A Very Rich Entrepreneur You’ve Probably Never Heard About

There are many ways to get rich as an entrepreneur. One way is to create just the right product at just the right time. A second way is to identify, and then cater to, a neglected niche market. A third way is to introduce a new and attractive marketing strategy.

He made his fortune by doing all three at the same time.

Reiman got his start by working as a freelance writer and dabbling in magazine publishing. In 1970, he noticed that two farming magazines had eliminated their soft “women’s features” and he sensed an opportunity.

He devised a prototype for a magazine called Farm Wife News. To test the idea, he rented a mailing list of 400,000 farmers from an agricultural company. He sent a copy of the prototype to a tenth of the names, offering six issues for $5. The response was so great that he abandoned the next test and sent the sales package to the entire list.

A few years later, he was publishing 11 magazines aimed at the rural market and enjoying revenues of more than $300 million. His titles, with a circulation of roughly 16 million, included Country Woman, Ranch Living, and Taste of Home.

The magazine market in the USA has always been very large. But it has also been very competitive, with dozens of publications on every popular topic. So how did Reiman do it?

The most desired demographic has traditionally been young and urban. But rather than going after them, Reiman marketed to older, rural readers.

And rather than selling advertising, he decided to make his profits solely through subscription sales and renewals.

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Literary Criticism

For every good book, play, or poem, there are probably a half dozen works of criticism written about it. Literary critics tend to fall into groups, characterized by what they think their jobs are. The best criticism is that which seeks to understand and explain a work by analyzing it in its cultural context. But many critics are not happy doing that. So they do other things, such as evaluating literature based on how well it lives up to some moral or political standard. These efforts usually aren’t helpful at all – unless you are a zealot – but they are common. Other critics,wishing to show how smart they are, take a “formalist” approach, analyzing works according to their “linguistic …

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Great Poets

If you read poetry, there are many great American poets to choose from. I recently read a list that recommended the following: Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William Cullen Bryant, and Henry David Thoreau. Among modern and contemporary poets, the list included Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, Louise Bogan, Robert Bly, E. E. Cummings, T. S. Eliot, Jane Hirshfield, Langston Hughes, W. S. Merwin, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Mary Oliver, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams. I don’t think Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, Jane Hirshfield, or Louise Bogan belong on this list. They are successful writers among academics and, in Angelou’s case, among the popular crowd but they are not great writers. Missing from the list …

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