Doing Well by Doing Good

When I finished writing Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft, I decided that I wanted to use it, in part, to do something good – I wanted to donate some of my profits from the book to a charity. Applying my librarian skills for good instead of for evil, I started to research charities, looking for something that did work I believed in with an efficiency that I could admire.

And so I found First Book.

First Book is a national charity that gives underprivileged children their first new books to own forever. They distribute books throughout the United States. They work with libraries, schools, and churches to distribute their books, many of which are donated by publishers. Their overhead costs are right around 3% (including all staff salaries, promotion, mailings, etc.) They consistently receive the highest ratings by organizations that review charities for efficiency and fairness.

I was impressed with everything that I read about First Book. I contacted them, and I met with several of their staff people. I decided that I would donate 10% of my profits on Girl’s Guide. (Down the road, when our relationship was working so well, I decided to add 10% of my profits on Sorcery and the Single Girl.)

First Book continues to do great work. They distributed millions of books in the Gulf Area, following Hurricane Katrina, and I’m sure that they’re even now figuring out what they can do to help in Southern California after the fires finally burn out.

First Book recognizes that it’s in their best interest for me to sell as many books as possible. To that end, they include my books in their online store. They provide me with donated Google Adwords (those search terms that generate the grey “sponsored” links on Google) for hundreds of words – search those phrases on Google, and a link to my First Book online store page appears in the sponsored links section. First Book employees have shown up at my readings, at signings, and at other promotional events.

In short, this is a partnership that works.

What charities do you embrace in your daily life? Do they relate to your reading or writing in any way?

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  1. 1. Karen Wester Newton

    I agree First Book is great. While libraries are wonderful places to share books, there’s nothing quite like owning a book you loved reading. When I was a kid I must have read The Secret Garden 20 times.

    I don’t really have any charities that overlap with writing. I sponsor a child in Indonesia because I like programs that are aimed at individuals. I tend to support charities like SOME that focus on the basics. And since my brother passed away in 2006, I have given to the Spina Bifida Association, because he was on their board and served as their general counsel. I like that they split their efforts between helping people with spina bifida and getting the word out about how to prevent (most of) it.

Author Information

Mindy Klasky

Mindy Klasky is the author of eleven novels, including WHEN GOOD WISHES GO BAD and HOW NOT TO MAKE A WISH in the As You Wish Series. She also wrote GIRL'S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT, SORCERY AND THE SINGLE GIRL, and MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL, about a librarian who finds out she's a witch. Mindy also wrote the award-winning, best-selling Glasswrights series and the stand-alone fantasy novel, SEASON OF SACRIFICE. Visit site.



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