Category Archives: Golden Ticket

200K Blog: The Golden Ticket(s)

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Back in 2009 we ran a few Worldbuilders auctions as an experiment to see if people would be interested.

Much to our delight, folks jumped all over the option of bidding on books and rare manuscripts. My read-and-critique sold for over a thousand dollars. In the blog comments people said I should auction things like “Dinner with Pat” or “Have Pat wash your car” or “Run your hands through Pat’s majestic beard.”

There were even a few e-mails requesting I auction… *ahem* intimate things. Things that I’m pretty sure you’re not allowed to sell unless you live in some of more socially progressive parts of Nevada.

Anyway, there were a lot of these comments and e-mails, so I decided to have some fun with it.

I decided to auction off a favor. If you won the auction, you could ask me for something. And if it was within my power, I’d do it. (With a few limitations, of course.)

I called the favor the Golden Ticket because it sounded slightly less geeky than referring to it in terms of a D&D spell or a Disney movie:

(Is it just me, or is this picture a little creepy?)

I put it up on e-bay, and to make a long story short, the Golden Ticket sold for over 15,000 dollars.

The auction was a success. But it was a mildly disturbing success. I could *one* person out there who wanted a favor enough to spend 15,000 dollars on it. But for the bidding to get that high meant there had to be TWO people like that. It weirded me out a bit…

Over the years, hundreds of people have asked what the winner wanted. My response has usually been, “I should really post about that on the blog, shouldn’t I?”

So, finally, here’s the answer:

The winner was Bill Schaefer of Subterranean Press. (He’s the one who published The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle.)

What happened was this: When Bill found out about the auction, he called me up and asked if he could use the golden ticket to get me to write a novella for Subterranean press.

At this point, the bidding was already at a couple thousand dollars. So I told him, “Sure. But you’ll have to wait until I’m done with book two. People would kill me if I did a story with you before I finished that….”

Bill agreed, then waded into the bidding, fists swinging. In the end, he won. What’s more, he offered to buy the novella from me and pay the $15,000 to Worldbuilders out of his profits. Which means he was effectively paying for it twice.

Since then, Bill has been waiting with Buddha-like patience for his story. After three years, the novella is almost finished. It’s the main thing I worked on when I tried NaNoWriMo this year.

And to preemptively answer your questions: There’s no title yet. There’s no pub date yet. You can’t order it yet.

Rest assured that I’ll post about it here as soon as there’s solid news to share.

Since then there have been a few other golden ticket winners. When cashing in their favors, people have requested that I:

  • Have dinner with them while we were both out at San Diego Comic-Con.
  • Come to their college and do a reading/workshop about creative writing.
  • Give them a full body massage.

I’m just kidding about the last one. Probably.

There. Now that you know the story of the previous Golden Ticket winners. Let’s add two to this year’s fundraiser:

Edit: Just to be clear, I’m adding two tickets. One is going into the general lottery. The second is being auctioned off on e-bay.

  • The Golden Ticket.

This is going into the general lottery. That means anyone who donates at least 10 dollars on the Worldbuilders team page has a chance to win it. The more you donate, the better your chances.

This year though, some things will be different.

Here’s a few details you should know:

The golden ticket will actually be a ring.

I figure if I’m going to keep doing this, I should stop stealing from Roald Dahl’s books and start stealing from my own.

So, in the fine traditions of the Maer’s court, you’ll be getting a gold ring with my name on it. The ring will be real gold, designed by the same lovely folk at Badali Jewelry who did the Eolian talent pipes.

(In a perfect world, I’d have a picture of the ring to show you. But the design isn’t finished yet. Just trust me for now. The folks at Badali do amazing work. It will be cool.)

This ring will be the physical embodiment of the favor. When you want to cash in the favor, you’ll give the ring back to me. If you want to keep the ring forever, you can. You can keep it forever and never cash in the favor at all, if that’s what you want to do.

If you give the ring to a friend, then they give it to me, I’ll do a favor for them instead.

If you lose the ring, you’re screwed. You’ve lost the favor.

For more than a month now, I’ve been trying to decide if this is a stupid idea. I’ve worried it will make me look too geeky.

And you know what? I decided I don’t care if it’s kinda geeky. I mean really, what’s the point of being a fantasy author if you can’t be a bit of a geek now and then?

What sort of favor can you ask for?

Here are some guidelines:

1. The favor has to be legal. (More or less.)
2. The favor has to be something I can actually do. (Duh)
3. The favor can’t be something I find morally reprehensible.

I won’t do something like endorse a political candidate I found disgusting. Along a similar line, wouldn’t blurb your book as a favor. I’d *read* it as a favor, and if I really enjoyed it I’d give it a blurb. But blurbing a book I don’t *really* like would be dishonest.

Other than that, the rules are going to be old-fashioned common sense. No, I won’t give you all my money. No, I won’t kick a puppy. No, I won’t change book three so that, say, Kvothe and Elodin have a sex scene. Or Kvothe and Ambrose have a sex scene. Or so someone dies, or doesn’t die, or has a threesome with Bast and Chronicler, or whatever. Sorry.

What *can* you ask for? Here’s a few things I’d easily agree to:

  • We can hang out over dinner at a convention we’re both attending.
  • I’d critique your manuscript.
  • I’d come to your convention or do a reading at your local library/bookstore.
  • I’d perform your wedding ceremony. (Someone asked about this.)
  • I’d put your name in book three.
  • I’d let you be a beta reader for some of my upcoming stories.

Some things will require a little negotiation, of course. I’ve discussed getting your name in the book on the blog before, for example.

Similarly, if someone wanted me to come out to their house, make them dinner, and tell them a story, I’d be cool with it provided:

1) They didn’t mind waiting until I can work it into my travel plans.
2) They like pasta.
3) They don’t kill me and wear my skin like a coat.

See how easy I am to work with?

Now that that’s clear. Let’s put another golden ticket up for auction:

  • AUCTION: The Golden Ticket.

(It won’t really look like the One Ring. It won’t be surrounded by fire, either. But trust me, it will still look cool.)

Bill from Subterranean has told me that he will be bowing out of the auction this year. So as of now it’s anyone’s game.

Rather than get bogged down in endless rules or examples. Here’s the plain-language commitment I’m making to you if you win this auction.

If you win the golden ticket, I’ll do my level best to fulfill any reasonable favor you ask of me.

Click here to bid on the Golden Ticket auction.

Or, if you’d like to see all the auctions Worldbuilders is currently running, you can click  here.

*     *     *

Remember, if you chip in on our team page before February 7th, Worldbuilders will match 50% of your donation. And every $10 you donate gives you a chance to win all manner of cool stuff in the lottery.

If you want to see the other items that have been donated, or learn more about the fundraiser itself, you can head over to the main Worldbuilders page.

Also posted in Worldbuilders 2011 | By Pat78 Responses

A story, A gift, and A Book from Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman has been very supportive of Worldbuilders from the very beginning. Not only has he helped spread the word about the fundraiser to his legion of fans, but he’s given us lovely donations of rare books.

Following in that fine tradition, here’s his donation for this year:


This is a pretty, pretty book. Hardcover in its own slipcase with original woodcut illustrations.

[Edit: Neil left a note in the comments below that I thought I’d post up here:

A note — the SNOW GLASS APPLES book is the text of the Play for Voices (as recorded by Seeing Ear Theatre, starring Bebe Neuwirth), with the Queen’s dialogue printed in red ink. (I only found one for sale online, for over $300.)

Now I have to go take a moment to get over the fact that Gaiman left a comment on my blog….]

They only printed 250 of these, and even when you could buy them from Biting Dog Press they would cost you over a hundred bucks. But the book has been sold out for ages, of course.

Simply said, this is a real treasure, signed by Zipes and Gaiman and Walker.

And we’re entering it into the general lottery. That means for every 10 bucks you donate to Heifer International on our Team Heifer webpage, you get the chance to win this book and hundreds of others.

Plus, Worldbuilders will match 50% of your donation. You can’t ask for a better deal than that…

Since we’re on the subject of cool books from Neil Gaiman, I’d like to share some good news and a little story…

Those of you who have been following the fundraiser probably remember the signed ARC of stardust that Gaiman donated last year.

As I mentioned a few weeks back, the person who won that book in 2009 donated it back to the fundraiser with instructions that we auction it off to raise more money for Worldbuilders.

So that’s exactly what we did. Much to my delight the ARC sold for over 2500 dollars to a lovely gentleman named Dan.

In a way, I was sad to see the book go. It’s been living here at Worldbuilders for more than two years now. It’s a beautiful book:

But still, $2500 bucks buys a lot of goats. No matter how you looked at the deal, it was a good trade.

So we contacted Dan to congratulate him, arrange payment details, and make sure we had the right shipping address for the book.

Then something strange happened.

Dan told us that he’d like to donate the book back to Worldbuilders again. He wants it entered in to next year’s lottery so that anyone can win it, not just the person with the most money.

Needless to say, I was stunned. This is a book that I have spent more than a little time coveting. It’s a book I considered bidding on myself in the auction. And if I’d won it, I wouldn’t have given it back. Hell, I probably wouldn’t have let anyone touch it….

But Dan, apparently, is a better person than I am.

We chatted for a while over e-mail, and when I asked Dan how he got to be so cool, he said a big piece of it was the fact that he was inspired by the story of how last year’s winner re-donated the book.

But most of the credit, he says, goes to his mom. She always made a point of donating to charity even though she never had a lot of money. Not only that, but she was a died-in-the-wool geek like the rest of us: she read fantasy and sci-fi, she played Infocom games…

I have to say, she sounds like my kind of lady.

Dan told me that she passed away this March. Most of the money he inherited from her went into buying this book. He thinks she would be proud and happy to know that the money will go to helping as many people as possible.

Dan also said that he was a big Gaiman fan, and that he hoped that this whole exchange didn’t give Gaiman a complex because nobody would keep his book….

Ever since I found out that Dan was redonating the book to Worldbuilders, I’ve been trying to think of something nice I can do for him in return.

Complicating the matter is the fact that Dan’s doesn’t want anything from me. When I saw he’d ordered a few t-shirts from the store, I tried to refund his money. He refused.

Then, last night when I way trying to plan out the blogs for the rest of the fundraiser, I realized I hadn’t posted up the auction for this year’s Golden Ticket yet. The winner of the Golden Ticket gets one official favor from me. As the Marquis de Carabas would say, “a really big favor.”

I’ve been meaning to post that auction for weeks, since last year’s auction was stupefyingly successful. (It raised over 15,000 dollars.) But in the process of posting all the other blogs, finishing revisions, and shipping t-shirts, the Golden Ticket auction went straight out of my head.

So this year, rather than auctioning it off, I think I’m just going to give it to Dan.

He can cash it in however he likes. If he wants, he can get an early look at The Wise Man’s Fear. If he’d prefer to get his name somewhere in book three, we can negotiate that instead.

Dan doesn’t know about this yet. I’m announcing this on the blog so that he won’t have a chance to say no.

And just in case you were thinking it, you can’t re-donate this to the fundraiser either, Dan. It’s yours.

For any of the rest of you who might be thinking, “Gee, I wish I had a Golden Ticket.” Remember that there’s already one in this year’s general lottery. That means for every ten bucks you donate on our Team Heifer page, you get another chance at winning it.

Lastly, I feel like I should mention that yesterday we blew past last year’s donation total.

That means that in the last three years we’ve raised more than a half a million dollars for Heifer International.

We’ve still got a couple days left before the end of the fundraiser, but still, I feel like I should start thanking people now for making the Fundraiser a success again this year:

Thank you Gaiman. Thank you Dan. Thank you to all the mothers out there that taught us to be generous even when times were tight. Thank you publishers and bookstores and authors for donating books. Thank you twitterers and bloggers for spreading the word. Thank you geeks of all colors and creeds. Thank you everyone.

Alright. Enough touchy- feely. Let’s see if we can hit $150,000 by the end of the fundraiser on Friday.

Edit: Wow. We hit 150,000 in less than ten hours. So I’ve decided to re-set the donation thermometer yet again.

Our last goal, the goal that I really don’t know if we’ll be able to meet, is going to be 166,700 dollars.

It’s a rather odd number. But if we raise that much it means that after Worldbuilders makes its matching donation, we will have raised a quarter million dollars for Heifer International this year.

That would be an amazing milestone for us. And it means that when I’m trying to persuade people to donate books next year, I could say to them, “Last year we raised a quarter million dollars.” That’s a persuasive piece of information…

I don’t know if we’ll be able to make it. But I’m excited to try…

pat

Also posted in fan coolness, Neil Gaiman, Stardust ARC, Worldbuilders 2010 | By Pat57 Responses

Pat’s Books and The Golden Ticket

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Since Worldbuilders is my brain-baby, I should probably donate my books first. It only seems fair.

But first, I’m proud to announce that this year we actually have a store. That means if you’re overwhelmed with desire for any of the items listed below, (or if you’re looking to get some of your holiday shopping done early) you can simply buy them in our new store: The Tinker’s Packs.

Fair warning. We have limited numbers of most of the items in the store. So if you really want something, you might want to buy it sooner rather than later.

Okay, here’s what I’m throwing into the pot this year.

  • Five hardcover copies of The Name of the Wind. Signed by me.

All sorts of people have said all sorts of nice things about this book. Honestly, I think they were probably just drunk.

  • Two copies of the Your College Survival Guide. Signed by me. Signed and doodled by the illustrator.

This book was my first publication, and it’s a shameful piece of my sordid past. It’s a collection of of humor columns I wrote for the college paper between 1999 and 2003. Columns dealt with pressing philosophical issues such as the fast zombie/slow zombie debate as well as everyday problems like how to bribe your professor or start a career as a prostitute.

The book is full of illustrations by BJ Hiorns, the same guy that illustrates my blog. It also contains annotations where I explain how some columns got written, the lies I told, and what sort of trouble various jokes got me into.

Only 500 copies were printed, so the Guide is hard to come by these days. Collectors sell them for ridiculous amounts. Myself, I think it’s perfect for reading on the toilet.

  • A first edition copy of The Name of the Wind. Signed by me.

This one has the mainstream cover. (Also known as “The Green Man”).

You wouldn’t believe what some people are charging for these things out there.

  • A copy of Tales of Dark Fantasy. Signed by me.

This is the Subterranean Press anthology that printed my short story, “The Road to Levinshir,” which is an excerpt from The Wise Man’s Fear.

It also has some great stories by folks like Tim Powers and Kage Baker. It’s a beautiful hardcover, and the cover price was $40, and that was back before it sold out.

  • A copy of the original galley for The Name of the Wind. Signed by me.

A galley is an early version of a book that publishers occasionally print in order to promote a book. This version of the book was before the final edits, so there are about a billion small changes I made before publication, as well as two chapters that I re-wrote almost entirely.

There weren’t that many of these printed, and the last one of them I saw on e-bay was going for over a hundred dollars. The few signed ones out there are going for more than that

My newest book. I’m inordinately proud of it, so you shouldn’t trust my opinion.

Instead, here’s a quote from the San Francisco Book Review:

“In what is by far the funniest and most original book of the year (so far), Rothfuss shows off his ability to think and create outside of the expected. The story is pure comic genius that will be fun and funny for parents and children. The illustrations, not to be outdone, offer subtle little quirks that, after reading the book multiple times, shine through and give it lasting re-read incentive.”

I’ll also include the promotional “This Shit is Not for Kids” sticker.


(Oot not included.)

This is one of the signed, numbered, leather-bound limited editions of the Princess book. It’s very fancy. It’s doubleplus good.

There were only 400 printed, and they sold out in less than a day.

Despite what this picture implies, it is not a book for children.

  • The Golden Ticket.

If you win this prize, I will owe you one (1) favor. You can cash it in however you like.

This is worth more than you might expect. Last year, when I auctioned off the Golden Ticket, bidding went higher than 15,000 dollars.

I’ll give more details about what you can possibly do with this favor in an upcoming blog where I tell the story of last year’s golden ticket winners. Stay tuned.

Remember, every 10 dollars you donate gives you a chance to win these and hundreds of other cool books, so head over to my page at Team Heifer and chip in.

All of the above items (and many others) are for sale in our new store: The Tinker’s Packs.

All proceeds from the store go to Worldbuilders, of course.

Also posted in The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle, Worldbuilders 2010 | By Pat4 Responses

Auctions: Golden Ticket and an ARC of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle


This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Let’s deal with the simpler auction first, shall we?

  • An ARC of The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed by Patrick Rothfuss and Nathan Taylor. Signed by the Author.



(I think of it as Coraline meets Calvin and Hobbes.)


I’ve already talked about the Princess book over on this blog. If you’d like more details on it,you can head over there.

Simply said, if you win this auction, you can get an Advance Reading Copy of this book now, rather than having to wait until July when it’s coming out through Subterranean Press. I’ll sign it for you too.

Interested? Here’s the link to the auction.

Note: for those of you interested in buying a copy of this book, you might want to do so sooner rather than later. Last I heard the print run was already more than half sold out…

  • The Golden Ticket.



(Note, contains no actual chocolate.)

Ever since I mentioned I was donating the Golden Ticket in one of the early posts of the fundraiser, people have been asking me questions about it.

Now that I’m auctioning one off, I should clarify a few things to make sure there’s no confusion or hurt feelings after the bidding’s done.

In the previous post about the golden ticket, here’s what I said.

“If you win this prize, I will owe you one (1) favor. You can cash it in however you like.

You want your name in book two? We can do that. You want me to read your book and give you some criticism? No problem. You want me to attend your local convention, perform your wedding ceremony, or just give you a nice backrub? Consider it done.

A few stipulations:

* The favor has to be legal. (More or less.)

* It has to be something I can actually do. (Duh)

* I can’t make anyone fall in love.

Other than that, I’ll do my best to grant your wish….”

Aside from the last two sentences (which were really just a joking reference to Aladdin) I thought this was pretty clear. But since then, people have sent me e-mail asking questions that made me realize the wide scope of things people *could* ask for as a favor.

So here’s a few more formal guidelines.

Examples of things you could use the golden ticket for:

  • If you missed the previous auction, or just didn’t manage to win, you could ask me to read and critique your manuscript.
  • You could ask for one of the numbered museum quality copies of the Luring the Draccus posters. Phil was nice enough to give me a couple, and I’d part with one for this.
  • You could ask to get an early look at The Wise Man’s Fear. (As soon as it’s ready to show around.)

Examples of things you *can’t* use the Golden Ticket for:

  • I won’t give out details about what happens in the third book. I don’t go in for spoilers.
  • You can’t ask to change the course of the book so that, say, Kvothe and Elodin have a sex scene. Or Kvothe and Ambrose have a sex scene. Or so that someone dies, or doesn’t die, or has a threesome with Bast and Chronicler, or whatever. Sorry.
  • I won’t blurb your book. I’d gladly *read* your book and consider blurbing it, but that’s not something you can buy, at least not from me. I decided years ago that I didn’t want to be a blurb whore, and that I’d only blurb books I truly enjoyed and could recommend wholeheartedly.
  • I won’t re-name my child, buy you a car, beat up your ex-boyfriend, or become physically intimate with you.
  • Well… let’s call that last one a maybe. Anything more than a kiss and backrub would have to be approved by Sarah.

As you can see, there’s a lot of room between these two extremes. Someone asked if I would come out to their house, make them dinner, and tell them a story. My response was that that sounded fine to me so long as:

1) They didn’t mind waiting until I can work it into my travel plans.
2) They like pasta.
3) They don’t kill me and wear my skin like a coat.

See how easy I am to work with?

Here’s the link to the auction.

Remember folks, for every 10 dollars you donate to Heifer International, you get a chance to win fabulous prizes. 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 Worldbuilders, you can click HERE.

With thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.

Also posted in Subterranean Press, The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat28 Responses

Pat’s donations and the Golden Ticket

This blog is part of the Worldbuilders fundraiser. If you want details about the fundraiser itself, click the picture below.

Okay folks. Worldbuilders is kinda my baby. So I guess I should donate my books first.

Here’s what I’m throwing into the mix:

  • 5 signed hardcover copies of the Name of the Wind.

These are anywhere from 2nd printing to 6th printing, all with the sexy new blue cover.

  • 3 copies of the College Survival Guide. Signed by me and the illustrator.

This book was my first publication, and it’s a shameful piece of my sordid past. It’s a collection of of humor columns I wrote for the college paper between 1999 and 2003. Columns dealt with pressing philosophical issues such as the fast zombies/slow zombies debate as well as everyday problems like how to bribe your professor or start a career as a prostitute.

The book is full of illustrations by BJ Hiorns, the same guy that illustrates my blog. It also contains annotations where I explain how some columns got written, the lies I told, and what sort of trouble various jokes got me into.

Only 500 copies were printed, so the Guide is hard to come by these days. Collectors sell them for as much as 200 bucks. Myself, I think it’s perfect for reading on the toilet.

  • 2 First edition copies of the Name of the Wind. Signed by me.

Both of these with the out-of-print covers. One with the green man (above) and one with the Fabio. You wouldn’t believe what some people are charging for these things out there.

  • 3 Copies of Tales of Dark Fantasy. Signed by me.

This is the Subterranean Press anthology that printed my short story, “The Road to Levinshir,” which is an excerpt from The Wise Man’s Fear.

It also has some great stories by folks like Tim Powers and Kage Baker. It’s a beautiful hardcover book, and the cover price was $40, and that was back before it sold out. Now it’s hard to find one for less than 80 bucks.

  • 1 Copy of the original galley for The Name of the Wind. Signed by me.

A galley is an early version of a book that publishers occasionally print in order to promote a book. This version of the book was before the final edits, so there are about 5000 small changes I made before publication, as well as two chapters that I re-wrote almost entirely.

There weren’t that many of these printed, and the last one of them I saw on e-bay was going for over a hundred dollars. The few signed ones out there are going for more than that

  • The Golden Ticket.

I’ve thought long and hard about what sort of big prize I could offer this year. Last year I donated one of my old editorial manuscripts. But I’m aware that while collectors might think that sort of thing is cool, not everyone is interested.

I could offer to put your name in book two, but not everyone who’s donating to the fundraiser is a fan of mine. I could offer to critique your manuscript and give you feedback, but not everyone is working on a novel….

So here’s what I’ve decided. If you win this prize, I will owe you one (1) favor. You can cash it in however you like.

You want your name in book two? We can do that. You want me to read your book and give you some criticism? No problem. You want me to attend your local convention, perform your wedding ceremony, or just give you a nice backrub? Consider it done.

A few stipulations:

  • The favor has to be legal. (More or less.)
  • It has to be something I can actually do. (Duh)
  • I can’t make anyone fall in love.

Other than that, I’ll do my best to grant your wish. Personally, I’m really curious as to what the winner will come up with…

Remember, every 10 dollars you donate gives you a chance to win these and hundreds of other cool books, so head over to my page at Team Heifer and chip in.

Want to go back to main page for Worldbuilders? Click HERE.

And, as always, special thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.

(All Hail Subterranean Press!)

Also posted in College Survival Guide, Subterranean Press, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat16 Responses
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