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Video Killed the Radio Star

We drove in silence, anger draped over us like a heavy cloud. I sat in the cargo area of our little van, dreading the long drive back from Michigan to Texas. All the tension that had built up between my ever-faithful traveling partner and guitar-playing wizard, Paul Finley, and me had erupted in a teeth-bared [...]

Controversy Sells Books

Controversy sells books, of course, even bad books. But for serious-minded books, a controversial reception can mean the difference between a certain grudging respect and actual success.
You may have heard of a novel, The Kindly Ones, by Jonathan Littell, published in English several years ago. The book was first published in France in 2006 as Les [...]

See the Angel?

Do you see it?
“The greater danger, for most of us, lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark… Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.” — Michelangelo
“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or [...]

Persona Development and the Law of Averages

“Persona” is a hot buzzword in this industry, yet most companies that create personas haven’t fully embraced everything they have to offer. Most personas are watered-down and hard to relate to. The worst of the lot are lifeless outlines of a company’s demographic targets. Most often, they don’t deliver the expected outcome from using the [...]

How to Improve Your A/B Testing

A/B testing is a proven means to increase conversion rate. It’s not as simple as it appears. It’s more than simply testing two or more versions of Web pages, banners, search ads, or whatever persuasive element you can imagine. It also has limitations.
A/B testing, unlike the intuitive creative process, must be treated like a true [...]

The Co-Publishing Model

What Co-Publishing Is
Co-publishing is a contractual arrangement, typically between author and publisher, to share in the expenses and revenues of a book (usually about a 60/40 split in favor of the author). This type of agreement can prove beneficial to both parties. It allows the publisher to minimize the financial commitment on riskier projects and [...]

When Legos Learn to Love: The Story of a Successful Title

“Is this anyone’s?” I asked from onstage as we set up for our little show.
The black walls of the fraternity house basement answered me with silence. None of the setup crew said anything either. The little lego astronaut in my hand smiled back with his plastic face. He looked so cool and seemed so friendly. [...]

Small Actions – Big Results

I was recently speaking to a friend of mine who is a partner in an international consulting and training company. We discovered that we had a mutual acquaintance who is a bestselling author and fairly well-known speaker.
In our discussion, we found out that he had contacted each of us individually to see if there were [...]

‘What’ Must Come Before ‘How’

Unfortunately, many people (including lots of developers) confuse storyboarding with wireframing, or they believe that because they are storyboarding they have already done a wireframe. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Storyboarding is the process of creating drafts of your Web pages and laying them out in logical sequence to create a map of your [...]

When Success Finally Hits

“You’ve got to come to England. There’s nothing like you in the UK!” his British accent said.The clinking of wine glasses and chatter of conversation swirled behind us in a smoky hotel room in October 2004. We’d performed in front of 3,000 people for Youth Specialties, a conference for Christian youth workers, but the the [...]

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