Hedging her bets

Tracy Falbe

Photo By Meredith J. Cooper

At first glance, Tracy Falbe looks nothing like what you’d expect from a woman running a tattoo Web site. Or a former craps dealer. Fantasy novelist, maybe. But mostly, with her calm demeanor and noticeably ink-free skin, Falbe looks more like her domesticated side—a mother of two. She is actually all of the above. After moving to Northern California from Las Vegas, where she was known as Tracy Michigan (also the pen name she used for Get Dicey, her book about playing craps), she got her degree in journalism from Chico State. She now puts her reporting skills to work creating Web sites with plenty of content, many of which tie in with her books. Her most recent venture is Destination Tattoo (http://tattoo.falbepublishing.com).

Why tattoos?

Well, tattoos are popular, so I knew there would be a general level of interest. And also, when I was younger and I really wanted to get a tattoo, I thought they were so cool and all that, but I didn’t have the money for it. Then as I got older and had the money, I didn’t really want one anymore. I see that today, compared with 10 to 15 years ago, when I was thinking about getting a tattoo, they’ve really grown in popularity. It’s interesting because there are so many different styles. There are health issues. There’s tattoo removal. It also has an artistic element. Sometimes I’ll look at a tattoo and think it’s really cool and other times I can’t even fathom why they’d want that on their body.

You also have sites on swords, dragons and casinos.

Some of my sites have a cross-commercial element with my publishing business. Years ago I used to be a craps dealer in Las Vegas. So, the first book I wrote was Get Dicey, and it was just a how-to-play-craps book. So I sell that through my Web site …. And so my little side site kind of helps me with marketing that. I’ve written a fantasy series, too, four books. So for the swords and the dragons Web sites, I find them interesting subjects to publish on, but I’m also trying to maybe catch the eye of people who might be a good target audience for my books.

What are your hopes for your business?

My business isn’t at a real big money-making level. I’m home with my kids right now, while my husband works. I have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old. I’m trying to build in that value and hopefully a couple years down the line it will be a much more significant income. You could make $10 a month, or you could make $100,000 a month. With the wide variety of topics, I’m hoping something will just hit pay dirt.