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But Wait ... There's More!: Tighten Your ABS, Make Millions, and Learn How the $100 Billion Infomercial Industry Sold Us Everything But the Kitcheby Remy Stern
Synopses & Reviews
Whether it was a Ginsu knife, George Foreman Grill, Tony Robbins' motivational book, kitchen device by Ron Popeil, or any of the countless other famous products that have been marketed on infomercials over the years, admit it: you or someone you know has bought one—and you're not alone. Last year, one out of every three Americans picked up the phone and ordered a product from a television infomercial or home shopping network, and in But Wait . . . There's More! journalist (and infomercial addict) Remy Stern offers a lively, behind-the-scenes exploration of this enormous business—one that markets the world's most outrageous products using the most outrageous tactics.
Don't let the kitschy exterior fool you: behind the laughable demonstrations, goofy grins, and cheesy dialogue lies an industry larger than the film and music industries combined. The first book of its kind, But Wait . . . There's More! exposes the never-before-told story of the infomercial and home shopping phenomenon in all its excessive glory and its meteoric rise to become one of the most profitable businesses in America.
Along the way, Stern details the history behind the classic products and introduces readers to some of the most famous (and infamous) pitchmen and personalities in the business, including Tony Robbins, Billy Mays, Ron Popeil, Tony Little, Suzanne Somers, Kevin Trudeau, and Joe Francis. He also presents an in-depth look at the business behind the camera—the canny sales strategies, clever psychological tools, and occasionally questionable tactics marketers have used to get us to open up our wallets and spend, spend, spend.
Stern's eye-opening account also offers a penetrating look at how late-night television conquered the American consumer and provides insight into modern American culture: our rampant consumerism, our desire for instant riches, and our collective dream of perfect abs, unblemished skin, and gleaming white teeth. Both a compelling business story and a thoroughly entertaining piece of investigative journalism (with a touch of muckraking and social satire), But Wait . . . There's More! will ensure that you never look at those too-good-to-be-true deals the same way again.
"In this lively expos, journalist Stern dissects the direct-response marketing business (which includes both infomercials and home shopping networks), a $300 billion industry, larger than the film, music and video game industries combined. There's guilty-pleasure revelations aplenty: how the traditional sales pitch adapted to a televisual format by, for example, real-time number tracking that allows network officials to tell on-air talent, through tiny earpieces, that, say, twirling a piece of jewelry around a finger causes sales to spike and how hosts persuade Americans to buy products like the Inside-the-Shell Electric Egg Scrambler, Power Scissors, the Miracle Broom and, of course, the most successful on-air product to date, the celebrity-driven skin-care regime Proactiv. There's psychology here, too: the author describes the mindset of the typical late-night tired consumer, falling for tricks they wouldn't necessarily fall for in a store. Stern is the perfect host to this slightly seedy world, well-informed and 'transfixed by the zany nature of it all.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
New York City-based journalist Stern is a former editor at Radar and the current editor and publisher of the website Cityfile.com; he has written for numerous publications including New York magazine and the New York Post. In his first book, he offers general readers a quick-paced look at the infomercial and home shopping phenomenon and how it has risen to become one of the most profitable businesses in the U.S. The text incorporates insider information through interviews conducted by Stern with inventors, marketers, entrepreneurs, and production personnel from the industry. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Remy Stern is a former editor at Radar and currently the editor and publisher of the Web site Cityfile.com. He has written for numerous publications in the past, including New York magazine and the New York Post. His lifelong fascination with infomercials has led him to buy, among other things, a pasta machine, a vegetable juicer, and a set of booklets and VHS cassettes that assured him he'd be a millionaire in thirty days or less. He lives in New York City. This is his first book.
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