Just passing on the following email from Absolute Write:
I think this is important enough for its own e-mail-- I hope you don't
mind (and I hope you pass it around like crazy!).
For anyone who didn't know what's been brewing around here these
past eight weeks, Absolute Write members have been working on a
book called Stories of Strength. Everyone involved is a volunteer, and
all the profits from this book will go to disaster relief charities such as
the Red Cross, Operation USA, and the Salvation Army.
More than 100 writers are included in this anthology, which features
true stories, fiction, and poetry on the theme of strength. We have
some big names in the book, like science fiction and fantasy author
Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game), actor/writer Wil Wheaton (Star
Trek, Stand By Me), and Christian novelist Robin Lee Hatcher
(Whispers from Yesterday), alongside new writers who've never had
anything published before.
Then one acquisitions editor, 11 manuscript editors, one copy editor,
and two proofreaders volunteered to help me work with the writers
one-on-one and produce this book on an unbelievably quick
deadline. A wonderful cover designer also volunteered his work, and
three writers donated money for us to pay for review copies and
Because of the timeliness of this project, we took it to Lulu
, a print-on-demand publishing company. We
knew this would bring us some challenges with regard to distribution
and publicity (it's tough to get stores to stock POD books), but
because the book was conceived in response to Hurricane Katrina,
we thought it was more important to get it out quickly, while people
need help urgently. We're facing the challenges and hoping that
Stories of Strength will be stocked nationally by major bookstores.
But we didn't know that there would also be great benefits to our
relationship with Lulu. Now, if you know me, you know I'm not often
struck speechless. But I was, on the phone with one of the Lulu
coordinators the other day.
To give you an idea of what they've been like to work with, I e-mailed
them about this project to ask if they'd waive the ISBN fee. Not only
did they respond immediately with "Of course," but they volunteered
to donate their profits from the book to the cause, as well. Then they
offered to help with layout and formatting and storefront design. Then
they told me they'd donate 25 free copies to go to the media-- and
even mail them for us, wherever we wanted, overnight if needed.
Every time they offered more and more, I tried to think of how I would
pay them back for this. I thought about giving them some free
advertising, or writing articles about them, or writing testimonials...
something. While I was on the phone with this coordinator, she
thanked me about a hundred times for bringing them this great
project and told me what a pleasure it was to work on it.
"No, thank you," I said. "You guys have been amazing. Now tell me
what I can do for you."
She paused for a second, then said, "Nothing."
The crazy thing was, she meant it. She honestly wasn't asking
anything in return from me, and just wanted to be involved because
it's a terrific project, not because it's a great PR move. That's what
struck me speechless. That's something I find rare and beautiful, and
the glowing feeling stayed with me all night.
But it shouldn't surprise me-- that's what this project has been all
about from the start. People have happily pushed aside paying work
to help get this book ready. So many people volunteered to help in
various capacities that I don't think I ever even answered everyone.
People have offered to help us publicize the book, to review it, to
contact organizations on our behalf...
I've always known that Absolute Write members are generous and
caring people. This was just another reminder.
Before I go further, let me give you the link to the book's site and
The book was just released yesterday, November 1st. In less than
one day, we sold more than 100 books and raised more than $500
for disaster relief. One day! I didn't know how big to dare to dream
with this project. I tried to imagine a really huge goal for this book,
and I thought, "Wouldn't it be amazing to raise $100,000?" I could
never donate $100,000 on my own, and neither could most of the
other writers involved with this book, but together... maybe we could.
We talked about how this would be a great holiday gift. It's a super
way to give an uplifting present that also helps people rebuild their
lives. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that-- hey, I
would buy this book. A lot of people would buy this book, especially
because they know the money is going to an important cause and
they're helping to encourage their fellow writers in the process.
I think we're going to hit that $100,000 goal. But to do so, we need
help. We need everyone who has a blog to blog about this. Everyone
who has a newsletter or website to link to www.storiesofstrength.com.
Everyone who writes for a newspaper, magazine, or e-zine to pitch a
review or story about this to his or her editor. Everyone who can hand
out fliers in an office or school, everyone who can place a stack of
bookmarks in their local library... there are so many ways to help us
do something great here.
Take a look at http://www.storiesofstrength.com/how-you-can-help/
find our official buttons, banners, fliers, posters, bookmarks, and
press release. Forward this note to your friends and family. Whatever
you do, know that we appreciate it and that you will have a part in
helping hurricane survivors.
To quote a line from one of the poets in our book, "Pollinate the
garden that surrounds you." I believe in the strength of community. I
believe that we can each change the world, just by caring enough
about others to take action in small ways. I believe that the crimes we
read about in the news are the exceptions and not the rules in a world
that is made up of people who, by and large, desperately want to help
and comfort those in need.
It's an honor to get to use our talents to help others, and to know that I
can rely on the members here to pitch in wherever help is needed.
Thank you to everyone who's already been involved with this project. I
hope we can make you very proud!
To order the book, visit http://www.lulu.com/content/172091
Editor-in-chief of http://www.absolutewrite.com
Author of 14 books: http://www.jennaglatzer.com