Friday, April 17, 2015

Truth in Marketing

This is the way I feel today.

The other day, coming out of Fred Meyer’s grocery store, I looked across the street to an Office Max. The store was closing. Rats, I liked that store.

There in huge red letters about two feet high was a sign: “50% off Entire Store.”

Check it out, I thought, so I did, and wandering through the store, I chose a package of particular pens I like, some colored marking pens, some tabs, not much, but something. When the check-out clerk rang me up the discount was 20% and 30%. “I though the entire store was 50% off,” I said.

 “Oh,” she said, “it’s a marketing ploy. It’s ‘up to’ 50% off.” Sure enough, there in small letters about two inches high were the words, “up to.” I had missed it.

 I left feeling taken.

It’s true I didn’t read the small print, but I wondered, “Do you have to trick people to get them to buy something?” I don’t want to do that. And then I realized I had done the very thing I was railing against.  I mentioned in the last blog that I sent a query to an agent stating that the manuscript was 90,000 words in length. (I had only written 35,000 words, but in my arrogance, I thought I could bring it up to 90,000.) 

They want a further look-see—first 3 chapters and a synopsis, and they will take a 75,000 count.  

So while I’m scrambling to write another 40,000 words for the manuscript; I'm having trouble paring the synopsis down to the required 5 pages. 

This is a Laurel and Hardy movie.

Now here is real truth is advertising:

“Wanted, young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.”

--1860 Pony Express

(These fellows could deliver mail in 10 days while covering 1900 miles and using 75 horses. Imagine.)