Fifty for Fall
By Luke Mitchell
As with the fashion world, fall is when the book world puts on its most lavish show. Not to be outdone by those black-clad editors at Conde Nast, we've selected 50 business titles slated for release between late August and January.
So what's hot? Consultants are hot. As HarperBusiness associate publishing director Lisa Berkowitz recently told Publisher's Weekly: "When there is volatility in the stock market and the rules are being changed every day, books by consultants do well. When there is stability in the market, books by CEOs do well. Right now, for the most part, it's a golden age for books by consultants."
Our own list of fall business books is testament to Berkowitz's law: Fifteen are written by consultants; two by CEOs, one of whom is now a consultant.
Dot-coms, on the other hand, have fallen out of favor with publishers and venture capitalists alike. Where the recent past saw everything from Customers.com to Strikeitrich.com, this year's list is dot-com free. That fetching "e-" prefix is hanging in there, though, with at least four titles: E-Leader, E-Loyalty, E-Service and E-Factor.
Asia, always a popular subject, also continues to turn heads, with four titles dedicated to the essential question: Will Asia eat our lunch? Three say yes; one says probably not.
Finally, a more subtle change is afoot. Kirsten Sandberg, a senior editor at Harvard Business School Press, says, "The trend in what we've been selling is not in the micro, it's in the macro."
Indeed the sort of microstrategy found in Customers.com is yielding to more expansive "big idea" books, like Gary Hamel's Leading the Revolution and George Gilder's Telecosm. This is a heartening trend, as it presumes readers also are taking a longer, or at least more abstract, view of the Internet Economy.
Of course, books are more than fashion plates. Some of them are actually worth reading. In that spirit, we've starred the titles that we think are especially interesting or important.
The 10-Second Internet Manager: Survive, Thrive and Drive Your Company In the Internet Age
By Mark Breier (Crown Business, September, $25). A play on The One-Minute Manager from the former CEO of Beyond.com, whom one would think has plenty of time on his hands right now.
* The Anatomy of Buzz: How to Create Word of Mouth Marketing
By Emanuel Rosen (Currency, October, $24.95). A former software marketing VP on how to get those gums flapping. Word is, Seth Godin's is the bigger of the two books on "viral marketing," but this one's deeper.
B2B: How to Build a Profitable E-Commerce Strategy
By Michael J. Cunningham (Perseus, October, $27). Fashions change, but businesses continue to do business with other businesses. Harvard Computing Group founder Cunningham shows how.
Building Brandwith: Closing the Sale Online
By Sergio Zyman and Scott Miller (HarperBusiness, October, $27). Zyman, the author of The End of Marketing as We Know It and the man behind New Coke (a promotion he claims was a rousing success), shifts paradigms with an assist from associate Miller.
E-Leader: Reinventing Leadership in a Connected Economy
By Robert Hargrove (Perseus, December, $26). Consultant Hargrove says "stewardship" is out, entrepreneurship is in.
E-Loyalty: How to Keep Customers Coming Back to Your Web Site
By Ellen Reid Smith (HarperBusiness, November, $26). A Texas-based marketing consultant draws from her work with clients such as Hewlett-Packard and Hasbro.
E-Service: 24 Ways to Keep Your Customers When the Competition Is Just a Click Away
By Ron Zemke and Tom Connellan (Amacom, December, $27.95). The consulting team that brought you Knock Your Socks Off Service moves online.
Executive Instinct: Managing Stone-Age Minds in the Information Age
By Nigel Nicholson (Crown Business, November, $25). A professor at the London Business School brings the latest thinking from the field of evolutionary psychology to bear on managing the homo sapiens in your office.
* How Digital Is Your Business? Creating The Company of the Future
By Adrian Slywotzky and David Morrison (Crown Business, November, $25). Slywotzky and Morrison (who are also columnists for The Standard) are among the few consultants who have credibly crossed over from the old economy to the new. Should offer plenty of surprising case studies and insights.
The Interactive Marketplace: Prepare Your Company to Profit in The Interactive Revolution
By Keith Brown (McGraw Hill, September, $24.95). The chairman of BuildNet, a construction-industry software company, preaches mass customization.
* It's Not the Big That Eat the Small ... It's the Fast That Eat the Slow: How to Use Speed as a Competitive Tool in Business
By Jason Jennings and Laurence Haughton (HarperBusiness, December, $25). From a pair of California-based consultants, the terrific title says it all and gets a star in the process.
Last Mile: Broadband and the Next Internet Revolution
By Jason Wolf and Natalie Zee (McGraw Hill, August, $24.95). A couple of consultants for MarchFirst on new strategies for the broadband world.
* Leading the Revolution
By Gary Hamel (Harvard Business School Press, August, $29.95). This heavily designed, four-color book is the one to beat this fall, with a huge first printing of 150,000 copies. Hamel, founder of Strategos consulting group and co-author of Competing for the Future, argues that companies will survive by listening to even the newest employees, then shows those newbies how to be heard.
More Than a Motorcycle: The Leadership Journey at Harley-Davidson
By Rich Teerlink and Lee Ozley (Harvard Business School Press, August, $24.95). One of few CEO memoirs this season, this one's from the man who brought Harley-Davidson back from the brink.
The Morning After: Making Corporate Mergers Work After the Deal Is Sealed
By Stephen Wall and Shannon Rye Wall (Perseus, October, $25). A growing problem, so to speak, addressed by the president and an associate of Right Manus Consulting Group.
Simplicity Marketing: Relieving Customer Stress in the Digital Age
By Steven Cristol and Peter Sealey (Free Press, October, $25.50). Yet another pair of consultants argue that customers already face too many choices - so keep it simple.
The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment
By Robert Kaplan and David Norton (Harvard Business School Press, September, $29.95). Harvard professor Kaplan updates his metrics-driven "balanced scorecard" strategy in a bid for Six-Sigma-like success.
Staying Street Smart in the Internet Age: What Hasn't Changed About the Way We Do Business
By Mark McCormack (Viking, September, $24.95). The sports agent and mega-bestselling author of What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School says there are no new tricks, which should be comforting to the old dogs at whom this book is aimed.
* Surfing the Edge of Chaos: The New Art and Science of Management
By Richard Pascale (Crown Business, October, $26.95). Pascale, author of The Art of Japanese Management, turns his attention to chaos theory and argues that companies are "living systems" that will remain in a state of flux.
* Unchained Value: The New Logic of Digital Business
By Mary Cronin (Harvard Business School Press, November, $29.95). Consultant and Boston College professor Cronin enters the value chain discussion with a new model she calls the "digital value system."
Unleashing the Ideavirus
By Seth Godin (Do You Zoom, September, $40). This book is already available free online. Godin's followup to his bestselling book Permission Marketing definitely practices what it preaches: Getting an idea out there and talking perfect strangers into hyping it relentlessly.
The Coming Internet Depression: Why the High-Tech Boom Will Go Bust, Why the Crash Will Be Worse Than You Think, and How You Can Prosper Afterwards
By Michael Mandel (Basic, November, $27). The economics editor of BusinessWeek argues that sure as the sun rises, hypergrowth leads to overcapacity, which leads to a crash. The good news: Savvy investors can still make a buck.
The Mystery Of Capital: Why Capitalism Is Failing Outside the West and Why The Key to Its Success Is Right Under Our Noses
By Hernando de Soto (Basic, October, $27.50). A Peruvian economist asks why only one-fifth of the world enjoys the West's level of prosperity. Hint: property rights.
* One Market Under God: Extreme Capitalism, Market Populism And the End of Economic Democracy
By Thomas Frank (Doubleday, September, $26). The editor of the Baffler and the author of The Conquest of Cool argues that the voguish conflation of market imperatives with democracy ("market populism") is the worst form of idolatry.
Remade in America: How Asia Is Rebuilding Its Economies American-Style
By Jim Rohwer (Crown Business, November, $27.50). A contributing editor for Fortune in Hong Kong says Asia will soon use the West's bag of free-market tricks - and when it does, watch out!
Repositioning Asia: From Bubble to Sustainable Economy
By Philip Kotler and Hermewan Kartajaya (Wiley, October, $29.95). Two marketing experts say Asia just needs to market itself better.
* Thunder From the East: Portrait of a Rising Asia
By Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (Knopf, September, $27.50). The New York Times husband-and-wife reporting team follow up the terrific China Wakes with an anecdote-filled analysis of Asia's growing economic power.
The Wealth of Man
By Peter Jay (PublicAffairs, September, $30). A gigantic, popular history of economics as it has shaped society over the last 10,000 years. From the engaging and very British former economics editor of the Times of London.
The Weightless Society
By Charles Leadbeater (Texere, September, $27.95). A former Financial Times editor and current Demos Foundation associate on how high-tech will remap political institutions and the very notion of competition.
The Years of Living Dangerously: Asia - From Financial Crisis to the New Millennium
By Stephen Vines (Texere, September, $29.95). The Hong Kong businessman and journalist argues that Asia has learned little from the crash and may well be doomed to repeat it in the near future.
Citizen Greenspan: The Man Behind The Money
By Justin Martin (Perseus, November, $27.50). Aspiring jazz musician, dutiful Ayn Rand acolyte, political insider, master of the universe. It's all here in the first full-scale bio of The Man, from a former Fortune staffer.
* The Informant: A True Story
By Kurt Eichenwald (Broadway, September, $26). The old economy is still occasionally sexy. The early buzz: This gripping story of the price-fixing case against Archer Daniels Midland is the next A Civil Action.
* The Mystery of the Aleph: Mathematics, The Kabbalah and the Search for Infinity
By Amir Aczel (Four Walls Eight Windows, September, $24.95). The author of Fermat's Last Theorem delves into the philosophical implications of infinity through the story of 19th century mathematician Georg Cantor.
* The Power of Gold: The History of An Obsession
By Peter L. Bernstein (Wiley, September, $27.95). The critically acclaimed author of Against the Gods delivers another high-intellectual tale. Rich with stories and lessons for those who want to understand the notion of underlying worth.
The Second Coming of Steve Jobs
By Alan Deutschman (Broadway, September, $26). Word is that this post-Next biography is just as gossipy as one might hope from a Vanity Fair writer.
* Spooked: Espionage in Corporate America
By Adam Penenberg and Marc Barry (Perseus, December, $26). Penenberg, the man who outed New Republic fictionalist Stephen Glass in Fortune, now takes on boardroom spies with the help of corporate intelligence expert Berry.
When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management
By Robert Lowenstein (Random House, September, $26.95). A bid for Barbarians-at-the-Gate-like narrative glory with a juicy tail of quants and their spectacularly failed attempt to rule Wall Street through sheer brain power.
* Computers Ltd: What They Really Can't Do
By David Harel (Oxford, October, $25). Israeli computer scientist Harel argues computers aren't all that, and they never will be. A balm to Bill Joy?
By Stuart Kauffman (Oxford, October, $30). Kauffman, a MacArthur-grant "genius," biologist and new-economy business guru, promises a big-idea book about the role of individual autonomy in evolving systems, and what that means for the ongoing technological revolution.
A New Economy?
By Doug Henwood (Verso, December, $23). The author of the excellent Wall Street: How It Works and for Whom attacks the new economy from the left flank.
The New Geography: How the Digital Revolution Is Reshaping the American Landscape
By Joel Kotkin (Random House, November, $22.95). New York Times columnist and all-around smart guy Kotkin argues that the Internet is making big urban centers more essential than ever.
The Playful World: Interactive Toys And the Future of The Imagination
By Mark Pesce (Ballantine, September, $24). The inventor of VRML draws lessons about innovation and interactivity from the likes of Furby and Lego Mindstorms.
* Robo Sapiens: Evolution Of a New Species
By Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio (MIT Press, September, $29.95). A coffee-table book of photos and interviews with the scientists and engineers working toward the transhumanist eschatology. Menzel is the photojournalist behind the critically acclaimed Material World.
* Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World
By Bruce Schneier (Wiley, September, $29.99). Schneier, CTO of Counterpane Internet Security and author of Applied Cryptography, gives the state of the art on corporate security.
* Telecosm: How Infinite Bandwidth Will Revolutionize Our World
By George Gilder (Free Press, September, $25.50). The futurist, Microcosm author, and, yes, consultant says bandwidth will soon cease to bottleneck, and in the process change the new economy - and everything else.
The Universal History of Computing: From the Abacus to Quantum Computing
By Georges Ifrah (Wiley, October, $22.95). A followup to the successful and engaging Universal History of Numbers.
Book Business: Publishing, Past, Present and Future
By Jason Epstein (Norton, January, $21.95). The editeur grise gives publishers a much-needed lecture on getting into, if not the 21st century, then at least the 20th.
Inside Out: Microsoft. Who Do We Think We Are
By Microsoft (Warner, September, $60). With 300 color photos, this glorified annual report should offer an intriguing peek into Microsoft , at least to those willing to read between the lines.
Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation
By Neil Howe and William Strauss (Vintage, September, $14). The kids are alright, say the demographers. Here's how to sell stuff to them.
* The Talmud And the Internet: A Journey Between Words
By Jonathan Rosen (Farrar Straus & Giroux, September, $16). Rosen, the culture editor for The Forward, suggests that premodern Jewish theology (with its characteristic love of uncertainty and oxymoron) anticipated the fragmented, postmodern world of the Internet. Should be fascinating.
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Story is quoted from Yahoo news and is not edited in any way.
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