Each month, the Nonfiction Authors Association asks a burning publishing question of the industry’s best, brightest, and most innovative experts. Here’s what they have to say!
NFAA: What is your favorite charitable cause and how might authors use their platforms to help promote their own favorite causes?
One of my clients is donating a portion of his book proceeds to National Hemophilia Foundation in honor of his grandson, who has hemophilia.
NHF has already featured my client on their FB stream and we have hopes that they might sponsor an event with him in 2019 after his book comes out.
Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist markets nonfiction & historical fiction in all three pub tracks and especially enjoys working with debut authors.
My favorite charitable cause is a camp for young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer called Project Koru https://projectkoru.org
Authors can certainly use their platforms to promote their favorite causes; the key is to make the “ask” as clear as possible and to make it easy to participate. Sometimes you can relate a charity with your book topic or with personal experience. In that way, your authentic interest can come across in the message and readers that enjoy your work can learn more about you vis a vis the cause you are passionate about. It’s always fun for readers to get a glimpse into the interests of their favorite authors.
Marquina Iliev-Piselli is a Digital Marketer and the Founder of AuthorpreneurLaunch.com. She helps authors feel empowered, not overwhelmed, by marketing.
One of my favorite charitable causes is International Justice Mission, which helps free people from modern-day slavery. Authors can email their audience to let them know a percentage of book sales royalties goes to a charitable cause. Then the author can elaborate on why they support this cause with a link to learn more and donate.
Derek Doepker is a 7-time bestselling author who helps aspiring authors turn their knowledge and expertise into a bestselling book. http://bestsellersecrets.com
We have a few causes we support. Firstly, we give to two senior dog charities as part of a monthly donation. These charities take in older dogs that have been abandoned by their owners. Our biggest charity is a gifting project we do each year at the end of the year. Each year we “adopt” a group of soldiers stationed in the Middle East. We’ve done this for five + years. By “adopting,” what I mean is we become their Santa. We gift them all sorts of things from socks, to candy, jerky, books, DVD’s and books. Most years we have around 50 soldiers, but this year we had 97 across several bases.
If an author wants to do any kind of giving project, or charity I think it’s a good idea to find one that aligns with their book/topic—or that they have a personal tie to in some way. Because the gifting and charity work should be mentioned on their website, and as part of their overall brand message, too. It’s also a good way to raise awareness for certain charity opportunities that folks maybe hadn’t considered. I get this a lot with the military gifting we do! Many authors we’ve worked with have mentioned the charitable contribution right on their book cover (“A portion of the proceeds of the sale of this book…”) but most mention it on their website somewhere, with a link to the charity itself.
Penny Sansevieri is the CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., an Adjunct Professor at NYU, and the author of How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon.www.amarketingexpert.com
I like locally run charities; the Nashville Rescue Mission does such important work here in my city, providing emergency services and life recovery programs, all while stressing hope and dignity. I think that, if an author feels deeply about a cause, he should consider ways to elevate an appropriate charity or organization, but that author must do his homework first! Volunteer there, check out their history to learn about any questionable actions or relationships with other organizations, how much they spend on administration, etc. A smart way to support that charity is via social media, which can include reposting the organization’s postings, taking photos when you’re volunteering and then tagging them when you post, even asking your Facebook friends to contribute to that charity on your birthday.
Judy McDonough is a senior publicist at PR by the Book, specializing in entertainment publicity over her twenty-year career.
My favorite charitable cause is Yucatan Peninsula Mission (YPM), which I have been involved with for 6 years. This mission which has been around for decades provides opportunities for positive change for children, adults, families and communities in the Yucatan Peninsula, in Mexico—through service projects, education, health care, cultural exchange, and spiritual support. I think if an author is passionate about a particular charity or cause, they can show their support in many ways, including their own platforms, such as blog writing, speaking, donating a portion of their proceeds, and of course, sharing on social media. The key is when you find a cause or mission that you care about, GET INVOLVED—talk about why you care and why this particular charity is important to you. Your enthusiasm and passion, when genuine, are contagious.
Leslie Barrett is on the board of YPM and a publicist at PR by the Book in Austin, Texas.
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