Great advice for aspiring authors: interview with co-author, The 100 Best Business Books of All Time

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My love of books goes back to when I was about three years old.

As soon as I could form the sentence “I want to go to the library,” my Mom or Dad would take me every week to get a new stack of books.  I remember the smell as I entered the San Anselmo library and strolled through the aisles.  My senses tingled as I saw new stories, and I would have to negotiate with my parents about how many I could carry home in a given week.

This love stayed with me my entire life.  Picture books turned into Miss Piggle-Wiggle, then the Chronicles of Narnia, then books about world mythology, then school books, then a phase of intellectual books to convince myself that I was smart like The Archeology of Knowledge by Michel Foucault (it didn’t work; I would have to temper my pain at reading one chapter by reading People Magazine for a few minutes).

About fifteen years ago, I fell in love with business books and have never looked back.  I never tire of reading new ideas and insights for how to start and run a business.

But the volume is overwhelming.

Todd Sattersten, President of 800CEORead, co-authored a book with Jack Covert called The 100 Best Business Books of All Time.

I jumped on the chance to talk with him about the book, since I was really fascinated to understand the process by which they selected the very best business books.

As an author, I was excited to learn the criteria they developed to select one hundred books from the hundreds of thousands in the business category. The criteria were:

  1. Accessibility: Is the book understandable, easy to read, engaging?
  2. Applicability: Does it apply to today’s business environment?
  3. Quality of Idea: Would we do this in our own business?

Favorite quotes from the podcast:

“I am amazed at how often authors overestimate their ability to be writers.”
“The best books offer a promise to readers: This is what you are going to get out of the book.”

Listen and learn! The podcast interview is here.

And get your copy of the book here.  This one is a definite keeper.

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5 Responses to “Great advice for aspiring authors: interview with co-author, The 100 Best Business Books of All Time”

  1. Hansel Dobbs says:

    Thank you for this article. My sister is an aspiring writer and getting her master in English and Creative Writing. I think this is exactly what she needs right now.

    Hansel Dobbs’s last blog post..Amber + Stafford Hunter | Wedding

  2. john kennedy says:

    ooohh. I’m all over this post. I’ve been conjuring ideas about a book designed to tackle the discord inCustomer Service for the 21st century. I’m halfway through your book Pam, and it’s tingled my intellect (great read by the way even for existing entrepreneurs).
    I truly believe the cubicle is a state of mind, and I get so disappointed when I see people provide customer service that, well, stinks! I think they’ve boxed themselves in some state of complacency. The concepts listed in this blog post of a book that connects with the reading audience the dots I’ve been seeking. Now I just need a pen. Thanks.

  3. John Christy says:

    This is a good list, but it’s a little disturbing that “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham wasn’t mentioned. Warren Buffett routinely cites this as one of his all-time favorites. Strictly speaking, it’s more of an investment book than a “business” book, but the two are linked in my mind. You cannot understand business without understanding investing and vice-versa.

    As for more entrepreneurial books, I’d add two of my favourites. “$1000 and an idea” By Sam Wyly, and “Never Wrestle With a Pig” by Mark McCormack (who is more famous for his other book “What they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School”.)

    John Christy’s last blog post..Are you ready to be your own boss?

  4. I appreciated Todd’s description of what he looks for when evaluating a book submitted for publication. I couldn’t help thinking that bloggers, too, should tell their readers how they will benefit by subscribing and then keep that promise. However, since it is a less linear medium, a simple mention in one place won’t cut it. Have you or readers any suggestions? Also, I since only four books on entrepreneurship made the top 100 list, would you please share a few of your favorites with us?