5 Useful Free Books for Creative Entrepreneurs (+ 1 Fun One)

SummerReadingGraphicSquare2My business is advising people on their digital businesses, and over the past decade, I’ve signed up for hundreds of e-newsletters by a wide variety of online gurus, which are often accompanied by free downloadable ebooks. As you might imagine, some of these free downloadables are better than others. Here are 5 below that have stood the test of time, in terms of me referring back to them and their resources. You get what you pay for, though: the books are often short (which is a good thing, right?) and you must endure a few plugs by the authors for their products.

If you like what these experts share with you in their books, I highly recommend you visit their blogs and sign up yourself for their updates. Get their free advice while you can!

{Click on each title or cover to download or read the book.}

It Sure Beats Working: 29 Quirky Stories and Practical Business Lessons for the First-Time, Mid-Life Solo Professional

ItSureBeatsWorkingcoverI paid for this book when I first came across it about 10 years ago; now it’s a newsletter signup freebie on Michael Katz’s wonderful BluePenguinDevelopment.com blog. Katz is a newsletter specialist by trade and a small-business cheerleader by calling. A savvy, amusing writer who knows brevity is the secret to keeping your readers reading, his 100-page book is an inspiring read for people who’ve started up their own businesses… or are considering it.

What Every Site Owner Should Know: Make Your Blog Better

BlogAid Site coverThis handy book is full of good info from WordPress expert MaAnna Stephenson of BlogAid.net. Most of the people I know have someone like MaAnna (or me) helping them with their WordPress websites, but I agree with MaAnna that every site owner should know the basics about how their site works—or at least know some of the jargon so you can convey your wishes to your developer.

Grow Your Audience: The Author Platform Starter Kit

Grow Your AudienceSome well tested and heartfelt advice on how to “grow your brand” and audience via book marketing expert and writer Dan Blank of WeGrowMedia.com. (This book is a few years old now, but the lessons about building relationships and what NOT to waste your time on still hold water.)

The Marketer’s Crash Course in Visual Content Creation

Visual Content CreationThere are a growing number of beginner’s sites for creating all-important “visual content—such as Canva.com and PicMonkey.com—and this ebook by a pair of marketing designers at Hubspot does a great job of explaining why and how visual content key is for all communicators these days, while offering simple best practices via their “10 Commandments of Do-It-Yourself Design.”

Stop, Think, Create: 42 Things You Must Stop Doing Immediately So You Can Start Thinking More Creatively

StopThinkCreate coverI started my business of helping successful entrepreneurs by first helping my husband/business partner Warren Berger launch and promote his books on creativity and innovation. We decided that Warren needed to create a great giveaway to help build his email list for his blog AMoreBeautifulQuestion.com. He took his 25 years of writing about creative people in advertising, design, Hollywood, and the media, and distilled their lessons about overcoming creative blocks into this 100-page free ebook—with the result of zooming his email signups from 800 people to 3,000 in just over a year.

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Finally a bonus freebie, purely for pleasure (and as an example of great book promotion):

TheRoyalWeThe Royal We (published by Grand Central Publishing and recently recommended on Janet Maslin’s “Cool Books for Hot Summer Days” book list) is offering a nice preview: get the first 7 chapters for free on your Kindle.

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About the Author

Laura E. Kelly, co-owner of WBLK Media, Inc., was an editor in magazine and book publishing for many years and now specializes in offering successful entrepreneurs (like Edie!) personalized, high-quality help with their digital words & images. She’s a true believer in taking advantage of all the free (or cheap) resources on the internet and loves to share her tips.

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