Friday, April 08, 2011

First Book Charity Drive

Like most authors, we love it when people read -- especially when they read our books. This time, it's about kids and a project called First Book and Joe Konrath started the ball rolling with his pledge to donate $500 to the charity if his book reached the top 100 on Amazon. His book, Origin, has since reached his goal and $500 has been donated to First Book. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

Other authors have joined the cause and are offering their books for 99 cents with a pledge of either $500 or $250 to First Book if their books reach the top 100 on Amazon. Check out the listing and support these writers. Most of all, do it for the kids.

When a child learns to read and has his own books to read, his life changes in unimaginable ways. I gave -- and still give -- books to my children and to my nieces and nephews, books they still cherish. One of my nephews, Anthony, is writing his own trilogy and has been working hard at it for a couple of years. When he was little he told me he wanted to be a paleontologist (he loves dinosaurs) and a writer just like me. He doesn't study dinosaurs, but he does write and continues to dream of having his books published and read. It's the same dream I had when I was a child and books took me to exotic places and opened my imagination.

To that end, I have decided to join the drive to help out First Book and bring books to children. Among Women will remain for sale at 99 cents on Amazon and, if it reaches the top 100 in April or May, I'll send First Book $250. If Among Women reaches the top spot in April or May, I'll add another $500 for First Book. It's all in a good cause -- reading and books. This is one bandwagon I hope a lot of authors jump onto. I'm jumping on now. In addition to helping children, you'll get a chance to enter a different world in Among Women, a New Orleans you don't see when you're a tourist.

When you give a book to a child, it is a gift that never gets old or tarnishes or is forgotten. The gift of reading and books is the gift that keeps on giving. Books need authors, but most of all they need readers. Plant the seeds early. Donate to First Books and spread the word.

Edit 04/09/11: The more I think about First Books and what they do, the more it makes me see that I could do more. So, once this current charity drive is over, I'll pledge 10% of all royalties on sale of all books to First Book paid quarterly. In this tough economy, someone has to stand up for the children and books, and I'd like to be the first.

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