Literacy Unlocked

Every year RWA has a signing at their national conference. Hundreds of authors attend. They all sign books. The proceeds are donated to literacy charities. I’ll be there, signing copies of my print releases.

But I was thinking to myself that it was a shame that people will not be able to buy copies of Unlocked at the upcoming RWA literacy signing. In part, that’s because it’s a novella, and a print version of the novella would be prohibitive. In part, that’s because the logistics of collecting funds for e-book sales would be crazy.

In any event, it occurred to me that the technology is in place so that, with a little help from me, I could effectively sign copies of UNLOCKED at the literacy signing and donate the proceeds to literacy. Here’s how it works.

Step One: I will have QR codes for my novella at my signing station.

This is the QR code for Unlocked on Amazon. You may have seen these things floating around. When you scan them with your smart phone, it automatically brings up the information embedded in the code on your phone–in this case, it’s a link to Unlocked on Amazon. The person clicks “buy,” and I sign the copy they just bought (by inserting a note on the smartphone).

“But Courtney,” you’re saying, “how does that give funds for literacy to RWA?

That’s a great question!

To do that, I’ll use another deeply exciting technological measure.

Step Two: I will keep track of the number sold with pen and paper.

“But Courtney,” you’re saying, “How does that give funds for literacy to RWA?”

Step Three: At the end of the literacy signing, I will multiply the number sold by 0.99 (the cost of the e-book), and I will write a check to RWA for that amount. And yes, for those who are wondering, I will donate the full amount spent, not the amount I’ll get as a royalty on the back end.

So that’s what I need to accomplish this: People with smart phones and/or 3G enabled e-readers, a pen and a piece of paper to track sales, a check connected to a bank account that has enough money in it to cover the check, and a laminated sign at my table that will look something like this:

That’s it.

“But Courtney,” you’re saying. “Doesn’t this preempt, foreswear, deny, moondoggle or otherwise verbify RWA’s rules about what can be sold at the signing?” I don’t see how it does. People can buy things on their smartphones anywhere they wish. I can write a check to RWA for any amount I wish. All I’m doing is connecting the two.

3 thoughts on “Literacy Unlocked

  1. Lovely idea, Courtney!

    I wish I’d thought of a way to do something for the Literacy signing with my ebooks, so settled with a donation of my time. Guess that 10-key my bookkeeping mother taught me so many years ago will finally come in handy… 😉

    See you in NYC!

  2. I’ll be at the literacy signing and can’t wait to “unlock literacy” with you by purchasing your novella.

    I think I need to download a QR Code reading app for my iphone, though. Have you done this before with an iPhone? Do you recommend a particular app?

    See you soon! 😀

  3. Or, Courtney, if you want to sell the PDFs directly, you could use one of these collect the funds, then write that amount and bypass Amazon’s 65% cut of your $0.99. You could email the PDF directly to the person and they could then upload to Kindle or Nook or whatever platform right there.

    I’m interested in hearing about the inserting a note in the smartphone as a means of signing it. Not sure what you mean by that.

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