Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Trade Ya

Probably one of the most bizarre niches of modern publishing, besides modern publishing, is that of the trade magazine. This was brought home a few days ago by a friend who sent a link to something called "Cocktail Monthly" and wondered aloud how many recipes for cosmopolitans one really needed?

Now publishing in and of itself is pretty weird and has lately let its weirdness show a little to the general public. In other words, we who don't give a shit who edits what or whom. Just give us a good book and we might come back for more.

Regan Books wanted to publish "If I did It" by OJ. A "fictional" account by the acquitted of what the crime might have consisted of if he had actually done it. The book was sub-titled "No Shit Sherlock." The most telling quote I ever heard about that whole affair was an L.A. resident who said: "They found him innocent when he did the crime."

James Frey of course published "A Million Tiny Lies, Uh, Pieces." Bunny afficionados, I hereby swear on an episode of Oprah that everything you read here, save for a few cat stories and whatever the old man was ever up to, is fiction.

You can't make up the old man and you can't imagine a cat that bizarre unless you take some sort of halucinogenic.

But back to Cocktail Monthly and the rest of the trade world. I had a friend who's company owned something called "Pizza Retailer." A trade pub on how to sell pizza, presumably. Ok, that's exactly what it was. Just like we get "Coffee Retailer" once a month down at Camp Barrista. How to sell more coffee, more profitably. Well, jack up your prices and control every clock in town such that it doesn't advance beyond 9 am. How's that for starters? Ok. A little over-simplified but lets face it, no colorful poster will ever replace a well planted rumor that Captain Ahab's first mate launches snot rockets into the espresso pod. False as that may be of course, its just one of a million tiny pieces.

All right, this blog was to have been a short post listing the top five fictional trade magazines. Trouble is I'm having so much fun lambasting along the way I can't seem to stop myself. So many juicy targets, so little time.

Lets start though, here are some entirely fictional trade magazines. Oh, and if I've stolen your b to b launch, you may want to re write your business plan. After all, do you want to explain to your VC that proprietary information was pre-empted by a giant rabbit?

I thought not. Bunny on.

5: Drain Snaker's Journal: A newsletter for those charged with retrieving errantly flushed Playmobil figures regularly so Mr. Hanky doesn't show up for a repeat performance.

4: Organ Digest: Don't even think it. Every church has a musical instrument that needs regular polishing. As do we all.

3: Chad Counter's Review: A publication for cross-eyed, tired Floridians.

2: Drinking Daily: For those of us who can't wait for Cocktail Monthly.

1: Whore World: The oldest trade magazine around.


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