John Sargent, CEO of “Fire and Fury” publisher Macmillan, shows how to respond to a high-profile attack

President Trump’s lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to try to block publication of Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff’s revealing account of President Trump’s first 200 days in office. The publisher, a division of Macmillan, published it anyway. Now Macmillan CEO John Sargent has sent a memo to all of his staff about the role of publishers … Continued

Collaborating on a book is a terrible idea. But if you must, be asymmetrical.

Writing a book is hard enough. Adding another person makes it twice as hard. Collaboration only makes sense if it’s asymmetrical — if you have complementary skills and different jobs. I’ve written three books with coauthors, edited a few more, and am currently ghostwriting parts of books with other authors. Coauthoring sounds like it’s going … Continued

Why you should read Academia Obscura instead of actually working

Instead of actually completing his Ph.D., Glen Wright has wasted his time writing a book called Academia Obscura: The hidden silly side of higher education. The result of this effort is to reveal in a funhouse mirror every possible idiotic and ironic aspect of academic life and publishing. I heartily recommend that you waste your money on … Continued

Case study tip: the quickie character sketch

It’s easy to forget that businesses are made of people. When you write a case study for a business book, blog post, or article, readers need to see those people as human. Here’s how to do that quickly without getting in the way of the story you’re telling. People in business prose need to be … Continued

7 collaboration tools and tips that make book writing go smoothly

Collaborating on a book is hard. Deadlines make it harder. The key is to develop a disciplined process and stick with it. To help you get to the end without tears, I’ll share some battle-tested collaboration tools and tips that will keep you focused on content excellence, not process glitches. (You’ll see where the bear … Continued

10 reasons why you’re not a thought leader (and how to fix them)

It seems as if everyone I interact with is, or wants to be, a “thought leader.” But what does thought leadership actually mean? And why do so many self-styled thought leaders actually just seem like self-promoters? Technology analysts — the industry I worked in for 20 years — treat thought leadership as a sort of “king … Continued