 140-page e-books or 140-character tweets, you’re producing messages that reflect your brand. In her latest book, Ann Handley provides readers with tips and tricks to create engaging content.

2. “The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick

We know it’s important that all organizations have a social media presence, but how do you ensure you’re using your time and budget effectively? This step-by-step guide will arm you with creative ideas to engage with your online audience and improve your social media strategy.

3. “The Engaged Leader: A Strategy for Your Digital Transformation by Charlene Li

The digital world has changed the way people lead—while making people more disconnected. Charlene Li’s insightful book explains how leaders can adapt to this changing environment and master the art of listening, sharing and engaging.

4. “The Business of Belief: How the World’s Best Marketers, Designers, Salespeople, Coaches, Fundraisers, Educators, Entrepreneurs, and Other Leaders Get Us to Believe by Tom Asacker

Someone recommended this book to me last year. It explores how successful leaders motivate, inspire and influence others. It will teach you not only how to be a better leader, but also how to understand the leaders around you.

5. “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

Like many of you, I read “The Tipping Point” years ago when it first came out, but I’m reading it again. This book’s insights on trends and fads still apply. If you’ve already read this book, join me for round two.

6. “Do It! Marketing: 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition by David Newman

This book is applicable for any small-business owner or entrepreneur. It’s filled with powerful, practical strategies you can implement right away.

7. “The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

Complex sales require more than just building relationships. “The Challenger Sale” illustrates a better way to educate buyers, tailor your messaging and take control of the sales process. This is a must-read for anyone in sales or those going into the field.

8. “The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio

Did you know Web posts with visual content drive up to 180 percent more engagement? When you’re vying for your audience’s attention, using visuals-infographics, videos and photos-can make a big difference. This guide will help you become an expert visual storyteller.

9. “How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

First published in 1937, Carnegie’s book outlines techniques that have stood the test of time. This self-improvement book explains how to be more likable, win people over and change minds without eliciting resentment. These abilities are invaluable in business and life.

10. “The Tao of Twitter: Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time by Mark W. Schaefer

If you’re new to Twitter (or hoping to get better at it), this book will be your best friend. “The Tao of Twitter” has easy-to-follow guidelines for building an audience, gaining competitive advantage and determining return on investment. Social media marketers always need to think about honing their tweeting skills.

Check out my post from last summer with another 10 books to sink your mind into. (Surely the 10 listed above won’t be enough for all you speed readers.)

What are your suggestions for a good marketing or business read? Please share your recommendations in the comments section.

Jessica Langensand is a marketing programs manager at Marketo. A version of this article originally appeared on the Marketo blog.

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