Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Top 10 Must Read Books for Creative Entrepreneurs

I actually stole this from another blog but I liked it so much I had to share it! I plan on reading most of these and I have plenty of friends that could use these as well. So below are not my comments or writing just to claify.

Thank you Blacksburg Belle!

10 Must-Read Books for Creative Entrepreneurs

You don’t need business school to rock it out as a creative entrepreneur. I haven’t taken a single “business course” and I’m pretty good at it. Lots of people ask me how I’ve learned all that I have—and one of the ways has been through lots and lots of reading.
I’m a book-aholic. If I go into a bookstore like Barnes and Nobles, don’t expect me to leave with less than 3 books and magazines. I just can’t help myself. And, I read every dang day.
Over the past year, I’ve read some fan-freaking-tastic marketing, business, and inspirational books that have helped me get to the place that I am today. I guarantee that if you read the 10 books below, you’ll know how to build an outstanding business.

1. Unmarketing by Scott Stratten

If you were only going to read one business book this year, I’d tell you to read this one.
Let’s face it. A lot of creative entrepreneurs stink at marketing. This is obvious by the amount of Etsy sellers who send out tweets 10 times per day linking to their newest product on Etsy and wonder why they only have 3 followers.
Creative entrepreneurs would rather be creating. I get that, but you’ve got to learn how to market your products if you want to make it big. That’s just the harsh truth, and this book will give you the tools to market the right way. Plus, Scott’s hilarious, his stories will make you laugh out loud, and you won’t get bored with this marketing book.

2. The Creative Entrepreneur by Lisa Sonora Beam

This is a DIY visual guidebook for making business ideas real. Do you ever wonder why business, numbers, and marketing aren’t that easy for artists and other creatives? It’s because we live in our right brains—and we have to engage our left brains to do all the business stuff.
Well, the author of this book figured out a way that creative entrepreneurs can plan their businesses while using their strengths by combining left-brain and right-brain activities. Genius.

3. The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin

Anybody new to selling their handmade products online or at craft shows needs this book. It will walk you through branding your business, marketing, craft shows, selling online and in stores, and more. Seriously, this is like a step-by-step guide for anyone new to the handmade scene. If you’ve been doing this for awhile, you might not need this one.

4. The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander

At first, this book might not seem like a business book—and that’s because it’s so much more. If you worry that there aren’t enough customers or that they are too many handmade sellers, you need this book. If you let it, this book may just change your outlook on life and open up a lot of possibilities. It’s one of those books that makes you feel really good without being too mushy-gushy.

5. Tribes by Seth Godin

I love me some Seth Godin. I’ve read almost all of his books, but this one is must read for creative entrepreneurs—because it challenges you to be a leader. Now, I’m not talking about a leader of your business. Most of us don’t have a lot of people working under us. I’m talking about a leader of your tribe. If you built a tribe of loyal fans, you’d never run out of customers. You wouldn’t have to worry about selling, because your tribe would do it for you.

6. Fascinate by Sally Hogshead

I read this book in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down. If you want to know what makes people buy things, what triggers you should be using in your marketing, and how to connect better with your target market, you need to read this book. Sally provides lots of real world examples and gives you concepts you can start applying to your creative business today.

7. Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch

Yes, this is another marketing book—but I’m serious when I say, you gotta learn to love marketing if you want to kill it with your creative business. Duct Tape Marketing is much different than Unmarketing, so both books are necessary. With this book, you’ll learn how to identify your ideal customer, write your core marketing message, and build a website that will work day and night—and that’s all in the first section.

8. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

I talk about a lot of concepts from The Artist’s Way on Blacksburg Belle. Julia will help you break through your creative blocks and build a daily routine that will inspire your creative self. I’m not a woo-woo type of person, and this book was sometimes a little too woo-woo to me, if you know what I mean. But, the amazing concepts such as morning pages and artist’s dates out weigh the negative, woo-woo stuff. I really recommend spending some time with this book.

9. Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Robert Cialdini

Understanding the psychology behind influence and persuasion will help you understand purchasing decisions and give you even more tools to build a successful creative business. For instance, I bet you didn’t realize that inconveniencing your target audience can lead to more sales. But, you gotta get the book to find out why.

10. Creative, Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho and Meg Mateo Ilasco

If you’re a creative freelancer {graphic designer, illustrator, photographer}, this book will rock your world. It takes you step-by-step from setting up your “shop” to getting the word out to working with clients and so much more. It also includes interviews and profiles of successful freelancers. Love it.


  1. Really nice selection of books !
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for spreading the word about reusable sandwich and snack bags. We all need to do our part in taking care of the Earth andnot using plastic throw away bags is a great way to start!



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