Fanmail Q&A: Worldbuilders

Hey Pat,

Are you doing Worldbuilders again this year? I understand if you don’t have time, what with your dad an all….

But I will say that I’ll miss it if you don’t do it again. I usually ask my family to donate a goat to your fundraiser for Christmas, that way it’s really like I’m getting a goat and a half.

If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know. I only live 40 minutes away from you, and I can help lift boxes if nothing else.

Worldbuilders fan since 2009,


Those of you who have been following the blog for a while know that this is the time of year when we typically kick off Worldbuilders.

Well… actually, we tend to start up Worldbuilders a little earlier than this, which explains why over the last couple weeks I’ve been getting a slurry of e-mail asking about it.

We’ll be officially launching the fundraiser next week, but before we pull the trigger on that, I thought I’d take this chance to answer a few of the questions people have been asking in their e-mail.

  • Are you still doing Worldbuilders?

Yes. Very yes.

  • When are you starting it?

The official launch will be next week.

  • What is Worldbuilders? (For those of you that are new to the blog.)

Back in 2008, I thought it would be fun to see if I could raise some money for Heifer International. So I posted up a blog and told people if they donated to Heifer International, I’d match their donations. What’s more, I’d give away some free books to the winners, lottery style.

I was kinda hoping I could raise 5000 dollars, but things quickly spiraled out of control. Other authors donated books, people spread the word, and by the end of the fundraiser, we’d managed to raise more than 100,000 dollars.

I decided to make the fundraiser a yearly thing. I got more organized, hired an assistant, and had a friend make up a logo:

We got an office, ran some auctions, started running an online store, and last year we finally became an official not-for-profit charity.

Over the last three years we’ve raised more than $500,000 for Heifer.

(You can peek at last year’s fundraiser over here if you like.)

  • What’s going to be new this year?

Lots of stuff. One of our big projects this year is the literary pin-up calendar I already mentioned on the blog.

We’ve also got more publishers donating than ever, so that means more books this year. So many books we’ve had to put up new shelves just to hold them all.

I’ve got fun interviews scheduled with folks we’ve we’ve never seen on the blog before.

And more cool rare books. Some of them we’ll be auctioning off, others we’ll be giving away lottery style.

On top of that, this year the fans have really stepped up, donating cool collectibles and things they’ve made with their own, lovely geeky hands. Some of those things we’ll be auctioning off, some we’ll be selling in the store.

  • Where can I donate?

Hold your horses, buckaroo. You can’t donate quite yet. Like I said, we haven’t officially started this year’s fundraiser.

But we will be starting soon.


  • What can I do to help?

There are two main things Worldbuilders needs to succeed.

1. People willing to donate. (See above.)

2. People willing to spread the word.

That means for now, the best thing you can do is wait.

If you’re exceptionally eager, you can go digging around in the sofa cushions to gather funds or talk to your family about maybe doing an animal exchange as part of your holiday festivities.

But for the most part, you can help by staying tuned to the blog and preparing to tweet to your friends when we launch the fundraiser in about a week.

  • I *really* want to help. Are you sure I can’t do anything?

If you *really* want to help, and you feel like you have a skill/cool book/rare collectible/mutant power that would be helpful to the cause, you can drop a line to: worldbuilders.2011 [squiggly at-sign thinger]

  • I know I can help. Seriously. How can I send you something?

If you’re an author, publisher, comic artist, etc and you’d like to donate some books to the fundraiser, we would absolutely love to have them.

You can mail them to:

PO BOX 186
Stevens Point, WI 54481

Three things:

1. If you’re the author, we’d love if you signed the books before sending them to us.

2. If you’re thinking of sending a collectible of some kind, please contact us first.

3. Please package the books carefully. It breaks my heart when books arrive damaged.

If you’re a journalist, blogger, webcomic-er, a celeb with a huge twitter following, or just someone who has a cool idea about how to spread the word, drop us a line at the aforementioned e-mail: worldbuilders.2011 [squiggly at-sign thinger]

Pretty much if you have any questions about the fundraiser, that’s the e-mail to use. You’ll get a response much more quickly than if you use the contact form on my website.

  • You asked me to donate books last year. Why haven’t you invited me this year?

I should have said this first: Worldbuilders isn’t an invitation-only party. There is no velvet rope. No bouncer at the door. We welcome any authors, any books. (Though I will admit we have a definite lean toward fantasy and sci-fi going on here…)

So if you’re an author/publisher I know, and I haven’t sent you an e-mail asking if you’d like to donate, it’s not because I’m snubbing you, or because I don’t want your books in the fundraiser.

No. Far from it. Of course I want your books in the fundraiser. It would fill me with joy to include them.

If you haven’t recieved a specific invite from me already, it’s probably because you’re way cooler than me, so I was embarrassed to bother you with an e-mail. Or it’s because I’m from the Midwest and asking for things makes me kinda uncomfortable. Or, you know, because with all the things going on in my life now, I’m kind of a disorganized idiot.

Seriously. If you don’t believe me, just look at this picture:

There. Anyone can see that I am clearly a fucking idiot. A person who wears this expression does not have the mental wherewithal to snub you or purposefully exclude you from any of his reindeer games. In fact, it’s quite possible that a person wearing this expression entirely lacks the capacity for intentionality, let alone rational thought.

That means if you haven’t recieved an invite from me, it was clearly an oversight firmly rooted in my own stupidity. Q.E.D.

So yeah. Books = Yes. Worldbuilders = Soon.

Me = Bed. I really shouldn’t be writing anything resembling a serious blog when I’m punchy like this.

Later space cowboys,


This entry was posted in calling on the legions, Fanmail Q + A, FAQ, Worldbuilders 2011By Pat26 Responses


  1. PHXDale
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

    Excited to be a part of this year’s effort. I’m drooling over my pinup calendar as we speak. Who’d-a-thunk giving could look so good?

  2. Mikael H
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 8:25 AM | Permalink

    Great! Really good work!
    Even if I didn’t won anything last year I never miss out on a chance of giving a llama or a goat away. There is definitely too few llamas in the world.

  3. Widow Of Sirius
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 8:43 AM | Permalink

    Mmmmm… Worldbuilders…..
    I’m broke as usual this season, but I’m hoping to still find that extra $50 lying around somewhere. Good luck with everything. Thanks for always being so awesome.

  4. Hecuba
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    Yay! I only discovered your work relatively recently, so this is the first chance I have to donate to Worldbuilders. Just one question: any chance you’ll be selling Christmas cards as well? I usually buy mine from charity organisations, and I would love to have some fantasy themed…
    Good luck! :-D

    • Posted November 15, 2011 at 8:46 AM | Permalink

      Fraid not. We tend to only take on one new project each year, and this year was the calendar.

      • Hecuba
        Posted November 15, 2011 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

        Sorry to hear that. I will donate as much as I can, but I can’t afford a calendar this year, even though I think they’re great – I’m Greek, and the postage is just too expensive. Hope it goes well anyway!

    • DraccusPlum
      Posted November 15, 2011 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

      I think this is a fantastic idea for a project (at some point), and not just for Christmas. There could be all kinds of holiday cards (St. Patrick’s Day, Earth Day, Kwanza, Halloween) for sale in the store. I wonder how well they would sell as compared to something like the calendar, though, because that is probably already sold out.

      • Neil
        Posted November 15, 2011 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

        I hear that there are plenty of calendars to go around still. Keep telling all your friends! The perfect holiday gift! (Although I can understand why you might think they would have sold out. The calendar sounded like a cool idea, but it actually looks awesome!)

  5. Ojodelgato
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 8:47 AM | Permalink

    I’ll be contributing as much as I can this year.

    Thanks to you and your volunteers for your dedication.

  6. Mandy Swenson
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

    I’ve been waiting on this for months. And I feel all warm and tingly ready. Maybe that’s the rum talking, though.

  7. Marcus Cox
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

    Hey Pat. Have you thought about starting a Twitter account to advertise Worldbuilders? Just a bunch of random tweets throughout the day listing authors you could win books from. Links to recent blog posts. I don’t know how much it would help, but it could create another means for people to find out about this. If you lack the time to manage it I would imagine one of your legion of fans would be more than willing to manage it for you. I know I could probably spare the time required.

    • Cecilyk
      Posted November 15, 2011 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

      This is an excellent idea, Marcus. I’d also be willing to help out. I’ll use my very tiny twitter power to advertise anyway.

      Pat, this fundraiser is one of my favorite things about being a geek. I was there for the first one back in 2008 and I’m excited for this one.

      Creepy fact: While I was typing this comment, I got an email from Heifer. Because I’ve donated to them before. Through Worldbuilders. NICE.

    • Posted November 15, 2011 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

      Great idea!! I’m a huge Twitter enthusiast, and I’d be all for retweeting any and all things Worldbuilders tweets.

  8. Blarghedy
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    Bit of a typo: “I’ve got fun interviews scheduled with folks we’ve we’ve never seen on the blog before.”

  9. passingwind
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    That t-shirt kicks ass!

    • dowanx
      Posted November 15, 2011 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

      Completely agree…

  10. Dryft
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    That was a Cowboy Bebop reference! As if we needed another reason to up your cool factor Mr. Rothfuss.

    Thank you for putting the effort into Worldbuilders yet again – looking forward to donating.

  11. bremon
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    I have no marketable skills, talents, or books. That said, should you require me to do anything that a poor college student in North Dakota *could* do… It would be awesome.
    I may even try to get my roommate to make random flyers. Ooohh…..

    PS: the pinup calendar is awesome and totally worth it. I’m actually looking forward to January for the first time in years so I can start using the calendar officially.

  12. Kalef
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    Hm, while I’m still trying to get my amazing skills and talents to work for me, I’m exitedly (does this word exist?) looking forward to worldbuilders this year. I’m sure it will be awesome!

    And… I absolutely love that expression! …Twoface^^… have you tried to splice it with a mirror? Amazing, I dare say. How do you do that?
    Try to walk around with that look. That would be totally creepy…and awesome.^^

  13. ausra
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 8:16 PM | Permalink

    Hi Pat,
    I’m currently volunteering at Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas. It’s a learning center where folks engage in highly experiential programming. They learn about “the issues surrounding hunger & poverty, Heifers sustainable solutions and what they can do to help”.
    I decided to volunteer after last years fundraiser. While I donated money, I wanted to do something a little more hands on. So here I am and I can’t wait for this years fundraiser! I’ve been blogging about my experiences and will post a link when the announcement is made (if anyone’s interested they can go to It’s mostly a photo blog).
    Thanks for being such an inspiration Pat!

  14. Dyn
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

    If you guys happen to enjoy Pat Rothfuss auctions, and you live in Wisconsin – I have this suggestion for you. Come out to Daisho Con this Sunday (or the whole weekend) at the Kahalari in the Wisconsin Dells.

    And Pat, I make no apologies for plugging the Con, only because you’re part of what makes it awesome. See you there.

  15. graywho
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:33 AM | Permalink

    Hmm….or perhaps you should write more blogs while groggy from lackasleep, Pat, this was one of the best, but then what do I know?

  16. Posted November 16, 2011 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

    Beautiful. I’ve got ten copies of my novel on their way to you, and we’ll be sure to mention WorldBuilders on an upcoming podcast. I think we’ll have my short interview with you from WFC on the podcast this weekend, or by the middle of next week at the latest. It would be great to see Worldbuilders reaches the million dollar mark by the end of this one!

  17. kjgottwald
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 7:38 AM | Permalink

    Hi Pat, now that Worldbuilders is an official organization and kind of a Big Deal, any thought to having a Facebook fan page specifically for it?

  18. Posted November 17, 2011 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

    Hi Pat,
    Can I offer a ComicsOnline tshirt? For that matter, did I ever give you one? Hit me up on the facebook or the email. -Kevin
    (obviously the email is kevin[squiggly at-sign thinger]

  19. chat
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

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