All Things Writing

The Craft of Writing

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Narrative Nonfiction – What is it?

Narrative Nonfiction is a type of nonfiction in which narrative techniques are used to tell a story with the facts. This type of nonfiction differs from a straight report or news story because it does more than relay the facts; it creates the full context around those facts by using facts.

Sounds like a lot of facts. In fact, it may even sound deadly boring. It’s anything but. Continue reading

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Making a Change

I’ve been doing small business consulting and freelance writing for several years. During that time, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to run and manage a freelance business. It occurred to me that I could have a link to this site from my other site. Why? There is info on this site that’s geared to writers – and other creative types – and info on the other site that is more general in nature yet still applies to creative types.

You don’t need to do a thing. You will notice that you can now click onto a site with more detailed information on QuickBooks Online, Creating an Online Presence/Platform, Creating a WordPress Blog and/or Web site, Managing Social Media, Business Plan, Plans & Goals … This way I’ll post once and related content will show up where it’s supposed to show up, and we’ll all get the benefit of my MBA and QuickBooks certification!

I’m excited about this and can only attribute my glacial pace in reaching this realization to my constant state of sleep deprivation. I know you can relate!


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The Changing Nature of News Coverage

Unknown-5I’m glued to my video stream – as are many of you, I’m sure – as events in Boston unfold. I can’t help but remember back to 9/11, when the source of ongoing news was the television.

I’m not one to watch the same coverage over and over and over. I also tend not to watch most unfolding news coverage because frankly, I don’t think most of what is shared is information that should be shared. My concern is that it provides “tips and tricks” for those who are intent on causing harm while giving me information I simply don’t need.

Maybe it’s because Boston is in a part of the country I know well. Maybe it’s because it is such a horrific story. Maybe it’s because it is all unfolding in real time. Whatever the reason, it’s a story I want to follow. It’s also a story that has made extraordinary use of social and digital media. From smart phone footage to Twitter tweets, streaming video, and text message alerts, the events of this week have unfolded in a way that can be followed independent of a conventional television set. Continue reading

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Nike Steps in It


“Winning Takes Care of Everything”. Thanks, Nike. Good to know.

I can now stop telling my kids that personal integrity, character, making things good, and not getting into a mess in the first place are all essential parts of being a person with integrity.

They’ll be delighted to hear that all they have to do is win. The other stuff is so much more work. Continue reading


Buying Your Way to the Top

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting piece about business authors who have bought their way to a top spot on various best seller lists. The idea is that the books are purchased in bulk in such a way that they are not recorded as bulk sales. The author pays for the books that are purchased as pre-sales, either as a reduction in speaking fees or by collecting the check from clients and friends. Alternately, a significant number of books are sold as pre-sales on that first day. The following week, more copies of the book are returned than are purchased.

How does this get a book to the business book best seller lists? When the book comes out, there are immediate sales that number in the thousands. This is enough for a business book to capture the number one spot for oh, say 15 minutes. Those fifteen minutes are enough, however, to earn the author the bragging rights to earn higher speaking fees and to be asked to speak by organizations that might otherwise never have heard of them or the book.

There is one company at the heart of this lying cheating questionable business practice — ResultSource. Interestingly enough, ResultSource principal, Kevin Small, declined requests for an interview. The WSJ states that ResultSource states on its Web site that, “We create campaigns that reach a specific goal, like: “On the bestsellers list,” or “100,000 copies sold.” Several ResultSource clients filled in some of the details. One author – who shall not be named (why add more fuel to this joke?) – said he was able to purchase about 2,500 books by collecting the funds for pre-sale orders from his clients. All it took above that was a fee in the range of $20,000 to $30,000. What did he get for his money? His book hit number 3 on the Wall Street Journal hardcover business best-seller list in the first week. It hit number 1 on the list soon after. Sales since then — about 1,000 print copies total.

So, you may ask, what difference does it make if the author sells all the books he’s going to sell in week one? My question in return would be to ask why there is such a hefty fee and why it’s necessary for ResultSource to skirt the safeguard against bulk sales that are in place by the companies that calculate sales for the purposes of the best seller lists.

Whatever happened to writing a book and promoting it through hard work?

Wall Street Journal, How are Some Authors Landing On Best-Seller Lists?

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Press Release!

The press release is out today! It’s listed on EurekAlert! This is amazing.

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My book came out in October and it’s been a scramble ever since. I’ve never promoted a book. Even though I’ve read what others have done to promote their books, I still wasn’t sure where to begin. I started doing anything that would attract my attention and – voila – I’m getting a mention here and there. My press release goes out tomorrow. My website is ready. My general science blog, Synthesis, is ready. My fluid dynamics blog, Fluid Dynamics in Action, is all set. I’ve tried to create a meaningful Facebook presence – sorry to everyone who has been pestered with unintended emails today!!!!!

Now all I can do is see what happens next!