Fun Fridays – May 22, 2020

Today’s video is rather startling to watch. Titled Every Covid-19 Commercial Is Exactly the Same, it speaks a lot to the challenge of cliche vs. creativity.

If you have some thoughts on how you can avoid sounding like the previous proposal in an agent’s stack or like another author in your genre, feel free to weigh in!

This is a reality we agents face when working through proposals, both unsolicited and those from existing clients! How do you say the same thing–but in a different way?

[If you cannot see the embedded video in your newsletter email, please click the headline and go directly to our site to view it.]

8 Responses to Fun Fridays – May 22, 2020

  1. OLUSOLA SOPHIA ANYANWU May 22, 2020 at 5:45 am #

    Hi Steve, thanks for the video. It was quite striking to see what you were all about in terms of originality, creativity on the side of Synonyms and unimaginative and unoriginal on the side of Antonyms! This is food for thought.
    Thanks for the post.
    Olusola Sophia Anyanwu

  2. Jay Payleitner May 22, 2020 at 7:33 am #

    Hey Steve, I laughed out loud.

    But this brilliantly-edited video is not an argument for being unique. It’s proof that working creatives that need to pay the bills are forced to follow the crowd. After all, all these spots got produced.

    Note to first time authors. Unfortunately, the best way to get your first book published is to mimic everyone else.

    Even more unfortunately, after 25 books, an author still can’t convince publishers to explore a project that’s outside the box.

    • Colleen Snyder May 22, 2020 at 7:53 am #

      Thank you for saying what some of us feel!

    • Steven Stoops May 22, 2020 at 10:49 am #

      Exactly right Jay! Follow the well worn path and you may be able a published author. After all we’re all in this together!

      My wife hates that phrase. It kills her to watch me, whose workload as a hospital materials manager has tripled. She keeps seeing me chase my tail trying to find supplies that just aren’t available and every time she hears that phrase in a commercial she wants to throw something at the TV.

      I was hoping to blog during this “unprecedented time,” but haven’t written anything for 2 months because I’m exhausted.

  3. Shulamit May 22, 2020 at 10:46 am #

    The similarity in the scores (background music) is stunning. Wow.

    Sharing with a friend who does scores.

  4. Bill Bethel May 22, 2020 at 11:04 am #

    Those commercials were depressing to watch. Steve, I hope this video is not and indication of what you go through each day.

  5. Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D. May 23, 2020 at 10:30 am #

    This was an incredible reminder that Lowes, which I blogged about, is not the only company guilty of depressing everyone in the audience. How can we be together when we aren’t within six feet of each other???? I have vowed to never step foot in a Lowes again….. They repeated their ads several times a minute….
    Is this really what you go through every day? Condolences, Steve.

    • Steve Laube May 23, 2020 at 10:38 am #

      Bill and Sheri,

      I wrote the following in a blog called “When Your Book Becomes Personal”

      Here is a small sampling of true stories that have recently crossed my desk. This shows real-life events that inspired a writer to write their book, create a proposal, and approach the agency. The amount of difficulty, pain, and suffering in these lives is astounding. (and remember this is just a small sampling of the non-fiction proposals we receive) The list includes:

      Brain tumor
      Deliverance from demons
      Struggles of being a single parent
      Death of a child (multiple proposals)
      Domestic violence
      Husband announces he is gay
      Terminal cancer (Multiple proposals)
      Murder of a family member
      Marriage book inspired by death of wife with whom writer had been married 60 years
      Sexual addiction of husband (more than one book proposal)
      Medical malpractice
      Chronic illness (multiple proposals)
      Sexual assault
      Coming out of a lesbian lifestyle

      So, yes. going through proposals is a bit like pastoring a church. Except I hope YOUR pastor doesn’t reject you. 🙂

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