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  Behind the Scenes 

In the author's own words this page presents the story behind the book. Here is Jerry Kirkpatrick's comments about In Defense of Advertising.

Cover of In Defense of Advertising“I first became aware of the social and economic criticisms of advertising in graduate school in the late 1970s. It particularly bothered me that business professors, and even those in the field of marketing, would take shots at advertising, referring to it almost as some kind of powerful demon. It soon became apparent to me that the hostility was motivated by the philosophies of socialism and altruism, with a thick underlay of the epistemology of logical positivism. I wrote a position paper titled ‘The Economist’s Attitude toward Marketing,’ in which I described the Neoclassical, Chicago, and Austrian schools' positions, siding, of course, with the Austrians. I was told by my reviewing committee that this was not a position paper. They passed me, I think, somewhat reluctantly. I always thought that In Defense of Advertising could have been my PhD dissertation, but in my school theoretical topics were not considered ‘real research.’

“In 1985 I presented a lecture at The Jefferson School of Philosophy, Economics, and Psychology in San Diego. The title was ‘The Philosophic and Economics Criticisms of Advertising.’ This gave me the outline for the book. In the fall of 1985, I prepared a paper titled ‘A Philosophic Defense of Advertising’ and submitted it to the Journal of Advertising. It was trashed by one reviewer, but a second one thought it was good. The editor sided with the favorable review. The paper was published in June 1986. I followed that up with a paper to the same journal called ‘A Refutation of Advertising's Alleged Monopoly Power: an Austrian Perspective.’ A new editor sent the paper to three reviewers, one of whom trashed it outright and the other two said it needed to be rewritten in their own images. I did not comply and the paper was never accepted by that journal. A portion of it was eventually presented at an academic conference in 1997.

“After my experiences with the academic review process, I thought that a book would be a better path to follow. Sometime in the late 1980s I began to write the book with the working title A Philosophic and Economic Defense of Advertising. Around 1990 or ’91, I changed the working title to Advertising: Beacon of Capitalism. The manuscript was completed in the fall of 1992. In December, after examining the Writer's Market directory for prospective publishers, I submitted proposals to five. Four rejections came back, but the editor at Quorum Books, an imprint of Greenwood Publishing Group, called me and said that he was ‘quite taken’ with my proposal, but that the title was too flag wavy and had to go. Based on a paragraph summary of the book that I had written, the editor came up with the present title and subtitle. The book was published in March of 1994.

“I was happy to be published, but was never happy with the price of the book: $45 in 1994, $75.95 in the spring of 2006. I had always wanted the book to be available in paperback. When sales of the hardcover slowed to a trickle in the early 2000s, I consulted a lawyer at the Authors’ Guild about how to ask for the return of the work's rights to me. In June 2006 Greenwood reverted all rights and I began my excursion in self-publishing. I have to say that I have enjoyed this venture immensely, even though I have spent more hours on the project than on any other in the past. Self-publishing—because of the steep learning curves involved and sheer amount of knowledge that must be acquired—is not for everyone. Since my days of living and working in New York City, I have long had an interest in printing technology and in printing and mailing something to some kind of customers. In the ensuing years, I never knew exactly what that might be. In 1980 I bought a book on self-publishing, but had nothing to publish. In February 2006 I bought the latest edition of the same book (The Self-Publishing Manual by Dan Poynter). This time I had something that could take advantage of the knowledge in that book (and many others). TLJ Books was formed in July 2006 and the paperback edition of In Defense of Advertising was published in January 2007.”

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