12/06/2012 06:56 pm ET

'Publishing Gives Back' Helps Raise Money For Hurricane Sandy Victims By Auctioning Expert Writing Advice

Hurricane Sandy impacted many people who work in the book industry, from publishers to bookstores, the National Book Foundation and school libraries.

The industry has also been working hard to help those left even worse off following the storms, through donations, fundraisers - and, thanks to an initiative dreamed up by Kim Lionetti of New Jersey-based literary agency BookEnds, a series of industry professionals offering their skills to the highest charity bidders.

"I'd donated a critique to an auction that benefited relief for the Nashville flooding in 2010, so that's really what made me think to do something similar," Lionetti told The Huffington Post via email. "At first, I was just looking for an opportunity to donate a critique, but while there were some great charity auctions already organized by a group of children's book authors to benefit Sandy relief, I couldn't find one that was geared toward all areas of publishing."

The first auction began on November 26th, with postings continuing until December 4th; most of them are still available to be bid upon. The variety of services from some big industry names is remarkable, from a phone consultation on your book pitch from a senior editor at Wiley to a critique on your first three chapters from an editor at Grand Central Publishing. There are genre specialists for most areas of professional publishing, offering their expertise in return for the highest donations.

"We've had 38 items/services donated from publishing professionals, including agents, editors from major publishing houses, freelance editors and a cover artist. Most are offering critiques on partial manuscripts, but we've also had donations of phone consultations, conference coffee dates, free e-books and full manuscript critiques."

"We've had a total of 293 bids so far and accrued about $7500 in pledged donations ($3900 for finished auctions and $3600 bid so far on items still open.) Auction winners make their donations directly to the American Red Cross or any other 501(c)(3) charity benefiting Sandy relief as long as they can e-mail the receipt to me as confirmation."

It's a rare opportunity for people who want their work to be published to get expert advice, for an excellent cause. Click here to visit Publishing Gives Back, and to bid on an item.