Only a mediocre writer is always at his best (Great Quotes on Advertising, 6)

On length of copy

To sum up: The longer your copy can hold people the more of them you will sell; and the more interesting your copy is, the longer you will hold them. If you can keep your reader interested, you will have a better chance of propelling him to action. If you cannot do that, then too small an amount of copy won’t push him far enough along that road anyway. —Schwab,   How to Write a Good Advertisement

Had I more time I would have written you a shorter letter. —Madame de Sevigny

Mail order advertising tells a complete story if the purpose is to make an immediate sale. … The motto there is, “the more you tell the more you sell.” —Claude C. Hopkins, Scientific Advertising

On editing, word choice, and tone

In successful advertising great pains are taken to never change our tone. That which won so many is probably the best way to win others. Then people come to know us … [not] by name alone, but by looks and mannerisms. Appearing different every time we meet never builds up confidence. —Claude C. Hopkins, Scientific Advertising

Show a bright side, the happy and attractive side, and not the dark and uninviting side of things. Show beauty, not homeliness; health, not sickness. Don’t show the wrinkles you propose to remove, but the face as it will appear. Your customers know all about the wrinkles. —Claude C. Hopkins, Scientific Advertising

Only a mediocre writer is always at his best. —Somserset Maugham

The job of the salesman and the advertising man, alike, is to lift his product out of the doldrums of the commonplace and into the realms of the dream world. We do not sell houses; we sell homes. We do not sell shoes; we sell foot comfort. We do not sell cosmetics, but sell the beauty that cosmetics enhance. —Henry Huff

Richard Brinsley Sheridan, playwright and British Member of Parliament, on the importance of punctuation: “Mr. Speaker I said the honorable member was a liar it is true and I am sorry for it,” adding that the honorable member could place the punctuation marks where he pleased.
—Schwab,   How to Write a Good Advertisement

The more an idea is developed, the more concise becomes its expression; the more a tree is pruned, the better is the fruit. —Alfred Bougeart

When you say something, make sure you have said it. The chances of your having said it are only fair. —E.B. White

Posted in Nonfiction Tagged permalink

About Dianne L. Durante

I’m an independent scholar and freelance writer /lecturer on art and art history, with forays into food, history, politics, and publishing. My most recent projects are *Innovators in Sculpture¸* a survey of 5,000 years of art in two hours, and *Monuments of Manhattan,* a videoguide app by Guides Who Know that’s based on my book *Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan: A Historical Guide.*

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