Last week, my friend and fellow author Shelly Arkon came up with a wonderful, generous idea: donate her ebook royalties for the summer to the Red Cross to help the victims of the Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes. I was so moved by her gesture, I decided to follow suit. It was, I believed, the right thing to do. I posted my intention at Facebook and here on my blogs. I believed other authors would follow suit.
I was surprised--and frustrated--by the lack of comments, even from my regular readers. Did no one care about helping fellow human beings in need? How could anyone be indifferent to this situation?
But the truth is that when an author--or anyone else, for that matter--publicly announces their intention to give their entire income for any period of time to a good cause, it's going to be met with a degree of skepticism by almost everyone except those who know the person making the announcement very well. And with good cause. How many times have such announcements been made just to increase the "donor's" own income? There was an incident, back when Shelly, William and our friends were meeting on the Writers Digest message boards--an author of biographies had allegedly donated her royalties to some cause related to one of her subjects. But no one could find any proof the donation had ever been made. This sort of thing is far too common.
A change in plan was needed, and Authors for Oklahoma was created. Shelly, William and I launched a Facebook page. Shelly got permission to use the Red Cross banner on the page and activated a Crowdrise application that would enable people to donate directly to the Red Cross from the page. We approached our fellow authors for book donations. We're creating baskets of books and ebooks to be raffled, the proceeds to go to the Red Cross. A $10 donation buys a chance to win the book basket of your choice.
We hope you'll buy a ticket to help a good cause and win some good books!