Friday, December 31, 2010

Wow Your Customers With A Surprise

Customer retention is a major issue for most businesses. In this day of instant gratification, ordering online and shopping for deals for literally everything, it's tough to command customer loyalty. But if you want to keep your customers coming back, give them a surprise. Make doing business with you so special that they'll not only keep returning, they'll recommend you over and over again. How? By doing something unexpectedly wonderful.

The surprise you give your customers doesn’t have to be a big one. In fact, it’s the small touches that resonate with meaning, that make them feel like their order is more than just another job on your list. In fact, it was a little thing that sparked this idea for me. We got a Christmas card from Ed Plante Auto Detailing last year. The card wasn’t anything special, but there was a surprise inside that made it stand out from all the other business associates’ holiday greetings we received: he included a picture of our family SUV taken after his last detailing. In other words, he surprised us with a small, personal touch that made us feel just a tiny bit special.

When you do a little something extra like Ed did, you acknowledge your customer as a friend, as someone whose good feelings toward you warrant particular attention. The picture itself wasn’t any big deal either, but, as your mother always said, it’s the thought that counts.

The main factor to keep in mind is that what you do needs to be slightly out of the ordinary, something the customer doesn’t expect. That means it doesn’t have to occur at the point of service; in fact, surprises work really well when they come later, after the customer has started to forget the last time they did business with you. Secondly, the surprise should have a personal angle to it. If it’s something you do for every customer, like the book store clerk who automatically puts a bookmark in the bag with every order, it’s not going to prompt anybody to give it a second thought.

Different kinds of businesses present all sorts of opportunities to give customers great surprises. The picture Ed sent was of our clunky old family SUV with a fresh wax job. Can you imagine what kind of impact an unexpected picture of an auto restyler customer’s tricked-out rides would have? Those customers’ cars mean a lot or they wouldn’t be spending money on them. To the auto shop customer, getting a picture of his car is like getting a picture of his kids—maybe better!

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing and Advertising a for and

Monday, December 13, 2010

Reviewers Sing About Hunting Elf, A Doggone Christmas Story.

I got some Christmas presents early this year! Ivana Hruba put this gem under my tree:

"...a delightfully amusing whodunit set in suburban New York. Prize-winning dogs, demented dog breeders and well-meaning dog owners slash would be detectives feature heavily in this humorous caper which centers around Elf, a purebred Silky Terrier puppy with seriously desirable lineage, a couple of crazy old bags who will stop at nothing to get him, and Dan, Elf’s hapless human, who just wants to be left in peace at Christmas time."
You can read the full review at

And over at, Realeanna said:
"It is a really great read."
To which I say, "Ho! Ho! Ho!"

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Advertising: How To Grow Your Business With Ads That Work a for and

Thursday, December 9, 2010

You Can Support Westchester Libraries

Westchester's libraries need your help right now!

To help get the word out about the importance of libraries and their funding, WLS has developed a Local Advocacy Network to reach out to both County and Local Legislators via email.
It's easy to use. Just click on the link below (and don't forget to bookmark it):

►Choose your local library from the drop-down box
You will find a message to your County Legislators regarding the importance of the WLS services that the county funds support.

►Fill in your information

►Click Yes
If you would like to receive action alerts from time to time from WLS when legislators need to hear your opinion as a library patron.

►Click Send

The message will be sent to the representatives noted at the top of the page.
That's it! The five minutes it takes to send one message will be invaluable to maintaining high-quality library service in Westchester.

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Advertising: How To Grow Your Business With Ads That Work a for and

More Good Press For The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing & Advertising

Another marketing professional offered a positive Amazon review of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing And Advertising this week.

GraceW wrote:

I worked in financial services and marketing for 30 years. I wish I had a book like this when I first embarked on my marketing career. Mr. Donelson offers some clear and concise practices to encourage success in a sales/marketing position regardless of the industry. His writing style is crisp, yet full of energy.
Click here to read the entire review.

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing & Advertising: How To Grow Sales And Boost Your Profits a for and

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Home-Grown Marketing Research

One of the best ways to get to know your best customers better is by a little above-board sleuthing. Start by identifying them through sales records that will let you make a list of the people who represent 80% of your sales--it will probably be about 20% of your total number of customers.

Then compile your best customers’ street addresses from credit card records, phone numbers, delivery destinations, etc. Plot them on a map and look for clusters of them. Good marketers know that birds of a feather flock together; similar people tend to live in similar neighborhoods. Once you’ve figured out where your best customers live, you can look for other birds of that feather—they’re your best new prospects.

Now drive through those neighborhoods. Guesstimate the value of the homes and look at the cars there to get a rough idea of income. Check for kids and/or their bikes, swing sets, and sports equipment (or lack thereof) to get an idea of their parents’ ages. Don’t limit your surveillance to weekdays, either. Take a few minutes on the weekend to drive through to see how many residents are doing their own yard work or washing their own cars. These things will also tell you a lot about their lifestyle. The more you know about your best customers, the better marketing decisions you will make.

If you are a business-to-business marketer, your research job is actually a little easier. You probably have fewer (but bigger) transactions with fewer customers than someone who sells to the general public, which simplifies your data-gathering. What may complicate it, though, is the tendency for businesses to have multiple decision-makers in their buying processes. Don’t be daunted by the details, though—just gather data on one person at a time until you’ve got a clear picture of who they are and what their role is.

You may also think that personal information like education and lifestyle choices aren’t relevant to business buyers since their job is to make rational, profit-oriented purchases. Nothing could be further from the truth. Corporate buyers are people, too, and they allow plenty of emotion to influence their decisions. In fact, a personal, human reaction to a vendor’s marketing approach may be the only factor that separates two competitors. The more you know about that business-to-business customer as a person, the greater your chances of tipping their decisions in your favor.

So, before you make any decisions about price, or which products to sell, or what ads to run, take a good hard look at your customers as people. Identifying your best customer takes some work. The end result, though, is marketing that works better, costs less, and generates greater profits.

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing & Advertising: How To Grow Sales And Boost Your Profits a for and

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Doggone Christmas Novel In FREE Audio Podcast Edition

What's better than a doggone Christmas story? How about a FREE audio podcast edition!

Hunting Elf actually began as a podcast--the print edition came later in response to requests from listeners who enjoyed the story. As one listener said:

"As the owner of 4 crazy dogs, I found Hunting Elf hilarious. The characters were very realistic and easy to relate to for me because I too adore my dogs who seem to live for trouble. I found myself remembering antics of my dogs throughout the story. The story is a great mix of comedy and caper. I recommend this book to everyone, but it is a must listen for dog lovers."
Above all, Hunting Elf is a Christmas story with a neat feature--it has 25 chapters. So, if you listen to one each day starting today, you'll finish on Christmas day! It's my gift to you--a laugh a day.

Best of all, the Hunting Elf podcast is absolutely free at You can also download Hunting Elf for free at iTunes. One iTunes reviewer said,
"If you're looking for something light-hearted and fun, this is it. Those of you who have owned a puppy will get a HUGE kick out of Elf's antics."

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Advertising: How To Grow Your Business With Ads That Work a for and

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

And Then I Wrote A Song About It

Little theater doesn't mean little entertainment, especially when you see a wonderful one-man musical like ...And Then I Wrote A Song About It, playing now at Luna Stage in West Orange, NJ. The delightful play has a heart-touching story, witty, well-honed monologue and lyrics, and sparkling music, all presented by the absolutely engaging Nick Cearley.

The play tells the story of Randall Klausner, a wannabe singer, dancer, actor, songwriter, whatever-I-can-be-in-show-biz struggling to get a break in New York. He's also striving for approval from his sausage king father, who can't accept the fact that the boy is gay. Add in Randall's disappointing love life, his perpetually depleted bank account, and a best friend who spends most of his life in a drug haze, and you'd expect the man to collapse under the strain of it all. But his obsession with the performing arts somehow keeps him going until the entirely satisfying happy ending.

...And Then I Wrote A Song About It has a book by the immensely talented Eric H. Weinberger, music by Daniel S. Acquisto, and lyrics by Sammy Buck. It is directed by Igor Goldin with musical direction by Christian Imboden, choreography by Antoinette DiPietropolo, and set design by Robert Monaco. The intimate setting of the Luna Stage theater is perfect for the production. The play runs through December 19. Visit or call (973) 395- 5551 for tickets.

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Advertising: How To Grow Your Business With Ads That Work a for and

Market Research The Mother-In-Law Way

Good marketers know their customers, but they don't necessarily use high-priced and sophisticated marketing research to get that knowledge. Many consult an oracle of profound repute, their mother-in-law.

Mother-in-law research is pretty simple: look around you at your customers and try to spot some patterns in their behavior. If you are observant and objective, you can learn a ton about who they really are and why they act the way they do. As the term implies, you can also learn some interesting things about your customers by asking people who know them—if not your mother-in-law, then your friends, vendors, and employees.

You can get started by making a simple tally of who comes into your store or office during a given week. Are they men or women? How old are they? What would you guess their household income to be? Their education? Blue-collar or white? Are there any other salient facts that might pertain to your particular business like how many cars they own or whether or not they have children? You can often tell a lot by spending some time in your parking lot and watching the people come and go. Keep in mind that you don’t have to ask the customer a bunch of questions. Use your powers of observation to make some educated guesses—they’ll be close enough.

Another good method is to look at your sales records for a given period. If your data allows, rank individual transactions by profitability (not by gross margin percentage, but by gross profit in total dollars). If gross profit data by transaction isn’t available, use the gross sale figure for each one. Credit card transaction records are a good source, although you’ll get a more complete picture if you can reconstruct single cash or check transactions as well. Even if you don’t have transaction records available, you can use inventory turnover data as a substitute. In that case, rank items by profit volume and try to connect specific customer names to them.

Now make a list of the top 20% of those customers ranked by the size of gross profit they produce. Those are your best customers. According to the justifiably popular 80/20 rule, eighty percent of your gross profit probably comes from them, making them your most profitable customers.

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing & Advertising: How To Grow Sales And Boost Your Profits a for and

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Add Hunting Elf To Your Kindle Christmas List

Planning to give (or get) a Kindle for the holidays? Why not add a fun Christmas novel for just $2.99 more? For other ebook, audio book, and paperback formats and more about that little rascal Elf, visit

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Advertising: How To Grow Your Business With Ads That Work a for and

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob de Zoet

David Mitchell proves once again that an author can inventively break the rules and still produce a fulfilling, interesting novel. In The Cloud Atlas, he played with time and story arc in a way that not only enhanced the meaning of the book, but actually made it more entertaining. In The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, he slips in and out of his characters' minds--sometimes in the same sentence--without losing the coherence of his narrative. The technique isn't necessarily new, but I've never seen it done so well.

It's also done not to show off Mitchell's chops as a word smith, but to advance the novel. All too many "modern" writers are so intent on demonstrating their disdain for the classic features of plot, character, description, and point of view that they produce incoherent works that appeal only to critics so eager to embrace the latest fad they fail to see that the emperor has no clothes. Mitchell's work uses revolutionary technique in the service of telling a story.

I applaud his art as well as his ability to wrap the reader in a time and place totally foreign and utterly absorbing.

View all my reviews

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Advertising: How To Grow Your Business With Ads That Work a for and

Friday, November 26, 2010

People Skills Are Marketing Skills

Before you begin applying the four P’s of marketing to your business, you need to understand the most important “P” of the discipline. The other four, product, price, place, and promotion, all intersect at one point: People.

“People” as in customers. “People” as in the folks who buy your product or service. It doesn’t matter if you are a manufacturer, a retailer, a wholesaler, an inventor, an insurance agent, banker, restaurateur, doctor, lawyer, butcher, baker, or candlestick maker. Without customers, the auto manufacturer’s cars turn to piles of rust. Without customers, a farmer’s corn rots in the silo. If you don’t have a customer, you don’t have a business.

And customers, of course, are people. Attracting their attention, persuading them to buy from you, and ensuring their satisfaction with your product or service all require good people skills.

Doing these things really well is how small businesses grow to be big ones. If that is your goal, I urge you to invest your time, energy, and yes, some money, in learning everything you can about the people with whom you do business—your customers. The more you know about what makes them tick, what they want out of life, why they get out of bed in the morning, the more you will know about things like why they buy your product or your competitors’, what price might make them change their purchase intentions, and which services they think are important and which ones they find a colossal bother.

The behemoths of marketing, companies like Procter & Gamble and Pepsi, have legions of market researchers to find, dissect, and analyze their customers. They can pay for consumer surveys, finance test products, assemble focus groups, and use dozens of other relatively scientific tools to determine the kinds of things a good marketer wants to know about his customers. As the owner or manager of a small business, you probably don’t have those kinds of assets at your disposal. That doesn’t mean you have to operate in the dark, however. You can learn almost as much about your customers as they do by turning to that acknowledged expert on almost any subject, your mother-in-law.

Seriously, information gathered through what is known as “mother-in-law research” can be just as valid as the reams of data gathered by P&G’s army of white-coated market researchers. It will also be a whole lot cheaper and, even more importantly, it will be much more timely and specific to your business.

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing & Advertising: How To Grow Sales And Boost Your Profits a for and

Monday, November 22, 2010

Marketing Like The Big Boys

My first job in advertising was as a copy writer for a radio station. It didn’t pay much, but I learned a ton. Over the years, I produced TV commercials, designed print ads, and planned many media budgets. But you never saw my TV spots on the Super Bowl or my print layouts in Vogue. My clients weren’t gigantic multinational brands like Coca-Cola or Chevrolet. Instead, I created ad campaigns for Casey Meyers Ford and Soda Boy (whose still-memorable slogan was “Oh Boy! Soda Boy!”), advertisers in St. Joseph, Missouri, the small town where I grew up. My ads were for local businesses, not national conglomerates. In other words, they promoted businesses just like yours.
Working in local media as I did is a great way to learn a lot about all kinds of businesses. Car dealers, grocery stores, clothing retailers, and home improvement contractors all have different advertising needs. Some are looking for more store traffic, others want to expand their market area. Attracting new customers, building loyalty in the existing clientele, encouraging repeat purchases or introducing new product lines each require different tactics. There are a few principles that apply to them all, but there really is no such thing as one-size-fits-all advertising. Please keep that in mind as you consider the concepts in the Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing & Advertising.
When you mention advertising to most people, they immediately think of the behemoths of the airwaves--companies like Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, or Wal-Mart. But big spectacular national ad campaigns like theirs have little in common with advertising the way it’s done by small businesses--the kind of advertising you do. In most respects, advertising your business is harder.
Mostly, of course, that’s because you don’t have a gazillion-dollar advertising budget. You probably don’t have a lot of expensive research to precisely define your market or a dedicated psychometric laboratory to test your ads before they run. Your copy writer may double as your store manager most of the time. Your art director most likely spends most of her time freshening merchandise on the shelves. Your media planner? Probably the person who writes the checks—you. In other words, your advertising isn’t designed and executed by a team of Madison Avenue gurus, it’s the product of the good-hearted people who help make your business a success.
That certainly doesn’t mean it isn’t effective. Quite frankly, somebody who spends 90% of their time talking to your customers (like you or your store manager does) is going to have an infinitely better understanding of what they want than some clip-board-toting psychological profiler or white-coated lab technician. You don’t need a super computer to calculate your media efficiencies to the fifth decimal point when you’re trying to decide whether to promote this year’s Father’s Day Sale in the Weekly Inkspot or the TV-49 Six O’Clock News. What you probably do need, though, is a better understanding of what makes advertising effective and how to make it work better for you.
That’s where The Dynamic Manager’s Guide To Marketing & Advertising comes in. The book offers you some basic rules that will help increase the return on your marketing investment. Some of them come from my experiences creating ads and watching customers react to them as I stood in my clients’ stores and offices as the campaigns ran. Others were drawn from the lessons learned by small business owners themselves, from auto repair shop owners to nursery retailers, clothing stores to insurance agents. As in all the books in the Dynamic Manager series, much of this material was drawn from my conversations with thousands of small business managers and owners. I filtered their stories through my own experiences as a manager and entrepreneur to distill some sound guidelines on why and how you can market your products and services in the real world. In other words, my books aren't about theory—they are about the real world of small business marketing.
Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing & Advertising: How To Grow Sales And Boost Your Profits a for and

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How Niche Is Your Market?

The last man who envisioned the automotive market as a homogenous mass was Henry Ford, and it didn’t take him long to realize that selling one model in one color to satisfy every single customer wasn’t the best possible business plan. Most modern markets are no different, with a seemingly ever-growing list of market niches that the savvy service provider or retailer can serve.

Just like Henry Ford, though, it’s not possible for a business owner to be everything to everybody. You need to specialize, at least to some extent, in order to maximize the return on your investment in facilities, parts, and equipment, not to mention the demands on your technical knowledge.

Selling to each market requires a specialized knowledge base, too, since the customers in each one are motivated differently. If you are in the automotive aftermarket, for example, you know that the people who build and drive nitrous-powered dragsters aren’t generally the same ones who tear around dirt ovals in restored 1930’s roadsters. And the baby boomer replicating his ‘55 Chevy dream machine differs greatly from his son or daughter bolting some speed onto their first Honda Civic.

As Chris Sutton, owner of the Street Rod Garage in Grant, Alabama, says, “You’ve got people that are original equipment freaks most of the time on the restoration side of it. You couldn’t give them a street rod. But street rods guys, you couldn’t give them an original.”

Sell what you know for customers you know

Most small business owners follow their own interest into the niche markets they serve. It’s a natural choice, since they tend to know what people like themselves are going to want and have the technical expertise to provide it. Beyond that though, serving a special market successfully requires paying particular attention to customer communication.

John Pruitt, owner of John’s Rod Shop in Abbeville, South Carolina, has been studying his customer base for a long time and understands them very well. “Generally, my customer who builds a car is in his late forties or better,” he says. “They want to reach back and touch that nostalgia. They say, ‘I had one of those when I was a kid, or Dad had one of those, and I’d like to have one.’”

Pruitt’s shop builds street rods from the ground up as well as performing maintenance and repair on muscle cars, modifieds, or early model speedsters. He follows a strict routine with his customers. “The first thing I try to find out when a customer calls me is what kind of car are they looking for,” he says. “The second thing we want to know is what they want the car to do for them. Do they want a car they can get in and drive to California and be comfortable at interstate speeds? Or do they want to build a street bruiser that they can get out here and drive like a race car?”

This process doesn’t stop after the initial meeting. Pruitt adds, “As you complete the project, you have to be in continual contact with that customer so he knows what’s going on and he knows where his money’s going.”

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing & Advertising: How To Grow Sales And Boost Your Profits a for and

Monday, November 15, 2010

Entrepreneur Notes Marketing Against Big Box Stores In Amazon Review

From an Amazon reviewer on November 6:

Dave Donelson spent many years in the small business trenches and it shows in this book. He understands what makes a small business work and knows how to make it work better. His advice is practical, his approach realistic, and he keeps the preaching to a minimum.

As a small business owner myself, I identified with many of the entrepreneurs the author interviewed. They include a wide range of businesses in retailing, service, and manufacturing. The book is basically a collection of articles Donelson wrote for various trade publications (there's a list in the front of the book) covering auto service, nurseries, pizza parlors, health clubs, home building, art galleries, and many more. He does a good job of showing how the problems and solutions in one type of business apply to another.

The advice the author gives is very down to earth. When he talks about competing with Big Box stores, for example, he points out, "You can be very successful selling add-ons to your customers whereas the clerk in the megastore (if you can find one) is charged with doing little more than ringing up the sale and processing your credit card." Later in the same chapter he advises the small retailer to target their advertising: "When the only people who see your ads are those in the market for your product, the return on your investment skyrockets. Ads in home show programs, signage at the shows, your logo on a builder's dream home, post cards sent to the local garden club's members--these are ways you can promote your business without breaking the bank."

I'm not sure any of the ad campaigns and promotions he explains in the last section of the book are ones I can use because of the type of business I run, but they did start me thinking about some possibilities. To me, that's the measure of a good business book--it gets my creative juices flowing.

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing & Advertising: How To Grow Sales And Boost Your Profits a for and

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Guide To Marketing Now At

The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing is now available unabridged--and without commercial interruption--as an audio book from

To grow your business, add “People” to Product, Price, Place, and Promotion, the classic elements of marketing. In this book, you will learn how to attract their attention, persuade them to buy, and ensure their satisfaction with people skills - the heart of successful marketing. Find out what makes your customers tick, why they buy from you or your competitors, and how to make them customers for life.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Marketing Book Draws Its First Amazon Review

A business owner posted the following review on November 5:

Having owned and operated a business for many years, I found this book quite valuable and realistic. Unlike most business how-to books, this one is more than just the author giving advice. Donelson cites numerous business owners who talk about the issues they faced and how they dealt with them. That real-life approach is not only informative but more readable than the usual platitudes and pontifications from business consultants.

The book is divided into three sections. The first covers marketing; figuring out who your best customer is and how to serve them. Donelson covers everything from employee conduct to pricing, with an emphasis on taking your cues from, and the importance of, the customers. The second section is about advertising, which is a vital function of marketing, elements of effective advertising and the nuts and bolts of how to do it are explained. The final section contains 23 sales promotions and ad campaigns that the reader can use.

Sprinkled throughout the book are case studies of several businesses that illustrate the principles contained in each section. These, combined with the interviews Donelson conducted with various entrepreneurs and managers, gave the book an extra dimension and added value.

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing & Advertising: How To Grow Sales And Boost Your Profits a for and

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Heart Of Diamonds Praised For Realism

I was heartened by this review of my novel, Heart Of Diamonds, recently posted on Amazon

Dave Donelson's Heart of Diamonds is a well-crafted, well-informed story of fictional, but highly likely events in the Congo. Donelson captures the government corruption that prevents the Congo (and all of Africa) from rising to the position among nations that this resource-rich country could attain were it not for the history of exploitation by outsiders. The story is exciting, you care what happens to the characters. The rape and amputations and exploitation of child soldiers and general brutalization of the people by the military and by rebel forces is drawn straight from current reality, as is the power of greed to make people do the most terrible and idiotic things.

My only complaint is this is another story of white people set in Africa. It would be more compelling were the main protagonists African, perhaps wealthy sons and daughters of the elite sent to the US for college who return to do exactly what Valerie and Jamie do in this story. This is a small quibble, however, Donelson can write best from a perspective that he truly understands and his readers are mostly westerners who can better relate to the characters than if they were Africans.

You should read this book for a great story, but also to get some understanding and realization of the terrible conditions that prevail in West Africa today.
Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Marketing And Advertising Guides In Multiple Formats -- Including Free!

Digital publishing is a wonderful thing. It's made it possible for me to present my new book series, the Dynamic Manager's Guides, in as many formats as possible so entrepreneurs and business managers would have affordable, convenient access to them. I'm pleased to announce the first collection of dynamic management tools is now complete and available in various formats ranging in price from FREE to $14.95:

The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing & Advertising: How To Grow Your Sales And Boost Your Profits is now available from or your favorite bookseller.

  • Market more effectively online--and off
  • Beat the Big Box competition
  • Find out what makes your customers tick
  • Compete without chopping prices
  • Tune up your publicity machine
  • Learn the five rules of good advertising
  • See seven ways to "Wow" your customers

The 256-page trade paperback contains all three of the ebooks listed below as well as a bonus preview chapter from the next book in the series, The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Creative Selling. It's also available for Kindle and other ebook readers through
Trade paperback ISBN 978-1453889602
ebook ISBN 978-1452385679

The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing: How To Create And Nurture Your Best Customers
Learn what makes your customers tick, why they buy from you--or your competitors, and how to make them customers for life.  Available for Kindle and other ebook readers as well as a free audio book podcast from
ISBN 978-1452444994

The Dynamic Manager's Guide to Advertising: How To Grow Your Business With Ads That Work
Learn how to attract new customers, build loyalty, encourage repeat purchases, and increase your share of the market.  Available for Kindle and other ebook readers as well as a free audio book podcast from
ISBN 978-1452491011

The Dynamic Manager's Handbook Of Sales Promotions: 23 Ad Campaigns And Sales Promotions You Can Use
Each one has been tested by businesses just like yours and includes step-by-step instructions as well as helpful do's and don'ts--including how to get others to pay for them! Available for Kindle and other ebook readers for only 99 cents.
ISBN 978-1452317328

Watch for complete audio book editions of several titles coming soon from

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing & Advertising: How To Grow Sales And Boost Your Profits a for and

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Library Advocates Call On Oprah For Help

Author, activist, and library advocate extraordinaire Marilyn Johnson has formed what may be the most important group on Facebook -- Oprah, Libraries Need You!. If you care about the fate of libraries in this country, you need to join the group to show the media diva just how many of us are suffering from the assault on library budgets taking place all the across the country.

Above all, please come join us, Oprah! Speak up and speak out on behalf of the millions of library users who are losing invaluable services through relentless funding cuts. Our libraries desperately need strong voices like yours to get the attention of the powers that be.

Dave Donelson, author of The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Advertising: How To Grow Your Business With Ads That Work
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Small Business Success Story For Book Lovers

You can't hold down a good business idea--especially if it concerns a product as clever as In My Book bookmark greeting cards. Entrepreneur Robin Blum tells the full story of how they came about, why they've survived the ups and downs of the economy for the last ten years, and what's next in her company's future during this interview on WOR's Joan Hamburg Show.

Learn more about the product at

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Sunday, September 12, 2010

An Open Letter Of Library Support To My Town's Mayor

Mayor/Supervisor Joan Walsh
Town & Village of Harrison
1 Heineman Place
Harrison, NY 10528

Dear Mayor Walsh,

In response to your recent request for input as the town prepares its budget for 2011, I would like to point out some pertinent facts about how important the residents of the town of Harrison consider their libraries. I’d also like to discuss the economic value we receive from our investment in these important community institutions.

Few would dispute the relevance of libraries to the quality of life in our town, but I’m not sure many people realize the scope of service provided by the Harrison Public Library, West Harrison Branch, and Purchase Free Library. In addition to circulating hundreds of thousands of books, DVDs, CDs, and other materials, our libraries present thousands of programs for everyone from kids to seniors, offer tax and other government forms, provide free Internet access to the one-third of Harrison residents who do not have it in their home, and answer thousands and thousands of questions about everything from homework assignments to how to find job search resources.

It’s the sheer scope of these services that has driven the growth in usage of our libraries—a fact that demonstrates their importance to the people who live here. Last year, visits to our three libraries increased 7% to well over 200,000—with commensurate growth in the number of items circulated, reference questions answered, computer usage, and programs attended.

To put it another way, more than 500 Harrison residents visited our three libraries every day in 2009.

Another way to measure the importance of libraries to us is the growth in the number of Harrison residents who are registered for library cards. In 2009, 11,775 of us had cards—an increase of 14% over the year earlier. In other words, nearly half of us consider the libraries important enough to take the time to register. Thousands more residents use the facilities on a walk-in basis without a card.

Enclosed is a chart showing 2008 and 2009 library usage in several pertinent categories and attaching some minimal (and admittedly arbitrary) economic value to them based on what it would cost a library patron to buy the same products and services elsewhere. Please note that all data is combined for the Purchase, Harrison, and West Harrison libraries and drawn from the libraries’ annual state report for 2009. While it is impossible to put a dollar value on everything these fine libraries do for us, we can do some simple math to show what a great return Harrison resident receive on the tiny portion of their tax dollars that support the libraries.

According to my calculations based on the 2010 Town Budget, for every dollar we spend on our three libraries, we receive $2.47 in value based on 2009 library usage.

The basis for my calculation is straightforward. Harrison residents checked out 188,236 books (more adult volumes than children’s, by the way) in 2009. If they had purchased that many trade paperbacks at a standard price of $15 each, they would have spent $2,823,540—an amount greater than the town’s library budget by far! Then there are the 149,171 DVDs, CDs, games, and other materials that were borrowed. A comparable rental from a video store would cost about $5—or another $745,855 out of Harrison residents’ pocketbooks. And what about programs like the Early Literacy sessions? Attendance at them was 7,743 in 2009. To hire a tutor at just $25 an hour would have cost our town’s parents $193,575. Then there is the Summer Reading Program, Internet computer usage, other adult and children’s programs, etc.

In 2010, the town budgeted $2,467,752 for library support and operations of the three facilities. By my math, we taxpayers received $6,089,807 in value. That’s a one-year return anyone should be pleased to achieve.

You can see the complete calculations on the enclosed chart. Full detail on library usage is available from the reports the libraries file with the state through the Westchester Library System. As you may know, I represent our libraries on the WLS Board of Trustees. I would be more than happy to discuss this with you and/or the town board at your convenience.

I know hard choices must be made during these difficult times. I urge you to consider the loud vote for library funding cast by the 11,775 registered users and the tremendous economic value delivered by our libraries to our residents. Thank you for considering this request that library funding for 2011 not be subject to further cuts.

Best regards,
Dave Donelson

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Little Library With Big Impact

The fight for funding our libraries is entering a critical phase as the budgeting process for Westchester county and many municipalities begins in the next few weeks. Anne Collins, Director of the Purchase (NY) Free Library, penned this open letter to her community in response to Harrison Mayor Joan Walsh's request for input on priorities for the coming budget year. I reproduce it with Anne's kind permission:

In a letter to the community dated Friday, August 6, Joan Walsh asked everyone what services they would be willing to give up to avoid further tax increases. While it is extremely inconvenient for Harrison residents to have curtailed garbage collections, such cut-backs in services cannot compare with the negative effect of closing a library. Libraries and library services add value to a community.

In good times and bad, the Purchase Free Library performs many services beyond the ordering and circulation of materials. To promote socialization and reading readiness, we sponsor frequent children's programs, such as our Mother Goose series and Musical Munchkins. Every summer, we offer our Summer Reading Game. The Friends bring us talented children's book authors every year, like Tish Rabe, who came to the library last November to talk about her delightful Cat In The Hat young reader series. This fall, we will be initiating a free weekly play group and story hour.

The Friends also sponsor outstanding educational programs every year from the Greenburgh Nature Center and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Services. In March, 2010, the Friends sponsored a wildly successful program about Birds Of Prey from the Greenburgh Nature Center.

The number of events we sponsor is increasing every month. In April, a new Purchase Free Library Book Club was initiated by popular request.

Our newsletter, Library Links, combines details of all our outreach activities together with announcements about upcoming programs. Library Links, like the library itself, serves to educate and keep us in touch with our community and to bring the community together.

In her letter, Joan invited everyone to tell her which services they would be willing to give up and "which services and amenities are too important to forego because they enhance the life of the community." The Purchase Free Library can only be seen as providing great enhancement. I am hoping that some of you might be able to speak up for the importance of our library to the cultural life of the greater Harrison community: Harrison, West Harrison, and Purchase.
I couldn't agree with Anne more. As a Harrison taxpayer, I will be loudly expressing my opinion on the importance of these libraries as well.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Monday, August 16, 2010

Every New Book Deserves A Website

The Dynamic Manager's Guide series now has its own place on the web. The new website went live this morning with a brief introduction, information about me and my business and writing career, and detail of the first book in the series, The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Advertising: How To Grow Your Business With Ads That Work.

The website,, features a sample of the book, an mp3 audio introduction, and complete details of the contents.

The book is making its way in the marketplace, too. E-book editions are available for the Amazon Kindle and other formats. The audio podcast edition has been slated for release at on September 17, and the edition has been produced and is in the distribution pipeline.

The next book in the series, The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Marketing, is in final editing. Look for its release October 1 if all goes as planned.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Business Book Series

I launched a new series of books for owners and managers of small businesses today. The first book is The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Advertising: How to grow your business with ads that work. It's available now as an ebook in multiple formats.

The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Advertising is designed to help a manager create an advertising strategy suitable for a small business. Mention "advertising" to most people and they immediately think of the behemoths of the airwaves like Pepsi and P&G--and that's the kind of advertising most books on the subject are about. But this one is different. It's about the kind of advertising local car dealers do, or realtors, or clothing retailers, or home improvement contractors, or insurance agents. In other words, it talks about how small businesses can apply good advertising practices to the actual market conditions they face.

The book is based on my experiences writing and selling advertising over thirty years in the broadcasting business, which is what I did before I became a full-time writer. I drew extensively from material from my seminars and various columns I wrote for national business publications like Family Business Magazine, Entrepreneur, and Ward's Auto Dealer. Over the years, I've interviewed, consulted with, and created advertising for hundreds of small businesses. Much of that material forms the basis for The Dynamic Manager's Guide To Advertising.

The ebook is the first in a series of three related titles that will be combined and published in trade paperback. It will be available as an audiobook, too.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oppenheimer To Lead Library Rally

NY Governor David Paterson’s proposed budget would reduce library funding to $84.5 million – a $2.5 million cut from exiting levels. Join NY Senator Suzy Oppenheimer, WLS Director Terry Kirchner, and me at the White Plains Courthouse Friday, June 18 at 11:30 AM to protest these unconsciounable cuts in library aid.

If adopted this would represent an $18 million reduction over the past three years and the fifth time state spending for public libraries has been cut since 2007. The proposed cuts fly in the face of ever-growing need and demand for library services. At a time when many individuals are struggling financially, the public library remains an important free resource for information gathering, entertainment, and career research. Senator Oppenheimer, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, and representatives of the Westchester Library System, will advocate for restoration of library funding in the state budget.

Both the Senate and Assembly majorities have proposed restoring funding, the Senate full restoration and the Assembly a 40% or $960,000 restoration. If you can't join us for the rally, please contact your state senator and especially your state representative to let them know libraries need FULL funding restored. Visit and click on VOTE for Libraries button to send message to your state elected officials.

Senator Oppenheimer will also kick-off her summer reading program for children, which is designed to prevent the regression in literacy skills that can occur during the summer months.

WHO: Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Westchester)
Terry Kirchner, Executive Director, Westchester Library System
Dave Donelson, Trustee, Westchester Library System
Directors of Public Libraries in the 37th Senate District

WHEN: Friday, June 18, 2010 @ 11:30 AM

WHERE: White Plains Public Library
100 Martine Avenue, White Plains, NY 10601
Event will be outdoors, in courtyard adjacent to Courthouse; in case of inclement weather, event will move to library auditorium.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dog Lovers at Hunting Elf

Dog lovers take note: My first novel, Hunting Elf, is now available from audiobook powerhouse Like its protagonist, Elf the Silkie Terrier, the book just won't quit.

Hunting Elf is based on a true story. We had bought a little Silkie Terrier puppy to give to my mother-in-law one Christmas. In a chain of ever-more-unbelievable events, the little dickens ran away the night we brought him home, only to return on Christmas Eve. I turned that tale into first a short story, then into a podcast that weaves many more of our experiences as dog owners into a comedic novel about dog shows and the wacky people whose lives revolve around them. The setting is Westchester County, the suburbs north of New York where the original real events took place.

One listener left this heart-warming comment at

This is the funniest story I have had the good fortune to experience for a long time. I was at times forced to pull my car over to the side of the road for fear of loosing control at the side-splittingly hilarious scenes this story has in abundance. This really is a refreshing piece of work suitable for all ages. I enjoyed it from begining to end and found myself so completely abosrbed in in the story I was almost dismayed when it finally concluded. Dave Donelson is a master story teller and has done a fantastic job. I take my hat off to this exceptional piece of work.
The original serialized audio version drew a devoted audience of dog lovers who clamored for a print edition, so I self-published one in 2006. It also spawned a fan club of sorts among breeders and owners of Silkie Terriers who send me pictures and videos of their little darlings that I post on the book's website. Just like the little dogs themselves, Hunting Elf has been a lot of fun.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Friday, March 19, 2010

Proposed NY Aid Cuts Endanger Our Libraries

Libraries everywhere are under greater financial pressure than ever before. I testified today before the New York State Senate Westchester delegation about the impact of proposed cuts in library aid on the Westchester Library System and the 38 public libraries in our consortium. You can hear the testimony here.

Here's the original text of my testimony:

March 19, 2010

NY State Senate
Westchester Delegation
Public Budget Hearing Testimony

Good morning. I am Dave Donelson, Treasurer of the Westchester Library System. Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of WLS and our 38 member libraries.

I would also like to thank you for your support of New York’s libraries in the past, but I’m afraid that would be hypocritical. While you as individuals have certainly been behind us—and we recognize and appreciate that fact—the state legislature as a whole has a long, sad record of denying the importance of libraries to our state’s economic and social well-being.

If Governor Paterson’s budget is adopted as it stands, that record will continue and libraries will find ourselves at funding levels we haven’t seen since the mid 1990s.

The budget under consideration reduces library aid for the fifth time in the last two years. The proposed $84.5 million in library aid represents an 18% cut since 2008. In the grand scheme of NY’s budget, that’s not much—only $18 million or so. But in the lives of the 500,000 people in Westchester who have library cards—and the thousands of others who use our public libraries without one—it is devastating.
Let me put the importance of libraries to your constituents in perspective: There were over 8 million visits made to Westchester libraries in 2009, which was more than the full season attendance at Yankee Stadium! Libraries are not just depositories of books. Westchester’s libraries are the places where teenagers gather after school, where seniors come for help navigating the maze of our health insurance system, and where thousands of people come for help finding a job. You know all that.

What you may not know is that Westchester’s libraries have already been forced to cut services as a direct result of funding shortfalls in the past two years. Over half of our 38 members libraries have cut hours of service, including the closure of libraries completely on Sundays in Yonkers, here in Greenburgh, and others. Some 50 staff positions in Westchester libraries have been lost in the last year alone. And these cuts have already taken place. Adoption of the proposed budget we’re discussing today will force greater reductions in service.

Declines in library service have a direct impact on the people of Westchester in many ways, but the place where this budget will hit hardest is where it will do the most harm—by chopping funding for cooperative library systems like WLS. I know you are familiar with what we do, but allow me to point out how our services save millions of dollars for Westchester taxpayers.

WLS operates the county’s largest online network, providing free Internet service through almost 600 computers plus WI-FI service and eliminating the need for each library to have full-time computer support personnel on staff. When 1/3 of our residents don’t have Internet access in their homes, this is a vital service.

WLS maintains the electronic catalog for our 38 member libraries, which means they don’t have to hire staff to do so.

WLS also delivers 2.5 million items annually in our inter-library loan program. That’s not just a convenience for the library user, but it means each library doesn’t have to purchase as many books and CDs and DVDs since their collections are essentially shared. If our member libraries had to stock just half of the items we circulate, it would cost them an additional $30 million annually.

About one-third of WLS’s operating budget comes from New York state. Like our member libraries, we’ve already laid off staff and reduced services as a direct result of previous cuts in state funding. Adoption of this proposed budget will necessitate severe measures. I must ask you, where do we cut next?

Do we eliminate our health advocacy resource centers in Yonkers and Shrub Oak? If so, where will the 2,500 seniors we assisted last year go for help with Medicare problems?

Do we cancel our job counseling service? If we do, who will help the 2,000 people who used it in Mount Vernon, Yonkers, and other member libraries?

We’ve already cut staff in our children’s department. Do we take the next step and disappoint the 43,000 kids who took part in our summer reading program last year?

Those are the kinds of choices adoption of this budget will force us to make. I am sure you will agree that none of them are acceptable—there is no “least objectionable alternative” when it comes to cuts in library service.

The solution is quite simple and really very inexpensive. All we ask is that you restore library aid to the 2008 level. That’s only putting $18 million back into the budget, an amount that’s less than a rounding error in the total.

On behalf of the Westchester Library System and our 38 member libraries—not to mention the 500,000 Westchester library card holders—I thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully submitted,

Dave Donelson

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Heart Of Diamonds Celebrates eBook Week

As an author, I can attest that technology is a wonderful thing. I've published three books (so far) and every day seems to bring new ways to put them in front of an audience. One of the most exciting is in eBook editions, a format that's growing like crazy and reaching more and more people every day.

To celebrate eBook Week, March 7-13, I'm offering Heart Of Diamonds at half off the already-low eBook price at Smashwords.dom. This week only, the book will be available for your Sony Reader, Stanza, Palm, or just about any other device for just $4.98--a 50% discount. The special only applies to purchases through

Isn't technology wonderful?

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Heart Of Diamonds Now A Free Audio Book

After several weeks of arduous production, the audio book edition of Heart Of Diamonds is available online. Now you can listen to the exciting story of Valerie Grey's struggle to reveal a diamond-smuggling scheme that threatens to plunge the Congo deeper into war--dragging the United States along with it. The production is complete and unabridged, with nearly eleven fast-paced hours of narration.

And best of all, it's free. You can download the entire novel to your iPod, computer, or any device that will play mp3 files at or iTunes at absolutely no cost (although there's a donation button if you're so inclined).

Heart Of Diamonds--now available in trade paperback, eBook, and audio book editions.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Monday, February 22, 2010

Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu

"Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu" should be repeated every hour on the hour by every school child all over the world until it becomes the mantra of all societies. It is Bantu for "A human is human because of other humans."

The simple but profound adage is the theme of Chinua Achebe's collection of essays, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays.It may also be the theme of his life's work, judging by the simple message it conveys about the importance of the communal aspirations of the peoples of Africa. He uses it several times in various essays in the book, but really drives the point home in the concluding paragraph of the last one, titled "Africa Is People."

"Our humanity is contingent on the humanity of our fellows. No person or group can be human alone. We rise above the animal together, or not at all. If we learned that lesson even this late in the day, we would have taken a truly millennial step forward."
Achebe, winner of the Man Booker International Prize and best known as the author of Things Fall Apart,one of the seminal works of African fiction, has a subtle, dry voice that makes each of these seventeen essays something to savor and linger over. He makes his points about racial stereotypes, African development, history, and politics, and the African-American diaspora, sometimes with humor, sometimes with biting directness, but always graciously and without rancor. You sense Achebe knows that to rail against injustice is futile; change must come through education achieved one cogent argument at a time.

While Achebe is a scholar, he is also a master storyteller. More often than not, he makes his points not with dry logical argument but with an exegetical tale about someone he's met or something that's happened to him. Those little narratives are much more illustrative than pure cant. In "Spelling Our Proper Name," he tells the story of Dom Afonso of Bukongo, for example, who negotiated with King John III of Portugal in 1526 as an equal. He then writes:
"Such stories as Dom Alfonso's encounter with Europe are not found in the history books we read in schools. If we knew them....young James Baldwin would not have felt a necessity to compare himself so adversely with peasants in a Swiss village. He would have known that his African ancestors did not sit through the millennia idly gazing into the horizon, waiting for European slavers to come and get them."
I found his exploration of the complex politics and history of Africa in "Africa's Tarnished Name" to be particularly thought-provoking. He also talks frequently about Joseph Conrad's purported racism, which has become an important theme in the deconstruction of Heart of Darkness. Some of these essays have been presented elsewhere, although they have been revised and updated since they were first published. Nothing in them is dated, however, and Achebe's insightful discussions with Langston Hughes and James Baldwin ring as true as his observations about the potent symbolism of Barack Obama's election as President of the United States.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Caped Crusaders In The Stacks - A Love Song For Librarians

Marilyn Johnson has accomplished one of the most difficult tasks a journalist can attempt: she accurately portrayed change in the midst of it happening. In This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, she tackles librarianship, a profession undergoing changes that rival the Industrial Revolution. A daunting feat, but she nailed it.

The major change agent in the field is the same one rocketing through the rest of our society, technology. Johnson's singular accomplishment was to describe the impact of that many-headed monster with a minimum of jargon and a maximum of humaneness. She did it not by focusing on bits and bytes, industrial statistics and professional arcana, but by presenting the human side of technology; how librarians are adapting (or not) to their new tools, defending their jobs (or not) against the onslaught of automation, and even inventing (or avoiding) new roles in their communities for their cherished libraries. Her eye was on the people, not the machines.

First and foremost, Johnson is a storyteller. Like the good magazine journalist she was in her prior career, she uses people to tell her story of cyber assault on the stacks. Each chapter explains the lives--personal and professional--of outstanding, devoted, and often off-beat librarians. Yet she never strays from the theme of the book, which is that librarians are the people who can "Save Us All" from drowning in the digital ocean. Among the many tales she tells is the one about Kathy Shaughnessy, the Assistant Professor/Instructional Services Librarian at St. John's University Library in Queens who leads a team teaching computer skills to students from a wide variety of countries at the University's campus in Rome. The goal: to enable the students, some of whom had never touched a computer, to return to their native land and complete their master's degree online. In another, she lavishes praise on David Smith, the storied reference librarian at NYPL who retired in 2009 after a career devoted to helping writers use the institution's vast resources to their best effect. In the process, she tells us not only what Smith accomplished, but gave us an accurate picture of what's happening to the home of Patience and Fortitude (the stone lions that guard the library) as it plunges headlong into the digital age.

Johnson also tells the disturbing story of the near-debacle that happened when the Westchester Library System installed new catalog software to serve 37 of its 38 member libraries. Her account has two viewpoints, that of the librarians struggling with the new system and the one of the IT director trying to make it work. There is A LOT OF TENSION in the story. Full disclosure: I was president of the WLS Board at the time and witnessed the events firsthand. Trust me, Johnson's account is distressingly accurate.

It would be easy to get lost and start wandering in the electronic landscape, but Johnson generally steers clear of that danger. The only time her compass went a little haywire was in her chapter on libraries in Second Life, the virtual world constructed by people with an apparently limitless amount of time on their hands. Admittedly, my opinion of the whole enterprise probably clouds my viewpoint, which matches that of Johnson's husband, Rob, whom she quotes as observing, "Yes, yes, but what's it for?"

Even during her foray into Second Life, though, Johnson's exuberance carries the narrative. Her enthusiasm for the topic and her obvious love for the subjects of her tales--the librarians she hung out with for three years while researching the book--are evident on every page. This Book Is Overdue is just what the title says, a long-overdue love song to librarians.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Heart Of Diamonds Promotes Congo Aid Groups

Heart of DiamondsI happily started the new year with the release of the second edition of Heart of Diamonds. The revised edition corrects a few typos and slightly updates the text.

Most significantly, perhaps, the new edition recognizes four organizations whose work helps the people of the Congo. A couple of these organizations are large, the other two are small, but the work they all do contributes to the well-being of the citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

HEAL Africa

Women For Women International

Georges Malaika Foundation

Doctors Without Borders

The new edition of Heart of Diamonds is available from the publisher or You can also find (or order it) from your favorite local bookseller. If in doubt, use the ISBN 9781449919924.

Do you prefer e-Books? You can now put the new edition of Heart of Diamonds on your Kindle, Sony Reader, Stanza, Palm, or just about any other e-Book reader with just a couple of clicks.

Check your favorite online bookseller, or go to for a comprehensive listing of available versions. For the Kindle edition, visit

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the