Every book is a storybook. That includes your business book. Yes, we can convince with data, but we connect with stories. Stories hook our hearts. A book without stories is a rant, a lecture or a plea. A book that is underpinned by stories is a powerful bird. On its mighty wings, we soar high above the problems we face and see the patterns, like fields of colour below us. Then we swoop down to look more closely at them on a guided tour. Read More
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Here's your weekly dose of sticky content tips.
Paragraphs are a grey area for many writers, especially those who grew up in the era when schools were experimenting with ways to teach grammar. Some ways were pretty whacky. Was the rule about new paragraphs to make one whenever we drew breath or was that when we stuck in a comma? The rules were not precise.
Do paragraphs really matter? Can writing be persuasive even if the paragraphs are ill-formed and inconsistent? Of course, it can. Stories can engage our emotions, and ideas get us excited even when the grammar is wrong. Read More
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey, is one of the best-known business books of all time, and one of the best known “list” book titles.
Listicles are articles structured by numbers (five steps, three essentials, 101 things to do). They are hugely popular for obvious reasons (and some less obvious ones).
Of course, a list breaks a big task into a bunch of small ones. We would all like to be highly effective (big goal) and we are thrilled to think all we have to do is master seven habits (small steps) to get there. Read More
I wrote my first #book in third grade. My friend Caroline and I both did.
We each folded a page from our exercise books, again and again, to make all the pages, trimmed the edges, and stapled the spine. Then we wrote teeny tiny stories.
It was such #fun, and it reminds me of a lesson I learned long ago: I #write best when I have fun. Read More
As a journalist, I learned a very important lesson: I couldn’t write a story if I hadn’t done the research. By ‘the research’ I mean that I had to do enough research to be sure of what I wanted to say. I might have a topic, like marketing to men. I’d start interviewing people on this topic, and gradually, the story would become clear. It might be that men are often overlooked by marketers, or that it’s pointless marketing to men because women do most of the buying. I had to keep on asking questions, checking out assumptions, until I was sure. Read More
Reading a book should be like floating gently down a river towards an ocean of possibilities. To keep our reader receptive to our ideas, we want them to be ‘in the zone’, effortlessly connecting with what we say, and gliding from one idea to the next. Yes, we want them to be excited, and busting to get to the end of the journey. But we want the ride to go without a hitch. Read More
One of the most common questions I am asked by my clients is, ‘How do I get a book deal?’ or, ‘How can I get ‘traditional publishers’ to publish my book?’
Since I began my 90 Day Book program, I have helped a couple of authors to get global publishing deals with a traditional publishing house, which is pretty amazing since I’m an advocate of indie authors – the self-publishing model. Read More
“The road to hell is paved with adverbs”, says the great American writer, Stephen King. I agree. Adverbs are so seductive. They are the sirens of the writer’s world, singing an irresistible melody to lure us onto the rocks and shipwreck our writing. Or, more simply, adverbs undermine the authority of your writing. Read More
It pains me to say this, but some people should not write a business book – or not yet. For some people, now is not the time, and they are best to keep their money in their pocket.
How can you tell if you should write and self-publish a book, or should delay or never write a book? You might be surprised by my answers.
If some or all of the qualities below sound like you, don’t write a book.
You may waste your time and money, and may harm your personal brand. The qualities that make for bad books (but not bad people) follow. Read More
I used to have a secret desire to become a Great Australian Novelist, a desire that led me to study Professional Writing and Editing at (what is now) Deakin University. I got good marks for my first – and last – short story, but my teacher pointed out the number of times I used the word ‘it’. Read More