It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks here at headquarters. The Tinker’s Packs team only recently got caught up after all the enthusiasm for our last Novelties blog.
And, as I mentioned just a couple days ago, I’ve been on the road for a while, eating fire and singing at people foolish enough to come in close contact with me. And in the few days since I’ve been home, I’ve… well, I’ve still been eating fire and singing, but I’ve been doing it to impress my kids, which means it’s actually more exhausting and more rewarding than a tour.
So be aware, today’s blog comes to you in the midst of a lot of fun and crazy.
And remember, all the money we raise in The Tinker’s Packs goes directly into our charity, Worldbuilders. So when you buy something there you’re not just being a geek, you’re making the world a better place.
Many of you might recognize Joshua Palmatier from Worldbuilders, where he offers a read-and-critique every year. A skilled editor and author, Shattering the Ley is his newest book.
Josh has signed ten first edition hardcovers for us, but that isn’t the best part.
He sent a signed ARC, too. But that’s not the best part either.
The best part is that this book won’t even be hitting the shelves until July 1st. So if you head on over to the Tinker’s Packs you can grab a copy now and be reading it before anyone else has a chance to. Or, if you’re like me, you can read it, then taunt people by posting up pre-release reviews on Goodreads.
If you’d one of the 10 hardcovers we have, or a chance at the single ARC, head over here.
(Make that 9 hardcovers. I just bought one.)
This is the newest book in Kevin’s Iron Druid Chronicles series, and it hits shelves today, June 17. Kevin’s always been a huge supporter of Worldbuilders, so we’re delighted to be able to offer some signed copies up for a good cause.
We’ve only got 5 of these, so if you want one, be sure to head over and grab it.
Rogues is a collection of stories from some really amazing folks. I talked about it in some depth when I wrote the blog announcing the Auri novella, but the short version is that I have a novella about Bast in this anthology.
This anthology comes out today, June 17th, and we’ve arranged to have copies for sale in The Tinker’s Packs, signed by me.
But wait, Pat said in his best used-car-salesman voice, there’s more.
A lot of you already know that I’m notoriously bad at drawing. Cataclysmically bad.
Nevertheless, whenever I do a signing, a few people always ask if I can draw something for them.
To this I answer, “No. No, I really can’t.”
Some people are really insistent about it though. To them I tell the story of the time when a young woman begged me to draw a duck in her book. So I drew a duck. And while it was bad, it was actually pretty good for me.
Then I showed it to the woman, and when she looked down saw my awful, awful duck defacing their book, she looked like she was going to cry right there. No just a little either. She looked on the verge of an ugly cry.
So. Just so we’re on the same page. Me: not good at drawing.
That’s why I hang out on Deviantart. It’s also why I enjoy bringing people onto my team like Nate and Brett. People who can do cool visual stuff. People who can art.
When someone asked me if I was going to be doing anything special for the release of Rogues, I had a vague hope of having Brett teach me how to draw. Just a little. Just enough so that I could doodle a Bast in the book.
So Brett put together a step-by-step how-to for me.
At first I was really excited. This, I thought, was something I could do.
But then I thought of that young woman looking down at the ugly duck I had drawn in her book. I remembered her expression, full of horror and disbelief. “There is no god,” she seemed to be thinking, “A kind god would never let something like this happen to my book.”
Then I started to worry again. I worried about people paying good money, then being disappointed when the doodle looked like something done by a four-year old. A really deranged, beardy 4-year old.
So I went back to Brett and asked him if he’d like to doodle in some books *with* me. My doodle would be charming, in the same way that a child’s sticky handful of dandelions is charming. But Brett’s doodle would be *cool.*
Brett agreed, and I felt a little more relaxed. But then I started to worry about ruining a bunch of books while I was trying to doodle in them. Because, as I’ve said, I’m really bad at this.
Then Brett came up with a good solution. We’d print up a special card. It would have the “How to Draw Bast” on one side:
And Brett and I would effectively have a Bast Off on the other side.
Just so you can see what I mean, here’s Brett’s and my first attempts, side by side:
See? Virtually identical.
So, for the people who would like something a little extra, Brett and I are doing 250 of these. The money we raise, as always, will be going directly to Worldbuilders.
If you want a signed copy of Rogues, and maybe one of these limited edition doodle cards, head over here and grab one.
Last but not least, we have one more thing going up in the store today.
For those of you who don’t remember, these are the first versions of the Cealdish currency we’re producing. We gave three sets away for Worldbuilders last year. What you see up there is a gold mark, a silver talent, a copper jot, and two iron drabs.
It’s taken us a while to work out the packaging and get everything together, but we’re finally ready to sell them in the store.
The gold mark actually has some real gold in it. Not a lot, but some. Just a gram of gold costs 40 bucks these days.
They’re a Japanese alloy made of copper, silver, and gold. They’ve got a cool, burnished look to them, almost like they’ve been enameled. Because of the high price of gold (and because we weren’t sure how well they were going to sell) we only made 95 of these.
The talents are 20% silver, 80% copper.
The alloy is called billon. Normally it’s a rosy color. But these have been put through a process where they’re heated, which makes the silver rise to the surface, then hammered, which spreads the silver out over the surface. The process is called blanching, and it’s the medieval equivalent of electroplating. We made a 1000 of these total, including a few of the the pinkish, unblanched ones, too.
The jots are solid copper:
The jot was the first coin we designed, and it’s one of my favorites. We’ve released some of them already for a few promotional events, most notably the first kickstarter. They’ve got a nice feel in the hand, and weigh a solid ounce each. We made an even 1000 of them.
The drabs, as it says in the book, are closer to steel than iron.
We did 1500 drabs. They have a thick black finish on them that I think of as a fusion crust, but is probably officially called something else. It’s to keep them from rusting.
Above, you can see two slightly different mintings of the drab with differences only the most assiduous of fictional numismatists would ever notice. The finish is a little lighter on the 1.2. There’s less wax sealing the iron to prevent it from rusting. And the maker’s mark in the corner is notably larger and more detailed. For those of you who are obsessive over the details, (or just keen on updating the Wiki) I think there were 160 of the Version 1.2 mark.
So. There’s all the Cealdish coins. If you embiggen this picture, you can see they’re different thicknesses as well as different shapes…
We’re selling them in several different ways.
If you want everything, the way to go is the Master Set. It contains the a gold mark, a silver talent, a copper jot, and two different iron drabs.
The Gold Mark isn’t available for sale on its own, because they’re really pricey and we made less than 100 of them. So you can only get one in this set. As an added bonus, this set has one of the Version 1.2 drabs. For all our other sets, the 1.1 and 1.2 drabs have been mixed randomly. But since I’m guessing the people who are picking up the Master’s Set are completionists, we’re making sure they get one of each in there.
We’ve also got a Re’lar Set, which has a drab, a jot, and a silver talent.
This one’s much more affordable, as it doesn’t have the gold mark in it. All of the coins have an informational insert with a detailed description of the coin inside, too.
Last we have the E’lir Set.
This is three drabs and a copper jot in a linen pouch. If you’re like Kvothe, and silver talents are out of your price range, or if you just want more of the coins to play with, you can grab one of these over here.
You can also buy most of the coins individually. The drabs are over here, the jots are over here, and the talents are over here.
Now here’s the problem, when I started designing these with Tom from the Shire Post Mint more than a year ago, making a thousand of each of these them seemed like a great plenty. It seemed like a ridiculous amount, really.
But since then I’ve come to better understand how enthusiastic y’all are. In this last year, we’ve had two very successful kickstarters, signing events topping 2000 people, and folks have turned out in unprecedented numbers to support Worldbuilders by buying things in the Tinker’s Packs.
I wish I could make more of this first set. But when I started this coin project, I said we were only going to do 1000 jots, and I don’t like going back on my promises. So we’re leaving that as the baseline number for this first set of coins.
Because I know there aren’t going to be enough of these to go around, we’re limiting all the coin items to three per person. I don’t want one person hoarding these to ebay later. I want these to end up in the hands of fans.
So. Only three of each coin item per person. The store *will* allow you to order more than that, but if you do, all that you’re really going to accomplish is causing a pain in the ass of the people running the Tinker’s Packs. Because they’ll have to go in and manually refund any extras you got.
For example: You could buy two Master Sets, then two of the E’lir sets. That’s fine. Or you could buy three Re’lar sets, then three individual drabs, and an additional unblanched talent. That’s fine. But if you buy *four* of the Re’lar sets and then two extra jots, we’ll go in and change it to three Re’lar sets and two jots.
I’m sorry for those of you who find the blog too late and don’t get the coins/sets you want. I’m sorry if you happen to be cash poor right now and you can’t afford to jump in and buy them.
But rest assured that this is merely the first set of Cealdish coins. It’s version 1. This is the currency as it existed about 600 years before Kvothe’s time, back when the coins were only a few small steps removed from barter.
We’re working on version two, it will be set 300 years closer to the time of the Kingkiller books. The coins will be more evolved, easier to carry, harder to counterfeit.
And we’ll be making more than 1000 of each of them, I promise.
But for now, if you’d like to grab some, you might want to get them quick.