A year or so ago, I revived an old idea of mine, one I had conceived years ago. I had not acted upon the idea because the cost to do so was beyond my financial means at the time. But the advent of social media and its stunning successes in business development and marketing success suggested the time was right last August to give it a try. I believed the idea, which no one else had latched onto, had legs.
I had conceived of, and a year ago decided to establish, a series of magazines dedicated to an expansive enterprise which had not received serious support from the publishing world.
This series of magazines were to be modeled after other, highly successful, publications that examined current trends in specific fields of endeavor such as psychology, medicine, adoption, cancer treatment, sailing, and so forth. The commonality among those magazines was that each contained the word “today” in their titles.
All of these real-world periodicals explored new developments in their respective disciplines. Inasmuch as a number of respectable publishing houses and their marketing experts had seen the value in such magazines, I felt confident that my idea would be successful if I followed their proven strategies.
Hence, I decided to form a holding company that would dedicate itself to the advancement of specialists in a market that was, at least, under-served and might even be considered un-served by the publishing world: crime.
I reasoned that practitioners of various forms of crime might find similar resources to be valuable to their endeavors. I decided my holding company would be called Criminality Today, and would begin by publishing a quarterly conspectus of advances in the following fields of endeavor:
- auto theft;
- home invasion;
- bank robbery;
- white collar crime; and
- identity theft
As you might imagine, though, my ideas generated nothing but ridicule. Entrepreneurs often find their brilliant ideas encounter cool receptions. My experience was even worse; the reception was frigid! One of my friends, a man I had expected would wholeheartedly support my new enterprise, said this to me:
“It’s not that your plan is so utterly amoral—I mean, I understand the reality that business and morality are mutually exclusive—it’s that you’re so damn upfront about it! Nobody is going to advertise in those magazines. Nobody is going to subscribe. At least pretend you’re helping the common guy by alerting the public how criminals succeed in doing their dirty deeds. That way, you’ll look like you’re doing a good deed, but in fact you’ll be passing ‘how-to information along to your target demographic.”
This was from a guy who reconditioned flood damaged cars and sold them as new. Well, he did know his stuff.
That notwithstanding, though, and the other taunts I heard from everyone I told, I decided to forge ahead, beginning with online journals:
Auto Theft Today, targeted toward the professional who finds it increasingly difficult to keep pace with technological developments in automotive theft deterrent systems;
Home Invasion Today, a magazine for the discerning criminal who needs to know the latest tips and tricks for avoiding occupied dwellings during his or her professional undertakings;
Mugging Today, aimed at the more violent offender who wishes to keep abreast of current practices in illicit crimes against persons;
Bank Robbery Today, a hard-hitting practical how-to guide that features monthly interviews with professionals who have retired from their careers (they got caught) and with some of the more astute players who continue to astonish the critics;
White Collar Crime Today, a must-read periodical for white collar criminals confronting a topsy-turvy world in which successful white collar criminals must also be politicians, and vice-versa, WCCT features interviews with well-known white collar criminals whose political connections spared them the indignities of prison;
Identity Theft Today, designed for the sophisticated identity theft professional who understands the need to keep abreast of fast-developing new deterrent and facilitation technologies.
The success of the endeavor speaks for itself. To date, each of the now one-year-old publications has a paid circulation of more than one million.
To date, I have taken on the role of editor, publisher, director of advertising sales, director of circulation, and chief financial officer. As one might imagine, those multiple roles are taking their toll on me, so I have decided to engage a staff to assist me.
I am now seeking experienced editors for each of the publications. Applicants should have impeccable editorial credentials, a strong work ethic, and experience in the fields of endeavor appropriate to the publication for which they are seeking to serve. I am seeking advertising sales people, as well; they will be paid on commission and must be willing to sign a code of standards and ethics.
To apply, send a PDF file of a series of pages that show your name, Social Security number, full address, credit card numbers and corresponding expiration dates and PINs, and a signed blank bank check to, firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was going to continue writing this, getting into describing the advertisers, but I’ve grown tired. Plus, some of the advertisers I was considering might not find it amusing to find their ads described in this piece. 😉