Editor’s Choice Awards: 2009 Best Small Business Books

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editors7We are excited to announce the Editor’s Choice edition of the 2009 Small Business Book Awards.

The following books were chosen by the Editors of Small Business Trends, along with expert input from a 27-member Advisory Panel (see the Advisory Panelists listed at the end of this article).  The combined input was impassioned and invaluable, and the decisions all the more difficult due to the quality of this year’s business book releases.

Without further delay, here are the Editor’s Choice winners, listed in alphabetical order:


Anatomy of Buzz RevisitedAnatomy of Buzz RevisitedEmmanuel Rosen revisits his best seller and updates how buzz works with today’s new tools. Read our review.

  • Why Read This Book: Learn what gives a story and an idea “legs” and how to actually build buzz into your marketing strategy.
  • Key Take-Away: Build a community of experts and then let them speak freely about the advantages and disadvantages of your product or service.  It builds buzz and trust.


Escape from Cubicle NationEscape from Cubicle NationPamela Slim writes a guide for aspiring entrepreneurs still stuck in corporate jobs or who recently left.  Read our review.

  • Why Read This Book: It’s a roadmap for getting yourself out of that corporate cubicle and into your own startup.
  • Key Take-Away: If you think that corporate life is killing you, it probably is.  Staying where you are will not make you successful – you have to make a change to be successful.


greening-businessGreening Your Small BusinessLearn how making your business green isn’t just trendy, but cost-effective.  Jennifer Kaplan explores how and why to weave green practices into your business.

  • Why Read This Book: Today’s consumer sees eco-friendliness and “green” as a reason to buy from you.
  • Key Take-Away: There are literally hundreds MORE green tips out there than “recycle.”  Switching to Internet apps is just one unexpected example.


Me 2.0 by Dan SchawbelMe 2.0No matter your status in the world of work — employed, unemployed, business owner, consultant or freelancer — your personal brand will determine your ultimate success. Written by Dan Schawbel, Publisher of Personal Branding Magazine. Read our review.

  • Why Read This Book: Get lots of ideas, resources and tips on how to uncover and determine your personal brand and then how to leverage that brand for new opportunities.
  • Key Take-Away: Register your name as a domain name or URL.  Choose a niche and become known as the expert in it.  Create a title for yourself that references your niche.


New Community Rules by Tamar WeinbergThe New Community RulesSocial media users will get useful and applicable how-to tips to market their business online, including how to use various social media websites and tools.  Written by Tamar Weinberg, social media consultant.  Check out our review.

  • Why Read This Book: You’ll learn about uncommon social media sites like Diigo, Mento, Kirtsy and Tip’d.
  • Key Take-Away: Use Mahalo to do some quick market research such as setting a price for a product or service.


Outrageous Advertising by Bill GlazerOutrageous AdvertisingDirect Marketing guru Bill Glazer outlines hundreds of direct marketing and advertising campaigns that will build your customer community and grow your sales.  Our review is here.

  • Why Read This Book: This is an encyclopedia of ideas and advertising how-to’s.  If you’ve ever wanted to use direct marketing but weren’t sure how to put it together, this will tell you how.
  • Key Take-Away: Make a list of non-traditional holidays and create special offerings and programs for them.  You will stand out from the crowd and customers will remember you.


Talk Less by Connie DiekenTalk Less, Say More — In a world of over-communication, this book will teach you to connect with your audience, get your message across and get things done. By Connie Dieken, former TV anchor and multiple Emmy winner.

  • Why Read This Book: There are tips tricks and techniques in this book that will turn you into a persuasive powerhouse.  Our book review here.
  • Key Take-Away: Talk in triplets.  To help people remember a longer list, break your information down into groups of three’s.


Super FreakonomicsSuper FreakonomicsTwo curious economists (Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner) look at reams of data and show us the world; not for how we believe it to be or how our stated values wish it were, but how it actually is based on our behaviors and choices.

  • Why Read This Book: It’s a fun and engaging read.  In a tough economy, you might as well explore how we humans think and make choices until it gets better.
  • Key Take-Away: If a solution to a problem doesn’t bite us on the nose, we think that there isn’t a solution.  Keep asking questions, look at the data that’s already there and open yourself up to unconventional insights.


Trust AgentsTrust AgentsIf social media is still a mystery to you, then let Chris Brogan and Julien Smith show you the ropes on how to build your brand and your profits using social media.

  • Why Read This Book: Social Media is here to stay.  This book will help you build your brand through social media and cut your learning curve. Read reviews here.
  • Key Take-Away: Building trust is key to building a loyal community


UpstartsUpstartsThis book by Donna Fenn covers 150 entrepreneurs from Gen Y. Some started their businesses as teens.  Read our review of Upstarts.

  • Why Read This Book: Get inspired and energized by the vignettes that make you the fly on the wall of how Gen Y’s started businesses and overcame challenges.
  • Key Take-Away: Adapt a Gen Y solution or idea to a current challenge and see what happens.


Viral LoopViral LoopAdam Penenberg tells the story behind the most successful viral marketing companies and campaigns.  Then he breaks out specific strategies that you can use to grow your own business using a viral strategy. Our review here.

  • Why Read This Book: Technology and social media have made understanding viral marketing strategies a requirement.  This book has history, strategy and infrastructure all in one place.
  • Key Take-Away: Pick your favorite viral campaign and find creative ways to integrate it into your own company; use a feature in your e-mail and add an affiliate link to your signature.


You are What You ChooseYou are What You ChooseWe don’t make purchasing decisions just based on demographics, but on basic hard-wired motivators such as time, risk, altruism, getting information, meToo status and stickiness or loyalty — say authors Scott de Marchi and James T. Hamilton.  Read our review.

  • Why Read This Book: Once you understand these six motivators, you can literally craft sales and marketing messages to target these internal and emotional motivators.
  • Key Take-Away: Political values and believes have almost no impact on buyer behavior.  In fact Democrats and Republicans make almost identical purchasing decisions.


Expert Advisory Panel

A big thank you goes out to our Expert Advisory panel.  Your time and expert input added real value.

The Advisory Panel includes authors, small business experts, publishers, bloggers, executives and other professionals:

Kare Anderson, Author and Emmy Winner, Say it Better

Mark Anderson, professional cartoonist at www.andertoons.com

Dawn Rivers Baker, publisher of The MicroEnterprise Journal

Shashi Bellamkonda, Network Solutions

Tim Berry, business planning expert

Andy Birol, Author of “The 5 Catalysts of 7 Figure Growth,”  www.profitablegrowth.com

Dane Carlson, publisher of Business Opportunities

Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger

Jason Cohen, software entrepreneur

Laurel Delaney, global business expert, Borderbuster newsletter

Yvonne DiVita, Professional Blogger and Social Media Enthusiast, The Lipsticking Society

Melinda Emerson ‘SmallBizLady’, Author, “Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months” (Feb. 2010)

Margie Zable Fisher, president of Zable Fisher Public Relations

Wayne Hurlbert, publisher of Blog Business World

John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing

Steve King, Small Biz Labs

Jim F. Kukral, Author of upcoming book “Attention! This Book Will Make You Money”

Brian Lenhart, @BrianLenhart

Rieva Lesonsky, CEO, www.smallbizdaily.com

Joel Libava, Author of “The Essential Steps To Researching A Franchise Opportunity”

Martin Lindeskog, International Business Coordinator, www.Martin.Lindeskog.name

TJ McCue, founder of Sales Rescue Team

Susan Oakes, www.m4bmarketing.com

Denise O’Berry, author “Small Business Cash Flow”

Ramon Ray, publisher of SmallBizTechnology.com

Matthew Ringer, publisher of SmallBizBee.com

Zane Safrit, www.zanesafrit.com

How the Winners Were Chosen

To be eligible for these Awards, books had to appeal to small business personnel, entrepreneurs, freelancers or the self-employed. Also, books had to be newly published (or revised) during 2009 (no older books).

Books were chosen based on originality; quality of writing; and usefulness of the book for the widest range of small business people, entrepreneurs and the self-employed.  Votes were cast in a blind ballot, conducted via QuestionPro.

Reader’s Choice Awards

If you’d like to see which books readers chose as their favorites for 2009, please see our separate list of Reader’s Choice Business Book Awards.

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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."