Last spring, when I was introduced to the Indie publishing movement, it kind of blew my socks off. As an off-shoot of self-publishing, this movement requires a commitment from the individual to behave like a traditional press. To be dedicated to craft and quality. To be a responsible steward of words, art, design, and even marketing. These tenets became less overwhelming when I considered that, like a small press, authors and artists who chose independent publishing can work at their own pace and with fewer titles. Still, Indie publishers (whether made up of one person or a few collaborators) must be thoughtful with what they choose to put in print because that work, as I was learning, plays a part in branding.
Branding? Hmmm, the possibilities.
Fast forward to today, when I can laugh at my mistakes, admit I'm still learning, and tell you that while building the writing platform beneath row press, the possibilities were endless. But the most fun part of figuring out my vision came down to one thing: philanthropy. And over the weeks and months, I forgot about branding and began just living my vision. The giving started right away, grew slowly, and then, after row press had its first Kindle giveaway to honor and celebrate the five winter holidays, the opportunities to gift "free reads" seemed to appear from the ether. As a small business, the budget for donations had to be minded and responsible choices had to be made, but this didn't lessen the desire to make random acts of (book) kindness. In the end, I needed to get organized and as I assembled my ideas, the fRead project emerged.
What is the fRead project?
The fRead (free Reads) project is an ongoing effort to gift books to readers in organized giveaways, sporadic book drops (books left in public to be "found"), and donations to book clubs, literacy groups, librarians, and teachers.
The fRead project gives row press titles and books by other authors. All fRead gifts are made in an effort to share children's and young adult literature with readers, and though row press enjoys giving to all book lovers, the aim is to share as many books as possible with children, teens, and young adults.
Here at row press, I'm also dedicated to spontaneous donations of book proceeds to causes that share the same vision. Though not technically considered a fRead, monetary donations are part of this project.
|fReads come in all shapes & sizes|
I'm happy to announce that since late 2012 the fRead project's outreach has included
110 free downloads and 50 free copies of wildflowers, row press' first young adult release.
Some of the recipients include:
1 Arkansas librarian who received two copies for a local high school
3 random readers in midtown Scottsdale who were the first to be part of a fRead book drop
5 Goodreads members who entered a giveaway that included a themed gift pack
Beyond the free reads and book drops, there have been other opportunities for the fRead project to share donations. First, a fRead project personal book drive produced a gift of four picture books and six young adult novels to Kids Need to Read, an awesome agency that processes donations for underfunded schools, libraries and literacy programs nationwide. Then, last month, the local, independent bookstore Dog Eared Pages Used Books was looking to boost sales in order to stay in business, and it was with great appreciation that I donated all the profits from my books they shelved to their cause. Another giving moment presented itself when I read about a Guys Read Book Club moderator in Washington state who needed books for his group. In this case, the fRead project donated seven copies of Lincoln's Grave Robbers (middle grade, non-fiction). A great book to a cool book club...what could be better?
|fReads hit the road|
As for the future, fRead project giveaways and drops are always in development. In fact, many will be unveiled as wildflowers honors Earth Day from March 22nd to April 22nd. Check back often for more information.
Thank you to all the readers and reviewers who support row press!