Guest Column: Can I Sizzle You a Cigar?
Like all conscientious publishers, we crossed our t's and dotted our i's in the traditional ways. We launched Nick's book into the general trade with a successful appearance at Book Expo, sold a printing to the History Book Club, penetrated military bases, and loaded the author with dozens of private signings and speaking engagements. Now more than four years later, Once a Marine is still in hardcover after many printings. Sales, however, had finally witnessed the other side of the strong plateau. Was it finally time for paperback?
I was on my deck one afternoon lamenting the fact that my flowers needed watering when it struck me: Books are no different than… packets of flower seeds… or lemonade. Pair them with something that makes sense. Resell the package.
Within an hour I was on the phone with entrepreneur Eric Stanion, a longtime friend and the owner of Art of Cigars, a local cigar-music lounge. Within a week we inked a partnership arrangement with Nick "The Cigar Marine" Popaditch to create a line of hand-rolled quality cigars that not only taste great, but support wounded Marines and their families (with Art of Cigars handling the entire cigar line.) We wanted to keep it simple, so we decided to introduce just two premium hand-rolled cigars under "The Cigar Marine" line: "The Gunny" (a double-wrapped Torpedo) and "The Tanker" (a mild spiced-rum Corona). Signed copies of Once A Marine would also be available, and serious cigar lovers could purchase a small camouflaged all-weather humidor (signed by Popaditch) to keep at home or send to their favorite Marine or soldier in the field, or a larger traditional humidor complete with a signed copy of the book and cigars inside. A portion of all proceeds goes directly to the Semper Fi Fund to support wounded Marines and their families.