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….

The wages of theft; Steamboat Willie freed; sex in Iowa schoolbooks: Newsletter 3 January 2024
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The wages of theft; Steamboat Willie freed; sex in Iowa schoolbooks: Newsletter 3 January 2024

Newsletter 24: Why Claudine Gay had to go, a Mickey Mouse horror film, Tolkien’s victorious ghost, plus three people to follow, three books to read, and how to successfully write your book in 2024. Reflections on the plagiarism that brought down Harvard president Claudine Gay Harvard president Claudine Gay has now resigned. She made the…

Presentists rule the future; Amazon omniview; fair use or ripoff? — Newsletter 20 Dec 2023
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Presentists rule the future; Amazon omniview; fair use or ripoff? — Newsletter 20 Dec 2023

Newsletter week 23: How to see around corners, Publisher’s Weekly editor looks back, how to see all your Amazon purchases at once, plus three people to follow, three books to read, and a chance to see your favorite ghosts in New York City in January. Be a presentist, not a futurist When I was an…

Unhealthy competition; damned Spotify; invisible ads — Newsletter 13 December 2023
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Unhealthy competition; damned Spotify; invisible ads — Newsletter 13 December 2023

Newsletter week 22: Stop slagging other authors, will Spotify crash audiobooks?, AI copyright posturing, three people to follow, three books to read, and some very lame ad copy. The myth of personal market share A shocking and tragic story rattled the publishing world this week. Cait Corrain, a fantasy novelist who had secured a two-book…

Newsletter 6 December 2023: Problematic motivations; infinite suckage; TaylorSwift.ai?
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Newsletter 6 December 2023: Problematic motivations; infinite suckage; TaylorSwift.ai?

Newsletter 21: Challenges beat bribes to get problems solved, cheaper audiobooks, Michael Lewis’ antiheroes, woman of the year, plus three people to follow, three books to read, and a holiday discount on the top manual for authors. How to motivate smart people I love to solve problems. I have always loved to solve problems. I’m…

Newsletter 29 November 2023: Fakery vs authenticity; nonfiction author ripoff; invest like a Munger
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Newsletter 29 November 2023: Fakery vs authenticity; nonfiction author ripoff; invest like a Munger

Newsletter 20. Merriam-Webster’s word of the year; suing Microsoft and OpenAI; stop checking your grades; plus three people to follow, three books to read, and the perfect gift for the author in your life. Inauthentic I always thought the advice and books on how to be authentic were a little silly. Who wants to be…