4 out of 4 stars
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One of the most common fears creative people have is the fear of failure. What if you put days of effort into a piece of artwork that everyone hates? Or write a book that gets terrible reviews? Maybe you worry that you'll invent something, only to have hundreds of them sitting in boxes in your garage.
In addition to being a mouthful, How I Got My Product on QVC, The Today Show, The View, and More...In Retirement: IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BUZZ addresses the last of these potential situations. In her book, Connie Inukai talks about and shows readers the tips and tricks she's learned since coming up with her own invention: the Tip 'n Split, a combination light, magnifying lens, and calculator. These items work together to help people read a menu in a dimly-lit restaurant, then read the bill when it comes out and factor in the price of the tip and how much each person needs to contribute if splitting the bill.
This 25-page book is jam-packed with solid advice and links to all sorts of entrepreneurs, YouTube videos, and more. Not only does she tell readers about the things she learned and people she met as she made her way as a new inventor, she shows us via videos of the Tip 'n Split being shown on various network shows and, my absolute favorite, a 6 minute video where she practiced a pitch in front of other inventors and Bob Circosta, "television's first ever home shopping host". This video is spectacular not only because it shows the author before she fully nailed her pitch, but also because it shows her as a funny, relatable woman. In fact, considering that Connie makes it clear she isn't the best at technical things like SEO, her book is the first I've seen that truly takes advantage of embedding links to videos in images in a Kindle book. It was amazing just how much content this book had despite being only 25 pages long thanks to the author's inclusion of these videos and links to so many of the things she mentions.
How I Got My Product on QVC, The Today Show, The View, and More...In Retirement: IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BUZZ is broken into 8 chapters, each of which presents readers with a single "Buzz Tip" like "be attentive and prepared" and "be visual". Some of the advice she gives includes keeping an eye (or ear!) open for any potential learning experiences - like podcasts and conferences - as well as finding great, positive people, and the importance of staying current and being grammatically correct. I particularly liked the inclusion of her continued friendships with other inventors; not only is this a terrific tip, but it's also a great way to start the book off. I've seen similar communities of writers and game developers, and that socialization is terrific for learning new lessons together, motivating one another, and having others who are facing the same struggles. I've never tried to invent anything, but I have tried my hand at game development, both physical and digital, as well as a NaNoWriMo event (National Novel Writing Month, where people attempt to write 50,000 words or more in a single month). In all of these cases, finding other creators, encouraging one another, learning beside them, and promoting each other was a massive boon to motivation and productivity!
Unfortunately, I did have a singular issue with this book. As I read How I Got My Product on QVC, The Today Show, The View, and More...In Retirement: IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BUZZ, I came across 7 grammatical errors, two of which were found in the section about being grammatically correct. Most of these were formatting errors, such as hyphenating words that don't need a hyphen. However, without any other complaints, it's easy for me to rate this gem 4 out of 4 stars. While it's an easy recommendation for anyone interested in marketing their invention(s), it's also something I'd recommend to people who enjoy shows like Shark Tank (to get a unique perspective) and even for people who are retired, unemployed, and/or looking to get some motivation to try something new. After all, Connie was a "former professor of Technical Writing to engineering students at the University of Maryland" before she retired and had to learn everything about inventing and marketing. If she can do it, so can you, especially with her guidance in this book!
How I Got My Product on QVC, The Today Show, The View, and More… In Retirement
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