Beyond meaningless platitudes

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Experts build their business on an idea. If the idea is a platitude, they don’t deserve respect — and they won’t get clients. I am so sick of the aspiring thought leaders on social media sharing platitudes and imagining they are insights. “You must put the customer first.” Oh, now I see. I was putting … Continued

Red Sox dump Alex Cora, issue nonstatement

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Alex Cora cheated when he was a coach for the Astros, and likely cheated again manager of the Red Sox. Then he and the Sox issued a statement about “mutually parting ways.” Right. These are facts: In 2017, the Astros’ players participated in a scheme that involved viewing the video feed from the center field … Continued

This post smells like my navel

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Goop sells a $75 candle that smells like Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina. Paltrow and her perfumer came up with it. Look, I’m no prude. Bodies have smells, and smells generate emotions, some warm and touching. But that’s because the smell goes with the body. That’s why your girlfriend’s hands or your husband’s cuddle smell so good … Continued

How to get book blurbs

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There’s a systematic way to get the best endorsements for your book. If you don’t prepare properly, your blurbs will fall flat. Here’s exactly how to do it. 1 Make your target list well in advance Timing is crucial here. Don’t make your list on the day you need blurbs. Start making it while you’re … Continued

“Can I pick your brain?”

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No. Usually. I get these requests all the time. And I am generous with free advice. Even so, how I respond is based on on where you land on two separate scales. How specific are you? “Can you help me with x?” is a lot different from “Can I pick your brain?” The more specific … Continued

Bizarre art and architecture in Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

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Deep in Philadelphia’s South Street neighborhood is a structure — or piece of art, I’m not sure — that absolutely should not exist. It makes no sense. It boggles the mind. And it inspires. But what is one to do with the inspiration? How the magic gardens came to be In 1968, the city of … Continued

The three sources of leads, or why it pays to be nice

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There are three basic ways for a freelancer to get business: inbound queries, referrals, and community participation. They have one thing in common: being nice pays off. Inbound is effective, but expensive Inbound marketers would have you believe that if you create awesome, SEO-enabled content, leads will roll in. They are right, but it is … Continued

The 10 gotchas of book graphics

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Illustrations, diagrams, and charts clarify. They’re worth including in your book. But every time I work with authors, they underestimate the challenge, delay, and cost that comes with graphics. If you’re going to use graphics, you need to be prepared. Let me put this simply: If something is going to trip up the production stages … Continued