Two patients died after spinal injections

Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has canceled all upcoming spinal procedures, following the death of two patients and two other serious incidents.

The decision will affect hundreds of patients.

Around 160 operations and 80 spinal injections have been canceled – with procedures likely to be suspended until the end of the year.

More on this story here


How to write a good blurb for a non-fiction book

Writing a good blurb (shot description) can make a huge difference in sales.  Most buyers make their decision in great part based on the blurb.  A good blurb is not a summary! It is the reason why someone would want to read the book.  I really like this article about blurbs because it gives a number of examples and analysis why each one of those blurb makes a strong statement.

3D printing used to train surgeons

A project led by Nottingham Trent University aims to give trainee surgeons the “tactic knowledge” of how it feels to partly remove or drill into vertebrae before undertaking procedures on patients.

The models – which are created using powder printing technology to help achieve a lifelike porosity of real bone – feature hard outer layers and a softer centre.

It seems there is no end to interesting uses for 3D technology!  More about the 3D model here.

How to stay relevant and current in your blog posts

Newsjacking: the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business. David Meerman Scott @dmscot

Tie your book, product or service to a holiday and you can exponentially increase your chances for free publicity from print and broadcast outlets. – @PublicityHound

Remember that many major magazines assign stories six months ahead of the publication date. Give yourself plenty of time to pitch. – Joan Stewart @PublicityHound

More great ideas on Marketing for Authors

OLLIF Procedure – a minimally invasive surgery with a lot of promise

Unlike other minimally invasive approaches, the OLLIF does not require direct visualization of the vertebral level being treated, a facetectomy or a laminectomy to facilitate the procedure. In this study, the OLLIF reduced surgery time and post-operative hospital stay by more than half and reduced blood loss by over 87%. Substantial statistically improved patient outcomes were delivered by the OLLIF as compared to the open procedure.

See two research studies about the procedure here

How to prepare for KDP Select free promo days

Free promo days is a powerful to get launch a new book.  There are various ways in which free promo day can help – getting verified reviews, getting book to new readers so they can tell their friends about it if they liked it, raising your rank on Amazon popularity lists where free books count for a fraction of the value of the full value book.

I thought Ben Zacgheim had a number of interesting thoughts on the topic of taking full advantage of free promo days.

Back implant that banishes pain AND keeps your spine flexible

A new implant called TOPS for patients with severe back pain can replace damaged bones in the spine and, unlike traditional surgery, doesn’t restrict movement.  This implant fixes the bones into the right position but still allow the joint to move. It stops bones rubbing on each other and avoid them touching the nerves too.

Hear the first hand account of a patient who got TOPS implant here.



What is the best way to launch a self-published book

Newer authors with limited readership probably have nothing to lose by granting Amazon exclusivity while they use Select to build their audience. Select becomes a tool to build a presence on the bestseller lists, reviews, and solid sales figures, along with an income before expansion, much in the way that smaller presses can serve as a stepping stone to larger publishers. CJ Lyons

The Select free promotion is the best shot you may have to get your book promoted on a world stage. I recommend scheduling multiple promotions on the day, and days following the moment your book returns to the “paid” store. Jeff Bennington

Additional information on launching self-published books can be located in this blog post by Derek Murphy



CVS is not my nanny! Let my doctor determine what I need.

I found this disturbing article that CVS will further restrict medication potentially overwriting the decision of a doctor.  I am not using pain medication right now, but when I injured my back and could barely move I can only imagine the frustration and anger I would have had if I had to deal with the pharmacy that over-ruled my doctor’s prescription.  I will not be using them for anything now.  We only have our pocketbooks to tell the companies how we feel about your policies.

Set up prizes, rewards, and incentive to boost your book sales

Pick out a specific section of your book and upload it as a separate title as a freebie, making it very clear it’s an initial installment – particularly useful if you have only one title. However, it’s got to satisfy, and be worthwhile as a stand-alone – or should have a really tempting cliff-hanger at the end – so that the freebie may entice readers to go for the rest of the novel once they’ve read the first bit. @debbieflint

Run a Contest. I’ve seen some authors create contests like sending in photos, or videos, or stories. You pick a winner and give a prize. This type of activity can also work before the book comes out. @Beth_Barany

More tips, including running giveaways (e.g. don’t make them too short!) can be found on Marking for Authors blog.