Book Giveaway Bonanza + LAC on Some Very Exciting Shelves...

Calling all book worms! If you love books as much as I do, then get your commenting hats on and get ready to enter to win one of six awesome books!

Before we go there, I have some *super* exciting news to share...

Life After College Lands at Target!!

Some of you may have already heard on Facebook or my Inside Scoop newsletter...

Target purchased 15,000 copies of my book!!! They are currently placed in a home decor display for new grads across 1,700 stores in America. We don't have a nearby Target in NYC, so please send pictures if you spot it out in the wild! The first sighting came from Ryan Knapp (at right).

I'm still pinching myself -- I would have never in my wildest dreams imagined this would be happening when the book came out last March. I was nervous about selling 100 copies!  My big dream is for it to be THE must-have book that people buy for recent grads. Added bonus -- give them a copy of the roadmap poster too! Thank you everyone for the continued love and support -- it means the world to me.

Book Giveaway Bonanza!

Long ago, I set a policy for Life After College that I would not review a book unless the author sent two copies -- one for me, and one to give away to one of you! I've been collecting a bunch of awesome books and it's time to send them out to some lucky winners! Read further for instructions on how to enter.

Book #1: The Coolest Start-ups In America by Doreen Bloch

Doreen is a rock-star who I had the good fortune of having a coffee date with during the midst of her book development. Since that time, she's been covered by more publications than she probably knows what to do with! Homegirl hit a home run, and the best part of all is that she self-published.

Here's a description of her book:

The Coolest Startups in America is the first mainstream book on entrepreneurship. Be introduced to 72+ of the best, new companies you must to know about, and hear directly from founders, entrepreneur thought-leaders, government officials and more all about the world of startups! www.CoolestStartups.In

And here's some of Doreen's awesome coverage if you want to help spread the good word!  

HuffPost Click to Tweet | The NY Times Click to Tweet | Producteev Blog Click to Tweet | Girls in Tech Click to Tweet | Feministing Click to Tweet | Women 2.0 Click to Tweet | Business Unconventional Click to Tweet | FamZoo Blog Click to Tweet | Finovate News Click to Tweet | EXAME Click to Tweet

Book #2: The Start-up of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

Ben was one of my earliest "one-off" mentors in my own book journey, back when I was still contemplating whether to self-publish or find an agent in 2009. His advice was incredibly insightful (he did start his own successful company at age 14, after all) and set me on the path of finding a publisher.

Ben's first book is called My Start-Up Life, and I couldn't agree more with the premise of this one -- that each person should treat their career as their very own company...which now, more than ever, it is!

Book Description: 

The career escalator is jammed at every level. Unemployment rates are sky-high. Creative disruption is shaking every industry. Global competition for jobs is fierce. The employer-employee pact is over and traditional job security is a thing of the past.

Here, LinkedIn cofounder and chairman Reid Hoffman and author Ben Casnocha show how to accelerate your career in today's competitive world. The key is to manage your career as if it were a start-up business: a living, breathing, growing start-up of you.

 You're also invited to join Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha for a Live Chat:

You will learn the best practices of some of the most successful start-ups on the planet (like PayPal and LinkedIn), and how these strategies can be applied to your career -- no matter your industry or job function. You will learn how to launch career plans amid uncertainty; how to change jobs based on what you learn; how to generate breakout opportunities; how to take intelligent risks; how to develop real relationships and build an effective professional network. Most of all, you will learn how to *think* like an entrepreneur when steering the start-up that is your career.

Book #3: Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life by Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus

Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus are two of the most down-to-earth, inspiring people I've met in the last year. Their blog, is a smash success, and their message is one of quiet strength in streamlining down to what really matters in life.

Book Description:

Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life is our finest, most important creation to date. It’s also the best thing we’ve ever written about Minimalism and will likely serve as the cornerstone to our work for years to come. It took us a year to write this book—a year of creating the best material possible and finding ways to relate it back to our lives so you would have practical ways to relate the subject matter to your life.

Do you jump out of bed every morning excited about the day in front of you? Do you live a life defined by deep meaning, endless passion, excellent health, empowering relationships, and constant growth? You can.

Ultimately, the eight chapters and ninety-eight sections inside this book are meant to help you take small actions each day that will radically improve your life over a short period of time.

The chapters move on the the five dimensions that comprise a meaningful life: Health, Relationships, Passions, Growth and Contribution.

Book #4: Getting from College to Career - Updated by Lindsey Pollak

Lindsey is another one of my long-time mentors, someone whose career was the exact model of what I only hoped to one day achieve when I started blogging. Rather than seeing me as a competitor, Lindsey has always been gracious, wise, friendly and helpful. Her book is THE manual on finding a job in today's economy, and it's a must-have for any of you job-seeking at the moment!

Book description: 

How do you get a job without experience and get experience without a job? It’s the question virtually every college student or recent graduate faces. Now newly revised and updated, Lindsey Pollak’s Getting from College to Career is the definitive guide to building the experience, skills, and confidence you need to succeed in the job search, offering action-oriented tips and strategies ranging from the simple to the expert. Learn how to:

  • Get the best tools for career prep and job hunting
  • E-mail like a professional
  • Go global
  • Practice the eight essentials of internship achievement
  • Perform five minutes of stand-up
  • Overprepare for interviews
  • Persist without being a pest

Getting from College to Career gives you the essential information and guidance you need to get your foot in the door of the real world. Don’t start your first job search without it!

Book #5: The Zen of Social Media Marketing (2012 Edition) by Shama Hyder Kabani

Shama is a published and social media powerhouse -- her work has been a huge success among small business owners and entrepreneurs, and I'm excited to include the lastest edition of her book in this givewaway!

Book Description:

Social media is a crucial tool for success in business today. People are already talking about your business using social media, whether you’re using it or not. By becoming part of the conversation, you can start connecting directly to your customers, as well as finding new ones, easily and inexpensively spreading the word about your products or services.

But social media marketing isn’t like traditional marketing—and treating it that way only leads to frustration. Let Shama Hyder Kabani, social media expert and president of web marketing firm The Marketing Zen Group, teach you the “zen” of social media marketing: how to access all the benefits of social media marketing without the stress!

Book #6: Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur by Ryan Blair

I don't know this guy, but I'd like to! His story sounds amazing and his book has caught my eye many times while browsing my local bookstore. Whoever wins this one can be in a book club with me, as I haven't read it yet!

Book Description:

Ryan Blair knows about building a business from the ground up. Like many entrepreneurs he had no formal business education. But he had great survival instincts, tenacity, and above all, a "nothing to lose" mindset.

Blair's middle-class childhood came to an abrupt end when his abusive father succumbed to drug addiction and abandoned the family. Blair and his mother moved to a dangerous neighborhood, and soon he was in and out of juvenile detention, joining a gang just to survive.

Then his mother fell in love with a successful entrepreneur who took Ryan under his wing. With his mentor's help, Blair turned himself into a wildly successful businessman. He started his first company, 24/7 Tech, at the age of 21, and since then has started and sold several companies for hundreds of millions of dollars.

How to Enter

  1. Answer the following question in the comments: which of these books resonates most with you, and why?
  2. If you win: What is your second choice book? (I figure the answer to question 1 will be your first choice) Also, do you prefer a paper copy or Kindle? (Gotta ask these days!)
  3. Enter by Friday, March 30 -- I will choose the winners via

B*tches in Bookshops

Finally...(could this blog post BE any longer?!) I leave you with a hilarious video about books, sent by the one and only Sarah Peck:

[youtube id="EQiEJk-o5WA"]