20 Business Book Gift Ideas

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Books are a wonderful and affordable gift for small business owners. When you give the gift of a book, you’re giving the gift of knowledge. It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving.

2012 has been a fantastic year for business books.

I’ve selected my top twenty books that you can give to the business book lover on your list that will have them grinning ear to ear. I’ve put them together in a slideshow post for you.

20 Business Book Gift Ideas

So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport

  • What it’s about: Instead of following some nebulous passion, learn how to hone in on your unique gifts and talents and craft them into a profitable and passionate career.
  • Who to give it to: Any college student or recent grad who is choosing a life path
  • Why they will love it: It’s written by a young person who has already been through the process. It’s really fun to read and will inspire anyone reading it to get even better at whatever they do.
  • Where to get it: www.amazon.com/Good-They-Cant-Ignore-ebook/dp/B0076DDBJ6

Click the blue “Start Gallery” button below to view the others . .

Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz (@ToiletPaperEntrepreneur)

  • What it’s about: This is a fun and casually written book that shows the similarities of growing giant pumpkins to growing a successful business.
  • Who to give it to: Give this book to the small business owner or freelancer in your family or networking group. It might also be a good choice for anyone you know who is in sales and marketing.
  • Why they will love it; Michalowicz is a funny guy who has a wonderful grasp on what it takes to grow a business. It’s a short and easy read that will actually help you make money in the new year.
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/The-Pumpkin-Plan-Strategy-Remarkable/dp/1591844886

Brand Advocates by Bob Fuggetta (@robfuggetta)

  • What it’s about: You’ll pick up strategies to leverage your business’s’ biggest fans and turn them into a powerful marketing force.
  • Who to give it to: The small business owner, CEO and marketing executive.
  • Why they will love it; There are lots of examples of how companies of all sizes recruited and engaged their most satisfied customers.
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/Brand-Advocates-Enthusiastic-Customers-Marketing/dp/1118336038

Digital Dollar by Joe Wozny (@JoeWozny)

  • What it’s about: Joe Wozny shares his digital roadmap to create a profitable and measurable online strategy.
  • Who to give it to: Give this book to the person in your life who is always asking how social media and online marketing is supposed to make them money.
  • Why they will love it; Wozny delivers more strategies in these 200+ pages than you’ll find in a dozen other books on the same topic.
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/The-Digital-Dollar-Sustainable-Strategies/dp/0978097467

Likeonomics by Rohit Bhargava (@RohitBhargava)

  • What it’s about: Being likable is more powerful than you might think. personal relationships, likeability, brutal honesty, extreme simplicity, and basic humanity are behind everything from multi-million dollar mergers to record-breaking product sales.
  • Who to give it to: Give this book to the person who is continually dumbfounded by the fact that people are enthralled by personality over “substance” or statistics.
  • Why they will love it; Bhargava provides a sound argument for
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/Likeonomics-Unexpected-Influencing-Behavior-Inspiring/dp/1118137531

iPhone Millionaire by Michael Rosenblum (@Rosenblumtv)

  • What it’s about: You can become a video pro — with just your iPhone! Rosenblum gives quick and easy insider video tricks that will have to recording like a pro in no time.
  • Who to give it to: Do you know someone who keeps saying they’re going to do more video but just never does because it’s “too hard” or they don’t think they can do it? This is the book for them!
  • Why they will love it; This book is short, easy to read and will have to creating great video in about a weekend.
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/iPhone-Millionaire-Create-Cutting-Edge-Video/dp/0071800174

Thinking Sideways by Tamara Kleinberg (@imaginibbles)

  • What it’s about: This book is a terrific resource for brainstorming, idea generation and team strategy meetings. It’s filled with templates and practical out-of-the-box exercises that will tickle your brain.
  • Who to give it to: Business owners, marketers, managers, team leaders, and anyone who has to pull ideas seemingly out of anywhere and turn them into mind-blowing strategies.
  • Why they will love it; This book is just plain fun. It’s a book you’ll want to have close by to jiggle your brain into overdrive when you need to come up with something really big.
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/Think-Sideways-game-changing-playbook-distruptive/dp/0985244704

Small Message Big Impact by Terri Sjodin (@terrisjodin)

  • What it’s about: These days you need to learn to speak in sound bites and tweetable phrases. This book will turn you into an elevator pitch pro.
  • Who to give it to: Small business owners, marketers, sales people and anyone who has to communicate big ideas with few words.
  • Why they will love it; Sjodin provides great guidance, templates and stories to get you started and holds your hands through the pitch building process until you get it right.
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/Small-Message-Big-Impact-Elevator/dp/1591845483

Get Lucky by Thor Muller (@Tempo) and Lane Becker (@Monstro)

  • What it’s about: Learn to create your own serendipity and good luck. Get Lucky shows businesses how to succeed by fostering the conditions for serendipity to occur early and often.
  • Who to give it to:  Give this book to a small business owner just starting out or one that’s been down in the dumps about the economy or the election.  This will inspire them to create their own luck
  • Why they will love it; This book is loaded with all the stuff business book junkies love; stories of serendipity in action at well-known companies including Avon, Target, Steelcase, Google, Facebook, Walmart
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/Get-Lucky-Planned-Serendipity-Business/dp/1118249755

$100 Startups by Chris Guillebeau (@chrisguillebeau)

  • What it’s about: This book incorporates a bold image framework used in and offers even deeper text through anecdotes and examples from accidental entrepreneurs successful at spending less than what many people spend on coffee.
  • Who to give it to: This is the ideal gift for the new or budding entrepreneur on your gift list.
  • Why they will love it; It’s loaded with lots of inspirational ideal on how to build a great business on less
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/The-100-Startup-Reinvent-Living/dp/0307951529

Yes To The Mess by Frank J. Barrett

  • What it’s about: Barrett combines his background in jazz and business to show how organizations can manage chaos and crisis
  • Who to give it to: Business managers who are trying to organize their marketing and operations to be more effective under marketplace or industry uncertainty
  • Why they will love it; They will learn how to balance
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/Yes-Mess-Surprising-Leadership-Lessons/dp/1422161102

No, You Can’t Pick My Brain by Adrienne Graham (@talentdiva)

  • What it’s about: Based on her popular Forbes post, Adrienne Graham tackles how consultants and specialist should handle the balance of free advice versus being paid for services consistently
  • Who to give it to: That special someone who wants to offer a service, but not sure what prices they should set
  • Why they will love it; Adrienne reminds entrepreneurs with a very direct language. Her best quote: “There are no amount of pleasantries, well meaning deeds, gestures or sandwiches that will pay your bills.”
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0070YQLJ8

Invisible Capital by Chris Rabb

  • What it’s about: A can-do attitude, a great idea and hard work aren’t all there is to entrepreneurial success. In world that is defined by an uneven playing field, entrepreneurs will need Invisible Capital to succeed.
  • Who to give it to: If you’ve got an entrepreneur or business owner in your life who is frustrated by today’s economic or political situation, this book will help them create a success mindset and strategies.
  • Why they will love it; Invisible Capital will challenge them to examine their resources more critically and appreciate the appropriate steps to build resources for success.
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Capital-Unseen-Entrepreneurial-Opportunity/dp/1605093076

Nacho Money by Candi Sparks (@candi_sparks)

  • What it’s about: A children’s storybook, readers follow how the protagonist Max learns about debt
  • Who to give it to: Children who are beginning to learn about responsibility
  • Why they will love it; It is a short book that parent and child can share together
  • Where to get it: http://www.canihavesomemoney.com/

Beam Straight Up by Fred Noe and Jim Kokoris

  • What it’s about: The history of Jim Beam bourbon, from
  • Who to give it to: People who enjoy a little history about the booze they choose!
  • Why they will love it; In the same vein as Guitar Lessons, Beam Straight Up will provide a great way to learn about business outside of the jargon
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/Beam-Straight-Up-Family-Bourbon/dp/1118378369

Successful LinkedIn Marketing: One Hour Per Day by Viveka von Rosen (@LinkedInExpert)

  • What it’s about: An A to Z, soup to nuts, crosses every “T” and dots every “I” on how to plan and organize your LinkedIn strategy; and effectively make LinkedIn work for you and your business. All in an hour a day.
  • Who to give it to: If you have a client or network buddy who’s said that LinkedIn is useless – chances are they need to know what’s in this book.
  • Why they will love it; It will help them leverage their LinkedIn and use it most effectively to get and keep new customers and profitable business connections.
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/LinkedIn-Marketing-Hour-Day-ebook/dp/B009DH4VHY/

The Rebel Entrepreneur by Jonathan Moules (@Jonathan_Moules)

  • What it’s about: This book will give you great insights and advice in starting and growing a business in the post “Great Recession” economy.
  • Who to give it to: The book would be a good business read for anyone thinking of going into business, just starting out on their rebel entrepreneur journey but also any longtime rebel entrepreneurs with any sort of a business track record
  • Why they will love it:  It has an easy to read straightforward style style with plenty of examples for all kinds of small businesses.
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0749464828

Return On Influence by Mark Schaefer (@markwschaefer)

  • What it’s about: This book will educate you on the importance of influence in the world of small business.
  • Who to give it to: The entrepreneur or small business owner who is curious about how businesses and people get “discovered” online and who has a goal of becoming more of an authority or influence in their market or industry.
  • Why they will love it; They will finally understand how influence goes beyond popularity and celebrity and gets to the heart of profitabilituy.
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/Return-On-Influence-Revolutionary-Marketing/dp/0071791094

Successful Hiring Isn’t Just About Skills: It’s About Attitude by Mark Murphy

  • What it’s about: 46% of people hired in 2012 will fail within the first 18 months on the job. This book will help you hire the right people for the right job with the right attitude.
  • Who to give it to: This book is for CEOs, presidents and business owners, as well as anyone on the hiring team,
  • Why they will love it; Hiring managers will get the right perspective on hiring the right people with the right attitude at the right time.
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/Hiring-Attitude-Revolutionary-Recruiting-Tremendous/dp/007178585X

Breaking the Fear Barrier by Tom Rieger

  • What it’s about: This book will help small business owners recognize and overcome the fear that’s been an obstacle to their success.
  • Who to give it to: The Business Owner, Entrepreneur, President or General Manager who has said things things like “I’m afraid of the economy” or has felt stopped by circumstances in their business.
  • Why they will love it; It will give them context around fear. The will understand where fear comes from and how to overcome it without being reckless.
  • Where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Fear-Barrier-Destroys-Companies/dp/1595620540

Gifts for the Book Lover

People are always asking me how I can read so many business books every week for review. Well, it helps being a business book junkie! I can’t get enough of them. Oh well, some women love shoes and I love business books. But don’t ask me which I love more, hehe.

I will say that I do have a few items on my wishlist as someone who loves reading anywhere and everywhere. So, if you’ve got a business book junkie in your life, then here are some insider secrets that are on MY list:

  • Kindle or iPad cover. I have a Kindle and it currently doesn’t have a cover. I’m starting to look at device covers like most people look at clothes or shoes! I actually feel like “dressing” my devices. Some days I feel floral and other days I feel like the device needs a more professional look. If you think I’m crazy – well go ahead. You can never have too many device covers.
  • Book or kindle light. I don’t know about you, but I cannot get to sleep until I’ve read at least a sentence or two. Now I’ve heard studies that say that reading from a lit screen (especially in bed) can impact your ability to fall asleep. Not only that, but I’ve also heard that your brain processes information differently when it’s on a written page. That said – your book lover is going to need a book light — or a little light for their original Kindle.
  • Creative Book Ends. This is on my list people! If you’ve ever been on a hike and seen these little stones piled on top of each other along a trail — this is what I do with books. My husband has started joking about the fact that the books have become decorative elements in our house. Now a creative set of bookends might just solve my problem. If you know someone who has books all over their house – they will love this.
  • Personal Library Kit.  Digital readers aren’t for everyone . I mean it. There’s just no tactile enjoyment in the sharing — right? So if your bibliophile is an avid book sharer — or you want them to be – why not give them this wonderful library kit. They can literally lend books and keep track of who has them.
  • Conceal Book shelves.  This is another terrific way to get those books off the floor and turn them into a decorative asset in your home! You can learn a lot about a person byu reading the titles on their shelves. This is a great way to let your book-lovers’ personality shine through!
  • Read in bed – holder. One of the reasons I got a Kindle was because I love to read in bed — but the bigger books were simply KILLING my wrists. I mean, I just couldn’t get comfortable and then when I would reposition myself, the book would close and I’d lose my place! So here is a non-digital way to solve that problem. I found this while surfing online. I can’t vouch for its effectiveness, but it sure looks like it might solve my book juggling problem.

Now that you have a list of all the best business books for 2012, why not take it a step further and create a bundle of a present for your book lover.  One idea is to think of a theme and then combine several business books together around that theme.

For example, you can choose a them of Craftsmanship and bundle “Practice Perfect” and “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” as a package.  Put that together with a “crafty” kindle cover and you have a fun gift.

Let your imagination run wild and have fun creating customized and personalized gifts for everyone on your business gift list.

Editor’s Note: Check out the previous list of marketing books at Best Marketing Books to Give as Gifts.


Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."

9 Reactions
  1. This is a great post along with suggestions made. Glade to be a part of your network

  2. Awesome list! One of my favorite books of the year was Uncommon Service by Frances Frei. It talks about focusing on values that your customers really care about.

    I am going to check out Likeonomics.

    Question: What’s the name of the slideshow widget you used to present the list? Very cool.

  3. Ivana: I have to go through about 15 of your 20 books! 5 are already on my reading list. Great business book gift ideas! I am thinking of giving myself an e-book reader…

  4. So excited to be included in the list above! The great news is that these books are also awesome for making 2013 the year of impact and growth. What a great line up – thanks!

  5. As long as the book can provide some new knowledge and strategy or it can inspire, I think that they would make perfect gifts.

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