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The Problem

First, the problem, then we’ll get to the solution below. It’s been a long road folks. But I finally have some news on our book donations. This new solution is the least efficient way to go about this process, but here we are. Before I get into what our current/final situation is, let me recap how we got here.

The original Kickstarter had an option for backers to pay for a donation copy of the book. They could also make suggestions on where that book might go. The goal was to get copies of the game to tribal libraries, community centers, and schools – places where Natives might be able to find and access the game where they otherwise might never come across it.

While I hoped to be able to donate 50 or so books, and was happy to personally handle the coordination and delivery of each, things didn’t quite go that way and we ended up with thousands of books to donate. The money to pack and ship these books was part of the problem. When we planned the Kickstarter, our books were going to be $50 and we estimated per book costs based on weight and shipping at that time. But then the book ballooned in size and shipping costs have skyrocketed since Covid. Subsequently, we asked if folks could help us to offset some of those increased shipping costs if they felt they could afford to. And we received some very lovely donations.

But that was never the biggest obstacle. Much larger than the cost was communication. There are more than 550 tribes and nations out there. There are also libraries, schools, and community centers. Even if I had the mailing addressses for those places, I can’t simply ship books blindly to those addresses. That’s not how libraries, schools or any organizations intake books. Many would end up as trash or taken home by individuals. To make matters worse, there’s no communication or organizational structures in place that I can communicate with who can help.

To be sure, there are organizations like the ALA, the ATLA, the ATALM and others. And many of them were sympathetic and interested in helping. But these organizations can’t do much more than send emails out to their memberships. And that would barely scratch the surface of the number of places we’d want to reach.

I’ve spent the last two years trying to find a solution. I’ve communicated with so many non-profits, corporations, government agencies. It’s ridiculous really that a company that wants to give out free books has no real way to do so effectively. Anyway…

We’ve gotten some books out through various half-measures and stop gaps. I’m glad to see that those copies are getting out there and making an impact. But we have a long way to go. It could easily become a full time job.

The Solution

So, what I’m doing as of Native American Heritage Day (11/24) is opening the proverbial doors to donations. Head on over to our Donations & Outreach page for specifics. But the gist is, you or anyone can direct any school, community center, or library, to a form that they can fill out to receive a copy of Coyote & Crow, free of charge. The only stipulations are as follows:

  • They must be located in the US or Canada
  • The book must be available to the community being served (no private libraries or collections)
  • They can’t have already recieved a copy or ask for multiple copies (I may make certain exceptions to this on a case by case basis)
  • The organization itself must fill out the form. Others cannot do it for them.

This is going to be expensive. It may break the company. We’ll see. But it’s important to me that I attempt to keep this promise. As long as I have money and books, I’ll keep shipping out donations as quickly as I can manage the spreadsheets.

Again, for details see our Donations And Outreach page.

Wado – Connor

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