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‘We pride ourselves…’ popular or pompous?

Now, small businesses, it’s time for your seasonal bottom-smacking from Suze for writing pompous ‘we-wee’ content that fools no-one and just makes you look like old fuddy-duddies.

Meet Sir Fuggled Doublebottom, a righteous Pompous Ass from Great Lakes Brewery on Vimeo

Yeah, OK, you pride yourselves. But do your clients/customers care?

I know, it’s cruel. [Read more…]

How to write a great nonfiction book title: update

Writing a book, or looking into to options to do so? Book titles and taglines are even more important now than they ever were before. Why?

book titles and sales

If your book is going into bookshops and it’s displayed ‘spine out,’ all people will see is the title on the spine – not the tagline.

SEO. Much as we love to communicate directly with our readers we, as authors wanting to promote our books online, have to buckle down and accept that we’re communicating with ‘bots’ and other digital machines … not just humans, although they are still important.

Sets the scene for your writing project 

Some people like to leave the title until last, rather in the way that you ice a cake: the concept here is that you can’t ice a cake until you have prepared and baked its innards. But there are a couple of good reasons for creating the title right at the beginning of your book writing project. Here they are: [Read more…]

Canadiana in writing: a few fun facts about our Thanksgiving

At this time of year we Canucks celebrate a successful harvest and show our gratitude by gorging ourselves on a significant proportion of the produce we slaved all year to grow and store.

Our tasty pumpkin pie, complete with maple leaf decorations to establish its Canadian-ness. Those cranberries are a good idea, too. Yum.

Unlike the Americans we don’t wait until ten minutes before Christmas / Hanukkah / other winter celebrations to get this done when anywhere North American folks other than in southern states are beginning to need to put on their woolly knickers and cosy pyjamas (a.k.a. ‘pajamas‘ in North America).

We snotty Canucks prefer to do it at a time when the seasons are changing inspiringly, leaves on our trees are turning vivid gold, orange, bronze and other flaming colours, and the air has changed from the sultry, humid warmth of summer to the crisp invigoration of ‘the fall’ before it starts to freeze our private parts and make us scrape snow and ice off our cars in the mornings, as shown below. [Read more…]

Some jokes written specially for Labor Day

A few written chuckles for Labor Day – to accompany our heartfelt wishes of luck to all of you threatened by the monster Hurricane Dorian and other storms this year.Labor Day 2019Labor Day celebrates the contribution of workers to North Americans’ economy. North Americans celebrate it by not working.

A woman came home from work and ranted about her boss. She said, “I’m never going to work for that man again!”
“Why, what did he say to you?”
“You’re fired.”

I’m going to spend Labor Day putting my liver to work. [Read more…]

Writing for sales: so maybe we DO need a few features…

It had to happen, didn’t it. We stretched the elastic band so tight on heart-centred sales and conversational copywriting and benefits-only wording that the other day, it snapped.

It was someone on LinkedIn who made the point that sharing the benefits of a product or service is all fine and dandy, but what if your prospect asks how you make those benefit promises come true? Not with smoke and mirrors, presumably. So here we must turn to corroborating features. Snap!

article on features

OK, but how do you make it Texas’ best bread?

I’m sending myself up here because I’ve been bleating on about “benefits sell, features smell” since the Dark Ages of my former career as a copywriter. (NB: I still deal with features and benefits in the planning and marketing of nonfiction books.)

So how do features work when our words are benefits-led?

[Read more…]

Favourite Brexit and Trump jokes written for the long weekend

Amazingly today is yet another public holiday (May 27th 2019) amounting to at least three in the countries that I know of. ( UK: Easter, May Day and this one, plus a few as shown below. All within a few weeks of each other.)

In the UK it’s the “Spring Bank Holiday

This sort-of combines with the Christian event of Whitsun and also heralds the beginning of England’s school “half-term” holiday that includes yet another statutory Monday off, which is why schools use it in order to accept children missing four days of school when it might have been five…shame, kids. (This p*sses teachers off, too.) The actual date of the religious event of Whitsun / Pentecost is on June 9th this year but hey, never mind.

Image of Theresa May

“Brexit is (like) having a wee in the middle of the room at a house party because nobody is talking to you, and then complaining about the smell.” – Matt Abbott

“Memorial Day” in the USA This is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering and honoring people who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Hats off to all you guys and gals but I’m not sure I’d want to remember your ultimate sacrifice with a BBQ. Whatever.

“Victoria Day” in Canada
We Canadians are probably the last of the British Commonwealth “Mohicans” to celebrate the birth of Britain’s Queen Victoria. Yes, we are a little slow in updating ourselves but we are working on it. Happy birthday, our Vic.

Never mind: let’s have a few laughs…Brexit first:

[Read more…]

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