News, FAQ updates, and a Question

Alright folks. Today we’re going to take a break from listing prizes. Instead, I’m going to pass along some Worldbuilders news and answer a few questions that have cropped up.

Lastly, I’d like to get everyone’s opinion on what to do with few of the rockstar prizes that have been donated by Neil Gaiman and Brandon Sanderson.


Donations and book totals:

The big news is that we’re only 18 days into the fundraiser and we’ve already raised over 36,000 dollars. That’s not counting the any of the matching donations from Subterranean Press or myself.

In short, I think it’s safe to say that we are pretty frikkin cool.

Donations keep arriving from authors and publishers. As of right now we have more than a thousand books worth over 30,000 dollars.

Miscelaneous News:

  • I found a cheaper way to mail the Draccus posters internationally. So I’m dropping the shipping price from 28 dollars to 15 dollars. If you paid the old price, don’t worry. I’ll send you a paypal refund soon.
  • A cool bookstore called The Bookloft out in Massachusetts has started fundraiser of their own. For every copy of my book people buy, they’re donating money to Worldbuilders. Needless to say, I’m flattered and thrilled. Next time I’m in the neighborhood, I’m going to stop by and take you all out to lunch, especially the brilliant employee who spearheaded the idea….

Also, I know the tendancy on e-bay acutions is to wait until the last 45 seconds of the auction then bid your ass off with the hope of getting the item cheap. While those tactics tend to work pretty well in general, remember that these auctions in specific are meant to raise money for Heifer international. So bidding early really wouldn’t be a bad thing, would it?


I ordered a book/galley/poster from you. When will I get it?

Man. I’ve got no idea. We’ve been getting things out the door as quickly as possible. But the mail is really slow this time of year because of the holidays. My advice is to be patient. Sending me an e-mail isn’t going to make the package move any faster, it’s just going to make me slower in mailing out everyone else’s packages.

What are my odds of winning something if I donate?

As I said above, we’ve got over 1000 books. But because a lot of them are grouped into trilogies or sets, it breaks down to there being over 500 prizes.

That means if you donate 10 bucks, right now you’ve got about a 1 in 70 chance of winning something.

If you donate enough for a goat ($120) that means you have about a 1 in 6 chance of winning something. Pretty sweet odds, you have to admit.

Keep in mind these are rough estimates. And the odds will shimmy around a bit as new books come in and donation totals rise.

Can I still donate a signed copy of my book for the fundraiser?

Sure. But I’d get it in the mail quickly if I were you.

How come you’re donating all these different versions of your book, but not the audio version?

Honestly, I just didn’t think of it, the audiobook version is pretty new. I’ve got hardcovers of NOTW laying around the house, but I didn’t have a spare audiobook sitting on my shelf.

But it’s a good idea, so I went out bought one.

That this isn’t *quite* the right picture. I bought the CD version, not the MP3 version. I figured anyone can use the CD version.

My uncle/mom/grampa speaks Polish/Spanish/Japaneese. If I donate double the cover price, can I buy a signed copy of one of those books directly from you?

Hmmm… I don’t have all that many copies of some of my foreign translations. (Except for Spanish, I have a ton of those.) If you’re really interested, drop an e-mail to paperback.contest [squigly atsign thinger] and we’ll work something out.

I wanted to get one of those Heifer Gift cards, that show you’ve made a donation in someone’s name, but I couldn’t find a way to get on the Team Heifer site. Can you help me?

I can. Heifer is sending me a bunch of the gift cards. If you’ve donated on my page and you want one of the cards. Drop us an e-mail at the address I just listed in the previous answer and we’ll mail one (or more) out to you.

Is there a facebook event for the fundraiser that I can invite my friends to?

There is now.

Invite away. Thanks for helping to spread the word.

If I want to send you a cheque in the mail rather than donating directly on the Team Heifer site, do I send it to your PO Box?

Sure. Send it to:

Pat Rothfus
PO BOX 186
Stevens Point, WI 54481

Two Questions

1) Would people like it if I put a second “Golden Ticket” up for auction? More importantly, would you bid on it?

2) This year we have a couple extra-cool books that have been donated. Take a look:

  • A first edition hardcover of The Gathering Storm, signed by Brandon Sanderson, Harriet Jordan, and many others.

Brandon was nice enough to take some time out from his crazed touring schedule to send us this copy of The Gathering Storm, signed by himself, Harriet Jordan (Robert Jordan’s wife) and many of the people who made the book possible, including his agent and some of the production staff at Tor.

  • A signed, numbered ARC of Stardust. Hardcover in its own slipcase. Signed by Neil Gaiman.

This is a gorgeous book. I covet it to an almost ridiculous degree.

So. Should I put these books up for auction, or should I add them to the general lottery?

The auction would be nice, because between the two of these I expect we’d raise at least a couple thousand dollars for Heifer.

But adding them to the general lottery would be cool too. That way everyone has a chance to win them, and it might make more people enthusiastic about donating.

What do you think? I’m really on the fence about this. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Remember folks, for every 10 dollars you donate to Heifer International, you get a chance to win hundreds of books: some signed, some limited edition, some out of print. Plus there’s the whole helping make the world a better place thing. That’s nice too.

And don’t forget, I’m matching 50% of all donations made. So why not head over to my page at Team Heifer and chip in. Trust me. You’ll feel great afterward.

Or, if you want to go back to the main page for the Worldbuilders fundraiser and read all the details, you can click HERE.


This entry was posted in Neil Gaiman, Worldbuilders 2009By Pat122 Responses


  1. Anonymous
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    Iiiiiii … think, that these two beauties should get auctioned off. That way you can make sure someone gets it who wants it really really bad. If you put it in the lottery, chances are that the winner gets it, know it’s somthing pretty cool, but isn’t really that kind of collector or whatever. He can still resell it, but that still has to be done…


  2. Tyler W
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 9:42 PM | Permalink

    Like the selfish person I am I would like to have a small chance of winning the first edition hardcover of The Gathering Storm via the raffle, but a small part of me yells for an auction. I think you, though it pains me to say, should put it up for auction so you can raise the max amount for worldbuilders.

  3. Amanda
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

    I know it’s horribly selfish of me but… I really want a chance to win that ARC of Stardust. It’s beautiful and wonderful and amazing and I’m so poor…..
    The poor few of us want a chance to win AMAZING stuff like that too. Although… I’d be happy to win anything thus far, I suppose. But I wish you hadn’t told me about Stardust almost, I want it that badly…

  4. Scott
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

    As fantastic as the possibility would be to win one of those books,they should be put up for auction to raise more money…of course that means more money out of your pocket in the end.

  5. Daniel
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    It breaks my heart to say it, because I won’t be able to bid on them, but auction them. I mean, the main aim of this whole thing is to raise money for the charity, and you’ll raise a whole lot more by auctioning the pair of them separately than by adding them in to an already-awesome set of prizes that’s going to draw in the donations already…

  6. Pat
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 9:59 PM | Permalink

    Here’s a follow-up question then: Who would be willing to donate more if I put it into the lottery?

  7. Jamey
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:05 PM | Permalink

    Well to be fair flip a coin. put one up for auction the the other in the draw. that way boath worlds have a great chance.


  8. Paris
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

    Answer 1:
    Yes, you should put a second “golden ticket” up for an auction because it would make you much cooler…
    Whould i bid on it?
    Probably not. I can’t afford it right now.

    Answer 2:
    The whole point of a fundraiser is to raise funds(duh…). I think you should put the book up for an auction as well because I believe you will raise more funds that way.

  9. Larry W
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:08 PM | Permalink

    I’d definitely put it (the Gaiman book) in the general pool. This type of book is a collector’s edition. I should know. I’m one of the idiots who spend WAAAY too much money on signed, numbered, limited edition blah de blah de blah. A dealer will pick up this book at auction, because they can afford it, and then will sell it for more. A lot more. Odds are that on Jan 31st, you’ll see it for sale on Mister X’s Fine Rare Collectible Books web site. Regular “I buy a paperback for $9 and hate that it costs that much” people will NEVER get a chance to lay their hands on a tome like this. Numbered editions of Gaiman books go for several hundred dollars. If someone wins this on a $10 donation, they will cherish it for the rest of their lives.

    To stir the pot just a little more, if you throw this into the prize pool, I promise that I’ll donate another $50. Sorry it couldn’t be more, pot stirring can be expensive. Odds are that a whole lot of people would do the same.

    You played the odds last year, and look where it got you: broke… but feeling fantastic. Play ’em again. Then two people (plus everyone helped at Heifer) will feel fantastic.

  10. lucidlunacy
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:19 PM | Permalink

    I don’t think anyone will donate more money if you add them to the lottery because, frankly, the odds of getting one of those prizes in particular is spectacularly low. On the other hand, there exist spectacularly wealthy people who have demonstrated they are willing to pay exorbitant sums for cool stuff, particularly if it benefits charity.

    At the same time, you’re a cool author, and cool authors allow their fans chances to snag cool prizes. This seems to be the root of your conflict.

    I say you’re doing enough for the raffle already. These are both ‘special interest’ items in my mind. They could raise astronomical amounts of money and be worth it to some people whereas others might be only marginally happier than if they had gotten some other book- or might decide to auction them off themselves.

  11. Larry W
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:19 PM | Permalink

    One other point I forgot. Getting a book read by a professional is appropriate for auction, since the prize is specific to a sub-group and has limited appeal. I’m not a writer, so the idea of winning a reading isn’t a very good prize. Let the people who want that try for it. It’s an investment in their possible future career. The book however, would be a wonderful prize to anyone who donated.

    A last little bit if incentive to show I’m not a complete self-serving shithead (at least not about this). If I happen to be the one who’s name gets pulled for the book, give it to someone else. My ID is easily verified. It will match the comment name.

  12. lucidlunacy
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:21 PM | Permalink

    Look, while I left my comment up on the screen someone said they would donate more money if the books were added to the general raffle. Use your judgment, Pat. The money’s still on the side of the auction, but there are clearly other factors at play.

  13. Matt Lyons
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:25 PM | Permalink

    Like many others, I dream of owning that signed ARC of Stardust. While I’d love to bid on it, I’m sure it would go for WAY more than I could afford. As much as I’d love a small chance to it through the lottery, I think you should put it up for auction because it would probably raise ALOT.

    Yes, I would consider donating more were it in the lottery. Right now I’m hoping to donate 50 after Christmas, but if it were in the lottery, I think I’d try to get a hundred together and cross my fingers.

    Should there be a second golden ticket up for auction? If you’re willing to visit two separate people and hang out with them, go for it. I think it would go for quite a bit.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

    Odds are that even if you put it on the raflle, 50% of the people who win it will sell it on eBay next week. Too much temptation in these harsh times. Better milk it all the way in one auction and let whoever gets it sell it at only 20% earnings rather than the 200% earnings of the hypotetical person who can only afford $10 dollars.

  15. Zafri Mollon
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

    I’d throw them up for auction for sure. The amount people will add for the slim chance of winning them won’t be nearly as much as what they would earn in an auction (assuming the auction goes as well as it should).

    I’d bid on the golden ticket, although I guess it really depends on how successful it was last time you put one up.

  16. Luke Marrott
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:37 PM | Permalink

    I have to go with the general opinion of auction would be a better idea. Ensure whoever gets it wants it like someone else already mentioned.

  17. Jay Belt
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:40 PM | Permalink

    Add me in as one who thinks you should auction them off separately.

    Not that I wouldn’t mind winning them from the lottery… I just think you’ll get more money from someone who definitely wants those books vs. the possibility that people will donate more for an incredibly slim chance that you’ll get it out of all the prizes you have a chance to win.

    Sorry for the run-on.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:50 PM | Permalink

    Hi Pat,

    It is so cool of you to organize this thing. I dont even know what to call it, an extravaganza? Everyone wins. People who need food get goats and chickens. People who donate, win cool prizes and get to feel good about donating to a worthy charity. You rock!

    As for the question of the Brandon Sanderson and Neil Gaimon books. I’d love to see them go into the general raffle–mostly for selfish reasons. I’d really like to have a chance to win, and I dont think I’d stand a chance in the auction, since my donation to the raffle about emptied my spare funds account. Either way I still think that you are setting an amazing example for us all. Keep on keepin’ on.

  19. Simone
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:50 PM | Permalink

    Auction. It is the only way you are going to raise the deserved ammount of money for these books. Sadly I dont think people will donate more just to get a chance to win these from a lottery. Definately go with auctioning them off. Also, is there in chance of a blog that lists all the books you will be auctioning, and a blog that lists the ones you are throwing in the lottery. Im a bit confused.

  20. Ben Alvord
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 11:30 PM | Permalink

    I’d definitely recommend auction. You never know when you’re going to get 2 really rich Neil Gaiman fans who decide to engage in a brutal eBay auction war to the death (of their bank accounts).

    Also, I would bid on a Golden Ticket.

  21. Ben Alvord
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 11:33 PM | Permalink

    Specifically on the Golden Ticket, I’d have to think it would have to go for close to as much as the auction of your critique (if not more). Somebody’s going to lose all those auctions (possibly me) and want a second chance at such a great opportunity for a critique.

  22. Claire
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

    When I read The Bookloft in MA, I immediately checked to see if it was my Bookloft. Well, not mine, but in my area, and it is! How frakkin’ awesome is that? I’ve always liked that store & will make a point of continuing to shop there even though it’s not in my regular orbit.

    Thank you for the Heifer card info. I’d been waiting to hear the answer on that.

    I am not in the market for a Golden Ticket, but I think a lottery shot at the ARC of Stardust would be awesome.

    When do you think you might announce the t-shirts? I’m holding off to see where I’d most like to put my limited funds but I’m also anxious to give Heifer some cash.

  23. Book Minstrel
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 12:56 AM | Permalink

    Put them up for auction. Seriously – the Neil Book is absolutely gorgeous and I covet it completely and if I had the money I would spend ridiculous amounts of it to have that book in my hand.

  24. Sirocco
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 12:57 AM | Permalink

    Much as it would be nice for everyone to have a chance to win either of those items, ultimately the purpose of the drive is to raise as much money as possible for HI – and IMO putting them up for auction is the best way to do that.

  25. Lorena
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

    Maybe you should put one in the lottery and auction the other? Frankly, I really want that copy of Stardust but I don’t have enough money to fight for it an auction. I donated everything I had to the lottery, which wasn’t much ’cause I don’t have a job. Anyways, do what you think is right. The auction would probably raise a lot of money though…

  26. Sirocco
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

    Regarding placing a Golden ticket up for auction, I would definitely bid on one, and I suspect I am not unique in that regard.

  27. Book Minstrel
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 1:00 AM | Permalink

    the problem with the golden ticket is that I would frame it and save it rather than cash it in. It’s like having a get out of jail free card – almost. You wouldn’t want to spend it all willy nilly like. I would want to make 100% for sure exactly what I would want and even then I would take a long time extra to think about it. It’s just too much power, to many possibilities.

  28. Anonymous
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 1:15 AM | Permalink

    Put them in the lottery, and make someone’s christmas. Not all of the biggest fans have money to spend.

  29. Vincent
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 2:15 AM | Permalink

    Damn you Patrick!

    I really want that autographed version of The Gathering Storm!

    That will mean I have to increase my chances by donating more money…

    Well, it’s for a good cause…..

    Is Little Oot better yet?

  30. Jonathan
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 2:21 AM | Permalink

    Everyone here seems to think that whoever wins the book in the auction will cherish it forever. My donation is partly for a chance to win a book, but mostly because this is a great cause, and it actually raises more money for Heifer than just donating straight to them (with the matching).

    I think I would agree with the sentiment that many people would probably sell the book, and not even for selfish reasons, just that they think someone else might appreciate it more. Then they end up with money that could’ve gone to Heifer.

    I understand the weariness of putting up two great items and not having them go for much, but as long as Sanderson and Gaiman post about it at their blogs/websites, I’m sure you’ll raise a lot more money for a wonderful charity, and someone who truly wants the book will end up owning it. Maybe in the future you could start a lottery for a single item like these (sorta like the name lottery) and everyone will be happy!

  31. alwaysoptimistc
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 2:45 AM | Permalink

    On the face of it, I’d guess that the Auction option for those two books would raise more money than including them in the general pool would. Though sometimes assumptions can be incorrect.

    I have no idea which option would best maximize the revenue potential in this case, but speaking only for myself, the more desirable are the prizes in the general pool then the more I am excited by the idea of donating. In the same way that a State lottery of “only” $20-$30 million doesn’t bring in as many people or as much attention as one that offers $200-$300 million, the greater in quality and abundance are the prizes here then the higher the motivation to some people to increase what they were planning on giving. Or some who were on the fence about it might finally be convinced to give.

    I haven’t donated yet, but have been planning on contributing in a certain range, depending on what my finances allow. That Gaiman Book is the sort of thing that sorely tests my discipline and brings thoughts of spending more than I had planned to increase my odds.

    If hundreds of people were to think in the same way and donate tens or hundreds of more dollars in order to have a chance at those two books then including them seems like it would be worth it (I’m guessing). But it’s hard to know in advance.

  32. Deborah Wolf
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

    Personally, I would put more into the lottery if these went into the pool…but sometime between now and Jan 15 I will be throwing all my money at this anyway. (Don’t worry, it’s not much, so you won’t have to duck or anything).
    Either way Worldbuilders wins.

    I want to work for Worldbuilders. :)

  33. Garrett
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 3:32 AM | Permalink

    I would love a chance to win a golden ticket, I even know what I would ask

  34. logankstewart
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 3:46 AM | Permalink

    You could put one up for auction and the other in the general lottery. The lottery thing would be awesome for those of us that don’t bid on ebay, and the ebay thing would be cool for those of us that use ebay. Either way it goes, those are some awesome prizes.

  35. Zafri Mollon
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 4:02 AM | Permalink

    It seems that most people agree that the auction has the potential to make more money, and that the only reason to add it to the rest would be for “selfish” reasons (although it still all goes to a good cause). I would probably just donate the books back to you if I won them.
    The golden ticket will be worth it if it made a lot of money last year. Honestly some people might want it just randomly, and others might want to win it in case they miss out on the auction already up on ebay (assuming the golden ticket one ends afterwards). It should sell pretty well, but only if its worth owing a mysterious (legal) favour.

  36. Anonymous
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 4:32 AM | Permalink

    i think it should be lottoed so that it could be like finding a gem in a playground

  37. Jacob
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 4:53 AM | Permalink

    What happens if someone uses their golden ticket to cancel out the other golden ticket?

  38. Peter Kilkelly
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 5:17 AM | Permalink

    I would say put it up for auction. I certainly would love to win either of the prizes, but there is plenty of really cool stuff in the lottery pool.

  39. Jonathan
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 5:17 AM | Permalink

    Oh, and auctioning a golden ticket could put Pat in a somewhat awkward position, especially if it goes for an exorbitant amount. The winner may feel entitled to something he might not be willing to do…

  40. educatedpony
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 5:21 AM | Permalink

    for selfish reasons, i would love to see the stardust in the general pool, but since this is a fundraiser for charity, you should probably put it up for auction. my guess is there are some super fans (of both gaiman and jordan) who would spend crazy amounts of $ on those books.

  41. Frank being Frank
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 5:27 AM | Permalink

    Auction the two books. Wouldn’t you have more peace of mind knowing that more money went to feeding people and providing them with an income than making someone with enough money to donate happy?

    And if you’re thinking more people will do the raffle because of the two books, you’re probably right. But you’d still make more money with the auction.

    Trust me Pat, I’m a Community College English Major, I know what I’m talking about.

  42. educatedpony
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 5:41 AM | Permalink

    @frank being frank


  43. Anonymous
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 6:00 AM | Permalink

    if only pat spent all this time working on his own book…

  44. Larry W
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

    Must admit, I see both sides here and see lost of merit with both, but I still think the lotto option is better. Although the initial money will look great, because of the structure of an auction, a lot of people will donate because of this book being a prize. That amount can’t be easily quantified, so looks like a poorer option.

    Let’s not kid ourselves here, this is a great charity, but how many of us would have really given what we have very little of right now without a little incentive. Credit Patrick as putting the best carrot in front of the horse that I have ever seen. This charity drive has become fun, and will be a yearly thing for me now, and I hope a lot of other people. I think being as equal as possible in the distribution of the swag is just plain more fun. The charity is the prime mover of this whole deal, but what’s going to be left in future years if it turns into an auction solely for rare book dealers. It will make lots of money for a few years, then peter out as authors find their good hearted donations going right to booksellers instead of directly into the hands of their fans.

    I reiterate my pledge to add another fifty bucks to my donation _and_ take my name out of the running for this one if Patrick lotto’s it.

  45. Roswitha
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 6:18 AM | Permalink

    @Anonymous (who said “if only Pat spent all this time working on his own book”):

    Shame! 1) He’s doing an awesome thing 2) Brilliance cannot be summoned. It arrives in its own time. So if he’s just not feeling it or needs a break from editing, so be it. 3) Nobody gets to imply that Pat should be working on the book instead of doing other stuff, like blogging or playing with Oot and Sarah or whatever.


  46. Max
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 6:21 AM | Permalink

    I think you should auction them, even though I’d really like a shot at that Gathering Storm book…ah well. More money for Heifer International is a good thing. I have nothing against auctioning off a 2nd gold ticket either, as long as the first remains in the raffle.

  47. Anonymous
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 7:28 AM | Permalink

    general please i have a friend that does not have much money to give but could give none the less and it would love to win it in the lottery

  48. Ninja Fanpire
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

    Auction off the stuff

  49. Anonymous
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 8:37 AM | Permalink

    I vote for general lottery. I am a rare book lover and a big Gaiman fan but I am also poor and thus would never have any shot of wining an auction of the book, despite my deep want to do so. So I like that anyone would have a chance to win it as opposed to whoever has the most $ to doll out.

  50. Christina
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    Leave them in the general raffle or even create a raffle just for these two books alone, separate from the other pool. Why should only people with large bank accounts and lots of disposable income get a chance to have these items? It’s all going to the same good cause anyhow.

  51. dstarpro
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

    Mm, auction raises more money, but also may run a slightly higher risk of resale on eBay, so I say raffle.

  52. Rob Landley
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 8:47 AM | Permalink

    Raffles let you get money from lots of donors. Auctions you just have one big donor.

    Auctions may be better if you have lots of items to auction off (charity auctions at conventions), but with one or two I’d lean towards a raffle so you can tap a big donor audience. (Let them buy multiple tickets if they’d like. :)

    On the other hand, e-bay is set up to auction stuff _for_ you, with a wider audience of potential bidders than you could access on your own…

  53. Anonymous
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

    raffle, so chance decides who gets the book and not person with most money

  54. Anonymous
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

    raffels, so chance decides who get the books and not person with most money.

  55. RAH
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 9:12 AM | Permalink

    The selfish part of me says to add them to the raffle, mostly because I want a chance to get my hands on them and that would be the best way for me (I doubt I have enough to be able to shell out the kind of money that they would go for or deserve).

    But going logically, from a what would make more money for the charity (as this is a fund raiser after all and you already have a large amount of prizes for the raffle), then putting them up for auction would be the thing to do.

    So the choice is yours, cater to the fans, or cater to the charity?

    P.S. The selfish side here again, the charity wins either way so why not let the fans have the chance to win it.

  56. Anonymous
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

    Raffle them off!

  57. mimie
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    i say, raffle it so everyone will have equal chance of owning the book:)

  58. Anonymous
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    Raffle –

  59. Marcus
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    I think auction, for reasons that have already been mentioned.

    1. More money for the charity
    2. It’ll end up with someone who really wants it.

    Does having an opinion like this mean it’s bad form for me to now bid on it (if you go auction)? I hope not as I certainly intend to.


  60. Marcus
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    urm my point 2 should have been certain that the person who gets it really really wants it.

    Also as soon as you post the Joss stuff, it’ll get Whedonesque’d (like slashdotted only much much cooler :) ) and tons more people will donate (not hugely sure of my point here but it’s like 6:22am at the moment and I should be asleep)

  61. Carl Rigney
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    If you want to maximize funds raised, auction the two high ticket items. And I’d like to think I’m not just saying that because I want to bid some absurd amount on the Stardust.

    Also, I think your math is off. With 3600 tickets (1 per $10) and 500 prizes, chance of winning something is 1 in 7, not 1 in 70. Someone donating a goat (12 tickets for $120) has about an 83% chance of winning something (which will go down as more people donate, but even at $50,000 a goat has about a 72% chance of getting something).

  62. Bombie
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

    I don’t think that a lot of people will donate more by putting it in the lottery, but what might happen is that more people will donate for the small chance of winning one of those two.

    Two weeks ago I pleaded Mr. Gaiman to mention Worldbuilders, which he did promptly and enthusiastically. He mentioned the ARC then on his blog, so a lot of his fans might already have donated thinking they might have a chance at winning that.

    Thus it might be considered fair putting them in the lottery. This has the possibility, but not the certainty, of raising lots.
    As the main goal is raising funds, it would be just as fair putting them up for auction, with a higher certainty of raising mucho. With an auction the money raised is tangible, while extra lottery money raised just by these books is quasi non-assignable.

    Anyone got a clue what a signed Gaiman ARC usually raises? Even though this one is especially nice, I think even a pretty hefty sum divided by ten will give a reasonable number of extra tickets that need to be bought to raise the same amount. Which gives an even smaller number of extra people needed, provided most won’t stop at donating just 10$.

    The same goes for Mr. Sanderson’s work, of course.

    As for an argument some people make: I think both options have an equally (small) chance of the books ending up with someone who doesn’t appreciate them enough to keep ’em for themselves and selling it to someone who does. I can’t believe that anyone, after finding his way here and donating, won’t realise what wonderful prizes they are! In the end, it will make someone really, really happy, however it gets there. I really don’t see harm in that.

  63. Marjorie
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

    I would say raffle. I think a lot of people will be more willing to increase their donations to have a chance at beauties like these. One of the things which is so great about this fundrauser is that those who give relatively small amounts have a chance to win! After all, someone giving $10 or $30 may well be commiting a much bigger proportion of thir income/ savings than someone able to give $100-$500.

  64. Grete
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    Hrmm…I am one of those folks that would not be able to afford the Gaiman book at auction, and would benefit from the raffle option. Having said that, I suspect that ultimately the auction option would raise more funds for Heifer Internaional, which is what this is all about, right?

    By the way, this is a terrific idea. I must admit that I had not heard of your work before, but after learning of your fundraising effort and reading your blog bio, I’m going to go out and buy a bunch of your books! And also, donate to your fine cause.

  65. m.y.
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 2:25 PM | Permalink

    Auction them off!
    It’d be nice to have them in the raffle but so much more would be made from the auction.
    Another golden ticket would be nice too! Maybe one in the lottery and one in an auction? That way everyone has a chance win the lucky ticket, but someone with lotsa lotsa money could also win one via an auction, meaning more donations!
    It’s a shame that all prices are in American dollars. Most foreign cards charge annyoing rates for paying in a foreign currency =(.

    Also…just wondering with the golden tickets. Do they have an expiry date?

    This is an awesome raffle!
    It’s nice to know that my donations are going to charity even if I don’t win anything, and not just going to profit-seeking corporate bigshots xD.

    In the meantime, I shall be awaiting my copy of The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle!


  66. Alison B
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    A small selfish part of me would love to see Stardust on auction, because I can afford whatever it will go for, but even if it does go up to a few thousand dollars you might earn more money with it in the raffle, because so many people covet it and will buy extra tickets.

  67. Highlander
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

    Hi Pat,

    What about having a seperate lottery for these prizes. Say $40 – $50 per ticket. All people need to do to enter is donate the normal way but just indicate in the notes that they are to be entered in the special draw instead of the normal one. Thus will open it up to a wider audience than an auction while still getting more donations and attracting Stardust and Gathering Storm Fans.

  68. Pamala Knight
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

    The final WOT and STARDUST–WANTS!!!!! One the one hand, I think that you could raise a ridiculous amount of money if you auctioned those books off but the other hand (the one who’s shopped for her kids for Christmas and might be on the way to debtors prison if she spends much more) would like a shot at them in the general lottery.

    Indecision! Okay, here it is. Auction them so that you can make the most money because after all, it is for a very worthy cause.

    Did I tell you already what an awesome thing this fundraiser is? Oot is going to be all kind of proud of you once he’s old enough to know.

  69. Jonathan
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

    I gotta agree with Highlander on this one. Seems the best way to do to raise more money while still allowing the chance for anyone to win it. I mentioned something like that earlier, but thought it might be unwieldy to start a whole new lottery. But if not, you should totally do that!

  70. Daniel Nairn
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

    Raffle them (at least Stardust) and let people buy multiple tickets to get a higher chance of winning. Then it’s most likely that someone who is very enthusiastic about winning it will be more likely to win, but there will still be a chance for us poor souls who want it, but haven’t much money.

  71. Anonymous
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 4:25 PM | Permalink


  72. Brett M
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

    I really like Highlanders idea as well. It’s a good middle ground that ensures someone who really wants it will get it but keeps it somewhat accesible for everyone. I know I’d buy a ticket or two (depending on the price) for the Stardust ARC but would not be able to compete in the auction. Further, I’m sure the people who would participate in the auction for these books will instead buy quite a few tickets.

  73. Patrick R. (not Rothfuss, though)
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    It seems like we’ve got a lot of people saying the books should be auctioned. But those same people say they can’t afford to bid on the items. So who’s going to be bidding?

    I just don’t want these items go up for auction, have only a few bids come in, and watch as someone gets the books for a lot less than they’re worth. Maybe putting them in lottery is the way to go.

  74. Anonymous
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

    A separate lottery for each would be good, if it’s not too
    much work…

  75. Bekki
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

    Hi Pat,

    If your goal is solely to raise money, then you should put these up for auction. As several of the previous commentators have pointed out, there are people with pots of money who will happily spend whatever it takes to get their hands on one of these.

    I suspect, however, that you have the same view about books as most of the readers here: when a child (or an adult) loves a book for a long, long, time, not just to read, but really loves it – then it becomes Real. Somehow, it doesn’t feel quite right to put these books out of reach of people who love them, and would never otherwise be able to have them, simply for money. Even money going to a great charity.

    You know this. This is why you asked for comments. But since none of us will be making the decision, I put it to you: which is worth more to you, the chance to raise an obscene amount of money for Heifer or the chance to give some lucky reader a book she will treasure for the rest of her life?

  76. Minta
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    I think you should put a least one in the lottery. I think that plenty of people will donate that way. I know that I personally get kind of sick when I watch the two or three who can afford bid until they spent several thousand dollars. It doesn’t mean they necessarily love the books or the authors more than other people. It mostly means they have the funds.

  77. Ali Kira
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

    Raffle would be better: I think you’d get more individual donors taking part, and in doing so spread the word about the cause to more people.

  78. D
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    I have to agree with Larry.
    My first instinct was to say “Auction” because on the money thing. However, the chance to win something precious and cherish it is purely priceless, and I’d hate to see a pro walk away with one and turn it into a mere commodity.

    A vital part of this movement is that it is made up of ordinary people with limited means still doing what they can, and perhaps even a little more.
    I’ll be buying more raffle tickets, and for Stardust, I have a friend who will definitely do the same.
    If even a fraction of raffle donators increase their donations due to these two items, you could very well raise funds similar to the auction, and you will bring light and joy to the little people who make Worlbuilders possible.
    One big donor looks very nice, but 1000 little donors add up very nicely too. We are a community of little donors. Don’t undervalue us.

  79. Anonymous
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

    Looking at the books, I’d say auction the Storm and drop Stardust into the lottery. Stardust is pretty as hell but if you go to a con or two you can get Neil’s name in a book. The colection there in Storm is and will probably stay one of a king.

  80. Walnutbutter
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    I think putting it in the raffle will bring in a lot more money overall. It might auction for anywhere between $300-$800, which is nice. However, just 100 more people entering the raffle because of it will bring in far more.

  81. Daephene
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 6:58 PM | Permalink

    I like the idea of a separate raffle, if it’s doable. Then you definitely get more money because of these items, and they go to someone who gave you extra money because of them rather than to a random giver who may or may not be particularly interested in these specific items. I’d especially be wary of putting volume twelve in a series in the general raffle where the winner may not have read books 1-11.

    Btw, this is an awesome thing you’re doing. Thanks for organizing and running it.

  82. Josiah Cadicamo
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 7:04 PM | Permalink

    Auction, the reasons have been mentioned above.

  83. Ben Alvord
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 7:31 PM | Permalink

    Pat, if you want to make sure that they don’t go in the auction for way too little money, you can set up an auction on eBay with a reserve price. If the reserve price isn’t met, then you could tell everyone you’re adding them to the lottery. Seems like the best of both worlds, as you could possibly get a few collectors bidding against each other in an auction and driving the price up through the roof, but if that doesn’t happen, then they go in the lottery.

  84. Amanda
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 10:13 PM | Permalink

    I would definitely donate more for a chance for that ARC of Stardust. But I’ll be happy for anything, like I said before. Which do YOU think would raise more money? I think they’re both viable options, and I’d at least make a pass at bidding for it if I could afford it… but it does sound like almost everyone interested in these doesn’t think they’ll be able to afford them if they’re auctioned off.

  85. Seth
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 10:19 PM | Permalink

    I am with the minority I think in that I would say put them into the lottery. This event has grown mainly from your many many fans who can only give smaller amounts and I think that they deserve a shot at the two awesome prizes. Plus I think you will end up with a higher donation amount from the many smaller donations, and less chance of it going to a reseller.

  86. Izola
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 10:22 PM | Permalink

    Holy Feedback! Just to reiterate, “Izola the World Builder” has international best selling sequel written all over it.

  87. rainydays
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 10:33 PM | Permalink

    I want it to be part of the general raffle as I don’t think I could ever afford to bid for it, but as this should be more about raising money rather than winning free stuff, I think the way to raise the most money would be to auction it off.

  88. Matt
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 11:30 PM | Permalink

    I say put them in the lottery. You may be able to raise more money by auctioning them, but there needs to be some big prizes in the lottery as well. Otherwise some might get discouraged and not donate anything. Whichever way you go, I’m sure they’ll bring in the money big time.

  89. Wilfred Berkhof
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 12:05 AM | Permalink

    Although I’d love to win either of those two books in the lottery I think you should auction them off as that will benefit Heifer and the people they help the most. And I believe that was the whole point of the fund raiser. :)

  90. Vae
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 12:28 AM | Permalink

    Larry W makes some very good points there. I’d say put them in the lottery. Give everyone a chance. Because everyone deserves to own and covet those incredible pieces as well, regardless of being able to foot 10 or 1000 dollars. Plus, I think the prize itself would be worth more to someone if they win it. More likely to be treasured that way, rather than just sit on some “collector’s” shelf gathering dust, to be pulled down and dumped on the coffee table every so often and used as a conversation piece to show off to self-important guests.

    erm… sorry… rant there. But yeah, raffle or lottery or what have you.

  91. kcazad_7
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 5:00 AM | Permalink

    Yes Put in a second golden ticket, i want my name put in book your second book so i would definetly participate in a bid for the golden ticket.

  92. kcazad_7
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 5:00 AM | Permalink

    Yes Put in a second golden ticket, i want my name put in book your second book so i would definetly participate in a bid for the golden ticket.

  93. Anonymous
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 5:01 AM | Permalink

    Yes, I’m likely to up my contribution in an attempt to win either of these two amazing prizes. That said, I think you would make more for Heifer if you auctioned them… I support the 1/1 option that splits them up. Just make sure the Neil Gaiman is put into the general pool :)

  94. kcazad_7
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 5:01 AM | Permalink

    Yes Put in a second golden ticket, i want my name put in book your second book so i would definetly participate in a bid for the golden ticket.

  95. Peta
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    Much as I would *love* the chance to win either of these books in the general lottery, given there is no way I could afford to win them at auction, I’d have to honestly say that the objective is to raise money for Heifer so I’d vote for auction. If this was a vote!

  96. Alicia
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    I think an auction is the way to go. I’d love to think that I had a chance of getting them by making the minimum donation, but in all fairness to Heifer, if you have the chance to make more money out of specific items then you should take that chance. In this case it really is all about the end result.

  97. Anonymous
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 7:52 PM | Permalink

    I would not only bid on a golden ticket — I would have my friends all throw in to bid on it.

  98. Jacob
    Posted December 21, 2009 at 3:35 AM | Permalink

    I still cant understand why you aren’t auctioning off a chance to be one of the first ones to be able to read Wise Mans Fear. It would be so cool to know that I could buy one of the pre release copies and read it before any of my friends. Now that is something that I would pay big bucks for. I also think that you should auction of the other two books. Those are some pretty sweet books.

  99. Larry W
    Posted December 21, 2009 at 4:56 AM | Permalink

    Do you believe this? There are a hundred comments now on just this one little part of the whole Hiefer campaign. All of them valid points, and I have not read a single negative comment (usually standard for blog comments). You all rock. Whichever way he decides, you all are some of the best people in the world, and Patrick is a huge-hearted freakin’ genius and for what he’s doing.

    Patrick, if you ever read this comment, thanks for helping a cynical old fart remember that there’s still some good left in the world. You have become one of my heroes.

  100. cgbookcat1
    Posted December 21, 2009 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    I would love to have a chance at Stardust. That said, as a graduate student, I can only afford a few more tickets, and an auction is completely out of the question!

    I (quite selfishly) think you should raffle both books.

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