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.

8 Responses to “The Name Inspector is writing a book!”

  1. on 07 May 2009 at 10:12 am Britt

    Congrats! What a great idea. I write about and advise clients on this issue all the time. It’s amazing how much time can be spent on a single word in user interface development, corporate messaging strategy, etc. I’d be happy to give some examples of this in popular branding and messaging, if you’re interested.

    all the best, britt

  2. on 07 May 2009 at 10:22 am The Name Inspector

    Britt, thanks for the congrats and the generous offer. I might just take you up on that. You would, of course, be gratefully acknowledged.

  3. on 11 May 2009 at 1:37 pm Bryan Roth

    Congratulations Christopher! Can’t wait to read the book! On a lighter note, I finally came up with a business name.

  4. on 12 May 2009 at 12:18 pm The Name Inspector

    Thanks Bryan. But c’mon, don’t keep us in suspense–what name did you choose?

  5. on 14 May 2009 at 8:49 pm Cinnamon

    Congratulations! Wow, what *isn’t* the name inspector doing?! – I look forward to reading the book! – Best, C.

  6. on 21 May 2009 at 7:30 pm The Name Inspector

    Thanks for stopping by, Cinnamon! How’re things in Berkeley?

  7. on 04 Jun 2009 at 12:54 pm Bryan Roth

    I chose the name Adappdev. The word Adappdev (pronounced like Adaptive) was derived by combining the words adaptive, application and development.

  8. on 29 Aug 2009 at 6:50 am davidbdale

    I certainly hope The Name Inspector will consider mentioning the extremely short 299-word Very Short Novels of davidbdale.

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