Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Copywriters Who Write (Not counting the dead or retired)

My book is published today. Woop!

Some authors might celebrate with a glass of sherry, but not me.

I'm making a chart. I have a fondness for lists and rankings, so I am treating myself by doing a chart of the UK’s most popular books written by advertising creatives (currently active creatives only, not retired or dead ones), as measured by their sales ranking on Amazon.

Here it is.

 Top 20 Books By UK Advertising CreativesRanking
1 E, by Matt Beaumont 3,030
2Creative Mischief, by Dave Trott3,761
3 How To Do Better Creative Work, by Steve Harrison6,207
4E Squared, by Matt Beaumont6,733
5How To Make It As An Advertising Creative, by Simon Veksner13,204
6 Small World, by Matt Beaumont14,794
7Staying Alive, by Matt Beaumont33,572
8 Where There’s A Will, by Matt Beaumont 94,854
9 Father Frank, by Paul Burke138,178
10 The Man Who Fell In Love With His Wife, by Paul Burke 216,822
11The Poison Tree, by Tony Strong 230,558
12 One-Track Mind, by Tony Davidson240,022
13The Book, The Film, The T-Shirt, by Matt Beaumont244,906
14The Life Of Reilly, by Paul Burke 249,844
15 How To Write Great Copy, by Dominic Gettins253,218
16The Decoy, by Tony Strong313,338
17 Step On It, Cupid, by Lorelei Mathias 345,717
18 Lost For Words, by Lorelei Mathias355,465
19Untorn Tickets, by Paul Burke397,084
20 Instinct, by Ben Kay480,914

Obviously, this chart is completely ridiculous.

For one thing, I’m mixing fiction and non-fiction.

And for another thing, the Amazon sales data is all over the place like a mad woman’s piss. It varies wildly depending on what time of day you check it.

But what the hell. It’s just for fun.

Examining the chart, we see that Britain’s two most successful authors - at least, in the select category of authors who are also current advertising creatives - are Matt Beaumont and Paul Burke.

Matt Beaumont, who I believe is a creative director at M&C Saatchi’s luxury goods division, has an incredible six titles on the chart. What a fast typist he must be. I have read ‘e’ and it is pretty hilarious. I haven’t read any of the others, but E Squared is on my shopping list, and I will get round to it when I have cleared my current backlog of unread books.

Paul Burke is probably the UK’s pre-eminent radio advertising creative, a lovely bloke, and former colleague of mine at DDB London. I have read Father Frank and The Man Who Fell In Love With His Wife, and thoroughly enjoyed them.

The next most prominent writers, with two entries each, are Tony Strong and Lorelei Mathias. Tony Strong works at AMV (I think). I once heard that he does a 4-day week there, in order to give himself some time to write. Good on him. He writes thrillers. I haven’t read any, because books about people being murdered are not my cup of tea. But he’s had four published, so respect is due to the man.

Lorelei Mathias has also been (briefly) a colleague of mine at BBH. She now works at Glue. Her books have chick-lit style covers, but knowing Lorelei a little, as I do, I am sure they are highly superior examples of the genre.

Other notables on the chart – great to see Dave Trott in there at No.2. Fabulous stuff from the east London ad guru.

Another ECD to make the chart is W&K's Tony Davidson, whose 'One-Track Mind' photography collection is described by comedian Jenny Eclair as "a lovely book of boob-like things." All profits go to charity. So that's good.

And I expect my friend Ben Kay’s book to shoot up to No.1 on this list, maybe even to No.1 on the real bestsellers list, when it is actually published. Penguin have high hopes for Ben’s book, and will no doubt crush London under the wheels of their marketing juggernaut.

UK means UK-based. Advertising creative means current advertising creative, not retired ones like David Abbott, Indra Sinha, Salman Rushdie etc.

If I've missed anyone out who should be here, please tell me and I'll put them in.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Three Days To Publication Date

And my publishers, Laurence King, have unleashed a Facebook marketing campaign. See it here.

Also, if you're the kind of ponce who - like me - enjoys books about art, design, architecture, graphic design, street art, and trainers, then you might be interested in becoming a 'fan' of Laurence King (same link), in order to get information about their books, and discounts and whatnot.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Commander Denton To The Rescue

Announcing some progress on plans to promote my book.

I have lunched the legendary Mark Denton - view his showreel here - and he has agreed to shoot a viral film for me, in return for me helping him with some ads he needs writing, and because he likes the idea.

The idea is: what kind of ad does a creative make when, rather than promoting someone else's product, he is selling his own?

I guess the inspiration was me thinking back to times when I have argued not to put a phone number on a car ad. Though when I was selling my own car, of course I put the phone number in the ad... and a massive pack-shot...

We are working on the script at the moment, but nothing has been locked-down yet, so you are very welcome to contribute.

Do you think the idea could work? Would YOU answer a brief differently, if it was your own product you were advertising?