Adventures in Marketing — Weeks 384 – 385

Sold an IWKYA to a fellow I’ve known since 6th grade when my literary claim to fame was “Dognet,” a “Dragnet” satire I’d cribbed from a stand-up comic’s routine. We remained friends through my law school years and in sporadic – sometimes very sporadic – touch until recently when email and phone contact became frequent, a common phenomenon, I suspect, among us older folks.
Then sold a “Lollipop” to an electrical engineer in town from San Diego with his wife to settle their son in at UC. The Dad works in the manufacture of computer chips of the type the US is trying to keep China from getting its hands on. His conversation was full of words like “photons” and “plasma” and “lasers,” with which I was familiar, but I could not understand a single sentence. He was ten when the events described in my book were on TV and decided to learn more about them.
My next transaction was not as easy as it sounds. The local chapter of the Authors’ Guild has been holding monthly get-togethers at a downtown brew pub. Five of us at the most recent: the organizer, Sven, me, another guy, a Caucasian woman and a Korean-American woman. When I mentioned I sold my books at a café, the Caucasian woman said she walked by it every day and would buy one. Let’s say her name was July X. But when I got home, I realized I would not be there as early as I’d said I would, so I decided to e-mail her.
When I retrieved the email to the group announcing the meeting, there was no July X among the recipients but there was a, let-us-say, June Z. So I e-mailed her.
June Z replied she did not know who I was or what I was talking about.
I apologized.
Then Sven sent another group e-mail. Again, June Z was included but not July X. So I emailed June Z and asked if she had a pen name.
She replied that June Z was her pen name. Her actual name was June Y.
So I emailed Sven and asked if June Z was AKA July X or vice-versa. He said, Ooops. He had left July X off his emails – and sent me her address. I then told her of my changed business hours, and she told me she had visited my web site and wanted both “Cheesesteak” and “Fully Armed.” (I offered her an Author’s Discount – and threw in a “Best Ride.”) Then I visited her web site, saw her books, and proposed a swap.
She will bring some next week, so I don’t know what I’m getting.

In other news…
1.) My Checkered Demon “Buy Bob’s Books” sign drew to my table the first café patron under 50 years of age to recognize S. Clay Wilson’s work. This fellow, in his mid-to-late 30s, was tall, overweight, with shoulder-length dark hair, Grateful Dead-related tattoos on both arms, and self-identified as an artist-writer-musician. I was in the midst of discussing the Anonymous Artists of America with my tablemate, Rex, and this fellow said they sounded like they’d be right up his alley. Then he introduced me to his girlfriend, thin as a needle, all in black, black hair dyed blacker, her own tattoos. He said they’d check out my books the next time they had money, the artist-writer-musician business not being lucrative, I suspect.
I gave them my card and have not been seen or heard from them since.
2.) “Kit” and “Jill” were two cute-as-button kids, both in baggy, comfy grays, he with a discrete nose ring and she with brown hair in a tidy bun. Jill noticed “Cheesesteak.” “I’m from Bucks County. Are you from Philadelphia.”
“I probably left Philly before you…” I looked at her. “Before your parents were born.” (I am always surprised to find myself saying things like that.)
“Where else can we get your books?” Kit said.
“No where,” I said – and gave them my card.
They have not been seen or heard from since.