“No, these journalists, for they deserve the honorable title, have gone to all the trouble of actually writing a book,” Roger Ebert writes in his foreword to “An Absolutely Phony Guide on How to Write More Good,” by the @FakeAPStylebook creators. The book doesn’t hit stores (and Kindles, etc.) until April 5, but you can read excerpts after the jump.
From Roger Ebert’s foreword
Although @FakeAPStylebook is ideal as a Twitter stream and has reportedly gathered more followers than Justin Bieber, I would like to praise the authors for not doing what anyone else in the Internet age would have done, which is simply cutting and pasting together a slew of tweets, calling it a book, and raking in the dough from old media. No, these journalists, for they deserve the honorable title, have gone to all the trouble of actually writing a book.
I can tell you these people have paid their dues, know the business, and have a clear view of the hypocrisy and pandering that go on in all media, new and old. They also have a veteran newsperson’s contempt for authority figures.
Advice and observations from the @FakeAPStylebook authors
ON SPORTS WRITING
Sports fans are worse then the nerds they pick on when it comes to the sheer volume of trivial data they keep stored away. One screwup about some obscure pitcher for the Red Sox will bury you in hate mail and automatically disqualify you from having a valid opinion for the rest of your career.
Be sure to give every Tyler Perry movie a five-star review because you feel guilty and embarrassed about not having heard of him until a couple of years ago.
Writing about consumer electronics is, hands down, the best job in the world. If you can get one of these sweet, sweet gigs, protect it with your life. This job has more perks than a Maxwell House ad.
Great care should be taken when discussing the private lives of gay and lesbian celebrities. When referencing the romantic life of a closeted celebrity, be sure to only use gender-neutral pronouns. “I am dating a wonderful man; he’s a lawyer” becomes “I am dating a wonderful person. They’re a lawyer.”
WRITING ABOUT SEX
Take care not to offend your readers’ sensibilities when discussing sex. Always remember that the majority of your readership are people who will cancel their subscriptions if an underwear ad appears next to the funnies.
Will we see “Write More Good” editors Mark Hale and Ken Lowery plugging their book on “Colbert Report,” “The Daily Show” and “Fresh Air”? Lowery tells Romenesko:
Those kinds of appearances have yet to be determined — we’ve been sending the books out in waves, and the ones slated to go to Colbert, Stewart, NPR, etc went out (I believe) on Friday, so hopefully we’ll be hearing from them soon. There’s a smattering of articles written up for monthlies so far — and we have a few things planned for the Twitter feed itself, though so far no official book tour or anything of that nature. ….You would be amazed how much work goes into the back end of production (or maybe not) — we finished writing it almost a year ago.