Originally published May 6, 2009
The Name Inspector is pleased to make an announcement: After months of arduous book proposal writing and revising, he’s landed a book deal with W.W. Norton. Norton is the largest American book publisher not owned by a corporate media conglomerate, and The Name Inspector is thrilled to be under contract with them. The book is tentatively titled Microstyle: How to Get the Most out of Every Word and Phrase, and will appear under The Name Inspector’s nom de plume Christopher Johnson.
As you might gather from the title, the book isn’t about naming per se. It’s about a more general phenomenon: the growing need felt by ordinary people to craft short verbal messages that grab attention and stick in people’s minds. Think domain names, blog post titles, Twitter, Facebook, etc. This book will be a kind of Rhetoric 2.0. Or, to use a more timely point of reference, it will be like Made to Stick for language.
The Name Inspector would like to thank a few people who made this deal possible: Seth Godin, who kindly made a referral to his literary agent; Lisa DiMona, said agent from Lark Productions, who patiently helped with and represented the proposal through several drafts; Brendan Curry, Associate Editor at Norton, for championing the proposal there; and Brendan’s colleagues at Norton who gave the book project the thumbs up. Whew–past all those hurdles! Now all The Name Inspector has to do is write the damn book.