The Pulp Paper Puzzle by L. Ron Hubbard

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f you’re bashful and easily embarrassed, please lay this thing aside.

      If I had good sense, I wouldn’t write this or even mention it because, as a cautious friend once said, “Many a man has been noosed for less.” But if I’m 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 isn’t a slam against publishers because publishers can’t do anything about it either, at the moment. And it isn’t 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 it’s 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 heroine’s 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 there’s really nothing wrong with the ads, either. They’re 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.

The Pulp Paper Puzzle continued...


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