As is often the case in our corner of the world, the past week has been quite interesting on a personal level as well as in regard to Route 66 related news.
Aside from the fog shrouded adventure to Williams, there have been an array of projects that range from planning for the odyssey to the Netherlands to breakthroughs on the current book. On the Route 66 front you had a gathering of celebrities at the Autry National Center in California, updates on the big event in Edwardsville being planned for next October, a fun and enlightening poll posted on the Route 66 News site, and a handful of indications that 2015 will see even larger numbers of people getting their kicks on Route 66.
Yesterday, Jerry McClanahan, Jim Ross, and Shellee Graham spoke on Route 66 at the Autry. We were unable to attend but I would bet the bottom dollar that a presentation of this caliber coupled with the excellent Route 66 exhibit that runs through the first of January inspired a road trip or two.
Yesterday after I finished the article profiling the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum written for Old Cars Weekly, it was sent to Roderick Wilde, Executive Director of the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation, for his approval. Today I will create a photo file, and tomorrow send it off.
The museum has not officially opened though the original exhibition debuted during the Route 66 International Festival and already it has garnered international media attention. In addition to showcasing an often overlooked and fascinating aspect of automotive history, the museum will shine the spotlight on the old double six and, perhaps, encourage a new type of adventurer to set out on a voyage of discovery along Route 66.
Two of the historic vehicles currently on display at the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum in the Powerhouse Visitor Center in Kingman, Arizona (courtesy of HistoricElectric Vehicle Foundation).
Linked to this is a story out of Illinois brought to my attention by Bill Kelly, with Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway. According to the press release the entire Route 66 corridor in that state is about to become an EV friendly roadway with the establishment of charging stations.
With the rising interest in electric vehicles, despite a precipitous plunge in gasoline prices, and the development of supportive infrastructure, Route 66 businesses have a unique promotional opportunity. If they can offer electric vehicle owners charging facilities in the form of an easy access electric outlet, a vintage gasoline pump retrofitted into a charging station, or anything in between, they can list their business at no charge on the Plugshare website.
In an unrelated note, I received an interesting sales statement from the publisher yesterday. I have yet to process exactly what it means for us or as a barometer of Route 66 popularity but it was so intriguing it seemed worth sharing. Perhaps you would like to chime in with your thoughts.
First, let me set the stage. A staggering number of books published every year will sell less than a thousand copies annually.
The publisher I work with generally prints an initial run of 3,500 to 5,000 copies. In general, if these sell within twenty-four months they will consider a reprint.
According to the statement received yesterday, Backroads of Arizona published in 2006 has experienced lifetime sales of 11,333 copies. One of the most popular books I have written is Ghost Towns of Route 66 as evidenced by sales nearing 10,000 copies.
Now, consider Travel Route 66: A Guide to the History, Sights, and Destinations Along the Main Street of America. Released last April, 11,359 copies have been sold.
Perhaps this is why in our conversation last week the publicist strongly suggested that I focus on bringing to fruition a series of projects that have simmered, sputtered, and languished for the past couple of years. These include a Youtube channel and podcast series entitled Jim Hinckley’s America, and customized tours through Open Road Productions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Meanwhile, I need to get back to work on the current book, All is Fare in Love and Cab Wars. The deadline is February 1 but I have set my sites on December 31. January is shaping up to be just a bit busy.
To wrap this up, signed copies of my books can be ordered utilizing Paypal. A drop down menu is at the top of the page.
Next, for the ordering of photographic prints, the Jim Hinckley’s Gallery at Legends of America is your one stop shop.
Last but not least, who will be joining us and our friends from the Dutch Route 66 Association at de Prael in Amsteradam this coming January?