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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Putting money where my mouth is

I'll be announcing presales for my new book on February 15. That's great news. Of course, this means that I'm announcing an announcement for a future release, I guess. Oy! Without talking about the substance of this book (coming when the announcement is made) here is a little history about the book that has me face-to-face with my conscience.

Back in 2007 when I originaly wrote the book, I determined to see how much money I could raise for my favorite charity through it. Turns out, it wasn't that much. I auctioned off naming rights for two of the characters in the book and $200 was donated. I always thought that I'd do some kind of special edition of the book and sell it to support Room to Read, the organization that builds libraries in Southeast Asia and Africa. My friend cloister27 (Plot to Punctuation)and a few others at Microsoft had twice raised $5000 during the Giving Campaign by publishing a limited run of an anthology of works by Microsoft writers.

I was employed back then. I never thought that when I got around to publishing the book that I would be depending on my freelance writing for a living. And now I'm publishing the book.

But, I can't just forget my commitment. So, in spite of the financial burden, I'm committing 50% of the gross profits (sales income received less the actual cost of the book, shipping, tax, and credit card cuts) during the presale period to Room to Read. The book will be in presale for six weeks before it is released, and I'd love to sell enough advance copies to donate a big bundle to Room to Read.

Interestingly, this not only allows me to do something good for a cause I believe in, but it is consistent with my feelings about digital rights management (DRM) and piracy. Under normal circumstances, shared books do not decrease an author's revenue from sales. They increase the author's readership. In the same way, giving away 50% of the proceeds will not "cost" me anything. If I give away $1000 in this campaign, I will also make $1000. It's one of those cases where the more I can give, the more I will make. If it takes twice the number of sales to make that $1000, that means twice the readers. And, like most authors, I measure success in readership, not in dollars.

So, consistent with my giving and readership goals, I'd like everyone who buys a presale book to share it with four other readers. And the five of you will help me raise funds for Room to Read.