Tutorial: nonfiction book publishing 2014 – the skinny


What has changed in nonfiction book publishing since this article was published early in 2013?

Here we take a look at what, if any, changes there have been in the last 18 months since I published an article called “Book publishing in 2013: easy, worthless, or worth it?” This originated from a my response to a question on LinkedIn about the state of book publishing at the time, and my own predictions for the future. Let’s now see what has changed and if any of my predictions have come true… [Read more…]

English language gender benders

Many of us thank our lucky stars that the English language, unlike many others, does not involve masculine or feminine interpretations of nouns. Phew. We’re lucky.

But supposing we weren’t, and had to make decisions on which terms should be which gender?

Here are some useful suggestions (original authors unknown.)

SWISS ARMY KNIFE — male, because even though it appears useful for a wide variety of work, it spends most of its time just opening bottles.

KIDNEYS — female, because they always go to the bathroom in pairs.

TIRE / TYRE — male, because it goes bald and often is over-inflated.

HOT AIR BALLOON — male, because to get it to go anywhere you have to light a fire under it… and, of course, there’s the hot air part.

SPONGES — female, because they are soft and squeezable and retain water.

WEB PAGE — female, because it is always getting hit on.

SHOE — male, because it is usually unpolished, with its tongue hanging out.

COPIER — female, because once turned off, it takes a while to warm up -because it is an effective reproductive device when the right buttons are pushed – because it can wreak havoc when the wrong buttons are pushed.

ZIPLOC BAGS — male, because they hold everything in, but you can always see right through them.

SUBWAY /UNDERGROUND/METRO — male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.

HOURGLASS  — female, because over time, the weight shifts to the bottom.

HAMMER  — male, because it hasn’t evolved much over the last 5,000 years, but it’s handy to have around.

REMOTE CONTROL — female…Ha!…you thought I’d say male. But consider:  it gives man pleasure; he’d be lost without it, and while he doesn’t always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.

Have you any more to add to this list? If so please do now in the comments bit!

Avoid benders in your writing!

“Super Speeches”…how to write and deliver them well

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English

Laws with a sense of humor

For many years I knew that whenever the phone rang just as I was a) about to step into the shower, b) use the toilet, or c) leave the house late for an appointment, it would be my mother. Since she passed away her infuriating habit has been taken over by my ex-husband (still a good friend.) It never fails.

So this must be my own pet law: the Law of the Untimely Phone Call. Here are some more … how many apply to you? And could you write some more?

1. Law of Mechanical Repair – After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll have to pee.

2. Law of Gravity – Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

3. Law of Probability -The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act

4. Law of Random Numbers – If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

5. Law of the Alibi – If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.

6. Variation Law – If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

7. Law of the Bath – When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

8. Law of Close Encounters -The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.

9. Law of the Result – When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will.

10. Law of Bio Mechanics – The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

11. Law of the Theater and Hockey Arena – At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies, and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk.

12. The Coffee Law – As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

13. Murphy’s Law of Lockers – If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

14. Law of Physical Surfaces – The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

15. Law of Logical Argument – Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.

16. Brown’s Law of Physical Appearance – If the clothes fit, they’re ugly.

17. Oliver’s Law of Public Speaking – A closed mouth gathers no feet.

18. Wilson’s Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy – As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

19. Doctors’ Law – If you don’t feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you’ll feel better. But don’t make an appointment, and you’ll stay sick.

Original author/authors unknown.

Now, the Law of Writing Well:

“Super Speeches”…how to write and deliver them well

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English