Why you should shun publishers that strip links from your articles

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Links are as much a part of content as punctuation. If you submit an article and the publisher or site removes them, they’re removing substantive content, violating publishing ethics, and behaving arrogantly. Writers should avoid any site that behaves this way. Here’s why I’m talking about this today — it’s what happened when my friend … Continued

Win-win

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You want to win. Is there a better way to be a winner? Earlier in my career I worked for a startup software company. I was in product management. Then, as now, there was a shortage of qualified engineers, so the company paid a generous bounty if they hired someone you referred. Rachel was a … Continued

What? Me, biased?

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My post Friday on Donald Trump’s new site and sort-of social network struck some nerves. One commenter said “As a social commentator, you cover for tyranny.” That seemed a little nasty. Two things are true. First, I am anti-Trump. I did a whole series of posts about it before the election. I’m not trying to … Continued

Why Donald Trump’s “social network” is smarter than it looks

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For months, we’ve heard the rumor that ex-President Trump was starting a social network. It’s up now. It’s called “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump.” As a social network, it sucks. But as a functional equivalent to Trump’s former Twitter account, it’s likely to succeed. How Trump’s new megaphone works Here are the rules … Continued

Your book needs no introduction. So don’t write one.

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Nonfiction books should start with a bang. Introductions are boring. Ergo, don’t start with an introduction. Despite the logic of this, many business and nonfiction writers start their books with an introduction. They either think it’s required, or fall victim to the fallacy that, having created a book, they need to somehow explain it. Why … Continued

The two words that (nearly) always cure writer’s block

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You’re sitting staring and the page. You don’t know what to type. And the deadline is looming. Two words will break your trance: “Look, stupid.” Allow me to explain. What causes writer’s block This advice is for nonfiction writers only. (If you write fiction, you need advice from somebody else.) There are plenty of rational … Continued

How to seduce readers with a sexy table of contents

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I bet you never thought of a table of contents as sexy. But it is, or at least it ought to be. A table of contents is an invitation to go further, to create a new relationship. If that’s what you want, then being sexy is a good strategy. A potential book buyer peruses the … Continued

How to sell 10,000 copies of your book — or decide you don’t need to

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It’s a publishing truism that your book must sell 10,000 copies to be successful. It’s wrong. And it’s also very hard. So let’s take a look at whether you need to sell 10,000 copies, and what it would take to do that. Can you succeed without selling 10,000 copies? The analysis I’m going to share … Continued