Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More blog readers. Check. Promoting a good cause. Check. Getting Books Into the Hands of Children. Check out this Teaching Authors' Holiday Project

The six Kid Lit authors behind the Teaching Authors Blog came up with a neat idea.  For every comment on their blog in December, they'll donate $1 to First Book, an organization that gets books into the hands of needy kids. 

Here's their project:

This month we’re sponsoring a fundraiser on our TeachingAuthors blog in support of First Book, an organization “determined to see that all children, regardless of their economic conditions, can achieve more in school and in life through access to an ongoing supply of new books.” (http://www.firstbook.org/get-involved)

For every comment we receive on our blog this month (one per person, please), we’ll donate $1 to First Book. We’ll keep track of comments from now until the end of the year, we'll post periodic updates, and we’ll donate up to $225. Every $2.50 donated provides a brand-new book to a child in need. And through Dec. 31, Disney Publishing Worldwide will match every $1 donated with another new book.

Very cool.  There's a lot the rest of us can learn from what April Halprin Wayland, Carmela Martino, Esther Hershenhorn, Jeanne Marie Grunwell Ford, JoAnn Early Macken and Mary Ann Rodman have cooked up.

One of the big challenges we illustrators and authors face in promoting ourselves and our books is the hurdle of 'How do I keep talking about my books without driving everyone else nuts or coming off like a raving egomaniac?'

Undertaking projects to help others like this one is part of the answer.  Be part of the larger conversation about literacy, children's books, and the things that you're passionate about, and make it broader than "I have a book I hope you buy."

The focus of The Teaching Author's project isn't THEIR books - it's about engaging their blog readers to team up with them to do something good.  They're also promoting a literacy organization they believe in.  And they've got a tie-in with Disney publishing...  They're giving back.

As I've mentioned before, I think you get a lot from giving.  It feels great to make an impact for the better in our world.  A single book has the power to change lives.

And yes, I am sure their Teaching Authors blog will get more traffic.  And the attention they'll get (including this blog post) will also increase the profile of all six of them, and their books.  Without them having to come out and say, "I have a book I hope you buy."

It's an inspiration.

So go comment, and think about how you can broaden the conversations you're having to be someone not only known for illustrating and writing, but for doing good...  And it will be good for you, too.

Illustrate and Write On,


Carmela Martino said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, Lee, and for your help promoting our fundraiser. We've really enjoyed the wonderful comments readers have shared about their first books. It all makes me feel so happy and blessed to be part of the children's writing community.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this perfectly timed message. These women are inspirational.

Julie Hedlund said...

So glad you're promoting the Teaching Author's initiative! I've been commenting over there, and I love their blog in general.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Lee! HONORED that you're spreading the word here! Warmest, warmest wishes!


Laurisa White Reyes said...

This is a great idea. And thanks for pointing me to this blog. I didn't know about it until now.