Friday, July 20, 2012

Paying it Forward With Crime

by Peg Brantley, author of RED TIDE

I'm very proud to belong to a community of writers who are involved and engaged. We care.

I want to take just a moment of your day to begin to outline to what extent.

Colorado has recently suffered some terrifying losses due to fire—horror beyond anything we've ever experienced. Particularly devastating, in terms of proximity to populated areas and the resulting loss, was the Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs. Terry Odell was the first (that I know of) who came up with the idea of contributing a portion of her royalties over a given period of time to help the victims of that fire. Terry offered to contribute 5% of her royalties over a period of time to the Red Cross. I followed suit. At the end of the period of time, I elected to donate mine to the Pikes Peak United Way, and in the end I opted for 100% of my royalties.

I'm blessed to be part of an anthology put out through the Indie Chicks where a portion of the proceeds (right now it's FREE) goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. If you're interested, our travel anthology is very aptly titled: Ms. Adventures in Travel.

Tim Hallinan released another anthology, Bangkok Noir, the proceeds from which went to benefit others. Tim also contributes a portion from his Poke Rafferty series (in my opinion one of the best ones out there) to a charity he has researched well and believes in. 

My own tribe here on Crime Fiction Collective joined forces to help a family in Joplin, Missouri after the devastating tornado that leveled that town. That was the first time I was exposed to the idea that as an indie author, I could make some business decisions that were inspired by altruism.

As readers, does it make a difference to you to know that the author you support extends that support to others? Does the concept ever induce you to purchase a book you may not have otherwise?

Who are some other writers you know of who have paid their royalties forward? I know there's more.


  1. As an author, I like the idea of making a difference in people's lives however I can. Giving readers enjoyment is one of them. Being able to help those in need is another.

    As a reader, I'm sure it sheds positive light on an author when they decide to give even when they don't have to. So to answer your question, yes, I think it does make a difference to me. Generosity is always an appealing trait.

  2. A wonderful, meaningful gesture, and thanks for spreading the idea, Peg!

  3. What a thoughtful Peg. As I don't receive royalties, I can't donate a percentage, but I have a great deal of respect and admiration for those of you who do.

  4. I live in Colorado. We've had a few devastating fires this year. I also live in Aurora. We had full theaters last night to be among the first to see the new Batman movie, have fun and garner some bragging rights.

    Some of those injuries will be life changing. There won't be 100% recovery.

    We never have to look very far to find someone who can use an extra dollar or two. But I contend the idea of someone contributing to their well-being counts as much as the money. Or more.


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