Making Books and Giving Back

"Wise White Tiger" from Deborah Katz's Rare Is Everywhere

"Wise White Tiger" from Deborah Katz's Rare Is Everywhere

We already know that there are so many great reasons to self-publish. While it's true that, as an indie author, you bear all of the upfront costs to produce your book, you also pocket every cent earned on sales (as opposed to receiving the standard 10 to 12.5 percent royalty rate that traditional publishers offer). And with that earning potential (which, by the way, can be as long term as you want), there is a certain freedom – a freedom to use those earnings as you see fit.

Which brings us to self-publishing and philanthropy. We've got two authors right now who are using their self-publishing projects to give back. One has written and illustrated a children's picture book in support of the Rare Disease Foundation (RDF). The other, who has won her battle with brain cancer, has written a memoir on the experience, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of her book will go to the BC Cancer Foundation.

Supporting a cause with the earnings from your book sales isn't a viable financial option for everyone, but crowdfunding is starting to change all of that. Our children's book author is just wrapping up a very successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund her RDF project (click here to see the campaign). Other crowdfunding platforms that authors are having success with include Indiegogo, Crowdfunder, and Flattr.

Whatever your reasons may be for self-publishing, there's no denying that it does offer a lot of creative and, ultimately, financial freedom. And these days, with the increased success that authors are seeing with crowdfunding, the full cost of publishing a book no longer has to sit solely with the writer, proving, yet again, that the line between traditional and independent publishing continues to grow less and less distinct.