100 books like They Ask, You Answer

By Marcus Sheridan,

Here are 100 books that They Ask, You Answer fans have personally recommended if you like They Ask, You Answer. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

Melanie Deziel

From my list on how writers can avoid being replaced by AI.

Who am I?

Professionally, I’ve been a journalist, author, speaker, marketer, adjunct professor, consultant, startup founder, and more; but at my core, I’m a storyteller and a lifelong student. I read voraciously about creativity, writing, media, marketing, psychology, and design, and I’m fascinated by drawing connections between these things. (I’m still allowed to say “read” when I mostly consume audiobooks, right?) I’m currently focused on helping other creators and storytellers master their craft, refine their big ideas, and figure out their unique differentiators, through The Creator Kitchen, the mastermind program I run with fellow creator Jay Acunzo.

Melanie's book list on how writers can avoid being replaced by AI

Melanie Deziel Why did Melanie love this book?

Ok, you caught me. I recommended the first edition of this book in a previous list. But this, my friends, is the second edition which, as the cover art indicates, is 10% funnier than the first.

Ann’s work is a testament to the power of honing your unique voice in a way that makes your work easy to identify, clearly differentiated, and dang near impossible to recreate well. Now that we’re battling it out against generative AI, not just other writers, this book serves as both an instructional guide and a case study on developing a distinct voice, in and of itself. 

By Ann Handley,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Everybody Writes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finally a go-to guide to creating and publishing the kind of content that will make your business thrive. Everybody Writes is a go-to guide to attracting and retaining customers through stellar online communication, because in our content-driven world, every one of us is, in fact, a writer. If you have a web site, you are a publisher. If you are on social media, you are in marketing. And that means that we are all relying on our words to carry our marketing messages. We are all writers. Yeah, but who cares about writing anymore? In a time-challenged world dominated by…


Book cover of Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing

Joe Pulizzi Author Of Content Inc.: Start a Content-First Business, Build a Massive Audience and Become Radically Successful

From my list on content creation and content marketing.

Who am I?

I’ve been a content creator for over 20 years now. I’ve written six books on content creation and content marketing and founded two companies dedicated to helping companies create better content (The Tilt for content entrepreneurs and Content Marketing Institute for enterprise marketers). Some people credit me for coining the term “content marketing,” but really I only popularized it. Oh, and I’m very passionate about the color orange.

Joe's book list on content creation and content marketing

Joe Pulizzi Why did Joe love this book?

If you love formulas as to why content works or falls flat, then Content Chemistry is for you. Andy supplies a multitude of formulas for things like your content mission statement, how to get found for search engine optimization, and how to implement content inside your organization. Andy started this book in 2011 and continues to build upon it. It’s a treasure trove for content creators.

By Andy Crestodina,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Content Chemistry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This edition has been updated to reflect new technology and marketing trends. The result of thousands of conversations about web marketing with hundreds of companies, this handbook is a compilation of the most important and effective lessons and advice about the power of search engine optimization, social media, and email marketing. The first and only comprehensive guide to content marketing, this book explains the social, analytical, and creative aspects of modern marketing that are necessary to succeed on the web. By first covering the theory behind web and content marketing and then detailing it in practice, it shows how it…


Book cover of The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas

Joe Pulizzi Author Of Content Inc.: Start a Content-First Business, Build a Massive Audience and Become Radically Successful

From my list on content creation and content marketing.

Who am I?

I’ve been a content creator for over 20 years now. I’ve written six books on content creation and content marketing and founded two companies dedicated to helping companies create better content (The Tilt for content entrepreneurs and Content Marketing Institute for enterprise marketers). Some people credit me for coining the term “content marketing,” but really I only popularized it. Oh, and I’m very passionate about the color orange.

Joe's book list on content creation and content marketing

Joe Pulizzi Why did Joe love this book?

Many times, content creators don’t focus on the entire plan…from the initial creation of the text, the audio, the video through to measurement. Well, fret no longer. Melanie takes her personal experience as well as interviews with content creators at companies around the world to develop a framework that works. The step-by-step format is can’t miss.

By Melanie Deziel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Content Fuel Framework as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Marketers struggling to create engaging content will have a savior in The Content Fuel Framework. The Focus + Format approach is a simple yet highly effective way to inspire numerous rich ideas to rescue any content marketing program."
—Lee Odden, CEO and Co-Founder of TopRank Marketing

In The Content Fuel Framework, trained journalist and award-winning content marketer Melanie Deziel shows you how to maximize your creativity by systematizing it. This simple framework catalyzes the brainstorming process, making idea generation effortless and nearly automatic. No more writer's block. No more asking "what should I post?" No more waiting for that "big…


Book cover of Cumulative Advantage: How to Build Momentum for Your Ideas, Business and Life Against All Odds

Joe Pulizzi Author Of Content Inc.: Start a Content-First Business, Build a Massive Audience and Become Radically Successful

From my list on content creation and content marketing.

Who am I?

I’ve been a content creator for over 20 years now. I’ve written six books on content creation and content marketing and founded two companies dedicated to helping companies create better content (The Tilt for content entrepreneurs and Content Marketing Institute for enterprise marketers). Some people credit me for coining the term “content marketing,” but really I only popularized it. Oh, and I’m very passionate about the color orange.

Joe's book list on content creation and content marketing

Joe Pulizzi Why did Joe love this book?

Mark Schaefer has written countless books about marketing throughout the years, but Cumulative Advantage may be his best. In it, Mark goes through a very simple formula for how a content creator can take advantage of certain opportunities to rise above all the other content clutter out there. The book is not only incredibly helpful but also funny.

By Mark W. Schaefer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cumulative Advantage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We live in a world where being "great" may not be enough. We need momentum.


From the best-selling author of "KNOWN" and "Marketing Rebellion" comes a practical guidebook to building unstoppable momentum for your ideas and your business -- even when the odds seem stacked against you. Filled with motivating ideas and fascinating case studies, "Cumulative Advantage" is an indispensable and practical source of inspiration for the entrepreneur, business leader, and every person with a dream that's ready to take flight.


You will learn:


- How the initial advantage that drives momentum comes from everyday ideas.

- The inside secrets…


Book cover of Valuable Content Marketing: How to Make Quality Content Your Key to Success

Henneke Duistermaat Author Of How to Write Seductive Web Copy: An Easy Guide to Picking Up More Customers

From my list on writing for the web.

Who am I?

In 2012, I escaped my corporate job to found Enchanting Marketing. I had discovered I love writing and I love teaching people how to write even more. I help small business owners and solo flyers find their voice and share their ideas with gusto, so they can captivate, educate, and inspire their audience. I created this list with 5 book recommendations as a mini-course on writing for the web. There’s little overlap between the books; they all complement each other. Happy reading and happy writing! 

Henneke's book list on writing for the web

Henneke Duistermaat Why did Henneke love this book?

For writing online beyond your own website, I highly recommend this book. It presents both the big picture and the nitty-gritty of content marketing for small businesses.

What I like about this book is that the authors understand that as a small business, you can’t do everything and be everywhere. So, choose where you want to be and create content that captivates, educates, and inspires your audience.

By Sonja Jefferson, Sharon Tanton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Valuable Content Marketing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER: Small Business Book Awards 2016 - Community Choice - Social Media Category WINNER: Small Business Book Awards 2014 - Community Choice - Marketing Category (1st edition) Make sense of content marketing in the digital world with this award-winning, practical guide to using content to grow your business and raise your brand. From websites, white papers and blogs to tweets, newsletters and video, content is king in the digital world, now more than ever before. Get it right and you have a huge opportunity to connect with clients and customers in ways they appreciate and trust - they will be…


Book cover of Content Inc.: Start a Content-First Business, Build a Massive Audience and Become Radically Successful

Anne H. Janzer Author Of Subscription Marketing: Strategies for Nurturing Customers in a World of Churn

From my list on rethinking marketing.

Who am I?

I am an author, nonfiction writing geek, and marketing practitioner on a mission to help people make a positive impact with their writing. Before setting out on this path, I spent many years as a marketing consultant, working with over 100 technology companies to articulate their messaging and value to customers and prospects. My first book, Subscription Marketing, was my manifesto about the changes needed in marketing to thrive in the emerging, subscription-based world. It’s now in its third edition and has been translated into multiple languages.

Anne's book list on rethinking marketing

Anne H. Janzer Why did Anne love this book?

In Content Inc, Joe Pulizzi makes a bold proposal: What if you build your business on content—before you sell anything? Start with content, build a community, figure out what people want, and then serve it to them. A company built this way will have a culture aligned with its customers’ values. Now in its second edition, this book will make you rethink content marketing and entrepreneurship.

By Joe Pulizzi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Content Inc. as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Updated for the post-COVID economy! The proven low-risk, cost-effective way to launch a successful business

Today's markets are getting more and more dynamic, and customers are increasingly fickle. Meanwhile the COVID-driven economic crash has made mitigating financial risk more important than ever.

From one of today's leading experts in content marketing, Content Inc. is the go-to guide to building a solid small-business by establishing a loyal audience before you sell any products or services. In these pages, Joe Pulizzi provides a lower-risk, better way to build a successful business by re-engineering the process that so often leads to failure: You'll…


Book cover of Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World

Joseph Vogl Author Of The Ascendancy of Finance

From my list on the political power of contemporary finance.

Who am I?

How did I – as a scholar of German literature – turn to economic topics? That had a certain inevitability. When I left for Paris in the early nineties, reading traces of anthropological knowledge in literature and aesthetics of the 18th century, I came across economic ideas on almost every page, in natural history, in medicine, in philosophy, in encyclopedias, in the theories of signs and in the teachings of beauty. There was circulation, communication, flows of exchange all over the place, and the Robinsons were the model. This reinforced the impression that the human being was engaged in aligning himself with homo oeconomicus. The question of  modern economics has therefore become unavoidable for me.

Joseph's book list on the political power of contemporary finance

Joseph Vogl Why did Joseph love this book?

Focusing on the financial crisis of 2008 Adam Tooze’s book shows the transition from a geopolitical to a geo-economic world order in which the political destiny of old nation states is determined by the needs of international financial industry – including the rearrangement of global governance and the erosion of democracies.

I admire the way in which Adam Tooze demonstrates the entanglement between financial capitalism, crises, and the rise of populist and right-wing movements in Europe and the US.

By Adam Tooze,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Crashed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE LIONEL GELBER PRIZE
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018
ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR
A NEW YORK TIMES CRITICS' TOP BOOK

"An intelligent explanation of the mechanisms that produced the crisis and the response to it...One of the great strengths of Tooze's book is to demonstrate the deeply intertwined nature of the European and American financial systems."--The New York Times Book Review

From the prizewinning economic historian and author of Shutdown and The Deluge, an eye-opening reinterpretation of the 2008 economic crisis (and its ten-year aftermath) as a global event that directly…


Book cover of Fool’s Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets and Unleashed a Catastrophe

Donald Angus MacKenzie Author Of Trading at the Speed of Light: How Ultrafast Algorithms Are Transforming Financial Markets

From my list on financial trading and the global financial system.

Who am I?

I'm a sociologist at the University of Edinburgh, and for almost fifty years I’ve researched a large variety of topics, from the story of the guidance systems of nuclear missiles to the instantaneous auctions that, today, determine the ads you are shown online. But I keep returning to the topic of trading and the global financial system. The processes that lie behind this shape our lives in profound ways, but they are often both complicated and opaque. We need reliable guides for them, and the authors and books that I am recommending are among the very best guides!

Donald's book list on financial trading and the global financial system

Donald Angus MacKenzie Why did Donald love this book?

The global financial crisis that erupted in 2008 was a shocking event. Britain’s cash machines came within a few hours of stopping working, and the global banking system would have collapsed were it not for unprecedented multi-billion-dollar government bail-outs. Gillian Tett, trained as an anthropologist, became a financial journalist but kept on applying her fieldwork skills. Almost alone in her new profession, she grasped the huge risks that were developing underneath the radar and wrote about them in the Financial Times. Her book, Fool’s Gold, was one of the first books written about 2008’s giant crisis and remains one of the best. 

To my mind, Tett is the world’s top financial journalist, and I’ve always learned a great deal from her pioneering in-depth reporting.

By Gillian Tett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fool’s Gold as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A truly gripping narrative . . . The fact that Tett is able to reproduce such raw private communications is a tribute to her journalistic abilities' Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times

'Her blow-by-blow story is an impressive piece of detective work. She pulls back the curtain on a closed, unaccountable world of finance' Will Hutton, Guardian

In the mid 1990s, at a vast hotel complex on a private Florida beach, dozens of bankers from JP Morgan gathered for what was to become a legendary off-site meeting. It was a wild weekend. But among the drinking, nightclubbing and fist-fights lay a more…


Book cover of ...and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year

Keith Harrison-Broninski Author Of Supercommunities: A handbook for the 21st century

From my list on how community can save society.

Who am I?

I studied Mathematics – the art of solving a problem by making it as general as possible, then attacking it with a combination of different techniques. By profession, I am a technologist, but the problem that interested me wasn’t technical – I wanted to know why, when most people are basically well-meaning, the world was in such a mess! Early on in my career, I came to believe that better collaboration was part of the answer. Later, I saw how you also needed the right kind of communities. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about psychology, biology, systems theory, learning theory, anthropology, history, management, economics, finance, and more. I’m still learning.

Keith's book list on how community can save society

Keith Harrison-Broninski Why did Keith love this book?

I can’t say how much I love this book. It explains everything we know intuitively about economics but find hard to justify. Hudson was one of the few who saw the 2008 crisis coming, and he is still one of the few who know what we must do now. Taking the discussion of David Graeber’s extraordinary 2011 book Debt: The First 5000 Years to the next level, Hudson shows how Bronze Age rulers understood economic instability better than we do. When people get into serious debt, their personal crises not only destroy their own lives but ripple outwards to derail society, by giving their creditors enough power to compete with governments. To avoid society being run into the ground, governments must start cancelling debts – as they did long ago.

By Michael Hudson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked ...and forgive them their debts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In ...and forgive them their debts, renowned economist Michael Hudson – one of the few who could see the 2008 financial crisis coming – takes us on an epic journey through the economies of ancient civilizations and reveals their relevance for us today. For the past 40 years, in conjunction with Harvard’s Peabody Museum, he and his colleagues have documented how interest-bearing debt was invented in Bronze Age Mesopotamia, and then disseminated to the ancient world. What the Bronze Age rulers understood was that avoiding economic instability required regular royal debt cancellations. Professor Hudson documents dozens of these these royal…


Book cover of The Long Game: China's Grand Strategy to Displace American Order

Pádraig Carmody Author Of Africa's Shadow Rise: China and the Mirage of African Economic Development

From my list on China’s global and African strategies.

Who am I?

I became interested in China-Africa relations fifteen years ago when I realised that the rise of the former was going to have major and long-lasting effects on the politics and economics of the continent. In a sense, the rising role of China in Africa foretold its rise to global power and influence. Since then I have been fascinated by the ways in which China has restructured, or been involved in the restructuring, of African economies and politics and the ways in which that country’s global strategies and roles have continued to evolve and their impacts. I have written several books on the impacts of emerging powers in Africa.

Pádraig's book list on China’s global and African strategies

Pádraig Carmody Why did Pádraig love this book?

There is a veritable cottage industry now on books on China and its global strategy and influence. This book by Rush Doshi is one of the best because its analysis is based on extensive analysis of Chinese Communist party documents over decades. Doshi's analysis asks whether or not China has a grand strategy by examining China’s foreign policy concepts, capabilities, and conduct. This makes for a compelling and detailed analysis. 

By Rush Doshi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Long Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Given the turbulence in the international order in recent years, one of the central concerns among observers of world politics is the question of China's ultimate goals. As China emerges as a superpower that rivals the United States, American policymakers grappling with this century's greatest geopolitical challenge are looking for answers to a series of critical questions. Does China have expansive ambitions? Does it have a grand strategy to achieve them? If so,
what is it and what should the United States do about it?

In The Long Game, Rush Doshi draws from a rich base of Chinese primary sources,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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