Marketing: Week 3

Sales steady at three. One to a basketball pal. One to a woman at the French, on whom I’d been counting since we often discuss books and despite her shying away from old white male American authors. One to a woman on my Notice-Sent-To list. I’d considered her no more than 50:50 but she even included a sweet note.

Responses continue to interest and gratify. Readers have reacted to my mentions of Eddie Waitkus, Ma & Pa Kettle, and Richard Alpert. (And where else, I wonder, were you likely to find this trifecta?) The last of the trio led an 85-year-old woman to recount a date with him that involved psilocybin and a flight in his private plane.

One French acquaintance praised my recreating the “spirit of Philadelphia,” where, it turned out, he’d never been. A second felt I’d perfectly captured his adolescence, though he was 15-years my junior and Berkeley born and bred. A college roommate appreciated the “waves of nostalgia” unleashed. A current pal said, “All your voices evoke/resonate/reconnect the lost/smothered/disconnected/hidden voices carried in me.”

Still, I considered how to broaden my reach. I e-mailed the alumni associations of two West Philadelphia high schools, offering to contribute $2 for each copy sold to their members to their libraries. Neither replied. An on-line site offered to promote me to book bloggers. I requested contact information on two of its satisfied customers. It did not reply. Another self-publisher suggested we do a joint reading at a Jewish community center. “Deal,” I said. “You set it up.” A locker aisle friend, continually launching ventures designed to elevate h8mself into state or national prominence, counseled that I needed, “A SWOT Analysis. Look into the mirror. What do you see? What are your Strengths? Weaknesses? Opportunities? Threats?”

I looked into his locker instead and saw the unopened envelope of the “Cheesesteak” I’d delivered to him ten days before.