Value ratios: a key metric for your book chapters

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Business book chapters are made out of ideas, stories, research, argumentation, and advice. To be readable, you need to maximize the stories and advice. Very simple: look at the chapter draft you wrote. Measure the number of words dedicated to each type of element: Ideas and frameworks. Principles you use to make your points. Stories. … 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

This WordPress Gutenberg linking feature should be in every text editor

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WordPress includes a linking feature missing from every other text-editing application. They all ought to copy it. In 2018, Automattic, the parent company of the blogging platform WordPress, debuted the block-based editor Gutenberg for authoring blog posts. People hated it, but it made sense — advanced bloggers were building blogs out of blocks anyway. By … Continued

Why you shouldn’t charge by the word

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I never charge by the word — for writing, for editing, or for anything. The principal at a PR firm recently hired me to write articles for one of their clients. I will be working with the firm and the client to create articles of about 1500 words appropriate for placement in business publications, based … Continued

I was just thinking . . .

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People younger than you know stuff you don’t know. So do people older than you. So learn to listen better. You shouldn’t engage with politics unless you are also engaged with reality. The things you know about people will still be true decades later. The things you know about things will be obsolete in a … Continued

The politically incorrect editor

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I get complaints about how my advice is insensitive to certain types of humans and living things. I will not turn my advice into mush. I like it crunchy. Most of you do, too. If you don’t like it, read somebody else. Here are my responses to the complaints people have made or may be … Continued

What can you learn from this awesome article on . . . hockey goalies?

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I am not a hockey fan. But when I read Ken Dryden’s new piece in The Atlantic — “Hockey Has a Gigantic-Goalie Problem” — I was captivated. This is not showy writing. It’s just so engaging you can’t stop reading. Yes, folks, this is 4700 words on the pads and behaviors of hockey goalies, written … Continued

Contributed op-ed case study (4): Editing and revision

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Writing an opinion piece is rarely the end of the process. The editors of your target publication are likely to request revisions. An effective writer budgets time for those revisions and maintains effort and creativity through the revision cycle. Responding to edits In the last three posts, I explained how I pitched, researched, and wrote … Continued