An Interview on “Being Healthy for Busy People”

I had the pleasure of being Talli van Sunder’s first interview on a show that seems tailor-made for me: Being Healthy for Busy People. This is Talli’s platform to encourage healthy living and good eating habits for people on the go…and this is why it has taken me so long to post it. It’s been a go-go-go kind of weekend.

Still, the interview is worth the wait:

This week we are going to do something different with the show. A few weeks ago on Show #26, I talked about my journey to becoming healthier. That show got a really positive response, so I thought that it would be interesting to all of you if I interviewed a guest occasionally and discussed how they fit being healthy into their busy life.

In this show, I interviewed Tee Morris who is an author, podcaster and an extremely busy person. We discussed some of the challenges Tee faced on his journey to becoming healthier and how he met them.

When they asked me for a show graphic, I found this one and realized just how hard I had worked and how important it is for me to stay healthy. It’s all about determination and drive, and sticking to your plan. And no, it won’t be perfect. I have fallen out of my groove of late, but slowly getting back in there. So if you see me on Twitter and I mark a workout with the hashtag #onourfeet you will know that I’m inviting you all to join me.

Take care of yourselves, be good to your body…and punish it on a treadmill or a pool! :^)

Write, or Go Home!

As you may know by now (provided you subscribe to Imagine That!, or follow either of my Twitter accounts), I’m working on a new book: All a Twitter, from Que Publishing. I’ve seen the tweets and also taken some heat from other DC consultants (and here’s a shock – these consultants are NOT on Twitter, but will give an opinion nevertheless…) concerning books about Twitter. I am still very optimistic, nay confident, nay cocky, that All a Twitter will be unlike the other books hitting the shelves between now and the summer.

For starters, my book will be written from a user’s perspective. Other titles (that I am aware of) are being written by people in Marketing, meaning the underlying intent of these books will be “This is the way you leverage Twitter in order to monitize your Social Networking experience.” I could go on a tear about that…another time. This isn’t what my rant is about. It’s concerning another quality of this future book.

All a Twitter will say on the cover “by Tee Morris” meaning the book will be written by me.

This is what my rant is about.

My revelation that people claiming to be writers but in fact are not writing books even though their names are on the cover, started at the beginning of the year. In a social setting over good food and good wine, the subject turned to how much work goes into a book. I pulled from my own experiences with the For Dummies crew, which really blew away those at the table. I told them the breakneck schedule of writing computer books was not uncommon. That was when I turned to another author, one I had just met that had written a book on Twitter. I asked the author “How long did it take you to write your book on Twitter?”

The author looked at me as if I had asked the question using the Lothlorien Elvish dialect. The (self-proclaimed) best-selling author scoffed and said, “I didn’t write the book.”

“But your name is on the title?” I asked.

“Yeah, it is, but I didn’t write the book.” The author then told me, with an alarming amount of pride, “I went to my network on Twitter and asked my followers what they wanted in the book. They wrote what they wanted, I took what they sent in, and put it together.”

Say what?!

Yes, I know, ghost writing is nothing new. Happens all the time. You have people helping others behind the scenes (as Wikipedia states with Alan Dean Foster writing the novelization of Star Wars, but handing credit to George Lucas), so I know that bylines may not always be as honest as they should be. Where I call “Shenanigans!” is when the books in question are “How To” books.

When you pick up a “How To” book and look at the title’s byline, you make a strong assumption if not conclusion that its author is an authority on the subject matter. How much confidence, then, would you have in an author if they were to tell you they farmed their work out to other experts, and then granted it a cursory eye once it came in? So let’s set the scenario: An author, based on their expertise and a proposal they have put together, is hired to write a book. Instead of researching their expertise further and actually writing the manuscript, these authors-under-contract have others write sections or chapters for them. They then shape the content in a fashion that fits their own needs, and then send off to the publisher the material under their name, not the individual who actually wrote the chapter.

Allright, that doesn’t make you a writer. That makes you an editor. An Acquisitions Editor. Barely. This was a similar process I followed as an Acquisitions Editor for Ben Bella Books’ So Say We All with one major difference: The individual chapters all carried the author’s bylines so you knew who wrote that particular essay.

When I agreed to write All a Twitter, Que Publishing sent me a list of guidelines and this is their standing on Citations:

Such use should be limited. Readers are paying for a book that shares your practical experience of the subject and they expect that the material in the book has not been published before.

“Readers are paying for a book that shares your practical experience…” Huh, what a concept!

The business behind “not-really-writing-a-book” I also have to wonder about. At Jeff Pulver’s Social Media Breakfast in Washington DC, I mentioned that I had just taken on All a Twitter. One of the attendees asked me “So you’re actually writing the book?” It turns out he was approached to write a chapter for another Twitter book being produced this year. His reply to the offer was “What’s in it for me?” A valid question, seeing as he wouldn’t have a byline in the final published work. The “author” of this Twitter guide didn’t reply to his query.

What. A. Shock.

These “smoke-and-mirror writers” take questionable business tactics one step further as, with byline under their belts, they bill themselves as experts and sell seminars to conventions, expos, and special events. Money – in some instances, big money – is now exchanging hands. I’m not sure who makes me angrier: the people claiming to be authors and taking credit for work that isn’t theirs, or the organizers of these events who don’t take a few minutes before planning their schedules to evaluate a speaker’s street cred. When you carry around on your blog, website, or resume a publishing credit, there is a measure of trust involved that a book carrying your name on it was written by you. I doubt if I could sleep soundly betraying that trust because I believe in the “Put Up or Shut Up” ethic. If a book is going to carry my name, I’m going to be the one held accountable for it so I’m going to make sure the words are truly my own.

Chances are, with this blogpost, I’ve effectively painted a bulls-eye on All a Twitter, and on anything else with my name on it. Critics, nay-sayers, and maybe a few guilty will hold my work under a magnifying glass. And you know something? I’m okay with that kind of attention because I can stand by what I write. Oh, I did ask for some help here and there, but you can be assured those who helped me out will be given salutations and citations.

You can also be assured that when a book says “by Tee Morris” on it, that is the truth. So keep an eye out for All a Twitter this summer. It’s written by Tee Morris.

Seriously. It is.

Exercising the Gift for Gab…

Tee on Audacity

photo by Kreg Steppe

Are you in the Washington D.C. area, within driving distance of the Nation’s capital, or happen to be in my stomping grounds next week? If you are, you have two chances to catch me speaking on Social Media. The Washington Network Group and The Washington DC Write to Publish Group have invited me to come in and speak, and I am thrilled to present:

ANTI-Social Media: What Not to Do in Web 2.0

Thursday, February 26
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

hosted by
The Washington Network Group
Merrill Lynch Conference Center, 6th Floor
1152 Fifteenth Street, NW

Ξ

Social Media for Writers: Making Web 2.0 Your Marketing Machine

Saturday, February 28
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

hosted by
The Washington DC Write to Publish Group
Arlington Central Library
1015 N. Quincy St., 2nd Floor Meeting Room
Arlington, VA

If you are in the area, I hope you can make it for the discussions. Feel free to pass along the appearance links on your own feeds, and I hope to talk to you then!

An interview on “Conversations with Coach Ian Scott”

Coach Ian Scott connected with me through my work on Podcasting for Dummies, both the podcast and the book. (No, the PFD Podcast hasn’t faded. It’s just been difficult to get to on the priority list.) I have been working with him on fine tuning both his podcasts, and as a way to say “Thank you” Ian invited me on his interview show “Conversations with Coach Ian Scott” which is a talk show featuring creative professionals from around the world. From his website, Ian says about our interview:

We talk about Tee as a podcaster and author. Podcasting: How and Why organizations, corporations, and individuals should be utilizing the power of podcasting. Social Networking, the CES 2009 Expo of January 8 – 11. Projects Tee Morris is currently working on, and a new book on Twitter to be launched around the Summer of 2009. Oh, and we had some fun along the way!

We most certainly did that! In this interview, I give one of the reasons I have not been on Twitter recently. (It’s a good reason, trust me.) I also have a few announcements to make after I return from Farpoint. Enjoy the interview and please leave Ian a comment on his blog concerning the interview. He’d love to hear from you!

View from the Quad: The MOREVI Exit Interview (Part Two)

Here is the conclusion of the exit interview
hosted by Cian McMahon
and featuring Philippa Ballantine
Thanks again to the View from the Quad podcast
for hosting this live call-in event.

VFTQ 130 – MOREVI interview part 2 can be downloaded at www.ViewFromTheQuad.com. Part one can be downloaded for free here, or at the link at the end of the shownotes

ANOTHER extra long episode, this time with the second half of the Tee Morris and Philippa Ballantine. In this half, the phone in really gets going, with lots of callers with amusing and intriguing questions.ALSO, we have an EXCLUSIVE about an amazing “Steampunk CSI” project Tee and Pip are working on! In my words, “That sounds so awesome!”

Same drinking rules apply, with two additions. Here is the revised list.

-Tee blows his nose.

-Pip punches Tee or Tee says “Owwwwwwwh!”

-Tee drinks Tea.

-Cian, Pip, Tee or any of the phone-in guests make a terrible joke which bombs, and Cian edits out the silence to make it sound less terrible.

-Anybody refers to the “Tee Morris… You Are Muted” meme from the last call-in show I did with him

-Tee makes a mistake as too what is possible in an online game. (This should put you back no more then four or so drinks. Maybe Tee needs to listen to Starting WoW!)

-Cian lies to a guest caller about his ability to pronounce their name

Links

http://www.viewfromthequad.com/2009/01/18/vftq-129-morevi-exit-interview-part-1 – Part 1 of this epically long interview

http://www.teemorris.com – Tee Morris’s website

http://www.teemorris.com/morevipodcast/ – Morevi: Remastered

http://www.pjballantine.com/ – Pip’s site