Saturday, November 10, 2012

To Honor Veterans and Soldiers

I would like to share a heartwarming story and the opportunity to do something nice for the soldiers who are risking their lives to protect our country.  Here's how it all came together:

Smashwords author Ed Patterson met a U.S. soldier stationed in Iraq who wanted to download ebooks for his Kindle, but  his wireless download service didn't work in Iraq. So, Ed offered to email the soldier all 13 of his ebooks, for free. The soldier gratefully accepted. And this got Ed thinking...

Everthing happens for a reason.  This  was no chance encounter with the soldier &  Ed,  who was himself an Army veteran.  This was the inspiration and the conception of  "Operation Ebook Drop". 
Ed got to work contacting  other indie authors on the Kindleboards message boards, asking if they too would be willing to offer their ebooks for free to troops deployed overseas.  Soon he had a couple dozen authors who volunteered their books.  Simultaneously, Ed began receiving additional requests for ebooks from soldiers and their families.

Ed and some of the authors started using Smashwords as the platform for distributing the ebooks to soldiers. Using the Smashwords Coupon Generator feature, authors are emailing 100%-off coupons to the soldiers.  As luck would have it, he got the attention of Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords.  When Mark learned about Ed's project, he wanted to do more to help.

And so the humble "Operation Kindle Ebook Drop"started in 2009, has now morphed into something much bigger - "Operation Ebook Drop," and as of 1/22/2012. there are 1,235 participating authors.

Here's how you can get involved:

Authors and Publishers - If you're an author or publisher, email Ed and tell him if you'd like to offer free ebooks to participating troops. His email is ed#w#pat# @ #att#. #net (remove the #s and spaces). To create a 100%-off coupon, log in to your Smashwords account and click on the Coupon Manager link. Ed will email you book requests, and then you simply email the soldier a hyperlink to your book page, and the corresponding coupon code. From your Dashboard, coupon redemptions will show up in your Sales & Payment History Report, and you'll also receive instant email notification. If you're not yet a publisher with Smashwords (why not?), you can learn how publish with us by visiting our How to Publish with Smashwords page.

Deployed troops - All coalition military personnel deployed overseas who need multi-format ebooks are eligible. According to Ed, "If you're overseas and away from your home and loved ones, your dependence on reading might increase - and so we a gifting you ebooks for Kindle, Sony, iPhone, Blackberry etc." For free ebooks, please email Ed at the address above. Please note that the ebooks you receive may be shared with fellow deployed service members, but may not be distributed or shared elsewhere. Please also consider the coupon codes you receive as privileged information, not to be shared elsewhere. The participating authors are pleased to offer you their books.

Where to Learn More
The unofficial staging area for Operation Ebook Drop campaign is over at the Kindleboards message boards. Check it out, help out, and support the young men and women in uniform with some great reads! Operation Ebook Drop also has its own web site, here.

What a great opportunity to do something really meaningful.

No comments: