Search Me!

Think about it...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

HOM: Cataloging

The catalog of gun and hunting books was a moderate success that showed a profit. It was the first and smallest of the annual catalogs we did over the next four years. We'd put a lot of effort into making it work. Every book was inventoried on a 3x5 card listing all the pertinent data and a brief description, and a similar 3x5 system was set up for each customer's address and interests. Jerry did most of that work as his handwriting/printing was legible -- mine wasn't/isn't. He'd set up a little table in the "Gold Room" under the stairs where we kept the gun and hunting books and patiently list each book, then when he was done I would take over and start typing -- a long and slow process, as anyone that knows me realizes. We used the Saubert artwork on the cover, then added the usual description of the store and how-to for ordering, then listed the books alphabetically by category. Yeah, we did a LOT of cutting and pasting! And used a lot of Whiteout. Once the catalog was laid out, printed up by Pastor Jones, assembled and mailed, we approached every phone call and every letter that came in with anticipation. We had no idea how the books we listed would sell, but we had high hopes. The first few days went by slowly with no orders, but then they started to trickle in, first from Butte, Missoula, and other Montana towns, then from other states, and finally from other countries. I guess it was like dropping a rock in a pond and watching the waves ripple out and then rebound back. Answering the phone and opening mail was a bit like Christmas day, every call and every envelope had the potential for a new sale. TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)