Sometimes book sales allow writers to scale back or even quit their day jobs. Other times, they make a dramatic difference in the quality of life for writers’ loved ones.

And in Lisa Blackwood’s case, they change the lives of animals in need.

Lisa started publishing her fantasy romance novels in 2011. The first few brought in around $700 per year, which was less than what she’d spent on cover design and editing. But since she was writing for the love of it, not for the money, she kept at it.

And as Lisa learned more about the industry, she’s had better luck with sales and income; her latest novel, Ishtar’s Blade, was a breakthrough in a few ways: It earned her $3,000 and ranked as high as #64 among Kindle paid books.

It’s not enough to quit her day job as a librarian, but it is enough to support a cause she’s passionate about: rescue horses.

A few years back, as Lisa worked on a novel with a horse-loving character, a fellow author suggested that she familiarize herself with that species.

So she found Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue, just a few towns over, and began volunteering there. The animals there moved her so deeply that she decided to adopt one — even though she doesn’t ride.

If Lisa hadn’t been writing that novel, she probably wouldn’t have volunteered at the horse sanctuary. And she wouldn’t have the goal of one day making enough to cover the rescue’s yearly hay needs or vet bills.

The small action of a book purchase has quite the ripple effect, as you can see.

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