Publish effectively on the web and in print – Communications Strategy, Research, Writing, Editing, Design, Digital/Print Production Supervision

Before You Roll the Dice …

By Suzanne Harris, President, Magnificent Publications, Inc.

Dan Kohan, you sly devil.

The proprietor of Sensical Design, a frequent collaborator, took issue with our post about Amazon’s wireless reading device, Kindle, and its pro’s and con’s versus traditional print publication. He chided us for neglecting the self-publishing option and its many advantages for certain writers. As an example, he cited a classic in the field, the Complete Guide to Successful Publishing by Avery Cardoza (3rd ed. 2003).

What Dan didn’t say is that, if you explore Cardoza’s career, you quickly discover the true secret to successful publishing. It’s finding your niche and taking total control of it. Avery Cardoza, a mathematical wizard from an early age, began building his empire in 1991 with The Basics of Sports Betting and The Basics of Bingo.

He has been on a roll ever since. According to Amazon, Cardoza has 20-some books to his credit and considers himself the world’s foremost authority on gambling. With titles on baccarat, poker (including Texas hold ’em and video poker), craps, blackjack, slots, and casino strategies, he utterly dominates the how-to market for those who would strike it rich at the gaming tables.

Having learned a thing or two about the culture of gambling, Cardoza soon found a natural way to expand his franchise. He launched a magazine and a website designed to appeal to a gamblin’ man.

Go to, and you’ll see a young (male) risk-taker’s dream come true. For openers, the site architecture is based on the Seven Deadly Sins. Lust: An up-and-coming movie starlet. Vanity: A fashionable new cool weather coat. Gluttony: inventive dishes using Beluga caviar. Sloth: Digital cameras. And so on. You get the idea.

It’s sleek, it’s tony, it’s ever so slightly risqué. Hugh Hefner now has a worthy successor. And that’s the true guide to successful publishing. Know your audience and give them what they want—everything they want.

Of course, Avery Cardoza’s natural gift for gambling helped him find the perfect niche. Most would-be publishers need to search a little harder. Not all fields can be so neatly parsed.

Men are easy. Publishing is hard.

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