January 11, 2012Lots of meetings yesterday and today. Budget meetings and today we had a catered lunch from Rubio's to celebrate the launching of our Icons issue, which is at the printer.
Both of them were quite helpful. Dita had even taken notes for us. During our questioning, Lonnie said a very succinct thing. When asked about trail riding (we wanted to know if certain trails are more interesting than others) Lonnie replied, "It's not the trail, it's what happened on the trail."
In other words the history. It doesn't get any simpler, or profound, than that!
I have also been tabulating sell-thru stats for most of our covers going back 12 years. For the past two days I have been putting post-it-notes on each cover with the sell-thru percentages on them. The exercise is quite an eye opener. The highest selling covers feature, not surprisingly, the icons, like Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Butch & Sundance, Custer, Jesse James and Wild Bill Hickok. Most have record sales. There are some exceptions. We did a "Is The Wyatt Earp Era Over?" cover and it was a dog, which probably says our readers don't want to talk about the era, they want us to tell them ABOUT the era (it's not the trail, it's what happened on the trail.)
Western movie stars do not work for us, with the notable exceptions of John Wayne and one cover on the movie Tombstone, with Val Kilmer as Doc and Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp on it.
In fact, the incredible popularity of John Wayne is jaw dropping. He defies gravity and all categories. When we were in Vegas for Cowboy Christmas, after about the 100th person mentioned The Duke I finally realized something I never really knew.
"John Wayne is way north of celebrity and somewhere just south of Jesus."