I’ve been working away on a fun idea I’ve had for a while. Felt good to focus on this project the last couple of months and see it through to (almost) completion. I think it will bring some love and laughter to at least a few lives in the coming years!
It’s a series of Lunchbox LOL inserts 🙂
I made my first set in pdf form back in September 2012 when I was hunting around for jokes to put in the boys’ lunchboxes every day. They were both down in the dumps about going back to school after a fantastic summer. I’d put notes in their lunches in previous years, but they were both really into telling jokes at the time.
So I went on the hunt. And found… not much! Not much that was ready-to-use anyway.
In usual Anna fashion, when there is lack of something I need (or want :)), I set out to make it myself. What I needed was an easy-to-use resource for my household. Something that could be shared with others if I felt so inclined. ‘Cause that just seems to be how I roll.
I cut and pasted an entire school year’s worth of “clean”, age-appropriate jokes into a pdf format – one that would be easy for me to cut out each day’s jokes and slip them into the lunchboxes. There was 200 jokes altogether. I added clip art to each joke and made the document look all nice and pretty and fun.
When I realized how easy this was all becoming – to share a laugh with the boys from home, to make that heart connection at school, I knew I wanted to offer it to others.
Plus I’d always wanted to try selling something online 😉
So I set myself up an Etsy shop. I can’t remember how I first learned about Etsy, but I’m so glad I did.
This was back in the dinosaur age of sourcing out the pdf download to one company, and paying another to accept payments for me online. Or manually sending each customer an email with the pdf download attached. Things have gotten SO MUCH easier on Etsy since then. Again, I’m so glad.
I sold a few copies of the original Lunchbox Jokes pdf on Etsy – it was so exciting to make that first sale online to a complete stranger! I also received some pretty positive feedback from customers. This only served to encourage me 🙂 You know that phrase Don’t encourage him/her?
Too late now.
Through that first year of putting these jokes into the boy’s lunchboxes I noticed they would come home laughing about the joke they’d had that day, or retelling it to us that night. I also noticed they started mentioning whether or not their friends liked the joke or thought it was lame. So… they’re sharing the jokes with they’re friends, eh? So… the laughter is spreading beyond their own lunchboxes into other lunchboxes, eh? GREAT!
After that first year of jokes, and another summer, it was time to head back to school… again. And I was lacking in lunchbox inserts… again.
Hmmm… I need more.
I set to work finding more jokes, and other ideas began to grow as I searched. What about trivia facts? Calculator words? Funny word play? Riddles? Strange questions? And it all grew from there. I cut and pasted more printouts for the boy’s lunchboxes, and had a pretty substantial supply for the coming years. I wouldn’t be caught lacking for at least a few years! But I didn’t have time to make them into pretty cut-outs. Instead they were just normal, average, run-of-the-mill cut-outs – black on white paper, cut out that morning in a hurry and shoved into the lunchboxes as we rushed out the door to school.
Life does that sometimes – puts ideas on the shelf because it’s time for other ideas to be realized. And that’s OK.
I continued to sell my lone Lunchbox Jokes pdf on Etsy, and sold a few copies every year.
And moved on to other things like finishing university, and self-publishing a couple of books. Good things, mind you! But the idea for a Lunchbox LOL Series stuck in the back of my mind – always. I knew the potential and the resources were there to do this. And digital downloads was now an easy thing of the present day.
This spring I needed a fun project to work on, something that was light-hearted and would realize one of the many ideas that fill my head constantly.
I chose the Lunchbox LOL Series. It was definitely now worth it to try this idea out. The demand is there, the resources are there, the selling tools are there. And now I even know how to make them into a paperback book to sell in-person and on Amazon too. Just needed to bring it all together.
And now… almost there. I’ll be officially launching the product on Tuesday, June 12th. This will sync nicely with back-to-school shopping. (Shh – don’t say that where the kids can hear)!
I’ll let you know more about it over the next couple of weeks.
One secret – I DID get the Etsy pdfs done already, and they ARE already available on my updated Etsy store – SklarInk. But I’m not telling the whole world yet. If you can’t wait, that’s OK – head on over and grab a copy anytime.
This week I’m proofreading the paperback edition and ordering some sample copies.