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Mark Amtower’s Recommended Reading List for Business, Marketing and Self-Improvement

These books are suggested for those who are interested in continuous growth. I welcome your suggestions for additions to the list, including new categories. Send your suggestions to
Good Luck and Great Reading!

New – Must Read!

Kiss Theory Goodbye! (Bob Prosen)
Excellent “rubber meets road advice” from Bob Prosen with advice that really works for companies of ANY size. Easy to read, easy to use, this should be part of any manager’s library, and required reading for anyone who wants to manage.

Chief Customer Officer (Jeanne Bliss)

An easy to read guide to creating great customer service in your organization, chock full of real-life examples. Jeanne Bliss cuts through the “lip service” approach to customer service to give practical advice.

The White Paper Marketing Handbook (Robert W Bly)

Bob Bly adds to his considerable (and excellent) collection of books with this tremendoulsy helpful guide to using white papers (and many variants) to develop qualifiied leads. Like all of his books, this is easy to read, easy to use, and my copy – after the first reading – was full of post-its with ideas for both me and my clients. In my opinion, this is one of Bob’s best books, and that is saying something, as he has published over 60!

The Anatomy of Buzz (Emauel Rose)
In this largely overlooked work, Emanuel Rosen details the real power of word-of-mouth marketing, then lists the steps on how to create and manage this powerful process for you, your product, service or company. If you do not read this, you are overlooking one of the great marketing tools available. Rosen’s book is indispensable. This needs to be in everyone’s library, but not gathering dust. I have used these concepts in my seminars and for my business, and for a “one man band”, there are few who can match me for creating “buzz”. Mr Rosen – my thanks and admiration for a truly great book. Now – put it on CD!


Each of these is easy and fun to read, and well worth the time. Although the examples in the Trout & Ries books are dated, the concepts are solid.

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind (Trout & Ries)
The Jack Trout/Al Ries classic that defined positioning as a marketing concept.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing (Trout & Ries)
2nd of three Trout & Ries classics.

Marketing Warfare (Trout & Ries)
3rd of the classic Trout & Ries classic texts on marketing

The Great Game of Business (Jack Stack)


Differentiate or Die: Survival In Our Era of Killer Competition (Jack Trout and Steve Rifkin)

The Online Copywriter’s Handbook (Robert W Bly)
Bob Bly is a friend, member of my Board of Advisors, and one of the best copywriter’s working today. He is a prolific author, and all of his stuff is worth reading.

Business to Business Marketing: Creating a Community of Customers (Victor Hunter)
Vic Hunter is a friend and a member of my Board of Advisors. I use portions of this book as a cornerstone for my Government Marketing Best Practices seminar. It is not easy to read, but well-worth the effort.

The White Paper Marketing Hand (Bob Bly)
Bob Bly – copywriting master extraordinaire – has done it again in The White Paper Marketing Hand.

A few years back people were saying White Papers were dead, but in my market (B2G), they never went totally away, and over the past year or two have made a strong comeback.

People can learn a ton from this book. With the cost of leads continually rising, the ability to use White Papers to generate qualified leads should add to all B2B bottom lines.

A book long overdue from one of the few capable of producing a use-able book on the topic.


The Art of the Start (Guy Kawasaki)

The Leadership Engine (Noel Tichy)
Book | Audio Cassette

The Cycle of Leadership
(Noel Tichy)
Book | CD

Control Your Destiny of Someone Else Will (Noel Tichy)
Book | CD

Since Welch became its CEO in 1981, GE has become one of the most successful companies of the late 20th century, increasing its market value from $13 billion to over $400 billion. Welch has been hailed by “60 Minutes” as the best executive in the world. This success can be attributed in large part to Jack Welch, GE’s dynamic CEO who transformed the company from a bureaucratic behemoth into a fierce competitor in the global marketplace.

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (Jim Collins)
Book | CD

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap, and Some Don’t (Jim Collins)
Book | CD

Beyond Entrepreneurship: Turning Your Business Into an Enduring Great Company (Jim Collins)

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
Book | CD

Profitable Growth is Everyone’s Business by Ram Charan
Book | CD | Audio Cassette


The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen R Covey)
Book | CD
Anything by Dr Covey is worth reading if you want to live an effective, value-based life.

First Things First (Stephen R Covey)

The Automatic Millionaire (David Bach)
Book | CD
It is imperative for the self-employed – indeed, everyone – to get a grip on their finances. David Bach has a solid approach, do-able by everyone.


I believe everyone needs continuous improvement in three key areas: speaking (one to one or one to many), listening and schmoozing.

Speak and Grow Rich (Dottie & Lilly Walters)

Every business person should learn the art of speaking: one to one or one to many, it doesn’t matter. I also like Maggie Bedrosian’s Speak Like a Pro, but can be hard to find.

You’ve Got to Be Believed to Be Heard by Bert Decker
Book | Audio Cassette

The Golden Rule of Schmoozing by Aye Jaye
Book | CD | Audio Cassette


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