Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

Ten states will start collecting sales tax from out-of-state online retailers, thanks to a series of new laws created in response to the South Dakota vs. Wayfair case the U.S. Supreme Court decided in June.

For online retailers, few issues are as confusing and cumbersome as understanding sales tax obligations in various states. Most companies either try to find an automated solution or stick their heads in the sand and hope for the best.

When I attended grade school back in the Paleozoic Era, my classmates and I loved our weekly spelling contests where, no matter who our facilitator was, we looked not only to master our assigned words but also to tackle some wild card selections. Millions of years later, I still geek out on these letter placement challenges and am thankful that Google Trends recently released a map of the most misspelled word in each state, with some of the troublemakers striking me as “beautiful” reminders of how even common utterances can catch us by “surprise.”

Congratulations! Mazeltov! Happy Wedding! There are all kinds of ways for travel, hospitality and more marketers to be welcome at nuptial celebrations, and same-sex marriages seem no different. That's even truer now that the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear cases from Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana. On Monday, the court declined to hear arguments from those states that were opposed to the marriages, in effect bringing the total of states allowing same-sex nuptials to 24.

At the Publishing Business Conference & Expo in late March, I chatted briefly with Marji Ross, president and publisher of the archconservative Regnery Publishing, who just may be the smartest PR person on the planet.

On her watch, Regnery has had 53 titles on the New York Times Best-Seller list in the past 10 years—a heart-pounding 35% of all Regnery titles published.

How does she do it? Prior to publication of a new book, her PR machine goes dark for a month. When books are in stores and on and, the author—Laura Ingraham, Newt Gingrich, David Limbaugh, Ann Coulter or whomever—is everywhere with guest shots on cable TV, call-in conservative radio, newspaper interviews and blasts out to 1 million e-mail addresses.

Check out my column from March 18, 2008: “Blitzkrieg PR: How to Launch a Book, a Product, a Service—or Anything Else.”

“Never lay odds of more than 3-to-1,” said my wonderful colleague, the late Mike Kelly. I will break that rule and lay those odds that President Barack Obama will best Marji Ross’s mastery of public relations and publicity.

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