It’s not just church cookbooks that can be turned into easy fundraisers. A good little book can sell surprisingly well. They are also fun to do and a really satisfying project. You, yes you, could take the lead and organize the contributing authors, including yourself. 

Choosing the contributors is as important as deciding what the book will be about. To ensure success, understand that each author will be a sales and marketing rep for the book. That doesn’t mean you want too large a number of contributors, but it does mean that each should be invited based not only on their content but also their connections, credentials, and/or celebrity status.  

Many authors do not have “book sales” as their primary goal for writing a book. They know that having a book will boost their personal brand and open doors of opportunity such as keynote speaking, plus they know a book is the best way to reach a wide audience with their message.  But the project featured here is a FUND RAISER. That’s why having book sales in mind from the very beginning is crucial. 

Where will the books sell? 

  • A display table at any event related to your charity or supportive community (be sure the signage notes who is being helped by the money raised)
  • Friends and family of each contributor
  • Local papers or other media may feature (to support a charity)
  • Local bookshops, gift shops or any retailer
  • The web site of the nonprofit organization
  • Any supportive business office
  • Farmers’ market or any “fair” (especially topic-related)
  • Emailing by all contributors, charitable group supporters
  • Social media posts by all contributors, members, and supporters
  • Amazon (millions of people shop there every day)  

As in the anthology example here, nonfiction is where to start when you explore various topics. The exception is children’s stories. Consider a collection of original, short and sweet children’s stories contributed by various participants, both writers and illustrators. These can be big sellers, depending on your charitable organization’s membership. For example, grandparents are sure to buy one or more copies. 

Part of your planning is to not only line up co-authors/content contributors, but professionals who will handle proofreading, formatting, cover design, publishing preparation such as getting set up with Amazon and other booksellers, etc.  In other words, take into account that there will be some up-front costs, but they’ll recouped if you produce a good book (in both paperback and e-book versions). 

“I love supporting Unity church this way,” said Madelyn Balitz, “plus I’ve added to my ‘published author’ resume as a co-author of this book.”  Suncoast Digital Press, Inc. published her first book, All is Well: Understanding the End of Life, Caregiving, and Hospice Care, in 2019. This has led to national conference speaking opportunities, brisk book sales, a consulting role internationally, and to be invited as a co-author for the Unity anthology.

“We appreciate the courage of our co-authors…” is what appears on the back cover of the anthology, a collection of “true stories from the heart about transformative life experiences.”  As of this writing, pre-release sales have covered the production costs of the book and the organization is confident this will be a highly successful fundraiser to help their charitable community outreach programs.

Want to get started on a book for your favorite cause? Get started here.

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