I love my dog, Java. He brings so much joy into my life. My husband and I adopted him from a local animal shelter about five years ago and I can’t even imagine my life without him now. He’s inspired several of my stories including one that is currently being considered by a publisher.
As a dog lover, when I heard about the blog tour for Barbara Barth’s A Dog Dreams of Paris, I was curious to learn more about the book. It’s all about a real rescue dog named April, the sixth dog to be adopted by Barbara! And when I discovered that a portion of all book sales will be donated to animal rescue, I signed up for the tour without hesitation.
Barbara’s had some success with raising funds for charities through book sales, a topic I’m very interested in, and has written an article for Frog on a Blog about three positive experiences she’s had doing exactly that–Earmarking a Portion of Your Book Profits for Charity. Before we get to the article, let me share Barbara’s sweet book A Dog Dreams of Paris with you.
Title: A Dog Dreams of Paris: From Rescue Dog to Diva
Author: Barbara Barth
Genre: Gift Book/Children
Publisher: Gilbert Street Press
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Paperback: 52 pages (also available as ebook)
Synopsis: Meet April, a rescue dog turned Diva, in this charming picture book for dreamers of all ages. This fantasy dog memoir is April’s travel diary on places she would visit in Paris. April was the sixth dog adopted by author Barbara Barth. She had trouble finding her place in the pack and sat quietly watching the other dogs. During a photo shoot for an Easter blog post, a vintage pink hat, complete with a large silk rose, was placed on April’s head. She wore the hat with style and transformed from April to Miss April in Paris. For a few months she had a blog of her own, where she dreamed of visiting the city of lights. April has completed her Paris diary and is sharing it with you here.
Earmarking a Portion of Your Book Profits for Charity
by Barbara Barth
I love the idea that a book will bring pleasure to the person reading it and help a great cause with its sales. The two together are a win-win situation. I am not a professional fundraiser, but like to feel my sales can help my favorite charities. In my case, mostly animal rescue groups, since I live with six dogs from my local shelters. To be honest, I confuse myself with some of my ideas, because I wing it many times. There are no set guidelines; I just do what pops into my head at any given moment. I will share the three experiences I’ve had and the great outcomes from all three.
The book that started it all for me (my calling myself a writer) was my memoir on my first year as a widow. The Unfaithful Widow, published in 2010, was a series of essays over a year on finding a life of my own again. Dogs played a huge role in my healing process. I adopted five dogs in nine months, giving me six dogs at home, with my old dog Foxy. My book launch was at a friend’s huge Victorian bed and breakfast, complete with a silent auction to benefit the agency that brought me most of my dogs, Animal Action Rescue. The evening was a gala for me and for the rescue group. I planned on keeping the wholesale cost of each book I sold and then donating the profit to the group. The first person who bought my book wanted to write a check. “Who should I make the check out to?” A simple question, but it kick started a thought in my mind. I didn’t want to figure out the profit at the end of the evening. Right there I decided to donate the entire price of my book to my rescue group. I gave the woman the animal rescue groups name for her check (which also allowed her to claim a charitable deduction) and to my surprise, she wrote a check for twenty dollars for my $15.95 book. The rest of the evening went like that. As soon as I told a customer all the money went to the rescue group, they paid more for my book, both in cash and check. One woman, who was a huge dog lover, wrote a check for $100. I was amazed at the generosity of people when it came to donating to a cause, rather than just buying a book. The evening was magical.
In December 2014, I published a Christmas anthology that include stories from thirty authors. Originally, it was going to be a free e-book on Kindle. The perk for the authors, they had their bio and web links at the end of their piece. Again, things did not go as planned. The book had to have a price to be uploaded to Kindle, and then I could put it in KDP select for a short free promotion. I didn’t want to profit from the work of my fellow authors, and if we had sales, the money needed to go to a charity. A quick e-mail to everyone took care of that. We would donate any sales to a children’s literacy group. I chose First Book, a group that provides access to new books for children in need. I contacted their home office; wanting to be sure it was okay for me to link back to them in the e-book. The bottom line, I explained to them, we may not have many sales, but with thirty authors involved, First Book would receive additional press and let others know of their work. First Book is a huge charity, but you can never have too much great PR. The sales for our e-book were not great, but the response from the authors who were in the book was awesome. Some donated directly to First Book, and I donated the sales and a contribution of my own. Disney matched all donations made by December 31st by tripling the number of books donated to children. We met that deadline, so our small amount of sales plus personal donations escalated thanks to Disney’s generosity and that of our group.
A Dog Dreams of Paris is my dream of the perfect book to help raise money for animal groups. I am still working on a plan for it. The book had a quiet launch with all profits in May going to Friends of DeKalb Animals, again a group close to my heart. Immediately after the book was available for sale I went into the hospital for hip replacement surgery. I have not had a chance to get the book out for book signings or to local shops. That is next month’s goal after my physical therapy is completed and I am mobile again. The picture book is based on Miss April in Paris, the last rescue dog to come to me at the beginning of 2011. It is her story on finding her way in the pack. I donated books to the group that brought me April, Atlanta Canine Adoption Project as a thank you for my lovely dog. In addition, it states in the book and in my promotional material, rescue groups can buy the book at my wholesale costs for fundraising.
I am sure there are professional guidelines on how to donate part of your book sales to charity, and you can Google them. I just wanted to share my experiences in this post. I have never figured out how to make money for myself with my books, but I write for the love of writing, pulling a project together, helping other authors with publicity, and finding a way to give to the folks who give to others of their time and energy. It isn’t about the money; it is about doing what feels right.
About Barbara Barth:
Barbara Barth likes a lot of things: turquoise jewelry, surfing the ‘net, and margaritas, to name a few. Then there are the dogs. As many as her house can hold! After her husband died she recorded the year that followed in a series of essays that became her memoir The Unfaithful Widow. When she isn’t writing you can find her at the local thrift shops or pounding another nail into the wall to hang the paintings she can’t resist. She published a romance novel Danger in her Words before one of her dogs, Miss April in Paris, insisted it was HER turn to write a memoir. Miss April in Paris now refers to Barbara as “my secretary”.
Barbara Barth’s website:
Barbara Barth’s blog:
Barbara on Facebook:
Barbara on Twitter: @writerwithdogs
Organizations referred to in the article:
First Book http://www.firstbook.org/first-book-story
Animal Action Rescue http://www.animalactionrescue.org/
Friends of DeKalb Animals http://friendsofdekalbanimals.com/
Atlanta Canine Adoption Project http://awos.petfinder.com/shelters/acap.html
Please visit the other stops on the tour:
Monday, June 29 @ The Muffin
interview and giveaway
Tuesday, June 30 @ Bring on Lemons
Wednesday, July 1 @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
Friday, July 3 @ Deal Sharing Aunt
Monday, July 6 @ Frog on a Blog
Wednesday, July 8 @ Building Bookshelves
Thursday, July 9 @ Words by Webb
Friday, July 10 @ Oh My Dog!
interview and giveaway
Tuesday, July 14 @ Writer with Dogs
Wednesday, July 15 @ Hott Books
Thursday, July 16 @ Margo Dill
Friday, July 17 @ Renee’s Pages
Friday, July 24 @ MC Simon Writes