Parkers Paradise is the authors fifth book, and yet it is about the beginning of his writing career. Its a story about the audio-visual business, sight and sound media that takes place in 1950, at WWIIs end. Socha got a lucky break after graduation from college and looking for writing jobs. There werent any. It was a period where America was getting back into peacetime activity, building new automobiles and replenishing consumer products that were rationed and scarce during the war. And the whole world was rushing into competition for our market. So selling jobs were much in demand. Fortunately, an opportunity opened in the sales training and promotion business. They needed a writer-trainee in the audio-visual industry, someone who would work cheap and learn the business. Joe Socha by-passed a fine paying job as a salesman and took on that trainee position. And thats what this book is about.
A special talent is involved in sales training and promotion work. Its not just a matter of writing words. There is the need for applied psychology, being aware of the psychological reasons why people buy. There is knowing how to write copy that is VISUAL, not so easy to do. It is an acquired skill. There is another element involved which separates the men from the boys, as they say. That is to deliver acceptable copy to meet hard deadlines. The author watched many exceptional writers fail because they could not cut the deadlines. Where creativity is involved, its not a matter of putting in more time to do the job because the mind often tends to rebel when pressure is applied. Its a tough combination. A tired mind tends to respond with dull, unacceptable copy.
In Parkers Paradise the author tells a story honest with his experience. He started as a trainee at age 30, for gosh sakes. Most people his age were locked into careers already. In the book you see how the business is run, creating copy, surviving the politics of the business where those in power make a lot of money and resist losing that power.
And how do you handle the client who often does not really have a good idea what he wants in the programs he pays for. Its a matter of communication, trying to read the clients mind, and handling his insecurity and indecision when meeting those deadlines is endangered. A lot of ulcers in this business. And a lot of quitters who just cant handle the heat.
Bear in mind that the story is about the 1950s era when we used TYPEWRITERS. Made duplicate copies with carbon paper. Used erasers to correct mistakes. No word processors in those days.
So whats this Paradise thing? The paradise idea is something anyone can make use of to control stress. Could help the man who is under a lot of pressure on or off the jobto survive that pressure. I think even housewives can use this Paradise system. They work hard at the family business and feel unappreciated.
Read the book. You will find it interesting, very informative, and maybe even cast new light on your tough life, and how to handle it.