Please help us welcome Brenda Novak to The Ball. In addition to a very successful career as a novelist, Brenda has made a name for herself by planning and organizing an on-line auction to benefit diabetes research. This is her fourth year and she’s shooting to raise over $150,000! Brenda’s auction brings in a range of amazing items and goes for a great cause. Be sure to check out her books- and her auction here.
What inspired you to do the auction?
When my son was diagnosed with diabetes six years ago, I expected the constant care he would require, but I was shocked to learn of the terrible side effects. Hearing that this disease is the fifth deadliest killer and that it destroys the heart, the kidneys, the eyes, the nerves, etc. was devastating to me. I didn’t want to see that happen to my son–or anyone else’s child. I decided I wasn’t going to simply accept it; I was going to fight back. But I didn’t know. It took me almost two years to figure out how I could make the biggest impact. I was at a silent auction for our elementary school when I realized that I could utilize the traffic I’d already established at my Web site to do essentially the same thing. That was when Brenda Novak’s On-line Auction for Diabetes Research was born. 🙂
How long have you been doing it?
This is my fourth year. In year one, I wasn’t sure how well it would work. I did my best to gather items and encourage shoppers, and raise nearly $35,000. That was enough to tell me I was on to something, so I continued my efforts into the next year. In Year 2, we raised nearly $63,000–almost double. At this point, I began to see the potential. In Year 3, we more than doubled, coming in at $153,700. This year, I’m hoping to break $300,000.
How have you gotten so many famous authors to participate?
Writers must be the most generous individuals alive. I’ve been so touched by the response I’ve received. Most the authors I’ve approached have been more than willing to lend a hand. This is really a coming together of so many people. I could never do it alone.
What are the wildest auction items you’ve received?
This year I’d have to say the wildest item is the drum head and drum sticks signed by a whole slew of today’s most famous musicians–Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Shakira, Madonna, George Strait, Fergie, Tim McGraw, Stevie Nicks, Alan Jackson, Alicia Keys, Dianna Ross, Smokey Robinson, Barry Manilow, Aretha Franklin, Brian Wilson, Carlos
Santana, Ringo Starr, Justin Timberlake, Faith Hill, Celine Dionn, Andy Williams, Bono, Paul McCartnery, BB King, Billy Joel, Glenn Fry, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Burt Bacharact, Keith Urban, Sting, Prince, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Joe Walsh, and Don Henley. Another very cool item is the Pirates of the Caribbean Autographed 8×10 photo autographed by Johnny Depp, Keira Knightly, and Geoffrey Rush.
What are some of the more interesting items this year?
I think the most interesting items are the opportunities. We have the opportunity to meet and have lunch with some of your favorite authors, one-on-one–authors like Jayne Ann Krentz, Catherine Coulter, Ridley Pearson, Debbie Macomber, MaryJanice Davidson, Christine Feehan, Diana Gabaldon and JR Ward. Also, for those who are aspiring to break into publishing, many of the most powerful agents and editors in the business have donated evaluations, some with the promise of a 24-hour response (otherwise unheard of in the publishing industry). There’re also mentoring packages from NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Authors, media training, publicity packages and lunches with publishing professionals.
How long does it run, and how can we participate?
The auction runs May 1 – May 31st at www.brendanovak.com, but there are items in the ONE DAY Auction category that go up for auction and end the same day so it’s best to visit that category periodically to make sure you’re not missing anything. Also, I’m offering a fabulous prize package to the person who places the most bids, even if that person doesn’t win a single item. It’s going to be a fun year–we’re off to a great start. You can get involved by visiting brendanovak.com and registering to shop. From there, you bid just like you would on E-Bay. When the auction is over, you’ll receive a bill for your items, which you can pay via credit card, Paypal, personal check or money order. It’s that simple!
Also, I wanted to mention that Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs and Allison Brennan have joined me in offering a fabulous giveaway to promote the auction. It’s a trip to Bainbridge Island and Port Orchard, WA, including airfare, accommodations, tea with Debbie, massages, and more. You can enter at www.brendanovak.com. The winner will be drawn May 31st.
Thank you so much for having me!