K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple, Stupid!

We are all authors. We are all salesmen.

Stop.

Look right and read “IN THE NEWS.”

I’ll wait for you.

What was hotshot federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald thinking? In December 2008 he crowed that Blago was nabbed “in the middle of what we can only describe as a public corruption crime spree. The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave.” For the prosecution, it should have been a slam-dunk conviction of charges that included bribery, extortion, racketeering, conspiracy and lying under oath.

The verdict: guilty of one count out of 24.

A Failure of Salesmanship
Fitzgerald’s team spent months untangling evidence and apparently bollixed it up into an incomprehensible mess. The whole sordid saga may have been perfectly clear to the prosecutors, but they failed miserably when selling it to a jury made up of non-lawyers.

We Are All Authors
Whether creating a letter, memo, e-mail, legal brief, special report, proposal, press release, advertisement, article for publication or a full-blown book, we are all authors.

And being an author means being a salesman.

Quick Story
“What do you do?” a guy at a cocktail party was asked.

I’m a brain surgeon,” was the reply. “What do you do?”

I’m a writer.”

“Ah,” said the brain surgeon. “I’ve often thought that when I retire I’d like to try some writing.”

And when I retire,” said the writer, “I’m going to try a little brain surgery.”

‘Life Is One Long Sales Pitch’
“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create,” wrote advertising legend David Ogilvy. “Management cannot be expected to recognize a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesman.”

When words are committed to paper or to a computer screen and are meant for others―like it or not―we are selling.

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 dennyhatch.com.
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