On Press Releases Or Learning The Right Lesson Part Two

I’ve talked a great deal about prioritizing in relationship to goal setting on the guit-a-grip site but I thought I’d put up a tangentially related

A while back, I was dreading the prospect of writing a press release for my 12-tone book release announcement.  For a long time, I had real trouble writing these types of things because I’m a very modest person by nature and the self congratulating accolades of a press release are an anathema to my presentation style.

But the simple reality is that at the end of the day, this is a business and you have to get people engaged in material before they buy it.  So it’s a necessary discomfort that eased with time.

Previously, I had released a short pdf on fiverr which was positively received and found someone there who has done all of my book covers for an extremely generous rate.

So I thought I’d give the press release a try. “Let’s see what someone who’s doing 20-40 of these a day (at $5 a pop) is generating.”  I was given a brief questionaire and told to answer the questions as specifically as possible.  5 days later I got the following Press Release: (Hint, you need to read it out load to someone near you to get the real effect of the writing).



Contact: Scott Collins

Company: Guitarchitecture.org

Address: Brooklyn, NY

Email: https://guitarchitecture.org/2013/01/31/the-guitarchitects-guide-to-symmetrical-twelve-tone-patterns-is-out-now/

Guitarchitecture’s Symmetrical Twelve-Tone A New Book Release

A new book was released in one of the mostly misunderstood area. This is a one of kind book wherein they are offering a free tutorial for those who want to learn how to play the guitar. It is all about academic matters for those who want to explore a new composition of sounds. This book has all the important files on how everyone can learn the basic sessions for guitar.


The new book is about 100 pages and it all contains a lot of information regarding the keys, tones, examples and instructions of the guitar. This book helps the reader maximize their potential in doing their first love which is to play the guitar. Since it is newly released, there is an assurance that everyone can learn the guitar easier and faster. Scott Collins is a guitarist, clinician, educator and the author of this book.


The Symmetrical Twelve-Tone helps the guitar trainees in mastering the keys and tones of the guitar. There are several patterns that everyone can follow so that they can deal with the different kinds of compositions and improvisation. A lot of people are now enjoying playing the guitars because this more fun and exciting to play than other musical instruments. This is also the reason why many people want to learn how to play the guitar. This book is offered at a very affordable price, so there is no need to worry about the budget because anyone can afford this book.


The Guitarchitecture released their new book that can help everyone who wants to learn how to play the guitar. There is no need for everyone to enroll in some tutorial classes because the Symmetrical Twelve-Tone is now offering the best lessons that everyone can learn from. For those who want to explore new keys on the guitar, this book is perfect for everyone.


Learning the guitar is very easy if everyone knows how to do it properly. With the help of the Guitarchitect’s Guide to Symmetrical Twelve-Tone, it would be easy for them to learn the basic skills needed. A lot of people are now enjoying guitar lessons using only the Symmetrical Twelve-Tone guidelines. This book has a lot of benefits that can help those who want to learn and master the guitar keys and notes.


For more information, please visit https://guitarchitecture.org/2013/01/31/the-guitarchitects-guide-to-symmetrical-twelve-tone-patterns-is-out-now/. 

Ouch!  There are too many problems with this review to count!

At least it was an inexpensive lesson!  Here are a few things it reinforced for me:

  • Be careful of what you farm out and who your farm it out to.
  • If you’re going to experiment, do it early when the stakes are low.
  • You can’t always trust sample writings or reviews (how many times have you walked out of a restaurant disappointed with the meal and said, “I don’t get it.  The Yelp review was really positive….”
  • If you haven’t worked with the person before. prepared to put a lot of preliminary work in for setting it up or to put in a lot of editing work to finish it.
  • By and large you get what you pay for.

What follows is the press release I ended up writing.  It took 60-90 minutes because I edited it endlessly, but the end result was something I could actually use.  I did end up using another Fiver service to promote the book which worked fairly well.

News Release

February 1, 2013

For Immediate Release


New Twelve-Tone Patterns Book Provides New Sounds For Guitarists

The GuitArchitect’s Guide to Symmetrical Twelve-Tone Patterns is the latest release in the popular “GuitArchitect’s Guide To” series.  In Symmetrical Twelve-Tone Patterns, guitarist, educator and author Scott Collins rigorously examines twelve-tone patterns and then breaks the method into a number of core approaches to use in melodic, harmonic, improvisational or compositional exploration. In a topic previously relegated to the halls of academe, Symmetrical Twelve-Tone Patterns investigates the material in an intuitive and accessible way for guitarists at different skill levels.

Among other accolades, guitarist and loop pioneer Andre LaFosse, has praised the method, saying, “Scott [Collins] has an unusual ability to deal with highly esoteric and technical concepts, while simultaneously managing to present them in a very approachable, intuitive, and musical fashion. The scope of his teaching touches on everything from mathematical theory to life philosophy. His writing represents an extremely original – and stunningly well-researched – perspective on the guitar.”

A complimentary digital bundle of musical examples is available to those who purchase either the print or digital edition of the book.  In addition to MIDI files, PDFs and MP3s of all the examples in the book, the bundle also contains Guitar Pro files to help readers maximize their interaction with the material. Having the files in a Guitar Pro format means that the reader can use the Guitar Pro MIDI playback engine to hear the examples at whatever tempo they want thus using it as a phrase trainer to help get the examples to up to speed.

With an undergraduate degree in composition from Berklee College of Music and a graduate degree in guitar performance from CalArts, Scott Collins is an active performer, educator and visual accompanist. He is the author of The GuitArchitect’s Guide: series which includes guitar instructional and references books on topics such as melodic patterns, harmonic combinatorics, positional exploration and chord scales and has released several music business titles for the Kindle platform including, An Indie Musician’s Wake Up Call and Selling It Versus Selling Out.

“The GuitArchitect’s Guide to Symmetrical Twelve-Tone Patterns” is currently available in both print and PDF editions at Lulu.com http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/guitarchitecture.  More information about the book (and links to sample lesson material) is available at https://guitarchitecture.org/books.



And a review:

In a related note, my 12-tone book just got a pretty humbling review on Amazon that made a lot of the discomfort in creating it seem worthwhile.  You can read the original review here.

This book is groundbreaking and vitally important for the modern guitarist, and I will concisely summarize why. The subject of twelve tone method applied to the guitar has never been anywhere near as well and accessibly explored as it has here, and it is a subject long overdue in the stale guitar world of today. This method, which the indisputably great composer Arnold Schoenberg introduced in the early part of the 20th century had massive repercussions throughout the music world, and ultimately swayed even the mighty Stravinsky. This example of one great composer converting another contemporary great is anomalous in history, only the Haydn-Mozart example is comparable in impact.

The material and examples are laid out in a very easy to grasp manner, and it is extremely helpful as well that the author has listed extensive permutations regarding the method, the latter is an invaluable resource in itself.

I will be expanding upon this review for my blog shortly, however I felt compelled to write this short due to the impression the book made on me.

This book makes all other guitar instruction books from the past fifteen years look completely obsolete, tired. Don’t miss out, the price you pay for this is simply a pittance compared to what you’ll get back.”

I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from my books but nothing like that!!

As always, if you’ve purchased a book – please drop a line at guitar.blueprint at gmail[dot]com.  I’d love to hear what you liked or disliked about it and it might make the next book even better!

At any rate, that’s it for now.  I’ll be putting up a music business / book publishing post soon that you might find interesting.  In the meantime, keep playing and as always,

Thanks for reading!


How (Not) To Write A Book

Hello everyone!  I hope this finds you well!

“Oh wait…this is an open mic comedy night now?”

There’s a joke I was told years ago that acts as a surprisingly apt metaphor for creating a book.

A man dies and when he wakes up he’s greeted by a demon who tells him that he’s died and gone to Hell.  On the plus side, there is one last choice that he’ll be able to make – namely which of the 3 rooms in Hell he’ll be in for all eternity.

The man is taken to the first room and peers into a vast number of people standing on their heads on a hard wood floor.  It looks very uncomfortable.

At room number two, there is an equal number of people standing on their heads but this time instead of hard wood, it’s a solid rock floor.  It seems substantially worse than the first room.

The final room is filled with even more people than the first two rooms combined.  In this room, everyone is knee deep in the most foul and putrid liquid imaginable, but they’re all drinking coffee.  It seems completely disgusting, but at least they’re drinking coffee and that might be the easiest of the three to deal with for eternity.  The man chooses this room.

As the demon locked the door behind him, a voice over the intercom barked out, ‘Coffee break’s over!  Back on your heads!”

As I write this I’m taking a coffee break from being knee deep in editing my Symmetrical 12-Tone Patterns book and smiling at the parallels.

How Not To Write A Book Or A Blog

Anyone with any productivity training would tell you that my method of creating books  (getting inspired, doing all the necessary research, writing a draft and then tackling re-writes, editing, revisions and layout simultaneously) is insane.  And from the standpoint of someone thinking in terms of high output writing like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), they’d be right.

But for me, writing in a purely “efficient” manner doesn’t work that way.

I don’t plan out my blogs (beyond a topic and a point of view) because when I write spontaneously, I can help create the immediacy of conversational speech.  That’s the good side of working in that manner.

On the down side, writing that way means that I’m perpetually editing posts, cleaning them up and working endlessly to keep the energy level high while adding some artistry in how I’m conveying ideas.

In other words, I write quickly and edit as long as I’m able.  The editing may be where the actual craft comes in, but without that initial energy of getting the ideas on the page the clean up is useless.

This idea is expressed more succinctly in the familiar adage, “You can’t polish a turd.”

Modular Conventional Wisdom

I’ve written before about the differences between data and knowledge and on the importance of common sense,  as a means of negotiating the constant overwhelm of data. But what this process has taught me is that most conventional wisdom is really best applied in a modular and contextual manner rather than as an absolute.

It’s easy to grasp onto advice and, in an effort to shorten a learning curve, grasp it as gospel – but the real knowledge you gain in life comes from that learning curve.  I’ve learned much more from my mistakes than from my successes, and without those mistakes my successes never would have happened.

Tim Ferriss talks about four hour mastery.  That might get you to an avenue to manipulate your way through a martial art competition, but it’s going to get your ass handed to you in street fight.

There are shortcuts for work, but there are no shortcuts for understanding your own OS.  There are no shortcuts for finding out what works for you and finding out the best way for you to negotiate the world around you.

Put In The Work But Respect The Process

How I create my books is incredibly time consuming and almost infinitely frustrating in the number of times specifics have to be revisited because of how I re-work the material.  But it is only in that re-working that I can see the deeper connections.  It’s in that revision that the work adds clarity  to strength and it’s in going back and sweating minutiae that the work goes from, say, 95% to 98%, and from 98% to 98.4% or 99%.  The agony and the ecstasy both come from working towards those final percentages.

And Don’t Fixate on TIme

So, yes the 12-Tone book is late (Draft one was due Christmas Day!) but more importantly, it’s already the best book that I’ve written thus far and it’s only in the last month that all the substantial changes have happened.

Should I work on being more efficient?  Absolutely! But rushing the book out would have made it a much more inferior experience for the reader.  Instead of thinking about how much time I’m losing in yet (another) substantial revision, I’m focusing instead on what is coming from investing time in this way.

In writing a book, in playing guitar, in enjoying a walk on a brisk day, the magic is in the details.  In being fully engaged in the present.  Don’t be in a rush to gloss over them.

As always, thanks for reading.


p.s. – for a limited time (1/21/13 – 1/25/13) my shortest Kindle title, An Indie Musician Wake Up Call is free on Amazon.  You can find that book here and download it for free starting on the 21st.  (If you don’t have a Kindle the Kindle app is free on Amazon).  If you do happen to download it, please drop me a line and let me know what you think!  If you like it, please make sure to check out my other Kindle title, Selling It Versus Selling Out (Applying Lessons From The Business Of Music).