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March 02, 2009

Post2Post | 100 Best Business Books

from the Post2Post tour highlighting THE 100 BEST BUSINESS BOOKS OF ALL TIME


Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten strongly believe business books help people solve problems. They also believe people read the wrong books. That’s why they wrote THE 100 BEST BUSINESS BOOKS OF ALL TIME. They know too many people read too few business books despite the ROI upside.

Think about it. There isn’t a better business investment of $25.00 cash and 5-hours of time to be found. With that small investment, you can reap the returns of sharper knowledge, better ideas, and greater motivation ... all from reading a worthwhile business book.

Worthwhile being the key word. Finding worthwhile business books isn’t easy. 11,000 new business books are published each year. It’s hard to know which few are worth your money and time. That’s the problem Jack and Todd are solving with THE 100 BEST BUSINESS BOOKS OF ALL TIME.

Think of their book as an Investment Guide on which books to invest your money and time in order to produce above-average returns for your business life.

Having reviewed 1,000s, they’ve selected 100 worthwhile business sharing expert advice on critical business matters ranging from Personal Development to Leadership to Strategy to Marketing to Management to Innovation to Entrepreneurship to even more.

Enough evangelizing, let’s learn more about Jack & Todd and their take on their business book and the overall business book market.

Jack Covert is the founder of 800-CEO-READ, the leading online seller of bulk business books. Todd Sattersten has grown from a grasshopper to snatch the pebble from Jack’s hand is now the President of 800-CEO-READ.

I’ve known Jack & Todd for nearly four years and respect their perspective on business books. And as a business book author, I’m always asking them questions to better learn the market.


Since these guys run across 11,000 new biz books a year, I asked them how they first judge whether a book is worthy of reading or riffling.

JACK COVERT (JC): “The first thing a good non-fiction book, business or other, needs is a knock’em dead introduction. That gives the reader a look at the writing quality and the introduction tells the reader what to expect from the book. The value proposition the author is offering. Then looking at the Table of Contents and the index gives you more insight to the book. Then riffle through the chapters and look for any design value. Finally see if the chapters end with a takeaway. The five minutes you spend their can save you two hours in with the wrong book.”


Every author has reasons for writing a book. Jack has his …

JC: “Recognition of the company is very important. We wrote this book as our stick in the sand saying we know business books and if you as a business person/student want solutions, we can help. That would be a success, if we accomplish that.”


Every author has ways to measure the success of their book. Todd outlines his …

TODD SATTERSTEN (TS): “First, we will track how many copies of the book we sold (we are booksellers after all). If we sell more than 30,000 copies in the next 24 months, I will consider it a success. That will mean we have made money for us and our publisher. And that will give us chance to write another book.

Second, we will look back at the media impact. Before you start, this part is unpredictable. You don't know what journalists will be interested when your book hits. We have been fortunate with stories in BusinessWeek, Harvard Business Review, and CNBC. I also include online media in that as well. We have had incredible support from bloggers and podcasters. That part has already been an unquestionable success.

That fact that we completed the book and that it turned out as amazing as it did is the final measure of success. No matter what happens we will always have that. (Yes it is cheesy, but it is really true)."


Every author is surprised how the market reacts to their book. Todd was surprised in this way …

TS: “I was surprised at the strong feelings people have about books. Everyone has asked about why we left out ‘their’ favorite book. Why not more books written by women? Why such a heavy skew towards books of the last 30 years? Lists are naturally decisive, but I am not sure expected the strong responses we have gotten. I think it is good, creates great conversations and helps us find new books or new appreciation for old books.”


My all-time best business book was left out. THE DISCIPLINE OF MARKET LEADERS forever changed my life.

It was the first business book I realized the huge ROI upside of spending $25-dollars and 5-hours of time. I confronted Jack with this omission and demanded to know why THE DISCIPLINE OF MARKET LEADERS didn’t make the cut. Jack replied…

JC: “It was very close. I read the book and wrote the review. But as we got close to the end, we felt the message of MARKET LEADERS matched that of IN SEARCH FOR EXCELLENCE, GOOD TO GREAT, or PROFIT FROM THE CORE — the bottom line is stick to what you are good at. MARKET LEADERS is really good and would have no problem telling your readers to check it out.”

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Comments

Great review John - I agree with you about "100 Best" regarding the ROI for your 25 bucks. In most business books there are usually 1 or 2 takeaways - here the lessons are countless, and not only from the best business books. There are the key messages from fables, movies and the great novels too - it really is a fantastic resource.

Also, I have been in touch with both authors - really receptive and polite guys, and in a brief email exchange with Todd, I visually depicted the "Five Meta-Themes" of successful businesses here.

http://charlie-quirk.blogspot.com/2009/02/tweaking-five-themes.html

Cheers John - keep up the great work!
CQ

I fully agree. People need to spend more time reading as the ROI can be vast- books have completely saved me vast time and energy. And yet we'd bring in consultants on expensive day rates, when books can tell us so much for a fraction of the cost. I've pulled together a list of my top 10 books for free! That's not bad for ROI! http://blog.freedoma.com/2009/06/12/the-best-10-business-books-to-read/

I am completely impressed with the article I have just read. I wish the author can continue to provide so much practical information and unforgettable experience to readers. There is not much to say except great work you done..

Oh my "Phrasal verb lesson" you are way too kind. I'm blushing right now.

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