I had a great weekend promoting Castle Danger, but as it turned out, selling books wasn’t nearly the best part of the two events I was at. It was all about Little Moments and Big Magic.
Bowl For Kid’s Sake
For this annual Big Brother Big Sisters fundraiser on Friday, I was in charge of two Little’s. Ethan is my Little Brother. Ethan’s little brother Logan also came to bowl because his Big Couple wasn’t available.
The boys had lots of fun but were also so well-behaved that one of the staff members made a point of telling me how impressed she was and that their mom should be proud of how they acted.
After bowling, we had some pizza and pop and they got faces painted and learned how to make balloon animals.
Then the business of selling books began. Logan had been on the waiting list for about two years and was clearly envious of Ethan for having a Big Brother, so he was ecstatic when he was finally matched with his Big Couple (a popular option for Bigs who might have busy lives but can “tag-team” being a Big).
On the drive to the bowling alley, I explained to the boys that BFKS and other fundraisers are necessary for Big Brothers Big Sisters because they need money to hire staff whose job it is to find matches between Bigs and Littles. The more staff we have, the faster we can recruit Bigs and make matches. I told them every copy of Castle Danger I sell generates one dollar for BBBS, plus at these events, I always ask customers to round up to $20, which generates a total of $2.80 per book going to BBBS.
Logan seemed to take that message to heart and decided he would do everything in his power to raise money fast so other kids won’t have to wait as long as he did for a Big. He started going from lane to lane, asking each bowler if they would buy a copy of Castle Danger. If they waffled, he kept returning until they ended up buying a book!
Ethan caught on to that as well, so those two worked the individual lanes for almost two hours with the energy only an eleven-year-old and an eight-year-old possess. At the end of the event, I estimate those boys helped me sell twice as many books as I would have myself. Even better, the positive impression they made on the bowlers and the goodwill they generated for BBBS was priceless.
Those two boys made a huge leap in confidence, empathy, persistence, and helping others. And they did it while having tons of fun on a night they’ll remember for a long time. THIS is the reason I’m a Big. The program works. As we say, “Little Moments, Big Magic.”
Saturday I had a more traditional book event, a meet-and-greet at Chapter 2 Books in Hudson, Wisconsin. I’m proud to add this to my list of indie bookstores worthy of patronizing if you live in that area. Brian and Sue Roegge, the owners, are fully committed to providing personal service. They have a well-curated stock of books featuring dozens of local and regional authors. In addition, their two rooms for children’s books are off-the-chart cool. I would have killed to have been able to browse for books at a store like that when I was ten years old!
Please note, book buyers: Chapter 2 Books has dozens of books IN STOCK that you will NOT find at Barnes and Noble, Costco, or Wal-Mart. Outstanding local and regional books across all genres, fiction and non-fiction, award winners, and special-interest books that may never become bestsellers but still add to the local culture and help document our lives and our history.
Chapter 2 Books provides their own Little Moments that generate Big Magic when they help every customer find just the right book to take home.