Write what you know. (But what if all you know is the inside of your own brain?)

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They tell fiction authors to “write what you know.” The same obviously applies to non-fiction. But it’s all too easy to go from that to “Write about yourself” — especially when it comes to self-help books. If you know about marketing strategy, write about marketing strategy. If you know about startups, write about startups. Just … Continued

The ROAM test for business books

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There are four questions you really should answer before setting out on a business book journey. They’ll determine everything from your title to your content to your publishing model. I first created the ROAM test for general business writing. It includes four elements: Readers, Objective, Action, and iMpression. If you’re going to work on something … Continued

Please don’t write a book

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People sometimes come to me with a manuscript of their nonfiction book and ask, “Can you help?” Often, this is the most frustrating conversation I ever have. Please don’t start by writing a book. Start differently. Start first by asking if there is something you know that will change people. It doesn’t have to be … Continued

How I ended up giving 5 speeches at the Content Marketing Conference this April

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I never planned on speaking five times at the Content Marketing Conference. Because that’s just nuts. The conference is in Boston on 16-19 April. This will be my fourth time speaking there; Byron White of WriterAccess curates a great collection of speakers and it’s always a blast. Honestly, I go to a lot of conferences, … Continued

Two conflicting approaches on those Boeing 737 MAX crashes

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Boeing and its airline customers are in a tough situation. Plane crashes are very rare — planes are safer than ever — but in the wake of two crashes of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, they need to both reassure people and indicate that they’re taking steps to solve the problem. Boeing clearly has a disciplined … Continued

What all business authors do

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I’ve been working with and interviewing a lot of authors lately. I am trying to get at what makes them tick. While it is true that they aren’t altruists — they’re in it boost their own standing and businesses, of course — I am beginning to think I’m getting to the nub of what’s important … Continued

Owning up to your Facebook codependency

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I’ve characterized Facebook as an addiction. I think I was wrong. After yesterday’s outage, now I think the correct way to describe our relationship with Facebook is as codependency. Codependency is “a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition.” (Merriam-Webster). … Continued

Could Facebook read encrypted messages? Would it?

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A week ago, Facebook announced a shift to focus more on messaging (or as Mark Zuckerberg designated it, Facebook’s “privacy-focused” vision). I suggested that this would allow the company to personalized its ads even more. Would this even be possible if, as the company promised, the messages would be encrypted? A guy I respect on … Continued