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Feeling the Love: A Grateful Newbie Indie

September 19, 2012

Thanksgiving may be a couple of months away, but I’m getting a head start on the feeling-thankful thing. There are many lessons I’ve learned as a new citizen of the self-publishing community, and one thing I learned very early on is that overwhelmingly, people are so darn nice. An international best-selling author taking the time to respond to an email from an unknown indie asking about self-publishing…a best-selling U.S. author telling me to call her so she could give me some advice and then talking to me for an hour…another established author sending me lengthy emails outlining specific marketing tips…the people who have taken the time to read, rate or review my book. And at the top of the list: the gracious, professional and kind bloggers and reviewers who understand their importance to an unknown author and write honest, detailed reviews.

The prevailing sentiment there is room for everyone has been echoed repeatedly in all aspects of the self-publishing world. There is sharing of, not competing for, readers. It feels like we’re all in this together–miles and sometimes continents away, but connected by love for the written word. As a mom whose chicks have flown the nest, I have needed to “meet” people, make new friends and build new networks, to stimulate my mind and challenge myself…to fill the empty, aching hole when I used to feel whole. 

I’ve been feeling a lot more whole lately. I gave my first official talk as an author last night. As I posted on my Facebook page, I had been torn between wanting no one and a whole bunch of people to show up. It turned out to be just the right number. I was touched and honored that people would come out to listen to a new author, especially on a rainy, blustery night. Let me tell you, there was a whole lot of sunshine in that room.

This new venture of mine has felt good. And when you feel good, you want to do good. Like many writers, I’ve fantasized about what I’d do if I made a lot of money from my books, and this included giving to charity. AUTHOR’S NOTE: I am not making a lot of money. Yet. (A girl can dream.) But it occurred to me, why am I waiting? I have my teaching job. I am comfortable. I am making extra money with my book. Why not start giving now?

At the same time I was mulling over what form this giving should take, it occurred to me that while my main character, hypochondriac Christine, provides laughs for readers as she obsesses over her numerous maladies, the diseases she imagines are real for many people. I want it to be known that I am sensitive to this. From this point forward, I am donating a minimum of 25% of my book royalties to a health organization each month, using the National Health Information Center’s calendar as a guideline. All organizations will come from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Service’s website.

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and 25% of this month’s royalties will go to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition in Dallas, Texas. Since October highlights breast cancer, I will donate 50% of my book royalties to the Susan D. Komen Race For The Cure, as I have had family members diagnosed with breast cancer. My beloved grandmother, Rose Abelli Dooling, died of the disease, so it is in her memory that I make this donation.

I am very grateful to those of you who have supported me as a new author. I’m looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving all year long :).


From → Writing

  1. You’re pretty gracious yourself. This is a lovely, thoughtful post. Sending a hug. GG

  2. GG, thank you so much! A hug back to you as well for taking the time to leave such a wonderful comment :).

  3. Good luck with your publishing journey! I just clicked on your link for your book and it looks interesting. I’ll give it a chance, especially since there will be some humor. I’ll post it as part of my reading challenge, so you’ll get another book review from a customer 🙂 It’ll be soon.

    Keep smiling,

    • Thank you so much, Yawatta – would love to hear from you after you’ve read. I appreciate your comment and your interest in the book, and yes, I’m smiling :).

  4. Betsy Rose permalink

    This is a great idea, Tracy! I’m so glad I got to at least part of your talk! I’m looking forward to reading the book. If you’re looking for health organizations to support down the road, please consider the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Epilepsy Foundation – both have been helpful to me and my relatives. So many worthy causes! 🙂

    • Thank you, Betsy…would love to hear from you after you’ve read, and I will definitely add NAMI and the Epilepsy Foundation to my list!

  5. Hi Tracy. Doing good when doing well is what it’s all about. May good–and book sales– find you. GG

  6. Loved your comment, GG. Thank you :). xo

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