Just a side note; I listen more than I actually read. Although nothing beats reading from actual paper pages with ink, busy schedules and ease of access, just makes audio books a great way to access work by great authors. All the books listed below are available from Audible as well as from Amazon and Kindle (or other digital book). Books are listed in no particular order
Write. Publish. Repeat. by Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt
Over and above starting this blog in the beginning of 2016, I wanted to put more effort and energy into my writing, both fiction and non-fiction. I have a desire to one day retire into a writing career. To make that happen, I know I need to invest into not only writing more, but learning how to publish and develop a business model around it.
Seasoned authors and podcasters Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt (with David Wright) are business-minded authors who are entrepreneurs by nature and their book 'Write. Publish. Repeat.' seemed like the perfect place to start. And it sure was. This is not only a good book for starting, but for finishing and doing it all again - a very fitting title indeed.
This is a must read for any budding author or seasoned author who needs a road map for getting their words on paper (or pixels) to pay the bills.
Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi
Having been an avid fan of the Content Marketing Institute for a number of years, when content Inc. was released, it was a book I knew I needed to read. My busy work and personal schedule at the time meant that I only got to read it in 2016. The timing was perfect.
Written by Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Content Inc. explores how entrepreneurs are using content to build audiences and create successful businesses. This is exactly what I have been working on, so the book naturally resonated with me. But it did more than that. This book provided the (much needed) motivation I needed to spend more time and effort on my content centric projects and also challenged my thinking on the role content can and should play in the life of an entrepreneur.
If you are an entrepreneur and are looking for an edge that will put you paces ahead of your competators, then this is a sure must read for you.
The Content Code by Mark W. Schaefer
Of the handful of content specific books I read during 2016, 'The Content Code' was the one book which wrapped it up for me the best. I had read books about writing content, developing content, publishing content and much more, but this book helped answer the, "What now?" question I had. It was a question I had asked a few times during 2016 because I had been creating content the whole year and had not gotten the traction I had hoped and planned for.
The Content Code is a practice guide to exploring and understanding the essential strategies needed to ignite content and in so doing, ignite one's (content) business. The book starts where most marketing plan end, and provides the 'launch code' for content business success.
While this book is best suited for bloggers, it is an equally great read for branding and marketing professionals alike. This is one of three books I read in 2016 that I will definitely be rereading in 2016
#AskGaryVee by Gary Vaynerchuk
I first discovered Gary Vaynerchuk in mid 2013 when I started exploring the world of wine. Gary was the 'wine guy' from the Wine library on YouTube and that was about it. It was only towards the end of 2014 while doing research for a speaking engagement at a leadership summit that I discovered Gary was an incredible thought leader in the social media and entrepreneurial space. I without hesitation started following his blog and shoooow and when I saw he was launching his #AskGaryVee book, I instantly preordered it.
Although much of the content was not new to me, seeing as I had been following the #AskGaryVee show on YouTube, having it all in one place made it all the more impactful and inspiring. As mentioned before, my goal was to be motivated, inspired and challenged by the books I read and boy, did this book not disappoint.
If you are needing a serious jump start or want to be put into high gear as an entrepreneur, I highly recommend, you not only read this book, but follow Gary Vaynerchuk on his various social platforms - you too will not be disappointed.
TED Talks by Chris Anderson
As a professional speaker, 2016 was a momentous year for me. Not only did I have numerous speaking engagements throughout the year, but I also helped alongside fellow professional speakers in Namibia to establish the Professional Speakers Association of Namibia (PSAN). As a founding board member of PSAN I deemed it rather necessary to improve my craft as a speaker and Chris Anderson's book TED Talks was (for me) an obvious choice.
As far as I can remember, the first TED Talk I watch was back in 2007. Right from the first 18 minute talk I saw, I was hooked. TED eventually became and continues to be, the central portal from which I draw inspiration, motivation and insight. I love the platform and as a speaker, I love the delivery. Having a means to learn from one of the best speaking platforms and best speakers in the world is incredible and not an opportunity I wanted to miss out on.
If you are a professional speaker wanting to hone your craft or are eagerly wanting to get into public speaking, this book is a great read to inspire you and to develop your speaking skills.
If you read any of the books above, I would love to hear your thoughts on them in the comments below. Which books did you read in 2016 which you recommend I read, list them in the comments below.