Business books have come a long way – but are they worth the read?
Business books are today’s fastest-growing categories in the professional/trade publishing industry. Business books are a great asset to a person interested in starting his or her first small business and in recent years they have fast turned from heavy theoretical textbooks to a far more readable story format. In a recent interview with renowned business columnist Dave Borgner, Jack Yale asked him why it had taken so long for business books to catch on with most people. He answered in part by saying that in the past, between 45 percent and 62 percent of all business books were harder to read than other kinds of books because 68 percent of them used more complex words than we did. David Williamson, CEO of Mark Hallet Financial Services Inc. and the author of the top selling news letter “Brands That Sell”, thinks most business books are too theoretical. The interesting business books are the ones that not only get the facts right but also tell a story in an interesting and appealing manner.
But today, business books are far more approachable than in years past – they tend to be more readable, more useful and may actually help to encourage more people to read this genre. As the business book category has matured, Barnes and Noble insiders report that business books are among the company’s top five categories. Over 5000 new business books are published each year in the United States alone, and we are beginning to see some titles encroaching onto the New York Times Bestseller list. But beyond those red-hot numbers is what some publishing executives call a vast ”gray area” in the way business books are sold, tracked and ranked. Something like 93% of all business books are never read (most readers get thru one chapter and then give up). I think that one of the problems is that a lot of business books are just too general and don’t explain to a reader how to actually implement their ideas, or sometimes even the authors don’t know how to implement their ideas. On the one hand, business books are necessarily about generalizations – on the other hand your company is necessarily all about specifics – so herein lies a dilemma.
The business books are valuable sources of information as well as information on the strategies taken up by a particular company or updated information on the present funding trend, interviews with leading business personalities and suggestions on the ways of capitalization in a business. It can be hard to know which new business books are the most beneficial, and impossible to find the time to read all of them.