Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The 13th Reality Charity Drive

Let me start by telling you my favorite short story of all time.

A man is walking down a beach, littered with thousands of stranded starfish. Every so often, he picks up a starfish and throws it back into the ocean. Another man approaches him and says, "What are you doing? Look at these thousands of starfish! How can you possibly think you're making a difference?"

The first man bends down, picks up another starfish, tosses it in the water, then replies: "I just made a difference to that one."

I want to try an experiment. I have no delusions that I'm powerful enough to make this work, but maybe I can with your help. If this goes well, I'll do similar things in the future. Here's the gist: Any person who buys my book during its first week of release, and lets us know about it here on The Dashner Dude blog, I will donate 100 PERCENT OF MY ROYALTY for that book to the One Campaign. I will also solicit donors to contribute as well.

You can learn more about the One Campaign here: It is an amazing movement to obliterate poverty across the world, and is partnered with such other worthy charities like Product Red and American Idol Gives Back. Talk about politics all day if you'd like. These people are working to make things happen.

Here are the rules:

1. You must buy the book during its first week of release (March 3rd to March 9th). You must also post a comment telling us when and where you bought it, including the name of the store (just for fun). I will have a permanent link to this post on the side of the blog, as well as reminders and links in every post from now until March 9th. Yes, I could donate for every book sold, period, but I DO have a family to feed.

2. YOU CAN PLEDGE: If you'd also like to pledge an amount yourself for every book sold and listed on my blog, please do so in the comments or email me. Give a nickel. Give a dime. Give a quarter. Whatever. Also, to protect you in case this goes nuts, please don't feel bad giving a cap amount as well. If you are a business, all the better! I will take care of all the math, and when it's over I'll do a summary post and tell you how to donate your portion. I will also list all donors and give you proper props.

3. This will greatly depend on you spreading the word. Please do so. I know the cynics will say this is merely a ploy by me to boost sales. Well, I would do that anyway, so why do some silly gimmick? Instead, we'll all be helping a great cause. And I'm not asking anyone to buy the book that wouldn't anyway. But if you're going to buy it, hey, you might as well help a starving child.

4. You will be amazed at the difference we can make. I'll spare you the math, but even if I'm the only one who pledges (which I already have), every 25 books listed in the comments will pay to feed a child in Kenya FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR. So please, spread the word. If someone buys it, tell them to come over and let us know. I'll give my entire royalty to the One Campaign.

5. I know online sales confuse the issue. I'll make it simple: If you order online from Amazon or whatever at any time between five thousand years ago and March 9th, I will count it. So those of you who have preordered already, let us know. You should definitely count.

6. If you buy the books on CD, that also counts. Just let me know. That will, of course, result in a bigger royalty because it costs more.

7. I'm leaving this rule open, because I'm sure I've forgotten something. If any of you think of what Rule #7 should be, let me know.

My final statement: Listen, I'm the luckiest person in the world. My childhood dream of being an author has come true. But many children have only one constant, aching dream: find something to eat for their next meal. This is an experiment, and a fun way to combine the excitement of my first week of release with a good cause. If it fails, I'll try something else.

Please spread the word. Blog about it, email about it, talk about it. Pledge something, even it it's only a little. The name of my author tour is the Change the World Tour. Let's be true to it.

Thanks for reading, thanks for participating. The 13th Reality Charity Drive starts . . . NOW.

UPDATE ON FEBRUARY 21: I've spoken with the good people at and they've informed me that they do not in fact accept donations. Their purpose is more to promote the campaign and the cause, and they are privately funded. They are, however, deciding which charity it should go to for me. I'll let you know. But they were very complimentary and enthusiastic about our drive. Whatever happens, I promise every penny will go directly to a hungry child.


LaFemmeSimple said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LaFemmeSimple said...

Let's try this again..with links working

Made you some bling for your sidebar:

Bling Bling

Linkage from my blog: Toddler Drama

YAY!! Can't wait!!

Janet Kay Jensen said...

James, I have pre-ordered a copy of your new book from So I hope this order will fit in the charity donation plan. Great idea! I am sure your book, and the charity, will be a great success.

James Dashner said...

And there was much rejoicing. Yaaaaaaay. (Name that movie)

We have our first official entrant! Thanks, Janet. Your number is down, and hopefully we'll have many more.

Sarah, I like the bling. I'll put it on the blog soon. And thanks for the plug.

Dedee said...

Is the movie Monte Python? I can hear the line in my head, but I'm not pulling anything else clear up. Grrr.

I'll let you know the minute I have the book in hand.

Suzy - Q said...

Of course it's Monte Python! :)
By the way, that was always one of my favorite short stories/parables as well, the man and the beach. My other favorite is's watching his life and two sets of footprints appear in the sand; then they turn to one set and he says "Lord, why, when I needed you the most, did you leave me?" and the Lord answers, "It was then that I carried you." I love that one, though it applies little to the charity blog, I realize. Dashner's got great taste, doesn't he?

Tamra Norton said...

This is a great idea, James!

James Dashner said...

Definitely Monty Python.

Thanks for the encouragement. I've gotten some very nice emails and I think this will do well when the release week finally gets here.

One week from Monday. This is the longest month of my life!

J Scott Savage said...


Just pre-ordered two copies from Amazon and also linked to you from my blog JScottSavage

Brian said...

Hi James-
Today, I went to Barnes and Noble, and what a surprise I had when I found that they had it up for sale a day early. I bought it at about 1:30 PM on March 2nd, 2008. I hope that this book helps to feed some hungry child.

tapestry100 said...

Hi James-

Imagine my dismay when I went to my local B&N today to find that they had NO copies in the store! I asked if they had any in stock, and nope. So I told them what a great book it was, and they girl I talked to shortlisted 5 copies to be put on order (I put one on order too, just to make sure). So, now that I'm home, I've just put in my order for a copy at Amazon (I hope online orders count too - I just wanted to get one ordered before the deadline). Good luck today with the book!!


P.S. The LT virtual release party is well underway!

Suey said...

We bought your book yesterday! :) At the Seagull in Orem (the one by Smiths on Center St.) My 16 year old daughter jumped right into it and I said, "Is it good?" She said, "Yeah!" I'm looking forward to my turn at it.

I'll go do a little blog post about this now and link here, not that I have many readers... but a few maybe.

Alison Palmer said...

Okay Dashner, Your book has been dutifully ordered today from Amazon. You owe me a hot fudge sunday or something. No really, this is a great idea from a great guy with a great big heart.

Melinda said...

Okay, I bought your book at B&N in Bountiful today. My daughter, who is your 2nd biggest fan, next me me of course (not including your family), squealed and snatched it out of my hands. Alas, I had only made it to page five or so. Now she has secluded herself away in her room. Good thing she's a fast reader or things might get violent around here. My son wants it, too.

If it gets too ugly, can I sue?

I'll be reviewing 13th Reality on my blog in the next day or so. If I ever get it back, that is.

Annie Bailey said...

Hi James -

Ok, in the interest of full disclosure I didn't buy a copy from Amazon until today, but hopefully you'll cut me a break since it's tax season!

Can't wait to read it!


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Cialis said...

Thank you for sharing the update as well!