Book Of The Year 2019

The 16-Word Sales Letter™ – Evaldo Albuquerque

My book of the year is by gun Agora copywriter Evaldo Albuquerque – The 16-word sales letter is the sharpest and most concise book on copywriting this decade. Reading it makes me want to write copy immediately.

Incredibly practical, diabolically straightforward. This is a must-read for every business owner and copywriter.

By the way – if you are a copywriter and can get access to he weekly copy calls from Agora Financial where they break down a piece of copy each week is pure gold. A must for any aspiring copywriter.

I’ll be writing a lot more copy and it will be way better for this – my book of the year.

Awareness – Anthony De Mello

My runner up for book of the year – it’s been out for some time but I read it this year. It’s a spiritual book and having been raised by a hardcore hippie I have some serious triggers anytime I see a book like this.

Don’t be fooled. This book is brilliant and if more people read it and applied it what a better place this world would be. When I read it, I read a chapter each night before bed. Try it. It will open your eyes and your mind.

How To Design And Teach Workshops That Work Every Time – Rob Fitzpatrick & Devin Hunt

This book reminds me of last year’s book of the year recipient “How to take smarter notes”. This book is not big. It’s incredibly impactful, super practical. It does “What it says on the tin”.

Rob Fitzpatrick and Devan Hunt have organized and designed well over a thousand workshops and it shows. Stuff I have had to intuit is here in black and white.

It’s not all theory, It’s super in-the-field developed advice with a step by step guide to designing and building a workshop. If everyone used this – those 90-minute sleep-inducing webinars and presentations would be a thing of the past.

The reputation of webinars took a bit of a hit this year. I suspect this was because the vast majority of them are not run using a workshop design – if people are there live – it has to be interactive.

In 2019 Zoom released its breakout room technology and it works brilliantly – after reading this book you will be using breakout rooms all the time. I used it in the recipe@home course and the feedback was great.

Flip The Script – Oren Klaff

Oren’s second book and follow up to my 2012 book of the year “Pitch Anything”. Oren is such a good storyteller and teacher and his understanding of the underlying psychology of selling is second to none. Interestingly I used this exact template taught in the book this year for a sales letter. It converted at a pretty awesome 7%!

Like Pitch Anything – it doesn’t matter if you are looking to “pitch anything” – this is a book anyone can use and it has an excellent recipe for putting together any type of presentation designed to persuade.

Radicalized – Cory Doctorow

These are science fiction stories of the near future. These stories are a warning about one possible future if we keep going the way we are going. As entrepreneurs, we can be pretty focused on ourselves, our family and our team. Trouble is we do not live in isolation and to be blunt the majority of people are getting left behind and when that happens, heads roll…

Speaking of people being left behind…

The Third Pillar – Raghuram Rajan

This book explains in an easy to understand way why there is a growing gap between the have and have nots and the ramifications of this. If you want to look at this with self-interest – this is what’s happening to your customers. I hope it gets you thinking.

Turning The Flywheel – Jim Collins

Jim Collins wrote “Good To Great” book I didn’t get into because of the focus on big corporations. Turning the flywheel is a short book on the most interesting part of the “Good To Great” – establishing a self-propelling circle to grows your business. In this past decade, entrepreneurial business made the transition from the solo preener to the team. In the 2020’s it’s going to be all about the systems those teams employ.

21 lessons for the 21st Century – Yuval Noah Harari

I’ve read all the books by Yuval Harari and this book is the most practical for looking ahead and getting around the megatrends of the upcoming decade. Super worth a read for anybody. Key to understanding the upcoming challenges and opportunities human beings face.

Indistractable – Nir Eyal

You may have noted my “negative” tone around social media. I’m convinced Facebook is the most dangerous technical tool ever created and yet as a marketer – it’s perhaps the best thing ever. Anyway, this is not “thing which Ed thinks is the most evil of 2019 list” – it’s my favorite and most impactful books and indistractable is a brilliant addition to the parthenon of productivity books.

I’ve deliberately stepped back from Social Media this year with a view to save my creative energy for projects like the Recipe@Home and creating campaigns for clients.

This puts some science behind this decision.


Indistractable also places wood behind one of my favorite subjects – and what I have declared “Activity Of The Year” of 2019 – Sleep.

Let me put this straight, lack of sleep is the number 1 killer of your entrepreneurial dreams. You do need to sacrifice to create a business. It’s physics.

Trouble is you are all trying to sacrifice sleep. This will never work.

I did an experiment working with 39 people just like you and I monitored them every Monday to Friday for the last six months of 2019. And lack of sleep (and the resultant lack of energy) WAS BY FAR THE NUMBER 1 FAIL FACTOR.

I have much more to say on this – but this is the most actionable finding and fixing this will give you a FORCE MULTIPLIER in 2020.

Find out how much sleep you need to wake up refreshed and make it religious in 2020 and watch everything else get better.