It’s one of advertising’s oldest jokes: Every copywriter has an unfinished novel collecting dusk in a desk drawer. But it’s still on the nose—especially now that Miami Ad School and Grey Canada have actually collected a bunch of such false starts from around the world and published them as an anthology of opening passages.
“Chapter One” by the First Chapter Project, now available for pre-order, breathes new life into the old saw, featuring contributions including “The Alphabet Book” by Susan Credle, Global CCO at FCB; “The Book of Mongo” by Tom Christmann, partner and CCO at DiMassimo Goldstein New York; “The Mind’s Eye” by Paul Nagy, CCO at VMLY&R Australia; and “Hemingway,” by Ralph Steiber, founder and creative director at Story Berlin.
For $10 Canadian, you can get a digital copy of the book, with an estimated delivery of August 2019. $20 Canadian buys an actual dead-tree edition, slated for the same date. Initially launched in October 2018, the project is perhaps most impressive for the effort that went into micro-targeting some of advertising’s biggest names (a video on its Kickstarter page—where the goal is already met—recounts tactics like messaging Jeff Goodby “Got Book?” on Instagram).
There’s also an admirable goal behind the gag. After production costs, all proceeds from the novel will go to a scholarship fund for Miami Ad School Toronto to, the creators say, “help other wannabe novelists become successful copywriters.”