The question I most get having now written 5 books together with my kids is not about the characters or the dog or the castle or if Lu will ever stop eating fries.*
No. The question I get from parents is, "How in the world did you manage to do a creative project with your kids, how did it go, and how can I do it, too?"
The answer was:
1.) I just decided to do it,
2.) it went both terribly wrong and wonderfully right, and
3.) this book is how you can do it, too.
One parent pulled me aside, a bit frazzled, and almost threatened me with, "If you ever hold a weekend workshop on how to do a creative project together with your kids, I'll pay whatever you want to charge."
When I sat down with my then-8-year old on the red chair in early March of 2014, having just read a really bad children's book and said, "Wow, that book was pretty bad." I then immediately followed up with, "We can do better than that." My son looked at me like I was crazy (I was) and challenged me to follow through on my dare.
Within a month, we had a book on Amazon.
Now we can boast almost all of the list below:
1.) We have sold 1,000,000+ books in 89 countries and 7 languages.
2.) We sometimes had to resort to bribery, coercion, and ice cream to get a chapter done.
3.) Just on royalties alone, Li is eyeing a Maserati for his 16th birthday.
4.) We created something from nothing and no one can ever take that away.
5.) We get regular calls from Hollywood producers about making the movie versions.
6.) We broke all of Audible's rules when we recorded the audiobook version--and got rejected.
7.) Both boys have transformed into perfect angels who study Mandarin in their free time after violin lessons and before their volunteer work for global literacy.
8.) I have a audio proof of my 10-year old narrating Chapter 8 that I can use at his wedding to embarrass him beyond his wildest nightmares and I can bring that up whenever I like to remind my boys that we are a family who shares experiences (and it's good for blackmail).
9.) We did it all right.
10.) We did it all wrong.
11.) We did it. Period.
HINT: Take the list above and choose which one you like.
This podcast is proof that we can create something from nothing together with our kids. What you're about to embark on is a journey that no one can take away from you. We're going to create a time capsule you'll be able to cherish until your 89-year-old neighbor finally tells you she's deaf and hasn't heard a word about it.
This is going to help you create a bond with your kids.
I would say “I can’t believe I finally did it.” except that I can believe it.
Ch. 39: Questions for Parents
Stuff is going to happen.
Ch. 38: Spark Campfire
If there are marshmallows, we might even get Li & Lu to visit.
Ch. 37: How would your own kid sell his own book?
Best Ways to Promote your Book
Ch. 36: Make money, teach your kids math, and clean the house…at the same time.
In fact, some days, any of those alone seem impossible.
Ch. 35: Loss leaders, sales, flea markets and 12-year olds who want new shoes.
I still haggle. You have to. That's the point of a flea market.