6 Tips to Help You Choose a Good Business Book
“Where do you find all your books?”
“How do you pick a great book?”
The above are two questions that I often receive on my Instagram.
There’s nothing more frustrating than spending your hard-earned cash on a book, excitedly waiting for it to arrive and investing your time into reading it, only to be thoroughly disappointed by the end of it.
So, in this post, I’m going to answer both of those questions to help lessen the chance of you purchasing a sub-par business book.
Where do you find all of your books?
I get the vast majority of my books from Amazon.
I will occasionally use other book websites, especially if there is a sale on (websites such as Wordery, Book Depository, World of Books etc.) but I enjoy the free next-day delivery perks that I get from being an Amazon Prime Member.
Whilst I may pick up the odd book in a bookstore, the selection of business and entrepreneurial books in shops is usually quite small. I find that most bookstores tend to cater more for fiction readers. Therefore, Amazon is my go-to place when I want to find a book to read.
How do you pick a great book?
Here are my six top tips to help you choose a great business book.
Tip #1 – Pick a topic/subject
Before you even begin shopping for books, you first need to have a clear topic in mind that you want to learn.
Many of the business books available are very generalized but if you can choose a niche that particularly interests you, you’ll be able to find a book that is far more actionable and valuable.
It can be very easy to browse Amazon with no clear idea of what you want to get out of a book. So, think about what you want to learn and choose a book that addresses that subject.
Tip #2 – Stay away from some reading lists
You should only choose books from these lists if you can verify that the person writing the article has read all of those books that he/she is recommending. (And usually, they haven’t!)
In my experience, many of those lists don’t necessarily contain the best books for the topic they are promoting. Instead, those lists are created as affiliate click-bait. All they want you to do is click on the links, go to Amazon, and buy the book so that they receive a commission on the sale.
Now, I don’t have a problem with affiliate links, after all, I use them myself. However, I do have a problem with content that recommends books that the content creator hasn’t even bothered to read themselves.
So, always choose books from a site where the blogger has read the books themselves, rather than simply copying a few reviews to create a blog post and generate sales.
(Here’s a rant I did on this topic previously – RANT: Book Charts & Recommended Reading Lists – My Thoughts)
Tip #3 – Reviews
This is a pretty obvious tip; once you’ve chosen a book on Amazon, check out the reviews before you make the purchase.
That said, you will need to take the reviews with a pinch of salt as not all reviews are created equal.
Make sure you read a few to see if they’re genuine and check that they’re a ‘verified purchase’.
Also, remember that no-one else is you. Just because someone disliked the book, doesn’t mean that you will, and vice versa.
Tip #4 – Date of publication
In some cases, you need to check the date that the book was published.
Some business books are evergreen, however, depending on the topic you’ve chosen, the date of the book may be relevant. That especially applies to anything relating to the digital world.
For example, books to do with digital marketing techniques can quickly become out of date because technology is changing so rapidly. So, you might buy a book that’s only five years old, but much of what it contains is no longer relevant today.
Tip #5 – Take a peek inside
When buying books from Amazon, there is a handy “Look Inside” feature that you should definitely take advantage of.
By clicking on the cover photo of the book, Amazon allows you to take a peek at a select number of pages, which will give you a flavor of what the book is about and whether you will enjoy the author’s writing style.
You can also look at the chapter titles and check that the book contains everything that you want it to, including implementation points, actionable ideas, etc.
Tip #6 – Create a wish list
My final tip is to create an Amazon wish list solely for books.
As you search for a particular book, you will be presented with other books in the ‘book you may like’ and ‘sponsored products’ section.
Although these might not be of interest to you now, there may be something that you will want to read in the future. So, if a book perks your interest, you can save it to your wish list, and when you come to Tip #1 again, you will already have a list of ideas for books that you might want to read next.
That about wraps up all the tips I have for choosing a good business book and helping to ensure that your next read is an enjoyable and valuable one.
If you have any other tips that you would like to add, please share them with us in the comments box below.