Con or Bust’s annual online auction is its principal source of funds for the entire year. In 2013, it begins on Saturday, February 9, at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time and ends on Sunday, February 24, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.
Then simply leave a comment stating the amount of your bid (in U.S. dollars), with a working email address, before the end of the auction. (If you like, check the box that says “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” to make sure you don’t miss any later bids.) That’s all there is to it.
(If you forget to check the box, or you want to decide later, you can also enter your email address where it says “Subscribe without commenting.”)
Minor clarifying note: where multiple identical items are being auctioned in the same post, and the top n bids win, each consecutive bid must still increase, for the reasons stated here.
Once again, all you need is an email address: just fill out the form on the Submit an Auction page. You’ll get an email confirmation when you submit the auction post and another when I approve and publish the post.
(If you have images for the post and you don’t have your own image host, you can upload them here and I will insert them into your post.)
Common things to offer are books and advance reading copies (ARCs), naming rights to a story character, jewelry, baked goods, editing, knitted goods, and so forth, but feel free to offer any good or service that’s legal, practical, and morally and ethically appropriate.
(Two suggestions: (1) If offering food, either figure out what you need to do to ship internationally or restrict your offer to your own country. (2) If offering original creative work to a prompt, or custom-made crafts, consider whether you’ve done anything like that before and what a realistic delivery time is—I would like to avoid people winning stories, knitted goods, etc. that the seller has trouble creating within the delivery time stated.)
Finally, a note on shipping costs, because it’s something of a FAQ: the default is that the person offering the item will pay for shipping. If the cost of international shipping is an issue, people have in the past shipped internationally after the bidder has offered to donate extra to Con or Bust, or have limited their auctions to domestic shipping only. If you think this may be an issue, please check shipping costs ahead of time and make a note in your auction post.
Update: author E.C. Myers had a clever idea regarding international shipping: because his book is carried by the Book Depository, which ships free worldwide, he offered to send his book to international bidders through that site and separately mail a signed, personalized bookplate. Authors interested in offering signed copies of their books, this may be useful to you.
Con or Bust accepts payment through PayPal. On the “review your donation” screen, please click “Add special instructions to the seller” and indicate whether this is a donation or payment for an auction item. If it’s an auction item, also specify the seller & item. This simplifies my bookkeeping tremendously.
If PayPal is impossible, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work something out.