70 Must-Read Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” – Cicero

I love books!

Ever since I was a young child I’ve been a voracious reader. Probably came from my grandmother who had a huge library of her own and was constantly recommending and giving me books as a child.

Over the years I‚Äôve developed quite a library of books and as ebooks and Kindle-like things grow in popularity, I remain steadfast and love the heft and feel of a ‚Äúreal book.‚ÄĚ I‚Äôve tried my wife‚Äôs Kindle and other than a few quick attempts at using it, I remain a traditionalist when it comes to books.

As a matter of fact just this week, I learned that the 4th edition of Dan Kennedy‚Äôs The Ultimate Sales Letter hit the book shelves. I immediately jumped online and rather than download the e-version, I bought the real thing and drove several miles to a local bookstore to pick it up. Here’s a non-affiliate link to Amazon.com:


One of the reasons I simply had to have this 4th edition (I currently own the first and third editions) was due to the fact I am one of only two guest contributors in Dan’s book.

Last summer, Dan asked me to rewrite the chapter on adding graphic enhancements to improve the readability and response of copywriting. The result is a completely updated and enhanced look at ‚Äúcopy cosmetics‚ÄĚ and how you can use them to improve your copy. I wrote from pages 133 ‚Äď 148, so grab a copy of The Ultimate Sales Letter 4th Edition and check it out!

My passion for books was further illustrated on a recent episode of Mike Capuzzi’s 3 in 3 where I shared a few contemporary books I believe entrepreneurs should all read and based on the number of comments left, it appears most success-oriented entrepreneurs share my love of books. If you haven‚Äôt checked it out, visit http://www.mikecapuzzi.tv/must-read-books.

However as much as I love modern books, my real passion is searching for and collecting rare and first edition business-oriented books; the same books that have paved the way for so many of today’s successful entrepreneurs and business owners. Authors like Napoleon Hill, John Caples, David Ogilvy are a few that immediately come to mind.

Recently, I bought a book about famous copywriter, John Caples and it was signed by the author and Caples. Having never had the opportunity to meet John Caples while he was alive, the book is something I will treasure.

I believe every entrepreneur should have his or her own success library. In case you are looking for new additions, or need a reminder of what you may already own, I want to share a list of 70 books that have my personal recommendation for entrepreneurs and business owners looking to learn from the very best.

You‚Äôll notice this list leans towards many of the classic books that you‚Äôve may have already read, which is further evidence that ‚Äúsuccess leaves tracks‚ÄĚ. The most successful entrepreneurs I know all have read the classic books listed below.

In the event you have not read these classics, I suggest you seek them out immediately.

You’ll also see I’ve listed certain authors multiple times and other authors only once (even though there may be other books from them I would recommend). Again this only comes from necessity to keep this list manageable and relatively short.

I hope this list generates some new, must-read books for you or reminds you of a few dusty books sitting on your shelves you may want to pull off and re-read. I would also love to hear your comments and additions to this list, so leave a comment below!

1. Jay Abraham ¬†– ¬†Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got

2. Richard Bayan¬†–¬†More Words That Sell

3. Richard Bayan Р Words That Sell

4. Harry Beckwith Р Selling the Invisible

5. Harry Beckwith Р The Invisible Touch

6. Harry Beckwith Р What Clients Love

7. Richard Benson¬†–¬† Secrets of Successful Direct Mail (Classic)

8. Drayton Bird Р  Common Sense Direct Marketing

9. Robert Bly ¬†–¬† Business to Business Direct Marketing

10. Robert Bly Р Copywriters Handbook

11. Bob Burg¬†–¬† The Go Giver

12. John Caples Р How to Make Your Advertising Make Money (Classic)

13. John Caples  Р Tested Advertising Methods (4th Edition) (Classic)

14. Robert Cialdini  Р  Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

15. Robert Cialdini  Р Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

16. Robert Collier  Р The Robert Collier Letter Book (Classic)

17. Jim Collins Р Good to Great

18. T. Harv Eker  Р Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

19. Michael Gerber  Р  The E-Myth Revisited

20. Jeffrey Gitomer  Р Little Red Book of Selling

21. Jeffrey Gitomer  Р The Sales Bible

22. Malcolm Gladwell   Р Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

23. Malcolm Gladwell  Р The Tipping Point

24. Bill Glazer  Р Outrageous Advertsing That’s Outrageously Successful

25. Rene Gnam ¬†–¬†Direct Mail Workshop

26. Seth Godin Р All Marketers Are Liars

27. Seth Godin¬†¬†–¬† Permission Marketing

28. Seth Godin  Р Purple Cow

29. Herschell Gordon Lewis Р Sales Letters That Sizzle

30. E. Haldeman-Julius¬†–¬† The First Hundred Million (Classic)

31. Denny Hatch Р  2,239 Tested Secrets for Direct Marketing Success

32. Denny Hatch Р  Method Marketing

33. Denny Hatch  Р  Million Dollar Mailings

34. Napoleon Hill Р  Grow Rich With Peace of Mind

35. Napoleon Hill Р  The Laws of Success (Classic)

36. Napoleon Hill¬†–¬† Think and Grow Rich (Classic)

37. Richard Hodgson¬†–¬†¬† The Greatest Direct Mail Sales Letters of All Time

38. Claude Hopkins Р  Scientific Advertising (Classic)

39. Joe Karbo¬†¬†¬†– ¬†¬†The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches (Classic)

40. Dan Kennedy  Р  No B.S. Guide to Business Success

41. Dan Kennedy¬†¬†–¬†¬† No B.S. Guide to Sales Success

42. Dan Kennedy  Р No B.S. Guide to Time Management

43. Dan Kennedy  Р The Ultimate Marketing Plan

44. Dan Kennedy Р The Ultimate Sales Letter, 4th Edition

45. Robert Kiyosaki¬†–¬† Rich Dad, Poor Dad

46. Julian Lewis Watkins  РThe 100 Greatest Ads (Classic)

47. Michael Masterson Р Ready, Fire, Aim

48. Geoffrey Moore  РCrossing the Chasm

49. Ted Nicholas  РBillion Dollar Marketing Secrets

50. Ted Nicholas Р How to Turn Words Into Money

51. Ted Nicholas Р Magic Words That Bring You Riches

52. David Ogilvy¬†¬†–¬†Confessions of an Advertising Man (Classic)

53. David Ogilvy¬†–¬†Ogilvy on Advertising (Classic)

54. Raleigh Pinskey Р 101 Ways to Promote Yourself

55. Steven Pressfield Р The War of Art

56. Nido Qubein Р  Stairway to Success

57. Rosser Reeves  Р  Reality in Advertising (Classic)

58. Robert Ringer¬†–¬† Action!: Nothing Happens Until Something Moves

59. Robert Ringer  РWinning Through Intimidation

60. Jim Rohn РThe Treasury of Quotes by Jim Rohn

61. Maxwell Sackheim¬†–¬†¬† Billion Dollar Marketing (Classic)

62. Maxwell Sackheim Р My First Sixty Years in Advertising (Classic)

63. Victor Schwab Р  How to Write a Good Advertisement (Classic)

64. Eugene Schwartz¬†–¬†¬† Breakthrough Advertising (Classic)

65. Steven K. Scott  Р Mentored By a Millionaire

66. Bob Stone¬†¬†–¬† Successful Direct Marketing Methods (Classic)

67. Joe Sugerman¬†¬†–¬† Advertising Secrets of the Written Word

68. Joe Sugerman Р Triggers

69. Donald Trump¬†–¬† Think Like a Champion

70. Zig Ziglar¬†¬†–¬†¬† Secrets of Closing the Sale

About Mike Capuzzi

Mike is a publisher, Amazon # best-selling author, and coach for business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders looking to stand out from the competition by authoring, publishing and leveraging short, helpful books. He is the author of 19 books, including two Amazon #1 Best Sellers. Learn more about his publishing opportunities at BiteSizedBooks.com.


  1. Maria Williams on February 11, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Great list, Mike! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Adwoa M. Jones on February 11, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Great list Mike! I also love, love, LOVE books!!! It’s my favorite thing to do, get a great business book and learn from the best! I have a huge library too and I try to get through 1-2 books every week ūüôā My favorite classics include Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, Maxwell Maltz’s “Psycho-Cybernetics” and Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. I love everything by Jim Rohn and Brian Tracy and one book I am loving right now is Darren Hardy’s Compound Effect!

    • Mike Capuzzi on February 11, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks Adwoa! Great suggestions! By the way… still love your name!

  3. Karen on February 11, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Great list, Mike! I’d also add Tribes by Seth Godin and StrenghtsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath.

    • Mike Capuzzi on February 11, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks Karen! Great addition.

  4. Mike Humphreys on February 11, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Hey Mike,

    Great list of classics! You told me a few of them that I need to add to be my “future book buy and read” list.

    Here’s some of my all-time favorites that I’d also recommend:

    * On Writing – Steven King
    * The Millionaire Mind – Thomas J. Stanley (co-author of Millionaire Next Door)
    * The E-Myth – Michael Gerber
    * Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless: How to Make Them Love You, Keep You Coming Back, and Tell Everyone They Know – Jeffrey Gitomer
    * On The Art of Writing Copy – Hershell Gordon Lewis
    * How To Market A Product For Under $500! – Jeffrey Dobkin
    * Goals! – Brian Tracy

    Take care,


    • Mike Capuzzi on February 11, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks Mike – and thank you for adding your own favorite books list – this is really helpful, I will have to check some of these out..

  5. David Cathers on February 11, 2011 at 3:25 pm


    That’s Great. And I agree there is nothing like a real book in hand. Don’t forget to check out Donald Moines two books – “Unlimited Selling Power”, How to master hypnotic Selling Skills and “Ultimate Selling Power”.

    There of course is one more that should be in EVERY LIBRARY. It is a New book called – “Getting Them To Know Like and Trust You” Proven marketing Strategies for Creating Extraordinarily Profitable Customer Relationships.

    • Mike Capuzzi on February 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks David, glad you enjoyed the article, and thank you for the book recommendations!

  6. Thomas Kragh on February 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    What a great list ūüôā

    Here are some of my favorites:
    Timothy Ferriss – The 4-hour workweek
    Edward M. Hallowell – CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap!
    Joe Navarro – What every body is saying
    Brian Tracy – Eat that frog!
    Earl Nightingale – The Strangest Secret
    Earl Nightingale – Lead the Field
    Earl Nightingale – The Essence of Success
    Rhonda Byrne – The Secret

    All the best ūüôā

    • Mike Capuzzi on February 11, 2011 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks Thomas! Interesting book recommendations – I will have to check them out this weekend.

  7. Brent Allan on March 19, 2011 at 12:55 am

    I will echo what a great list that is. Others have already added some of my favorites. But I will add a few that others have not mentioned.

    Your Marketing Sucks – Mark Stevens

    How to Persuade People Who Don’t Want to Be Persuaded – Joel Bauer

    The Referral of a Lifetime – Tim Templeton

    Trust Agents – Chris Brogan & Julien Smith

  8. […] Mike’s list of 70 must-read books for entrepreneurs and business owners […]

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