Adventures in Marketing — Week 406

Sold three “Bob on Bob”s. (Only a dozen left.) Also, I forgot to mention last week a sale to a friend from Brandx now living in Berkeley.
This week’s initial purchaser was an electrician named, fortuitously another electrician buddy pointed out, “Buzz.” He was from Austin but is now working on a building under construction near the café. He had a grey goatee and earrings and wanted to “support the arts,” being a drummer himself. “All types of music,” he said. “Most recently, Christian rock.” He didn’t have cash, so I said he could take the book and leave the money with the barista the next day, but his buddy, Lyle, pointed out they couldn’t be sure where they’d be working and leant him $10.,
My next two sales were even more outside the demographics of my usual market. Stephanie was a six-foot-two, blonde trans woman, who had worked for decades in bio-tech, “trying to change the world.” Her shorter and older manfriend, Ted, was a cowboy-hatted, third-generation stone mason from Colorado, who is also an ardent drag racing fan. (Frequent readers may remember a previous palaver he and I’d had.) We had a good conversation about Berkeley, the ‘60s, “Dobie Gillis,” and open heart surgeries (Ted’s and mine). I bet they’ll be back.

In other news…
1.) Well, nothing about the Air Pirates movie, of course.
2.) But some interesting reader – and one non-reader – responses.
Let’s begin with the non-reader, a woman veteran of the music business. My standard line, when someone eyes my display, is to charmingly, winningly say, “Wanna buy a book?” This woman was neither charmed nor won. My blatant worship of Mammon appalled her. “How can you talk to Bob?” she asked a mutual friend. “Only money interests him.”
Then “ Bob on Bob” turned out to disappoint a fellow who’d known Dylan in the Village in the early ‘60s. He’d hoped to learn something he didn’t know about Dylan but, disappointingly, found himself learning primarily about me. Now this is a nice fellow, eminently knowledgeable about American roots music; but he also believes Dylan’s song writing peaked with “Only a Hobo,” so I can’t be too distressed by his dismissal.
Third, was the gay landscape designer who had bought “Cheesesteak” six “Adventures” ago. Having avoided eye contact with me since, she confronted me to say that, while she had liked the early portions, the book had lost her when it became “too much guy stuff.” That was a reaction I could engage with, and we had a good discussion about why that was and what women might have related to instead. (I suggested she skip ahead until I hit college, so we’ll see where that goes.)
Finally, “Bob” drew praise from a fellow from my basketball game. A few years younger than me, he was from a Catholic family in Chicago and had served in Viet Nam because that’s what people from his family did. Now a therapist, north of here, he emailed how important Dylan had been to him. “He told me I wasn’t just a nut case in relation to our culture. He put words on things I hadn’t figured out. He understood something not yet formed in me.”
A gratifying reaction.