Denny’s Daily Zinger: Knowing When to Say ‘No’

Unreadable type.

It was an interesting invitation. I received an email containing a survey about needs of the journalism industry. I did not know the sender. But that week, I had published a column titled “Saving The New York Times From Oblivion.”
I sent a link and back came a response from a nonprofit consulting group devoted to teaching journalists about financial matters and good writing.

I read your blog post and found it extremely refreshing in its direct identification of problems with old-school print outlets. I would love to set up a call with you sometime next week to hear more about your thoughts and a possible collaboration with [our organization].

I sent a review copy of “Write Everything Right! to them to see if a mesh existed.

We talked on the phone and an invitation was extended to become a contributor to their blog. With 2,000 regular readers I could (1) increase my audience and (2) maybe sell some copies of the book.

I was sent a link to the blog.

My main shtick these days is helping people make their writing easy to read.

In the media player at right is an article from the blog.

All the body copy is in light gray type—totally unreadable!

Can you imagine a newspaper, magazine or book printed throughout with light gray type? It would last for one issue.

The idea of contributing articles on good writing and easy reading to a totally unreadable blog for professional journalists is preposterous.

I took a pass.

Denny Hatch’s new book is “Write Everything Right!” Giving the book five out of five stars on Amazon, Buster Boy writes, “This book is not written in a traditional business or self-help type of book. It’s more like tips and notes, but it works out great. If you ever write something to sell or attempt to convince someone to your point of view, this is a must-have book. The analysis of situations and the tips and pointers are excellent. I don’t know if this book will make me a better writer immediately. However, the advice and pointers that he gives not only make lots of sense, but it got my mind to analyze everything I write for better results.” Click here to download (opens as a PDF) and read the first three chapters FREE. The title is also available on Kindle. Reach Denny at

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

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  • Reg Doherty

    Why complain? They could have made it white type on a white background, for “better readability.”

  • Peter Rosenwald

    It seems that the Internet has given birth to a culture of everyone wanting everything for nothing.

    When we are using it for research, we can get amazing information, for nothing.

    But as you say so rightly, sometimes, even at the expense of violating the ‘everything for nothing’ rule, writers have got to say ‘NO’. What we do is time consuming and has value.

    The problem is how do we differentiate between the traditional culture of writers being compensated for their work and the ego driven desire to be published. I wish I had the answer.

    Perhaps your readers can tell us.