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Book Giveaway: The 2017 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards: Marketing & Sales Book Giveaway


We are dedicating our giveaways for the rest of the year to the books on the longlist for the 2017 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year . 

We recognize 40 book on our longlist—five books in eight different categories. This week, we'll be giving away the books in the Marketing & Sales category, which are listed below along with the publisher's description of the book. (Check back with In the Books Wednesday for our take on each of these books.) Each of this week's winners will receive all five books in the category.

Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson, Penguin Press

Hit Makers is a groundbreaking investigation into the most valuable currency of the 21st century: people’s attention. With insatiable curiosity, great reporting, and beguiling storytelling, Atlantic Senior Editor Derek Thompson uses the lens of economics to reveal the secret of what makes a hit a hit.

Thompson begins with a simple proposition: even though many number-one songs, blockbuster films, Internet memes, and ubiquitous apps seem to come out of nowhere, hits have a story and they operate by certain rules. There is a reason why some ideas catch on. But a perfectly constructed product isn’t enough to create a hit on the level of Fifty Shades of Grey. People have to encounter it. Exposure is the critical other half of the hit equation. So Hit Makers explores two crucial questions: Why do people like what they like? And how do popular ideas spread?

This is an especially complicated phenomenon in the 21st century because scarcity has yielded to abundance. The finite nature of the concert hall or the museum wall is now the endless Internet. The world of hits is more democratic than ever. It’s also much more unpredictable. So even though human attention has not evolved—our preferences remain guided by an interplay between the complex and the simple, the new and the familiar—capturing that attention is more challenging than ever.

From the rise of the Impressionist vanguard to the ubiquity of SportsCenter, from the global Star Wars franchise to Swedish-engineered pop music, Thompson leaves no pet rock unturned to tell the fascinating story of how culture happens.

The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the Ten Commitments That Drive Sales by Anthony Iannarino, Portfolio

If you want to succeed in sales, you need to know how to close. Anthony Iannarino, star sales blogger, consultant, speaker, and author of the national bestseller The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, lays out the new rules of closing.

Closing the deal is the most crucial step in the sales process. Yet most salespeople are following outdated, incorrect, and harmful advice telling them to aggressively and forcefully go for the hard sell—or to sell so softly that they are afraid to ask for any commitments at all! They’ve heard “always be closing” and “never be closing.” But neither of those mantras are true in the complex sales landscape we have today. Closing now is all about building trust with your clients and moving them down the path of ten commitments… all the way to the dotted line.

Iannarino argues that in a world with many competitors vying for the same clients and with clients who can do their own research, closing a sale is really about gaining commitments and doing all you can to build a relationship with your prospective client. In his rebuttal to conventional and disappointing “sales wisdom,” Iannarino will teach readers to:

  • Develop deep relationships with clients by implementing closing strategies that build trust and help prospective clients understand the value of committing to move forward in the process.
  • Proactively, but not aggressively, ask for commitments without guilt or embarrassment about being pushy, manipulative, or self-oriented—all things that destroy trust.

In a field rife with misperceptions about how to close a deal, Iannarino’s book will be necessary reading for all sales people—to help them streamline the sales process and win more deals, faster.

Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts by Ryan Holiday, Portfolio

Bestselling author and marketing strategist Ryan Holiday reveals to creatives of all stripes—authors, entrepreneurs, musicians, filmmakers, fine artists—how a classic work is made and marketed.

In Hollywood, a movie is given a single weekend to succeed before being written off. In Silicon Valley, a startup is a failure if it doesn’t go viral or rake in venture capital from the start. In publishing, a book that took years to write is given less than three months to sink or swim. These brutally shortsighted attitudes have choked the world with instructions for engineering a flash-in-the-pan and littered the media landscape with fads and flops.

Meanwhile, the greats, the stalwarts, the household names, are those who focus on a singularly different, possibly heretical, idea: that their work can and should last. For instance, Zildjian has been one of the premier makers of cymbals since its founding in 1623—and shows no signs of quitting. Iron Maiden has filled stadiums for forty years, moving some 85 million albums in their career. Robert Greene’s first book, The 48 Laws of Power, didn’t hit the bestseller lists until over a decade after it was first released, and since then has sold more than 1 million copies worldwide.

These works Ryan Holiday calls Perennial Sellers. They exist in every creative industry—timeless, dependable resources and unsung moneymakers, paying like blue chip annuities. Like gold or land, they increase in value over time, outlasting and outreaching any competition. And they’re not flukes or lucky breaks—they were built to last from the outset.

Holiday shows readers how to make and market their own classic work. Featuring interviews with some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs, and grounded in a deep study of the classics in every genre, this creative book empowers readers with a foundational set of innovative principles. Whether you have a book or a business, a song or the next great screenplay, this book reveals the recipe for perennial success.

The Transformational Consumer: Fuel a Lifelong Love Affair with Your Customers by Helping Them Get Healthier, Wealthier, and Wiser by Tara-Nicholle Nelson, Berrett-Koehler

They are the most valuable, least understood customers of our time. They buy over $4 trillion in life-improving products and services every year. If you serve their deeply human need to continually improve their lives, they will eagerly engage with your brand at a time when most people are tuning out corporate messages.

They are Transformational Consumers, and no one knows them like Tara-Nicholle Nelson. Her Transformational Consumer insights powered her work at MyFitnessPal, which grew from 40 million to 100 million users in her time there.

Nelson takes readers on a hero's journey to connecting with customers in ways both profitable and transformational. After going inside the brains, emotions, and behaviors of Transformational Consumers, Tara issues a call to adventure: a rallying cry to leaders to shift their focus from simply making products to solving their customers' problems.

Nelson uses stories and cases studies from every industry to guide readers through this journey in five stages, shedding light on how to rethink their customers, their products and services, their marketing, their competition, and even their culture.

The key to growing a business today is not building an app or getting new social media followers. The key is engaging people over and over again by triggering their deep, human desire for growth and transformation.

When a company reorients every initiative to serve Transformational Consumers, it kick-starts a lifelong love affair with its customers—a love affair that results in unprecedented revenue growth, product innovation, and employee engagement.

UnBranding: 100 Branding Lessons for the Age of Disruption by Scott Stratten & Alison Stratten, Wiley

We live in a transformative time.

The digital age has given us unlimited access to information and affected all our traditional business relationships—from how we hire and manage, to how we communicate with our current and would-be customers. Innovation continues to create opportunities for emerging products and services we never thought possible.

With all the excitement of our time, comes confusion and fear for many businesses. Change can be daunting, and never have we lived in a time where change came so quickly.

This is the age of disruption—it's fast-paced, far-reaching and is forever changing how we operate, create, connect, and market.

It's easy to see why brand heads are spinning. Businesses are suffering from "the next big thing" and we're here to help you find the cure.

UnBranding is about focus—it's about seeing that within these new strategies, technologies, and frameworks fighting for our attention, lay the tried and true tenants of good business – because innovation is nothing but a bright and shiny new toy, unless it actually works. UnBranding is here to remind you that you can't fix rude staff, mediocre products and a poor brand reputation with a fancy new app.

We are going to learn from 100 branding stories that will challenge your assumptions about business today and teach valuable, actionable lessons. It's not about going backwards, it's about moving forward with purpose, getting back to the core of good branding while continuing to innovate and improve without leaving your values behind.

Some topics will include:

  • Growing and maintaining your brand voice through the noise
  • How to focus on the right tools for your business, for the right reasons
  • Maintaining trust, consistency and connection through customer service and community
  • The most important question to ask yourself before innovation
  • The importance of personal branding in the digital age
  • How to successful navigate feedback and reviews

It's time for a reality check. It's time to solve problems, create connections, and provide value rather than rush strategy just to make headlines. UnBranding gives you the guidance you need to navigate the age of disruption and succeed in business today.

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