Yes-No-Dark-320Recently I attacked the just-won’t-die urban legend that has convinced legions of copywriters never to begin a radio commercial with a question.

Some readers partially agreed with me but warned against ever using questions that prompt either a “yes” or a “no” answer.

“After all,” they said, “what if the listener says no? You’ve got nowhere to go then.”

The opening line of your spot is the commercial for the commercial. It’s your one chance to get your targeted listeners to raise their hands and say, “Here I am!”

There are endless instances in which I might begin an ad that is looking for the people who say “no.”

“If you died tomorrow, are you certain that your family’s financial future would be secure, that they wouldn’t have to worry about money?”

If I’m advertising insurance, I’m looking for people who say, “No, I’m not certain of that.”

But what about people who don’t have families? Or people whose families already are financially secure?

I don’t care about them. They’re not the people I want to talk to.

“Are you happy that during (Politician)’s administration, property taxes have doubled, unemployed has increased 50%…and (Politician) has gotten a 75% raise in the salary we pay him?”

In that political campaign spot, I’m trying to get the attention of voters who will respond, “No, I’m not happy about that.”

Yes/no questions are no different than any other element of your radio commercial. Utilized with a clear purpose and skill, they can be an effective tool.

Used unthinkingly and clumsily, they can limit the ad campaign’s effectiveness.


Radio Commercial Critique - 160If you begin your radio commercial by implicitly making a promise to the listener, it’s wise to keep that promise by the end of the spot.

Ralphs Grocery’ radio advertising would benefit from understanding that simple fact.


In the month since our ACX Master Class for audiobook narrators ended, at least 13 students have landed their first paid audiobook gigs.

The Above Statement Requires Fine Print.

One student was offered an audiobook during her first week and another when the class was 3/4 completed. (So those didn’t happen in the month since our class ended.)

A least 4 of those 13+ people accepted 2 gigs. At least one has been awarded 3.

It seems that almost every day, someone in our private Mastermind Group announces having gotten a new audiobook job.

I can’t keep up, but eventually I will post a more detailed tally (complete with “how I did it” narratives from those narrators).

One of the students began the class bemoaning how much he hates hearing his own voice; he was self-conscious about how he sounded. His was a minority opinion, however; he has booked 2 (or is it 3?) jobs so far…

…one of them being a “Stipend” book. (That’s the kind that pays Per Finished Hour and pays royalties.)

Several people were offered books to narrate before the class ended.

But This Is Not About That.

I am not writing about our students (now our esteemed graduates).

Nor am I writing about our ACX Master Class.

I’m writing about you.

You were intrigued by the idea of becoming a professional audiobook narrator. But you were held back by doubt:

“No matter how good the class is, I’ll bet I won’t be able to do it. Other people can do it, but not me.”

“It’s probably a scam. There are no real opportunities left in this world. Especially not for someone like me.”

I Say Unto You This:

Knock it off.

At other times in your life, you learned new things and excelled at them.

You learned how to do radio production? Multi-track audio editing? Voice overs? Copywriting? Entertaining, enlightening or otherwise engaging audiences?

Heck, maybe you excelled at (shudder) Radio Sales.

You haven’t lost your ability to learn. What’s happened is somewhere along the way, you acquired…


Fear pushing someone“I’d love to do (X), but I’m afraid I’ll be overwhelmed. I’m scared I won’t be able to do it.

Here Is The Big Secret.

It’s okay to feel fear.

If you’re not happy with your current situation and there’s something new you want to try “but I’m scared,” you just need to fix your dialogue.

Replace “I’m scared, so I can’t do that”


“I’m scared, and I’m going to do that.”

Waiting until the fear magically “goes away” is a bad plan.

Guess what? Usually the fear goes away after you’ve taken action.

You’ve Already Heard About This, Right?

You know that next week (Tuesday) I’m doing a webinar with a friend who will teach you how to write & publish your own Kindle books.

And to publish them profitably, if that part appeals to you.

(Probably you’ve been wanting to write that book inside you for purely humanitarian reasons. But you could make some money with it, too. Just a thought.)

The webinar is free.

But if you haven’t registered for it yet, it’s because of the stinkin’, lousy fear.

“Yes, I already know what books I’d want to write. No, I don’t think it’s really possible.”

“Maybe Dan’s friend is hugely successful publishing Kindle books. But I’ll bet she has so many advantages over poor me.” (At the webinar, I’ll make sure she shows you what her life was like as a Walmart cashier…before she decided to take charge of her own destiny.)

“Sure, Dan managed to publish a successful Kindle book all by himself. But he’s a genius! (Okay, you got me there. When you’re right, you’re right.)

Look, if you like the idea of writing books and actually getting them published and purchased by people you don’t even know, you don’t yet have to believe you can do it.

If you’d love to be a published author, attend the free webinar. I absolutely guarantee you will learn stuff you can start using immediately.

Whether you choose to use the stuff you’ll learn is up to you. At minimum, however, you’ll discover that you can learn new tricks no matter how old a dog you think you are.

Don’t be kicking yourself afterward, when you hear about the people who weren’t too scared to show up and whose books now are being sold on Kindle. Register for the free Kindle webinar here.

But I Don’t WANT To Be A Best-Selling Author!

Maybe you don’t want to have Amazon publish your books at no expense to you. Maybe you have no interest in this whole “reading” fad.

If that’s the case, don’t waste your time attending the webinar.

Instead, think about what you do want to achieve at this stage in your life. And take the first steps toward making it happen.


How YOU Can Publish Profitably on Kindle

by Dan O'Day on April 17, 2014

Kindle Owl
As you might know, last month I published my first Kindle book.

(Actually, I hope you do know; otherwise, I’ve got to improve my marketing efforts.)

After seven months of *work, to my amazement I finally found myself with my finger poised over the “Publish” button in Kindle.

*It wasn’t seven months of nonstop work. It was sporadic. At times it seemed as though the book would become a lifelong project.

After I’d finished the first draft, a friend introduced me to someone who’s been doing astonishingly well on Kindle.

She has such great ideas related to creating quality books quickly and, of most interest to me, marketing them effectively.

So many things I simply never would have thought of doing.

I like to think my book would’ve made Kindle #1 status even without implementing some of my friend’s ideas; I’ll never know.Barbara Rosenblat Audiobook Narrator

On Tuesday, April 22, we’ll be conducting a free 90-minute webinar about Kindle publishing for my “Dan Saves Radio (People) group, during which she’ll teach you:

  • How to take what you already know how to do and use it to create quality books, quickly
  • How to identify most profitable niches
  • How to write an entire book in less than 3 hours (even if you’re not a writer)
  • How you can get books created for free. (I know you’re skeptical. When you learn her methods, you’ll feel guilty for assuming it must be a scam.)
  • Exactly how you can get a quality book of your own created and published in 2 weeks or less

The webinar is free to attend. We expect it to run around 90 minutes. All you need to do is register here for the free webinar about publishing your own Kindle books profitably.


question mark two peopleA radio copywriting seminar attendee in Pittsburgh told me that as a college student, he once received a failing grade from a professor for turning in a commercial script that began with a question.

“Never begin a commercial with a question!” bellowed the Professional Educator.

You’ve heard that, too, huh?


But his professor offered a reason I hadn’t heard before:

“Who’s going to answer?” he sneered.

Ummm….Only everybody, more or less.

Have you ever been told, “You never should begin a commercial with a question?”

Wait — wait! I just saw you nod your head.

How can you mentally be responding now?

I mean, you’re over there, reading this on your computer monitor.

Meanwhile, I’m writing this from the deck of my 120-foot Hatteras yacht in Marina del Rey, with the seagulls swarming and the late morning breeze stirring my appetite with the aromas from Pete’s Authentic Seaside Hamburger Bistro.

Okay, I don’t own a yacht.

I’m writing this from an Internet cafe in Budapest.

No, seriously, I’m balancing my computer on my lap in a crowded airport lounge in Toronto.

Lies, all of them. But specific enough to paint believable pictures. (You might want to remember to paint vivid, specific pictures in your own ads.)

But here’s what’s important:

Wherever I am right now, you’re not here.

And still you responded to my question, “Have you ever been told, ‘You never should begin a radio commercial with a question?’ ”

Why do you suppose that is?


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Who Owns Whose Words

When you post something on this blog, you retain the right to use your words elsewhere.

I get to use your words elsewhere, too: in a newsletter, book, 3-D hologram, major motion
picture, etc. I'm not saying I will, but it's possible.

But you don't get to take the stuff I write here – even if it's in response to something you
wrote – and use it elsewhere.

Just so you know.

Dan O'Day

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