Category Archives: Worldbuilders

Our Triumphant Conclusion, Chocolate Malts, and the Name of the World

So it was Monday the 14th, the last day of our experimental IndieGoGo fundraiser.

Things were going better than we’d expected. We were already at $125,000 on Monday morning. And because of generous geeks donating and spreading the word, we’d been raising about $5,000 dollars hour all day.

Around 5:00 PM at the temple, Maria refreshed the page and said, “$170,000!”

We’d just finished up a meeting, so the whole team was there. She looked at us. “I think we’re going to beat $200,000,” she said. Her voice was nervous, excited, but pretty sure of herself. Confident.

I felt obliged to be the voice of reason. Everyone was really excited in the office because we were having an amazing day. But I didn’t want them to set their expectations so high they’d be disappointed. That would be a huge shame, especially as the fundraiser was already an incredible success.

“Things tend to slow down in the evening,” I said. “People are eating dinner and watching TV. They aren’t checking their social media as much.”

I juggled numbers in my head and tested my gut. My team is good, but I’ve been doing this for twice as long as any of them. “I’m confident we’ll hit 180,” I said. “But I’d be surprised if we hit 190. I’d be honestly startled and amazed if we hit 200.”

Looking around, I could tell I’d let the wind out of their sails a bit. I felt like kind of a dick. It sucks being the voice of reason sometimes.

“Don’t get me wrong,” I said. “Y’all have been awesome. This whole thing was an experiment. If we’d only hit $50,000, it would have been a huge success. We blew it out of the water.”

Maria looked at me. It wouldn’t be fair to say that she gave me a rebellious look. It wasn’t really even a stubborn look. Her expression was… pugnacious. “When we hit 200K,” she said, gesturing dramatically. “You’re going to buy me a chocolate malt!”

Her enthusiasm was infectious. Maria radiates optimism. It’s part of the reason I love her.

“I will,” I said, smiling. “If we hit $200,000. I will buy everyone chocolate malts.”

There was a cheer in the office. Everyone loves it when you stand up to the boss.

Amanda posted it to twitter almost immediately.

I came home and made a few more posts on twitter and facebook. Then I tried to catch up on some e-mail, hampered slightly by the fact that I was refreshing the IndieGoGo page about every four minutes.

Much to my amazement, our momentum didn’t slow. The total climbed and climbed.

By the end of the fundraiser, we’d raised $205,000.

Have I said thank you yet?

Thank you. You have startled and amazed me with your awesome.

Thank you. You have reaffirmed my belief that people are inherently good.

Thank you.

*     *     *

Today, because Maria was right, I took the Worldbuilders team to get chocolate malts.

malt2

(Cutie isn’t part of the team, so he didn’t get any.)

If you can’t tell, the mood was giddy with exhaustion and good endorphins. The team really pulled together for this fundraiser. They deserved their tasty beverages.

20140715_165741

(Even the monkey. Especially the monkey.)

In most important ways, this was their fundraiser, not mine. They planned it. Wrote up the product descriptions. They figured out IndieGoGo and promotions and production and fulfillment.

I mention this because it’s behind the scenes, so you would never see it. Events like this resemble an iceberg, you glimpse the the top and think, “Wow, that’s cool.” You support the cause, order something, and receive a package.

And while the top of the iceberg is pretty cool (heh) there’s a lot going on underneath the water that keeps it all afloat.

This time, for the first time, the *vast* majority of that didn’t have anything to do with me. Not only was I not doing it myself. I wasn’t even looking over their shoulders and giving advice.

I couldn’t this time, as I’ve been neck deep in revisions.

There were times I’d come into the office, wild eyed and sleep deprived. Irritable and absolutely burned out because I’d spent the last 30 hours going over copy edits. We’d sit down to a meeting and I’d say something like, “We need to make sure we contact X about the [thing].”

“We already did that,” they would say.

“Okay,” I said. “We also need to be careful [some other thing] doesn’t happen.”

“Taken care of,” they’d say.

“And we need to make sure blah blah blah.”

“That’s a good idea,” they’d say.

“Who’s going to be in charge of that?” I’d ask.

“We did it last week,” they’d say.

I can’t tell you guys how amazing this is. How important it is.

I love Worldbuilders. It’s my baby. But over the last five years it’s devoured a significant portion of my life.

It’s eaten so much of my life that sometimes there’s not enough life left to go around. Sometimes I’ve been too busy and too stressed to be a good dad. It’s impinged on my writing schedule. I’ve lost touch with friends. I gave up tabletop games for the most part. Hell, I haven’t played a computer game or watched a movie in the theaters in I don’t know how long. Since… the last superman movie? Yeah. I guess that makes it more than a year.

The truth is, I’ve let go of these things willingly. Worldbuilders is important. I’m proud of it. It changes lives and quantifiably improves the world. I could never give it up.

But for the last couple years I’ve been dreaming a dream. I’ve been dreaming of having Worldbuilders, a writing career, and a life.

Now it’s starting to look like that might happen. Because of all you lovely people out there and because of the Worldbuilders Team.

Milkshake2

So. Milkshakes all around. Everyone loves it when the boss is wrong. Sometimes the Boss loves it too.

*     *     *

We didn’t do a lot of stretch goals with this fundraiser, mostly because the  timeframe was so tight.

But we did do a few.

  • Fundraiser blooper reel.

I have to say the fundraiser video we put together was my favorite video we’ve ever done. Even if it did feature me being constantly upstaged by a monkey puppet.

Ah… who am I kidding? It’s my favorite *because* it features me being upstaged by a monkey puppet.

As if the regular fundraiser video wasn’t great enough, we put together an outtakes reel which features much, much more of me and the monkey puppet.

Before you watch it, I need you to understand that before filming the video, I’d spent four days locked away with the manuscript of Slow Regard of Silent Things, making final edits and generally working myself down to a bloody nub. I went to bed around 10:00 AM, then woke up four hours later to go shoot the video. I was simply speaking, a shambling wreck.

That’s my only excuse.

  • More blogs.

During our Reddit AMA I tricked Amanda into committing to help me get the rest of the photo contest blogs done: Promises promises

So we’re making a push to get those done too.

  • Freebies in your orders.

Because we hit our stretch goal of $110k, we’re throwing freebies into random orders.

Originally we were going to do this for 1 in 100 orders. But since the fundraiser was such a *huge* success, we’ve decided to do twice as many as that. We’ll be throwing in Magnets, notes from the team, games, coins, and other coolness. There will probably even be a extra few fancy things, just to make it interesting.

  • Frequently A’ed Q’s.

Don’t be a perv, you perv.

There have been a lot of questions coming in since the fundraiser ended. “Where can I get the FIRST Princess & Mr. Whiffle book?” “When will my stuff be arriving?” “Why is everyone on the Worldbuilders team so good-smelling?”

The Worldbuidlers Team beat me to answering those questions. There’s an IndieGoGo FAQ up over on the Worldbuilders website, as well as little blog of their own.

  • The Name of the World.

This is something I’ve known for a while, but I’ve been keeping it under my hat. Making sure I really liked it. Making certain I was sure of it. Names are important things, or so I hear.

But I can’t think of a better reason for letting it out of the bag than the delightful conclusion of this fundraiser.

The world is called Temerant.

Say it with me: Temerant.

Temerant.

WaystonePostcardpat

P.S. I forgot. We’re going to be sending out fancy gold foil stickers with the books and some of the other rewards. (Maybe all the rewards.)

What do you think the stickers should say? “Geeks doing good?” “Summer 2014 – First into the breach!” “I made the world a better place and all I got was this sticker (and some swag)”?

Suggestions welcome below…

Also posted in Geeks Doing Good, my dumbness, videos | By Pat68 Responses

Geeks Doing Good: News, Final Additions, and Cuteness

Well, we’re in the last couple days of our experimental fundraiser, and things are going remarkably well.

As I write this, we’re cresting over $80,000 dollars in our experimental mid-season fundraiser, and I couldn’t be happier. There have been a few bumps on the road, but so far everything has been going amazingly well.

Today we have several pieces of news, and a bunch of new items we’re throwing into the fundraiser.

Let’s lead off with the big news:

  • Signed copies of Slow Regard of Silent Things

Slow Regard - Front

We weren’t sure we’d be able to offer these, because I didn’t want to step on my publisher’s toes. But we just got the thumbs up to put them into the fundraiser.

Edit: To answer a question that’s come up a couple times: Yes, these will be first editions of the book.

1. Ordering the book here doesn’t mean you’ll get it sooner than anyone else. We’ll be shipping these out the day before publication, so the soonest they’ll arrive is on the pub date itself.

2. On the other hand, we will be printing some special foil stickers for the front of the book. They’ll say something like, “Patrick Rothfuss thinks I’m awesome.” or “Geeks doing good.”

3. There are two different options over in the IndieGoGo. The 45 dollar level is for folks in the US, the 65 dollar level is for international shipping.

4. I’m going to be completely honest with you. Odds are, you’ll be able to buy signed copies of the book cheaper cheaper than this.

Not only will I be doing a little tour when the book comes out, but there will be many stores with access to signed copies. You’ll probably be able to find a nice signed copy for yourself online for pretty close to the cover price of the book.

So why would you buy a copy from us here? Well… maybe you’ve got a thing for shiny stickers. Maybe seeing the donation total of the fundraiser rise makes joy well up in your chest. Maybe you’re hoping we hit some of our stretch goals (You’ll see those down in the blog later.)

Anyway. I wanted you to know this was an option now.

  • In other news, coloring.

A couple days ago, the I brought Oot over to the Worldbuilders office and we all took some time to appreciate the little things in life.

Specifically, we took our coloring book through some beta testing.

P1060866

It occurred to me that y’all haven’t actually seen very many pages from the coloring book. Allow me to fix that:

Princess Coloring Book 4

This one’s my personal favorite. I’m sure you can get the reference.

Princess Coloring Book 3

We are, in fact, all mad here. As you can see by some of the pages we colored.

20140709110640-Princess_Coloring_Pages

Kat did the one on the left. Brett and Maria did the one on the right. The middle picture is the same as the t-shirt:

Princess tee shirt image

That one Oot and I colored together. Looking at the picture, he said, “I think Mr. Whiffle is deciding to be a good guy.” So I wrote that in the corner and we both signed it.

Just for fun, we’ve thrown up these three colored pages up in the fundraiser too. We’re going to slide the other pages the team colored into the coloring books people order, just so you can feel better about your own ability to say within the lines.

If you get mine, I hope you put it on your fridge.

It was a lot of fun. If you’ve never been in a room full of adults coloring before, you honestly don’t know what you’re missing.

P1060838

It does help having at least one kid around, and someone with a monkey puppet, if you can find one.

P1060900

There was a surprising amount of competition, as well as a rather heated debate about what color the Doctor’s jacket should be.

Princess Coloring Book - Who

Since I was at Worldbuilders HQ with my boy, I decided to show him the Bast-Off cards we’re selling for the special edition of Rogues.  And, since we had the crayons out, I asked him if he’d like to draw a few as well.

He did.

Oot Bast 1 (3)

Just in case there was any doubt, mine is the one on the right. Oot’s Bast had a serious case of crazy arms, but Oot gave him a speech bubble to make up for it.

It was kinda nice to draw a few of these with my boy, as drawing next to Brett’s Illustrations has been a little… intimidating.

Bast Off 1 (13)

We’ve decided to throw these up in the IndieGoGo too, because some folks were asking if they could buy them through the fundraiser instead of the store. We put up a few of Oot’s attempts at Bast too. Just in case some of you are *really* into crayon.

A few other things we’ve put up in the last couple days:

  •  Kvothe’s court rings from Vintas, designed by Badali Jewelry

20140708112904-Edges-IndieGoGo_Size

I would like to point out that Badali actually went out of their way to make an iron ring. That’s not something that’s very easy to find….

  • More E’lir sets of Cealdish Currency

Elir Set Coins

I was hording a few, but the team encouraged me to give them up for the cause.

  • Copies of Unfettered, signed by several of the authors

20140709110524-Unfettered

  • Handcrafted Solid copper dice from Esoteric Garage.

20140709110539-Copper_Dice_in_Hand

  • Legend of Neil DVDs signed by Felicia Day, Tony Janning, and Sandeep Parikh.

20140710115609-Legend_of_Neil_Poster_and_DVD

There’s a bunch of other new stuff in there too: Alice in Wonderland cards, New Magnets, Badali’s new Dresden Files shield bracelet….

dresden's shield bracelet

(They’re so new, we’re only allowed to show you the teaser photos…)

Oh. I forgot, I wanted to show off another page of the calendar, too.

BelleCalendarPage

Honestly, there’s too much stuff to show you here. You should just go over there and look around….

We won’t be adding any more stuff to the fundraiser after today. So if you’ve been waiting to see the final goodies before you buy stuff, rest assured that this is the end of them.

Lastly, stretch goals.

On the reddit Q&A we did a couple days ago, I tricked Amanda into committing to getting the rest of the photo contest blogs up in a month if we hit 75K. And we did. So we will. Finally.

At $100,000 I’ll let go of a secret I’ve been holding for a while, and let y’all know the name of the world.

At $110,000 we’ll start including free stuff with some of the orders. Magnets. Bookplates. Coins.

After that, I’m not sure. I’ll do my best to think of something if we get that far.

Fundraiser ends at midnight on Monday the 14th. So if you want to get in on the action, make sure you get your order in.

Spread the word,

pat

Also posted in Geeks Doing Good, Oot | By Pat56 Responses

Worldbuilders: Geeks Doing Good

I hope everyone had a lovely Fourth of July, whether you did it in a big national holiday way or not.

Despite a crushing deadline, I took the time to head downtown with Oot to watch the fireworks this year. We ate fair food, listened to music, and I bought him one of those cheap plastic toys someone’s always selling at events like these. It cost me $10, but I thought that was worth it to see a bit of joy on my child’s face.

20140705_214622

I clearly wasted my money.

Pretty much as soon as I bought this thing, I realized my ten dollars would have been much better spent if I’d given it to Worldbuilders. Ten bucks can change someone’s life forever if you spend it in the right way….

That said, let’s be honest here: Everyone likes making the world a better place, but sometimes it’s nice to get something cool for your ten bucks, too.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could buy something cool AND make the world a better place?

Yeah. I think so too, which is why we’re trying something a little experimental this year with Worldbuilders. We’re firing up an IndieGoGo Fundraiser that’s only going to last a week. You can come in, buy something fun, then sleep well at night, content in the knowledge that the money is going to a good cause.

We’re doing this with IndieGoGo because, unlike kickstarter, they allow non-profits to do fundraising.

Also, unlike kickstarter, they allow you to buy things at more than one pledge level. And I’m thinking a fair number of you are going to be tempted into multiple purchases.

What do we have? Well I’m glad you asked….

  • Princess and Mr. Whiffle Coloring Book

Princess Coloring Book cover

Nate Taylor did special doodles on the inside of all of the lettered editions of the second Princess and Mr. Whiffle book.  Nate really went above and beyond for them, doing full page inked illustrations, where a lesser man might have been content with just doing a little sketch.

When I saw the art, I loved it and wanted to share it around. When someone in the office suggested we compile them into a coloring book, we jumped on the idea.

You can see more of the art over here.

  • Princess and Mr. Whiffle T-shirt.

Princess-Tee

Yeah. You want it.

  • Ultra Fair-Trade Artisan Roasted Coffee.

Mug and Coffee promo

These guys actually travel to Kenya and Mexico to harvest their own coffee, literally picking them bean by bean with the farmers in the area. Then they bring it back to the Stevens Point area and roast it. Seriously.

They’ve given us our own special blend of coffee to sell off: Tinker’s Blend. You can grab some with or without a matching Worldbuilders Mug.

  • Mystery Book Bundles.

Book Bundles with box

There are two different book bundles – one that collects books from each of the Prime Book Bundles we sold back in November, and one comprised entirely of new books.

Grey Riders

This is one of the pieces of art Shane made for the Modegan Pairs deck in our most recent kickstarter. It shows the Grey Riders. They haven’t shown up in the books. Yet.

This poster is going to be signed by both Shane and myself. And we’re only going to be selling them here through this fundraiser.

So if you want one, you better grab it now….

  • The 2015 Calendar.

Page samples 13

This year, we’re putting out a calendar full of Karen Hallion’s mash-up art. We’re still designing some of it, but this can be your official pre-order and chance to check it out. Once the calendar is fully finished and polished, we’re going to ship them out right away, so you’ll have them in time for the holidays.

It’s a 14-month calendar, including a bunch of the favorite princess and police box mashups, and a newly designed Kingkiller mashup. That’s one we’re not showing anyone for a good long while, so the best way to be sure you’ll have it early is to pre-order the calendar.

  • And much, much more!

All the Rest

For the first time ever, this sentence isn’t just BS marketing. We actually have a ton of other stuff over in the IndieGoGo. Too much stuff to show here without making this blog irrationally long.

You can head over there right now if you want…

One snag: one of the reasons we decided to go with IndieGoGo is that they accept PayPal, which was a concern for some folks that don’t have credit cards. The other reason, as I mentioned above, is that they allow non-profits to run campaigns.

What makes this even better, is that IndieGoGo gives us a big discount on the fees they normally charge for a project because we’re a non-profit.

But here’s the downside. Because we’re taking advantage of that discount, it turns out we can’t use PayPal after all. The two just don’t work together.

I know for some people outside of the US, credit cards aren’t an option, or they’re just unduly complicated. For those people, who absolutely can’t particpate unless we have PayPal, please feel free to email us at fundraiser [@] worldbuilders.org and we’ll work something out so you can buy what you want using paypal instead. Just tell us what item you’d want, and we’ll do our best.

If you want to check out all of the other things we’re selling (because there’s lots of it), head over and check it out. Our promo video is worth the watch, if nothing else.

There will also be a lot of opportunities to ask us questions on Reddit on Wednesday night. A few folks from the Worldbuilders Team and I will be there, doing an AMA starting around 6pm. We might even be joined by some of the cool geeky celebs that have kicked things into the campaign…

Thanks for being awesome everyone,

pat

Also posted in Geeks Doing Good | By Pat77 Responses

The Upcoming Festivities….

Not to let the cat out of the bag early here, but I figured I’d share what we having coming up on July 7th with those of you who make a habit of reading the blog.

Maybe this is a little silly, but I think of y’all… I don’t know really. I don’t want to say something like “core readership” because if you start using phrases like “core readership” then odds are you’re not far from using the word “utilize” instead of “use.” After that you’re only a few steps from enthusiastically using the term ‘synergy’ in regular conversation. And once that happens… well… it’s just a ever-tightening spiral until the end.

So while I don’t know what to call y’all exactly, I do think of the people who read this blog as the readers I know best, as I do make an effort to read the comments you write here. I also think of you guys as the folks that know *me* best, as you take the time to read through my great rambling bloggings.

By the way, have I mentioned that Cutie Snoo has just started to crawl? He’s wobbly as a youtube kitten. But when he sees something he wants to grab and stick in his gob, no amount of tipping over or face-planting will deter him. Seriously, the raw determination he possesses is really astounding.

In other cute-kid news, tonight I was feeling a little down. So I asked Oot if he would like to cuddle. He did, so we curled up on the couch. Then, while telling me a story he thrashed around dramatically and kicked me right in the nuts.

It was one of those good, sharp kicks. Where you’re given a moment of pain-free grace in which to think: I’m pretty sure he got me. But it doesn’t actually *hurt.* Maybe he just grazed them. Maybe….

And then, just when you start to really hope, the pain slowly blossoms. Like a lump of raw nausea forged from dull red iron.

I didn’t freak out on him. He didn’t mean to do it. He was just being a kid, and it was an accident.

Besides, years ago I worked out how to deal with these situations: Every time he kicks me in the nuts, I just make a note of it. Then, when he turns 16, gets his license, and asks to borrow the car, I’m going to say “no.” I’m going to say “no” once for every time he’s kicked me in the nuts.

At this point, he won’t be able to borrow the car until he’s 35.

20140604_061332

Sleep tight you innocent little fucker. Someday you’ll have kids, and they’ll kick you square in the junk and I will laugh and laugh and laugh.

Anyway, back to business. The upcoming festivities.

On the 7th we’re doing something new with Worldbuilders.  An experiment of sorts.

As most of you know, we tend to run a big fundraiser at the end of the year. We raise money for Heifer International by running a big lottery, some auctions, and occasionally selling things in the Tinker’s Packs.

This year, we’re trying something a little different. Instead of waiting a whole year, we’re going to do another smaller fundraiser here in July. Instead of having it last for a month, it’s only going to be one week long. Instead of having a big lottery and auctions, we’re going to be running it as an IndiGogo Campaign. So if you see something and think it’s awesome, you can just buy it. (As opposed to hoping you win it in the lottery, or bidding on it in an auction.)

The Worldbuilders Team has been putting this together for a couple months now, and we’re going to have some cool stuff in there: Book Bundles, a new T-shirt,  a Princess and Mr. Whiffle coloring book. AND we’re launching the 2015 calendar. Probably my favorite calendar we’ve done so far….

We’ve got cool stuff. Scads of it.

But, as always happens when you’re trying something for the first time, I’m getting a little nervous.

For one thing, we don’t really have a good name for it yet. The Worldbuilders Mid-Year Indigogo Geektastic Fundraiser doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

The other thing I’m a little nervous about is whether or not we’re going to be able to effectively spread the word about the fundraiser in this time frame. The entire thing is only going to be a week long….

Do you guys have any good ideas about what we might be able to call this? (And yes, I’m aware of the irony involved in my asking for help in giving something a name.)

Also, do y’all have any bright ideas about how we might be able to spread the word?

Ideas welcome in the comments below. Or, if you’d like to offer a particular type of help, you can contact us on the Worldbuilders page.

Stay hoopy fellow froods,

pat

Also posted in calling on the legions, Cutie Snoo, Oot | By Pat199 Responses

Chicago Events, Continued Teasing, and Trouper Lego

Hey there everyone.

I know y’all are waiting for news. I’m mostly over my cold, the internet is working in my house again, and almost halfway caught up on my e-mail (which is pretty good for me.)

Here’s the problem, right now I’m not officially authorized (heh) to share everything I want to share with you.

As a result, I’m holding off on my news post until I can give you a big ton of sparkly details and lurid details all at once.

For the nonce, we have some other news, and a completely different shiny thing that’s showed up on my radar.

Other News:

I’m going to be down in Chicago for C2E2 next week.

Friday, April 25 to Sunday, April 27
South Building at McCormic Place
2233 South Martin L. King Drive
Chicago, IL 60616
Facebook Event

My schedule is relatively light, but it looks pretty awesome:

Friday, April 25:
3-4pm: Spotlight on Patrick Rothfuss, S403
4:15-6:15: After-panel Signing, Table 1

Saturday, April 26:
1:30-2:30pm: GEEK GEEK REVOLUTION game show, S403, with Mark Frost, Kevin Hearne, Seth Fishman and Lydia Kang, and moderated by John Scalzi.

I’ll be doing a signing at a local bookstore too, for those of you who aren’t big convention goers. The lovely folks at the Seminary Co-Op Bookstores set it up for me, and it’ll be hosted at the University of Chicago.

Monday, April 28, 6pm
International House at the University of Chicago
1414 E 59th St
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Facebook Event

Hope to see some of you down there. I don’t know when I’ll be back in that neck of the woods again.

Miscellaneous Coolness:

A while back, a fan named Glen tipped me off about something cool they submitted on the Lego website:

trouper's wagon(You should click to embiggen this one)

If this becomes a thing, Glen is going to get a cut of the action for having the great idea and design. Even cooler, Glen has offered to give half of that cut to Worldbuilders.

Why doesn’t it specifically say they’re Edema Ruh from the Kingkiller world? Because Glen is smart. First, he didn’t want to step on my intellectual property, which I appreciate. Second, because Lego has fairly stringent standards regarding overall family-friendliness of their sets. So not only would licensing be a Huge Legal Thing. But my books have some content that would probably red flag the whole deal.

I’m no Joe Abercrombie or anything, but I’m still fairly gritty.

pat lego kvothe lego

Guess who these handsome devils are? Yeah. You don’t have to guess too hard. I like how he made it so my Wizard’s Staff has a Knob on the End.

If you’d like this to be a thing, you can Vote Over Here.

And even if you don’t care much for voting, you should probably check out the website, anyway. Cool stuff.

Also posted in appearances, fan coolness | By Pat37 Responses

Concerning Cake, Bilbo Baggins, and Charity

So a couple days ago I did an AMA on Reddit.

It was fun. I enjoy goofing off, interacting with my readers, and answering questions. So this sort of thing is a good fit for me.

Kvothe pants

The day after the AMA, I went back in to see if I’d missed any particularly important/interesting/clever questions.

And I found one. A really good question.

I started to answer it. Then I kept answering it. Then I realized I’d written about 400 words and stopped myself from going any further.…

So rather than post my answer there, buried deep in a thread at the bottom of a dead AMA. I’m answering it here with the author’s permission.

*     *     *

This is going to sound pretty awful, but why all the charity work?

I’ve always been… well, financially challenged (at young Kvothe-like levels at times), and from what I’ve read, you were in a similar state for a long time. I can’t imagine doing so much for strangers even if that changed, and sometimes…

Well, it kind of bugs me. There are loads of things that you do that I would love to give you money for, but when you do them for charity, I feel like I wouldn’t be supporting you, my favorite writer, by supporting those charities.

This sounds intensely selfish, I know, but it comes from ignorance, not malice.

Thanks for being honest here Jason. This is an interesting question for me to see. And I think it’s an important question to answer.

The simple truth is, Jason, at this point in my life, I have enough money to live comfortably. And in my opinion, if you have enough money to live comfortably and you keep trying to get more and more and more money… well… it’s kind of an asshole thing to do.

It’s like this: if you have one piece of cake, and you eat it, that’s fine.

If you have two pieces of cake, you should probably share some with a friend. But maybe not. Occasionally we could all use two pieces of cake.

But if you have a whole cake, and you eat *all* of it, that’s not very cool. It’s not just selfish, it’s kinda sick and unhealthy.

portal(No lie.)

And if you have *two* cakes, and you keep trying to get more cakes so you can eat ALL the cake? Well… that’s really fucking mental. And awful. And about as close to real evil as actually exists in the world.

Right now, I have… well… probably somewhere between 2-4 cakes, financially speaking.

But some people out there don’t have any cake at all. Some people don’t even have dinner, let alone desert.

That’s why I run Worldbuilders. Because some people out there have no cake at all. There are kids out there that are hungry all the time. There are kids out there with no books at all to read. There are kids out there with no beds to sleep in. No homes to come home to. No safe places. No sweet dreams.

That’s why I do all the charity work. Because the world isn’t as good as I want it to be.

We all feel this way sometimes. Because honestly, the world is a fucking mess. It’s full of dragons, and none of us are as powerful or cool as we’d like to be. And that sucks.

But when you’re confronted with that fact, you can either crawl into a hole and quit, or you can get out there, take off your shoes, and Bilbo it up.

Rankin and Bass Bilbo it up(So What’s It Going to Be?)

The work I do with various charities is my attempt to Bilbo the fuck up.

Now it’s true that I could just devote myself to making a ton of money, then donate however much I liked to charity. A lot of people have suggested this to me. Smart people. People who care about me.

And y’know. It’s not terrible advice. That’s what Carnegie did…

But honestly, that’s not for me. I don’t like the thought of spending my whole life being utterly rapacious, getting *all* the cake it is humanly possible to acquire. And then, ten years before I die, giving a chunk of it back to the world.

One reason I don’t like this philosophy is that it means you have an excuse to act like a total bastard until you’re 60 years old. And y’know, Carnegie did a lot of ethically dubious things back in the day. There’s a reason they called him a robber baron.

My other problem with this is that after 60 years of being a bastard, most people aren’t going to make a sudden transformation into being kind-hearted humanitarians.

But the main reason I don’t like this way of thinking is that it’s predicated on the thought that you, my readers, are selfish, self-centered individuals. Carnegie’s philosophy implies that I should take as much money off you as I possibly can. Then, eventually, I should do something good with it, preferably getting my name on a building the the process. Because *obviously* the lot of you are not smart enough to make the world a better place on your own.

I don’t believe that. My philosophy is that people are inherently good. I believe when given the chance, people will happily line up to make the world a better place.

I think this is doubly true of fantasy readers, and trebly true of my readers in particular.

As evidence, I give you Worldbuilders. Over the last five years the geek community has given over two million dollars to Heifer International.

This year, I hope to raise another half-million. (Though I wouldn’t cry if we managed more.)

The truth is, you don’t have to be a billionaire to change the world. You don’t have to build a library. The truth is, if you donate 30 bucks to Worldbuilders, it will change someone’s life. Forever.

chicken 2

And sure, when you donate you get the chance to win a bunch of cool books, too. But that’s just a perk.

I know the truth. I know why you’re all *really* here. I know why you’ve read all the way to the bottom of this post. It’s because you’re good. It’s because you want to make the world a better place.

The truth is, Jason. I don’t think you’re selfish. You want to support an author whose work you enjoy. That’s not a selfish thing.

But here’s the thing. I don’t need twenty bucks from you. That’s not the support I want. That’s not the support I need.

I need you to help me make the world a better place.

You can do that by donating to Heifer International over on the Worldbuilders team page.

If you can’t because you’re broke, that’s fine. Believe me, I’ve been there. But you could still lend your support by spreading the word about Worldbuilders on facebook or twitter. You could write a blog. You could make a video. You could tell a friend.

Thanks for helping everyone,

pat

  • 12:30 – Since posting three hours ago, we’ve raised $3,000.

That’s enough to provide 150 families with flocks of chickens.

Chickens require little space and can thrive on readily available scraps; this allows families to make money from the birds without spending much. A good hen can lay up to 200 eggs a year, so a flock of chickens provides a steady source of nutrition and income.

  • 2:30 pm – Five hours after posting, we’ve raised $6,000.

That’s enough to purchase biogas stoves for 6 villages.

“For most families in the places where Heifer International works, cooking usually means gathering firewood by hand, which often depletes the soil and robs the environment of its trees. In addition, smoke inhalation in poorly ventilated homes often leads to chronic lung and eye diseases.

A biogas stove is a better option. It runs off methane gas captured from animal waste, and burns cleanly, reliably and efficiently. This is not only better for the environment, it is more sustainable and healthier for families feeding their children.”

  • 7:30 pm – $10,000. 

That’s enough to train and equip 50 Community Animal Health Workers.

In many countries, access to veterinary care is limited. So Heifer International trains Animal Health Workers. Participants receive training in animal health, husbandry, breeding, and nutrition as well as tools such as thermometers, stethoscopes, hoof trimmers, gloves, disinfectants, medicine for animals, and more.

This training and equipment gives someone the ability to support themselves in a lifelong career. What’s more, the presence of an animal health worker improves an entire community with healthier animals, more successful farms, and better education about sanitation and disease.

  • 6:30 am – $15,000. 

That’s enough to supply clean water to 50 communities.

In many communities where Heifer works, most homes lack running water, and some families do not even have a well nearby. Instead, they spend a huge portion of each day fetching water. This is often a chore left to children — especially girls — leaving them no time for school. Without a good education, those children have little hope for good jobs in the future.

Heifer helps families and communities install irrigation pumps, usually muscle-powered treadle pumps that are easy to maintain and repair. Heifer also provides education in terms of water conservation and sanitation, improving community health and making local farms and gardens more productive.

  • 24 hours after making this post… 

…lovely people have donated an additional 18K to Worldbuilders, bringing our total at this moment to more than 317,000 dollars.

That’s enough to start 850 small businesses.

Enough for 2600 goats and the training to care for them.

Enough for 10,000 hives of honeybees that will improve crop yields.

Enough for 17,000 trees that give fruit, provide income, and prevent soil erosion.

I won’t be updating our total on this blog any more. Instead I’m going to put in our donation thermometer so you can watch it climb yourself.

If you want to be a part of this, it’s easy. Click here to make it happen.

(P.S. For every $10 you kick in, you get a chance to win books.)

ShelfJanuary

 (A LOT of books.)

Also posted in calling on the legions, FAQ, musings | By Pat141 Responses

A Sale That Happens to be on Black Friday.

Let me be honest with you. I kinda hate the thought of having a Black Friday sale. It strikes me as a desperate attempt to be trendy and timely.

And as we all know, I am neither of those things.

But we were *already* planning on putting up our signed books for November. And since last month’s books sold out in about two hours, we were going to put up a new piece of Kingkiller jewelry we have from Badali, too. But we realized we might sell out of *those* pretty quickly too….

So we decided to launch a few other things we’ve been thinking about for months, because honestly, with all the donations coming in for this year’s Worldbuilders fundraiser, we need the shelf space.

And then we had so much momentum going, we decided to bundle a few things together at a discount, and put a few things on sale….

If you scroll down you’ll see a lot of details, but not everything.

If you want to see everything we have going on peek over here on The Tinker’s Packs.

And remember, all proceeds from these sales go to charity, so there’s a free warm fuzzy with every order.

*     *     *

Masks Books

Here’s the books, being lovingly packaged by the author himself after signing them.

This is the first book in a new series. They’re first edition too. That’s a lot of firsts….

You can order one here. Be aware, we’ve only got ten, so they’re going to go quickly….

  • Signed copies of Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman.

Occasionally I like to help out a new authors by spreading the word about their books.

With that in mind, I’d like to offer up some signed books from a plucky up-and-comer called Neil Gaiman.

Fortuneately Milk Blog

I know you probably haven’t heard of him before. But personally? I think this kid is going places.

Again, supplies are limited, so if you want one, you should probably do it quickly.

  • Signed, limited-edition copies of The Dark of Deep Below by Patrick Rothfuss.

And finally from Subterranean Press:

20131129_033122

While it might not be the Patrick Rothfuss sequel you’re really dying for. It is a Rothfuss sequel book that you can actually buy right now.

Subterranean Press sent us 10 copies of the just-released second Princess and Mr. Whiffle book. We’ve got five of the hardcover trades, and five of the special numbered editions. (There’s only 2000 of those total. And they include extras that aren’t in the trade version.)

You can grab them from the Tinker’s Packs. Or, if they’ve already sold out, (or if you don’t want to pay extra) you can order copies right from Subterranean Press.

(And if you haven’t read the first book, we’ve got that on sale for a couple days too.)

  • Mystery Book Bundles from Prime.

Prime-Mystery-Bundle

The lovely folks at Prime have sent us a lot of books over this last year. A ton of books. Hundreds. So many books that we’re having trouble finding places to put them.

We’ve got novels and anthologies and collections. We’ve got books by authors like Philip K. Dick and Elizabeth Bear. We’ve got anthologies featuring greats like Neil Gaiman, George Martin, Holly Black, Cherie Priest, and Ursula K. LeGuin….

But here’s the problem, with our main fundraiser just around the corner, more books keep piling in, and we’re running out of space.

So we’re going to try something new. Mixed book bundles.

We’re going to package up a bunch of these lovely Prime books, then sell them to you at a huge discount.

If you buy a $30 bundle, it will contain over $150 of books.

The $50 bundle will have over $300 of books.

What’s more, none of the books will show up in both bundles. So if you buy both, you won’t get any duplicates.

We’re not guaranteeing more than 50 of these bundles, so if you want one, you might want to jump on them fast.

  • Talent Pipe Earrings

IMG_2861

The talent pipe jewelry Badali makes for us has always been one of the most popular items in our store.

But now, we’re offering them in another style – earrings.

The staff of The Tinker’s Packs have been getting questions about these for years, but now we officially have them.

Here’s the thing. We might sell out of this item. But if we do, you can just hop over and buy them from Badali directly.  And, since the fundraiser starts on Monday, they’re having their annual drive which donates 10% of your order directly to Worldbuilders.

The coupon codes will be good from December 2nd through February 1st.
  • US Customers – WBLDUSA13

US customers get free USPS Priority Shipping and 10% of your order will be donated to Worldbuilders.

  • International Customers – WBLDINT13

International orders get $10.00 off shipping and 10% of your order will be donated to Worldbuilders.

Note: This code is good for anything in Badali’s entire store, not just mine, so as soon as Monday hits, you can do a bunch of holiday shopping, save money on shipping, and know that money is being kicked toward a good cause, too.

*     *     *

So there you are. Mind you, those aren’t the only deals we have going. We have other things on sale or bundled into groups as a discount.

For example, we’re doing two calendars this year, and they’re already bundled together so that if you buy two or three, you’ll save a chunk of change.

Calendar-2-for

If you’d like to see *all* the new items, discounted bundles, and sale items we put up today. You can find them here.

Thanks for being awesome everyone,

pat

P.S. If you’d like to tuned to future Tinker’s Packs shenanigans you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook.  They do cool promotions on there that I don’t mention here on the blog.

Also posted in recommendations, The Tinker's Packs, Things I Like | By Pat29 Responses
  • What are my odds of winning?

  • Our Store

  • Previous Posts

  • Archives

  • My Twitter

  • Bookmark this Blog

    (IE and Firefox users only - Safari users, click Command-D)