Show Notes

Air date: 4/23/2019

About this episode:

Stu Tinker, Owner, SK-Tours of Maine, LLC
Stu Tinker, Owner, SK-Tours of Maine, LLC

Stu Tinker is a lifelong resident of Bangor, Maine. Along with his wife, he owned and operated Betts Bookstore for 20 years, where they specialized in Stephen King books and memorabilia. Stu also owned and operated a limousine service for a number of years transporting people like Stephen King, Drew Barrymore, Kenny Rogers, Ann and Nancy Wilson, John Mellencamp, Cheap Trick and many others. His knowledge of the King world in and around “Derry” is second to none.

Stu has been a Stephen King fan since 1974 when Carrie was first published and has remained so ever since. In 1990, he bought Betts Bookstore and kept a complete catalog of both Stephen and Tabitha’s works in stock in hardcover and paperback for 20 years. Because of the help that the Kings gave his business, his store became well known throughout the world as the place to go to for Stephen King items. During the last nine years that they owned the store, Stu and his wife were 100% Stephen King. After selling the store, they decided to do Stephen King tours in “Derry.”

In this episode:

4:00 – The story behind why Stu Tinker and his wife Penny started their Stephen King bookstore in Bangor.

8:01 – Why Stu sold the store and transitioned into Stephen King Tours.

10:49 – How the internet started to bring people from all over the world to experience Stephen King tours.

11:51 – How technology and the web have it easy for Stu do more business and plan tours several years in advance.

15:55 – Why Stu has learned more about computers and marketing to improve his business.

16:53 – The value of tourism in Maine and the professionals who can help you get started with a business in the state.

20:03 – Stu tells Nancy the best way he measures success and what has been the number one reason for his success.

21:25 – How Stu has built his personal network in Bangor, Maine, and his relationship with super collectors.

23:09 – Nancy talks about the value of a tribe of fans that love your brand.

27:12 – How word-of-mouth advertising has helped grow his business and attract people to fly in to Bangor.

29:08 – Why Stu focuses on low-price tours and has decided to make kids under 12 free and provide pet-friendly tours.

32:24 – The value of a quarterly e-newsletter and publicity and public relations.

33:25 – The significance of five-star ratings for SK-Tours on Trip Advisor.


About owning a business: “It’s hard work, but it is so rewarding. It’s so much more fun than working for someone else.” – Stu Tinker, Owner, SK-Tours of Maine, LLC.



Looking to connect?