Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Can Authors Save the World?
I’ve met more than a fair share of authors who tell me they want to sell books to make money, be famous, and to help promote their career/business. But many also tell me they want to help people with the information or message in their book. Others say they’ll donate a portion of the profits to charity. So how would that work. How can an author truly make a difference? Here are a few ways:
1. If you’re going to support a charity, think about the cause you want to serve and locate a charity that does great work and is efficient with how they spend the money they raise. Consult www.charitynavigator.org and www.bbb.org/us/charity to determine a charity that fits the qualifications you’ve decided upon.
2. Decide if you’ll support a local or national charity – or both. You may also be able to donate books to the charity, so they can give to members or sell to raise funds for the services or products they truly need.
3. Promote the charity on your website and list it at the back of your book, on the final page, so you can encourage your readers to donate time, money, or resources as well.
4. See if the charity has multiple offices or locations where you can come as a guest speaker and be allowed to sell books, with a portion of the proceeds going to them.
5. Ask the charity’s board members or community affairs director if they can help you meet other people or organizations that would be willing to host a speaking engagement. Network through the charity – it’ll help them and you.
6. In a novel, consider incorporating into the story plot line some mention of the charity or have a character deal with an issue that your favorite charity addresses.
7. When promoting your book or seeking testimonials, tell people your book is being used to support a charity.
8. Encourage fellow authors to support your charity or a charity of their preference.
9. If the charity has a newsletter or Web site, ask them to post something about you and the book.
10. Note your charity link when you’re communicating via social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, etc. and on your Web site.
But don’t expect your relationship with a charity will automatically catapult your book. Give to a charity or support a cause first and foremost because you believe in it and want to make a difference. Good things happen when you do good deeds, so use your authority as an author to save the world, one book at a time.
Brian Feinblum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and he can be followed on Twitter @theprexpert.