Friday, July 07, 2006

News: A Passion for Mysteries Spawns New Publisher

Susan Adams, writing for Forbes Magazine in its Entrepreneurs section, recently profiled Maggie S. Topkis whose passion for mysteries led to the creation of Felony & Mayhem Press, a small publishing house Topkis runs out of her cluttered two-bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village.

Adams writes that in business barely a year but with a list of 42 titles, including one hit, Topkis seems to be on her way to profitability. By the end of 2006, she predicts, she'll be breaking even on annualized sales of $1 million and paying herself a $50,000 salary. In the tightfisted world of publishing, where chain stores and online discounters make it tough to operate in the black, that's no small feat.

Topkis puts out paperbacks only, with 11-point type and generous margins. "The market for our books is definitely over 35," says Topkis, who is 46. "They've got older eyes." She sells mostly to non-chain stores; her list is packed with books she adores. "My stuff is pitched to women, and 60% to 70% of the line is British," she says. "Prose-driven, intricately plotted stuff."

Adams continues by providing a detailed summary of the company's finances, including start-up costs, unit costs, other expenses.

Read the entire article on Forbes.com here.

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