Books Save Lives:
Authors & Publishers for LGBT Chechens

Hello. We're Dale Cameron Lowry and Olivia Helling, and we're devastated by the news coming out of Chechnya, where gay and bisexual men — and those suspected of being gay — are being rounded up in detention camps. The Washington Post reports hundreds of 100 arrests and at least three deaths. It’s imperative to act now to save lives.

If you're a writer or publisher, please consider donating a percentage of your earnings from one or more of your titles, on one or more days in the upcoming weeks, to support organizations that are helping vulnerable LGBT Chechens. The Russian LGBT Network is already working with two dozen people who have fled Chechnya, and four or five new Chechens reach out to the network's hotline each day for assistance.

You also have the option of donating items to an online auction that will run May 5 to May 12.

Interested? Please sign up using the form below. All writers, publishers, and other creatives are welcome to participate regardless of genre, sexual orientation, nationality, or gender.

— Dale and Olivia, April 17, 2017

Sign Up


Fundraising Questions

Skip to Auction Questions or General Questions

What charities are helping vulnerable Chechens?

  • The Russian LGBT Network is the main organization helping LGBT Chechens. (Chechnya is part of the Russian Federation.) The post Help Save the Lives of LGBT Chechens answers frequently asked questions about the situation in Chechnya, the Russian LGBT Network, and getting vulnerable Chechens get to safety.
  • ILGA-Europe does not work directly in Russia or Chechnya, but can get money to the Russian LGBT Network and other organizations on the ground.
  • Canada-based Rainbow Railroad is working with the Russian LGBT Network to get fleeing Chechens to countries where they will be safer.

Is there a deadline for signing up?
To participate in the auction, please sign up as soon as possible, but by May 4 at the latest. If you are raising funds through regular book sales, there’s no deadline for participation. But given that this is a humanitarian emergency, the sooner we respond, the better.

Can I donate a portion of my sales AND donate to the auction?
We welcome you to do both. Please fill out both relevant sections of the questionnaire.

I can't give a percentage of sales or participate in the auction. Is there another way to fundraise?
Yes. You can find additional fundraising ideas here: More Ways Writers Can Help LGBT Chechens.

I want to donate (or have already donated) a flat amount instead of participating in the auction or earmarking a portion of sales. Can I still be listed?
Definitely. Just fill out the form on this page and select "other" when we ask how you're participating.

Where should I send any money I raise through book sales?
Please send all collected monies directly to the Russian LGBT NetworkILGA-Europe, Rainbow Railroad, or American Friends of Rainbow Railroad.

Is this effort endorsed or run by the Russian LGBT Network, ILGA-Europe, Rainbow Railroad, or American Rainbow Railroad?
No. This is an independent, voluntary effort by people who want to support these charities.

Are my donations tax-deductible as a charitable or business expense?
Tax implications depend on your country and business type. Please consult your tax agency for more information.

Auction Questions

Skip to Fundraising Questions or Other QuestionsWhat can I donate to the auction?You can donate tangible or intangible items like:
  • Signed paperbacks
  • Swag like t-shirts, stickers, mugs, notebooks
  • 1 hour skype chats or hangouts with a reader
  • Mentoring & Critiques
  • Choose a character name
  • A story written for the winner
  • Cool rainbow stuff 🌈
  • Services like cover design, book descriptions, edits
  • whatever your readers (or fellow authors or clients) would love. The only limit is your imagination!

How does the auction work?

  • Decide what you want to donate.
  • Fill out and submit the form on this page.
  • Every day starting May 5, new donated items will go up on a wordpress blog for bidding. We'll inform you when your item goes up so you can let your friends and fans know about it.
  • People can bid by leaving comments on the item post.
  • The bidding will last 3 days per item.
  • After bidding closes, the winner will be notified.
  • The winner will then have 1 day to donate the winning bid to one of the designated charities and send the confirmation email and contact info to the auction organisers.
  • The auction organisers will then pass that info on to the person who donated the item to mail or arrange whatever the item is.

Can I set a minimum price for items I donate to the auction? When you fill out the sign-up form, we'll ask you to give the estimated retail value of your donation. The minimum bid price for the items will be priced at 30% to 50% of the retail value, as recommended by charity auctions experts to encourage bidding and raise the most amount of money. Physical items that need to be shipped will start at 50% of retail price. Some items will go for higher than the retail price, but there's always the risk that bids won't go very high. Whether your item does for less than the retail price or more, remember that every bit helps. Your donation will make a big difference in someone's life.If I donate a physical item to the auction, who pays shipping? Please be prepared to pay for shipping your item to the winner. If you prefer to ship only within your country, you can indicate that in the sign-up form. Thank you!I still have questions about the auction. How can I contact you? For questions about the auction, please contact Olivia.

General Questions

Skip to Auction Questions or Fundraising Questions

I'm not an author or publisher. Can I help out anyway?
Yes. We know book people, so we're asking book people to join us. But if you have something to offer, let us know!

Is there a central web page I can send readers & fans to for information about this effort?
Yep: I'm in the middle of building it, so don't expect anything mind-blowing yet. And if you have time and energy to make it prettier, I'll probably offer to kiss your feet. Only with your consent, of course.

Can I skip questions in the form and get back with missing details later?
We've set the forms to allow this. If it doesn't let you, contact Dale.

How can I keep in touch with participating authors and publishers?
We have a Facebook group.

I still have questions. How can I contact you?
For questions about the auction, please contact Olivia. For all other questions, please contact Dale.


Important links

Chechnya map with rainbow flag

Designated Charities

  • Russian LGBT Network —  Organization working directly with LGBT Chechens.
  • ILGA-Europe — organization providing funds to LGBT/humanitarian organizations in the Russian Federation who are helping LGBT Chechens get to safety
  • Help Save the Lives of LGBT Chechens — FAQ that answers common questions Westerners might have about the effectiveness of LGBT humanitarian aid in Chechnya and the Russian Federation.
  • Rainbow Railroad — Canadian organization working with the Russian LGBT Network to get fleeing Chechens to countries where they will be safer.
  • American Friends of Rainbow Railroad — A fundraising organization for Rainbow Railroad. U.S. taxpayers who want to deduct a charitable donation from their income taxes can donate here.
Chechnya map with rainbow flag