Dear Fellow Copywriter,
Do you recognize where the title of my new novel, "God Doesn't Shoot Craps," comes from? Not everyone does.
Actually, it's a quotation from Albert Einstein. And there's an interesting story behind it...
Back in the 1920s, when Einstein had completed his theory of relativity, the world of theoretical physics began moving into new areas of inquiry.
Einstein suddenly found himself lagging behind his colleagues, and that was an unsettling experience for him.
The great theoretical physicists of the day, like Neils Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, had become fascinated with the behavior of subatomic particles - the little bits of matter (or energy?) that make up the component parts of an atom.
These subatomic particles were mysterious little devils, because they behaved like nothing else in the known universe.
They seemed to defy any conventional rules of physics, gravity, or electro-magnetism. It was impossible to pin them down. Some of the physicists said that predicting their actions was like rolling dice.
But Einstein hated this idea. For all his genius, Einstein was still living in the world of Isaac Newton. He wanted those particles to behave like billiard balls or planets or apples falling from a tree, not like fairy dust!
So, one day, in a burst of anger, Einstein said:
"GOD DOES NOT SHOOT DICE
WITH THE UNIVERSE!"
It's an interesting quotation, isn't it? Not only from a scientific standpoint, but also because it shows that Einstein clearly believed in God. (One doesn't usually speak metaphorically in a fit of anger.)
Now what does all this scientific mumbo-jumbo have to do with you making more money as a copywriter?
What Bohr and Heisenberg were exploring was a field that eventually became known as "quantum mechanics."
One of the subatomic actions that they found most mystifying was the ability of an electron to suddenly and inexplicably JUMP from one energy level to another.
They called this phenomenon...
"A QUANTUM LEAP"
Of course, nowadays the phrase "quantum leap" has entered the language and a lot of people use it without fully understanding what it means. (Hell, I don't fully understand what it means myself!)
But for all intents and purposes, it means that sometimes in life we experience a sudden and inexplicable JUMP from one level of existence to another.
Has that ever happened to you?
I can say for sure that it's happened to me because there was a period in my career when I suddenly went from being a moderately successful freelance direct-mail copywriter who charged about $2,000 per package to one who, within the course of a few years, was suddenly charging $22,000 per package.
Well, I can tell you what did not happen. It wasn't because I suddenly got better at copywriting. I like to think I've improved over the years, but I didn't improve that much in such a short time.
Yes, the demand for copywriters and the "going rate" we charge increased during that time, but they didn't increase that much.
And no, I didn't suddenly start charging royalties. I've always been primarily a flat-fee copywriter.
So it was truly a "quantum leap" - sudden and inexplicable.
HERE'S THE SECRET...
Well, not quite inexplicable. I do know what caused it, and I'm going to share it with you in my free report, "MAKE MORE MONEY BY WRITING LESS."
What I did was make a tiny change in how I managed my business. Not a change in advertising. Not a change in marketing. Not a change in my style of copywriting or a change in my clientele.
But just a simple change in policy.
AN INSTANTANEOUS CHANGE
YOU CAN MAKE TODAY!
It's a change you can make today. Instantly. Without improving one iota as a copywriter. Without paying to attend some fancy $5,000 seminar. Without doing anything at all except making a certain kind of mental decision and having the courage to stick to it.
What's more, I can honestly say that every single superstar copywriter I know has had this insight.
And every single unsuccessful (or only moderately successful) copywriter I know has not yet had it.
Okay, enough preamble. Here it is. My free gift to you. All you have to do is...
But before you do that, let me tell you about one other scientific theory that has important implications for freelance copywriters.
It's called "Parrondo's Paradox."
It was discovered by a physicist at the University of Madrid in Spain named Dr. Juan M. R. Parrondo. (Why Spaniards always have two middle names is another mystery, but we don't have time to get into that right now!)
WIN BY LOSING!
Parrondo's Paradox states that two losing gambling games can be combined in such a way that they yield a winning result.
In other words, you lose and lose and lose and lose ... and you walk away a winner!
Okay, I can see your face right now and you're giving me a very skeptical look, but it's true.
If you promise to come right back to this letter, go ahead and google "Parrondo's Paradox" and you'll quickly learn that I'm telling you the God's honest truth...
[PAUSE ... DON'T WORRY, I'LL STILL BE HERE WHEN YOU COME BACK]
Are you back? Good.
Now you know that I'm not kidding. But again, you may be wondering what this has to do with your copywriting career. After all, direct-mail copywriting has nothing to do with flipping coins, right?
Don't be so sure. Don't be so sure.
HOW TO RATCHET YOUR
You see, as you may have learned during your little trip to Google, Parrondo's Paradox is based on the principle of ratchets.
A ratchet is a device that allows movement in one direction, but not in the other.
The reason you see the name "Otis" on every elevator in this country is not because Otis invented the elevator. It's because he invented the ratchet that makes them safe.
(Until Elisha Otis came along, elevators crashed a lot and plenty of folks got themselves ... er, compacted as a result)
Self-winding wristwatches also work because of ratchets. Every time you move your hand in a way that contributes to winding the watch, that movement is utilized. But every time you move your hand in a way that might otherwise contribute to unwinding it, that movement is ignored.
And believe it or not, that's pretty much how your career in direct-mail copywriting works.
FAIL YOUR WAY
TO THE TOP!
You and I work in a business where we fail more often than we succeed.
Even the best copywriters I know probably only win three or four out of ten attempts to beat the control.
Okay, Gary Bencivenga says he wins seven out of ten. And Clayton Makepeace says he wins eleven out of ten. But we haven't hooked either one of them up to a polygraph yet.
(Actually, they're not lying. But I know their secret, and it's not something that every copywriter - especially novice ones - can pull off. Wanna know what it is? They can pick and choose their assignments, and they never choose one that they're in any danger of losing!)
Down here in the trenches where most copywriters work, two out of ten will give you a six-figure income. Three out of ten will make you one of the top copywriters in the country. And four out of ten would probably put you in the Copywriter Hall of Fame, if there were such a thing.
ONLY LOSERS NEED APPLY!
In other words, you get to the top of this profession by losing more often than you win!
And that's not as unusual as it sounds. Scratch any successful person, and you'll probably find someone who's had twenty terrible failures in his life for every significant success.
What Parrondo's Paradox says is that your failures do not count against you ... but each one of your successes gradually ratchets you higher.
And that's what my novel, "God Doesn't Shoot Craps," is all about.
It's the first novel ever written about a direct-mail copywriter. Maybe that's why DIRECT Magazine called it...
"THE GREAT AMERICAN DM NOVEL!"
It tells the story of a junk-mail con man who sells a bogus craps system through the mail - only to discover, much to his surprise, that it really works.
As a copywriter yourself, you'll be tickled (and hopefully intrigued) by how the day-to-day realities of our business are used to create a gripping story line that will keep you up all night turning pages...
Dry tests. Exaggerated copy claims. Postal regulations. Hard-to-please clients. All the stuff you and I deal with every day becomes - believe it or not - the grist for a novel of suspense.
But it's more than that really...
It's the story of one man's journey from a world of greed and sin to his eventual redemption in paradise.
Based in part on Dante's epic poem, "The Divine Comedy," it moves from Hell, to Purgatory, to Heaven as it explores the nature of our universe and the special role that each of us is meant to play in it.
Heady stuff, huh? But it's lots of fun to read and kinda funny, too.
9 FREE GIFTS!
May I ask you to go to Amazon to buy "God Doesn't Shoot Craps" today?
But before you do, let me sweeten the pot. After all, what kind of direct-mail copywriter would I be if I didn't throw in some free premiums?
I've come up with 9 special gifts that I think will help you in your copywriting career -- whether you're a relative newcomer to the field or a grizzled oldtimer like me. Take a look...
FREE GIFT NO. 1: STEAL THIS BROCHURE! About 20 years ago when I was just getting a foothold in the business, I wrote a brochure for my copywriting services that really launched my career into hyperdrive. It was called "Six Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Freelance Copywriter," and it even became famous in a small way. Bob Bly featured it prominently in his bestselling book "Secrets of a Freelance Writer." I still get calls from people who've read Bob's book asking me if they can get a copy of the brochure. Problem is, I'm down to my last one! You see, I haven't re-printed them in years because I don't need 'em anymore. Nowadays, 80% percent of my business comes from existing clients and the other 20% comes from referrals. But I remember very well what it's like to be just starting out, and that's why I'd like you to read it. Heck, I don't just want you to read it, I want you to STEAL it! Go ahead, borrow the copy if you want. Or better yet, use it for inspiration and come up with something even stronger. I've scanned it into a handy PDF format, and it's yours free when you buy "God Doesn't Shoot Craps" on Amazon.
FREE GIFT NO. 2: "HOW TO LAND YOUR DREAM CLIENT (OR YOUR FIRST ONE)": You see a lot on the Internet nowadays about writing "spec packages" as a way of breaking into the copywriting business. Clayton Makepeace and Bob Bly are strong advocates of this strategy. Dr. Harlan Kilstein is a bitter opponent. (He says it's a rip-off.) You may be left wondering: Does it work or not? Does it really help get your foot in the door? Do clients really cough up and pay you if they use your copy? Well, I'm here to tell you that writing on spec really works, because I've done it myself. But in this report, I don't just tell you to "go write something on spec," I tell you EXACTLY HOW IT'S DONE. Step-by-step, I take you by the hand and lead you through the entire process - from conceiving the idea to cashing the check. You'll find out how easy it is to land your first client (or your dream client) by spending no more than a day or two writing a spec piece. This 8-page report is yours free when your buy "God Doesn't Shoot Craps" on Amazon.
By the way, you may wondering, "How the heck do I get all these free reports if I buy the book from Amazon?" I'll get to that in a minute! It's really a nifty little plan. But bear with me for a few more minutes, 'cause I wanna give you more free stuff...
FREE GIFT NO. 3: "HOW TO MAKE MONEY WRITING SPEECHES." Would you like to branch out into a really fun, really lucrative area of freelance writing? If you've got a flair for the dramatic, a good sense of humor, a knack for the well-turned phrase, a strong background in literature and/or drama, you might be just the kind of person who would be better off as a speechwriter than a copywriter. You see, in direct-mail copy, we're not usually allowed to use these skills. We're not allowed to be funny. We're not allowed to be overly dramatic. We're not allowed to pull out our favorite quote from Plutarch or Virgil. All of these things are taboo in copywriting ... but highly desirable in speechwriting. No, the fees are not quite as good as they are in direct mail. But how does $5,000 to $10,000 per speech strike you? Could you survive on that? Then check out my 16-page free report.
FREE GIFTS NO. 4, 5, 6 & 7: "MY BAG OF TRICKS." Every copywriter I know has a little "bag of tricks" that they like to use when writing copy - strategies and techniques that seem to work really well for them. And every copywriter's bag is different. In these four reports, I've opened up my own bag and spilled out the contents for you to see. "P.S. I LOVE YOU" is about how to write a killer postscript. "LONG OR SHORT" answers the most common, and the most vexing question, in our business once and for all: How long should a letter be? "SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF" describes the secret behind my one of my favorite copywriting techniques. And "COPY WARS" is a brief report on how to defend your precious copy from a client who wants to stab it to death with a red pencil. All four of these reports are ... well, you know, YOURS FREE when you buy "God Doesn't Shoot Craps" on Amazon.
FREE GIFT NO. 8: "TOP GUNS." Over the years, it's been my privilege to know some of the finest direct-mail copywriters in the world. I came of age in this business when some of the great pioneers were winding up their careers: Bill Jayme, Ed McLean, John Francis Tighe, Gene Schwartz, Milt Pierce, Tom Collins. Living in New York, as I did at the time, I got to know many of them personally. I've also tried to remain cordial and collegial with some of contemporaries: Bob Bly, Don Hauptman, Josh Mannheimer, and many others. In this gossipy little report, I'll give you the dish on all the great copywriters I've known and what I stole ... er, learned from each of them!
FREE GIFT NO. 9: "KILL THE CREATIVES" About 10 years ago, I gave a keynote speech to the Direct Marketing Association of Washington that created quite a stir. It was the talk of the town of the direct-mail industry for several months. Reproduced in "DM News," it drew angry (and supportive) letters-to-the-editors from around the country. One very famous copywriter called the DMAW and DEMANDED the opportunity to give a rebuttal. I got personal letters from copywriters around the world thanking me ... and excoriating me. Even David Ogilvy sent me a note from his castle in southern France!!! What was all the fuss about? In the speech, I basically said that "creativity" was the most dangerous word in advertising and every copywriter who calls himself "creative" should be beheaded immediately. I said that Madison Avenue was mostly to blame, and I roasted the advertising agency business over an open fire. But I'm just scratching the surface. If I do say so myself, this is 25 minutes of uproarious and utterly vicious entertainment. I've put it on an MP3 audio file for you to download. This special gift is ... all together now ... YOURS FREE when you buy "God Doesn't Shoot Craps" from Amazon.
Okay, so how do you get all these great free gifts?
It's easy. The first step is obvious. Go to the "God Doesn't Shoot Craps" page on Amazon.com by...
Next step, buy the book. Hey, it's only $10.78, and it's gonna knock your socks off. (Where else can you get instant sock-removal for less than eleven bucks?)
Within an hour or two, Amazon is gonna send you a confirmation e-mail with an order number in it. (If you buy as much stuff from Amazon as I do, you've seen a million of these e-mails.)
Jot down that order number and send it to me at the following address:
You don't have to write me a long letter, I'll know exactly what it's about.
Just put "Copywriting Premiums" (or something of that nature) in the subject line and the order number in the message box. That's all that's necessary.
As soon as I get your e-mail, I'll reply with a link for you to download all nine of your free gifts. (Please adjust your spam filter, if necessary, to accept an email from my address: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
So that's all there is to it:
1) Buy the book at Amazon.com
2) Email the order number to me at email@example.com
3) I'll reply with the link for you to download your 9 free gifts!
Meanwhile, I think you'll get a big kick out of "God Doesn't Shoot Craps." Even if you're not a gambler. Even if you're not a big novel reader.
I mean, how often do you get a chance to read a thriller about a character who does the same kind of work you do?
Well, I guess homicide detectives have this experience frequently, but for the rest of us, it's quite a trip.
So please order your copy of "God Doesn't Shoot Craps" from Amazon today!
P.S. If you have any trouble down-loading your free reports or any questions whatsoever, don't hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call me. The phone at 202-333-0646 rings on my desk.