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how to get publicity cover

How to Get Publicity in Newspapers

Submitter: Have I got a book for you.  It’s from my own library, but is available in a number of public libraries.  The book could be an all-time prize winner.  I spotted it in the window of a small independent bookstore.   I am a magic history buff, and recognized the author’s name (who has written a few handy reference books for magic historians).  I bought it for five bucks and asked the proprietor why he put it in the window.   “It’s just so funny,” he replied.  “A book called *How to Get Publicity* which features the name and picture of someone that no one has ever heard of.”   I realized he was right.  And the content is even more ridiculous.

-There’s actually a chapter called “Cheesecake” with an (in)appropriate photo to go along with it.

The Broomstick photo is a stunt recommended by the author for sure-fire press attention.  The secret: the broomstick is sawed in half before the photo shoot.  The author describes this as a stunt only for publicity purposes — it’s not even a real illusion.  Careful observation of the photo reveals the secret: the broomstick isn’t even straight!

My favorite chapter, by far, is the Chapter 5, which extols the virtues of “Cheesecake.”  An odd chapter for a book printed in 1975, even if it’s a reprint of a 1961 work.   Chapter 5 refers the reader to the cheesecake photo labeled “Figure 3,” which — mysteriously — appears 25 pages later and after —  in this order — figures 4, 6, 5, 12 and 2.

Holly: How corny!  The way to get attention as a young magician is to do really cool tricks – like David Blaine or Criss Angel.  Did people really fall for lame tricks like the broom one in the 70’s?  Now you have to get run over by a steamroller while laying on your stomach on a bed of glass or stand frozen in a block of ice in Time’s Square to get attention…and those tricks deserve attention!

daily telegraph headline

magic trick



  1. Seriously, this is from the 70s? Why does the guy on the cover look like he’s from the 40s?

  2. Take a look @ the sub headlines:

    “Wanted by the F.B.I” I think that can get you publicity in newspapers and other media without any magic.

    “Broom-stick penetration” Atrocious choice of word

    Also, look at that dudes eyebrow!!

    @Cheryl: OMG I didn’t even look at the publication date! This is even worse than that “Rules to be Cool” book, who on earth would’ve picked up this then? Magic changes as much as any other technology and the broomstick thing was undoubtedly lame by then.

    Finally, I wonder what the “other media” was, Twitter >:)

  3. In this day and age no body cares if your picture is in the news papers… chances are in a few years there may not be any more newspapers

  4. The book was first published in 1961 under the title “Mightier than the bullet: A publicity handbook for young magicians”.

  5. “Broom Stick Penetration” – “Just for Pleasure”… well, OK, whatever floats your boat.
    And maybe I’m just getting old, but I was slightly disappointed that chapter 5 didn’t flat-out suggest bribing sub-editors with actual cheesecake.