Monday, December 23, 2013

Small-town daily cashing in on book detailing bizarre and mundane calls from police blotter

In an era where many newspapers are struggling to stay afloat, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle has found a way to bring in some extra cash, while providing a few chuckles. The Montana paper has turned some of the silly and ridiculous calls to the local police into a book that has caught fire, having sold 11,000 copies in three printings, while bringing in more than $100,000 to the newspaper through the first two printings, Carolina Porter reports for The Wall Street Journal.

We Don't Make This Stuff Up: The Very Best of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle Police Reports was mostly compiled by crime reporter Whitney Bermes, whose job is to take the roughly 200 daily police reports and find 20 for the paper, Porter writes. Bermes told Porter, "The title of this book is spot on. I couldn't make this stuff up if I wanted to. I wish I was half as creative as the people who call the police on a daily basis."

Some examples: "A man reported that someone got into his unlocked car and turned the lights on, draining the battery; a woman had questions about a man who wanted to trade a gun for a puppy; a caller wanted to know how to get his mother to stop harassing him."

But it's more than a gimmick. The town has been thriving on the police calls. The Chronicle started a Facebook page, where people can post and discuss police reports, as well as purchasing T-shirts, Porter writes. Local businesses have also benefited from the book. Ryan Cassavaugh, owner of Cactus Records, bough 144 copies to sell for Christmas, while Country Bookshelf owner Ariana Paliobagis said she sells 1,000 copies a month. (Read more)

1 comment:

Rod Rose said...

They stole our idea ...