Best books for creatives to learn business, marketing, and sales

by | Career, Creativity, Recommendations

Unblock your potential and grow your creative business with this collection of the best books for creatives.

Our challenge as creators day after day is facing the blank page. 

Making something when we feel inspired. And making things even when the muse hasn’t struck. 

Because the only way to become a prolific creator is be in the constant practice of making things. 

But outside of being good at making things, we need additional skills to supplement our natural gifts. 

There’s a business side to every creator business. 

That includes sending invoices, building websites, and getting your work in front of the right people. 

This list of the best books for creatives will help you get better at business, marketing, and sales. 

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Dan and Chip Heath

Communication is key in any creator business. But some ideas stick and some ideas don’t. This book is an incredible resource that analyzes why ideas spread and how you can make your ideas unforgettable in the minds of your customers.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

There’s a magic moment when an idea spreads like wildfire. In this book Gladwell explores the science behind viral trends in business, marketing, and human behavior. 

Story Craft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction by Jack Hart

Every creative business’ hardest task is communicating their story in an authentic way that resonates with their customers. Hart uses his background as a journalist to teach the methods and mechanics of crafting narrative nonfiction.

Better and Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas by Jeremy Gutshe

We all want to be a better innovator, better manager, and better investigator. This is the key to growing your creator business. In this book, Gutshe helps you to become better at pattern recognition to overcome the blocks that pop up in your creative journey.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins

Sometimes good isn’t good enough. In fact, what if we all strived to be great. Collins and his research team analyzed elite businesses that have made a significant impact for at least 15 years to illustrate the ways that great businesses work. The tips and tools in this book help to underscore that making a great business takes a lot of hard work.  

The Martha Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as You Start, Build, or Manage a Business by Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart is a powerhouse in business, but her story is also awe-inspinging. In this incredible book she provides tips that will help you avoid rookie mistakes in launching your creative business. It’s worth noting that unfortunately there is no mention of her time in prison mentioned, but its still an engaging read. 

The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes

Sales can a dirty word for creative people, but honestly, it shouldn’t be. Everything is sales. From the conversations we have to the emails we send. This book is a useful tool to step out of fear and get into the process of selling yourself and your products more easily. 

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Your creator business is a story of love and loneliness. While this is an unexpected addition to the list, I read this once every few years to realign my perspective. This is a children’s book that provides a beautiful meditation on the human existence. 

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

The best way to keep customers is to consistently delight them. In this book, Hsieh unpacks the keys to the success of Zappos: higher great employees that are aligned with the vision and having incredible customer service. 

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

Another unexpected addition to the list, Hoff writes a joy-filled book teaches the secret wisdom of Taoism. I’ve found that the key to not pulling out all your hair when things go wrong in your business is to have the patience of Pooh bear. 

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