In the past couple of years, while I was contemplating whether or not to go the indie route in publishing my books, a very wise voice appeared on the scene over at Authonomy.com. Her name was April Hamilton and she had started up a website called Publetariat as an online community and resource for indie authors. She was among the first to herald indie publishing as a legitimate course for authors and an alternative to the traditional publishing scene. She spent many, many hours on Authonomy sharing information about what self-publishing is and is not. Although most writers there were curious to find out more, a handful of them believed that indie publishing was for those who would never find success anyway and would only ever end up selling to their friends and relatives. April always kept a cool head and never resorted to emotional outbursts,always maintaining the utmost level of professionalism. I quickly got the impression that not only was she very knowledgeable, but also very selfless with that knowledge.
I spent hours on her website and following the links there to learn as much as I could before finally making the brave decision to publish my own books. Without her, and many like her, I may never have done so. Six months into the venture and I'm now earning enough from e-book sales to pay off my monthly satellite internet bill, my phone landline and take the family out for dinner every now and then. It ain't a lot, but it's something and the added bonus is that I can actually call myself a writer because my books are being read by complete strangers.
But back to April Hamilton. This past week, she posted this: Is Publetariat Worth a Dollar to You? To summarize it, she was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year, her husband left her and her business went under. Struggling to make ends meet, she is also facing foreclosure. So she's asking for help - a dollar or whatever can be spared, to help her family and the website stay afloat. You can donate at Publetariat via PayPal or purchase one of April Hamilton's books.
I firmly believe that if you do your best to spread good karma that it will one day come back to you. I also realize there are many, many other people and animals in the world who need a helping hand at times. So find someone in need, give up your Double Mocha Grande' Latte for a day and throw your change in the Salvation Army kettle or whatever cause you believe in. I've been eating cheap at A&W lately and shoving my change and spare bills in the Humane Society piggy bank there. Meanwhile, have faith in the Universe, then, that the same kindness will come back to you when you need it. But that good karma has to start somewhere - why not with you?