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When thinking ahead to the launch of my YA novel, The Boy Who Loved Fire, I felt uncomfortable with the me, me, me approach. Heck, when I got married and had children I didn’t even like the unwrapping gifts portions of my bridal and baby showers because the attention was focused solely on me.
An idea struck. I’d attach all the proceeds from the first two day’s worth of sales to two amazing charities: Grossman Burn Center (via Firefighters Quest for Burn Survivors) and Carousel Ranch (equestrian therapy for disabled children). My son is a burn victim who had been helped tremendously by the Grossman Burn Center. Carousel Ranch helps disabled kids near my home. Both charities hold special places in my heart.
Once the decision was made, I no longer cringed at the thought of telling people about my book. I wanted to tell as many people as possible so these amazing organizations could benefit.
If you’re thinking about connecting your book release to charitable giving, here are some suggestions to consider:
- Choose charities that connect to your book: When doing so, this can introduce readers to your book who may be going through similar issues. For instance, my main character falls in love with a burn victim. This burn victim had healed with the help of caring people at an equestrian therapy ranch. These story threads connect directly to the chosen charities.
- Choose charities that deserve exposure: Make sure the charities are real, and that they do great work. Unfortunately, there are plenty of scammers out there. If readers are buying your book in order to help a charity, they should feel confident that their money and efforts won’t be wasted.
- Have the print version ready to go: Not every reader is using an ereader. I didn’t want the charity to lose money simply because a giver only read print books. It was a lot of work to get the print book ready by release day, but at least I knew the charity wouldn’t lose donations because of lack of print.
- Ask the charity to help spread the word about your book: Most charities have built-in networks. The goal is to sell as many books as possible on the designated day in order to bring the most benefit to the organization. If the author and the charity work together to spread the word, both sides win.
- Charitable giving can expose new readers to your work: By choosing to be a giver with your book release, you may reap unexpected benefits. Perhaps new readers will give you a chance. This shouldn’t be the main reason why you choose to give. It’s merely a side benefit.
Attaching book releases to charitable giving makes the buyer feel good. Yes, they’re buying a story they’ll hopefully enjoy, but they’re also helping others. It’s a great way to turn away from the me, me, me approach and turn toward the give, give, give approach.
Have you considered connecting a book release to charitable giving? If you decided to do this, what charities would you consider? Are they connected to your book’s theme? Please share!