Easy-to-read fable that makes a convincing case to develop a content marketing strategy.



A financial adviser/digital marketing guru uses a fictional story to demonstrate the importance of content marketing, or authority marketing, to attract customers and grow your business.

In a 27-page preface, Simonds, a financial adviser and digital marketing consultant, outlines why all businesses should be in the business of creating free, useful digital content in order to become a trusted “authority” that will attract today’s surfing consumers. Simonds then uses the rest of his book to underscore the importance of content marketing, or authority marketing—essentially, marketing through telling personal stories of expertise, “helping as many people as they could, regardless of if they sold anything”—by presenting a fable featuring fictional financial adviser Steve Kennedy. Steve is stressed: His radio airtime costs are being increased, and a great prospect ends up not hiring him due to his skimpy online presence. Thankfully, he then attends an inspiring session by marketing guru Dave Utley at his industry conference. Though Steve returns home to find his neglected wife on the cusp of divorce, he soon improves his work/life balance as he implements Utley’s advice. He creates a website that clearly spells out how he can help his ideal client and includes a “call-to-action” that is attractive enough for surfers to provide their names and email addresses, allowing for further prospecting. He develops blogs that offer useful content and include key words that keep pushing up his presence in online searches. A year later, Steve is a speaker at his industry conference due to his phenomenal increase in sales. Simonds, who apparently has practiced what he preaches, has an engaging from-the-trenches perspective and infectious can-do spirit that should be appealing to businesspeople overwhelmed, even paralyzed, by today’s exploding digital marketing environment. While his preface is a bit lengthy and his story could be seen as a bit too simple, Simonds includes enough compelling facts (e.g., consumers increasingly hate the “interruption marketing” of traditional advertising) and helpful tactics (Steve sets aside four hours every Friday to develop his blogs) to make this book a helpful one-two push to get started in this critical marketing arena.

Easy-to-read fable that makes a convincing case to develop a content marketing strategy.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-1500387013

Page Count: 226

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2014

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...


A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.


Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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