There are four types of non-fiction books in the world. 1. The books you buy but don't read. 2. The books you read but don't finish. 3. The books you finish but don't engage with. 4. The books you engage with. Most people are like me. They have shelves full of books they buy but don't read and books they read but don't finish. A lot of people actually finish reading books but they never engage with them. Why? Because the scale of difficulty increases as you go down the list.

The only way to find your voice is to write. Only fear doesn't tell you that. Fear tells you that you shouldn't write until you have your voice figured out. Fear tells you that other writers all know their voices perfectly. Other writers have well sculpted points of...

Last night, Oregon's Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy. That means, a panel of 800+ college football experts from around the country voted he was the best player in the 2014-2015 season. It's an extraordinary accomplishment, but what's most surprising about it is how many schools offered Mariota a scholarship to play football. There are 120+ division 1 football programs. Given that he was named the best played in all of college football this year, how many scholarships do you think he received? 12 colleges? That would be 10%. 6? That would be 5%. 3? Surely 2.5% of the schools in the country saw his potential.

A few weeks ago, my 11 year old didn’t want to eat a vegetable we were having for dinner. She told my wife Jenny, “I don’t like parsnips.” Jenny responded, “That’s OK, because that’s a yellow carrot, not a parsnip.” Then we had kind of a hostage/negotiator stand off moment. I told L.E., “It’s fine to not like yellow carrots, but you have to eat them. It’s just one of those things you might not like but still have to do in life.” She immediately looked at me and said, “You mean like email is for you?” Well played, small child, well played indeed. Ever since I got my first email in 1996, I haven’t disliked it, I’ve hated it. If you’ve ever sent me one, you know this to be true because I probably didn’t respond. Or if I did, it started with, “I am so sorry it took me so long to respond.” My personal hatred of email eventually poisoned my approach to sending out newsletters too. As an "Idea Generator," the title I'm calling myself today because I get to do that, I never sent out ideas via email. But lately, I’ve been learning to love email. Why? Here are the top 3 reasons:

“You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover” is a true statement, but it’s also kind of dumb. We all judge books by the covers. Why? Because we have too many options. There were three million books published in 2010. How does your book get noticed in this glut of options? One way is with a great cover. Today I get to share the cover of my new book Do Over for the first time. (It’s available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.) Do Over Cover 2 I think the Portfolio/Penguin team did an awesome job with it! So how did we get there?   Whether you’re self publishing an ebook or going the traditional route with a publisher, there are a lot of ways you can design a great cover. I think a perfect place to start is by asking these five questions:

Online, we all posture like we're at the cool table, that mythical place we dreamed about when elementary school ended and we found ourselves at middle. We filter and layer and fix and crop, until the moment that we are sharing looks very little like the moment...

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