Sunday, June 17, 2012


The two day Papa Joe's Book and a Haircut Event was unquestionably a success. The extavaganza began to materialize as I sat chomping down on my Grand Slam breakfast across the table from my friend and colleague Scott Martin. Scott's a marketing teacher. When I asked him for advice on marketing The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son he told me I needed to meet Papa Joe the Barber. No stranger to strange and quirky ideas, I followed Martin to the barbershop.

Originally from Italy, Papa Joe has a thick accent, a twinkle in his eye and a whole lot of charisma. The walls of his barbershop are plastered with pictures of national and local celebrities who've frequented he shop an promotional events like the Christmas tree haircut deal  in the photo. The place is a legitimate, old school barbershop, absolutely overflowing with atmosphere.

Papa Joe welcomed me into his shop and immediately proposed a Friday and Saturday book and a haircut event. The first 20 customers each day would receive a free book with their haircuts. I would be on had to sign books. Papa Joe called his buddy Bill the Entertainer for Saturday.

I told Papa Joe I would find entertainment for Friday. Dickey "Tom Jones" Imburgia from the first tire shop book signing couldn't make it but The Semester Review from the second tire shop book signing agreed to play. Papa Joe alerted the media and baby, we were good to go.

On Thursday afternoon The Semester Review cancelled. No sweat, things happen. The boys took care of me at the tire shop and I appreciated them,  but I had less than 24 hours to find entertainment for the Friday book signing.

I put out a face book request, inviting anyone who could sing, dance, do impressions, card tricks, or otherwise entertain people at a book and a haircut event. My son-in-law offered to play air guitar.

Flipping through the business cards in my wallet, I noticed the realtor Ty Lusk's card had two sides. The back side promoted Lusk's talent for singing and playing guitar. Although we'd only met once, I gave him a call.

I left a message that went something like this: This is probably going to be one of the strangest voice mails you've had in a while. My name's Bill Snyder. We met a couple of weeks ago.  I'm a writer and I'm promoting new book with a book and a haircut event at Papa Joe's Barber shop in Chandler. I was wondering if you'd be interested in performing - for free. We may have tv news coverage. All I can promise is that this will be a seriously unique experience.

Son of a gun if Ty didn't call me back and agree to perform.  He said he had a cancelation and the whole thing sound like fun.

What are the odds?

I told my son-in-law he could play air guitar at the next event.


David C. said...

Bill, this is some really interesting marketing.

BTW, you might want to check the links to your various sites. The one to your author site works. Clicking on the other ones yields an error message which says "Safari can't find the site http://http//www.whatever." I think maybe you left out a colon. I know a surgeon who got sued for doing that.

David C. said...

I also noticed a side effect of allowing Amazon contextual product ads on your blog. In addition to your book and others like "Five Finger Discount" and "Secret of the Seventh Son," you're also promoting an mp3 song, "Raped, Fingered and F***ed [Explicit]." Glad they included that [Explicit] warning. I never would have guessed.