Why you should draft copy for your book publicist

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If you’re fortunate enough to afford a book publicist, the chances of your book succeeding go way up. Publicists are experts at language that persuades reviewers, bloggers, and influencers to write about your book. But I’m convinced that you, and not they, should write the first draft of the marketing copy. Marketing activity for a … Continued

Talking sense about acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations, and neologisms

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Acronyms are cool, but they’re not all equal. The copy editors’ rule that once you introduce an acronym or initialism you must always use it in subsequent text, is bullshit. I’m here to propose a better way to think about acronyms. There are terms that are cumbersome to write and cumbersome to read. To help … Continued

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tells the truth (mostly) about layoffs

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In a layoff, a company gets rid of people to boost profits. Everyone knows it; no one ever actually says it. Except Elon Musk. Rather than using corporate layoff doublespeak like downsize, rightsize, and RIF (reduction in force), why not tell the truth? Take a look at what Musk said and how he said it. Tesla’s stock price took a … Continued

Selling with integrity: Todd Caponi’s “The Transparency Sale”

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I just read my favorite sales strategy book of all time: The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honesty and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results, by Todd Caponi. When it comes to B2B sales strategy, fashions have been shifting for decades. But whether we’re supposed to form relationships, challenge people, sell solutions, or always … Continued

Really, Airbnb? Really?

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I’ve just completed a wonderful Airbnb stay with a gracious host — along with an incredible Airbnb outdoor experience. But once these transactions were done, Airbnb committed a heinous blunder that soured me on the whole concept. My hosts in San Diego promised a four-bedroom house with a well-equipped kitchen — and delivered exactly what … Continued

A hard-working glossary can cure jargon overload

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A great business book will be full of magic words that reflect new and crucial concepts. What’s the best way to explain those? Here’s how to make a glossary that works without drowning in jargon. If you’re writing a business book, you’ll inevitably face a difficult problem with language. Some of the unfamiliar words you’ll … Continued

Writing, printing, and permanence

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Words make pages, which make books. Behind that simple statement is the rich history of the mechanisms of printing. My personal history is a thread in the the broader history of the methods by which words reach the eyes of the reader — a narrative that came to life for me when I recently visited … Continued

Airbnb and the joy of imperfect travel

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I’m on a short vacation right now, visiting with family. I’m staying in an Airbnb and I just had one of Airbnb’s local “experiences.” Stuff has gone wrong. And it’s glorious. If business travel is about comfort and predictability, leisure travel is, at least for me, about having unique, memorable, highly local experiences. My wife … Continued