Tag Archives: Fundraiser

Worldbuilders

Those of you who have been following the blog for a while probably remember last year’s fundraiser.

For those of you that are new to the blog, here’s the short version: Last year I thought I’d try to raise a couple thousand dollars for my favorite charity. However I underestimated the awesomeness of my fans and the geek community at large. Things quickly spiraled out of control, and in the end we raised over $110,000 for Heifer International.

(If you want the long version of the story, you can read the blogs from last year.)

While last year’s fundraiser was a success, it wasn’t very well organized. I was just too overwhelmed. I told myself the next time I did something like this, I’d make it better, more streamlined. I might even have a name for the fundraiser other than “The Heifer Fundraiser.”

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, without any further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Worldbuilders.

(We even have a logo. How cool is that?)

Last year, in less than a month, a bunch of fantasy and sci-fi geeks raised over 100,000 dollars to help people all over the world improve their lives.

This year, things will be even better.

How is this year going to be different? Well I’m glad you asked….

Way more prizes.

Last year we had hundreds of books to give away as prizes. This year we have way more. Way way more. Over a thousand. Maybe close to two thousand.

Auctions.

Last year, all the prizes were given out in a big raffle. This year, you’ll have the chance to bid on certain special items and services.

Want a professional agent to read your fledgling manuscript and give you feedback? No problem. Want a rare signed book or a manuscript? We’ve got those too.

We’re going to be auctioning off signed, limited edition stuff from Neil Gaiman, a piece of iron that fell from the sky, and a rockstar’s guitar. I’m not even kidding.

An official sponsor.

One of our best donors from last year, Subterranean Press, has stepped up to the plate with gusto for the launch of Worldbuilders. Not only are they donating over 10,000 dollars of gorgeous signed and limited edition books as prizes, but they’re also going to be helping me match donations.

This is really nice, as it means I won’t have to sell my house.

More stuff available for sale.

For those of you looking for Christmas presents, I’ll be offering some stuff directly for sale. You can get copies of the Name of the Wind, or rare copies of the out-of-print College Survival Guide or Tales of Dark Fantasy. All of them signed however you like.

Maps. Gorgeous posters. Worldbuilders t-shirts. All manner of things I’m just dying to show you…

The official launch of the fundraiser will be on Monday. I’ll be giving all the details then. I just couldn’t let thanksgiving go by without giving y’all a little peek at what’s to come.

The truth is, last year’s fundraiser was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life, and I’m thankful that I get to do it again this year. With your help, I’m hoping it can be even bigger and better than before.

Have a good Turkey Day, and remember: We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

pat

P.S. More news about the raffle winners soon. I’m still getting in touch with people and working out the details.

P.P.S. If you just can’t wait until Monday, you can donate a little early on my Heifer page over here.

Posted in cool things, Heifer International, Worldbuilders 2009 | By Pat34 Responses

Still more prizes.

Hello everybody. No clever preamble today. I’m too busy keeping up with my own writing while dealing with the donations that have been coming in.

If you don’t know what we’re talking about, you can get the details HERE.

And now, more donations to the lottery:

  • The entire Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, in hardcover. Signed and personalized to you by the author.

I’ve already recommended Brandon’s series in a previous blog, so I won’t repeat myself. Why should I bother when there are about a thousand blurbs out there praising the books.

This one from the Romantic times says it well: “Transcendent… all the familiar ideas and plots from epic fantasy have been turned inside out, and what happens at the end is utterly astounding in its audacity. The characterization is stellar, the worldbuilding solid and the plot intricate and compelling.”

What’s more, Brandon has offered to personalize the books to the winner.

Ed Greenwood, creator of The Forgotten Realms, says: “I loved it! Many writers have explored hard-hitting and brutal possible futures for Earth, and told colorful tales of people trying to stay alive in them, but few have brought such imagined futures as vividly to life as Don Bingle. Highly recommended!”
  • An Advance Reading Copy of Greensword by Donald J. Bingle. Signed by the author.
Ooooh…. another advance reading copy. Your chance to check out this book before it’s available to the common masses.

Robert Sawyer has this to say: “Science fiction has always been a great vehicle for biting satire and social commentary — from H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine right on up to Donald Bingle’s engrossing GREENSWORD. Bingle is a terrific writer.”

  • A copy of Fellowship Fantastic. Signed by Donald J. Bingle.
A collection of 13 new stories including Donald J. Bingle’s The Quest. Signed by the author. Lovingly caressed by a thousand virgins. It still has that new car smell. How could you not it?
  • The first three books of the Ravrin series: WebMage, CodeSpell, and CyberMancy by Kelly McCullough. Signed by the author.

According to the starred review in Publisher’s Weekly: “McCullough handles his plot with unfailing invention, orchestrating a mixture of humor, philosophy and programming insights that give new meaning to terms as commonplace as ‘spell checker’ and esoteric as ‘programming in hex.'”

  • Plague Year and Plague War, the first two books of Jeff Carlson’s Plague trilogy. Signed by the author.
Jeff Carlson was nice enough to donate *two* sets of these. Isn’t he a nice guy? I think he’s a nice guy.

E. E. Knight describes these books as, “Part Michael Crichton, part George Romero… full of high-altitude chills.

  • A copy of Writers of the Future Volume 23, including Jeff Carlson’s story The Frozen Sky. Donated and signed by Jeff Carlson.
The Writers of the Future anthology is where I got my start, long ago. It publishes stories by new writers getting ready to burst onto the scene. Jeff Carlson sends along two copies of Volume 23 which contains his story, “The Frozen Sky.”

According to Locus Magazine, “Jeff Carlson’s “The Frozen Sky” is a tense adventure story set on Europa, where explorers encounter intelligent beings who seem to have no way to respond to strangers but by attacking them.”

  • A copy of Writers of the Future Volume 18, including an early version of Pat Rothfuss’s story “The Road to Levenshir.” Signed by the author.

Jeff’s donation made me realize that I actually had a copy of my volume of Writers of the Future still lurking around the house. It’s volume 18, which means, among other things, that I’m getting old.

This was my first publication, and it kicked off the chain of events that eventually led to me getting my book published. The story in here is an early version of “The Road to Levenshir.” A much earlier, rougher version of the story that was later published in the Subterranean Press Tales of Dark fantasy earlier this year.

  • Jennifer
    Stevenson’s
    entire new trilogy: The Brass Bed, The Velvet Chair, and The Bearskin Rug, all signed by the author.

Vicki Lewis Thompson, says these books are, “more fun than pillow fighting naked.” And Phil and Kaja Foglio say, “Once you get into The Brass Bed, you won’t ever want to get out.” And if you can’t trust Phil & Kaja Foglio to know sexy, then who can you trust?

If you want to know how to win this cool stuff, you can get all the details over HERE.

Or, if you want, here’s the short version:

1) You donate to Heifer international on THIS PAGE.
2) I match your donation, dollar-for-dollar.
3) For every ten bucks you kick in, your name is entered into a drawing for these and many more fabulous prizes.

So far, we’ve raised over 17,000 dollars in under two weeks. Because apparently fantasy authors and fans are the best people around. That’s my working theory, anyway.

Click Here to Donate

Stay tuned, more on the way…

pat

Posted in baby ducks, cool things, Worldbuilders 2008 | By Pat14 Responses

More Prizes: A bounty of signed books.

Fantasy authors have to be some of the coolest people around. I have suspected it for a long time, but now I know it to be the truth. I have proof.

It’s only been about a week since I announced the fundraiser. When I started it, I sent out a very mild-mannered request to a few of the authors I know, telling them what I was planning, and mentioning that if they wanted to, they could donate a book or two. Y’know. If they wanted to. No pressure.

Since then, people have been donating in spades. Today the first of the packages arrived.

And just in the nick of time, too. I was starting to wander around my house, desperately looking for things I could add to the lottery. Thinking to myself, “A…. fork? Fork used by Pat Rothfuss? Pocket lint? Pair of my girlfriend’s ladybug underwear?”

Oh man. I really want to put a picture of them up on here. But she would freak out.

But it would be REALLY funny….

You guys really don’t know what dangerous waters I swim to entertain you. Just as I typed that, I heard the door close as my girlfriend left the house, so I scampered across the hall and started to root through her underwear drawer, giggling maniacally. It took me almost three minutes to find the pair I was looking for…

And then what happens? She comes back for some reason. Just in time to catch me standing outside her closet, clutching her ladybug panties, and laughing like some pervert who’s been huffing paint. Luckily, I’ve spent years convincing her that I am absolutely insane. Otherwise things could have gotten a little awkward.

Okay, on to the new prizes.

  • A galley copy of The Adamantine Palace by Stephan Deas. Signed by the author.


Just so we’re clear, this is an ARC. One of those Advance Reading Copies that the publisher prints before the book comes out. That’s right, here’s your chance to be an insider and get hold of a book before it actually hits the shelves.

SFF world gives it a glowing review, saying, “The book is an entertaining mix of Pern and Westeros, with the knowing characterisation of Abercrombie and the endearment of Novik.”

  • Hardcover copies of Spirit Gate and Shadow Gate, the first two books in Kate Elliott’s Crossroads series. Signed by the author.

The inestimable Kate Elliot has donated TWO sets of two books, so you have twice the chance of winning. Woo!

Publisher’s Weekly describes these books thusly: “Elaborate first entry in a projected seven-book fantasy series introduces a once prosperous but now lawless land called the Hundred. Its godlike Guardians, who dispense justice, have disappeared; the eagle-riding Reeves, who have kept the peace, have lost authority; and a mysterious, ruthless new force preys on the towns and inhabitants of the Hundred and neighboring empires…. This promises to be a truly epic fantasy.”

  • A copy of Mindy Klasky’s Magic and the Modern Girl, third book in the Jane Madison Series. Signed by the author.

According to the The Romantic Times, “this is an irresistible tale of power and love, friendship and acceptance. The main character’s constant and often rambling internal dialogue is surprisingly charming and insightful.”


  • A galley copy of Lamentation, the first in a new five-book series by Ken Scholes.


This is another ARC. Rumor says that Scholes is going to be the next big thing. And with blurbs like the following, it’s easy to see why….

Orson Scott Card raves: “Scholes barely gives us time to breathe. Yet he gives us vivid characters, a world thick with detail, and wonders we’ve never seen before. I wish my first novel had been this good. I wish all five volumes of this series were already published so I could read them now.”

  • Tiffany Trent’s In the Serpent’s Coils, first in the Hallowmere series. Signed by the author.


Tiffany has donated two of these, which I in turn will give to two different people. I think that would be for the best.


IN THE SERPENT’S COILS is a rich, earthy, engrossing novel that heralds Tiffany Trent as one of the best dark fantasy writers of our time. I was completely mesmerized by her tale, and deeply gratified in the end. Bravo!” -David Farland, New York Times Bestselling fantasy author

  • Goblin Quest, first in the Goblin trilogy by Jim C. Hines. Signed by the author.


I recommended Jim’s goblin books in an earlier blog, but why listen to me when Midwest Book Reviews says, “Prepare to be entertained throughout and completely satisfied with Jig’s journey by the time you reach the end.”
  • A copy of Red’s Tale by Jim C. Hines, book one of the Faery Tale Project. Signed by Jim C. Hines.


This is a two-for-one book, which also features a copy of Lobo’s Tale by Christopher Kastensmidt. Also by Jim Hines, author of the aforementioned Goblin trilogy and soon to be released The Stepsister Scheme.

I’d like to thank these authors for taking the time to send these books out of the goodness of their hearts.

Now here’s the thing – if you are one of my author friends and I haven’t sent you an e-mail asking for a book, it’s not because I don’t like you, or because I don’t think your book is good enough. It’s because, for the most part, I haven’t contacted anyone directly. I’ve sent out a few tentative e-mails to a few lists I’m on. I’m from the Midwest, you see. Asking people for favors makes me distinctly uncomfortable.

The truth is, whether or not I know you, I’d love nothing better than to throw your book into the mix. If you’re interested, just drop me a line at paperback.contest (squiggly atsign thinger) gmail.com.

Oh, and did I mention that we’re past 15,000 dollars? Yes. We are mighty. We are a thousand feet tall.

Lastly, if you want details about how the fundraiser works, and how you can win some of these cool books, you can find all the information OVER HERE.

Later,

pat

Posted in baby ducks, cool things, Worldbuilders 2008 | By Pat14 Responses

Heifer Fundraiser: More Prizes, More Questions

You guys are awesome. I think I can safely say that.

It’s been less than four days, and we’re raised over 5000 dollars. That’s not counting my matching donation or any of the donations being made by people who are mailing checks or choosing option two.

If you’ve joined us late in the game and don’t know what’s going on, you should probably check out the blog OVER HERE. It gives the details of what we’re doing.

News.

  • I’ve added more prizes to the Lottery option, because we’re having a bigger response than I initially anticipated. I’ve added more maps, signed books, and a second Advance Reading Copy of book two.
  • I’ve been contacted by a bunch of authors who are donating signed books and other cool things to the cause. I’ll be posting up details as soon as those books come in. We’re going to have a LOT of new stuff in the mix.
  • My delightful PR person over at Penguin has managed to find us more copies of the DAW sampler. So we have 60 of those in the mix, each with a teaser chapter from The Wise Man’s Fear.

Everyone say, “Thank you Erica.”

You know she’s cool, because I don’t let just anyone wear my gnome hat.

Now, answers to more questions.

  • “Can you add an early reading copy of book two to the Sure Thing option? I’d pay ANYTHING for an advance reading copy of book two. ANYTHING!”

Really? Okay. I’ve added it to the list of things for sale under option two. You can buy one for 1000 bucks.

Here’s the deal. I’m not saying you can have it right now. You’ll get it when it’s ready, and right now it isn’t ready. I can’t promise you a galley copy either, because I don’t know how many of those I’ll have at my disposal. But if I can’t get you a galley, I’ll print a copy off for you on my own personal printer, bind it together, sign it, and mail it to you. Maybe I’ll draw a little goat on it too.

New – If you’re interested in this option, keep in mind that your 1000 dollars doesn’t get added to the lottery. You’re effectively going for Option Two, as described over HERE. If you don’t know what Option Two is, go over there and read about it.

Now just so you know, I’d never sell advance copies of the book like this just to make money. That would be crass. But this is for charity. So if you have money to burn, and you *really* want it that badly. Drop that check in the mail. I’ll even add 200 bucks of my own. 1200 dollars is ten goats for ten families.

  • “I love that you’re doing this. Can I post about this on my blog?

Absolutely. I’d like nothing better than for people to help spread the word. Tell your friends on Myspace. Twitter it. If you’re on Facebook, you can join the event someone created for the fundraiser. Feel free to sign up and invite your friends. The more the merrier.

However, I would prefer if you would link to my blog, rather than trying to copy-and-paste my post. That page gets updated whenever we get new prizes or something changes.

  • “I plan on donating to Heifer Int’l this year as a gift to my parents. In the past, donating directly, I received a card verifying the donation. If I donate through your page will I still receive the same type of gift card/verification?”

For those of you who are new to Heifer, this is the card he’s talking about:

(Click to Embiggen)

These cards are actually really cool. They talk about the work Heifer does, and how the different animals improve people’s lives.

I called Heifer and they reassured me that donating off MY PAGE is just the same as donating through their gift catalogue or anywhere else on their site. You still have the option of requesting the gift cards.

  • “Can I donate to Heifer International using paypal?”

Nope. Sorry. But if you have Paypal, I’m guessing you have a credit card. You can use that.

  • “I don’t have a credit card. If I mail you a check will you enter me in the lottery and match my donation?”

Absolutely.

  • “Can I send you cash?”

Muahahahahah….

Um…. Wait. No. You really shouldn’t. It’s just risky all around.

However, if you don’t have a checking account or a credit card, you could get a money order and send that to me. I’ll enter you in the lottery, and double your donation.

That’s all for now folks, keep spreading the word.

pat

Posted in baby ducks, fan coolness, FAQ, Worldbuilders 2008 | By Pat23 Responses

Heifer Fundraiser: A Few Questions Answered.

Today has been a great day.

Today I woke up feeling refreshed. The tight knot in my back that’s been bothering me for almost a year was almost non-existent. I found myself singing in the shower, something that I used to do a lot, but haven’t lately.

It’s no great mystery what’s making me feel this way. It’s the fact that in less than 24 hours, we’ve raised more than 2000 dollars for a great charity. More that 4,000 after I match everyone’s donations. Success beyond my wildest expectations.

This is so much fun.

Click Here to Donate

Hmmmm…. I wish that little thermometer said, “We’ve raised.”

Anyway, because we’ve had such a strong start, I waned to answer a few questions people have been asking.

  • “Will you stop matching donations when you hit 5,000 dollars?”

No. I’ll match all the donations that are made.

Earlier today, when I told Sarah how well things were going, she looked at me a little nervously and asked, “Are you going to be okay with it if people donate 10,000 and you have to match it?”

“I expect I will whistle a jaunty tune,” I said happily.

“What if they raise 20,000?” She pressed.

“Then I will probably perform a tiny, happy dance while I whistle,” I explained.

Don’t misunderstand me here. I’m not all Scrooge McDuck rich over here. But I can’t think of any better way to go broke than this.

Truth is, when I was setting up the page on Heifer, I set the goal at 5000 because I had no idea if y’all would be interested. I didn’t want to set it really high, because then if I only got a few donations, I’d feel like a sad loser.

But because this actually seems to be going somewhere, here’s what I’m going to do.

I’m going to raise the goal on the donations page to 10,000. If we hit that, I’ll be all tingly.

I’m also going to add more prizes to the pool, so that everyone still has a good chance of getting something cool. That way, you can tell help me recruit more people without feeling like you’re ruining your chances to win stuff.

I’ll post up more details about the new prizes in a couple days.

  • Can I do some fundraising of my own, then donate it and have you match it?

By all means. Have a bakesale. Search under the couch cushions at your friends’ houses. Show people at work the website then pass the hat. I’m matching donations from any and all who want to chip in.

But make sure you get it in by Dec 11th. And make sure you donate through THE PAGE I SET UP. That’s the only way I can track donations.

  • “I can buy chicks on your page, but not baby ducks!”

Yeah. They don’t offer all the different options on the donor pages. The cost of a flock of ducks is the same as for the chicks: $20.

  • “How much of my donation to Heifer goes to actually helping people?”

This is a fair question. A lot of so-called charities are actually just scams that collect money, then use a very small amount of it for the intended purpose.

But trust me that I’ve done my research. Heifer is an award-winning charity for a reason. They’ve been doing good works for over 60 years.

Heifer keeps all its financial records available to the public, and 75% of everything it collects go directly toward helping people.

Here’s a nice visual breakdown from Heifer’s site.

You can see here that less than seven percent of their money goes toward administration. That’s exceptional.

  • “I live in [foreign country]. Can I still send you a check and buy a book?”

Yes. I stopped by the post office and bank today and peppered them with questions. So here’s how it will work.

It costs me $20 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 shipping to the prices I’ve already given.

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

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.

Easy as pie.

  • “I love that you’re willing to donate to charity. Would you match my donation to [insert name of charity here] instead?”

Everyone has their favorite charity. As I said in my first post on the subject, I know there are a lot of good causes out there, and people have very personal attachments to them. Emotions run high in these areas.

Someone contacted me asking about animal shelters, another about diabetes. A third person posted a comment on the blog, arguing that people living in the US shouldn’t give money to charities that support causes outside the US. I erased the post because it was harshing my groove, then I felt guilty about it because the person was very polite in making their point.

But here’s what I’m getting at. I think it’s important not to go all Bruce Wayne in these situations.

Follow along with me on this. Bruce Wayne’s folks were killed by criminals, so he grows up and becomes Batman in order to fight crime. Because he hates crime. Because his parents were killed by crime.

Now I like Batman as much as the next guy. Good stories. Batarangs. Men in tights. He’s probably my favorite superhero, or close to it. But the fact is, his whole Batman deal is pretty self-indulgent.

Think about it. Dude is a multi-billionaire. If he wanted to make the world a better place, he could create a foundation 100 times bigger than Heifer International. He could build shelters for battered women, schools in low-income neighborhoods. Sustainable agriculture. Renewable energy.

What does he do with his money? He builds super-gadgets so he can fight crime. Drives a rocket car.

Yes I know that Bruce Wayne is also a philanthropist. Don’t quibble. He does a tiny bit of charity, and a whole big shitload of being Batman.

Why? Well… because it wouldn’t be much of a comic if he didn’t. But the other answer is, he fights crime because it makes him feel good. Not because it does good. There’s a difference.

Cancer got my mom not too long ago, and it took a good hard swing at my dad, too. That means that I shoul
d be raising money for cancer research because I hate cancer, right?

Well…. no. Do I hate cancer? Of course. But if I just focused on fighting cancer for the rest of my life, I’d kind of be doing it for selfish reasons. Instead, I’d rather focus on making people’s lives better. I’d like to focus on doing good, then let the feeling good be the side effect.

That’s why I’m focusing on Heifer. They help people all over the world, not just here in the US. Why? Because people all over the world have it really shitty and they need help. To say that some people deserve my help more just because they’re from the same country…. Nah. That’s not my game. I’m playing for team human, not team USA.

Does that make sense? Wait…. What was the question again?

Oh. Yeah. Will I match donations somewhere else instead of Heifer? Respectfully, I’ll pass. I’m not saying you should stop loving your charity. But I’ve put some thought into this, and I’m going to stick with Heifer for now.

Lastly, for anyone who’s interested. I’m going to be doing a workshop (4:00) and a reading/signing (7:00) at a library in Lanesboro, MN tomorrow (Wednesday the 12th). I’m excited because I hear this place is about fifteen miles away from Lake Wobegone.

Want more details? Check out the my tour schedule page.

Later all,

pat

Posted in fan coolness, FAQ, Worldbuilders 2008 | By Pat25 Responses
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