FEATURE 

If at first you don’t succeed …

No one could accuse Barbara Cardy of not trying again. Even the realisation that consumers of porn prefer pictures to words has not dampened her enthusiasm. In the last of her series, will Barbara strike gold?

By Barbara Cardy

May 2003

Took a stand at a sex therapists’ conference. Met loads of therapists who are going to recommend mag to their clients for arousal purposes. Also met company who have invented a female stimulator (looks like one of those knobbly finger things they use in banks to count money). Possible that I may be able to put a subs leaflet into their boxes which will be sold in Boots stores. Ace route to source!

June 2003

Was filmed as ‘Sexpert’ for ‘Cosmopolitan’s 50 Ways to Please’ TV programme. Was miffed when Private Eye attributed my ‘Anal sex is the new black’ to Cosmopolitan. Have contributed to various other programmes such as ‘How Porn Saved my life’, ‘World’s Best Sex records’ and ‘Most Bizarre Fantasies’. Learnt that some people get turned-on by balloons being popped!

August 2003

Subs are improving nicely with aid from sex therapists. Have had a bit of a set-back as had banked on leaflet insert with an adult toy company, but another adult mag has reserved the whole list for their own campaign! Women’s knobbly aid company has said no to leaflet insert. Contacted female condom manufacturer with same idea, but is a lost cause as most of them get shipped out to Africa.

September 2003

Have been nominated for Erotic awards ‘Best Publication of the Year’ category. Have been contacted by a publisher who wants me to be the editor of a new female-friendly sex mag he has an idea for.

November 2003

Have had loads of meetings with the publisher man and favourite authors although new mag won’t launch until November next year, so no financial injection for some time yet. However, have been given some great advice for In The Buff and have changed the name to The Hot Spot and done a re-design. Has become a simple yet superb collection of short erotic fiction and readers’ fantasies.

December 2003

Have started to write a regular column for Erotic Trade Only.

February 2004

Was sent some R18s for a critique by a film producer who read my column on why porn films are so boring. Was delighted with my observations and gave instructions to the film crew to carry out my suggestions to the letter. Am trying to see if I can get some paid consultancy work in the same field. Was called by high street sex store chain who want to stock The Hot Spot. This could really be the big break I need…

April 2004

High street sex chain said The Hot Spot is too book-like and they don’t do books! Am so frustrated by all these opportunities never coming to fruition and I have neglected to push my own marketing campaigns - subscriptions have begun to slow down! Will plod on for a few more months and then re-assess the situation. Working as a check-out girl in Sainsbury's becoming evermore appealing.

July 2004

Crunch time. Fold or not. I need help to make this a success. Have also heard that another female sex mag is coming onto the market soon, which will beat our new one due out in November. Spoke to editor of InCirculation who suggested I write a letter asking for help to his letters page.

September 2004

InCirculation letter out. Have had two excellent and very encouraging responses from publishers. After several meetings and discussions, the first lot decided that they don’t want to go ahead, but the second is very interested, already deals with adult magazines and has the route to market already established. Everything is now on the up and we’re going for it with gusto in the New Year.

October 2004

The mainstream female-friendly sex mag we were going to launch in November is now going to be delayed until April.

November 2004

Just think, once The Hot Spot goes to all those adult retail outlets, those men will be shoving each other aside in ‘January Sales Manner’ as they try to grab the last copy of The Hot Spot off the top shelves. I may even put the traditional top shelf magazines out of business as the male population becomes avid readers of smut rather than lookers at pictures… How on earth is the postman going to cope with such a heavy sack laden with subs forms and cheques?

December 2004

Eagerly awaiting January…

January 2005

Am feeling despondent. The Hot Spot’s launch onto the top shelf has been met by a blank look by retailers (all men) who say pictures are what their punters want. My competition? Jugs, Asian Babes and Down and Dirty. I am never going to crack the top shelf.

February 2005

So, new plan. I shall crack the book market instead. Have applied for ISBNs rather than ISSNs and will go down that route.

March 2005

Had a call from another publisher to discuss a middle-shelf erotic mag for women. Meeting again next week to discuss the flat-plan. Whether this comes off or not, will still do the book editing idea. Does anyone know a book publisher who wants a jolly good erotic fiction editor?