Golden Rules for Direct Advertising

Often clients convey a story of an unsuccessful direct mail advertising campaign. Clients figure because it was tried once it will never work. There are many elements to direct advertising. Below are some of the golden rules to consider in your next campaign:

1.      The list – In both email and snail mail the list must be accurate. You can waste a lot of money with snail mail if it is not. If using email make sure you have permission to send the email or in other words, it is an opt-in list. Finally, make sure the recipients are targeted correctly. Sending an expensive offer to a list of low-income people or products targeted for women to men is a sure way to fail.

2.      The first sentence – Imagine driving by a billboard on a highway. How much time did you have to look at the ad without hitting the car in front of you? That is about the amount of time a perspective customer will spend on reading your direct ad. Make sure your first sentence is to the point, state the offer or the question you want the customer to realize efficiently. Do not bury the words in pictures or odd fonts. Keep it simple and direct. This is especially important with email. Most user delete spam and other email in a couple seconds.

3.      The hook – At this point you have enough attention to continue reading. The best direct ads create excitement and realization of the benefit of the product or service. If you cannot create excitement how can you expect a person to part with hard earned cash. Some tips are: keep the benefit to the customer in mind, use clean easy to read type, breakdown the information into simple chunks of information.

4.      The follow up – OK, the perspective customer is interested, the fish is on the line. It is a shame to lose them now. Create a simple step-by-step process for the perspective client to contact you or fill out a form to apply, etc. Walk the customer through the process one step at a time. Don’t assume anything.

5.   The Close – In closing your direct mail piece provide a way to get off the email list. You don’t want to brand your company in a negative way. Also repeat your benefit / offer. Many people who are interested skip the meat of the letter and go right to the end to signup, etc. Finally, repetition is important. Send your ad or a similar ad out five to seven times. It takes that long for most people to notice an advertisement.

Amazon Kindle ver 1 Screen Saver

The Kindle can view pictures and you can upload images to the screen saver function. As you know pictures on the first version of the kindle are low resolution so black and white or grayscale images work best. The image screen is 800 x 600 pixels but images look best at 550 x 450 pixels. Total image size has to be less than 64k, JPG, GIF or PNG.

To upload an images do the following:
1) With your Kindle connected to you computer, make a folder (with lower case letters) on your Kindle called “pictures”.
2) Create a subfolder and put the images in it.
3) In Home screen press Alt-Z. A new “Folder” should appear as a book. Open it to view your pictures.

To user your images as a screen saver:
1)       Upload images to your Kindle above. Use the folder names “pictures” with a sub folder “screensavers”
2)       From the Kindle home page Press alt-z to create a new book called “screensavers” which you can find at the end of your book list.
3)       Click through each picture by clicking the “next – page” button. On each picture press alt-shift-0 (that is zero). This will set the image as a screen saver.

To delete screen saver images:
To delete your images from the screen saver you have to go to a hidden folder call screen_saver. It is in the systems folder. You will have to set you computer to show hidden files to see it.

Amazon Kindle ver 1 Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts

From anywhere on your Kindle
Alt-Shift-R reboot Kindle
Alt-Shift-. restart GUI
Alt-Shift-G make screenshot – only works with SD card.


Alt-Shift-M Minesweeper
Alt-Z rescan picture directories
Alt-T show time


Alt-B toggle bookmark
Alt-T spell out time
Alt-0 enable/disable slideshow
Alt-1 start slideshow (if enabled)
Alt-2 stop slidehow
Alt-PageForward/PageBackward go to next/prev annotation or one “chunk” (1/20th of a book) forward or backward


411 show diagnostics data
511 run loopback call test
611 diagnostic data service call
126 Lab126 team members

Font List

J show/hide justification options

Picture viewer

Alt-Shift-0 set current picture as screensaver
F toggle fullscreen mode


I,J,K,L up,left,down,right
M mark mine
R restart
Space open cell
Scroll move cursor up/down
Alt-Scroll move cursor left/right
H return to Home screen

Text input

Alt-Backspace clear all
Alt-H/Alt-J move cursor
(the following don’t work in search field for some reason)
Alt-6 ?
Alt-7 ,
Alt-8 :


It seems there is a location capability (GPS?) in the CDMA module. I cannot check it as I’m not in USA but the following shortcuts are programmed inside the browser.
Alt-1 show current location in google maps
Alt-2 find gas station nearby
Alt-3 find restaurants nearby
Alt-5 find custom keyword nearby
Alt-D dump debug info to the log and toggle highlight default item
Alt-Z toggle zone drawing and show log

Audio Player
Alt-F next
Alt-P play/stop

Search commands

These command work in the search field. You can enter only beginning of the command if that’s enough for it to be unique.

Public commands (always available)


To learn more go to

Free eBook Sites

The following links are to sites that offer free books you can downlowd to your reader.

  • Baen Free Library — Over 100 free Science Fiction/Fantasy books, mostly from baen books. Available in several unencrypted, non-DRM formats: HTML, Rocket, Ebookwise, Mobipocket, RTF and Microsoft Reader.
  • BeBook catalog — These are PDF books properly sized for 6″ readers. The also have plain text directly from Gutenberg.
  • BooksInMyPhone — Hundreds of Public Domain and Creative commons books that can be read on java enabled ‘dumb’ cell phones.
  • FeedBooks — Public Domain or CC licensed books available in ePUB, mobi, pdf, custom pdf, and pdf pre-formatted for Sony and Iliad. Users can add books and write book reviews. RSS feeds and Sudoku for your e-ink readers.
  • — Free eBooks mostly in PDF and EXE format. They have an RSS feed that can deliver eBooks.
  • Girlebooks — Free ebooks by women writers, formatted into PDF, LIT, PDB and plain text.
  • Gutenberg Canada — Canada has different copyright laws than the US. These eBooks are public domain in Canada. content is HTML and TXT.
  • Internet Archive:Text — Free Books from a variety of sources, most available as scanned PDFs and OCRed plain text.
  • ManyBooks.Net — Free eBooks, in a variety of formats, mostly from Project Gutenberg. Formates include: Kindle, PDF, PDF large print, eReader, Doc, Mobipocket, Plucker, iSilo, zTXT, iPod Notes, iRex Iliad PDF, Sony lrf, custom PDF, custom HTML, RTF, Newton, TCR, RocketBook, iPhone PDF, iPhone, Mobipocket mobi, iPhone bookmarklet, JAR file. They provide excerpts and sometimes a book description. They allow readers to leave book reviews.
  • Memoware — Another giant collection of texts. This one is not just classic texts, but does include classics. The advantage of this site is that you can usually find a PalmDOC or iSilo text for most of the books. Other PDA formats are also supported on some books. They have their own excellent guides for many aspects of ebook reading on PDAs. It’s a great resource even if you don’t download any of their books.
  • MobileRead uploads — 5,000+ postings in LRF, MOBI, IMP, and miscellaneous other formats. Many of these are hand checked versions of the highest possible quality. They have been prepared by MobileReader users.
  • Munseys — The new name of BlackMask. 20,000+ titles in a variety of formats.
  • Project Gutenberg — Thousands of out-of-copyright books available for free, with more being added every month. This is a huge collection of classic texts that is sure to include your favorites. It is growing all the time, and the most popular books are even available on a CD or DVD that you can receive for free if you don’t have adequate online access. You might even want to consider donating a small amount to support their ongoing work to expand their library. And don’t miss their page on converting texts for PDAs and eReaders.
  • Project Runeberg — Project Runeberg is a volunteer effort to create free electronic editions of classic Nordic (Scandinavian) literature and make them openly available over the Internet.
  • Stanford Collection — Documents and some eBooks – check the dime novels and medieval collection.
  • The – click on digital for Bookseller supplements. The click on PDF to download the book.
  • The Fifth Imperium — CD-ROM images. Mostly the images are of the free CD-ROMs included with some Baen Books. Baen Books allows the CD-ROMs to be copied and distributed for free. Every CD-ROMs contains several complete novels in HTML format, and some have extras, like MP3 readings. All CD-ROMs also contain artwork for the CD-ROM itself.
  • University of Virginia Electronic Text Center — Free online HTML collection with some Adobe Acrobat, Palm Reader, and Microsoft Reader formatted books available. Hosting some books I believe are not found elsewhere online. 2,100 eBooks available.
  • Finding Free eBooks — Frequently updated, links to lots of free ebooks with descriptions and file types available; also links to time limited promotional give-aways. Categorized and searchable. Leave comments and ratings.
  • Free Books — Really big list of links to eBook sites, with descriptions.
  • Free Tech Books — Links to free computer science, engineering and programming books.

To see updates to this list go to