f youre bashful and easily embarrassed, please lay this thing aside.
If I had good sense, I wouldnt write this or even mention it because, as a cautious friend once said, Many a man has been noosed for less. But if Im doing wrong, please keep in mind that this is not a slam against editors, only an attempt to help them and myself and our brethren. And it isnt a slam against publishers because publishers cant do anything about it either, at the moment. And it isnt a slam against pulps because I like pulps and I write pulps and I think many of them are vastly underrated as literature.
I speak, and God help me, about pulp advertising, and I speak about it in the terms two thousand writers speak about it and I think its about time somebody said something, and right now I happen to be all burned up.
In a recent issue, a novelette of mine was carried over into the back of one of our pulps. Right at the point where the heroine was being very shy and where the hero was being good and pure and saving her virtue, I saw this ad:
THE FORBIDDEN SECRETS OF SEX ARE DARINGLY REVEALED
Away with false modesty. At last a famous doctor has told all the secrets of sex in frank, daring language. No prudish beating about the bush, no veiled hints, but TRUTH... .
Imagine my gentle heroines embarrassment when she was confronted with that!
It has been said before and often that the pulps have to have advertising of some kind, but no one has bothered to explain to me just why a group with half a million guaranteed circulation has to take that kind.
And somebody has said someplace that these ads have to appear somewhere and theres really nothing wrong with the ads, either. Theyre just out of place.
Pulps, bless em, print the cleanest stories which appear on the stands as a whole. Pulps have taboos which are the run-of-the-mill in a lot of slick offices.