Self-Publishing for Charity

A client recently asked me to format an ebook that he intended to publish for charity. Then a writer friend of mine announced she’d published a short story anthology with the royalties going to a good cause. In turn, this reminded me of a book I’d bought in aid of charity at the beginning of last year.  It seems that writers are a generous breed and so I had a word with each these three writers to see what they personally had got out of the project and how their chosen charities had helped publicise the book.

Speak the English the English Speak is Colin Grey’s first venture in self-publishing and I think he’ll be the first to admit that it was a steep learning curve! Speak the English the English SpeakThe book contains the meaning and history behind 500 essential English idioms. The information will be useful for students and teachers of English as a foreign language as well as native English speakers who want to know more about phrases in everyday usage. For example, I didn’t know the origin of the expression, ‘Fill your boots‘, Colin’s book tells me that in the past, fighting forces’ alcohol was rationed and delivery was measured in long leather tubs that looked like riding boots.
Colin has chosen to give his royalties to the Maiastra charity, which helps young musicians. The charity has helped him publicise the book by mentioning it in their email newsletter which goes out to all supporters. I asked Colin what he, personally, got out of the project, “It’s fun! It gives me an interest and is a small achievement – something I never expected I would ever do.”


Paws for Thought

Sharon Boothroyd, of Ryecorn Digital Publishing, has produced a short story anthology, Paws for Thought, in aid of her local branch of the RSPCA. “Our project had to be passed by the RSPCA committee first, so it was an anxious wait for us, but they said yes and we were thrilled,” says Sharon. “Personal benefits to us are that it showcases our abilities and those of the terrific writers we’ve included in the ebook.”
The RSPCA gave the book a mention on their homepage and also allowed their logo to be used on the book cover. Sharon chose the RSPCA as their charity beneficiary because it was where her tabby cat, Buster, was adopted from. “The RSPCA are great to work with and if this book goes well, there might be a ‘Paws for Thought 2’ later.”



In 2016, proofreader Helen Baggott, wrote about her personal experience of breast cancer in Swimming With the Tide. Breast cancer experienceAll royalties from the book go to the Macmillan charity.
Helen is the only one of our charity publishers to produce a paperback version of the book as well as an ebook.
“I did the paperback,” she said, “because there was no extra cost involved  and I have friends who don’t use Kindles. I felt it was important that they could buy the book. Also, I wanted to give some people copies and paperbacks seemed a better way of doing that. Although Macmillan didn’t help with the promotion they did send some items that I could include inside the paperback copies that I sent out. These could be used as bookmarks.”


All the above writers should be applauded for using their talents for the good of others. Each one has also derived personal satisfaction from their project and probably learned something that will help them on their future publishing journey. I wish them well in their fundraising efforts.
If you’ve published something for charity, please give it a shout-out in the comments section below.

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  1. #1 by Colin Grey on June 4, 2017 - 6:45 pm

    Sally, you are more than kind. Without your help I doubt whether I should have been pulished at all and certainly not as stylishly as you have made it. One thing I would add to your blog – if this book sells there are two more waiting in the wings. I’ve collected and worked up 1500 so far and there are another 200 waiting to be written up. Our language is so rich! Thank you for thinking of me!
    Colin Grey

  2. #3 by juliathorley on June 6, 2017 - 3:51 pm

    I’ve not done this – but perhaps I should. Quite a few names I know in the Paws for Thought collection!

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on June 6, 2017 - 5:44 pm

      Yes, names I recognise too, Julia. If you have a favourite charity, it’s a nice way to support them – a bit like Peter Pan & Great Ormond Street, I suppose (although on a much smaller scale!)

  3. #5 by Michael Levitton on June 15, 2017 - 10:56 am

    Hello Sallly
    Colin Grey put me on to you. I have written a book which has not yet been published and I am not at all sure about how to set about doing so. Any comments?

    • #6 by Sally Jenkins on June 18, 2017 - 12:42 pm

      Thanks for dropping by, Michael. First of all you need to decide whether to publish as e-book on Kindle and/or in paperback. And then decide whether you’d enjoy the learning curve of doing it yourself or whether you’d prefer to pay for some help. Bear in mind that any money you spend may NOT be recouped in sales. Or, depending on the type of book, you might like to try for a traditional publishing deal via an agent/publisher. My e-book Kindle Direct Publishing for Absolute Beginners explains many of the things you need to consider if publishing on Kindle for the first time. Best wishes with the project!

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