How to turn dreams into reality: Dream It! Map It! Play It! Update: The Make-A-Book Project has a new home on Dreamaplay.com, our website for kids and their parents, teachers and health care providers. 
Book signing celebration
Scott signs books at the Ruby the Red Worm ice cream social and book signing. This event drew over 1000 people. Thanks to the Waukesha STEM Academy for going beyond the call of duty to organize this event. They also included free ice cream for all the kids.

Fundraiser

Here are a few ideas for funding a Make-A-Book Project or any goal your school may have, like a new garden or playground equipment. In the past, we have raised anywhere from $300 to over $2500 plus expenses.

signed by the author fundraiser
signed by the author fundraiser

Simple fundraiser: If your school or organization doesn’t want to create a book, perhaps you would like to organize a simple fundraiser with Scott’s five children’s books. The books make great gifts for friends and family. We’ll even donate a set to the school library. And, Scott could visit as a guest author to sign the books. Meeting Scott in person inspires students to dream, and help instill the faith that big dreams, like cycling around the world, are really possible.

The logistics: We can donate 40-55% of the cover price of all book sales, compared to Scholastic’s book drive, which pays as low as 25% for the first $2500 in sales. Of course, this event would take some organization with the parent-teacher committee, but I have personally seen the success. Assuming the event is well-organized and sells about 300 books (less than 1 book per family), we would earn enough money to fund a SMART Board for the classroom. The fundraiser could also include cupcakes (baked and donated by parents), raffle prizes and more. The best way to coordinate a fundraiser is with an existing event, like a Spring Fling or Holiday Craft Sale.

Supporting a book project at your school. If you DO want to organize and fund a book project, in addition to a book and bake sale, perhaps we could try social media fundraising. It’s fun and a great way to reach friends and friends of friends. Fundly.com and Kickstarter.com and donorschoose.org are a few examples. Social fundraising also supports a reward system; for example, donors could:

  • Support naming a character; for example, at a $100 donation level
  • Contributing a theme
  • Purchase a book signed by all the student illustrators
  • Or whatever fun reward we can create.

This isn’t just fundraising—your community can help co-create the book; in other words: it’s interactive!

Purple and orange cupcakes matching the Cupcake Boy Cover
Purple and orange cupcakes matching the Cupcake Boy Cover. What a pleasant surprise this was.

Example Fundraiser

To celebrate the completion of our book, The Cupcake Boy, the PTO launched a bakesale. It was a big success! We earned enough to pay for the whole Make-A-Book Project with some money left over to fund more activities and supplies for the students.

Hundreds of cupcakes are being prepared.
This is only half the cupcakes. We had dozens of parent volunteers bake cupcakes for the fundraiser. Here the volunteers get ready.
Grover Monster cupcake with blue fur and googly eyes.
Grover Monster cupcake.
Sunflower cupcakes made out of candy corn.
I love candy corn. And I loved these sunflower cupcakes with petals made out of candy corn. Eye-catching yet simple. How do people think of this stuff?
Monster cupcakes of all different colors and designs.
Monster cupcakes. A very creative plate. How can you even choose one?
Cinderella cupcake. The top half is a doll with a dress of yellow frosting.
Cinderella cupcake. The top half is a doll with a dress of yellow frosting.
Yellow Minion cupcakes made out of Twinkies on top of a cupcake base with lots of yellow frosting.
Minion cupcakes. A clever design that uses half Twinkies as the Minion and the cupcake as the base.

Make a book at your school

If this looks like fun, contact us to get a book project started at your school. We can even organize another bake sale to fund the project. More details about the fundraiser here.

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Project updates

The new book on the floor of the printer's shop waiting to be bound. Each stack is a set of pages.

The making of the book

Here is my new book on the floor of the print shop waiting to be bound. It’s the Spanish edition of the kids book. “Cayendo Hacia Arriba.” I needed to hover over the guys at the shop, because it just wasn’t getting done on schedule. Grr!

Ruby The Red Worm's Dirty Job. A story about composting and over-coming bullying in favor of the bigger picture. By Scott Stoll.

Cover Design Challenges

The new book, Ruby the Red Worm, is finally here! Perhaps no one is more surprised how beautiful it is then me, especially the cover!

Sorting the illustrations

Choosing drawings for the new book

After working with the elementary students for 6 days, I got approximately 1000 drawings to choose from. So, being more of the right-brained-artistic type, it is a major organizational challenge.

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