How do I pick the best veterans' charity for my money?
July 16, 2014 9:31 AM Subscribe
I'm about to release the sequel to my military sci-fi novel, which did super well last year (self-pubbed on Amazon). Experience has shown that whenever I release a new book, all of the others get a sales bump. So for the first month of the new release, I'd like to donate anything I make off of the original to a good veterans' charity. Naturally, this has led me to a lot of questions. This is not the only place I'm asking, but the hive has always been of great assistance.
I'm not John Scalzi or anything, but I got all the way to #1 in sci-fi on Amazon for a brief moment last year and stuck around in the top 10 for weeks. I'm willing to bet that this won't be a huge donation...if overall sales are disappointing, it might not crack four digits, but I'm pretty sure I'll at least have a few thousand dollars to donate. That said, it's something I'd definitely like to do. So, questions:
1. How do I determine the best charity -- i.e., the most honest & effective? I have looked at Charity Navigator and done a little research, but I'm no expert. So far it looks like Wounded Warriors isn't as great as its hype, but Fisher House has a good rep.
2. Do I want to do this publicly (make announcements about it on my blog and note the donations on my Amazon pages), or just make the donation quietly once I have the money in hand? I realize there's some promotional value to this, but it's honestly less about hype than about helping vets. Thing is, there's a chance that if I make it publicly, sales will go up and I'll have more money to donate. The complications arise in that 1) I write under a pen name and I want to protect my identity, and 2) a couple of my other books have a lot of sexual content, which should be irrelevant but you never know who gets upset about what these days.
3. If I want to do this publicly, do I need to contact said charity and get permission?
4. How do I effectively account for this while protecting my identity? I write under a pen name for very good reasons. I could presumably post a picture of the end-result sales figures and the check (with my info blotted out) on my blog or whatever, but say someone challenges me to offer real proof? What then?
Note that I'm not donating everything off of the new book to charity. I need that to live on. But again, anytime I put out a new book, all of the others get a bump, so this seems like it's worth doing.