10 Cool Marketing Books to Put Authors in a “Marketing Mindset”

by Karen Jonson

Promote Your Books Smarter — Learn Secrets About the Art and Science of Marketing from these Ten Authors

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Authors! —Learn more about the art and science of marketing with my top 10 book recommendations for authors. If you read any of them, please tell us what you think.

Professional marketers never stop learning about the art and science of marketing. That’s why there are thousands of books covering every marketing topic under the sun — from creativity, to consumer behavior, to selling without selling out.

Today’s authors should also read widely about marketing to better understand the research and insights on how to best promote, market, and sell products and services. With this knowledge, authors can promote their books, expand awareness, and build sales smarter.

But in the vast sea of books on marketing, which ones will provide you with the greatest insight? I’ve chosen 10 of my favorite — not so obvious — books on marketing.

Each of these books provides a unique perspective on marketing that will help authors better understand what works and what doesn’t in the battle for customers’ attention and sales in today’s glutted marketplace.

These books intentionally cover marketing from a wide range of perspectives — to provide you the widest possible range of topics covered. You don’t have to read them all; but even if you read one or a few, these books will open your mind to new exciting and interesting marketing insights.

1. Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out

“Every artist should live by these words: Never feel bad about successfully selling your creations. Never feel bad about creating art you can’t sell.” This advice is courtesy of Marc Ecko, fashion designer and artist. Ecko advices creative people to grow both creatively and commercially by testing their personal brand against the principles of the “Authenticity Formula.” As he explains in Unlabel, it’s not enough to simply merge your inner artist with business savvy, you must understand the anatomy of a brand, starting with its authentic spine. Unlabel show creative people how to discover their unique voice, overcoming fear, and take action.

Learn more about Unlabel here.

2. The Experience Effect: Engage Your Customers with a Consistent and Memorable Brand Experience

The decision to pay money for a product or service is often based on more than just the product or service itself. Consumers care deeply about the overall experience of the buying process: They respond to the marketing message, the advertising, the sales approach, the website, and more. When all of these elements come together to form an enjoyable experience, customers feel immense satisfaction, which ultimately builds long-term loyalty. Author Jim Joseph calls this combination the “experience effect.” In his book he shows how any business can create an experience effect for its customers — whatever the business, whatever the size, whatever the product.

Learn more about The Experience Effect here.

3. Can’t Buy Me Like: How Authentic Customer Connections Drive Superior Results

It wasn’t that long ago that authors and other business people could rely on ads to sell their products. But those days are gone. Today marketing is about building relationships with consumers. The marketers who understand this are winning. For the first time in history, commerce depends not on what you say or even what you produce, but on who you are. Instead of projecting an image of their choosing, brands today must locate their inner selves, discover their core purpose, and make a common connection with others. The good news is that this style of marketing is more meaningful, rewarding, cost-effective, and sustainable?

Learn more about Can’t Buy Me Like here.

4. Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment

What’s behind the blockbusters in today’s world of entertainment — including film, television, music, sports, and books? Anita Elberse, Harvard Business School’s expert on the entertainment industry, has done pioneering research on this topic. And she shares it in this book. She explains a powerful truth about the fiercely competitive world of entertainment: building a business around blockbuster products — the movies, television shows, songs, and books that are hugely expensive to produce and market — is the surest path to long-term success.

Learn more about Blockbusters here.

5. The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand

The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Web posts with visuals drive up to 180 percent more engagement than those without. Viewers spend 100 percent more time on web pages with videos. Those are just some of the insights delivered by social media expert Ekaterina Walter in her book The Power of Visual Storytelling. The book explains how to grow a business and strengthen a brand by using photos, videos, infographics, presentations, and other visuals. The book delivers a powerful road map for getting started, while inspiring new levels of visual creativity.

Learn more about The Power of Visual Storytelling here.

6. Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity

We all have what it takes to be creative — including the mental building blocks and the creative potential. However, the difference is that not everyone taps into that power? That’s why professor of educational innovations Keith Sawyer created an eight-step model to help anyone access their innate creativity. Once those steps become second nature, creativity won’t seem rare, magical, and daunting. You’ll stop being scared of writer’s block or a blank canvas or a new challenge. You’ll find that your creative power is available to you in an unlimited supply.

Learn more about Zig Zag here.

7. The Upside of Irrationality

In The Upside of Irrationality, Duke professor Dan Ariely provides a tour of the irrational side of human decision-making and the science of behavioral economics. He says: When it comes to human motivations, we are less like “hyper-rational Mr. Spock” and more like the “fallible, myopic, vindictive, emotional, biased Homer Simpson.” Given these limitations, Ariely wants to help us “figure out how we can get the most good and least bad out of ourselves” when making choices about our money, relationships, and happiness.

Learn more about The Upside of Irrationality here.

8. Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing

According to leading neuroscientists, 95 percent of all thoughts, emotions, and learning occur in our subconscious before our conscious mind is even aware of it. Yet, most marketing efforts ignore subconscious and target the rational, conscious mind instead. Brainfluence, by marketer Roger Dooley, helps you understand how consumers’ brains work, so marketers can appeal to the powerful subconscious — and get better results for less money. Brainfluence explains consumers’ decision patterns and how the brain responds to various cognitive and sensory marketing stimuli, so marketers get better results.

Learn more about Brainfluence here.

9. The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy (and Why They Don’t)

You know that your book is good and readers will love it. You’ve done everything to get them interested. They even like what you’re selling, but they shift, they fidget, and then inexplicably walk away. Many authors become pushy in these situations. But being pushy is unnecessary, that’s because pushiness creates an unnatural situation. This is just one of the lessons shared by author Sean D’Souza in his book, The Brain Audit. He says that in the last several years, selling has changed. Consumers today are more informed, more connected, and more empowered. And this has changed the marketing landscape. In the midst this change, there are some basic and fundamental selling skills that make up the foundation of building relationships, establishing trust, and making sales. D’Souza shares these fundamentals in his book.

Learn more about The Brain Audit here.

10. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk!

There are laws of nature, so why shouldn’t there be laws of marketing? Actually, there are. At least according to authors of a classic marketing book: The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. Marketing consultants Al Ries and Jack Trout provide a compendium of 22 innovative rules for understanding and succeeding in the marketplace — from the law of leadership, to the law of the category, to the law of the mind, their insights stand the test of time and present a clear path to successfully marketing and selling products. As the title warns: Violate the laws at your own risk!

Learn more about The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing here.

Authors, what’s your favorite marketing book?

Share it here with us!

Also, share your reviews of these 10 books.

If you read any of these books, please share your thoughts about them in the comments. Thank you for adding to the “market your book smarter” conversation!

What to Learn More About the Art and Science of Book Marketing?

Check out the innovative, informative, and fun new Book Marketing Workshop. Learn everything you need to know to attract readers and sell your books. Check out the workshop description here.

Photo Credit: © kikkerdirk

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