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Showing posts from March, 2008

All the Information That's Fit to Know

On a recent book buying spree - one of my regular rituals - I bought The New Times Guide to Essential Knowledge. The book is as thick as the title is long. The tag line on the cover reads, "A Desk Reference for the Curious Mind."

This is not one of those cover-to-cover reads - it has over 1,300 pages and thousands of bits of information. The inside book cover flap reads, "This one volume is designed to offer more information than any other book on the most important subjects as well as provide easy-to-access data critical to everyday life."

It has facts and figures on science and technology, business and finance, geography, literature, dance, music and the environment. I love being able to read about the history of mathematics or why the currency exchange matters.

Granted, I could type any of those questions into google and find information. Nonetheless, flipping the pages of this bible-size book, I find answers to questions that I didn't know I had in the back o…

Online Newspaper Advertising Marks Big Gain, Again

According to DIRECTnewsline's online newsletter, online advertising on newspaper webs sites increased to 18.8% or $3.2 billion in 2007. It was the thirteenthconsecutive quarter for an increase in online newspaper advertising.

The flip side is that print advertising dropped over 2 billion dollars for the same periods. So what does that mean to the consumer or to those working in or with advertising? It could indicate that Internet usage is up by all age groups. It must mean that those advertising in the online newspapers must be seeing a return on their investment. On the green side of life, it could mean that there is less paper and ink waste in the world (although energy usage would be increased).

Is there a downside to less print advertising? Well, there could be because print newspapers can only be printed when there are advertising dollars to do so. Newspapers are still making money with the online advertising so they could just be printing fewer newspapers in order to be able …

Steinbeck's Sweet Thursday is Sweet

John Steinbeck is one of my all time favorite writers. Many years ago, there was at least one Steinbeck always in my "current" stack of reading books. I had to stop reading him about ten ears ago because I actually started writing like him.

That would be a great thing but that he writes everything - in my opinion - as if writing poetry. His writing is filled with in-depth descriptions - to the point that you feel as if you are in the book and a part of his story.

When going through my bookshelves recently and revisiting some old favorites, I stopped at my section of Steinbeck's and picked up Sweet Thursday. So, I decided to give it a re-read. It feels comfortable and much like visiting an old friend - Steinbeck that is.

Here is passage out of Sweet Thursday as an example of how Steinbeck's writing takes you away with it - "Change may be announced by a small ache, so that you think you're catching a cold. Or you may feel a faint disgust for something you loved …

Columnist and Author Anna Quindlen is What to Write-on Today

I have several favorite columnists - some local - some regional and some syndicated. My top of the list includes Anna Quindlen. Her professional bio is impressive. She was the third woman to write for the op-ed page in The New York Times. She is a Pulitzer Price winning columnist. She is a best selling author of numerous books and she currently writes the last page column of Newsweek magazine.

She is my absolute favorite columnist and if I'm ever asked who I would like to most write like - it would be Anna Quindlen. I don't always agree with her position but I do always agree her writing is top-notch and never off pitch.

She is sharp - she is smart - she can be humorous - she writes about what's important today and she is the total writers package. To get to know her and get a good sense of her writing, read her two books, Thinking Out Loud and Loud and Clear.

In my own writing career, I would like to be a syndicated columnist even more so than being a top selling author. I …

Scott Adams is What's Write Today

I'm sure you know who Scott Adams is by now. He is probably as well known as Charles m. Schulz. If you're not quite sure who Mr. Adams is, check your local newspaper in the comics section - he is the creator of the Dilbert cartoon.

I have been surrounded by engineers most of my life - my brother was an electrical and mechanical engineer - my husband is an electrical engineer - my son is a mechanical engineer and my father inlaw was a civil engineer. So reading Dilbert has been a part of my regular repertoire of things to do for many, many years. And, will no doubt continue long into the future.

Scott Adams has also written several books including The Dilbert Principle, Dogbert's Top Secret Management Handbook and his most recent Stick to Drawing Comics Monkey Brain. The Dilbert Principle was Scott's attempt (he confesses to it on the inside cover flap) to "cash in on the lucrative business book market".

The book was published in 1996 and I do remember it as be…

What's Write Today is all about effective sales training

I just read a really great article in Selling Power magazine (Nov/Dec 2007) about training a sales team to give effective sales presentations. A large part of my diverse professional background has centered on selling. Be it selling (pitching) an article or an idea to an editor, providing training solutions to the adult workforce or selling my own contract writing services - selling has been a driving force to my success.

Having written all of that - I also have to say I've read so many books on selling such as:

The Nordstrom WayThe Greatest Salesman in the WorldWords that SellZig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the SaleCold Calling TechniquesThe 10-minute SalesmanMarketing MindsGuerrilla Marketing AttackSeveral Peter Drucker booksSeveral Tom Peters booksMcDonald's Behind the ArchesValue Added Selling TechniquesWhy People Buy Things They Don't NeedWhy This Horse Won't DrinkWriting Advertising That Sellsand on and on and on.All of the theories and all of those great min…