Are You Writing for Spiders?
In the early 70s, Mel Martin was hired as a copywriter by Herb Nagourney, the toothy publisher of The New York Times book division whose business was built on running coupon ads in unsold space in the Times. While there, Martin created what Edelston considered to be some of the greatest book advertising ever written. "I would love to go through the Times on microfiche and find those ads," Edelston says. "Each was masterpiece."
After Nagourney and Mel Martin parted company in 1974, Marty Edelston hired Mel to write editorial material on a per diem basis for his fledgling newsletter, Boardroom Reports. Quite simply, Mel Martin detested the work. So Edelston went along with Martin's idea to create a contents page. From 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. one day every two weeks, Mel Martin would boil down the contents of the newsletter into a one-page table of contents, which ran on the cover. In Edelston's words: "Each contents page was a glittering jewel—far and away better than the rest of the publication." These contents pages were the birthplace of "fascinations." A sampling:
Advance warning on longer lead times in major areas.
Consumer discontent: How management misjudges it. A four-step program
for keeping out of trouble.
Which U.S. and foreign cars hold their value longest.
Danger to executives using company lawyer.
When a raise is not a raise: Why young executives are unhappy.
Premiums that work.
How to use visuals.
When customer list can be classified as a trade secret.
Premiums women want.
Inducements to move your business.
What office colors work best.
Easy way to speed letters.
Useful book for retailers.
How to handle sales call reports.
Easier T&E accounting.
Overcoming the fear of flying.
Attire for women managers.
Traps in issuing checks.
Trend to watch: Retort pouch.