The holiday book sale was over, so I came up with a slightly different way to keep book sales going — with a short story….
Before and After: Billy was a computer nerd who holed himself up in his room. He rarely was invited to parties because he had nothing to talk about except computers and programs he wrote. People thought he was weird. He never went out with girls. He was a social leper.
But one day, a co-worker sent him a copy of This is True and, intrigued, he subscribed. And suddenly, he had something to talk about: wild, fun, and TRUE stories, some with a great punch line. People started talking about Billy in a positive light. Billy was a nerd, but he wasn’t stupid: he knew what was up. So he ordered a copy of the This is True book and had a lot of great stories to tell. Not only did people start to invite him to parties, but Billy was often the center of attention, entertaining his new friends.
He bought more of the books, taking advantage of the holiday discount with orders for five or more copies (I already told you he wasn’t stupid!) and used them as gifts: ‘See what fun stuff you can find on the net?’ he asked his new friends as he passed out copies of the book, and they started to realize how cool someone could be when they had some online experience.
Soon, with his newfound confidence, Billy changed his name to Bill, took his software company public (pocketing billions), and won the hand of a beautiful (and intelligent) woman — making her laugh helped there, too. Parties? Now, everywhere he goes, people turn toward Bill and listen to his every word.