How important are bookstores to business authors?

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If you’re a business book author, you are probably imagining your book on the shelf in the local Barnes & Noble, independent bookstore, or airport bookstore. But before you pursue that vision, you ought to think it through, because attaining bookstore placement comes with lots of challenges. As context for this discussion, consider two sales … Continued

How to respond to an email you were copied on by mistake

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Sometimes people put your name on emails by mistake — and as a result, you see something that wasn’t intended for you. Naturally, the simplest thing to do is delete it. But we’re all curious, so we don’t often do what we “ought” to do. Here’s some more realistic advice on what to do when … Continued

Do stuff you’re bad at

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It was dark in my old home town and I’d just run over a curb. I was piloting the Nissan Rogue Sport SUV I’d rented earlier in the day, driving through Ambler, Pennsylvania, a half-mile from where I went to high school and 400 miles from where I live now. You know how, when you … Continued

Why you should set clear limits on free advice

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I’m in a dispute with my accountant. We both feel wronged. And it’s all because of the way they treated free advice. My accountant is part of a mid-sized local accounting firm. He prepares my taxes, which are complex, and also advises me on tax strategy. With a few exceptions, I’ve found the tax prep … Continued

This CNN consumer survey on Facebook will clear the way for regulation

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CNN surveyed 1,000 Americans about Facebook. What they found will embolden regulators and legislators. Here are the top-line results: 76% say Facebook makes society worse. This finding doesn’t vary much by gender, age, race, or among frequent Facebook users. Among Republicans, 82% feel this way. 53% support government regulation of Facebook. 49% say they know … Continued

Why Meta’s decision to remove ad targeting categories won’t make much difference

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Under intense heat due to whistleblower leaks, Meta has agreed to remove ad targeting categories like health, race, and political affiliation from its properties Facebook and Instagram. Here’s why that will do very little about the algorithmic decisions that drive extremism, partisanship, and mental health issues on these social networks — and won’t even slow … Continued

What did you learn today? And would you blog it?

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After 1,789 blog posts here, I may have learned something about blogging — and about myself. And if I’ve learned something, I’ve also learned that I have to share it. What did you learn today? Imagine for a moment that, like me, you have decided to do a substantive blog post every weekday. What would … Continued

All good editors are therapists

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When I start editing your manuscript, I learn something about you, the writer. That’s not just a side effect. It’s actually central to my ability to edit your work effectively. I don’t set out to psychoanalyze you. It’s just impossible not to. To improve a manuscript, I must understand the author’s goals What is the … Continued