And what happened when I did.
I’ve been a part of charity anthologies before. I’ve given stories to causes, and even put stories in anthologies just for the exposure. However, I never actually wrote one of my own stories and decided to see how much money I could raise for charity with it, until “The Angel,” and Happily Ever Afterlife. So how did that go?
We raised some money. It actually worked, and with a Facebook event, a Facebook page (you can still like the page here) and even before the first royalties we raised some money for Boston Children’s Hospital. Not as much as I would have liked, but the first big chunk of royalties has yet to hit the bank, and sales were good, at least for the first little while. Not bad for an anthology. We actually sold almost 50 t-shirts overall, although the shipping and the set up in the end cost me more than it should have. Not bad for a little anthology.
Not all of the feedback was positive. What follows are actually questions people asked me throughout the campaign:
Why did you give only half your royalties away? A: Well, because I paid for shipping, set up for t-shirts, and spent my time setting up the events. Giving half the proceeds away, I didn’t really make much. And I am a professional writer, so I get paid for my work. How much of your paycheck did you give back last week?
Boston is a long way away from Boise. Why couldn’t you give to something local? First, I didn’t live in Boise when I set up the charity. It took a while for the book to be published. My fans actually chose the charity by a vote. And amazingly enough, people from Boise who need specialized care go to Boston Children’s Hospital too. Would you give if it was a local charity?
Is this just a gimmick to sell books? I’ve seen other authors do this for publicity. See above. If you gave away half of your paycheck, would it deserve publicity? Hollywood stars and the ultra-rich often give away small percentages of their income and it is a big deal because the amount is bigger, not the percentage. The charity gets money I could not otherwise afford to give. You still get a great book (and a great story) to read. Who loses here?
A final word. Here’s the real deal. I’m a giving guy. I like to help others. I do much of my work for non-profits for pennies on the dollar compared to what they should pay for my expertise. I gave money away because I wanted to, not because of any return, or to raise anyone’s opinion of me.
And I will do it again, with other work in the future. Think it’s a gimmick? Don’t like it? Well, that’s okay. Personally I’ll keep giving until I can’t, even when I don’t always have ‘extra’ myself. If people use the excuse they don’t like the charity, I don’t give enough away, it isn’t local enough, or it’s just an author gimmick so they don’t have to give, fine. It’s not about them. It’s about me giving back to others when I can.
For those who gave, bought books, ordered t-shirts, and just supported the effort, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You guys rock. Haven’t read the book yet? Find it here. Still want to give? The link is here. Thanks again for all of your support.