Ready to really dig deep into business topics and do some serious English learning?
It may be time to try some good old fashioned book reading—only with a new, convenient and affordable twist.
Enter: The e-book.
There is an e-book for any learner at any skill level, no matter what topic you want to learn about. You have some free time to spare and you want to make good use of it by learning some useful business phrases or how to write an email effectively? Great. E-books have got you covered!
Below is a curated list of great business English e-books for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners. The e-books on our list work for independent study on the go or at home. Our list includes a mix of books for consistent study and easy reference.
E-books are great because you can download them from anywhere. On a business trip and suddenly have some free time? Bored at home and want to pick up a few phrases? In a place where you can’t listen to a podcast or watch a TV show? Download an e-book and start learning! Having flexibility increases your likelihood of actually making time to study on a regular basis.
How to Choose an E-book
E-books are a lot easier to publish than paper books. This enables individuals and companies to publish large numbers of e-books without a big publisher getting involved. Because the process is more accessible for independent authors and small companies, there are more resources available. However, this also makes it harder to decipher the best books. To help you choose your business English e-book, consider these points:
Recognize your level. If you have just started to learn business English, then pick a book that is suitable for beginners. If you are nearly fluent in English and just need some practice, go for advanced books.
Think about cost. E-books are usually a lot cheaper than printed books. Since there are a lot of cheap and even free e-books available, you might want to avoid the higher priced selection. By doing this, you will spare yourself from feeling bad about the cost if the book does not seem to fit your needs.
Decide on a topic. E-books are often topic-focused. You will find books designed specifically to help you improve your writing, comprehension and even business slang and idioms. Choose a book that offers what you want to learn.
Choose a format. To read your next e-book, you can use an app such as Kindle or use Google Play Books on any device for free. If you do not want to use that much technology, you can find some books in PDF format that you can print and read on paper.
E-books are fantastic additions to any learning program. Use them to learn some new words and ideas, then use FluentU to study them in an interactive, immersive way.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like business dialogues, inspiring speeches, news and more—and turns them into personalized English lessons.
FluentU has a huge collection of English videos that people in the English-speaking world actually watch.
More to the point, FluentU has an entire business category filled with authentic business-related videos covering six language levels.
To show the variety of videos even inside this single category, real-world business videos on FluentU include “Introducing Business Colleagues,” “Business Buzzwords,” “Control Your Inbox!” and “What Warren Buffet Thinks About Cash.”
An added bonus is that if you want to work on other topics later, simply use the same, familiar FluentU platform to learn with videos from other categories, such as “Science and Tech,” “Politics and Society” or mix it up with “Arts and Entertainment” or “Health and Lifestyle.”
Every spoken word is subtitled, complete with an in-context definition, image and multiple example sentences.
All you have to do is tap or click on one of the words in those subtitles to get more information. For example, if you tap on the word “brought,” you will see this:
Plus, these great videos are all accompanied by interactive features and active learning tools, like multimedia flashcards and fun games like “fill in the blank.”
If you are interested in watching fun, relevant videos and practicing language actively in the process, be sure to create a FluentU account and try it out on your computer, iOS or Android device!
9 Business English E-books Worth Checking Out
This list of affordable business English e-books is a good place for you to start your reading. Most of these e-books cost less than $5. Some of them are even free. Keep in mind that their prices often change, so sometimes they will be cheaper or more expensive than their currently listed prices.
You might get lucky and find some special deals! If you have a subscription to a service like Kindle Unlimited, this might make them cheaper, too.
“Business English” by Rosalia Covello
Perfect for: Beginners
Rosalia Covello, the author of this e-book, knows that good business English is not just about knowing all the right catch phrases—it is about having good overall English.
That is why this e-book spends ample time covering basic English grammar before moving on to business-specific topics. This may be a review for some students, but it never hurts to brush up. Since the book is free, you really will not lose much by downloading it and taking a look.
“How to Be a Business Ace” by Professor H. E. Colby
Perfect for: Intermediate learners
Written by an experienced English professor, the book covers all the bases. With over ten chapters to read, you will get tips on everything from speaking fluently, writing, increasing your vocabulary and even conducting negotiations.
This book could be useful for someone interested in getting help with pacing their English self-study plan. By focusing on one chapter a week, you will see great improvement in your business English in less than three months! You can find this book on the Google Play store.
“Business English” by E.B. Nikolaenko
Perfect for: Intermediate learners
If you don’t want to use Google Play or Amazon, then this book is for you! You can download a PDF or simply keep it open in your web browser to start learning. This is an actual textbook designed for the Institute of International Management of Tomsk Polytechnic University and flows in a logical order designed to match the classroom syllabus.
This book is great because it covers some stuff you will not find in other books like handling job interviews and understanding company structure. It is worth checking out.
Pages: 89 pages
Perfect for: Intermediate learners
At only 89 pages, “ESL Business English” is a shorter book than others, but it makes for an easy way to keep studying business English in unconventional places like on the subway during your daily commute.
It does a good job of making complex concepts simple to grasp, and the author provides a lot of helpful do’s and don’ts along the way. “ESL Business English” is available on Kindle.
Perfect for: Advanced learners
If you are an advanced English speaker, then you may want to move beyond books directed at English-language students and on to something written for an audience fluent in English.
“People Skills” is a book designed to help individuals improve their communication style, and it is particularly useful for a work setting. While reading, you can search for terms and phrases you do not know and write them down in a journal for better retention. There is a Kindle and paperback version.
“400 Ways to Write It in Business English” by Andrew D. Miles
Perfect for: Improving writing skills
This is just one of many books written by author and Director of English for Business Spain, Andrew D. Miles. Just as the name suggests, this is more like a glossary of terms and phrases rather than a study book. It is a good reference book to use whenever drafting an email or report.
The index allows you to quickly find the phrases you need for various situations. For example, refer to the section “Ask for more detailed information” and you will find some suitable ways to do just that. For only a few dollars, this business English e-book is one you will want to keep handy. Find it on Amazon.
“101 Ways to Improve Your Business English” by Andrew D. Miles
Perfect for: Quick tips
Another book by Andrew D. Miles, “101 Ways to Improve Your Business English” presents information in a very accessible way. This easy read offers learning advice, useful tips and phrases that any businessperson will likely use on a daily basis.
This book is cheaper than a fancy cup of coffee in a lot of countries, and you will definitely find it more useful! Available for Kindle.
“100 Ways to Motivate Others” by Steve Chandler and Scott Richardson
Perfect for: Quick tips
Though most suitable for advanced students, this book is worth checking out even if you are an intermediate student. It is not designed to teach business English, but this motivational book can be a great language learning tool.
Filled with interesting stories, analogies and scenarios to help leaders become more motivational, this e-book can be a lot of fun for an English language student. You can buy it on Amazon.
Price: $41.35 to buy, $18.50 to rent (varies)
Perfect for: Getting lessons in your native language (Spanish, German or French)
Routledge offers the following language glossaries with more than 500 words. The glossaries are two-way (English and another language), making them useful not only for students studying English, but also English speakers studying Spanish, German or French. In comparison to the other books, they are more expensive, but being that Routledge is a renowned publisher, you can guarantee the quality.
Routledge currently offers three business glossaries, all available on Google Play:
- “French/English Business Glossary” by Nathalie McAndrew Cazorla & Stuart Williams
- “German/English Business Glossary” by Paul Hartley & Gertrud Robins
- “Spanish/English Business Glossary” by Michael Gorman & Maria-Luisa Henson
All of the business English e-books mentioned can help you continue on your path to having fluent professional English.
Whether you want a light read to pass time on your commute or a detailed e-book to help you self-study, each of these recommendations will help you use business English like a pro!
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