For editors, it pays to specialize

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There are a million editors out there. If you aspire to make a living as one, you can’t just be “an editor” — because only those who specialize will be paid what they’re worth. (Author’s note — I’ll now resume posting mostly about writing, editing, and books. Thanks for your tolerance of my political posts … Continued

How authors can work with a cartoonist

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I’m currently editing a book that will include cartoons. Cartoons will make the book much more enjoyable, even as they drive home the points in the chapters. And I’ve never had this much fun working. Today: what it’s like to work with a cartoonist. This isn’t my first book with cartoons. For Marketing to the … Continued

For maximum impact, keep your case studies pure and unsullied by argumentation

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Great business books include case study stories. They also include frameworks and analysis. For maximum effectiveness, never mingle the two. Here’s an example to clarify what I mean. In The Age of Intent, the book I ghost wrote about artificial intelligence last year, there is a story at the start of the customer service chapter … Continued

The pronoun conundrum: “we” vs. “you” in business advice

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Business books are full of advice. They’re also full of pronouns — and pronoun-driven confusion — around when to use “we” and when to use “you.” Start with this: you should write directly to the reader. Compare the following two alternatives: Marketers must spend less time on SEO and more time on the creation of … Continued

The 2 questions every business author must answer

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If you want to write a book, ask these two questions before you start — and every day as you work on it. How will my reader see the world differently? What are they going to do about it? If your book is not going to help your reader to see the world differently, why … Continued

What your book says about you

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A business book is an extension of you. It makes an impression — both good and bad. There’s an idea going around that a book is just a big (and expensive) business card. If that were true, it wouldn’t matter much what was in it. In truth, it matters an awful lot. Because if a … Continued

The 12 immutable stages of business book creation

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A veteran author knows the 12 stages. Rookies often don’t. But if you’re an author, you’ll inevitably experience them, regardless of whether you’re ready. So get ready. 1 Idle flirtation “That’s a cool idea.” “That could be a book.” “I think I could write about that.” Like all flirtations, this one is titillating and intriguing … Continued