Tuesday, October 15, 2002

October 14, 2002
More flak from friends and readers saying my journal entries are too negative and will only drive people away from the magazine and the biz. Got a long E-mail from a publisher in Washington saying he felt my pain from reading the business journal entries but it will drive customers (both readers and advertisers) away because it appears True West is a sinking ship. He said he even declined to subscribe. Needless to say, that is not the effect I was hoping for.

Well, if you’ve read the journal history all the way to the end, you know that it has a happy ending. We are in record ad sales territory and our newsstand sales have tripled. But, still I took the advice to heart (I have several friends who are successful business people—okay, it's Russ and Wendy Shaw— and they agree with the E-mail). So I called our website guru, Bernie and told him of my dilemma and told him I was considering taking down the business history part of the journal. I asked his advice. Here’s what he said:

"Open Book Management" was the term I came up with to describe one aspect of your journal. I'm not an expert on Bloggers [Web log= blog it is the format we use to put up the journal entries] but I'm not aware of anyone who is using an online journal to discuss, among other things, the daily management of their business. Who knows what may come of this, but I think it's great. How can you go wrong with telling the truth and speaking from the heart. In this instance you are truly a pioneer of the web. Keep emphasizing the True in True West! I see your business in terms of the town of Tombstone. True West magazine is main street on Sunday with everyone in their finest. But if you travel the back streets you will find the real characters of the West. The website does not have the social standing of the magazine and so it can dare to travel the back streets and portray a tiny bit of what really fascinates us about the West.”

A perfect example of everyone being about half-right. Who do I listen to? Is my journal (the business history part) too negative? Did you get the impression we are going out of business when you read it? Drop me a line at my home address: Bozebell@aol.com and let me know what you think. Thanks.

Good day today. Gus and I are slaving away on Classic Gunfights. The Ingalls fight is very deadly, with three U.S. marshals dying in the battle.

I came home and painted at lunch, got some good passages for the Keirland Commons paintings. Worked until around seven. Got a massage from Christie at 4:30 ($50 house check).

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