Warning: contains awesome poetry.
It makes me happy that people like this exist.
Nobody gave him permission to be a children's book author. He decided to just go for it. He wrote the book, published it himself, and put it for sale on his website. He didn't seek a book deal. He bootstrapped.
He didn't buy advertising. He got in his car and drove around the country doing readings at schools, libraries, and hospitals, handing out free copies to lots of kids. He made a product that people wanted, put it in their hands, and those people evangelized the product for him. It reminds me of AirBnB's talk at Startup School this year, how they traveled from door to door, meeting their users face to face to promote their business.
I don't think he wrote the book with the hopes of selling a buttload of units, but rather because he wanted his son, and other kids, to read it. It's a happy accident that somehow he ended up selling a buttload of units. For every book he sells, he gives a copy away for free through the Awesome World Foundation.
i find people like this extremely unnerving. this kind of oceanic "awesomeness" enthusiasm comes across as someone struggling to convince themselves that just the opposite isn't the case.
Just as unnerving are adults that think it's too late for them to be taken with childlike wonder or enthusiasm, but there's no reason for that. It's a remarkable feat to convince yourself that the world is predictable and that some things are impossible. (Not saying that you're one of these people, but that extremes of both sides are bad.)