Author Brenda Novak discusses her 6th annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research that will run through the month of May. She also talks about some of the prizes people will bid for this year and the perks of getting involved with charities this spring!

Spring has arrived, and with it the fundraising season. Most of the major charities are holding Galas, Walks and Golf Tournaments. And I’m launching my 6th annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research, which runs at my website May 1 – May 31st. I know, as much as we all want to help, this “F” word (fundraising) is a little daunting because we have bills and obligations that need to come first.

But the good news is this: I’m not asking you to sacrifice! I’m giving you the opportunity to bid on over 2000 items, many of which you can’t find anywhere else. That means you can make a difference to my son and all the other people in the world who suffer from diabetes by shopping. What could be more fun than that?

Think about it. We all buy books. Why not buy an advanced reading copy of your favorite author’s next novel and have the chance to read it before anyone else does? Or do your gift shopping for the coming year by purchasing something personal and unique for those on your Christmas list—like the opportunity to have your loved one’s name used as a character in a book? Or the chance to have lunch with such Big Name authors as Diana Gabaldon, Barry Eisler or Catherine Coulter?

There will be items to fit every budget from a slew of costume jewelry to antique jewelry, celebrity items, paintings, trips and stays, Coach purses and more.

And that’s not all. For those who are aspiring to become a novelist or to advance a writing career, there will be amazing opportunities. Many of the most powerful agents and editors in the business have donated evaluations—some with the promise of a 24-hour response (which is unheard of in the publishing industry). There will also be mentoring packages from New York Times Bestselling authors, media training, web designs, publicity packages and lunch with Sue Grimshaw (National buyer for Borders/Waldenbooks). And new this year is a writing contest, the winner of which will win a six-month mentoring package with me and a guaranteed read by my agent and editor.

How does it all work? Just like E-Bay. You register, you bid, you win what you want. When it’s over, you pay with Paypal or credit card. In most instances the donor even picks up the shipping. Can’t get any better than that, right? Well, it does. The person who places the highest number of bids each week will receive fabulous prizes. For example, the winner of Week 1 will receive an iPad and an Advanced Reading Copy of my new book, White Heat, which won't be out until July 27th.

Check out the auction at, and while you’re at my Web site, enter to win a spectacular trip to Curacao, including airfare and a stay at the magnificant Hyatt Regency!

What cool items have you won in past charity auctions? Do you prefer on-line shopping to brick & mortar shopping? Do you think this “wave of the future” will eventually overtake traditional fundraising?

Here's to making a difference!
- Brenda Novak