Charity Drive – Final Tally

It’s over officially now. As I mentioned in a few previous posts, I was holding a charity drive with the proceeds of my book, An Epilogue to Innocence. From November 1 through December 24, all proceeds from sales of the book would be going to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. While I had to wait a little longer than I wanted to in order to announce the final totals — shipments of physical books bought on the 23rd and 24th didn’t register until the 27th — I do have a final total now.

Between physical copy sales and digital copy sales, we were able to raise $24.28 for the AFSP. Of that total, $22.22 came from purchase of physical book copies while the remaining $2.06 came from purchases of the Kindle version of the book. Admittedly this number was lower than I was hoping for, but it’s still something for a great cause. I made what was essentially a matching donation to go along with it, bringing the total donation made from this cause to $50.00.

I had gone into this endeavor with this grand idea that somehow we’d manage to raise over $100. I never shared that goal publicly, but secretly I was hoping to manage to get to that total independent of any matching donation I made. That said, the matching donation was going to happen regardless. If you’re asking people to purchase your product as part of a charity drive, it’s the least you can do.

To those of you who did buy An Epilogue to Innocence to help raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, thank you very much. Your kindness, your patronage, and your generosity is greatly appreciated. If you were just able to help spread the word in some way, be that about the book, the charity drive, of the AFSP itself, thank you too. If you did buy the book — be it as part of the charity drive or not — please go review the book on Goodreads or Amazon. I may well do something like this again in the future, so any positive reviews of the book if another charity drive happens would always be helpful.

A Series of Updates

I don’t have a particularly long post to share today. I have a couple of things in my head that I’d like to try to get written in time for Christmas and/or New Year’s, as well as a guest post that I’ve been working on coordinating. With that said, I wanted to put out a few bullet points towards items that I’ve talked about on this blog before.

Charity Drive Update

First and foremost, the charity drive I’m running where proceeds from my book are going to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is coming to a close. With only seven days left as of this post, there’s been a total of $22.02 raised for the AFSP. While that’s a low number, considering that’s almost double where we were just two weeks ago, I’ll take the small progress.

If you want to buy the book as part of the drive, you have until 11:59pm on December 24th. If you purchase from the CreateSpace store, nearly double the amount of money goes to the AFSP compared to purchasing from Amazon[1]. That said, if you purchase the Kindle copy, 68% of the total cost you pay is going directly to the AFSP[2]. And if you’re one of those awesome people who has Kindle Unlimited — just reading the book gets money for the AFSP. If you know someone with Kindle Unlimited, please encourage them to read the book to raise money.


I haven’t mentioned it in a few weeks, I do have a podcast with Samantha Clarke, blogger at Comic Wisdom. Since I last mentioned it, our podcast, Everyone Is Funnier Than Us, is now available on iTunes, Google Play, and Pocket Casts for download. So far, the podcast seems to be going quite well. If nothing else, I enjoy getting to talk behind a microphone again. It’s like I’m back on radio. Though I’m not talking sports this time, it’s still a pretty exciting experience.

If you’re someone who listens to podcasts — and if you’re a commuter, even if you don’t currently, I’d highly recommend it…it’s the one thing that keeps me sane during my long drive to work — please subscribe to our podcast and give it a listen. We’re still learning what we’re doing a bit, but overall I’ve seen a lot of growth in our content, even in only 7 episodes.

Writing Project

In my last post, I talked about how I might do a writing project wherein I’ll be writing a story over the first part of next year — ideally a chapter a week — then sharing updates with a small group of people to get feedback, make adjustments, and see what people think. I have the story idea framed out and I think I’ll be on track to start this in the new year. That said, if anyone is still interested in reading and providing feedback. I think I have two people willing to do so right now, which means I’d like to have 1-2 more to do so.


That’s all for now. The next update will likely be at the end of the charity drive, barring any drastic changes.

Charity Drive Update – 43 Days Left

Now that we’re almost two weeks since the launch of my charity drive for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, I wanted to share a bit of an update of where things are so far. And where we are is not good. Or maybe it’s good? I’m not really sure.

If you aren’t familiar with the event[1], all proceeds from my debut book, An Epilogue to Innocence, from November 1st through December 24th will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (specifically, the Northern Ohio branch). Because I’m a self-published author, CreateSpace, Amazon, and Kindle all take their cut of the money from the sale, but I do get a bit of money with each book.

On the right side bar, you’ll notice that through November 11th, I’ve raised $9.98 for the AFSP. If I’m being optimistic, that means I’m on track to raise just shy of $50 for the AFSP. Which isn’t what I was hoping for, but it’s something. On the downside, I’m raising less than a dollar a day. Furthermore, that $9.98 raised represents three books sold. Three[2].

I’m honestly at a bit of a loss right now. I feel that the AFSP is an amazing cause. Their work is widely praised both by independent organizations and those in the know. I feel like my book is good. Reviews have been largely very good and even when there have been negative reviews, the majority of the bad reviews can be summed up as “good book, but not my cup of tea”. I’m sharing information about the drive, links to buy, and other info as often as I can. People have been helping me share the info — some of you very regularly — across multiple platforms, even ones I don’t have.

This begs the question in my mind: why? Why isn’t this going well. I never envisioned I’d be able to raise thousands of dollars for charity with this project. But honestly I’d love to be able to say I used my book to give hundreds of dollars to this cause. The AFSP deserves it. They do damn good work and we need them more than ever.

I’ve gone through more than one rough spell in terms of how I felt about my book’s sales. But this one hurts a bit more. Sure, sales are up slightly from October. That said, I literally wrote a post telling people not to buy my book that month. If sales weren’t up from then, we’d have a problem. If this was happening to money that was just going to me, I’d be annoyed, but I’d be understanding. When there’s a cause that’s bigger than myself — and bigger than all of us — in play…it leaves me scratching my head what else to do.

I’d love to hear ideas. If anyone has some ideas, please throw them out there in the comments.

Charity Drive Post

Hi. If you found this post, you’re probably on my blog because of my book, An Epilogue to Innocence. From November 1, 2016 through December 24, 2016, all profits I make off of AETI will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. On or around the 24th, I’ll be making a donation to AFSP’s Northern Ohio branch. I’ll post more about that when the time comes.

I’ve seen people in various facets of my life — be it family, friends, co-workers, or acquaintances — have been impacted by suicide. Suicide is a public health issue that changes the lives of so many people. It’s the 10th leading cause of death in the United States[1], and the 3rd leading cause of death among young Americans (15-24)[2]. While I recognize that I — nor any single individual — can change that figure by myself, organizations like the AFSP are doing phenomenal work to help reduce the suicide rate in the USA. It is for this reason that I’m running this charity effort.

Want to buy the book and help the cause? I highly recommend you buy from the CreateSpace store linked here. I make the most profit off those purchases, therefore the most money goes to AFSP. However, if you’re already buying from Amazon, you can pick up the Kindle or physical copy there. Profits from both of those channels — as well as via Amazon resellers — will also be donated.

I’ll be sharing a detailed breakdown of the money raised on a somewhat regular basis. I’m going to try to do this weekly, however depending on how well this goes, I may make it more frequent.

Want to donate directly without buying the book? Amazing. Click to donate either to the Northern Ohio branch or National fund.

Want to help spread the word? Share this post (or the one I wrote a few weeks ago about why I’m doing this) on Facebook (you can also share the post from the book’s Facebook page), Twitter, via email, or in any other way you can. Review AETI on Amazon or Goodreads. Tell people about AFSP, about the book, about the charity drive, or about any of this. Really though. The work that AFSP does matters more than this blog post, more than my book, and more than the few seconds it’ll take you to share.


Thank you in advance for any help you personally are able to give to the cause.

Please Don’t Buy My Book…For Now

For those of you who are frequent readers of this blog, my Twitter, listen to my podcast with Samantha Clarke, or in any other way have heard my voice in the past six months, you know I wrote a book. It’s called An Epilogue to Innocence and it’s available on Amazon and CreateSpace.

You’re also likely aware that while I’ve managed to sell some copies of the book that sales haven’t exactly been perfect. As of today, counting all book sales and discounting editing/shipping/other costs, I’ve made approximately -$20 on my book. Yes, that’s a negative number, albeit a small one.

So. Why would I tell you not to buy my book? Sounds like a self-destructive plan for an independent author.

While I’d love to make money off of my book, I’ve come to the realization that there are people who would benefit from the money I could potentially make off this book far more than me. While I’m spending the money on Chipotle, ice cream, getting titanium rods in my mouth, Chipotle, video games, unnecessary random items for myself, and Chipotle[1], that money could go towards an organization that makes a difference in countless lives.

So…what am I going to do about it?

Last week was Mental Illness Awareness Week in the USA (October 2-8) and yesterday (October 10) was World Mental Health Day. As someone who has had numerous people in my life who have been impacted by mental illnesses, I’ve always tried to do my best to raise awareness about mental illness, mental health, and suicide prevention. Two of the stories in An Epilogue to Innocence – “Use As Directed” and “Tia” — deal with the concepts of mental illness and suicide directly.

Instead of just trying to use AETI to create awareness, I’ve decided to use the profits from the book to help a group that can make a tangible impact in this fight.

From November 1st, 2016 through December 24th, 2016, 100% of profits from the sales of An Epilogue to Innocence will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Northern Ohio branch. This includes all sales of the physical book and the ebook, regardless of if those copies are purchased through Amazon, CreateSpace, Kindle, or resellers. If I can track the profit/know about it, it will get donated.

I recognize that sales for my book haven’t been going the best. With that said, I also recognize that money made from my book would be better served going to an organization that can make a significant impact on the lives of others, both within my community and in the nation as a whole.

What does this mean?

Don’t buy my book until November 1st. Really. Do not do it. Don’t buy An Epilogue to Innocence until November 1st.

How can I help?

I need help getting the word out there to help make an impact. If there is anyone that would be willing to help — whether that be by sharing the link for people to purchase my book, purchasing a copy yourself, or something else entirely, please do so. More importantly, if you’d prefer to make a donation to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention directly, you can do so here.

There are plenty of ways you could help, including the following.


On December 25th, I’ll be totaling up all monies donated during the donation period and making a donation to AFSP of Northern Ohio. I’ll share the amount here for those interested in seeing how much we’re able to raise. Even if I don’t sell a single copy of the book, I’ll still be sending some money their way, as the work they do matters.

As we get a bit closer to the charity drive’s date, I’ll be doing quite a bit of marketing on my own to try to help get the word out there. I’ll be keeping a running tracker on the site as to how much will be donated to AFSP of Northern Ohio.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this post. I hope this plea, as silly as it may be, is the first step to raising money for a group that has the ability to change the lives of so many.