In the Black
Almost before he knew what hit him, Grant found himself in charge of a membership newsletter, which, he recalls, was a simplistic four-page mailer.
To offset the newsletter's printing costs, Ellsworth Grant began to scour the Rocky Mountains for corporate advertising support. He was pleasantly surprised when many local organizations and businesses expressed an interest in his product and solidified their support with advertising insertion orders.
"Since the corporations were excited about partnering with these types of projects, … I came out with a subsequent newsletter," Grant explains. The publication's page count grew to eight pages, and Grant knew he'd hit on an idea with great potential.
Attaining a unified goal
Frances Grant met Ellsworth Grant through a mutual friend. The two aspiring publishers became great friends, and, ultimately, publishing partners.
With the success of his 12-page newsletter, Ellsworth Grant set a new goal—a magazine! "It was quite obvious to me that the African-American community in Denver was starved for a magazine," he notes. "So, I asked Frances about it, and I convinced her that a magazine would be a really good thing to do."
With Frances on board, the two entrepreneurial publishers began to envision what would become their brainchild, In the Black.
Identifying the need
"In the African-American community," Ellsworth Grant explains, "publishing is a young industry. … There is a great deal of talk about a need for quality, African-American products coming out of the publishing industry. … We saw the opportunity, and we seized it."
The typical reader, according to both Grants, is an African American between the ages of 25 and 45. "The marketing focus for In the Black," Ellsworth Grant explains, "is a dynamic, African American who is doing well and travels a lot. … The person also has a big-time, disposable income, and generally likes the finer things in life."