Should we go ahead?  That’s the question we’re asking today.

To give new readers a bit of background, in 2005 and again in 2007 AAR held online auctions to benefit Katrina victims and residents of New Orleans.  Thanks to the generosity of authors, editors, and others in the publishing industry and to readers who bid and bought signed ARCs, books, and critiques, we raised approximately $18,000.  The money was donated to the American Red Cross in 2005 and to Hands On New Orleans, an organization facilitating volunteerism in the city, in 2007.

It’s always been in the plans to hold another auction in 2009.

But then the economy fizzled.  And there seems to be more bad news every day.  Which  means, of course, that while need is greater, so, too, might be the hurdles.

To put it all on the table:  eBay fees are high and the hours required to produce a successful auction are many.  But we will gladly go ahead if we feel that the publishing industry—an industry just as affected as many others—and buyers will support it.

So, that’s the bottom line.

  • If you are a reader, would you buy?
  • If you’re an author or editor, would you donate?
  • Do you have any ideas for other ways that AAR and its readers can contribute to help those in need?
  • Would you be supportive of a spring auction instead of one in the fall?

Though beneficiaries are still up in the air, this time out our focus would most likely not be on disaster relief—or natural disaster, anyway.  Food banks and causes benefiting women are currently being considered, but we would love thoughts and ideas for more.  Rest assured that we will take care to thoroughly research any charity we select in order to make certain as much of our donation as possible reaches the people who actually need it.

We know that every author, editor, and reader wants to do the right thing. So do we.  But the realities of life are…well, more real these days and that’s something we think should be acknowledged and considered before pushing ahead.

Quite honestly, we’re looking for realistic feedback.  Please post your thoughts in the comments or, if you’d prefer to not share publicly, email sandy @ (no spaces).

-Sandy AAR

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