In the past two articles, we’ve covered keeping things relevant and building your brand. In this article, we are going to go a slightly different route, and discuss non-profits. You may be wondering how this all ties together. The big picture is to be leveraging current events and trends. And what is more trendy than helping out your favorite non-profit? By helping others, you are in effect still building your overall brand. You’re showing people your heart, and your intention. This can go a very long way to building trust, which as we know, leads to more sales.
How does an author go about leveraging non-profits to help with book sales? Glad you asked!
- Consider your niche. Think of 5-10 non-profits that you can align with. Write them down, because if you’re anything like me, you’ll have wonderful ideas in your head, only to lose them in 15 minutes.
- Contact your chosen non-profits. What you’re going to want to do, is let them know you are a published author and would like to partner with them to have a percentage of your profits from sales donated directly to them.
- Decide you donation method. Here is where it gets interesting! There are probably dozens of ways to make this work; however, there are just 2 that I will discuss here. Mainly because I know they work, and I like to keep things simple.
With the first method, you will simply agree to donate a percentage of your sales over a certain period of time. This is from all sales, and the time limit will help to create a sense of urgency. Anyone that isn’t quite sure about whether or not they wish to buy a copy of your book will know they only have a certain number of days to make their decision. In order for you to agree to this method, you would get help from the non-profit in the way of advertising. For example, they would agree to showcase you on their website, social media, etc., announcing that percentages of all sales will be given back to them. They may even agree to carry copies of your book in their store or offices with signage indicating the give-back. From a bookkeeping and tracking stand-point, this method often works best if you are working with a single non-profit. You may be wondering why I would ask you to write down 5-10 if you’re only going to work with one. Remember that time limit you gave to create a sense of urgency? Let’s say it’s for the month of March. Then, in April, you have your next non-profit lined up and ready to go!
With the second method, the non-profit will do most of the work as far as selling the books. In return, you will agree to advertise the event on your website and social media. You will also direct people on where to purchase your book. This works great if your chosen non-profit happens to be a group of people who will work hard to campaign for their cause. You can choose to do this by letting them sell actual hard copies of your book, or by creating a link on your website (or both!). Setting up a link on your website is helpful, as it will allow everyone involved to share throughout social media and on their own websites. Just as with the first method, you will want to make this time sensitive as well. This method will work great for advocacy groups, clubs, etc.
By working with non-profits, you are taking your book to a whole new level. Not only are you helping and/or entertaining people with what you have written, but you are giving back. The percentage that you give back does not need to be a ton! I’ve seen authors agree to donate ALL profits. This is completely unnecessary! In most cases, you are not your own non-profit. Therefore, you are in this to make at least some profit. After all, you do have your own expenses to cover. And for some of you, this is your career or career in the making. Don’t hurt yourself in the process. Depending on your personal situation, I recommend anywhere from 5-25% of profits as your give-back.
To truly maximize this effort, be sure to have a social media plan in place to effectively market the event. You may also want to consider radio or TV interviews to discuss the non-profit and why you are wanting to help them. Contacting the local newspaper is also a fantastic idea! Anything you can do to help promote, the better!
One final thought: Keep a journal of how these events go. Having a record of successful campaigns such as these will help ensure future non-profits saying yes to you!
Not sure how to go about deciding on non-profits? Have questions about how to promote the campaign? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will certainly help you!