Friday, June 11, 2010
Can I Buy You a Book? With Guest Blogger Gary Maccagnone
Today the Book Boost takes you out for a night on the town with author Gary Maccagnone.
He's sharing his unique marketing plan with us. Then stay tuned to read about his new book My Dog Tim and Other Stories.
Here's what he had to say...
Just an idea to help market authors’ books.
How many sports bars do you believe exist in America? How many exist in all of North America?
Recently, I marketed my books on a large advertising screen in a trendy and well-frequented sports bar in my neck of the woods. Since the screen was underused, for a nominal fee, I created a couple banner ads that looped every three minutes in front of the patrons. The advertising did well for me. This year, three months before the Christmas season, I plan on running the identical campaign.
After moderate success, my thought is this: Why can’t one of the bigger publicity firms, those who have the staff and contacts, organize a similar type of marketing to sell books all across the country? When you go into a Damon’s or Buffalo Wild Wings or Champs, you’ve all noticed the multiple screens hanging near the televisions. For the most part, the screens are used to market the products of the establishment. There’s plenty of time on those screens to market other products.
In my mind, the firms could offer different packages for authors to have their work displayed locally, regionally, or nationally. What better way to get your name and your book covers in front of millions of people? Since it has worked locally for me, it seems like the idea should be given a chance on a larger scale. Of course, I’m a mere suggestion maker who doesn’t have the venture capital, or wherewithal, to make a project of this magnitude get off the ground. I’ll leave my idea for the big boys and girls to fight over.
Of course, I also realize, that what I’m suggesting may be the dumbest idea ever voiced in a public forum in the history of the world.
A Note from the Book Boost: On the contrary, I think your idea is fabulous! We are all always looking for new ways to get the word out about our books. I took a marketing class recently and it was all about finding your "niche" market. I think you've done it, here Gary! Won't you tell us more about your latest book?
My Dog Tim and Other Stories is an anthology of Garasamo Maccagnone’s finest works. The anchor of this collection is “St. John of the Midfield”. With newly added scenes, “St. John of the Midfield” is an almost mystical story of Bobo Stoikov, one of the world’s greatest soccer players, who escapes death in communist Bulgaria to find the American Dream. Due to severe injury during Bobo’s escape, he is unable to play once he arrives in America. Though he finds peace and happiness in simply coaching soccer to youth travel teams, his eccentric ways of teaching and his success lead to a hate-filled rivalry, and eventually, his death.
Other stories in the anthology include: “My Dog Tim”, an ode to the author’s beloved childhood pet; “White Fang”, a tale of revenge that has more do with orthodontia than Jack London’s infamous dog story; “The Note Giver”, the story of a mysterious old man who arrives at St. Isidore’s and turns the congregation upside down by handing out notes that sting the individuals with truth and insight on their own bad ways; “White Chocolate”, “Goalie Boy”, and three vignettes.
Sometimes life isn’t fair. At seventeen, I was strong and confident. With Tim it was just the opposite. After seventeen years, two strokes, and a huge gain in weight, he lost the ability to properly move his hind legs. At that time in his life, he usually stayed to himself in the laundry room.
On the day of Mark’s graduation, Tim stiffly dragged his enormous body to the back door. He put his nose in the corner of the door and pushed out so my brother Glenn opened it. The two of us lifted his back end up so we could get him down to the grass from the porch. Perhaps it was the excitement of the party that brought Tim to the backyard. Perhaps Tim remembered all the voices in the crowd, the friends, the neighborhood boys and girls, my aunts and uncles and cousins who had pet him a million times.
The party stopped. Without anything being spoken, our friends, family, and relatives all gathered around Tim, as if he were about to perform a new trick. Tim looked at them all, his mouth open, his tongue hanging out, saliva thicker than jelly oozing from the curve of his mouth.
My brother Glenn got an idea. He ran into the house and came out with a rolled-up newspaper. When Tim saw it, he lifted his head in approval, then tried to inch forward but stumbled.
“Steady old man,” Pops spoke. My brother Mark and I grabbed him, put our arms around his over sized body, lifted him up and got him balanced again. Glenn then put the paper in Tim’s mouth.
What a magical moment. It was like the old Tim was back. His body looked like it was on steroids and he couldn’t move anything but his neck and head more than and inch or two. But you could tell by the look in his eyes that his mind was flying around the backyard again, zipping in and out of tacklers, shattering record speeds, twisting and turning away from his many attackers.
On impulse, Glenn feigned like he was tackling Tim by jumping over him. Mark did the same while I slid under him. It was bad acting, worse than the Three Stooges, but the crowd approved and gave the three of us a standing ovation.
That’s when Tim dropped the newspaper. Tim struggled but got his legs beneath him so he could sit. He stared at the crowd that was still clapping, looking at all of them like he was being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Garasamo Maccagnone studied creative writing and literature under noted American writers Sam Astrachan and Stuart Dybek at Wayne State University and Western Michigan University. A college baseball player as well, Maccagnone met his wife Vicki as a junior at WMU. The following year, after injuring his throwing arm, Maccagnone left school and his baseball ambitions to marry Vicki. After a two year stint at both W.B. Doner and BBDO advertising agencies, Maccagnone left the industry to apply his knowledge of marketing in a new venture in an up-and-coming industry. Maccagnone created a company called, “Crate and Fly,” and turned it from a store front in 1984 to a world-wide multi-million dollar shipping corporation by 1994.
In the mid 90’s Maccagnone decided to fulfill the promise of his writing career, by first penning the children’s book, The Suburban Dragon and then following up with a collection of short stories and poetry entitled, The Affliction of Dreams. His literary novel, St. John of the Midfield was published in 2007, followed by his For the Love of St. Nick, which was released in 2008. Maccagnone expanded the original version of For the Love of St. Nick and had the book illustrated for a new release in June 2009. My Dog Tim and Other Stories is a literary anthology of the author’s best work.
Garasamo “Gary” Maccagnone lives today in Shelby Township, Michigan, with his wife Vicki and three children. At this time, he is researching the location for his second novel, tentatively titled, He Lay Low.