Summer is coming up and the time has never been better to launch your new business – or to take your existing business to the next level! To get you prepared for this super important step, we’ve put together a list of our favorite books that offer some of the best inspiration and advice for creative entrepreneurs. So whether you’re looking for inspiration from the greats, useful tips or practical advice on how to launch (and grow!) your creative business, take a look at our suggested list of summer reading below. And don’t forget to comment below with your own suggestions!
Bonus tip! Some of these books are available for Amazon Audible, which has a free trial period, win!
22 Must-Read Books for Creative Entrepreneurs
Manage and Grow Your Creative Business
Creative, Inc. by Joe Deangdeelert Cho and Meg Mateo Ilasco
Freelancing pros Joe Deangdeelert Cho and Meg Mateo Ilasco follow up on their massive success Crafts, Inc. with Creative, Inc. where they explain everything you need to do when launching your creative business. From the legal aspects of setting up your shop to marketing tips and how to engage with new clients, they’ve got you covered from start to finish.
Bloggers! Check out the sister book, Blog Inc. here.
We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
As Seth Godin has said: a new era of weirdness is upon us. Gone are the days of mass marketing and production. We Are All Weird is the perfect read for creatives who want to learn about the beauty of identifying and selling to their niche.
Manage Your Day-to-Day by Jocelyn Glei
Need some serious advice to create an effective routine to get productive and creative with your business? Jocelyn Glei has compiled advice from some of the world’s foremost creative minds (think Seth Godin, Gretchen Rubin, Erin Rooney Donald) to help you stay focused and save time to create.
Inspired by the +600,000 designers who visit his blogs every day, David Airey has put together this refreshing and straightforward guide for all designers starting out on their own. Funny anecdotes, interesting case studies and invaluable advice are just some of things that make Work for Money, Design for Love a must for beginners.
Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin
Hypothetical scenario: if New Marketing were like an ice cream, which toppings (i.e. internet marketing channels) would you add? Seth Godin advises you not to add all the toppings and shows you how to choose the best ones for your business. You know, so you don’t end up with a meatball sundae (yuck!).
The Brand Stylist by Fiona Humberstone
A helpful (and beautiful!) book created by designer, Fiona Humberstone, to help creatives and business owners hone in on their brand identity and express it throughout their business and marketing efforts. A great read for any business owner and all designers!
Tribes by Seth Godin
Okay, you got me: I’m a big Seth Godin fan. But this book is so important. You can’t grow your business without inspiring people to follow you and care about your work. That’s where Tribes comes in: showing you what kind of leadership is needed in today’s Internet world and how you can harness it to grow your business.
Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation by Sally Hogshead
In a super crowded business scene, how can you stand out? What makes certain brands or people more captivating? Get the answers to these and other questions in Sally Hogshead’s incredible book on branding and marketing.
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life by Twyla Tharp
We all get stuck in a creative rut sometimes. In The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp gives us 32 practical exercises to make creativity a constant part of our lives.
You may have heard this bestselling title buzzing around social media. Young writer and artist Austin Kleon sat down and wrote up a list of all the things he wished he had known when he was just starting his career. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is the perfect upbeat guide every beginner needs to read for a little inspiration.
642 Things to Write About by San Francisco Writers’ Grotto
Okay so this one isn’t really for you to read. But it’s a super handy book to have around when you hit that dreaded writer’s block. These 642 writing prompts are sure to get you excited about writing again in no time.
How to Get Ideas by Jack Foster
You know better than anyone that a creative’s biggest fear is to one day run out of great ideas. In this book, Jack Foster gives you useful tips to keep your well of ideas flooding with new and innovative concepts.
Hone Your Skills
Logo Design Love by David Airey
The title is pretty straightforward on this one! David Airey’s Logo Design Love everything you need to master the art of creating valuable and iconic brand identities.
Revised: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards
In this revised version, Betty Edwards explains why and how we draw and – why drawing is so important for professionals in any career (especially creatives!).
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
With 20 years of experience in writing and leading workshops, Natalie Goldberg has created the perfect routine to keep her writing flowing. This “writing practice”, as she puts it, combines Zen meditation and writing in a truly unique way.
A wonderful guide (and bestseller!) for the photographer who wants to improve their photography craft and have the confidence to take a breathtaking image regardless of lighting, subjects, and circumstances .
How We Got to Now: Six Innovations that Made the Modern World by Steve Johnson
When it all gets a little overwhelming, it’s good to sit back, grab a cup of coffee and read about how some of our world’s most innovative inventions came about out of pure genius, a little bit of fate and a whole lot of serendipity.
Damn Good Advice (For People With Talent) by George Lois
The original (M)Ad Man George Lois takes us into the depths of his creative mind in Damn Good Advice and gives indispensable advice that all creatives (with talent!) will appreciate. Compiled into bite-sized chunks, Damn Good Advice has essentially become a timeless creative bible today.
Where Good Ideas Come From by Steve Johnson
Another great read for when you need some inspiration from the greats. Steve Johnson takes a look at how certain people, societies and companies have come up with great ideas.
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey
Setting up a work routine that allows you to be productive and creative isn’t always simple. In Daily Rituals you can discover new (or simply silly) ways to get your creatives juices flowing – all inspired by some of the world’s greatest creative minds.
I Am That Girl by Alexis Jones
Alexis Jones has built her career around helping girls figure out their passion and purpose in this world. In I Am That Girl, she has compiled everything she’s learned along the way to inspire you to dream big and create the life you truly want.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert’s books have inspired people of all ages and walks of life for years. In Big Magic, she dives into where inspiration comes from and shows us how to embrace our curiosity in order to live our most creative lives.
What are you currently reading? Don’t forget to leave your suggestions in the comments below!