In a unique relief fundraising effort, more than 20 prominent, international authors have joined together to create a collection of Japan-themed short stories, “Shaken: Stories for Japan,” with 100 percent of royalties going directly to the 2011 Japan Relief Fund, which is administered by the Japan America Society of Southern California.
All proceeds will be sent to non-governmental organizations in Japan that have experience with both immediate humanitarian relief and long-term recovery of devastated areas affected by the Great Tohoku Earthquake and the resulting tsunami and radiation crisis in northeastern Japan.
“Shaken” has been published as an e-book on Amazon.com’s Kindle platform. Kindle publication makes it possible for all author royalties to be deposited directly into a nonprofit organization’s bank account, in this case that of the 2011 Japan Relief Fund.
“We believe this is the first time an e-book has been created to raise funds for charitable use,” says Timothy Hallinan, project editor of the volume. He adds, “This was a labor of love for all the authors, who offered to contribute a story and all worked to turn out something special.”
Two of the authors represented in the volume are Japanese Americans, Edgar Award winner Naomi Hirahara and Anthony and Macavity winner Dale Furutani. Hirahara is known for her Mas Arai mysteries, “Summer of the Big Bachi,” “Gasa-Gasa Girl,” “Snakeskin Shamisen” and “Blood Hina.” Furutani has written two contemporary Ken Tanaka mysteries, “Death in Little Tokyo” and “The Toyotomi Blades,” and three samurai mysteries, “Death at the Crossroads,” “Jade Palace Vendetta” and “Kill the Shogun.”
The remaining writers are: Brett Battles, Cara Black, Meredith Cole, Vicki Doudera, Dianne Emley, Timothy Hallinan, Stefan Hammond, Rosemary Harris, Gar Anthony Haywood, Wendy Hornsby, Ken Kuhlken, Debbi Mack, Adrian McKinty, I.J. Parker, Gary Phillips, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Jeffrey Siger, Kelli Stanley, C.J. West, and Jeri Westerson. These writers have sold hundreds of thousands of books and have won and/or been nominated for such major awards as the Edgar, the Anthony and the Shamus.
“ ‘Shaken: Stories for Japan’ provides an unparalleled opportunity to raise donations for the 2011 Japan Relief Fund,” says Douglas Erber, president of the Japan America Society of Southern California. “I sincerely thank the international collection of prominent authors who generously donated their work to make it possible.”
The e-book will retail at $3.99, meaning that almost $2.80 from every copy sold will go to the relief effort. Amazon retains 30 percent as a publishing fee, recognized as one of the lowest publishing fees in the industry.