Whether it’s hardcover or Kindle Fired, the gift of a good read is always a safe bet in the holiday season. Here are a few recommended reads for the business owner or entrepreneur in your life:

1.   For the Starter-Upper:

Okay, so color me impartial, but the best book out there is still: The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan by Bplans.com founder, Tim Berry. This book encourages readers to “jump in!” “Go ahead and skip around,” invites Berry, “No two businesses are alike, and so no two business plans will be alike.” The plan-as-you-go business plan is what you need and only what you need.”

The Art of the Start, Guy Kawasaki: What does it take to turn ideas into action? What are the elements of a perfect pitch? How do you win the war for talent? How do you establish a brand without bucks? These are some of the issues everyone faces when starting or revitalizing any undertaking, and Guy Kawasaki, former marketing maven of Apple Computer, provides the answers with a deft touch and humorous narrative.

2. For the Communicator:

medium-is-message-176x300The Medium is the Massage:  “Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which men communicate,  than by the content of the communication” writes Marshall McLuhan’s in his iconic 1967 treatise on media and communications.  30+ years later, McLuhan’s visually dazzling, quirky exploration of marketing and communication remains a must-read for any Public Relations or Marketing professional. *As for the title: speculation is abundant but according to the author, it was a typographical error that, in the spirit of irreverence, was left in the final product.  

The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly. Social Media is King and there are a lot of books out there on the subject, this one stands out for being fresh, highly rated on Amazon, and well-organized.

3. For the Salesman:

Duct Tape Marketing, John Jantsch: Small-business marketing guru John Jantsch breaks small business marketing down into three steps: earn trust, engage, and find out what works–and do more of it.

The InfluentialsA personal favorite, this book is all about the people who always seem to know about the cool stuff, first. Voraciously consuming media, ideas, and experiences, these roughly 10 percent of Americans wield an inexorable and pervasive sway over the rest of us. Data-driven and tightly compiled, the book is both a study into basic marketing trends and examination of human nature.