IMHO, purchasing a book is almost always a good choice, but these seven authors are making it even better by donating a portion (or all of) of their proceeds to crucial charities that need our help.
And there's never been a better time in the world to give back to causes you feel strongly about.
From working to prevent suicide to helping young women who have been the targets of domestic abuse or sexual violence to supporting children across the globe to learn to read and thrive, these seven authors are committed to making a difference how and where they can. What's even more inspiring, is that they're all hard-working, successful women.
Oh, and one woman is making sure her incredible work is put to good use even decades after her death. So, no matter if they write poetry, young adult fiction, fantasy, romance, or any genre or category, they all believe in the mission of helping those less fortunate.
And now we can help them help others by purchasing one of their select books or by reading up on the charities and organizations they are highlighting to see how we can help ourselves. At the very least, feel inspired by women across the country giving back and find your own personal cause that needs your help and join up.
1'The Girl Who Fell' by Shannon M. Parker
During February, Shannon M. Parker (aka S.M. Parker) will donate 100 percent of proceeds from pre-sales of her paperback edition of The Girl Who Fell (out February 28) to lovesisrespect, a cause that ties closely to the themes of the novel.
According to loveisrespect.org, the cause aims to "engage, educate and empower young people to prevent and end abusive relationships." And it's perfect timing (though donating to this cause would always be good timing) because February is Teen Dating Violence and Awareness Month.
"Giving back is essential. We all need help at some point and I've always believed wellness is a collective effort," Parker tells Bustle.
2'Vision in White' by Nora Roberts
Here is a crazy, inspiring fact: After Oprah, romance novelist Nora Roberts has been consistently named the most charitable celebrity in the world. (For the record, Meryl Streep tends to slide into third.)
The Nora Roberts Foundation primarily focuses on literacy and education causes, with money directed toward ProLiteracy, Wikimedia Foundation, Literacy Council of Washington County Maryland, and First Book.
So while any Nora Roberts book (and any book by one of her many pseudonyms!) will help to give back to these causes, book one in her popular Bride Quartet, Vision in White is definitely one of her most popular.
3'The Way I Used to Be' by Amber Smith
The paperback of last year's powerful YA novel The Way I Used to Be releases on March 7, and author Amber Smith will donate a portion of all March proceeds to RAINN.org, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. RAINN is the largest anti-sexual violence organization, and it operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline. The organization not only supports survivors, but it also works to bring perpetrators to justice.
Smith's novel tackles the difficult subject of a rape survivor trying to find strength and her voice in the aftermath of the crime.
"Sexual violence is an issue that has always been very close to my heart and one that has impacted me personally, which is why I feel so strongly about giving back to this organization that does so much good," Smith tells Bustle.
Click here to buy. (In March!)
4'The Tales of Beedle the Bard' by J.K. Rowling
It's no surprise that literary titan J.K. Rowling is committed to philanthropy, but did you know that her three major Harry Potter companion books donate all their proceeds to charity?
The Tales of Beedle the Bard gives back to Rowling's children's charity Lumos, which believes that "no child should be denied a family life because they are poor, disabled or from an ethnic minority" and works to help the 8 million children institutionalized worldwide.
5'The Weight of Zero' by Karen Fortunati
YA author Karen Fortunati is donating 50 percent of the proceeds from the February sales of The Weight of Zero to Active Minds, which works tirelessly to de-stigmatize mental illness in our society.
"The Weight of Zero opens with the main character, Catherine, considering suicide the only option for handling her bipolar disorder. The story is about how a strong network of support — therapy, meds, family and friends — changes the way she views herself and her diagnosis," Fortunati tells Bustle.
"Active Minds astounded me with its energy, honesty and advocacy. I'm so happy to help contribute to its mission," she adds.
6'The Collected Dorothy Parker' by Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker is QUEEN. Despite vehement protests from some people close to her (who then tried to stop further printing of her work), when Parker died she left her entire literary estate to Martin Luther King, Jr, with the stipulation that when he died, he would donate it to the NAACP. Parker's entire literary copyright is still held by the NAACP, after a 1972 court ruling stating that the late writer's wishes should stand.
So why not help her mission and purchase one of her many, many excellent collections of stories or poetry, and gift some to your friends, too.
7'But Then I Came Back' by Estelle Laure
Estelle Laure has been working on the ground level of her local New Mexico suicide prevention charity Help Outreach Taos to add a component addressing relationship violence and emotional abuse as a driver of depression into the organization's mission.
Laure's efforts are driven by community tragedies she's witnessed in her own life.
"One of my daughter’s friends, a 14-year-old boy, killed himself over the summer. He was one of four teens to do so in a three week period," Laure tells Bustle. The fallout for my daughter and the community at large was extensive. Shortly before that, a close friend’s daughter committed suicide over a relationship. I have reached my limit."
"Having been in two emotionally abusive, controlling relationships as a teen, I know how powerless I felt, and want other girls to know they’re not alone and that there is help to be had," Laure adds.
While sale of her novels won't directly go to the cause, we can still support Laure in her efforts by buying and reading Laure's upcoming novel But Then I Came Back, as well as her 2015 novel This Raging Light.