Markets in everything, the continuing saga

Leading British authors have auctioned off the names of characters in their new books to raise funds for charity.

Successful bidders at the third charity auction for victims of torture included a man who paid £1,000 to see his mother’s name appear in the next novel by the Irish writer Maeve Binchy. Another secured a role in books by two authors, bidding £950 for the children’s writer Philip Pullman and £240 for Sue Townsend, the creator of Adrian Mole.

And one author was also a bidder. Martina Cole, whose own work raised £220, paid £1,000 for her name to appear in the next book by Sarah Waters, who wrote Tipping the Velvet. Tracy Chevalier, whose novel Girl With A Pearl Earring, was adapted into a film, raised £300.

Adi McGowan, a City trader, paid for his mother, Muriel, to appear in the next Binchy book as a surprise birthday present. He said his mother was a fan of the author, whose novel Circle of Friends was adapted into a Hollywood film.

“I usually give a book as a birthday present,” he said. “Maeve’s a favourite. My mother has been waiting eagerly for her next book – now she’s actually going to be in it.”

Here is the full story. Here is a blog post about buying personalized romance novels more generally. Here is a related story of a couple who tried to auction off the naming rights for their baby. No company was willing to pay $500,000, so they named him Zane.

My take: To get mentioned on this blog, all you have to do is send us a useful link, failing that try $100 or more.


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