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Woman dives into publishing business

By Katharine Alden
The Daily Times-Call

LONGMONT — Unpredictable.

From weather to business forecasts, that seems to be the best word experts can summon.

But Longmont native Candy Campbell is not afraid of the precarious.

In March, Campbell — through her fledgling publishing company, Siegel Media — plans to launch a bimonthly business magazine called North City Business that covers “the up and coming” in Boulder and Broomfield counties.

Are the dollars out there to support a glossy start-up?

Folio magazine’s outlook for the magazine industry in 2003 is tentatively positive.

Although the magazine cites a drastic upturn in magazine advertising sales, the general industry forecast hinges on the possibility of a war with Iraq.

Campbell has found local believers as well. Sixty-nine advertisers are willing to take a chance on the premier issue of NCB.

After nine years in publishing, Campbell believes she knows what people want to read.

“People are tired of bad news,” said Campbell. “They want to hear success stories, personal profiles of people they aspire to be.”

Campbell is depending on like-minded entrepreneurs as subjects for her copy.

“People are hungry for inspiring doers who are willing to take chances,” said Campbell, counting herself among them.

Campbell initially based her business plan for Siegel Media on an ambitious multimillion-dollar budget but has since modified it based on the $500,000 she has raised.

Instead of 15 launches in three years, Campbell would like to introduce five new publications in the same timeframe.

She also opted to work with freelance writers rather than pay a full-time editorial staff.

“That’s how companies survive,” said Campbell. “You find alternative ways to solve problems.”

NCB is Campbell’s latest venture into the magazine publishing world, but not her first.

Campbell started a national bimonthly gift and gourmet magazine called By Design in 1997 that lasted three years before a bad business partnership forced her to merge with Virgo Publishing. She edited Gourmet Business Magazine and InnSights Magazine at Virgo, but her own title was dissolved.

The experience with the media mogul empowered Campbell to try again on her own, she said.

Campbell notes that Virgo grew from one title to 35 in 10 years, and she thinks she can, too.

“Women make up a large percentage of small businesses in the United States; we don’t make up a large portion of CEOs,” Campbell said. “My publication is a reflection of what I’m trying to be.”

Katharine Alden can be reached at 303-776-2244, Ext. 389, or by e-mail at kalden@times-call.com.