9 min 2 sec

Kids’ Books Prove To Be More Than Child’s Play

When an uncle responds to a family tragedy by creating a children's book, he weaves a story that’s inspiring for both kids and adults.
Books Writing

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What It's About

A devoted uncle unlocks his gift of storytelling, illustrating a series of award-winning children's books.

Business Model
Skills Required
Writing & Marketing
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Don’t be afraid to continue working at something you love, even if you aren’t making a lot of money. Dave slogged away at writing for 10 years before he started to earn some real money. While this may seem daunting, it never was - because he loved the process.

Fun Fact

Dave was born with dyslexia, ADD, and Aspergers and was put into special education classes. He was completely illiterate until junior high school. Now… he’s an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator.

Notes from Chris

Episode 1019
David Howard had a difficult life growing up. At a young age, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, ADD, and Asperger syndrome. It was a cocktail of complexes that made conventional learning difficult. Most of his schooling consisted of attending special education classes.

The supportive environment helped, but not quite enough, and David remained illiterate until junior high. As a result, he was often bullied by the other kids and felt alone, ostracized, and scared.

During that time, he found an escape in the form of art and creative writing. By combining words with images, he crafted stories and built his own world. A world where no one could bully or hurt him.

To some extent, it worked! David made it through high school and says now that all those experiences—both positive and negative—shaped him. After graduation, he attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, graduating with an associate’s degree in Visual Communications.

Fast forward a few years, and David received some exciting news. His niece was pregnant, and the family celebrated with a baby shower. David wanted to give her a memorable gift, and thought of a poem he’d written about a dog some years earlier. He thought he could expand the poem to create a children's story book. He spent some time illustrating and fleshing out the story then, presented it to his niece. It was an instant hit with all the guests. On top of that, it was the first time he had received such direct praise for his work… and he liked it!

Unfortunately, a few months later David’s family was hit with tragedy. That child passed away shortly after being born, dying of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. As a way of coping with the loss, David decided to rework the book he’d gifted, and dedicate the finished product to his great niece.

The book was titled “Lady’s Day To Play” and David self-published several copies through Lulu, a self-publishing website. He donated a portion of the sales to S.I.D.S research. The process was cathartic for him, and he vowed to continue writing and illustrating.

As time went on, he wrote more and more stories and turned them into books. He continued to sell them to family and friends, but it wasn’t until over a year later that he managed to sell to what he considered real customers. That is, people who weren’t inside his direct network. That first flutter of outside sales came in through word of mouth.

Afterwards, he decided to launch a website to showcase some of his work. He named the site Uncle Dave’s Books. Under that label he produced several titles including Mouse In The House, Baby Ben Did It Again, and The Cloud That Couldn’t Cry.

Ever since these books were published, he’s sold around two hundred books per month and generates over two thousand dollars profit. The money is still just a bonus for David. What he enjoys most about the process is that his stories put smiles on children’s faces.

With that amount of revenue, David feels comfortable enough to take the next step. He will soon be opening a brick and mortar store to sell his books in a physical location. The story is far from over…



Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"I just love helping kids. Just seeing the joy on their faces is payment enough."
—Dave Howard #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau