Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know about my ongoing antagonistic relationship with Anton Strout.
He is the Moriarty to my Holmes. Though that might be overstating things a bit. Maybe he’s more like the Magneto to my….
No. I don’t want him being Magneto, either. He can be…. Emma Frost. He’s the Emma Frost to my Jean-Luc Picard.
Wait. Nevermind any of that. This analogy just isn’t working out.
Suffice to say that Anton and I have had a long-standing rivalry that I keep interesting by occasionally trying to have him killed.
Now, years into our comfortable relationship, Anton has thrown me a serious curveball.
You see, despite our ongoing relationship, Anton has always been cool about helping out with Worldbuilders, the charity I run every year to raise money for Heifer International. Over the years, Anton has helped spread the word about Worldbuilders, donated signed books to the cause, and even auctioned off a read-and-critique in support of the charity.
But now he’s taken things to a whole new level.
You see, Anton has a new book coming out in about a month’s time. It’s called Alchemystic:
Now when someone has a new book coming out, there’s a bunch of stuff they can do to promote it. They can get bookmarks printed to give away at conventions. They can buy ad space in a magazine. They can do prizes or giveaways on their blog.
But a couple months ago, Anton approached me with a different sort of an idea.
The conversation went something like this:
Anton: So I’ve got a book coming out at the end of September….
Me: Curse you, Strout. Curse you and your vile ability to meet your deadlines….
Anton: It’s a new series. The Spellmason Chronicles.
Me: Yes. My spies have reported it to me. One of the main characters is a gargoyle, isn’t it?
Anton: I was thinking that for every copy of the book that gets pre-ordered. I’d donate a dollar to Worldbuilders.
Anton: I talked to the PR people at Penguin, and they’ve said that for the first 1500 books, they’ll kick in a dollar, too.
Anton: So… for the first 1500 books, we’ll donate 2 bucks for every pre-order.
Anton: Are you still there?
Me: Are you serious?
Anton: Yeah. I was thinking about a bunch of different things I could do to promote the book, but this seemed like a better way to spend the money. This way, I get the word out about Alchemystic, but the money can do some good in people’s lives, too.
Anton: And it will act as kind of a nice prologue to this year’s fundraiser too, remind people that Worldbuilders is coming up in a couple of months.
It’s not often that I’m caught without something to say. But it does happen.
* * *
In all seriousness, folks. This is an unprecedentedly generous thing that Anton is offering to do. It says a lot about Penguin too, that they’re willing to back his play like this and offer matching money.
Not only does Worldbuilders stand to make some money here, but if this goes well, I hope other authors might consider doing something similar to promote their books in the future.
In my opinion, it would be really great if Anton sold a bunch of books. Like, a crazy amount of books. So many books that other publishers were startled by the number. So many books that folks took notice of this as a viable advertizing solution.
In my opinion, a donation to Worldbuilders beats the hell out of spending money on refrigerator magnets or ad space. And honestly, I’m ashamed that Anton figured that out before I did.
Curse you, Strout.
So. Today I called the local bookstore and ordered my copy of Alchemistic. That’s one copy.
Care to join me?
[Edit - In response to a question asked in the comments below: Yes. The offer is also good for Kindle and Nook versions of the book.]