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Free books + a donation = a better world

A Massachusetts publishing company has come up with a unique distribution model: It gives its books away.

Appropriately named Concord Free Press, it simply asks recipients of the books to make a donation to a person in need or a favorite charity. They’re asked to post their donation on the press’s website and later donate the book to someone else who will be part of the ongoing experiment in generosity.

So far, the donated books have inspired more than $300,000 dollars in donations. Some recent examples:

“Will M. of Dayton, OH gave $10 to William the janitor.”

“Denise A. of Northampton, MA gave $75 to Vermont Disaster Relief Fund.”

“Trish B. of Truchas, New Mexico gave “a healthy supper, 5 gallons of gas, and a big bag of cat food” to someone in need.”

Besides the limited-edition books it gives away (3,000 copies per press run), Concord Free Press publishes e-books, splitting the proceeds evenly with its authors, with the press’s share of sales going to support the nonprofit press run by volunteers.

The most current titles are Lucius Shepard’s, “A Handbook of American Prayer” and the story collection, “Round Mountain” by Castle Freeman Jr. To learn more about the press and order a free copy, visit the website or one of the independent bookstores that stocks the books.

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