In past posts I’ve written about the importance of securing the best auction donation from an author. Perhaps the most thorough post was from 2012, “Careful! Donations from book authors could be your next live *or* silent auction item.”
For instance, signed books are OK, but they are common. We tend to sell a collection of signed books in a silent auction.
But if you secure something more juicy, we sell it in the live auction for thousands of dollars more.
One of the several examples I suggested in the post was to ask if the author would write a winning bidder’s name into his or her next book.
I’ve sold many of these donations.
As recently as last summer, a murder mystery writer in Martha’s Vineyard, MA offered to write the winning bidder’s name into his next book. “No guarantees,” he told me during the reception, “the winning bidder might end up dead in my book.”
The nonprofit combined it with some other elements and the package sold for $2750.
(It was a solid price, but it wasn’t quite popular enough to make it into my just-released 2017 Auction Item Guide, “The Best Items Gleaned in 2017.” You can read what items were included in the latest Guide.)
Though I’ve sold these donations regularly, I’ve never seen the end result.
That is to say, I’ve never actually read a winning bidder’s name in a book.
This past weekend, my team member Iris showed me “The Cuban Affair” by Nelson DeMille. The book was published in 2017.
At the end of the novel was an acknowledgement of six different winning bidders from fundraising auctions who had paid to have their name in the book. (See photo.)
Congratulations to the various auction committees who secured such a great donation!
Have you sold this item in your auction?
- If so, how much did the item bring?
- And were you able to track down the book after it was released, sharing the result on your Facebook page or newsletter?
If so, share details in the comments section below.