How to make sure your book sucks

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You don’t need to do all of these things to make your nonfiction book suck, but the more you do, the worse it will be. Never for a moment consider who the book is for. If anyone asks, just say “It’s perfect for everyone.” Start writing without an idea. Keep every word of your musings … Continued

Mark Zuckerberg: The addicter’s lament

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If you had profited from a highly addictive drug that had done great damage to society, what would you do? A trial about this — about Insys and fentanyl — is happening right now in Boston. But I’m not talking about opioids. I’m talking about Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal looks … Continued

Where do you find stories for your book? (Ask Dr. Wobs)

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Business books are made of stories. Where do they come from? Here’s today’s question: Dear Dr. Wobs  I am writing a business book and want to supplement my own experiences with relevant business anecdotes. (Google is virtually useless, although maybe I’m just doing it wrong.) Any suggestions? — Jack Finding stories We’re hard-wired to remember … Continued

Writing, washing dishes, flow, and pleasure

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I have a confession to make. I really enjoy doing the dishes. (And yes, this has something to do with writing advice.) At my house, it is my wife’s job to cook and my job to do the dishes. This is good, because she is an excellent cook and I am terrible. She could do … Continued

Why you should draft copy for your book publicist

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If you’re fortunate enough to afford a book publicist, the chances of your book succeeding go way up. Publicists are experts at language that persuades reviewers, bloggers, and influencers to write about your book. But I’m convinced that you, and not they, should write the first draft of the marketing copy. Marketing activity for a … Continued

Talking sense about acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations, and neologisms

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Acronyms are cool, but they’re not all equal. The copy editors’ rule that once you introduce an acronym or initialism you must always use it in subsequent text, is bullshit. I’m here to propose a better way to think about acronyms. There are terms that are cumbersome to write and cumbersome to read. To help … Continued

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tells the truth (mostly) about layoffs

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In a layoff, a company gets rid of people to boost profits. Everyone knows it; no one ever actually says it. Except Elon Musk. Rather than using corporate layoff doublespeak like downsize, rightsize, and RIF (reduction in force), why not tell the truth? Take a look at what Musk said and how he said it. Tesla’s stock price took a … Continued

Selling with integrity: Todd Caponi’s “The Transparency Sale”

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I just read my favorite sales strategy book of all time: The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honesty and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results, by Todd Caponi. When it comes to B2B sales strategy, fashions have been shifting for decades. But whether we’re supposed to form relationships, challenge people, sell solutions, or always … Continued