The muscular middle; princess photo foulup; uncanny cerebral valley: Newsletter 13 March 2024
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The muscular middle; princess photo foulup; uncanny cerebral valley: Newsletter 13 March 2024

A new politics arises from the ashes of the American disaster, AI proponents and doomsayers wrestle, books as chatbots, plus three people to follow, three books to read, and a chance to see me debate at Berkeley. The inspirational rise of the muscular middle I’ve freakin’ had it with the American political system. It’s time…

Information provenance; author focused publishing; RuPaul’s bookstore: Newsletter 6 March 2024
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Information provenance; author focused publishing; RuPaul’s bookstore: Newsletter 6 March 2024

Newsletter 34: Who tells the truth, authors back a new publishing model, Spotify’s audiobook subscription, plus three people to follow, three books to read, and chance to meet other authors in Northern Cal. Says who? Trump advisor Steve Bannon once described his communications strategy this way: “The real opposition is the media. And the way…

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…

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…

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…

Beyond hype; zombie George Carlin; timidity writer’s block: Newsletter 31 January 2024
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Beyond hype; zombie George Carlin; timidity writer’s block: Newsletter 31 January 2024

Newsletter week 29: The danger of clickbait and other exaggerations, burgeoning deepfakes, a litany of dangers to the news business, plus three people to follow and three books to read. The Danger of Overpromising The easiest way to get attention for a product is to overpromise. It is also the best way to get customers…

Ghost pride; polyglot swearing; IRS jargon purge: Newsletter 24 January 2024
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Ghost pride; polyglot swearing; IRS jargon purge: Newsletter 24 January 2024

Newsletter week 28: why ghostwriters are having a moment, Wimbledon umpires must know how to swear in a dozen languages, and Texas can’t make publishers, authors, libraries and booksellers into thought police. Plus, three people to follow and three books to read. Ghostwriters ascendant I just shared a whole day in New York with more…

Weird names; Childless Chinese; Banned books unite: Newsletter 17 January 2024
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Weird names; Childless Chinese; Banned books unite: Newsletter 17 January 2024

Newsletter 27: Making people say “huh?”, Fairly trained AIs, radical publishers, plus three people to follow, three books to read, and a head start on your next book. What the heck IS that? The names or titles of some things just make you sit up and marvel. They create insane curiosity. What did you think…

Biden or Trump?; US vs. Amazon; AI in the crosshairs: Newsletter 10 January 2024
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Biden or Trump?; US vs. Amazon; AI in the crosshairs: Newsletter 10 January 2024

Newsletter 26: Incumbent vs. incumbent, writing better than machines, Amazon under fire, three people to follow, three books to read, and the gathering of the ghosts. The easiest election choice ever We are about to enter the extended, loud, contentious, and tedious US presidential election season. In some election years this is a difficult choice….