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Your Best Books

publishing, booksIt’s the time of year when best-of or worst-of lists appear. Where’s yours?

Yes, you should have one. If you’re building an audience through your online platform, then a list of what you yourself like can be a real audience-engagement tool.

Your list doesn’t have to be made up of current books – not everyone reads the latest (though of course you’ll want your tribe to read yours). And not everyone is paid to think about books all year. So think about a list of your reading as a way of identifying your critical eye, of using your opinion of the work of others – current or not – to show your audience why you think what you do.

You know, Bill Gates releases a list of his favorite books on his blog.

He might have even less time than you (though who knows – he certainly doesn’t have to queue up for baggage or wait for a landing gate or a returned phone call or anything like that).

But his list makes news, because he’s Bill Gates and because he has interesting things to say about the books he chooses. (And he has the clout to be able to speak with the authors – as he says in his blog, regarding his choice of French economist Thomas Piketty’s international bestseller, “Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century,” “Piketty kindly spent an hour discussing his work with me before I finished my review.” Well, if Bill Gates calls, you’re going to pick up the phone…)

You have interesting things to say as well. You might not get Thomas Piketty on the line, but you can certainly weigh in on the books that spoke to you this year, and that perhaps have had an impact on how you approach your business.

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