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The Bs' Bookshelf


When we launched B Direct, nearly 16 years ago, a friend and former colleague who had started her design business a few years prior, gave us some excellent advice. "You may not have a lot of revenue at first," she warned us, "So, if you feel like going on a shopping spree, make sure everything you buy is tax deductible."

Office supplies? Check. Art supplies? Check.

And books? Check. Lots of marketing books.

Here are some of our favorites along with quick descriptions. They're great for browsing when you're stuck on a concept or experiencing writer's block. They're instructional, motivational, and often inspirational too.

Ogilvy on Advertising
David Ogilvy

"An advertising authority updates his analysis of the elements of successful advertising and assesses the advertising environment that has emerged during the past twenty years." (Btw, if anyone doubts that Ogilvy was really a direct marketer, this book will put them straight.)

Write on Target: The Direct Marketers Copywriting Handbook
Donna Baier Stein, Floyd Kemske

The definitive guide to writing effective direct marketing copy with handy lists of dos and don'ts. Terrific resource for beginners, project managers, or seasoned copywriters who need a refresher or just a bit of inspiration. (Baier Stein and Kemske are friends of the B Direct family so we're particularly happy to endorse them.)

The Complete Guide to B2B Marketing
Kim Ann King

King draws on decades of experience with pioneer B2B and high tech companies. The immensely readable book covers everything from creative and strategy, to analytics, automation, and optimization. (The back of the book includes interviews with B2B marketing pros, including our own Queen B.)

WAYMISH: Why Are You Making It So Hard for me to give you my money?
Ray Considine, Ted Cohn

Given that — we asume — everyone who is in business is in business to make money, you'll be astounded by the barriers that companies large and small put up. This entertaining book illuminates the ways that businesses become their own worst enemies when they make it too damn difficult to do business with.

The One To One Future
Don Peppers, Martha Rogers, Ph.D.

Published way back in 1993, this book became the Bible for marketers who were looking to engage customers and build more powerful — and profitable — customer relationships. Absolutely prophetic, it definitely set the stage for all of the 1:1 marketing techniques and technologies we use today.

Designing Direct Mail That Sells
Sandra Blum

A coffee table book of gorgeous direct mail campaigns? Sounds crazy, no? Well, if you're looking for artistic inspiration, look no further than Blum's truly handsome book. Interspersed with all the pretty pictures are valuable lessons about how to make campaigns effective as well as aesthetic.

The Elements of Style
Willliam Strunk, Jr., E.B. White, and (if you're lucky) Maira Kalman

This is the classic and definitive guide to all the rules that make up elegant writing. The book has been around forever, but a fairly new release includes smart, whimsical illustrations by The New Yorker's marvelous Kalman. Although not quite as fun to read, try The Elements of Grammar (Margaret Shertzer) and The Elements of Editing (Arthur Plotnik) too.

From our hive to yours, happy reading!



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