Archive for ASOT2016

Authors Supporting Our Troops Winding Down #ASOT2016

Posted in Armand Rosamilia, ASOT2014, ASOT2015, ASOT2016, authors, Facebook with tags , , , , , on August 9, 2016 by Armand Rosamilia

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It’s been a truly remarkable run for the Authors Supporting Our Troops event the past three years. With your help we’ve been able to collect over 7,500 author-signed books for soldiers in remote areas of the world. We’ve helped put smiles on faces. Let a soldier forget about where they are for a few hours and read some good books. 

But as the end of 2016 approaches in a few months I had to take a hard look at what is going to be the future instead of just the past. 

While our goal of breaking the 3,500 books in won’t be happening (we’re currently sitting at about 1,000) I think it’s also a good sign. It is getting harder to find soldiers in remote areas thanks to troops being pulled from bad places and sent to bases in neutral or allied countries. We’ve raised enough money to send out the books we have and any stray boxes coming in from authors who still want to take part in this great event. 

I’m going to set a ‘soft’ cutoff date of November 1st 2016 to get me your signed books. What this means: I’ll still take them after the date but not going to push it or announce it. You’ll only read it here, on this post. Once I amass enough books (50 per box usually) I’ll search for another soldier to ship out to. 

Going forward… I’m sure there will be a small event in 2017. It might only be a 2-3 month window where I will be actively collecting signed books as well as soldiers. 

Speaking of soldiers: I need a few more addresses to send the boxes already sealed to ship, so if you know anyone in a remote area (any branch of military) please email me asap so I can get them books. Email is  armandrosamilia (at) gmail (dot) com

It has been my honor to run this event for the past three years and the level of authors and people donating has been unreal. I want to thank each and every one of you for being so generous.

The Authors Supporting Our Troops Facebook Page will stay active as well. 

Armand

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Authors Supporting Our Troops May Update #ASOT2016

Posted in Armand Rosamilia, ASOT2016, authors with tags , on May 6, 2016 by Armand Rosamilia

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Quick update for where we stand and what we need to make 2016 another successful year for Authors Supporting Our Troops

We just broke the 500 signed book mark for the year… obviously we’re running well behind the numbers from the last two years. Hopefully we can pick up the author-signed book donations coming in for the rest of the year. If you’re an author and have a few author friends (and who doesn’t?) let them know about the program and the Facebook group where all of the incoming and outgoing books are pictured. 

What are we looking for besides author-signed books?

Soldiers. 

I have about a dozen boxes waiting to be shipped but I need actual soldiers to send them to. Any branch of the military. The only real criteria: they need to be in remote areas where videogames, laptops and easy access to entertainment isn’t so easy. I want to reach the units that need something to take their mind off of where they are and what they’re doing. I’m looking for a personal connection, so I get these addresses from YOU. Not through a company or the USO. I want to know a soldier we touched is family/friends with someone who cares. As long as the soldier is willing to accept two boxes (about 100 books) and pass them out to his fellow soldier, we’re happy. 

If you have any questions or comments feel free to drop me a line at:  armandrosamilia (at) gmail (dot) com

I never publish my address online so if you want the shipping address to me please email me asap!

Authors Supporting Our Troops Facebook Page

#ASOT2016

Armand Rosamilia

 

Authors Supporting Our Troops 2016 #ASOT2016

Posted in Armand Rosamilia, ASOT2014, ASOT2015, ASOT2016, authors, personal with tags , , , , , , on December 1, 2015 by Armand Rosamilia

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January 1st 2016 kicks off the third Authors Supporting Our Troops event, and we’re hoping it will be the biggest year yet to collect author-signed books! #ASOT2016 has a modest goal: beat the 3,000 books we shipped in 2014 and the nearly 3,500 books we shipped in 2015.

Let me explain the program again so I don’t have to spend so much time this year telling helpful people what we do and do not need to make this another successful year.

First off, we never really stopped collecting author-signed books. Whereas, in 2014, I had a definite end date in mind, in 2015 I just kept collecting books thanks to the permanent Facebook group. This year I won’t be doing an event page because it becomes too much work and it also becomes redundant once interested parties join the permanent group, where I happily post the pictures of the signed books as they arrive, post pictures of the boxes as they are shipped and update news about where we stand on the event.

So, what are we looking for?

Author-signed books.

YOUR books. If you’re in an anthology and want to sign your story, we’ll take it. If you put out a release, sign it and we’ll take it. We don’t want you sending us your dog-eared copies of Stephen King. We don’t want books you weren’t involved in unless you’re the publisher or collecting other author’s books to ship to us at once.

Books ready for shipping.

Books only. 

While we know troops overseas could use new toothbrushes and soap and Dorito’s, we aren’t collecting them. Neither are we collecting eBooks and e-readers. Print books only. There are many other organizations who collect necessities for the troops, but we aren’t one of them. Our modest goal is to put 3,500+ print books into the hands of soldiers in remote areas of the world like Kuwait and Afghanistan. If a soldier is stationed in Germany or San Diego, they can easily buy a book or have access to TV, games, e-readers, etc. This event is for the men and women of the military who don’t have easy access to read. It’s something for their downtime between hostile situations.

What genre(s) do you accept?

Everything but blatant porn. Nothing taboo or racist, nothing pushing the envelope. Anti-military books might not be so popular. Last year many authors didn’t think their romance books would fit, but they did. Soldiers will read anything if its the only book around. There are also many women in the military. They like to read a good paranormal romance, you know.

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We ship through USPS.

We have a nice and easy system setup for us through Craig and Suzanne at Change Jar Books in Flagler Beach Florida. It gives them some business and they do all of the hard work by setting the boxes with tags and mailing stickers, etc. Last year so many people tried to be helpful and let us know about alternate ways to send books. None of them were as cheap or easy as the USPS. No carrier ships boxes for free. No carrier can get close to the cost we send them through the mail for and the ease we can ship them.  For a box of books (about 50 books per box) it costs us about $25.00 to ship. Add in the ease to ship for me and there is no alternative that makes sense.

Shipping

Donations are accepted and welcome.

I am not a non-profit and we are not a business. We are a couple of people who want to help soldiers. We don’t go through the USO or have contact with military groups. I’ve never served in the military but my wife Shelly (the other half of the team) has a Godson, James, who is serving. it started because she wanted to send him books. This all comes out of our pocket less donations and sales of t-shirts (more on that below). As an example: 3,000 books shipped means about 60 boxes. At $25.00 each to ship. So about $1,500.00 is needed. That doesn’t include buying the shipping boxes and the stickers to place on the boxes. Any monetary donation is accepted and welcomed. We really do appreciate it.

James graduation from boot camp

ASOT2016 T-shirts.

Yes, we will be doing the shirts again in 2016. The first one will kick off on January 1st 2016. We’ll have several colors this year. We try to keep the price as low as we can so more people will buy them and represent. The small profit from the shirt sales goes towards the shipping cost. Last year over half of the shipping was paid for thanks to the shirt sales. We’ll also do like we did last year and post your picture in the shirt and probably do some prizes and whatnot for those helping us out like give away bumper stickers or a new bookmark we’ll have in 2016.

Can you send books and/or donations now?

Of course. But the real fun will begin on January 1st 2016 when the event is officially open. Just send me an e-mail with ASOT2016 or something similar in the subject line asking about the information. I will not be putting my home address on this post or on Facebook. But I will respond as quickly as I can to any queries. if you have questions, contact me at  armandrosamilia@gmail.com

New Stickers

How else can you help?

By helping spread the word about the event. Even though we hit so many authors the last two years (about 650 or so) that is such a small blip of the writers and publishers out there. If you belong to an organization, let them know about it. Ask your publisher to get in touch. Many of them sent us boxes of books last year, which was great.

What branch of the military do you send to?

We’ve shipped to all of them. If a soldier is in a remote area, we want to reach out and hand him/her a book. We find one contact soldier in the unit and ask them to hand out the books when two boxes arrive. We also hope they can take time to send us pictures of the troops holding some books. That is one of the best parts to me. The smiles on their faces holding an author-signed book. Be aware in 2015 almost no pictures we able to be published on social media because of the security needed to keep our troops safe, but I will get e-mails from time to time thanking us for what we are doing.

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How do you get the soldier’s addresses?

From you. Like we said, we don’t work with a company or the military. We rely on family and friends of soldiers overseas to get in touch with them to make sure they’re interested in handing out the books. Then we need their COMPLETE address (including their name and APO/FPO) to ship to them. That’s it. The goal is 35 soldiers in 2016 or more.

What’s the Facebook address to stay in touch and see all the pictures?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ASOT2014/ and also friend me on Facebook so I can tag you in any pictures we post anywhere on Facebook, too!

We’re hoping the Authors Supporting Our Troops 2016 blows away all estimates. Here’s hoping 3,500 books gets passed by thanks to the generosity of authors.

Armand Rosamilia

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