Brenda Novak Online Auction for Diabetes Research

I mentioned the Brenda Novak Online Auction for Diabetes Research back in January and I know it’s been there, tickling at the back of your mind ever since. (Don’t try to deny it. I know it’s true!)

So for those of you who have been waiting for more details on how to donate: CLICK HERE to go to the revised and updated original post.

Thank you so much to those who’ve already donated. If you’ve sent me the information and your item is not yet listed, don’t panic. It takes the auction staff a couple of weeks to get everything up there.

Also, if you’re listed with no images, don’t worry. They’re working on it.

So everyone, go take a peek at what’s already posted in the LDS Publisher category.

Brenda Novak Online Auction for Diabetes Research

CLICK HERE to see the LDS Publisher donation category!


I am excited to a sponsor of the 2010 Brenda Novak Online Auction for Diabetes Research. Brenda holds the auction every May at her Web site ( There, she offers trips, book collections, mentoring sessions, critiques, and more to an ever-expanding shopper base.

The auction has raised over $770,000 in five years. In 2009, the auction raised $270,611. Nora Roberts, Debbie Macomber, Lisa Jackson, Michael Connelly and Sherrilyn Kenyon are all involved, as well as hundreds of others. Corporate donors already signed on include Publishers Weekly, Writers Digest, Harlequin and Kensington publishers.

Diabetes runs rampant in both of my parents’ family lines. I don’t have it and and have taken steps not to get it, but I have aunts, uncles and cousins with it and it’s a horrible disease. It’s an issue that’s close to my heart.

Not only am I supporting Brenda’s auction by posting about it BUT I’ll have my own LDS Publisher category, featuring books and other items for and/or by LDS authors.

And YOU, dear readers, may participate too by donating items for the auction!

Donation ideas:

  • Gift baskets themed around your book(s)
  • Handmade quilts, jewelry or other items
  • A stay in your vacation home
  • Lunch with you, your publisher and/or agent
  • A bunch of books and/or book-related items
  • Other cool but easy to ship items.

If you want to get an idea of what others are doing, CLICK HERE.

Reasons to donate to the 2010 auction include:

  • High traffic. The 2009 auction site had over 450,000 page hits, double 2008’s total, from over 20,000 unique users.
  • National media plan supporting the auction. Media plan includes Writer’s Digest, Publisher’s Weekly, RT Book Reviews magazine and many other print and online venues.
  • Highly efficient program. Your only expense is the donation item and the cost of shipping it to the auction winner (within the U.S.) by June 25, 2010 and you’ll receive months of national exposure. (The sooner your items are posted, the better your exposure.)
  • Dedicated web page to promote your organization and drive traffic to your website. One 2009 sponsor saw a 80% spike in website traffic.
  • Donations are tax deductible. All proceeds go directly to accelerate progress in diabetes research.

For each donation item, please send to me:

  • Item Title and picture of your book cover/item (you can attach a file or give me a URL to pull the photo from).
  • Item Description: The copy from the jacket flap or back of your book(s) or a description of the item. Each donation item or grouping has its own page on Brenda’s auction website, so you have plenty of room for descriptions. You can find examples of items and descriptions at the auction site:
  • More about You: An author bio and a link to your web site or blog. You may included a photo of yourself, if you want.

More details:

  • Your item(s) will be posted to the auction under the category “LDS Publisher”.
  • All items have a starting bid of $2.00.
  • Info submission deadline: April 10, 2010, but the sooner you send me your info, the more exposure you get on the auction site.
  • The auction goes from May 1-31, 2010. Remember to go bid on items. Lots of really cool stuff!
  • I will be notified of the auction winners by June 9, 2010.
  • I will forward the winner’s shipping information on to you by June 12th.
  • You will need to ship the items to the winner by June 25, 2010.
  • By choosing to donate, you agree to ship the item(s) at your expense within the U.S. (Winners outside the U.S. will pay their own shipping costs.)
  • This is a binding agreement. If you agree to donate, I expect you to follow up and follow through. (If you flake, I will find some way to publicly humiliate you in front of your peers.)

Spread the Word:

  • I’d love for you to blog, twitter, facebook, whatever about this auction. For banners, CLICK HERE.
  • I’ve made a sidebar button for those who donate to the auction. Copy the code below and paste it into an html widget on your sidebar. (Don’t copy the quote marks.)
  • If someone clicks on the button, it will take them to the entire LDS Publisher category. If desired, you may replace the current URL in the code with the URL specific to your donation page.

Small Button (125px)

<div align=”center”>
<a href=”″><img src=”” /></a>
<br/><a href=” “>Click HERE to donate!</a>

Large Button (220px)

<div align=”center”>
<a href=”″><img src=”” /></a>
<br/><a href=” “>Click HERE to donate!</a>

P.S. — No, I’m not going to tell you who I am to get you to donate. This is totally legit and since YOU send the prize straight to the winner, you don’t need to know anything about me to participate.

Taking a Mini-Vacation

I’m off to the LDStorymakers Writing Conference and the Whitney Gala. (I’ll be the one in the bright fuschia hat with the peacock feathers).

I’ll take good notes and post some highlights here next week.

Also, the Whitney people will be doing live blogging of the gala. Click HERE to register for a reminder and to watch the event live. Live blogging will begin at 6:30pm, Mountain Time, on April 25th, 2009.

Happy (Belated) Anniversary to Me!

As I realized while writing yesterday’s post, I just missed my third anniversary as LDS Publisher. I started writing this blog on April 7, 2006. (Yes, there are a couple of older posts, but they were backdated for indexing purposes.)

So as my Happy Anniversary present to you, I’m going to do the “100 Things About Me” meme.

Ha-ha. No, I’m not. (I should have started this blog on April 1st.)

But what I will do is answer questions about myself on Fridays, interspersed with various Stupid Questions, jokes and rants—because as everyone knows, all publishers take a three-day weekend and we never, ever do serious work on Fridays. (That was sarcasm, just in case you didn’t get it.)

So, first—and most frequent—question: Who are you?

. . .

Did you even for half a trillimeter of a second believe that I was going to answer that one?

Try again. Post your questions in the comments or email them to me.

Tweaks and Treatises

As you may have noticed (those of you who use a reader would not), I’ve been tweaking the blogs since going to this new format. The biggest tweak made is to advertising. Changes include:

  • Lower price for ads (now only $25 for 30 days)
  • Ads appear on all six networked blogs
  • All the square ads are lumped together

Considering that the combined monthly stats for the blogs are 5,733 page loads, that’s .004¢ per eyeball flashes. For detailed advertising info, click HERE.

Another tweak I’m making is to the LDS Fiction comment contest. I want more comments and opinions on the books, so we’re changing things up a bit. Changes include:

  • Four prizes display in the sidebar; sponsors still get a full month of exposure
  • Sponsor info posts will display on the Contests site

For detailed contest information, click HERE (but give me 24 hours because I’m still making those changes.).


The LDS Fiction Review site needs a few more reviewers. This is a labor of love for now, no payment. Reviewers post under pen names to give them the freedom to write honest reviews. If you’re interested:

  • Go to the site and read the reviews currently posted to get an idea of what is expected.
  • Select a genre to specialize in—this should be a genre that you enjoy and read frequently. Reviewers should be BIG readers, ravenous readers.
  • Paste your review within the body of an e-mail to me. Do not send an attachment.
  • Reviewers will be selected based on writing quality, style, conciseness, preciseness and unique voice.
  • I’ll be selecting several reviewers per genre.
  • Reviewers are expected to review a minimum of one book a month.

Happy Easter!

Ad Space Available in Whitney Gala Program

This is a bonus post, a message from the Whitney Gala people.

We have limited space available in our professionally designed, full-color keepsake program. Publishers and others may place congratulatory messages for a modest contribution to a very good cause. Submit camera-ready material or ask that our graphic designer incorporate your logo, pictures, and copy (for no extra charge).

The following sizes are available, first come, first served:
Full page: 8.5 x 5.5 $150
Half page: 4 x 2.5 $75
Quarter page: 2 x 1.25 $50

You can pay through PayPal — or send us a check.

We’re also offering one table for eight at the gala. For $500 you will get eight seats (and therefore eight dinners), a table on the front row near the podium, a half-page ad in the program, listing as a Gold Level sponsor on the Whitney website, and verbal recognition during the gala.

If you’re at all interested, or have any questions, send me an email at

Rob Wells
President, Whitney Awards

Favorite Book

What is your favorite book of all time? Why? Plot, characterization, description, setting? What made you remember it?

Did Jeff Savage put you up to this? He’s always trying to trick me into revealing my secret identity.

Seriously, while I won’t give you specific titles, the novels I like best are very strongly character driven with plot twists that take me at least two thirds of the way through the book to figure it out. I need solid, clever dialog. Setting is almost completely unimportant to me, as long as it’s believable and I only need enough description to give me a sense of place.

Guest Bloggers

Yes, I know it’s not Wednesday yet, but I will be out of the office for a couple of days and may not be able to get anywhere near a computer.

Which brings up my summer convention schedule. I’ll be traveling a lot between now and September and doing a lot of conventions. Getting to a computer on a regular basis is hard. Finding the time to write the posts, in between regular catch-up work is even harder. So, I thought I’d open this up to guest bloggers.

If you’d like to guest blog here, write your post and e-mail it to me. Do not send it as an attachment. Paste the text within the e-mail itself.

Posts need to be about writing and/or publishing–what to do, what not to do, personal experiences. They need to be well-written, interesting and/or entertaining. I need to agree with the main premise. Include your name and credentials and your web/blog address(es) for linking. Other LDS publishers get first consideration. Published authors get preference over non-published.

I will respond to all submissions as soon as possible. If I won’t be using yours, I’ll let you know why and you’ll have a chance to rewrite and resubmit. If I will be using yours, I’ll give you a ballpark posting date.

Brain Surgery

Do you think it’s easier to become a brain surgeon than a published author?


It’s all about perception. There is an actual mathematical equation for this. It is:

Actual difficulty + [(perceived personal skill + personal desire to achieve goal) X number of people who believe they have the skill and desire] + number of perceived stumbling blocks unfairly placed in the way by people who are not as intelligent as you = perceived difficulty

According to the scientific study of 1,000 random people that I did last night in preparation to answer this question, I discovered:

(10 being most and 1 being least)

10 + [(0 + .2) X 0] + 3 = 13 = Difficulty in Becoming a Brain Surgeon

4 + [(10 + 9.5) X 1,000] + 10 = 19,514 = Difficulty in Becoming a Published Author

Publishers Directories

Is there a directory available that lists publishers and editors with their home phone numbers? I’d really like to call a few and ask them why they rejected my manuscript.

Thank you so much.

Yes. It’s 1-800-I’ll never publish your book in a million years!

Although the person who sent this question intended it to be humorous, it’s really not that funny when I get the call. (Yes, I get those calls. Usually when I’ve just dozed off for my Saturday afternoon nap.)

With all the resources available these days, it’s not too hard to track down a publisher’s personal info. Don’t do it! I guarantee, they will not admire your tenacity and gumption. Anything else you send them in the future will be an automatic pass. And they’ll probably gossip about you to their publisher friends.

[And it’s not just writers who do this. A million years ago, in a city far, far away, I was a drama critic for the local paper. I gave a show a moderate review, but pointed out several things that were sub-par in the performance. The director called me up and chewed me out–several times. From then on, I always wrote with a pen name. It’s also one of the reasons why this blog is anonymous. I can’t handle conflict. I buckle under criticism. I…well, fine. I just don’t want the aggravation.]

I Despise Taggers!

Okay, maybe despise is too strong of a word.

I was going to pretend I didn’t see the tags over on Six LDS Writers and on Josie Kilpack’s blog. (Both of which I read regularly). But then some blabber-mouth mentioned it in the comments trail here. Kind of hard to pretend I don’t read my own blog.


1. Go to Wikipedia and type in your birthday without the year:
(Thought you could trick me, eh? Josie said I could use the date my publishing company started–as if I can remember that far back. So I’m going with the date I started this blog.)

April 29–voted 364 to 1 as THE most boring day in the history of the world

2. List 3 events that occurred that day:
1429–Joan of Arc arrives to relieve the Siege of Orléans.
1770–James Cook arrives at and names Botany Bay, Australia.
1967–After refusing induction into the US Army the day before (citing religious reasons), Muhammad Ali is stripped of his boxing title.

3. List 2 important birthdays:
1982–Kamran Jawaid, Pakistani film critic and producer
1957–Timothy Treadwell, American bear enthusiast

4. List 1 death:
2002–Lor Tok, Thai comedian and actor

5. List 1 holiday or observance:
Baháí Faith–The ninth day of the Festival of Ridván.

What You’ve Taught Me

Question from comments trail:
So what have you learned from us? And what thought processes have you changed because of our posts? Just wondering….

Among other things, I’ve learned that I really need to speed up my response time to your submissions. I am not so hung up on whether or not I get a SASE. The company has changed our preference from paper submission to electronic submission. We’ve reworded our ROFR clause, limiting it by time, quantity, and genre. I take more time explaining our contract to new authors. I read further before rejecting. When I’m rejecting for reasons other than quality of writing and/or appropriateness of content, I try to make that clear so the author understands it’s nothing to do with them. I try to think more deeply about my posts here and when I respond to a particularly idiotic question or comment (not yours), I imagine that I’m answering someone I care about, like my mother, and I try not to be too much of a snotty smarty pants.