One of the first things I promised my family and friends when my book was published was that I was not going to “Girl Scout cookie” them. You probably know the meaning…I wasn’t going to ask each of them to buy a copy just because they were my family and friends.
Now, before all you proud Moms and Pops begin to type indignant replies…don’t. I think its great when kids are encouraged to learn about raising money for a cause, whether its Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, charities, trips, etc. I’m more than happy to contribute to the kids stationed outside my supermarket or drug store (but I only like the chocolate-covered mint girl scout cookies…I think they’re called “thin mints”). No, what I’m talking about is something you must have experienced if you’ve been in Corporate America.
It started innocently, of course. First, a parent would show up at your cube/desk/office with boxes of cookies or candies asking your support for their kid. Then it expanded to wrapping paper, gifts, nuts, etc. Then it apparently got so exhausting the parents would simply set up shop at their desk and call out as you passed, like a Marrakesh market dealer. Finally, in the ultimate depersonalization, some would just leave a box with an envelope in the breakroom. You never saw the parent, let alone the kid.
Here’s my thing: kids are cute. Kids in uniform are even cuter. I have a lot easier time parting with my money when a squeaky-voiced young girl or boy asks me to help as opposed to an envelope on a box near the sink. Plus, call me old-fashioned, but what did the kid learn by the parent doing all the leg work?
So, considering my attitude, how could I go ask my family and friends to buy my book (even if I do have the squeaky-voice thing pretty much down)?
Instead I asked them to read the excerpt and think of someone they thought might enjoy the book. If they wanted to read it themselves, that’s fine, but there was no expectation of them, just a celebration of my completing my wondrous trek to published author.
Of course, some bought it. Duh. Like some friends wouldn’t buy it. That’s why they are friends! One of them got into an energetic discussion pointing out how dumb I was (which, come to think of it, a lot of friends do with me…hmmm) not wanting family and friends to buy it except on “my terms”. As if they were not just as valid a customer as anyone else. I love when conceding I’m dumb works to my advantage!
And it’s a fair cop. I’m proud of my work and would love all my friends to read it. Giving away the book to all my friends was actually something I considered. I like my friend’s suggestion better, though.
Now, if they would like a box of cookies to munch on while reading….