Doing Good and Doing Well
Today is the official publication date of my new book, How to Not Write Bad: The Most Common Writing Problems and the Best Ways to Avoid Them. (Pause for collective "Yay!") Like every author I know, I'm obsessed with the rankings of my books on Amazon.com. If you are not so obsessed, I'll explain that the site ranks the relative sales of every book it offers, from number one--currently American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History--all the way down to, oh, number 3,000,000 or so.
On pub day, or when a positive review or a national interview comes out, it's nice to track your book's number as it progressively plummets. I recognize that's a pretty narcissistic endeavor, however, so today I want to combine it with a bit of philanthropy. Here's the deal. How to Not Write Bad is currently number 2,502. Please order the book! Every time its ranking drops by another 100 (that is, to 2400, then to 2300, etc.), I will donate a copy of the book to one of my favorite enterprises, Mighty Writers. If somehow it gets to 100, then I'll give a copy every time it drops by ten.
Mighty Writers is a Philadelphia-based operation, founded and headed up by Tim Whitaker, whose website says: "Our mission is to teach Philadelphia kids (ages 7 to 17) to think and write with clarity, so self-esteem grows and success is achieved at school, at work and in life." To that end, MW offers (at its cool downtown HQ) daily afterschool Academy, plus long- and short-term writing classes at night and on the weekends. Crucially, they also provide intensive SAT Prep courses and college essay writing classes.
So go out there and help the cause!