Recipe for Making a Best Seller


Oct. 13, 1917, Vol. LXXIII No. 1878

AVOID the sharp, epigrammatic style; it breeds thought. Prolixity is the mother of revenue.
Avoid merely “good writing”; Flaubert and Poe died very poor because of this fad.
If you must tell the truth about things consult the post-office inspector first.
Irony and the public do not mix; you must choose.
You cannot film an “inevitable ending.”
Your heroines must be either women with pasts or doll babies—there are, of course, no other kinds.
Raise babble to the Nth degree—the critics will call it the “gift of dialogue.”
In no case shall thou commit lèse-sentimentalité.