Next week I promise to get into the proper holiday spirit. Today,
however, Festivus just seems appropriate. It has been, to say the very least, a most interesting week. It has also been a week of almost miraculous accomplishments starting with Reedy Press, publisher of my latest book. As you may recall, several weeks ago the company’s shipping center and warehouse, with 200,000 books went up in flames. So, holiday sales were suspended, and I issued refunds on orders and canceled a couple of pending signings. Yesterday I received notice that a rushed second printing was complete and that orders were again being accepted through the Reedy Press website. Obviously I won’t have copies until after the holidays but people who order through the company site, or Amazon.com should have them in time for Christmas.
Next, our crowdfunding initiative. As this was a new endeavor it took me a bit to hone the concept and work out a few rough spots. I am quite pleased to announce that we are on the cusp of reaching our first goal. Level two, three, and four will enable us to improve the quality of the Facebook live programs, and launch a rather ambitious effort in 2018; 21 Facebook live interviews in 21 days on Route 66. That project will be an integral part of a plan to “promote small town America” and the people that give these places a distinct personality.
That takes us to the weekly Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook live programs. Our reach for these programs is now exceeding an average of 4,000 people per week. My self imposed goal was a reach of 5,000 people per week by the end of the year so I am rather pleased by these numbers. Of even more importance is the fact that, based upon the response received, the programs are magnifying the promotional initiatives of small businesses and rural communities. (more…)
If Jim Hinckley’s America had a cornerstone it would be the
simple premise that adventures are meant to be shared even if that sharing is done vicariously. It started with the books that were a blending of my fascination with the infancy of the American auto industry and a passion for adventures on the back roads as well as the two lane highways. This was followed with presentations, a Facebook page and Facebook live programs, a video series developed in partnership with MyMarketing Designs, this blog, the provision of services as a tourism development consultant for businesses as well as communities, the crowdfunding initiative, and an on again, off again podcast. Now, the latest endeavor, a closed Facebook group for folks to share their adventures, encourage people to take adventures themselves, and help me tell people where to go, preferably in a manner that makes them want to take a trip – Jim Hinckley’s America Adventurers Club.
At some point the whole endeavor morphed into a multifaceted platform for the promotion of artists, authors, communities, and the small businesses that make the adventures on the back roads memorable. Now, Jim Hinckley’s America has become an adventure in itself.
So, what’s next, you may ask. Well, first there is the current book project that has a deadline of next spring. In this little tome we will delve deep into the dark corners and recesses of Route 66 where murders lurked in the shadows, mayhem came without warning, and natural disasters added to the highways reputation as bloody. As always, I will be adding a bit of context to the highways stories with tales about Egan’s Rats, the St. Louis based crime syndicate that often made Capone’s boys in Chicago look a bit mild, a few serial killers, a couple of unusual killing sprees, a few unsolved murders, and natural disasters of epic proportions.
The marketing and promotion of books published is on going process that is as much a part of being an author as the writing itself. This year I am, or was, juggling the promotion of three books released in 2017; Route 66: America’s Longest Small Town, Ghost Towns of the West, and 100 Things To Do On Route 66 Before You Die. Unfortunately Reedy Press, publisher of the latter, recently suffered a devastating fire at their warehouse and distribution center in S. Louis. All inventory was lost. Now, even though I am promoting all three, all that can be done in regards to 100 Things To Do On Route 66 Before You Die is market with the caveat that the book will be available sometime after the first of the year. There will be no holiday sales, book signings are postponed or canceled, but, fortuitously several major reviews for the book won’t be released for several weeks or longer.
Tim Kikkert of the Canadian Route 66 Association has informed me that a favorable review will be forthcoming in the journal for that organization. Melissa Beasley has reported a similar review will be published in the magazine produced by the New Mexico Route 66 Association. In addition, I am adjusting the schedule, and adding new dates to the calendar for book signings in 2018 that will include the Route 66 bucket list presentation.
Then there is the podcast. This project has languished on the back burner for quite sometime but I am currently gathering the equipment needed to ensure it is a professionally done endeavor. It was the need for equipment, as well as the time for the projects development that after months of deliberation led to the launch of the crowdfunding initiative. I am a bit like a sloth when it comes to rushing into projects.
From its inception, thoughts about the crowdfunding initiative centered on two primary needs for its launch and development; funding that would allow for the expansion of Jim Hinckley’s America as a promotional platform for artists, authors, small businesses, and communities, and the provision of services to artists, authors, etc. As with most of my projects, it has been developed in a painstakingly slow method of trial and error (a character flaw of mine is an aversion to instruction manuals). There are a few more tweaks to be added, and I am confident that it will evolve, but overall I am pleased with the balance. Of course, your opinions and suggestions, as always, would be greatly appreciated.
From the aspect of providing a promotional and marketing platform for the aforementioned authors, artists, small businesses, and communities, I am rather pleased with the entire Jim Hinckley’s America initiative. The reach on the Facebook page alone, which in turn is the level of of exposure being provided to promotional partners such as Uranus, Belmont Winery, Grand Canyon Caverns, etc. is growing a steady clip. Now attentions are being turned toward expanding the reach of the other two legs in my social media network; Instagram and Twitter. I will also be expanding on the association with the Promote Kingman and Promote Route 66 initiatives, and with the Route 66 Association of Kingman in coming months. All of this will add value for those who invest in the crowdfunding initiative, one of the primary goals.
Let’s see, what else is on the agenda. Ah yes, the ongoing battle of keeping the house from falling down around my ears. Last week it was water heater replacement (don’t ask what the plumbers fees were) all because the one that we purchased 28 years ago failed. This past Thursday, I came one step closer to getting Barney the Wonder Truck back on the road (does anyone want to buy a vintage Dodge?). Tuesday, I spent under the kitchen sink replacing the entire drain system into the wall while my dearest friend worked on a clogged drain in the shower. And next week, I will be on the roof enjoying views of the Hualapai Mountains while replacing shingles in an effort to postpone an entire roofing project.
I am rather confident that for the foreseeable future boredom will be kept at bay. Meanwhile, the house is beginning to smell like Thanksgiving as my dearest friend is baking a pumpkin pie. I wonder if it will be possible to refrain until tomorrow? Speaking of tomorrow, I am eagerly awaiting a dinner of roast and potatoes.
Folks, in all seriousness, thank you for the support. It is my sincere hope that you, your family, and your friends enjoy a delightful Thanksgiving holiday.
Marketing, slogans, catch phrases, and promotion, have always
been a source of fascination for me. See the U.S.A in your Chevrolet. Ask The Man Who Owns One. No Hill To Steep, No Sand To Deep. The art of the sell at its finest.
Before trying to sell you on my latest book, an explanation is needed. I tried my hand at selling used cars many, many years ago and quickly learned that it simply wasn’t in my nature to convince a potential customer that a Pinto was what the family needed when they wanted, and desperately needed a station wagon. There is an art to selling and selling in such a way that the customer leaves happy. Still, if I sell a fellow a three legged race horse when he is looking for a mule to pull the plow, chances are that I am going to have a bit of trouble sleeping at night. And I would bet money that when it comes planting, there is no association between my name and fond memories.
With said, let me introduce you to my latest book, and make you an offer that will be tough to refuse. In a nutshell this book is a bucket list for the novice or hard core Route 66 junkie, a list of must see sites, attractions, and places where you can enjoy great pie. I can guarantee that if you hit all 100 of the places listed, you will have had an unforgettable Route 66 adventure, met some fascinating people, made life long friends, and be hopelessly in love with a road that has an international fan club. (more…)