Tuesday, April 05, 2011

First Book

For those who missed it, last week I offered to donate $500 to First Book if my novel, ORIGIN, cracked the Top 100 on Kindle. It did, and I gave them the money.

This inspired some other authors to do the same. I urge you to support those authors, and First Book.

I've just lowered the price on my horror novel, TRAPPED, to 99 cents, and here's my new offer:

If TRAPPED breaks the Top 100, I'll give $500 to First Book. If TRAPPED breaks the Top 20, I'll donate another $500, for $1000 total.

So spread the word, and make me give away my hard-earned money to this worthy cause.

I recently contacted First Book and asked them a few questions about their organization, so my blog readers can better understand what they do.

Joe: What's the goal of First Book?

FB: First Book’s mission is to provide access to new books to children in need. We reach programs that serve kids from low-income neighborhoods, no matter what sort of program they might be: schools, classrooms, libraries, tutoring programs, shelters, food banks or church groups.

Joe: How did First Book get started?

FB: First Book was started in Washington DC by Kyle Zimmer (who is still the president of the organization) and some others in 1992, using donations from publishers and local volunteers. We have expanded the scope of our operations since then, and developed new channels that help us get books to the programs we serve more efficiently and at greater volume.

Joe: How many books have you given away so far?

FB: 80 million and counting, across the United States and Canada. It’s a number we’re really proud of, but we’re also well aware of the size of the problem, and that we’ve barely made a dent. There’s still a lot more work to be done.

Joe: Do you have any stories about giving books to children that particularly stand out?

FB: I think everyone involved with First Book, from staff to volunteers, has their own favorites, but what is most striking is that we hear a very similar story, over and over, from the teachers and program leaders who get the books, and the volunteers who help distribute them. The kids getting these books usually don’t have books of their own at home, and when they’re told that this book in their hands is THEIRS, to keep, they have trouble believing it at first. And, once they get it, you can literally see the excitement on their faces.

Joe: Where do you get the books you give away?

FB: We provide books in a variety of ways – some we give away, others we sell at steep discounts to eligible recipients – depending on the program in question and their resources. But all the books come from publishers. First Book would not exist without the generosity of the publishing industry and their commitment to helping us get books to these kids.

Joe: How can we help?

FB: Great question! We’re always in need of donations, of course - $20 will help us send 10 books to kids in need. And we love to see fundraising initiatives like the one you inspired.

Another way to make a difference is to help us get more programs registered. Any school or program that serves kids from low-income neighborhoods is eligible to receive books from First Book. But if they don’t know about us, we can’t help. So anything you can do to get the word out, from helping Title I schools and classrooms register to sharing the word about First Book through your blogs or social media networks. The more people know who we are, the more programs we can reach, and the more books we’ll be able to get out to kids that need them.

Joe: If people want to donate, is it tax-deductible?

FB: First Book is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations to First Book are tax-deductible.

Joe: As a writer, literacy is fostering a love of reading isn't just important to me, it's essential to my industry. Reading is one of the oldest, and most enjoyable, forms of recreation, and if we as writers want to continue to sell books, we need to make sure future generations appreciate them as much as we do.

Here's the book description for TRAPPED:

TERRIFIED...

It was supposed to be a harmless camping trip. Six wayward teenagers who'd run into trouble with the law, and their court-appointed guardians, Sara and Martin Randhurst. Three nights on a small, deserted island off of Michigan's upper peninsula. A time to bond, to learn, to heal.

Then Martin told a campfire story about the island's history. Of the old civil war prison hidden in there, and the starving confederate soldiers who resorted to cannibalism to stay alive. Everyone thought it was funny. They even laughed when Martin pretended to be dragged off into the woods.

But Martin didn't come back. And neither did Sara when she went in search of him.

Then the laughter stopped.

...TO DEATH

The group soon began to realize that this deserted island wasn't so deserted after all. And perhaps Martin's ridiculous story had more truth to it than anyone thought.

What's the most horrifying thing you can imagine?

This is a hundred times worse...

TRAPPED by Jack Kilborn
It starts where other horror ends


A Word of Warning:

This is the long-awaited follow-up to AFRAID, one of the most horrifying books ever written.

Originally scheduled to be released in paperback in 2010, the publisher read the first version of the manuscript and refused to release it. The author made extensive changes, rewriting much of the story. The publisher still refused.

This is a disturbing, terrifying book. You may think you're brave enough to handle it. But you're probably not...

Contains bonus excerpts from ENDURANCE by Jack Kilborn, and AFRAID by Jack Kilborn, as well as DESERT PLACES by Blake Crouch.

But that's not all...

Taking advantage of ebook format and technology, the author is also proud to offer as a bonus; the entire original first draft of TRAPPED.

This ebook package contains two versions of the same book, dramatically different in parts. See what was cut. See what was changed. Read new characters, new scenes, and a different ending. Decide for yourself which version you prefer.

This is the very first time an ebook has been made available in two different versions, for one low price.

This is specially formatted for Kindle, with an active table of contents. With both versions, this ebook is over 180,000 words.