Category Archives: signing books

Nightmares and Signings

This is a nervous time for me.

I’m used to being actively involved in my book. I tinker with it endlessly. I revise and edit, constantly trying to make it just a little bit better….

But now The Wise Man’s Fear is out of my hands. I’m helpless. All I can do is wait and see how things turn out. Will people like it? Will it get good reviews? Will people actually buy the book?

It’s nerve wracking. Normally I have pretty strong nerves. Despite this, mine are being wracked. Perhaps even racked. I’m not sure which.

For example: a couple weeks ago, I had a nightmare about my upcoming signing tour.

Read More »

Also posted in appearances | By Pat243 Responses

Signed Copies of The Wise Man’s Fear

[Edit: As of Feb 20th, the Signed Page is no longer taking orders for signed books. If you want to buy a signed copy, contact one of the stores where I’ll be signing books on my tour, or contact some of the bookstores that got pre-signed copies from my publisher.]

The comments on Wednesday’s blog were lovely.  People’s enthusiasm was infectious, and I have to say I’m looking forward to the tour even more than I was before.

Right now I am filled with warm, fuzzy feelings. And spring rolls.

Since I announced the tour dates, folks have been asking some really good questions about the tour. I’m going to look into the answers and put them together into a tour FAQ that I’ll post up Monday-ish.

But for now, here’s the big question people have been asking me for months.

I don’t think so. At least I’m not going to be doing anything like that really soon.

The main reason is time. I’m going to be spending all of March touring. That means I wouldn’t have the time to sign your books until April at the earliest.That means most of you wouldn’t get your books until two months after the release.

And honestly, when I get home from my month of touring, the last thing I’m going to want to do is sign and ship 500 books….

That said, I know a lot of you won’t be able to make it to my signings. Maybe I’m not doing an event close to where you live. Maybe you have to work that day. Maybe you have a pathological fear of bears, and because of this you don’t want to get very close to me in real life…

So here’s what we’ve worked out.

Shawn Speakman runs a Website called The Signed Page where he sells signed books from all sorts of big-name authors.

He’s based in Seattle, so when I go out to do my first signing there at the University Book Store, I’m going to stop by his place too and sign a bunch of books for him. That means he’ll start mailing out his orders on March 1st.

Shawn does international shipping, so you can get hold of my book no matter where you live. He also is very careful about his packaging, so you don’t have to worry about your book getting banged up on its way to you.

Yes, I will still personalize the book to you if you want.

And yes, the books will be first edition copies of The Wise Man’s Fear. If the first book is any indication, these will probably be worth some serious money some day…

Shawn is also selling signed hardcover copies of The Name of the Wind and copies of prints of the original cover art for The Name of the Wind.

Best of all, Shawn has agreed to donate five bucks of every book sold to Worldbuilders. He’s just that sort of guy….

It’s a way better option than ordering from me. You’ll get it cheaper and faster, and some of the money goes to charity.

So feel free to head on over and make your order.

Have a great weekend everybody….


Also posted in The Tinker's Packs | By Pat89 Responses

Updated FAQ

Long ago, back in August of 2007, I wrote a blog answering the question: “If I send you a copy of my book, will you sign it?

When I wrote that, the book had only been published for a couple months. What’s more, when I wrote the blog, I expected the rules I laid down would discourage people from sending in their books. Specifically, I thought that requiring people to send me something cool would be a big deterrent, and the requests would slow to a tiny trickle.

I was wrong. Since then, hundreds of people have send in books for me to sign. And the cool things they’ve sent have been… well… really cool.

Someone send in a quarter with a bullet hole in it. A handmade Kvothe doll. Old coins. Keys. Jewelry. Magical charms. Grue protective gear. Brass gears, foreign delicacies, and strange gods….

I’ve been meaning to take pictures of some of these and post them up for a long time. Some of them I’ve wanted to post up for years. But with rare exception, I haven’t managed it. There’s only so many hours in the day….

The other thing I’ve meaning to do for over a year is update the post I wrote back in 2007. That, at least, I’ve finally done. Now it’s a little more streamlined, and I’ve included details about how people from other countries can play the game.

The question now is how long will I keep doing this?

The truth is, I don’t know. But the smart money says I might have to stop before book two comes out. If 1000 people mail me their copies of The Wise Man’s Fear, dealing with the packages it will bury me for a solid month. Plus the people at the post office will want to kill me. Plus, cool things aside, I’ll probably want to kill myself.

But for now, I’m still doing it. Here’s the updated blog for those of you who are interested.

Be happy everyone. Be good to each other.


Also posted in FAQ | By Pat29 Responses

A New Addition to the Family

Much to my delight, something arrived in the mail today:

(Click to Embiggen.)

That’s right, I was so excited about finally holding a real-life copy of The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle that I actually went outside to take a picture of it.

It was strange outside the house. Everything was very bright and green. There was some sort of fiery orb in the sky that burned me….

Seriously though, I’m so happy with how the book turned out. It’s gorgeous.

Best of all, since these boxes of books showed up today, I’ll be able to take them down to my reading near Milwaukee this Saturday.

That means if you swing by the reading, you’ll be one of the first people to hear me read the whole story. And, if you want, you can buy a copy before they’re even in stores.

The books literally just got in from the printers. So the folks at Subterranean Press are still busy processing them. That means they won’t be shipping for a little bit. But the good news is that if you haven’t ordered it yet, you still have a day or so to get free shipping.

Or you can come down to Waukesha on this Saturday and pick up a copy. Did I mention I’m doing reading and a signing there? I’m pretty sure I did.

Man, I really need to get some sleep. Even new-book excitement can’t change the fact that I’ve been up for 40 hours.

Sweet dreams everyone,


Also posted in appearances, cool things, side projects, The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle | By Pat58 Responses

How to Embarrass Yourself in Front of Famous People

Over the last couple years I’ve learned that whenever I do a signing, I will inevitably screw up the inscription in at least one book.

This trend started with my very first signing, the day The Name of the Wind hit the shelves. I actually wrote about that in one of my earliest blogs. I still have that book inscribed “To Hell” on a shelf.

A lot of times my screw up is a minor thing. It’s not uncommon for me to misspell a word. This is embarrassing, but it’s easy to laugh it off. I usually correct my mistake with proofreaders marks, and say something like, “That’s what editors are for.”

Occasionally I misquote a piece of my own book. That’s not so bad either. Understandable, as I’ve known the book it for 15 years in several hundred different revisionary versions.

Sometimes it’s just my handwriting itself that’s embarrassing.

But nothing is worse than screwing up someone’s name. This is why, when I do a signing, I usually ask people to spell it out for me. I write it down on a separate piece of paper, point to it, and ask, “is this right?”

Most people don’t bat an eye at this. They’re not Nicky, they’re Nikki. It’s not Sandy, it’s “Big S, little A, little N, Big D, little E, Big E. With a star at the end!”

I ask everyone. If you get to the front of the line and say, “Can you sign this to Joe?” I write down J O E in my childlike scrawl, point to it, and ask, “like this?”

The reason I’m so careful is because I can fuck up any name. Once a guy got to the front of the line and said, “John. With an ‘h.'”

So I write, “To Jhon.”

Then I sat there, staring at it, thinking: “I am a fucking idiot.”

The thing is, not only do I tend to screw up one book at every signing. I typically screw up the worst possible book. If someone drove four hours to get there and brought the first edition hardcover their mom gave them… that’s the book I’m going to make a mistake in.

Or, if someone cool shows up to the signing, someone I’d like to not look like an idiot in front of, I’ll cock up that book instead. That’s what happened when Felicia Day showed up when I was doing a signing in LA. I made a real mess of the book I was signing for her brother.

Are we sufficiently backgrounded for the story? I think so.

So let’s jump back to last year when I went to San Diego Comic Con. While I was out there, I did a few signings. One in the main autographing room, one at at Mysterious Galaxy’s booth, and one in the nearby Borders.

The Borders gig sounded pretty cool. First we were going to have a panel where a bunch of authors would discuss urban fantasy vs epic fantasy, then we would do a signing.

I was really looking forward to it. Partly because I love discussing books with other authors, and partly because I love doing signings and meeting fans. But mostly because one of the other authors on the panel was Amber Benson.

I was excited all weekend, telling everyone I met about the panel/signing. But when I mentioned Amber Benson’s name, they mostly looked at me blankly. “I don’t think I’ve read her stuff,” they’d say.

“She hasn’t been doing books that long,” I said. “She does comics. Screenplays. Directs stuff. She’s an actress too. You probably know her as Tara from Buffy. Willow’s girlfriend.”

It was only when I mentioned the last bit that I would see the light of recognition go on in people’s eyes. So eventually I just started skipping straight to that, saying, “She played Tara in Buffy.”

I had one signing earlier that day, and despite the fact that a ton of people showed up, I managed to make it through the whole thing without screwing up anyone’s book.

Maybe that’s it, I thought to myself. Maybe my streak is broken.

Later on in the evening I went to Borders and had a great time. I managed to say a few clever things during the discussion which is nice, because, well, Amber Benson was there, and I wanted to look cool.


[Photo link dead]


After the panel everyone signed books. I had a nice line of people, which gave me another iota’s worth of cool. More impressively, I didn’t screw any of them up, not even a little. My streak finally seemed to be broken.

After all the fans had their books signed, the authors hung out and chatted. Amber came over from her end of the table and said something along the lines of, “I don’t normally do epic fantasy, but after what you said, I’ll admit I’m curious about yours….”

“I’d love to give you a copy,” I said. “So long as you’ll sign my copy of Death’s Daughter.”

She agreed and signed my book. I was all aglow with geeky joy. I’d met someone cool, made a good impression, and even had a little bit of banter. I was awesome….

So I grabbed one of my books and opened it to the title page. Then, so I didn’t screw up her book, I looked up and asked, “Do you spell it T-A-R-A?”

She looked at me, slightly confused, as if she didn’t understand what I meant.

I looked back at her, slightly confused, not understanding why she wasn’t following me.

Then, at the same moment, we both realized what I’d done. At the same moment, we both realized that I wasn’t awesome at all. I was, in fact, a fucking idiot.

The other authors standing around overheard this. They realized it too.

Amber was very gracious and laughed it off. But I was still covered in shame. Even now it makes me cringe to remember it.

So there you go. Welcome to me.

For those of you who don’t know, Tara Amber has written and directed a couple movies. In fact, her most recent one, Drones, is being shown in a few select locations right now.

In fact, it’s being shown tonight, (Tuesday the 13th) in LA, with all the proceeds going to charity. If you live nearby and you aren’t going, you might want to seriously reconsider your priorities. In fact, you might want to reconsider what you’re doing with your entire life.

I’d be there in a heartbeat if it wasn’t 2000 miles away. Right now I’m kinda pissed at you cool kids who live in your big cities with your film festivals and fancy hats. Yes. I’m looking at you Orlando, Boston, and LA.

If nothing else, you should really check out the trailer. I was curious about the movie before I watched this. Now I’m filled with a terrible longing like unto hunger. I love Jonathan Woodward.

Share and Enjoy,


Also posted in buffy, meeting famous people, my dumbness | By Pat103 Responses

Coming Soon to a Town Near You! (Offer Not Valid in Towns Not Near You)

As many of you know, a couple of days ago I decided to take a bit of a road trip down to Virginia. And, because I am an accommodating Midwesterner, I thought I might do a reading or two on my way down. So some folks could get their books signed, if they wanted.

When I posted up last week’s blog looking for venues, I was hoping to maybe hear from 2 or 3 bookstores or libraries willing to help me throw a couple signings together. Maybe.

I didn’t expect to get 30-40 offers. While it was terribly flattering, sorting everything out has been a bit of a logistical puzzle.

But I think I’ve finally got it all sussed. Here’s the current list of times and places where I’ll be stopping by to do readings and signings.

[Edit: All signings now confirmed.]

March 16th

Reading and Signing
348 East State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Phone: 765-743-7775

March 17th

Signing (No time for a reading here, I’m afraid.)
Josephbeth Book Store
692 Madison Road
Cincinnati OH 45208
Phone: 513-396-8960

March 17th
7:00pm –

Reading and Signing
Josephbeth Book Store
161 Lexington Green Circle
Lexington, KY 40503-3323
Phone: 859-273-2911

March 19
th 6:30pm –

Reading and Signing
Prince Books
109 East Main Street
Norfolk, VA 23510-1691
Phone: 757-622-9223

March 20th

Reading and Signing
Books A Million
3312 Princess Anne Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

(757) 368-3167

March 22nd 7:00pm –

Reading and Signing
6701 Frontier Drive
Springfield, VA 22150
Phone: 703-924-4894

March 23rd
7:00pm –

Reading and Signing
Barnes and Noble
5500 Buckeystown Pike (Fixed. Sorry.)
Frederick, MD 21704
Phone: 301-698-0121

March 24th
7:00pm –

Reading and Signing
Joesephbeth Bookseller
24519 Cedar Road
Lyndhurst, OH 44124
Phone: 216-691-7000

As you can see, there’s not a lot of time in between those stops. So I probably won’t be adding any more stops. I’ll hit somewhere in Chicago in maybe a month or two, as that’s relatively close to home and I can just drive down there any old time I feel like it.

I’ve had several people ask, “What exactly do you do at one of these readings?”

So here’s the deal.

First, I drink a strong cup of coffee. Something like a white chocolate mocha with two shots of blackberry and four sugars. This is the source of my power. After one or two of these, I look like something out of Kulba Kahn and can lift up a truck.

Second, I hang out a bit and chat with the people that show up early.

Third (Readings only) I spend about an hour reading stuff and answering questions. What I read really depends on what people are in the mood for. Sometimes I read a few humor columns. Sometimes I read a little poetry. Sometimes I read a bit of one of my books.

In between readings I answer questions about pretty much anything. Sometimes I tell stories. Sometimes I give advice. There are occasional descents into madness.

Fourth, I sign books. Generally speaking, I’ll write whatever you want in a book: a quote from Bast, a profession of my undying love, a letter of recommendation to grad school.

But it’s best if you give me some direction. If you say to me, “Just write whatever…” there is a very real possibility that I will simply write “Whatever” in your book.

I will also try my very best to spell your name correctly. Though sometimes I fuck up.

Caveats and Addendum:

Do not touch my baby. Little Oot will be coming with me to some of these readings and signings. If you see him, you may gaze at him adoringly or coo in his direction. But touching him his not acceptable behavior.

No offense. But I don’t you. I don’t know where you’ve been. I don’t know if you might be sick, or if you’ve been around someone sick. You might be a sociopath. You might be from Illinois.

Here’s the deal. Oot is my first baby, and I’m very protective of him. So when planning your behavior around him, it would be safest if you thought of him as a tiny bear cub, and me as his momma bear. Any sudden movements or over-familiarity might lead to sudden and terrible wrath.

We clear here? Fair warning.

I occasionally cuss. I try to restrain myself if there are tiny kids present. But if the thought of hearing the word “shit” spoken aloud horrifies you, then… well… you’re probably going to be horrified.

My handwriting is not pretty. My handwriting is such that young children mock me for it. Seriously.

You can have a hug if you ask nicely...

…Just don’t get all handsy on me.

Lastly, one request. Since I’m scheduling these events not even two weeks ahead of time, there really isn’t much time for typical promotion to spread the word about them. Most bookstores won’t even be able to get up posters advertising these signings until next week.

So if you know someone that lives in the area who might be interested in coming. I’d be much obliged if you passed the news along to them. It’s always so sad when I get an e-mail that says, “I just found out you were in [insert hometown here]! I can’t believe I missed it!”

Thanks so much for your help everybody,


Also posted in appearances, fan coolness | By Pat94 Responses

Personalized books for sale

[This is a blog about the Worldbuilder’s fundraiser. If you don’t know what that is, you can get the details HERE.]

Over the last couple months, people have been contacting me, asking if I’m still signing books like I mentioned in my blog from long ago.

The simple answer is, “yes.” You mail me the book, something cool, and a check for return postage, and I’ll sign your book.

But for the Worldbuilders fundraiser, I’m streamlining the process. Rather than having you pay shipping both ways, you can just buy a book, I’ll sign it however you like, then I’ll ship it back to you. Hopefully in time for Christmas.

I can inscribe any of the following books however you like and mail them off to you.

These are anywhere from the second printing to the 6th printing. All of them have the cool new blue cover. Signed however you like.

  • Your College Survival Guide.

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.

  • First edition copies of the Name of the Wind. [SOLD OUT]

I’ve got about 20 of these. Some with the green man cover (above) some with the Fabio, and some that have been re-covered with the blue jackets. You wouldn’t believe what some people are charging for these things out there.

I can sign this however you like, but make sure to specify in your order which cover you’d like.

Edit: As of December 3rd, I’ve run out of the first editions. They went WAY more quickly than I’d ever guessed. If I can find some more, I’ll put them up here again. But for now we’re sold out. Sorry.

If you mailed in your order, and it’s postmarked on the 3rd or earlier, I’ll should have enough books to cover your order. But if your mailed-in order has a later postmark than that, we’ll contact you contact you and see what you’d like done with your check.

  • Tales of Dark Fantasy.

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’s a beautiful hardcover book with stories by folks like Tim Powers and Kage Baker. The cover price was $40, and that was back before it went out of print. Now it’s hard to find one for less than 80 bucks.

  • Original galley proofs of The Name of the Wind.

A galley is an early version of a book that publishers occasionally print to promote a book. This version of The Name of the Wind came 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 I have a handful that I kept for sentimental reasons. The last one of them I saw on e-bay was going for over a hundred dollars, and that was a year ago. The few signed ones out there are going for more than that

  • Please be aware that I have limited copies of these. So they might sell out kinda fast depending on how many people are interested.

For the most part, prices for the books are double what they cost me, plus a little for packaging. I can get a 6th edition hardcover for 20 bucks, so they’re up there for 45. Tales of Dark Fantasy is out of print, and would cost me 50 bucks off Amazon, so they’re going for 105….

The reason for this is that it’s in keeping with the fundraiser matching donations. If someone buys a book from me for 20 dollars and then I donate the money. They really haven’t donated. They just bought a book. Follow me?

And remember, all the money goes to Heifer.

* Signed hardcover – $45

* Signed copy of Your College Survival Guide – $85

* Signed copy of Tales of Dark Fantasy – $105

* Signed First Edition Hardcover – $145 [Sold out.]

* Signed galley proof – $255

You can pay one of two ways:

  • By Mail:

1. Write the following information on a 3 x 5 note card:

A) Which item you want.

B) EXACTLY what you’d like me to write in the book.

I have no problem personalizing books, but please be specific about what you’d like. Asking for a quote from Bast is fine. Asking me to wish someone luck in their own writing is fine. “Happy Birthday Schmendrick.” “To the best lover I’ve ever had.” It’s all good.

But if your card says, “write whatever you want.” I will write, “Whatever you want” in the book. Seriously.

C) Your return address.

D) Contact information. Either a phone number or an e-mail address where you can be reached.

2. Include a check. Make it out to me because I’ll be using a couple bucks from each one to cover postage before I make the lump donation to Heifer at the end of the fundraiser.

3. Mail the note card and the check to:

Pat Rothfuss
P.O. Box 186
Stevens Point, WI 54481

Rules for International orders:

If you live outside the US and want to buy a book, the rules are a little different. International shipping is expensive, and you need to fill out your check a certain way or my bank won’t cash it.

It costs me about $25 dollars to ship a book internationally. Every additional book in the same package adds $10 to the cost of shipping.

So here’s what you do:

1) Add the extra 25 dollars (or more, if you have more books) to the prices I’ve listed above.

2) Add three bucks to cover the fee that the bank is going to charge me to cash your check.

3) Convert it into your local currency. (euros, pounds, rupees, whatever)

4) Write me a check using your local currency. (This is important. Don’t write me a check in dollars if that isn’t what they use where you live.)

5) Mail it off to me with the other information I’ve asked for written on a notecard.

  • By Paypal

You can pay online with paypal. But make sure you include your contact information and detailed signing instructions with your order.

Note: When you pay on paypal. Make sure you include how you want me to sign the book BEFORE YOU COMPLETE YOUR TRANSACTION. Seriously. Look around, find the little area where you can add extra instructions and put your signing instructions in there.

Edit: Please visit us at The Tinker’s Packs to buy signed books online.

That’s all we’ve got for now, folks. Hopefully before too long we’ll have t-shirts and posters for sale too. Keep an eye on the blog.

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

As always, special thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.

(All Hail Subterranean Press!)

Also posted in Subterranean Press, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat25 Responses
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