Towards the end of my tenure as Editor-in-Chief of The New Sun, a New York-based spiritual magazine that published monthly in the late 70s, I received a call from a man in Brooklyn looking for a writer. He sold mail-order how-to books that he published in his basement on an old press, and advertised through the classifieds in the National Enquirer. He had just run an ad, as a test, for a book that didn't yet exist, and received thousands of orders. So he needed someone to write a book for him very quickly. I took it on.

The ad he ran said something like this:

“Change Your Luck Overnight:
Send for Free Introductory Material!”

The free introductory material was a four-page leaflet that had also been produced previously in order to sell a product that did not yet exist. The leaflet declared that “This astounding information has been revealed by the Ancient Secrets of the Essenes. Don't make a financial move until you've read it.” The name of the phantom book was, The Manual of Good Luck, for which thousands of people paid $17.95. They were all waiting to receive their book at about the same time I was hired to write it…

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the story
   
     
    He had just run an ad, as a test, for a book that didn't yet exist, and received thousands of orders. So he needed someone to write a book for him very quickly. I took it on.