Friday, February 26, 2021

The Entrepreneur of Bisbee, Arizona

And that would be Walter Swan who wrote a book that no one would buy.  

A tradition that has persisted (Swan's career was set in the 70's)  down into us in  the 20's.  Many of us have found to our bitter dismay that selling books is not an easy thing.  

Swan paid $650 for the book to be printed.  (My first book coat me $6,500 to the printer but returned $16,000 total -- 10 years later.) SONSORS; HOW TO GET ONE HOW TO KEEP ONE  for racing teams.

Swan then rented a store on Main Street, named it "One Book Bookstore;" literally the entire stock of his store was the first book he'd written. He priced this book at $19.95 and in no time sold 8,000 of ithem.. .  Pleased, he opened a second book store (next door to One Book)  and named it The Other Bookstore. Rent: $100/month.)  After counting his money, he went on writing and publishing his books - he could afford to write even more of them.  And so he did.  He died age 78 with a substantial library of successful books in print.   

Visitors to Bisbee (family, friends, traveling salesman and, I would assume, the occasional hippie) spread the word about the twin bookstores and subsequently, Swan was invited to make guest appearances on several late night programs.  

An astute member of the South Bay Writers Workshop volunteered this thought - "I'd rather have a bookshop named "The Dollar To Enter Bookstore."  And I thought that was a great idea.  

The idea for this column today came from a cousin in Indiana.  Thanks for a good idea, Doug.

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