What I Read in Q4 (Oct.-Dec. 2015)

Every quarter I like to share with you my reading list.

If you’re curious what I read earlier this year, you can check out my posts on Q1Q2, and Q3.

As for Q4, let’s dive right in!

(Note: I’ve included affiliate links to all the books below, so if you decide to purchase any of them, it will send a little love my way.)

5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter – Chris Fox

I’m always looking for ways to increase my productivity and the productivity of my writing clients. As such, this book from Chris Fox caught my eye. Fox recommends using micro sprints to start a regular writing habit, and then building up from there to increase overall writing speed. He’s put together an app that accompanies the book, which is pretty cool!

The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of those without Conscience – Kent A. Kiehl PhD

This book was research for my current work in progress novel that deals with issues of mental health, particularly sociopaths and psychopaths. I’ve been quite interested in the concept of the sociopaths ever since I read The Gervais Principal by Venkatesh Rao – a totally life changing book for me, BTW. I’ve been on a bit of a Hannibal Lecter kick, so my interest spychopaths is particularly keen right now.

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

As you may know, breast cancer has touched my life in a big way via some of the people closest to me in my life. In addition, I’m a young adult author. As such, I felt like I should probably read Green much heralded young adult smash hit about teens dealing with terminal cancer. It’d deserves all the acclaim it has received, particular for a brilliant mid-plot twist that is I did NOT see coming.

The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile – Noah Lukeman

One of my coaching clients had a request for pages from an agent this quarter, so I revisited this book. The concept of the book is that Lukeman identifies the types of things agents look for when reviewing the first few pages of a manuscript, but the writing advice is applicable to a manuscript as a whole.

Invisible Selling Machine – Ryan Diess

Ryan Diess is a big name in the field of online marketing, and this is his book on email marketing in particular. While I’m extremely comfortable hosting webinars, I’m not always sure that my personality is properly captured in my email marketing, so I read this book looking for some tips. Diess covers some pretty advanced techniques, much of which my email provider isn’t capable of, but it was an interesting glimpse behind the curtain of email marketing none-the-less.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert B. Cialdini

This is a fascinating book on how marketers in other agents of persuasion influence the day to day decisions we make in our lives. While Cialdini is a scholar and much of the material in this book is drawn from scientific studies, the book is written in an engaging style and fascinating throughout.

Guerilla Marketing / Guerilla Marketing Weapons – Jay Conrad Levinson

While updated additions, these books basically cover an old-school approach to marketing, i.e. marketing before the internet. People like myself have entered the business world at the time when Internet marketing and online sales seems to be the be-all and end-all. Which is exactly why it was fascinating to take a look at some of the more traditional approaches to spreading the word about product or services. Guerilla Marketing Weapons, in particular, will be a hugely valuable read for authors out there who have clued into the fact that endlessly tweeting about your latest Kindle Free day may not be the surest path to selling lots of books.









Copy Hackers Super Mega Brainy Bundle – Joanna Wiebe

As you may have noticed from this quarter’s list of books, I was on a bit of a marketing kick with my reading. I really wanted to improve my email marketing, as well as my overall copy writing. As such, I read all 7 of Joanna Wiebe’s Copy Hacker books. Wiebe is about as brilliant and like-able a marketer as you’re going to find out there, as well as a great educator. The result of reading these books was a completely new long form sales page for my course The Novel Writer’s Blueprint, and I’m quite pleased with the results.

LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien.

What can I say about this one? It’s just one of those books that you got a pull off the shelf and read every few years. With Peter Jackson’s vision of Middle Earth now so well entrenched into the cultural landscape, it’s all the more important to return to the source material now and again remind ourselves where it all began, and just how powerful words on a page can be.


And there you have it, my friends. Another year of reading done. My grand total for 2015 is 60 books read. Not bad, but the truth is I'm not really interested in numbers. What I'm interested in is what I learn from working my way through these books. And I can tell you, I learned a LOT this year!

We're already over a week into 2016, so I'm off to do some reading!

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Kevin T. Johns is an author, writing coach, and ghostwriter. He helps authors from around the world get their stories out of their heads, onto the page, and into readers hands. Grab a free copy of his short guide for authors by clicking the image below.

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