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Auctions: A Professional Critique of Your Manuscript

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Last year, several publishing professionals donated their time and energy to Worldbuilders, offering to give unpublished novelists feedback on their manuscripts.

The response was wonderful. The auctions raised thousands of dollars for Worldbuilders, and a lot of people got good feedback on their books. It was one of those warm, fuzzy win-win situations.

So this year we’re doing it again. I’ve gathered a few professionals willing to donate their critiquing skills to the cause.

All auctions are starting at the price of one (1) penny. Personally, I think these would make great Christmas gifts for that hard-to-shop for writer in your life…

And remember, all the proceeds go to improving people’s lives all over the world with Heifer International. So bid lavishly and spread the word.

  • A read-and-critique of the first 20,000 words of your manuscript by Lindsay Ribar.
(Bam!)

Lindsay is assistant to Matt Bialer, my agent. That means she reads a *lot* of manuscripts and works intimately with the publishing world every day. What’s more, she does work as a freelance editor. In short, Lindsay knows about stories, what sells, and how the industry works.

What more could you ask for, really?

Here’s the official description of what she’s offering:

Lindsay Ribar (assistant to Matt Bialer, freelance editor) will read and evaluate the opening chapters of one manuscript (up to 20,000 words) within six weeks of submission. She will write a general evaluation of the book, with a focus on character, language, and story structure. Line- and copy-editing are not included. Representation is not a guarantee, but not out of the question either. Lindsay is open to editing all genres of fiction, but keep in mind that the bulk of her experience lies in the realm of YA, fantasy, SF, thrillers, and mysteries.

Interested? You can bid on the critique by Lindsay Ribar over here.

  • A read-and-critique of the first 100 pages of your manuscript by David Pomerico.

David is the sort of editor I would have loved to have read my manuscript and give me a few pointers back during the long years of rejection before my book was published. What’s more, he’s an absolute prince for donating his time and energy to Worldbuilders even though I don’t have the least bit of blackmail evidence to use against him.

The official description:

David Pomerico is an Assistant Editor at Del Rey Spectra, where he focuses primarily on traditional fantasy, urban fantasy, and dystopian and post-apocalyptic literature.  That’s not to say that he doesn’t know other genres (he claims to be something known as “well-read”), but that’s definitely where his interests lie.  He’s worked with a variety of authors, including Felix Gilman, Sarah Zettel, David J. Williams, Chris Wooding, Darin Bradley, and Ari Marmell, as well as being a part of the Star Wars publishing program at Del Rey.  He’s offering a detailed critique and commentary (but not a line edit) for the first 100 pages or so of your manuscript (double-spaced, please—and no margin shenanigans!), which he will get back to you within the first three months of 2011.  While he could possibly be blown away and want to make an offer on your book, this isn’t guaranteed (otherwise this might be a really pricey auction!)

Mailing details and contact with David will be set up following the auction.

Interested? You can bid on David’s critique over here.

  • A read-and-critique of the first 20,000 words of your manuscript by agent Matt Bialer.

Matt is my agent, and I wouldn’t trade him for his weight in gold. He helped me revise my book several times before we landed a publisher, and his help has been invaluable in revising my second book. He’s all kinds of smart, understands stories, and I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

You can get more of his professional information HERE.

Matt Bialer (literary agent) will read and evaluate the opening chapters of one manuscript (up to 20,000 words) within three months of submission, not including the last few weeks of December. He will read and critique, and help the author think about the issues that could be raised by editors at publishing houses. He will write a general evaluation of the book, both strengths and weaknesses, but line editing is NOT included. If the book is fantastic or has the potential to be fantastic then offering representation is not out of the question — but representation is not a guarantee.

Interested? You can bid on this critique from Matt Bialer over here.

  • A read-and-critique of your entire manuscript by Pat Rothfuss.

(Me.)

Man. It’s hard for me to do these promotional write-ups for myself. Let’s see…

Before I became a published writer, I was a teacher for five years. Before that, I was a writing tutor for nine years. So I know something about giving productive feedback on a piece of writing. I’ve read roughly ten thousand novels, and my first book, the Name of the Wind, is published or forthcoming in 30 languages.

I think about stories all the time and am obsessive about revision. I also have a soothing baritone voice, an IQ in the 160s, and the ability to steal any other mutant’s power just by touching them.

Ah hell… See? I can never take these things seriously. Just read the official description below for the details:

Patrick Rothfuss (international bestselling author, lover of women, and hirsute iconoclast) will read your manuscript and give you critical feedback. We’ll schedule this based on when your manuscript will be ready and my own schedular constraints.

I’ll read through your manuscript, scrawling notes and dirty words in the margins, then I’ll call you on the phone and we can discuss it. I won’t write you up a detailed critique because that’s not how I roll. But we’ll probably chat on the phone for a couple of hours discussing the various strengths and weaknesses of the book, your writing craft, and I’ll offer any suggestions I might have.

If I think your book is super-awesome, I might be willing to pass it along to someone. But be very aware that what you’re buying here is a critique, not a blurb or an introduction to the publishing world. A critique.

Interested? You can bid on the critique by Pat Rothfuss over here.

NOTE: All these auctions will be ending on December 3rd.

Time is limited, so if you know someone that might be interested in these auctions, I’d appreciate you spreading the word….

Don’t forget, there are hundreds of rare and signed books up for grabs in this year’s Worldbuilders fundraiser. For all the details, click here.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2010 | By Pat50 Responses

Worldbuilders 2010

[Edit: This is the Worldbuilders Fundraiser for 2010. The current Worldbuilders for 2013 is here.]

What’s that you say? You’d like to make the world a better place while simultaneously winning fabulous prizes?

Well today is your lucky day.

Heifer International is my favorite charity. It helps people raise themselves up out of poverty and starvation. All over the world Heifer promotes education, sustainable agriculture, and local industry.

They don’t just keep kids from starving, they make it so families can take care of themselves. They give goats, sheep, and chickens to families so their children have milk to drink, warm clothes to wear, and eggs to eat.

(Are you ready? I’m so ready. Let’s do it.)

This year we’ve got a couple different options for donating.

Option 1: The Lottery.

This is the option most people will want. It’s simple. You hop directly over to the page I’ve set up at Team Heifer, and donate.

When you donate using my page at team Heifer, two things happen.

1. Worldbuilders will match 50% of your donation. That means your ten-dollar donation becomes fifteen dollars. If you donate two goats, it becomes three goats. And so on.

2. You’ll be entered in the lottery.

After the fundraiser is over on December 13th, we’ll have a random drawing for all the swag that’s been donated over the last couple months. More than a thousand books, comics, DVD’s and assorted cool miscellany.

[Edit: The end of the fundraiser is now noon on Dec 17th (12:00 PM, pacific standard time.) If you want to know why, you can read the explanation here.]

For every 10 bucks you donate, your name will get entered into the drawing once. If you donate thirty bucks, your name goes in three times. Think of it as buying tickets, if you like.

We’ve had *way* too many books donated for me to post them all up at once. So I’ll be putting up a new blog full of donated books pretty much every day or two, just to keep people from being overwhelmed with all the awesome.

Make sure to check back often to see the new cool.

Last year, readers and geeks of all creeds and nations donated over 125,000 dollars to Heifer International on our team page. With help from a few sponsors, Worldbuilders matched 50% of that, bringing our total for the year to over 190,000 dollars.

Personally, I think we can do even better this year.

Nov 13th – Worldbuilders begins.
Nov 17th – $10,000 raised.
Nov 23rd – $25,000 raised.
 
Dec 1st  – $50,000 raised.
Dec 9th – $100,000 raised.
Dec 14th – $128,926 raised. (Last Year’s Total Beaten! Woo!)
Dec 16th – $150,000 raised.
.

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.

Again, 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 this year.

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

[Edit – The donation thermometer doesn’t work any more, but in the end we raised more than $192,000.  It was awesome….]

 
 
 
 
 
 

You can use this link to check out the Team Heifer page and make a donation.

Option 2: The Sure Thing.

Or, as I like to think of it, the Christmas Present Option.

For those of you who aren’t interested in the lottery, I have some stuff you can just buy. All the proceeds go to Heifer International.

Here’s a link to our new store. Lovingly named The Tinker’s Packs.

Option 3: Auctions.

Last year we did a few auctions and they seemed to work out pretty well. So this year we’re continuing in that fine tradition, auctioning off some of the rarer and more specialized services people have donated.

We’ve got industry professionals willing to read your fledgling manuscript and give you feedback. We’ve got a limited edition Stardust ARC signed by Neil Gaiman and a copy of The Gathering Storm signed by Brandon Sanderson and the production team at Tor. We’ve got rare manuscripts, computer software, a signed Brett Favre Jersey, and much more. Stay tuned for details.

You can see all current Worldbuilders auctions here.

A Plea For Sanity

Lastly, I’d like to ask everyone to please read the instructions/directions carefully before they donate.

I know you’re excited. I’m excited too. We’re going to raise some money, make the world a better place, and end up with big warm fuzzy feelings.

But here’s the problem. If you’re *too* excited, you’ll end up clicking buttons all higgledy-piggledy, forgetting vital steps and leaving things out. (Especially when buying things with Paypal) Then you’ll send me an e-mail that says something like: “I’m sorry, but I forgot to include my shipping address/t-shirt size/signing instructions. Could you please fix it for me?”

I know I’m bound to get one or two e-mails like this. No biggie. But each one is like a cold drop of water eroding my warm fuzzy feeling. If I get, say, a hundred, I’ll have no warm fuzzy left at all. I’ll be left with nothing but a cold prickly feeling.

You don’t want to give me a cold prickly, do you?

I’m sure you don’t. And I’m sure that you’ll read the instructions carefully.

FAQ.

Have questions? Most of them are probably answered over in the FAQ. (Even if your question isn’t answered, I talk about Batman a bit, so it won’t be a complete waste of your time.)

Lastly, just in case you missed it, here’s one more link to our Team Heifer donation page.

Let’s do this thing.

pat

Posted in calling on the legions, Heifer International, Worldbuilders 2010 | By Pat36 Responses
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