Thursday 15 June 2023

Why I do what I do

Two weeks ago I released the family drama The Boy Who Rescues Pigeons. It was to be my third book release of 2023. (I wrote about my inspiration and reason for this book which you can find if you scroll down a few posts.)

Somewhere between releasing the dystopian science fiction novel Future Imperfect and The Boy Who Rescues Pigeons I realised I needed help. If you've been following my books, you'll already know that all my profits go to animal charities, animal rescues and children's charities, so paying for advertising has always been contra-intuitive for me. I wanted to be able to give money to the various global charities and rescues, and I couldn't do that if I was spending the money on advertising... But sales were less than great. And little money coming in meant that little money could go to good causes. 

And then a strange thing happened. The interest in The Boy Who Rescues Pigeons was obvious, even before I released the book. This interest has far outweighed any of my other books and the love that I have felt from readers and other authors has taken my breath away. Two in particular have been a great source of information on marketing and advertising, things I'd never really done before. Between them they have advised me on a variety of marketing approaches, all of which I'm trying out. Hopefully the money spent on advertising will generate more money that I can use to help save and improve animal and children's lives. 

So why do I give my profits away? Well I'm naturally frugal (some would go so far as to say tight), but I prefer the term careful. I'm not a shopper, I don't eat meat and I don't like fine wines. I'm generally happy with a Greek salad and a shandy. I don't often go on holiday as I have a low boredom threshold and I miss my pets too much and I have no expensive hobbies. Sounds boring, right? Well it probably is to most folks. 

But it serves my purpose. Back when I published my first few books, I stood in the middle of the Bromsgrove branch of WHSmith and sold signed copies and every penny of profit went to a charity to support a young, disabled local girl. Being able to help her and her family in this small way made me feel a hundred times better than any material possession could ever have done. So it's not an entirely altruistic one-way transaction. I get something from it too. If I can save one cat/dog/squirrel/pigeon or help a child, then my time on this earth will have had a greater purpose. And that's what drives me. 

Since I began writing, I've used my profits to help a number of other charities globally. I've never given more than £50 at a time to any cause, so we're not talking life changing sums of money for them, although I hope one day to be able to do that, but it's enough to help ease their struggle just a little. And sometimes that's the difference between an animal being rescued or not. A life being saved or not. 

Many of my books deal with social issues. Jigsaw Girl (currently reduced to 99p) deals with teenage peer pressure, guilt, self-esteem issues and cutting, Split Decision deals with coming of age insecurities, pressures and dangers, and The Boy Who Rescues Pigeons deals with isolation, lack of understanding, loneliness and a social inability to fit in. They are things that most of us will encounter in one way or another during our lifetime. Life can be tough. My books are not self-help manuals, they are compelling stories that I hope help people make sense of the world around them; that let readers see that they are not alone; and that have the power to make people really stop and think. 

So now that you know all about why and what I write, I do hope you'll take a look at some of my books. Your purchase will help change the world just a little. Doesn't that sound like a good enough reason to buy?


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