What authors need to know about printing. (Yes, printing.)

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Your job is to write. The publisher’s job is to turn what you write into a book. So why should you worry about printing? Those ink-stained wretches can handle it, right? Not quite. Musicians need to know about microphones. Architects need to know about plumbing. If they don’t, what they conceive doesn’t come out quite … 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

Is Verizon’s customized customer service video a good idea?

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Verizon sent me a video about my bill this month. It was very strange to see a customized video about my billing details. I think this is a good idea — but I worry about similar videos used for phishing purposes. I recently called Verizon, my Internet provider, to see if I could upgrade the … Continued

The slow crisis is America’s weak spot

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America is terrific at dealing with short-term disasters. But our attention span isn’t attuned to the crisis that takes time to develop and sticks around for a while. I worry that COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, is the kind of slow crisis that we tend to bungle. A hurricane. An epic blizzard. A mass shooting. … Continued

On Coronavirus, we need the correct amount of fear

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Fear is useful. Panic is not. COVID-19, popularly known as the Coronavirus, is coming. If we’re honest, we should recognize a few facts. At least 83,000 people are infected. Most are in China, but there are also outbreaks in South Korea, Iran, Japan, and Italy. There are cases in America, too. More than 2,800 people … Continued

The role of emotion in business writing

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Is business writing just about bloodless logic? Or is there room for some poetry, some inspiration, some passion in it? This week I conducted my clear writing workshop with writers from a large technology-focused company in Silicon Valley. The participants provide their product managers with research-based information to help support smarter decisions. A typical document … Continued

Should IngramSpark ban AI-generated books along with other trash titles?

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IngramSpark, a self-publishing service, has now defined a set of trash book categories that it will no longer feature or distribute, including AI-generated books. As AI books get better, though, they might want to reconsider. IngramSpark is a print-on-demand and ebook distribution service offered by Ingram, a major book distributor. It delivers the same features … Continued