Friday, August 22, 2008

Message from Jeannie Ralston

How are you Kay:

Thanks for the nice note you wrote. It was really my pleasure to talk to all of you. So interesting to hear what everyone thought. I love that you talked later about why we leave and why we stay. That sounds like a title of a book! Maybe it is!

You should have gotten an e-mail from me earlier today about a chance to get a 15 percent off discount on Hill Country Lavender products when you buy a book from now till Sept. 30th. I'm hoping you might get that to your book club and also other Pulpwood Queen bookclubs who are considering reading my book (I hope some are--I'd love to do more call-ins).

I haven't hear back from Kathy about the convention in January, but I'll keep my fingers crossed that she'll invite me to speak. It would be such an honor.

Also, I wanted to tell you in advance about something exciting I'm going to be starting next week. I'll be sending out an official announcement but I thought I'd tell you before then, in case you were going to do a mail out.

In addition to giving back to people who buy the book, I've figured out a way to give to others too.

In June, I did a book signing/benefit down in San Miguel for a lavender co-op that was started to help a poor pueblo here whose men are mostly gone to the States to become self-sufficient. I'm an unofficial adviser and I was able to donate one-third of the retail price of the books to the co-op (out of 48 sold) and they got a lot of great exposure to the bigger community gringo community here. It was truly my favorite book event,  because the event was about more than just me (that might sound strange--maybe even suspect--coming from a memoirist!),

So in that spirit, I've decided to find other ways to make donations and here's what I came up with. My website is connected to Amazon via their Amazon Affiliate program. This means that any time someone clicks "Buy the Book" on my website it takes them to my Amazon page. When they actually purchase the book from Amazon, I get between 4% and 8% of the Amazon price put into an account for me (the more sales volume over the month the higher the percentage). That's basically found money for me,  so why not give it to someone besides me.

This is what I plan to do. Every month I will choose a different organization to give the Amazon Affiliate proceeds to. The first month (Sept) the money will go to St. Anthony's Alliance,  the U.S. organization that started and helps the lavender project down here. One theme of my book is embracing change, but through this donation program (I'm calling it the Seed Project) my readers and I can help MAKE change. This lavender co-op is creating a way for women in a Mexican village to support their families via lavender so their husbands and sons don't have to leave to work in the United States.

I'm getting my website revised right now to accommodate this new program, which will probably be ready middle of next week. I'm really excited. But just so you know if anyone buys through my website even before it's officially posted on my site, the money will still be going to this program.

Other organizations I plan to donate to include a Texas Department of Agriculture urban school program and the Garden Clubs of America scholarship program. I'll also want to give to Breast Cancer research and other women's groups down the road. Do the Pulpwood Queens have a favorite charity?

OK, hope you're doing well. Thanks for your time reading over this LONG email and for your support and encouragement.

All best--Jeannie

Jeannie Ralston
220 N. Zapata Hwy #11
Laredo, Texas 78043
512-423-3030 (U.S. number)
52-415-152-5169 (within Mexico)
Learn more about The Unlikely Lavender Queen: A Memoir of Unexpected Blossoming at