Transparency, or a Book Review

Book Review:  Write Right Online

by Andy Hayes

Transparency is a big buzz word around the internet these days.Everyone is supposed to be transparent and tell their audience every single little thing about them.  I like this trend.  At least I like it in others.  But when it is time for me to be transparent, I don't like it so well.

Heavy sigh.  Oh, alright, I'll be transparent today.

I'm way overdue in reviewing a book I agreed to review.  I just went back and checked the original email I got from the author, and it was exactly a month ago.  When Andy Hayes first asked me to review his latest Ebook, I agreed, and gaily told him not to expect the review for a week or so.  Ha!  Here it is, a month later, and I've not done it.

Because I think that this trend toward transparency is linked to integrity, I will admit that my failure to review the book rankles.  It makes me feel bad every time I think about it, and that is an energy drain that I don't need. 

But here's the deal: the reason I haven't reviewed the book is that sometimes book reviewing is hard.  Here this nice, handsome, Scotsman asks me to review his book and what if it is bad and I have to be honest and say so?  Those thoughts alone contributed to a delay in reading the book.

So finally I read the book and another problem rears its wee head: the book is good, very good, but it is difficult to review because it is, well, simple.  And that is a compliment because it is meant to be simple.  Write Right Online is intended as a collection of tips and ideas that will help the small business owner write better and more easily online.

Basically, the book lays out how to "express yourself online," and this includes not only writing tips but some talk about various Internet platforms and some ways you can tweak what you've already written.  Most "chapters" are one to two pages long, easily digestible and full of good information.  The book is divided into four sections, and introduction, wrap-up, and then the two meaty sections in the middle: "Putting Your Virtual Pen to Work," and "Tech Nuts and Bolts." 

In the chapter called "The Perfect Piece of Content," Hayes lays out a simple formula that can be followed by anybody, anywhere, on the web: write a great headline, then pull together killer content, and end with a call to action.  Another chapter's headline is "Write for Somebody, not Everybody."  This is one of the things I tell students and clients over and over again, in a slightly different guise: the specific is universal.

I think this book has a lot to recommend it and if you're in the need for some beginner tips on writing for the internet, or you need a bit of a refresher, its for you.

In case you are interested in buying the book:

Click here to visit Travel Online Partners.

And, full disclosure, the above is an affiliate link.

Okay, phew, being transparent isn't that hard after all.

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4 Responses to Transparency, or a Book Review

  1. RennyBA 02/25/2010 at 15:57 #

    Not only do you write brilliant, but you’re review great too – thanks for sharing – you got me tempted!

    Sorry I haven’t been around lately: Work overload and busy watching the Winter Olympics in Vancouver :-)

  2. Charlotte Dixon 02/25/2010 at 19:04 #

    Thanks, Renny, and I’ve been watching the Olympics, too!

  3. Patty - Why Not Start Now? 02/25/2010 at 21:26 #

    I’m so glad you said book reviewing can be hard, Charlotte. I recently was asked to do my first book review and find myself balking a bit now. I’m acknowledging my flakiness about it. Sounds like I’m not alone!

  4. Charlotte Dixon 02/26/2010 at 08:34 #

    Patty–As you so well know, acknowledging it is half the battle. And you write so well, once you get into it, you’ll be great!

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