Adventures in Marketing: Weeks 235 – 236

A blitz of a few dozen friends and acquaintances with a direct e-mail “Buy ‘Goshkin’” campaign, produced three sales: a basketball pal; a high school friend; a nephew. Another basketball pal said he first wanted to “take a look,” the second person to insist on an in-person inspection. I suppose you can never be too careful these days, though it’s not like I’m claiming to be a Nigerian prince.
J.T., the book’s illustrator, reports a half-dozen sales, which includes an Etsy offering.
I also sent a copy to an artist/cartoonist in Slovenia whose work anchors one of “Goshkin”’s chapters.
And I sent a “Cheesesteak” to a gentleman in Philadelphia, whose generosity helped atmosphere-ize my “home gym.” But that’s a separate story.

In other news…
Reader reactions have been trickling in.
Adele’s brother is the first person to report finishing “Goshkin.” But he gets an asterix, since he skipped at least three chapters to do so.
Another reader reports her progress is slowed because she is reading each chapter twice. Knowing this reader, I take this is a compliment and her recognizing there is much meat in my prose to be savored and not that it is too gristly and boney to chew through.
Then there is the woman who’d kept “Goshkin” quarantined for a week before opening the mailer. She says she’ll begin it as soon as she finishes “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.” I believe she will be the first person to come to me immediately after Kate Douglas Wiggin.
But the weirdest story originates north of the border. I had sent a “Goshkin” and an IWKYA to friends in Montreal. They reported the mailer arrived, ripped open and empty. “Nothing like this has ever happened to us,” they said. The books did not appear to have been seized at the border – which would, at least, have fueled my advertising campaign. Our friends deduce that someone found the books “interesting enough to hang onto… (and I) have a fan out there, albeit a dishonorable one.” Also, a peculiar one, for, having pocketed the books, why would s/he have stuck the envelope back in the mail and allowed it to continue its journey?
This does, however, represent a notable advance in my literary standing among felons. After the publisher of my first novel informed me it would be shredding all unsold copies in its warehouse, I acquired what-has-proved-to-be more than a lifetime’s supply. We left the cartons in the garage and, one morning, received a call from a construction worker who’d arrived at his job side and found one of these cartons dumped there. Obviously, the burglar, who’d also made off with some gardening tools, didn’t think I was held in high regard on the collector’s market. We retrieved his rejected booty – and I signed one for the worker.