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Read All About It The founders of the <i>Levenger</i> catalog wrote the book on selling to serious readers.

By Gayle Sato Stodder

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

To read, you need nothing but words. But to read seriously--thatis another proposition. Serious reading involves equipment.Accessories. Ingenuity. Style. Serious readers need monogrammedvelvet pillows to support their books. They need cherrywood lapdesks to compose letters, gold-nibbed fountain pens to lend splashto their signatures, and note pads with night lights to capturelate-night inspirations.

Until Lori Granger Leveen, 39, and Steve Leveen, 42, creators ofthe Delray Beach, Florida-based Levenger catalog, beganpurveying what they call "tools for serious readers," noone dreamed readers were such a vast--and acquisitive--market. Infact, no one outside the publishing industry dreamed readers were amarket at all.

The Leveens don't scoff at this kind of ignorance.That's because they didn't recognize the market themselvesuntil months into their venture. How did this husband-and-wife teamparlay an $8,000 investment into a $60-million-plus mail orderpowerhouse with its own built-in market? Their road-to-riches storybegan with a bright idea.

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