Book industry professionals and writers have launched an initiative to support Black voices in publishing: an online silent auction called Authors for Black Voices. The auction started on August 3 and will run until 11:59 PM EDT on August 31. All funds from the auction will support nonprofits working towards racial justice in publishing, education, and literacy. All of the bids are open internationally, but the funds will go to nonprofits addressing racial inequality in the United States. There are currently 60 items up for auction across all sorts of genres, including mentoring sessions and bookish items.
Writers Andrea Bartz and Jennifer Keishin Armstrong formed Authors for Black Voices in June 2020 with many other publishing professionals in order to combat racism and amplify Black voices. The August auction will distribute its funds to ten different 501(c)(3)s. Among those represented in the auction are Black Girls Code, We Need Diverse Books, the National Association of Black Journalists, and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. After the auction is over, AFBV will reach out to the winners, who will then select which nonprofit will benefit from the proceeds of their bid. Authors for Black Voices also encourages direct donations to these organizations in general, outside of the month of August.
The auction items are enough to make any book fan or burgeoning writer salivate. In addition to signed books, you can bid on annotated copies of Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino and Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. Many authors are offering extra content from their books: Caroline Kepnes has put up a deleted scene from the You series, while S.A. Chakraborty has given an alternative epilogue to the annotated copy of The Empire of Gold. Hannah Orenstein is even offering part of an unpublished YA novel she worked on, in addition to a signed copy of her romance novel Head Over Heels.
Authors and publishing professionals are also putting up their services as mentors, from a consulting session with thriller writer Kellye Garrett to a personalized query critique from literary agent Rebecca Strauss. The auction items can be searched by genre or categories such as Bookstores & Museums and Publishing Help. I will personally be bidding on the signed books and video message from Josh Gondelman and Maris Kreizman.
The full list of auction items can be found here.
Need some anti-racist reading recs? Check out this episode of the Get Booked podcast, these middle grade books to help challenge white supremacy, or this list of 35 must-read books about racism.