Mar 022010
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I discovered The Book Depository just before Christmas, and what a boon it proved to be.

Like most writers I love to read… in fact reading widely is an essential part of my job. I love shopping for books online, but I always begrudged paying inflated international shipping costs to get books delivered to Ireland from leading UK book retailers.

Enter The Book Depository… which offers great books at fantastic prices with FREE worldwide shipping. Fantastic… now I could order my books and have them sent direct to my door in Ireland without  paying inflated shipping costs.

I ordered a number of books for Christmas, at really great prices compared to standard booksellers rates, and they all arrived promptly in the post – no fuss, no bother and best of all… no additional cost!

From now on I’ll be buying most of my books from The Book Depository – if you’re a book lover I’d recommend that you check it out.

Mar 012010

If things have gone a bit quiet here of late it’s because I’m busy working on a follow up book to Understanding Digital Marketing… another collaboration with my co-author Damian Ryan.

The new book… dubbed “The Best Digital Marketing Campaigns in the World – mastering the art of customer engagement”… is coming together nicely, but the deadline for delivery of the finished manuscript to our publishers Kogan Page is imminent.

So, it’s all hands on deck in a mad scramble to pull the everything together… and that means precious little time for anything else… including this blog, other websites, my various social media accounts and sundry other projects I have on the go. I will do my best to post the occasional update here over the coming month or so, but things are likely to be pretty frantic.

Dec 092009

Understanding Digital I’m working on a new book (a follow-up to Understanding Digital Marketing) that will be published by Kogan Page next year showcasing forty of the best digital marketing campaigns in the world.

We’re sourcing case studies from various places, and will feature a mixture of different online campaigns in the book, from award-winners to more obscure but successful campaigns from all sorts of businesses spanning a variety of industries.

We’re a bit short of time to truly crowdsource all the case studies for this edition – but we are looking for your nominations to help us identify truly exceptional examples of online marketing that we may miss through other channels.

You can use this form to submit your favourite campaign for consideration. We’ll let you know if it goes on to be featured in the book.

Thanks a million for your input.

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Dec 032009 is now shipping the much vaunted Kindle e-book reader to Ireland… complete with 3G wireless connectivity that lets you purchase and download new books direct from your kindle, wherever you are, and start reading it within a minute.

Here’s what Amazon has to say about shipping the Kindle to Ireland:

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Oct 102009

05 November 2009, National College of Ireland, Dublin @ 4pm, €50

Speakers at the Understanding Digital: CREATIVE event

Speakers at the Understanding Digital: CREATIVE event

Disclosure: Shameless self promotion to follow 😉

As most of you reading this probably know, last year, together with my co-author Damian Ryan, I had a book called “Understanding Digital Marketing: Marketing strategies for engaging the digital generation” published.

The book is doing well… and we signed contracts with our publisher, Kogan Page, last month for a follow-up book. This one will highlight the world’s best examples of online marketing. We’re very excited about it… but more about that nearer the time.

Creative online marketing is the key to better ROI

There’s no getting around it, online marketing is the key to maximising the return on investment from your marketing spend, but to do it effectively you have to get creative. Try new things, analyse the results, experiment, and use the unique measurability of online media to inform your decisions.

Do more of what works, stop doing what doesn’t, and never stop innovating.

Get creative with your online marketing… think outside the digital box… and you’ll reap the rewards. But where do you start?

Well, you could join us at the National College of Ireland in Dublin of the evening of the 5th of November for Understanding Digital: CREATIVE. We’re bringing four of the brightest creative minds in online marketing together to share their expertise with you as part of Design Week 2009, in association with ICAD and Results International Group.

Check out the event micro-site for more details and to book your place… see you there!

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Aug 062008

image Just a quick post this one.

Got an e-mail this morning from our publishers Kogan Page with a link to our new Digital Marketing book on their website.

I’m more excited than I thought I would be. Somehow seeing the book up on their website makes it all seem very real, and I just wanted to share it with everyone.

We’ll be launching a new website over the coming months to support, develop and build on the book. We’re hoping to build a dynamic and constantly evolving, community driven digital marketing resource. It should be quite an adventure… will keep you posted here and over on Digital Marketing Success.

Feb 212008

“Working it” column published in the Career Moves section of The Evening Echo on 11/02/2008

I’m a natural sceptic, and nothing triggers that scepticism more than the swathe of self-help books that seem to weigh down the shelves of the business section in every book shop I venture in to. How many of the people who invest in these tomes actually use them to bring about real change?

Self help is an enormous industry, and has spawned some of the most “successful” self-styled gurus on the planet. With their audio programmes, seminars, books, courses and coaching services these people have become successful and wealthy beyond belief by offering others the hope that they too can achieve their own form of greatness both in their careers and in their personal lives.

But how effective are they? If these programmes, books, tools and philosophies are so great, then why aren’t there a a million Anthony Robbins (…or insert the name of your preferred self-help guru here) clones out there harnessing their “Personal Power” to achieve unlimited success?

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Apr 272007
Published in the WOW! supplement of the Evening Echo 25/04/2007

I used to dread the approach of night.

Not because of fear of the dark, hidden demons or any imagined evil. No, my apprehension stemmed from something altogether more innocent: the children’s bedtime stories….

Every night I’d sit next to the twins’ beds in silent hope, and every night out would come the same old picture books. My heart would sink. I’d read stories about witches and broomsticks, singing sheep, koalas, dinosaurs. It was tantamount to torture. Granted, first time around one or two of the books were diverting enough to pique my interest – but believe me, by the time you read them for the fifteenth time even the best of them starts to sap your enthusiasm.

Not so for the girls of course. They’d sit in eager anticipation of these tired old tales: books they know word for word, page by page – all the suspense, in a word, suspended. I can “read” half of them with my eyes closed.

I know repetition and familiarity are comforting for children, but come on, give me a break.
I’ve been trying for ages to get the girls into meatier books – books without pictures, books with more of a plot and characters a little more developed than Dilly the Dancing Duck – books they call “chapter books”.

OK, I admit, choosing Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings trilogy to begin the transition was perhaps an error of judgement on my part. My logic was sound enough though: small fellows with hairy feet and jovial personalities head off on a big adventure; the age old struggle between good and evil; how an individual of stout heart, no matter how insignificant he or she may feel, can ultimately triumph. I figured it would go down a storm, but one look at the weighty tome with its tiny print had them diving for the picture books again.

After a week or so I rolled out “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, the first instalment in J. K. Rowling’s globe-conquering series. If anything could convert them, I thought, Rowling’s wizardry was sure to do the trick.
We reached chapter two, I felt the excitement building. Then: “This is boring, I want a different story.”

It was back to the drawing board.

Salvation came in the form of an Easter egg. My mum was visiting before Easter, and took all three girls to the shop to pick out their own chocolate  eggs. The little one, predictably, made a bee-line for the one with the pretty pink packaging; one of the twins picked an egg you could decorate yourself, complete with coloured icing and edible stickers; her sister chose the egg that ended my story-time misery.

There was nothing special about the egg itself – but what was bundled with it was a revelation. It was a paperback novel called “Varjak Paw”, written by S. F. Said, and it had won the Smarties Prize Gold Award for children’s literature.

As soon as I started reading it I was hooked, and so were the twins. We read two, sometimes three chapters every night, with me as eager as the girls to find out what happened to Varjak, a kitten forced to go “Outside” for the first time.

The book tracks Varjak’s adventures as he meets the challenges of a street cat. Learning “The Way” – a martial art for cats – in his dreams, from his long lost ancestor Jalal the Paw, Varjak survives, and eventually thrives. But he has to go back – he has to save his family from the sinister Gentleman and his two black cats, and to do that he needs to find a monster that he’s only ever heard about in his grandfather’s tales. Varjak has to talk to a Dog.

It was, quite simply, enchanting.

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Apr 172007

Great news for Irish authors!

Though royalties from the scheme probably won’t amount to much (or anything, for authors like me who don’t have any books published yet — but hey, I’m working on it!) it’s great that authors will finally get some remuneration for library loans in Ireland.

Mar 302007

Have you ever had a great idea but struggled to put it into words?

Whether it’s a book about your life, a non-fiction book based on your area of expertise, that novel that’s lurking deep inside, or even a series of articles to help promote your business, a ghostwriter will take your ideas, anecdotes, facts and figures and craft them into a professionally written, publishable piece of work.

So what is a ghostwriter?

Simply, a ghostwriter is a writer hired to produce a piece of work on behalf of another person who’s name will appear on that work. Ghostwriters are used all the time — from writing celebrity “autobiographies” to business articles for magazines that busy executives don’t have the time or writing talent to produce for themselves.

A ghostwriter’s name doesn’t usually appear on the finished work — although there are exceptions. Where high-profile journalists have ghost-written a celebrity “autobiography”, for instance, you might see the journalist credited as a co-author in much smaller print.

How does it work?

Typically the client approaches the writer about a particular writing project — although this sometimes happens the other way around if a ghostwriter spots a particularly marketable opportunity. They agree a fee for the work based either on a flat fee for writing the work, a share of royalties from sale of the completed work or sometimes a combination of the two.

Then the client provides the information (interviews, anecdotes, thoughts and ideas, documentation, facts and figures, etc.) and the ghostwriter collates it all and writes the finished work. Depending on the terms of the agreement the ghostwriter may also work with the client to find a publisher for the work.

Online ghostwriting

Ghostwriting isn’t confined to the print media — there are also ghostwriters hard at work online, churning out content for other authors. It’s a way for busy people to raise their profile and keep their websites, blogs and newsletters full of interesting, informative and entertaining content without having to do it all themselves.

If you’re a an experienced and talented writer ghostwriting can be a great way to supplement your own writing. If you’re a busy person with a story to tell, then hiring a ghostwriter could be the answer to your problem.

Need a ghostwriter for your writing project? Drop me a line…

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