Stories of success are built on stories of failure.

Edison reputedly went through 6,000 different experiments before he found a lightbulb that worked.

Walt Disney went bankrupt twice and was fired from a newspaper for “not being creative enough.”

Closer to our own interest of information products, is the story of the Little Blue Books, a series of short booklets that sold over 300 million copies in the early part of the century.

It’s owner – Emanuel Haldeman-Julius – was areal genius with one thing in particular.


Before he landed on the name “Little Blue Books”  for the series, he went through several names:

– People’s Pocket Series
– The Appeal Pocket Series
– The Ten Cent Pocket Series
– The Five Cent Pocket Series

The radical thing that he did though,  that most wouldn’t dare to, is toy with the titles of other people’s work.

If something wasn’t selling he wouldn’t just give up on it. He’d use his own expertise to give the title a second breath of fresh air.

When “The Tallow Ball” by Guy de Maupassant sold just 15,000 copies one year, Emanuel decided that he knew more abou titles than the author.

He changed it to “A French Prostitute’s Sacrifice” and sales proved him right.

He sold 54,700 the next year after the title change.

So there’s our first lesson. Don’t give up on a lead magnet until you’ve tested a few titles first.

So how do we come up with great names?

I’ll share something tomorrow that will really help.

It arrived at just the right time so I thin the universe is giving us a hand with this one!

Stephen Pratley
Copy & Conversion Consultant
The Conversion Co.

c/o The Conversion Co., 2a The High Street, Thames Ditton, KT7 0RY, United Kingdom
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