Building the Business: “Special” Sales Are Normal – How Addicus Books Stays Healthy

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June 2012
by Linda Carlson

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Rod Colvin has written his way from 30-second news spots to true crime to Straight Talk about Breast Cancer—and that was only the first half of his career as a writer and publisher.

The common thread in Colvin’s professional life, both before and after he established Addicus Books in Omaha in 1994: passion. As a writer, he was passionate about his topics, and in his 18 years as a publisher, he’s continued to be passionate, both about the books his company publishes and about the audiences Addicus serves. “I enjoy going to work every day,” he says.

Of course, Colvin is quick to point out, the passion he could indulge as a writer—first during his 15 years at Omaha’s WOW radio and then in writing First Heroes: The POWs Left Behind in Vietnam (Irvington) and Evil Harvest: The True Story of Cult Murder in the American Heartland (Bantam)—has been tempered by business concerns.

“Now as a publisher, I’ve had to choose books that I believed would be commercially successful. Like all of us, I’ve made a few acquisition mistakes along the way, but I am pleased with the performance of most of our books,” he says.
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