Saturday, December 05, 2020

The Birth of BBB's Big, Bad Billy "Magnum Opus"

 December 5, 2020

   Here's something that makes me very happy.

"Hotter Than A $2 Pistol"

By Ken Peters

   Stuart Rosebrook sent me a sampling of Ken Peters' art work, and the above montage jumped out at me as a possible True West cover. Stuart came up with the possible theme, "A Celebration of Western Pulp" and now you know how cover stories are born.

   Here's a behind-the-scenes-look at how True West magazine house ads are born. Dan the Man and I came up with this house ad for the new Billy the Kid book:

   Nice and clean. Doesn't shout, doesn't hit you over the head, or grovel or beg. Our publisher, Ken Amorosano, thinks this ad is too arty and not strong enough. He thinks it needs to be more hard sell and traditional, like this:

Ken Amorosano's Magnum Opus Ad

   So, who is right? Which ad do you think will sell more books?

What the Hell Does 'Magnum Opus' Even Mean?

"Magnum opus, which entered the English language in the late 18th century, retains the original Latin spelling and the literal meaning is 'great work.' Although the term most often refers to literary productions, it has been used to describe many kinds of great works, including paintings, movies, construction projects, and even surgical techniques."

—Merriam Webster

   Merriam and Webster go on to say that numerous English words have been spawned from the latin term for "great" including Magnitude and Magnanimous and opus has given birth to opulent and operate.

"The buffet is basically like taking your dog to Petco and letting the dog do the shopping. You give him your wallet in the parking lot and go, 'Here's money. Why don't you go in and get whatever you think is the right amount of dog food for you. Use your dog judgement.'"

—Jerry Seinfeld, "Is This Anything?"


  1. The second version sells books...when it comes to sales, hitting people in the head works best! People are hard-headed when it comes to parting with cash.


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