If I read a book that cost me $20 and I get one good idea, I’ve gotten one of the greatest bargains of all time. –Tom Peters

I quoted Tom Peters just the other week and here I am quoting him again. What gives?

As a reader and recommender of good books, I’m “all in” with this notion. Any money I spend that will help me improve, whether personally or professionally, is like money in the bank.

Seven years ago, for example, I attended a photography workshop that helped me better understand lighting. Between travel, food, hotel, and the workshop fee, I spent probably $800. Oh–and I had to buy and replace a belt for my stupid Le Baron because it broke during the trip, but that’s another story.

$800 isn’t cheap; was it worth it?

That workshop has paid for itself multiple times over in client bookings because it helped me learn to define a style that sets me apart from other photographers in my area. So, yes, it was a great investment.

By comparison, dropping $20 on a book–from which I’ll most likely get not just one but a bunch of good ideas–is a no-brainer for me. It should be for you, too. Lifelong learning is the best investment you can make in yourself.

Are you in sales? Yes.

Bestselling author Dan Pink has a new book coming out at the end of December. It’s entitled To Sell is Human, and he’s making the case that EVERYONE is “in sales,” whether or not you’re “in sales” for a living. Here’s a two-minute trailer for the book:

I’ve been reading and sharing insights from Dan’s books for several years. They always make my “short list” of recommended reads–see, for example, here, here, and here. And I’ve been giving copies of The Adventures of Johnny Bunko as gifts to the high school seniors I’ve photographed this fall.

Dan writes smart books that are intended to promote change: change your thinking, change your behavior, change your organization. I expect his latest book will deliver on that promise.

A good use of your next $20 book investment

Dan Pink - To Sell Is Human - preorder recommendation from Michael GowinYou could easily argue that a book that helps you learn to persuade others, pitch your ideas, or even actually make sales (if you’re in it for a living) is worth $20. Heck, just one sale recovers the cost of the book. But Dan and his publisher have something special planned for the earliest of the early adopters.

If you preorder To Sell Is Human before the December 31, 2012 release date, you can get a raft of FREE goodies–what Dan’s calling the First Mover Package:

  • Exclusive New Year’s Day webinar with Dan where you can ask him anything
  • To Sell Is Human Workbook
  • Signed Book Plate – a hand-signed sticker that you can put in your book or anywhere else
  • Field Notes First Mover Edition
  • Interview with the master of influence, Robert B Cialdini, Ph.D.
  • Interview with Adam Grant, Ph.D., associate professor of management at The Wharton School

Dan just announced all of this today–you can learn more about the book and the preorder details over at his web site.

Is this a good deal? Amazon currently shows the preorder price at $16.71–that’s $3.29 less than even Tom Peters’ benchmark for a single good idea, not to mention all of the bonuses in the First Mover Package. Don’t you think you’ll find at least one idea that would benefit you, your team, or your organization? Thousands of preorders have already been placed; don’t miss out.

I’m receiving an advance reading copy and will have a review posted as soon as I can. If I weren’t receiving the review copy, though, I’d have already placed my order for the book–even without the goodies. Dan’s established a strong track record and I’m sure many folks will find this book useful. Preorder and learn how to get your free stuff.

Full disclosure: I’m a member of the To Sell Is Human launch team and will be receiving the goodies above as well as the advance reading copy of the book and a signed copy of the hardcover. I’m not being paid for my review (good or bad) or receiving any other compensation. I’ve paid for all the other copies of Dan’s books that I own as well as those I’ve given away as gifts. In other words, I’m not in this for the freebies and accolades of the fawning masses but because I really like Dan’s books and ideas.