Jon Jordan: Crimespree Magazine
KLS: Tell us a little bit about you:
JJ: I'm from Milwaukee Wisconsin, born and raised. My Dad was a machinist working in the family business, and I also still work some hours doing the same at Jordan Machinery. I love to cook, I do go outside, but much prefer to be inside.
I also much prefer nighttime. My ideal schedule would be going to bed around 4:40 am and getting up around 10:00 am.
KLS: How did Crimespree Magazine come to be?
JJ: Ruth and I were doing some things for websites about mystery and we wanted more control. We didn't want another website that would get lost in the hundreds of mystery websites out there. We talked to a few friends and the agreed to help out so we just kind of rolled the dice and ran with it. It helps an awful lot that a good buddy from high school is a master printer. Rick at Digital Graphics really enabled us (and still does) to live this kind of dream.
KLS: What do you consider to be your greatest success at Crimespree so far?
JJ: I love that we are helping people to discover authors we love. We give someone we really enjoy reading attention in the magazine and other people start to catch on and buy the books and spread the word more. Helping authors find a bigger audience really rocks.
I love hearing from readers who tell me they went and bought an author's whole backlist because of something we've done.
KLS: Your biggest regret (mistake)?
JJ: So far, I don't think there are any. I can't think of anything that makes me say "I wish I had done that, or I wish I hadn't."
KLS: What part of the business brings you the most satisfaction?
JJ: Hearing from new authors when they see reviews or something we've written about them. The excitement when they realize someone out there gets what they are doing.
KLS: The most headaches?
JJ: Trying to grow the readership is something that always seems to be the hardest. It goes in spurts and is always a little bigger each issue, but we never really thought about that before we started.
KLS: Did you have any mentors who helped you along the way?
JJ: Lots of people have been there with support and encouragement. Kate Stine (Mystery Scene Magazine) has been wonderful. A lot of bookstores have been great, Once Upon a Crime in Minneapolis in particular. Pat and Gary are amazing. And almost every single author we've met has been wonderful with only one or two exceptions.
KLS: Your magazine is extremely popular with both readers and writers. How do you determine the split in what you offer your subscribers and fans?
JJ: It's not really a decision as much as a lucky accident. We don't really consciously try for the balance we magically achieve. We really just look for stuff that we find interesting.
KLS: As a key genre magazine you certainly deal with a lot of authors. What advice would you give them for achieving longevity in the industry?
JJ: Be patient, be aggressive, but not too aggressive. And get out there and meet the readers.
KLS: You are a huge advocate for the mystery genre, are there any authors who play a key role in instilling that love of the genre in you personally?
JJ: Meeting Ian Rankin and Val McDermid and discovering how wonderful they were was a big step. Max Allan Collins talking to me like an equal when I was just another reader/fan was also huge.
KLS: What do you think will be your greatest challenge in the coming years?
JJ: Keeping the magazine fresh while taking on other projects, like Ruth's doing Bouchercon this year with Judy Bobolik. We keep adding more to our plate. We are going to more and more conferences each year and we are now also helping to run Murder and Mayhem in Muskego each November.
So I guess the biggest challenge will be to keep finding time to sit on my rear and watch movies!
KLS: Is there anything you wish you would have done differently starting out?
JJ: I should have switched from dial up a long time ago!!!!
Misc. thoughts, good quotes, etc.:
JJ: The mystery community is one of the most giving and generous I know. Almost everyone gets along with everyone else, and seems willing to help each other. The fans are loyal, and the authors respectful. It's a really happy place!
©Karen L. Syed