Friday, April 25, 2008

I'm in Love. It's Not What You Think.

Dear Readers,

I love marketing books. Love. Like the feeling you get on a date when a very attractive person sits across from you, smiles back at you, and says with his eyes: "It's ok, I like you too." It's the kind of love that makes your heart pitter-patter and your brain dance the happy dance. Yup. I love marketing books. And for this love, there is no cure.

I love marketing books because they not only teach me, they embrace me. They enable me to live the best possible business life I can live. When I apply the thought-leadership in the books I study, I become more successful. I read them as a non-profit marketer (thank you Philip Kotler!), as an internet marketer, as a beauty executive, and now as an Auntrepreneur. I owe so much of my success to the men and women who have shared their knowledge with me through their books.

Still, I don't fall in love easily. Not every so-called "marketing book" is going to win my heart. But the courtship is fun. When I browse the new business books section at my local Barnes and Noble, my heart races for the opportunity of a new discovery. I want to find a new lover -
one I want to take to bed with me and read by the soft light of my night table lamp. I want to find a book that impresses me with its intelligence, one that promises a better business life, one that I truly believe will love me back by making me giggle, inviting me to the next chapter and yes, making me feel that the world is full of opportunity.

And so I go to my bookstore....walk through the cool entrance way.... up the the right... in nervous anticipation of what's to come. I gaze optimistically at the shelves - first at the front-facing newbies that BN, my matchmaker, has imagined I might like the most. Then, I lovingly touch the spines of the other books on the shelf... some old loves, some I have flirted with but never committed to.... and some begging for my attention. I enjoy the feeling of my hands on the cool glossy hardcover books with stunning typography etched out on the spine: "The New Rules of Marketing and PR," "Word of Mouth Marketing," and my latest love, "Groundswell."

I never fall out of love either. Classics live on, even as times change. Yesterday, a Twitter friend asked for guidance on some marketing books he could read to help him with a business idea. I Twittered back a listing of Al Ries classics. How can you call yourself a marketer and never have read one of Al Ries' books? Read them all! And then read these by Seth Godin. And then, if you want to be a true revolutionary marketer, meet my friend Guy Kawasaki.

My love affair with marketing books is a little one sided, after all. These guys talk talk talk and I listen listen listen. Sure, now that some of these books have blogs connected with them, I can comment here and there. But really, this has been a one-sided romance.

Until now. You see, I am now "social media friends" (or friends 2.0) with many of these authors. David Meerman Scott, whose "New Rules of Marketing and PR" I actually read twice, is someone I Follow on Twitter.
Andy Sernovitz, whose "Word of Mouth Marketing" book is tabbed and bookmarked all over, is someone I Follow on Twitter. I Follow Seth Godin too, of course. And the Groundswell co-authors - Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff -and I have had some back and forth on Twitter following my sincere praise of their first book together (read: I hope there are more to come). But my strongest relationship is with Guy Kawasaki. All of these authors are major successes. And Guy.... Guy is a guru. And he connects with me! I am his reader. I have turned the pages of his books, read his blogs, followed his career, and he talks to me!

Recently, Guy Kawasaki launched a website called where he centralizes what he believes to be the best blogs on the Web, and categorizes them so that people searching for topics of interest can discover the perfect blog for them. I am proud - and deeply honored - that Guy has added my blog to in the "startups" section.

By featuring my blog and my startup on, Guy Kawasaki, in his own way, sits across from me, smiles at me, and says with his eyes: "It's ok. I like you too."

Now you know why I swoon.

Auntie Melanie


  1. very well-written. Your feed has been added to my reader, much less impressive feat than alltop, but I personally look forward to reading more.


  2. I love you, too. You're just who I had in mind when I was writing Groundswell.

    I hope you don't mind if I love a few hundred thousand other people, too. After all, the groundswell is about sharing . . .

  3. Josh - first of all - it's an honor that you commented, let alone shared the love.

    I hope your love (read: Groundswell) is shared with millions, not just hundreds of thousands. See - I am not the 'jealous reader' type.

  4. How flattering that two of your loves have reciprocated! Good for you Melanie. Obviously you have absorbed all the wisdom they had to offer. Perhaps you are ready to join their ranks and offer your own wisdom?


  5. Thanks, Erin. In fact, many years ago, Philip Kotler recommended I write a book on non-profit marketing. I never did. But it was one of the proudest moments of my career.

    Perhaps a book is in my future. Surely, being an Auntrepreneur and this blog may inspire me to organize the lessons I have learned into a glossy, hardcover book of my own.

    Maybe. One day. <3

  6. Not bad getting Guy on your side. We could use an Auntrepreneur with connections like that on our team. ;-)

  7. Hi! I found you via Alltop -- I'm in the Small Biz section, but it's always fun to peek around -- and I wanted to say that I also share your love of marketing books. They're just so... possible. My husband used to get so incredibly frustrated with me when I would read passage after passage aloud to him when I was reading. Purple Cow was big for that. He's like, if I wanted to read the book, I would've read the book. :-)

    Anyway, just wanted to say hi. Off to find Groundswell.

  8. Wow. What great company. Thanks for including me in the group love. And you loved me twice!
    David Meerman Scott

  9. Sorry for promotion but if you liked "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" I hope that you will enjoy my new free e-book "The New Rules of Business Blogs" as well. You can find this book on my blog at

    This e-book is about business blogs how they evolved from teenager diary to a powerful marketing tool.

    I hope you will benefit from reading it and thank you for your nice blog.


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