Over the weekend, while I was in the middle of a livestream, this year’s fundraiser quietly ticked past $886,000.
That might seem like an oddly specific number to be excited about, but as everyone who happened to be watching me at that particular moment knows, $886,000 is the amount of money we raised in last year’s fundraiser. It’s a big deal for team Worldbuilders that we’ve managed to beat last year’s total.
As I write this, we’re at $910,000. We have a week to go, and it looks like we’re on track to hit a million dollars. In fact, it looks like we might smash through a million and carry on out the other side.
Every year you all impress me with your generosity. And let me assure you, your generosity is having a big impact. You see, Heifer International does a lot more than just give livestock to people.
In Bangladesh, for example, the village of Bhairav is flooded every year, making it impossible for children to travel to schools that are far away.
This problem is bigger than it might look at first glance. You see, if children miss out on a good education, it effectively cripples them for the rest of their lives. Without a good education, you can’t get a good job. Without a good job, you can’t make good money. Without money, your children end up hungry and they can’t get decent medical attention, a good education….
To fix this problem, Heifer teamed up with a local women’s group to open the Bhawanipur education center so children have a school that’s closer to home. But that’s only half the battle. You see, a school needs money to run…
Heifer worked with the women’s group to set up a rice bank where donations of rice are sold and the money is put into a group fund that covers expenses like rent and the teacher’s salary.
The beauty of this system is that it’s self sustaining. Now that it’s set up, they no longer need Heifer’s support. They’re taking care of themselves.
And that’s part of what our money is doing. We’re not just buying livestock, we’re changing lives. And we’re changing them in a sustainable, long-term way.
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Authors always stomp out in a big way by sending us signed copies of their books, or full series, or sometimes rare books from their own collections.
For every $10 you donate on our team page, you have the chance to win these books as well as thousands of others we’re giving out at the end of the lottery.
- First edition copies of The Bassoon King. Signed by Rainn Wilson. 5 in the lottery and 1 up for auction.
We met Rainn Wilson when we were in Los Angeles for Beyond Hunger. He’s a huge supporter of Heifer International, and that’s enough to make him cool in my book. But it turns out he’s also a delightfully gracious person, and offered to send along some signed copies of his new memoir for us to use for the fundraiser.
There are a few in the lottery, but we also have a first edition/first printing signed copy up for auction right here.
- Copies of Zombie Baseball Beatdown, Pump Six, Ship Breaker, and The Water Knife. All signed by Paolo Bacigalupi, and one of each available as an auction.
Paolo sent us a LOT of books this year, and we were all too happy to put them to good use.
Amanda has a particular fondness for this edition of Ship Breaker, because it was one of the books that Subterranean sent many of during her first year working at Worldbuilders. It’s a beautiful edition, and it’s one of the first books she really lusted after in the fundraiser.
Paolo has signed them all, and in addition to the ones in the lottery, we’re putting one of each title up for auction. If you want Zombie Baseball Beatdown, bid here. If you want Pump Six, bid here. If you want Ship Breaker, bid here, and if you want The Water Knife, bid here.
- Copies of Windup Girl and Drowned Cities. All signed by Paolo Bacigalupi, limited edition versions up for auction.
We have a couple of different versions of these up for grabs. There are hardcover and trade copies of Windup Girl and trade copies of Drowned Cities in the lottery, both signed and definitely cool.
But we also got two out of the 300 limited edition Subterranean Press copies for each one, so we’ve got one of each in the lottery, and one of each up for auction. If you want a seriously-collectible version of Windup Girl you can bid here, and you can go here to bid on the limited edition Drowned Cities.
- Copies of the Forbidden Library series, The Shadow Campaigns Series, and John Golden & The Heroes of Mazaroth. All signed by Django Wexler. Forbidden Library and Shadow Campaigns also up in auction.
Django Wexler just did an awesome stretch goal for us, sending over a video of him painting 3 random miniatures, including a thief giving someone the finger. In addition to that stretch goal, though, he sent over a lot of books. We put one of each into the lottery, and we have the two series sets up for auction as well.
If you want a signed set of Forbidden Library books, you can bid on those here, and if you want the signed Shadow Campaigns books you can bid here.
- A copy of Dust and Light, and Sets of the Collegia Magica series. All signed by Carol Berg. 4 sets in the lottery and 1 up for auction.
“An absolutely gorgeous writer…[who] does incredible worldbuilding.” —C. E. Murphy
Authors are always so generous with their books, and this is another prime example of that. Carol gave us a copy of the first book of her new series, as well as 5 sets of the Collegia Magica series. We’ve put 4 sets into the lottery, and the last one is available for auction right here.
- Copies of the Delia Martin series, including a coverplate. All signed by Jaime Lee Moyer. One for lottery and a set of ARCs for auction.
Jaime sent us more than one set of her books, and we put one in the lottery, but when we realized the second set was entirely made up of signed ARCs, we knew we had to auction it off.
- Copies of Armada audiobook and first edition hardcover. All signed by Ernest Cline. One of each up for auction.
I have a lot of love for Ernest Cline, and he’s always been a wonderful supporter of the charity. This year he passed along multiple versions of Armada, so we put some in the lottery, but a few up for auction. Because really, who doesn’t love signed first editions?
You can bid on the signed audiobook edition here, and the signed first edition right here.
This is one of my favorite blurbs I’ve ever seen for a book. Ever.
“Brent Weeks is so good it’s starting to tick me off.”―Peter V. Brett
- Copies of Servants of the Storm, Hit, and Wake of Vultures, each with a temporary tattoo and bookmark. All signed and doodled by Delilah S. Dawson.
Let me tell you, Delilah S. Dawson writes a great story if you put her on a stage at the same time as Chuck Wendig, Sam Sykes, and Stephen Blackmore. She’s been a supporter of the charity in a variety of ways, and adding to the lottery is no exception.
“Dawson’s latest is a raw, gritty near-future dystopian tale with noir undertones . . . Thought-provoking, disturbing, and suspenseful.” –Booklist
“[L]eaves you both satisfied and on the edge of your seat for what happens next. Loved it.”—Tenacious Reader
This is one of a few sets of a series where the author sent us all ARCs. It’s not easy to get your hands on a signed copy of an ARC, so they’re pretty valuable. A lot of times we auction things like this off, but we wanted to give someone the chance to win this coolness in the lottery, where even a donation of $10 gets you the chance to win it.
This is something extra cool. Not only is it buy Zach Weinersmight of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (which, if you aren’t already familiar with, you should take the time to peruse), but it’s a choose your own adventure book.
Those two things are enough to make it awesome, but this copy in particular is signed, and going into the lottery for anyone to win.
- William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace. Signed by Ian Doescher.
“Enjoy this tale in iambic pentameter, for it has all the necessary aspects of any Shakespeare play – the betrayal, the hope, the tragedy…This book is necessary for any Star Wars fan’s collection.”—Geeks of Doom
“…a spectacular novel that pulled me in from the first page and refused to let me go till I turned the last page.” –I Heart Reading
Michael has been donating a read-and-critique for years now, but this year, in addition to donating TWO critiques (one of which can be won by donating to the WriMos page), Michael also sent along a set of his series for the lottery.
“This is a fast-paced and smooth read from the very beginning, and towards the end Martinez builds up the suspense and urgency like a pro….adventurous, original, and a blast to read.” –Tor.com
- A set of the Immortal Descendants series. Signed by April White.
April White has been contributing for a while, including tuckerizations and and special stuff from her desk, but that stuff was all auctioned off, so we’re glad to have a full signed set of her books to put into the lottery.
- A set of The Others series. Auctions: ARC of Marked in Flesh (to be relased in March) and Murder of Crows audiobook. All signed by Anne Bishop.
Anne Bishiop sent us signed copies of the first three books The Others series, and we put that into the lottery, but we couldn’t pass up on auctioning the other stuff she sent us. One is a signed audiobook copy of Murder of Crows, the second book, which deserves a loving home. If you can provide that loving home, you should bid right here.
The other is an ARC of Marked in Flesh, which won’t be released until March 8, 2016. If you want to get a sneak peek at the fourth book in The Others series, you should bid on it right here and have months of bragging rights.
- A set of The Borden Dispatches, I am Princess X, and a limited edition copy of Jacaranda. All signed by Cherie Priest.
Cherie Priest sent over a lot of books this year, and they’re all going into the lottery. There’s a set of The Borden Dispatches, all signed, and then there’s a copy of I am Princess X, a YA cyberthriller mystery. All of these are likely to make anyone happy, but there’s something extra special going in, too.
The copy of Jacaranda she sent along is a Subterranean Press limited edition, which was limited to 250. It’s beautiful, and rather than auctioning off we put it into the lottery, because we think everyone who donates should have the chance to win this beauty.
We passed Peter’s stretch goal recently, and we’re all eagerly anticipating the video of him singing a Worldbuilders-themed cover of Bohemian Rhapsody. If his past videos are any kind of example, this is going to be amazing.
On top of being a fantastic musician, Peter’s a great author, and he sent us a set of his series, which is in the lottery just for you. Well, possibly for you. If you donate at least $10.
This book’s premise was enough to make Amanda interested. In this world, the gods have been imprisoned after they had attempted to enslave all of humankind. The protagonist, Ses, is raised to forge wrightings, the tools that are used to maintain that prison and imbued with soul energy.
Seriously cool. Gregory sent along 4 copies, and we’re putting them all in to the lottery.
“Seriously, if you’re looking for a solid plot with characters you can relate to, this book is for you. It was easy to read, easy to follow, and even easier to enjoy. Don’t let this one slip through your fingers.” –Amazon.com
- Copies of The Dragons of Heaven. Signed by Alyc Helms.
“All the fun of pulp adventure, filtered through a twenty-first century lens. Helms isn’t content simply to play in the genre; she questions it, complicates it, adds layers it didn’t have eighty years ago. Missy’s journey to become Mr. Mystic isn’t the usual heroic training montage – but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.” –Marie Brennan
Bishop was hugely generous, and matched what his tuckerization this year raised as a donation to Worldbuilders. On top of what was already an awesome donation, he sent us the two books currently in the American Faerie Tale series for us to share with our lovely donors.
- Copies of Cracking the Sky and Edge of Dark. Signed by Brenda Cooper.
“Brenda Cooper’s universe is detailed, inventive, and ultimately dazzling. I will remember Chrystal for a very long time.” –Nancy Kress
- Auction: First edition copy of Voyage of the Basilisk. Signed by Marie Brennan.
If you love Marie Brennan’s Lady Trent series, this might pique your interest. If you didn’t already know, Marie Brennan started her own team page on the Worldbuilders fundraiser, where you can make contributions, as well as directly buy copies of her books, and books by other authors, all in honor of Worldbuilders.
This particular book, though, since it’s a first edition, first printing, is up for auction for the collectors out there. You can bid on it right here.
- Copies of Star Wars: Razor’s Edge, a set of the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, a set of the Books of the Raksura series, and audiobooks of City of Bones and Wheel of the Infinite. All signed by Martha Wells.
“Wells…merrily ignores genre conventions as she spins an exciting adventure around an alien hero who anyone can identify with.” –Publishers Weekly
Martha Wells does not mess around. She’s got so many different types of books out there, and she sent us a smattering of all of them, including her Star Wars novel, and they’re all signed.
- Goblin Secrets and Ghoulish Song, and Ambassador and Nomad. All signed by William Alexander.
“The mythic resonance in Alexander’s storytelling, coupled with his smart, graceful writing, make this novel feel both pleasantly old and thoroughly new.” –Locus Magazine
- Auction: Your own personalized, annotated copy of any Sherwood Smith book.
This is a first of its kind for Worldbuidlers. Sherwood Smith contacted us, and she didn’t want to send a specific book. Instead, she wanted us to auction off the opportunity to get any book of hers, signed, doodled, personalized, and annotated as the winner sees fit. Here’s exactly what she said:
I wanted to offer any of my books, which the person could name. I would personalize it for them–maps, drawings, marginal comments, footnotes, whatever they want. Anything over [a final bid of], say, $250 I would handwrite a between-the-scenes story, according to a prompt by the auction winner.
That’s right. Your own, hand-written, bonus scene in the book if it goes for more than $250. This is a huge deal, you guys. If you want to have this for your very own, bid right here, early and often.
- Auction: ARC of The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Signed by Neil Gaiman.
I’m not sure if I need to tell you how cool this is. It’s an ARC, numbered 18 out of only 500 ever made available. It’s signed by Neil Gaiman. In a cursory search online, I can’t even find one of these available to tell you how valuable it is. Richard Kadrey sent us this from his personal collection, and the whole Worldbuilders team has been coveting it ever since.
There’s already been a lot said about this book, both here on the blog and on Goodreads. Suffice it to say, you should read it if you haven’t. And if collectible rarities are a thing you’re interested in. you should bid on it right here.
- Numbered, leather-bound 10th Anniversary edition of Elantris. Signed by Brandon Sanderson. One in the lottery and one up for auction.
Brandon Sanderson sent us some seriously impressive editions of Elantris. In honor of the 10th anniversary, he’s had a gorgeous leather-bound edition printed, including a 16-page full-color insert at the beginning of the book highlighting some of the beautiful Elantris covers from around the world.
These are numbered 209 and 210. We put number 209 into the lottery, and number 210 is up for auction right here. If you love beautiful books, this is for you. And honestly, who doesn’t love beautiful books?
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For those of you keeping track at home, this brings us to over 2,000 prizes in the lottery (2015 to be precise), worth about $66,000. The lottery is jam packed with goodies for you to win if you donate $10 or more to the fundraiser, and we have auctions for people who don’t love leaving things to chance.
We’ve got 8 days left, folks, and I’m excited to see how far we can go in the next week.
If you want to do something to help, share us around. Tell our story, point people to the fundraiser page, and explain the impact Heifer International can have. Because the more people who know, the bigger impact we’ll all have.