Last month, while I was buried in a writing deadline, something remarkable happened.
Author-editor Chris Pourteau handed a check for $1100 to Pets for Vets, a national non-profit that matches shelter animals with military veterans. Here’s the best part: the money was raised from the sale of Chris’ new fiction anthology Tails of the Apocalypse.
How Much is a “Match” Worth
The word “match” is a key term for Pets for Vets. When I met Cathy Lile, a member of the Board of Directors, in Minneapolis last December, she told me that “match” is how they describe the internal process of bringing the pet and the veteran together. It covers assessing the needs and temperament of the veteran, finding the right animal from a nearby shelter, training the animal for his new life with a volunteer for about six weeks, and putting together a “care package” of food and other living essentials for the new pet to move in with his veteran.
The “match”–all that stuff I just described–costs about $1500. In other words, Chris’ efforts went most of the way toward bringing together one pet and one vet.
The Big Idea and the Results
In a post called “Writing for a Cause,” I talked about how the idea for Tails of the Apocalypse came together and how I got involved in the project. From the beginning, it was a big idea: put together a great anthology, tie it to a cause that we can all relate to, and then see how far we could push it.
The campaign ran from early November through December 31, 2015. Here’s what happened:
- 103 print & audio books sold
- 342 ebooks sold
- 59,000 Kindle pages read
Of those three stats, the Kindle pages read number resonates the most with me as an author. This wasn’t someone who bought the book just to support the cause, this was actual eyeballs reading pages. Since Tails is an anthology of short stories, I’m assuming we had readers who just read one or two stories and put the collection aside. In other words, that 59,000 pages read probably represents thousands of different readers.
There is no free lunch…
Or as captured in Robert Heinlein’s immortal acronym: TANSTAAFL! *
If you know anything about producing a book, you know that putting together a collection like Tails costs thousands of dollars. Chris chose to put himself deeper in the financial hole by giving away most of his profits to Pets for Vets, but I suspect he’s okay with that.
It’s easy to be cynical these days, but organizations like Pets for Vets help us fight back against those feelings of frustration and helplessness by getting back to basics. They take one animal who might otherwise be euthanized and one military veteran who’s struggling with life “on the outside” and match them together.
Together, maybe they both get a chance to heal.
If you’d like to support Pets for Vets, go HERE.
If you’d like to find out more about Tails of the Apocalypse, you can find it on Amazon in print, ebook, and audiobook.
*From The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein, meaning “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”
David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles, one half of the Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog series about co-writing a military thriller, and co-author of Weapons of Mass Deception, a story of modern-day nuclear terrorism.