The novelty trap; Amazon counterfeits; OpenAI calls foul: Newsletter 28 February 2024
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The novelty trap; Amazon counterfeits; OpenAI calls foul: Newsletter 28 February 2024

Newsletter 33: How to be suspicious of shiny objects, self-publishing bestseller pirated, China skews the Hugos, plus three people to follow and three brand-new books to read. The curse of the new We live in a world where newness generates attention. I learned this emphatically and repeatedly in two decades as a technology analyst. Every…

Pyramidal ideas; ASSes and PEONs, book bans; AI crushes everything: Newsletter 21 February 2024
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Pyramidal ideas; ASSes and PEONs, book bans; AI crushes everything: Newsletter 21 February 2024

Newsletter week 32. How to think about ideas, book bans, AI killing everything, plus three people to follow and three books to read. Full-stack idea development: don’t be an ASS or a PEON Authors have ideas. Authors have expertise. But unless those ideas and expertise reinforce each other properly, you can’t build a good book…

Why you should love your tough developmental editor

Why you should love your tough developmental editor

Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, editorial director of the publisher Berrett-Koehler, recently wrote that if you love your editor, they’re probably not doing a good job. This contradicts my experience. Great writers love great editors — and hate them at the same time. It’s a strange relationship. An analogy Imagine that you are working with a personal trainer…

Ghostwriters, confidentiality, and desire for vindication

Ghostwriters, confidentiality, and desire for vindication

A clash between two rights characterizes every story you read in a nonfiction book. You, the reader, have a right to the truth. And the people you’re reading about have a right to privacy. The author walks the narrow path between those rights. But it becomes even more challenging if the right to privacy is…

An emotional résumé; model of influence; in the writing huddle: Newsletter 14 February 2024
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An emotional résumé; model of influence; in the writing huddle: Newsletter 14 February 2024

Newsletter 31. Looking back on your career, in praise of college writing centers, the disruption of a Canadian bookseller, plus three people to follow, three brand new books to read, and a plug for the imperfect manuscript. My emotional résumé I’ve been helping a friend with her résumé. The hard part is shoehorning valuable experiences…

Ask Dr. Wobs: What’s the best way to give away a free ebook?
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Ask Dr. Wobs: What’s the best way to give away a free ebook?

I recently got this note from a reader who wants to write a book to help others (slightly edited here for space): Dear Dr. Wobs: I’ve been writing a document I call “My Life With a [specific medical device]”, which I’d like to make available at no cost to other people living with one or…

Books still matter; the lump of labor; audiobooks on Spotify: Newsletter 7 February 2024
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Books still matter; the lump of labor; audiobooks on Spotify: Newsletter 7 February 2024

Newsletter week 30. Why bother writing a book? Also, Paul Krugman on why AI and immigrants won’t kill the job market, the EU regulates AI, Indigo on the block, plus three people to follow and three books to read. In praise of books Everyone who has ever written a book has, at some point, asked…

A new chapter for Wonderwell — and what it means for authors

A new chapter for Wonderwell — and what it means for authors

The hybrid publisher Wonderwell is ceasing operations and becoming an imprint of a competitor: Greenleaf Book Group. I’ll let you know what happened, why, and what it means for the publishing industry and for you, if you’re considering publishing with a hybrid. Start with this: this is not going to be an objective post, because…