In Canada, the US and the UK, kids will be going back to school in a short while, so now’s a good time to remind you of the donation program for my books. Here’s how it works: teachers, librarians (and others, like people who work in family shelters, halfway houses, prisons, etc) indicate that they’d like copies of my books for their classes or collections. Then, people like you order copies and have them sent straight to the teachers. I pay someone who checks out each donation solicitation to make sure that it’s legit.
I do this in lieu of cash donations, because this has so many beneficial side effects: it registers as a sale, which means my publisher is happy; it supports booksellers (you can donate a copy from any bookseller that has a mail-order business), who are firmly on the side of the angels; it gets me a royalty and keeps my rapidly growing toddler in shoes and sailor suits; and, of course, it gets books into the hands of teachers, librarians, care-givers, case workers, and the kids, clients, and patrons they serve. It’s a win all the way around (and yes, I’m thinking of ways to automate and expand this program to include other authors, possibly through a charity that can issue tax-receipts to donors, which would be just so kick-ass).
We’ve given hundreds of books to schools, libraries and other worthy institutions this way. For years, readers have asked me if they can donate cash to me because they’ve downloaded my books and don’t need the physical objects. I’m really happy with this solution, even though to date it has made a small loss (it’s not cheap to pay someone a fair wage to hand-write all the web-pages, and vet all the solicitation).