48-cause-marketing-partner-with-charityOn the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes #GivingTuesday, so this is a particularly timely installment!

We’re big fans of cause marketing when it comes to books because it fits into our whole “Win” mission. Partnering with a favorite charity offers plenty of “wins.” The author wins new fans, the reader wins new work to enjoy, and the charity wins from author co’oped fundraising events and/or a percentage of book sales. As authors, we all want to know we’re reaching more readers and making a difference. Partnering with a charity can do both!

Bonus: If you’re an author who’s uncomfortable marketing yourself, cause marketing, aligning with a charity to help market your book, can also make you feel more comfortable touting the benefits of your book and, depending the charity you work with, can expose your work to a whole new audience.

Here’s how four of our favorite authors have aligned well with specific causes – perhaps their inspiring stories will help you identify a cause of your own!

book-medBren McClain – One Good Mama Bone

In One Good Mama Bone by Bren McClain, cows play an integral part of the story. In writing the book, Bren became involved in animal rights issues and several organizations, including Farm Sanctuary and the Indraloka Animal Sanctuary.

author2bigIn a recent “Thanksliving” event for Indraloka, Bren was invited to do a reading of her book that releases February 14, 2017, and an advanced reading copy was auctioned off to benefit the sanctuary. The single book auction raised $500!

Bren’s ability to make significant connections with animal organizations have brought her new fans, but more importantly, have allowed her to benefit organizations that help her favorite creatures.

wounded-warrior-wounded-wife-coverBarbara McNally – Wounded Warrior, Wounded Wife

Barbara McNally is the author of Wounded Warrior, Wounded Wife. During her experience as a licensed physical therapist, Barbara has helped people from all walks of life, including veterans, recover and regain their strength. This work also connected her with the spouses of wounded warriors and hearing their stories inspired her to launch the Barbara McNally foundation, which offers workshops, seminars and scholarships that enhance the lives of women.

barbara-mcnally-colorThe foundation also co-sponsors Support, Purpose & Appreciation Days (SPA Days) for the spouses of wounded warriors, offering caregivers a much-needed day of relaxation and self-care. All the proceeds of her book sales go to support this worthy organization.

In the process, Barbara has connected to over a dozen other organizations dedicated to wounded warriors and their families, all who were eager to endorse her book and promote it to their own audiences!

Dr. Roger Newman – Dr. Decklan Murphy Medical Thrillers

two-drifters-by-roger-newman-684x1024Roger Newman, M.D. is a novelist, academic Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist  and member of the faculty at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). A nationally known leader in the field of Ob-Gyn, he also writes medical mysteries.

Helping to support local literary initiatives in South Carolina, Newman became involved in LILA, the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts, most recently to facilitate MUSC to install Free Little Libraries on MUSC property. The boxes, one in the park area of the campus, one on a main drag on Charleston’s peninsula, offer books for area residents to take and read.

roger-newman-two-driftersAnd of course, Roger’s books are among those on offer!

Roger isn’t the only one on the Free Little Library bandwagon. Several area authors have joined in the fun, helping with fundraisers. And several more authors, including Kim Boykin, John Thompson, Susan M. Boyer, Kathleen Varn, and Andra Watkins have sponsored boxes to have installed throughout the area, encouraging reading and new fans. Companies including Where Writers Win and Kirkus Reviews have also sponsored libraries.

Lee Adams – Donor Girl & Strawberry Wine

strawberry-wine-by-lee-adamsAuthor Lee Adams wrote Donor Girl after donating a kidney to her brother-in-law. A self-proclaimed hypochondriac, Lee quickly learned the value – and the need – for education and encouragement of life-saving organ donations.

lee-adams-authorHer second book, a work of fiction titled Strawberry Wine, also dealt with the issue of organ donation, and Lee says the issue will always figure into her work.

For most, donating a kidney might have been enough. But for Lee, she is an ongoing advocate for organ donation, and a portion of the proceeds of each book sale go to support The Kidney Foundation.

This of course is just a random sampling of authors, their chosen charities, and how each have decided to further their favorite cause.

The possibilities are endless for win-win cause marketing. Writing for women? Find a group that helps women succeed personally or professionally. Children’s books work with children’s charities. Literary fiction might partner with literacy organizations. There are as many charitable organizations as there are book topics — go find yours!

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Have you partnered with a charitable organization to your mutual benefit? Tell us with your comment below!






3 thoughts on “Author Marketing Mastery #48: Cause Marketing – When Book Sales Benefit Charity (and Vice Versa!)

  • December 2, 2016 at 5:57 am

    Awesome! thanks for the article.

  • November 30, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    I first tied in with a charity in 2013 with my second novel, WARMING UP, a story about a chance encounter with a homeless boy. I donated 10% of my proceeds to THE NIGHT MINISTRY, which serves Chicago’s homeless, with a focus on homeless teens. We each invited a hundred or so guests to the launch party, and The Night Ministry presented its programs to my readers, and I presented my writing to their supporters.
    For my third novel in 2015, SALUTING THE SUN, my indie-publisher, AMPERSAND, INC., created an imprint, GOOD READING FOR A CAUSE. I use this “button” on the cover of that book and of my fourth, ONE FOR THE ARK. 10% of my proceeds from SALUTING THE SUN benefit the LEGAL ASSISTANCE FOUNDATION, and ONE FOR THE ARK benefits LAWYERS FOR THE CREATIVE ARTS. (I have been on the board of directors of both organizations.) We ran similar launches with a diverse group of invitees to each.
    Indie authors have to do everything they can to market their works; the charities usually don’t benefit as much as the author. (I make my donation upfront, 10% of the family/friends cover price of $15 times the number of copies I’ve printed–usually 500 or 1000 for the first printing.) I try to make this over and above my usual contribution. What is most useful to me about cause marketing of this sort is that it gives me one more thing to talk to readers about–something I am passionate about–and it helps me get over my shyness about asking someone to buy my book.
    Win. Win, indeed.

    • December 1, 2016 at 1:58 am

      Brilliant input and advice, Mary!!! Yes, love the idea of contributing up front as it guarantees the charity we’re not just using them for PR… and in the process tend to get more PR. Love the charities you’ve chosen — worthy causes all — thanks for making the author community look so great!

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