Nathan Bransford, Author

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Brenda Novak's Auction for Diabetes Research

Brenda Novak's annual auction for diabetes research is underway, and there is an incredible and vast array of goodies up for auction: everything from an African Safari to lunch with bestselling author Barry Eisler to OMG you guys a guitar autographed by the Jo Bros.

Oh! And lest we forget: you can bid for a partial manuscript critique from yours truly, and I'll get back to you within a week. It says the first three chapters, but I'm willing to go up 50 pages if your chapters are short.

Since so many of us have loved ones who have diabetes, this is a wonderful opportunity. I know these are tough times, but if you can spare it, it's a really good cause.


PurpleClover said...

Wow Two nobel causes! Diabetes research and a MS critique. Me likey! ;)

Umm...but the only thing is the link is broken for the critique. Unless I'm doing something wrong (did I "click" wrong?)...hehe.

Of course as a student nurse, I think this is an AWESOME cause!


Nathan Bransford said...

Link fixed!

Blogger sometimes does weird things with links. Very annoying.

PurpleClover said...

okay nevermind link is working!

Bane of Anubis said...


Great shout out, great cause! However, I think that Jo Bro guitar is gonna have the valuation arc of a Mark McGwire rookie card - though I'm sure a true fan will relish it forever :)

allegory19 said...

Excellent - does the auction take Visa? =)

Ian said...

Nathan, you update far too frequently. Why don't you get a job or something? I was just about to enter an incredibly interesting site called "real pussy contraction" and then I saw you'd updated AGAIN. Anyway, man, it's a worthwhile cause.

Jamey Stegmaier said...

Nathan, are you open to doing this for other organizations' fundraising events as well? If so, I'll send you an e-mail; if not, I won't add another e-mail to your already bursting inbox. Thanks!

Natalie N. said...

I don't think I'm going to be able to afford the critique since it's already up to $210.00 and there are 24 days left. Apparently Nathan's critique's are in high demand!

JohnO said...

Jeezus, Nathan, considering my project, I think that guitar is my destiny!

BTW, I've duly forwarded your partial mss critique auction announcement around the intertubes.

Good on ya, mate.

Nathan Bransford said...


I'm always open to it, but unfortunately my commitments are such that I can't participate in everything.

PurpleClover said...

Natalie, I was just thinking the same thing. :(

I guess I'll just have to pray that I can win a free contest and then donate my measly funds to diabetes in the mean time. :)

And by the way, the "nobel" is driving me crazy in my above post. I meant noble. Obviously.

Dan said...


If I make a donation to the 'put Nathan court-side at a Kings game' fund instead, does that count?

With the way the Kings have been playing, those seats will probably end up being cheaper than the auction!

Nathan Bransford said...


I think the Kings are going to pay fans to watch the team next year.

Lady Glamis said...

Nathan, thank you so much for announcing this. It's a great cause and a word from you gets so much attention. Thank you!

Ash D. said...

Wow! The bid for the partial critique is already up to $310 dollars and there are still 24 days left! That's pretty awesome!

It must feel a little strange (not in a bad way, of course) to think that complete strangers are willing to spend that kind of money to pick your brain about their manuscript, Nathan! I can't imagine anyone handing out that kind of money for my advice, even if the proceeds are going towards such a great cause ;)

Scott said...

What would someone pay to have a Nathan seal of approval on their self-pubbed book? In other words, an imprint of sorts that says, "good enough for Nathan, but he just didn't have the time, resources, genre connections, it's the economy dummy, etc".

There's got to be a way to raise the profile of well-written and marketable self-pubs in order to give new voices a chance to make a mark AND support a good cause.

Mira said...

Cool, a very worthwhile cause.

That's really great of you to offer something for aution, Nathan. I'd bid, but it's already out of my price range. I'll be watching with anticipation, though. I hope this makes tons of funds for a good cause!

Kristi said...

This cause hits close to home so thanks for doing this Nathan...I'll have to see what the auction amount is up to for the partial critique. :)

Dawn said...

While the cause is great and very important to my family where diabetes runs rampant, not to mention the invaluable MS critique, there are no funds to play with this month. Best of luck in raising a massive amount, Nathan.

Kristi said...

Wow - I just looked at how many agents are participating in this which is awesome. Nathan - you already seem to be at the top of the list as far as highest bid so far. Pretty impressive.

PurpleClover said...

Oh man. I just looked up Barry Eisler (I'm sorry if I'm the only person whom has never heard of him) and I think I need to send my ms through a major rewrite.

Your character has to like single malt whiskey too? Really? C'mon now.At least his isn't SciFi. Does this ever happen to anyone else?

T. Anne said...

Awesome. I didn't note anything about tax deduction's is that a possibility? It raises the bar a notch in my world.

csmith said...


If I 1) had a suitable complete and edited MSS and 2) was not told yesterday they were closing our office and moving me (with god knows what compensation) an hour away in hideous traffic, with no mention of compensation, I would most definitely bid.

Since my great grandmother had to extract insulin from pig pancreas in WW2, I thank you for donating your time to such a worthy cause.

(If this does not make sense, apologies. I have been imbibing vodka in)

Nathan Bransford said...

t. anne-

I'm not an accountant, but my understanding of tax deductions in charity auctions is that they are deducted at the amount paid above fair market value for whatever the person purchased. So if you buy something in an auction for $150 that's actually worth $100, you can deduct the $50. But if you buy something under market value it's not deductible.

I have no idea what fair market value is for a partial critique because I don't sell those services, so for that you'd have to consult an expert.

Nathan Bransford said...

Ah -- here's more info straight from the horse's mouth: The IRS on charity auctions

Liana Brooks said...

For some reason Jack Campbell isn't auctioning a look at his next manuscript... that's something I'd pay to get my hands on since I just finished the newly released Book Five and don't want to wait months for the rest of the adventure.

abc said...

love that the Response within One Week is built into it. I can't afford, but glad to see the price going so high. Cute picture! I appreciate the layered look (which I'm sure is necessary in SF).

(p.s.) Hope you survived the week, Nathan. Seems like a lot of people's defense mechanisms came out to play. Wowie Zowie!

Ink said...


Are those your bookcases in the auction photo? I admit, I was copping a peek at your books, if so. And, if yours, have you read Savage Beauty, the bio on Edna St. Vincent Millay? It's in my TBR pile at home.

My best, as always,

Nathan Bransford said...


Yup, that's my/our bookshelf, although I'll admit that the book you mentioned is my wife's and I haven't read it yet.

Ink said...


So, if I want the lowdown she's the one to ask?

Nathan Bransford said...


That's correct. I've read some of other ones though!

Marilyn Peake said...

Looks like a great auction for a wonderful cause!

Ink said...

Lol, it's okay if you haven't! You should see the size of my TBR pile... It's the curse of owning a bookshop.


Laura D said...

Awesome cause! A resident at my nursing home went into low blood sugar shock last night. (100 years old and without a history of diabetes.)It can affect anyone at any time!
I just can't afford YOU, Nathan!

Mira said...

Nathan, that's your bookshelf at home? I can't believe I missed that. What kind of a stalker am I?

Well, that's just embarrassing. I had applied for a stalker upgrade - level 4: crazy, bug-eyed psycho.

But if they find out, I'm sure I'll be demoted to level 2: deluded and socially awkward.

What a nightmare. Socially awkward. Socially awkward! After all my hard work, back to socially awkard. Oh, the humiliation. How am I supposed to face everybody at the stalker chapter meeting tomorrow night.

Darn, darn, darn.

Note to self: Always, always, always notice the bookshelf. The bookshelf!


Marybeth said...

Aren't we suppose to stay away from agents who charge to read our manuscripts ;)

Lisa Dez said...


I bid on you the first day and within an hour was outbid. I think you're playing hard to get! Should have known you were out of my league.

Kudos for participating. Diabetics everywhere thank you.

Tricia said...


I can color-code your bookshelf in exchange for a partial ms critique.

Lightest to darkest or groups of a certain color placed around your house. What'dya say?

Ryan Z said...

Good on you for chipping in to help, Nathan. My mom has diabetes, and as someone who'll probably get it myself some day, thanks for raising people's awareness. ;)

(Just found your blog and wanted to say, this place is great.)

Dawn Maria said...

I can't participate in the auction, but I really appreciate that you're giving your time and services to a Diabetes charity Nathan.

My husband works in medical sales, first with insulin pumps and now with continuous glucose sensors. We've met many people over the years whose lives are deeply (and daily) affected by this disease. Imagine for a moment being a parent who has to shove a PB&J sandwich into a three year olds mouth at 3 a.m. because her blood sugar is low. I met those parents. These is a disease that attacks an entire family.

Good luck to whoever wins Nathan's critique!

lisanneharris said...

Thank you for donating your time to such a worthy cause, Nathan. I admire your great compassion.

Someone very close to me suffers with diabetes. I wish I could afford to bid on your critique. Alas, my pockets are empty.

I hope the bidding war continues to the very last second. :)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful charitable cause! Diabetics in my house are my husband and our dog. Shots galore around this place.

Too bad there isn't a Nathan Bransford Raffle, too, with tickets a mere $5 a pop. Winner would get a coveted MS review, too.

Jen C said...

$360? If only I could afford that! Alas I have just forked out a heck of a lot of money for a new tattoo and I am broke. Broke, broke, broke. On the plus side, however, I have a spanking new tattoo to keep me company when I'm doing nothing because I'm broke.

I wonder how much it will end up going for??

PS Mira I think I am going to become your stalker. Please advise what Stalker Level you require from applicants?

Kristi said...

Am I the only one that's noticed that Nathan is almost beating the Jonas Brothers?! Wow.

Mira said...

Jen C.

Ooooo. A stalker. I've always wanted my very own stalker.

That might raise me up to level 5:
Screaming mimi monkey mook.

I never, in my wildest dreams, thought I'd make the monkey level.

You, my young apprentice, must start at level .000001. There really isn't a level that small, it just made me happy to type all of those zeros.

We'll call, well it doesn't exist, I'll have to make up a name myself. But I'm sure I can think of a good one.....I know! We'll call it: Level with five zeros. How's that? Pretty clever, huh?

My very own stalker. I'm so happy.

Laurel said...


If you ask for opinions, you get 400 replies. If you ask for us to ante up to a good cause, you get forty five. I think I spy a pattern similar to "the amount of time you spend formatting your query to include interesting fonts and photos is inversely proportional..."

Crickets out here. Sorry, I myself am all tapped out. St. Jude's wiped me out this month. We were already approaching the pinnacles of destitution anyway.

Pattie Garner said...

How terrific. I would loved to see more generosity in this world--where money is tight and dreams are lost.

Jill Lynn said...

Wish I had the money for this one:

"Weekend in Author Susan Andersen's Cabin in the Cascade Mountain Foothills"

Not that your listing isn't great, Nathan, but, ya know, we're talking weekend getaway. You could up the ante by adding all the books on your shelf, though :-)

Word verification: drypa. Oh, the jokes I could come up with...if only I was Mira.

Claire H. said...


Thank you so, so much for getting the word out about this event. So many people with benefit greatly from all the generosity.

I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes last August. Believe it or not this conditon is one of the best things to ever happen to me.
I take care of myself now, weight that seemed like it was cemented to my body is not, exercise has become my friend, fruits and vegtables have are now familiar at every meal, and so on. The best part is that my blood sugar has not been above normal since being diagnosed.

I'll tell you why I keep this condition under control:

I worked in surgery as a Scrub Tech for several years and have seen the horrific consequences that happen when diabetics don't take care of themselves. I won't go into the gruesome details here, but I do want to say that there is no reason why a person's life should be destroyed by diabetes. How can that be? By formulating a plan with your doctor, and following it. No
exceptions. Then do exactly the same with your dietician. It is truly possible to live a long, healthy life with this dreaded disease, and Ms.Novak's auction will help that to come about. I'll get off my soapbox now. You may proceed. ;)

Best Regards! :)

Richard Lewis said...

Well, shoot. I was going to propose a barter. Two weeks of surf lessons in Bali, plus personal tour guide and host.

Richard Lewis said...

Posted before I finished...
We've lost two local friends to diabetes here in Indonesia. They simply could not afford to maintain the medicine and (one) the dialysis. We did what we could. A tragedy -- it's gut wrenching to see someone die because they don't have enough money to pay for life saving treatments.

Anonymous said...

You are so out of my league, Nathan, but what a great gift you're giving. Lots of good karma coming right back at you.

Claire, I got the phone call at five o'clock this afternoon. Thank you for writing with such passion and conviction about your commitment to being healthy and on top of your diabetes. You've inspired me!

Patricia said...

As mom of a Type 1, I am so thankful to you and the 53 other agents for participating in this fundraiser.

When I scrolled through the list and saw the number of agents giving their time for this auction, I was touched.

How many ways can we say thank you?


Janny said...


"If you ask for opinions, you get 400 replies. If you ask for us to ante up to a good cause, you get forty five. I think I spy a pattern similar to 'the amount of time you spend formatting your query to include interesting fonts and photos is inversely proportional...'"

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that's a little harsh? (Not to mention comparing apples and oranges?)


P.S. I'd love to be able to afford your critique, Nathan, but like many others who've posted already, my budget just wouldn't bear a $300+ (and it'll probably go higher) hit at this point. Makes it all the more valuable that you're so willing to share FREE insights on the blog!

Writer from Hell said...


Laurel said...

Sorry, guys! I wasn't trying to be harsh...I actually thought it was funny.

Hope I didn't hurt your feelings.

PurpleClover said...

Laurel -

Harsh or not it's true.


Anonymous said...

I'm a type 1 diabetic (insulin dependent, from childhood). It's a hard disease to live with. But I do. I've had it for 25 years. I test every day, about ten times a day. Do the math. My fingers are calloused. Sometimes I'm too high. Sometimes I'm too low. Sometimes I'm right on target. There's really no way to prevent the ups and downs. I just work at it.

But I'm a grown up. With a nice life and two little adopted kiddos. My kids don't have diabetes. I couldn't be more thankful for that. It doesn't mean they can't get it. I did, after all. And it wasn't even in my family. It just happened.

The worst thing is when the little kids have diabetes. If you don't know one who has it, you can't imagine what they go through at such a young age. These little ones have to test like I do. Night and day. And, at this point, they always will. Diabetes never goes away. There is no cure. These kids must keep candy with them all the time. Just in case.

They must calculate carbs in every thing they eat before they eat it. And then judge whether or not they really should. Or not. It's a hard life. I speak from experience.

But don't take my word for it. See what this little guy has to say. It might make you change your mind about giving. God bless.

Lilly Jones said...

Lovely idea, the auction. As a medic I have attended so many diabetics and now it surprises me that the incidence of juvenile diabetes in kids is so high. Sad. anyway, thx for sharing.

- LJ

Brenda Novak said...

Hi there--

I'm here to announce that the Brenda Novak Diabetes Auction does take Visa (and personal checks and Paypal and your first born...LOL).

Just wanted to drop by to say thanks to Nathan for being so generous. Here's hoping we break all previous records!

Brenda Novak
THE PERFECT COUPLE, On Sale July 28th!

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