After yesterday’s rant about why I hate getting unsolicited books…
Below is a list of all the books I plowed through in 2020.
It excludes several I started but got bored by or decided to put down in favor of something else. But maybe it’ll help inspire someone somewhere to read & curate their reading more.
They are listed in no real particular order.
Except, as you will see, the ones I’ve read multiple times are listed first:
- Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (second reading) — one of my all-time favorite business books
- Marvel Comics the Untold Story by Sean Howe (second reading) — a must-read for anyone wanting to be in the info publishing business, in my opinion
- Slugfest by Tucker Reed (second reading) — ditto above
- Walt Disney: Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler (second reading) — lots and lots of business lessons embedded, in fact the chapter on Disneyland is one of the single best lessons about World-Building in business I’ve ever run across
- Obvious Adams by Robert Updegraff (probably my 50th reading, not an exaggeration)
- Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz (well past my 20th reading)
- Me, Inc by Gene Simmons — single best book on personal branding I ever done read
- No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent by Dan Kennedy — wish I’d read this years ago
- The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo — nothing anyone who studies persuasion a while doesn’t know, but it reminded me of a few things I had been slacking on doing in my own marketing that’s making a big differences, probably I’ll write about it more in a future Email Players issue
- Bandersnatch by Diana Pavlac Glyer — excellent book for writers, about Tolkien & CS Lewis and their processes for writing & helping each other when they were in the Inklings
- Kobold Guide to World-Building by Scott Hungerford, Jeff Grub, Michael A. Stackpole, Chris Pramas, Keith Baker, & Steven Winter — you have to read between the lines if you want to apply the lessons to business world-building
- Win Your Case by Gerry Spence — anything by Spence is worth reading
- Veneration by Sharon K. Gilbert & Derek P. Gilbert — fascinating book for anyone into digging up some deep Biblical teachings about the real life zombie apocalypse on the horizon
- Corporate Cancer by Vox Day — anyone who hires anyone for business, even a lowly gopher or intern, should read this three times, minimum if you want to protect your business from the SJW rot that’s bringing down billion dollar companies one-by-one right now
- Tales from the Customer Crypt by Vance Morris — I liked it so much, I gifted it to “Email Players” subscribers last month
- Backstory 1 by Patrick McGilligan — all kinds of great psychological insights you can apply to your copy & marketing from Hollywood’s Golden Age screenwriters
- Writing for Comics & Graphic Novels by Peter David — his Trump Derangement Syndrome on his blog that makes him sound bat shyt notwithstanding, he’s one of the most prolific & successful comicbook writers in history, and definitely some valuable insights for any writer
- Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D by David Kushner — best “micro lesson” World-Building I ever read
- Washington A Life by Ron Chernow — bio of George Washington, not only is it clear that he is part of a very long list of men who accomplished great things at least partly to get a disapproving mom’s approval, but it’s also clear he was either the single luckiest man alive when it came to not being killed in battle or God really was looking out for him… to the point where even his enemies marveled at it. There’s a lot of lessons embedded in that alone for the discerning marketer
- Larry Hama: Conversations by Christopher Irving — I pulled lots of ideas out not only for my writing, but also the publishing-side of my business
- How to Sell Anything to Anybody by Joe Girard — incredible book I cannot recommend enough
Okay, enough about books I didn’t write.
Let’s talk about the one I just finished writing the first draft of.
If you were an active member of my old elBenbo’s Lair Facebook group (and if you weren’t, no need to keep reading this email) I’ll soon be launching this book about how to create and profit from your own elBenbo’s Lair-style social media platform. And if you have any testimonials or success stories about when you did your time in the Lair, and would like it included on the testimonial list inside the book, email it directly to me before the end of the week.
If I think it’ll enhance the reader’s experience, I’ll include it with your URL.
In the meantime:
One thing I will say about this book I am working on is, the info inside won’t work nearly as well if you don’t know how to build a relationship with your email list beforehand. The framework that made it work so well was not so much a tactic but an ethic. So if the upcoming book interests you, I suggest rapidly implementing what I teach in my “Email Players” newsletter starting right away, and well before I launch the book next year.
Here’s the link to subscribe: