A Chat with John Economaki, Founder and President, Bridge City Tool Works
CS: Those guys got lucky.
JE: Yeah! And the publisher told me that for a specialty paper back publication like that, 25,000 sold is bestseller status. And we did that on our own! Here's the copy I wrote, "Don't buy this book unless you have a ladder." Because what happened was I launched the damn thing and it went about three houses over and landed in the gutter. It upset me, because I was really meticulous about the way I folded it. But it was a lot of fun, and a 20-minute project. So, I wrote that copy because it was an intriguing title. And in the world of copywriting, the sole purpose of the title is to draw [readers] into the copy block. Nothing did it better than that. And it had a nice picture of the book that went along with it, and you could read the title of the book, too. I basically said in the copy block that since I bought this book, I'd spent more time in my neighbors' gutters than I cared to count. It was cool. So the last 20 percent of the book is just cool stuff. On that latest preview, I think we had some stuff with some MENSA games, and I just think that if I can get people away from the TV with this cool stuff, that they'll discover another side of life; but it's not an easy thing to do. But, it's fun.
CS: What is your current biggest business challenge, and how do you plan to resolve it?
JE: The avocational woodworking marketplace is contracting, and postage rates continue to rise. This imbalance is problematic from a prospecting viewpoint and is certainly challenging. A significant creative effort will need to be expended by all of us in this industry to survive.