Tag Archives: Raffle

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

Important Milestones.

Well folks, I didn’t think we’d be able to do it, but we passed the 20,000 dollar mark on the name raffle. I’ll never doubt you again.

Can I just take a moment to say how awesome y’all are? Yeah. You’re awesome.

Because we hit 20K, I’ll be drawing three winners. But it won’t be for a couple days yet, as we’re waiting for the last of the mailed-in entries to trickle through the postal system. Rest assured that I’ll be posting up the results as soon as I’ve had a chance to chat with the winners.

On a related note, it warms my heart to see so many people rooting for Carly Trowbridge to win. A few people even donated money on her behalf. Extra style points there.

I’ll admit that I’m excited for the drawing, and a little nervous too. There are some great names in there, and others will fit with some tweaking. But a few I can’t think of how I could make them work. If I draw one of those, we’ll be able to work it out, but I don’t relish the thought of telling someone the name of their beloved dead goldfish just won’t work in The Wise Man’s Fear.

In other news, Oot rolled over yesterday. This might not seem like a big deal. But it is. It is a Big Deal. It’s possible that there has never been a bigger deal happen in this house. If you’d been listening outside, you probably would’ve thought Sarah and I were watching the Packer game, or perhaps celebrating man’s first step on the moon or something.

For those of you who have an interest in such things, here’s a picture of him looking very pleased with himself.

That’s all for right now. I’m in the midst of some pretty intensive revisions, so I don’t have much brainspace to spare for being blog-witty. Rest assured there is some profound coolness right around the corner.

Stay tuned,

pat

Posted in fan coolness, Oot | By Pat66 Responses

Cool Doodles and Name Raffle News

So we’re a handful of days away from the end of the name raffle, and for the last couple weeks it’s like every day is my birthday. By which I mean I get a lot of letters with money inside. Today when I open the mail I think I’m going to wear a festive hat and eat some cake too. I’ve been in the mood for cake lately.

Wait, what was I talking about? I’m not used to being up this early in the morning, and I find myself a little confusticated.

Oh, right. The name raffle.

In a nutshell, it’s going really well. Paypal continues to be friendly, donations are generous, the names are cool, and I’m having a lot of fun opening the mail.

Admittedly, some mail is more fun than others.

For example, here’s a set of notecards that just got sent in with someone’s poor-boy entry:
(You can embiggen any of the images by clicking them.)


Thanks so much, Carly. This really made my day.

And you’re right. Trowbridge is a great name…. Even if I don’t draw it in the raffle, it might end up in the book.

That’s actually the case with a lot of the names that have been sent in. I find myself thinking, “Hmmm…. Seth could be a good name for a farmer. Mellisa doesn’t quite work, but Melias would make for a good noble surname in Vintas.”

Personally, I’m really interested to see what names get drawn….

And now some FAQ:

You said the contest ends on November 15th. Did you know that’s a Sunday? I can’t mail you anything on a Sunday…

True, but people can still paypal in their donations on a Sunday. If you want to mail in your entry, you should send it earlier in the week.

Pat! I screwed up and forgot to enter my phone number and suggested name into the Paypal form! What should I do?

You should weep bitter tears. Did I not put instructions on the blog? Clearly worded instructions? In red?

Seriously though. Don’t worry about it. You’re not alone. This happened to a bunch of people.

If you donated online, I have a record of your e-mail address. I’ll write that on the card and use it to keep track of your entry. Then, if you win, I’ll contact you and get the other information I need.

How much have we raised so far?

Checks and donations are still coming in every day, so I don’t have a final tally yet. But right now I think we’re at a little more than 16,000 dollars. Which is awesome.

That means if you buy one ticket you’ve got (roughly) a 1 in 800 chance of winning. If you buy six tickets for 50 bucks, you’ve got about a 1 in 260 chance of winning.

I’m hoping we can have a strong finish. So how about this? To encourage people to donate and spread the word during the final days of the fundraiser, I’ll draw a third name if we hit 20,000. That means the odds will actually get better for everyone if more people donate.

Is this the only Heifer fundraiser you’re doing this year?

Oh no. Not at all. This is just a warm-up for the people who are specifically interested in my book.

As I’ve mentioned before here on the blog, we’ll be doing something very similar to last year’s fundraiser. Except this year we’re going to have even more prizes, and some cool auctions too. Stay tuned for details.


I live far away, and I know my letter won’t make it to you in time. Can I just e-mail you the name for my poor-boy entry?

I’ve had a few of these e-mails from foreign countries or from people in the army.

While I sympathize, I really don’t want to change the rules that I laid down at the beginning of the contest. Changing the rules partway through is kinda unfair to all the people who would have liked to e-mail in their free entries, but went online and bought a ticket instead.

Maybe the next time we do this I’ll have an online option, but for now, I think the only fair thing is to stick by the original rules.

Once the drawing is over, do we get to know what names you’ve picked?

I’m going to leave that up to the winners. If they’re cool with me mentioning it on the blog, then I might. Otherwise, I’ll respect their privacy.

That’s all for now, folks.

pat

Posted in fan coolness, Heifer International, naming | By Pat45 Responses

Huzzah!

In some ways, I’m an optimist. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, a person doesn’t work on the same book for over a decade without a little glimmer of hope to keep them going.

But it’s more than that, really. I believe that the vast majority of people are good. Not just deep-down good, but good right up on the surface. That’s why I run these fundraisers. I think most people enjoy making the world a better place. All they need is an opportunity, and, occasionally, a little nudge.

But in other ways, I’m a pessimist. For example, I believe that most large corporate entities by their very nature tend to be malignant.

When I say malignant, I’m not saying that Global Corp is going to break into your house and kill you while you sleep. But they will make your pillow out of a fire-retardant chemical that makes you breathe toluene all night. Because they can be sued by a smoker who lights their own pillow on fire, but not by someone who gets cancer when they’re sixty.

What’s my point? Well, my point is that when my account got flagged by Paypal a couple of days ago, I really didn’t have much hope of being able to straighten things out with them.

In fact, I was ready to be all indignant about it. I’ve had a Paypal account since 2001, and I felt a little betrayed. I had all sorts of scathing things I was going to say. Names I was going to call them. Mud I was going to fling. How dare they take a crap on my fundraiser? Especially when it was going so well…

Despite this pessimism, I e-mailed them to straighten things out. I tried to work within the system. I talked to them on the phone.

So imagine my surprise when they were really nice. And today, all the limitations were lifted from my Paypal account. I really wasn’t expecting things to work out so quickly and easily.

The purpose of this blog is twofold.

First, I just wanted to say thanks to Paypal. You guys impressed me.

The second is to update everyone on the status of the name raffle fundraiser thing.

Things are going amazingly well. So far we’ve got about 150 people donating, and we’ve raised over 8000 dollars. Way better than I ever expected.

Because I’m drawing two winners, that means if you buy a ticket, you’ve got about a 1 in 400 chance of winning.

If you donate 50 bucks, which gets you 6 tickets, you’ve got about a 1 in 70 chance.

That beats the hell out of most lotteries, you have to admit. Besides, and all the money is going to a great cause.

(How can you not want be a part of this?)

I’m hoping we can finish strong on this. We lost a few days because of the Paypal thing, but if people help spread the word I think we can make up for it.

And one more time, here’s the link to the blog with all the raffle details and the now-functional online donation buttons.

And lastly, if you’re thinking of donating online. You might want to strike now while the iron is hot. A lot of Paypal’s system is automated, and there’s an outside chance it might flag my account again in a week or so. It would be shame if you missed your chance to donate because of that…

Frabjously yours,

pat

Posted in Heifer International, musings | By Pat45 Responses

Sfsignal – What book Introduced you to Fantasy?

Recently, SFsignal asked a bunch of authors about how they got introduced to fantasy. (Myself included.)

It was interesting to see what the other authors listed. Some mentioned old familiars, and I picked up a few new titles for me increasingly long “To Be read” list.

It’s an interesting collective interview. If you want to check it out, it’s over here.

Edit: A helpful fan found a link to the read-along record I talk about in the interview. It’s over here.

As for the raffle, there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that things are going really well. We’ve already raised over 6000 dollars. Woo!

The bad news is that paypal doesn’t like me using my account for anything resembling gambling. I’ve sent them an e-mail to hopefully straighten things out, and make it clear that this is really just a charity fundraiser with an incentive that just *looks* like a raffle.

I’m waiting to hear back from them. But the moral of the story is that if you want to donate online with paypal, it might be better to do it sooner, rather than later. I might be forced to take the paypal link down, and if that happens, I’ll have to muddle my way through figuring out google checkout or some shit like that. And if it’s close to November 15th (the end of the name fundraiser) I might not bother.

Or you can take the safe and simple route and just mail your entry in. Easy peasy.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, but you’re interested in maybe getting your name in The Wise Man’s Fear, you can get all the details over here.

More news soon.

pat

Posted in Fantasy, Interviews | By Pat55 Responses

So You Want to Be a Hero?

A while back, I said I’d be giving people a chance to get their names into my second book: The Wise Man’s Fear.

I’ve finally managed to work out all the details. So we’re going to do our best to kill two birds with one stone.

You want to get your name into book two….

…and I want to raise money for Heifer International.

So, as a prologue to this year’s fundraiser, we’re going to have a raffle.

There are three ways you can get your name into the book. Pay attention.

Option One: The Regular Raffle.

You buy chances to win, like raffle tickets. Tickets will be 10 dollars each.

That means if you donate 30 dollars, your name gets thrown into the drawing three times. Simple.

However, if you want to be a big spender and donate fifty dollars, you get a free ticket. So fifty bucks gets you six tickets total.

At the end of the lottery, I’ll be drawing a winner from these tickets. If you don’t win, your ticket will enter a second drawing combined with the free entries. (See below.) What this means is that every ticket you buy gets two chances to win.

You have two ways to buy tickets:

  • To Buy Your Tickets by Mail:

You only need two things.

A check, made out to Pat Rothfuss. Signed by you.

A 3×5 index card that looks like this:

(Click to Embiggen)

Remember folks, I have to read these. That means you should probably print instead of using cursive. It doesn’t need to be pretty, just legible.

And you see what I did up there? Where I wrote an “a” then wrote over it and made it a “u?” That’s not very clear, is it? I should have used some white out, or done something else rather than leave it ambiguous. That would have been the smart thing to do…

Lastly, mail the check and the card to:

Pat Rothfuss
PO Box 186
Stevens Point, WI 54481

  • To Buy Your Tickets Online:

[EDIT: Woo Hoo! After a relatively painless review process, the online option is back! Thanks for being cool about this, Paypal!]

Because international post is slow and expensive, I decided to make a paypal option available. (You can use the three custom buttons below to donate.)

Note – Tickets through paypal will actually be $11 each. This is because paypal takes a percentage of all the money it helps transfer. And, to be completely honest, because it’s going to be a bit of a pain for me to sift all these digital entries onto paper tickets.

(Click the picture to be cool and donate 11 bucks.)

However, if you donate an even 50 bucks through paypal, I’ll cover the extra fees myself, and you can still have six tickets.

(Click to be awesome and donate 50 bucks.)

If you’re feeling extraordinarily extravagant, you can donate as much as you like with this button. (Keeping in mind that it should probably be some multiple of 11 or 50.)

(Click to be a rockstar and donate according to your desire.)

Remember: when you submit your paypal order, you need to include all the information you would have written on the note card.

DO THIS BEFORE YOU COMPLETE YOUR DONATION! After you donate, there’s no way to go back and add this information.

Your phone number.
Your name.
Your e-mail.
The name you’re hoping to get into the book.

Option Two: The Poor-Boy Raffle.

I spent nine years as an undergrad, so I know what it’s like to not have a lot of folding money. This is the option that will give everyone a chance to throw their hat into the ring, even if they can’t afford ten dollars for a ticket.

To get into the free option, you just mail a 3×5 note card, filled out just like the one above.

To this address:

Pat Rothfuss
PO BOX 186
Stevens Point, WI 54481

And that’s it.

After I draw the winner from the paying option, I’m going to take all the non-winning tickets from that raffle, combine them with the free entries, and draw a second winner.

Important: If you buy a ticket, I will automatically enter you in the poor-man’s raffle.

That means if you buy a ticket, DON’T don’t send in an entry for the poor man’s raffle too. This will only waste your time and anger me.

Option Three: The Cool Name Option

If I look through the entries and see a suggested name that looks cool to me, I might tweak it a bit and use it in the book.

Simple as that. I’m always on the lookout for cool names.

FAQ:

When is the raffle over?

One month from now: November 15th.

What are the odds of my winning the raffle?

Just like all raffles, that depends on how many tickets you buy, and how many people enter. But it should be obvious that you’re (roughly) twice as likely to win than if you use the free option.

Edit: As of October 27th, we had raised a little more than 8000 dollars.

That means if you buy a ticket, your odds of winning are roughly 1 in 400. (Because I’m drawing two winners.)

Or, if you donate fifty bucks and get six tickets, your odds are about 1 in 70.

Those are pretty good odds.

Also, if we get a bunch more people participating. I’ll draw an extra winner from the group that paid for their tickets.

That means it won’t hurt your odds to spread the word to your friends. More participants will actually lead to more chances to win.

Can I use my own name as the one I want in the book?

Of course. I’m guessing this is what most people want. I’m just leaving the door open for people to suggest other options.

If I buy more than one ticket, should I send in more than one card?

No. There’s never any reason to send in/fill out more than one card.

Does this mean book two isn’t finished yet?

*sigh* Yes. That should be pretty obvious. I couldn’t add things if it was finished. The revision process for a book this big takes a long time, and I’m still fixing things. Adding more awesome. Taking out things that aren’t quite awesome enough. Making sure everyone’s eyes are the right colour. That sort of stuff.

So if I win, I get to put whatever name I want in your upcoming book?

No. What will happen is the two of us will have a talk about how your name, or a variation of it, will fit into my book. Something that will make us both happy.

Read this blog for details and reasons why.

Will I get any control over who I am in the book? Will the character with my name look like me?

This will be part of our negotiation. If you really want to be a student at the University, and your name will work for that, we can make that happen. I might be able to tweak their appearance a little so it’s closer to yours, too.

The short answer is that I’ll do what I can to make you happy. But the book comes first, and I’m the final arbiter of what goes in and what doesn’t.

Will you be doing this again for book three?

I don’t know. A lot of that depends on how well this raffle works. If people are excited and we raise a lot of money, then I’ll probably do it for book three.

On the other hand, if the response is small, and the whole thing ends up being a pain in my ass, there’s a real possibility I won’t do it again.

So all of the money you raise from this is going to charity?

Yes. All this money will be going to Heifer International. This raffle is actually just a warm-up to the bigger fundraiser that I’ll be running on the blog next month.

If you’re curious, you can look at last year’s fundraiser HERE.

What’s to keep people from swamping the free option with multiple entries?

There are several things that I think will keep this from being a severe problem.

1) Human Decency.

My readers are generous, kind human beings. Only a rapacious fuckwit would try to game the system on a charity raffle.

2) Human Laziness.

There’s no online option for the free drawing. I doubt very much people will be filling out dozens of note cards by hand and sending them all in.

3) The name and phone number required with each entry.

I’m using phone numbers to catalog and organize the entries. That means I’m just going to throw away multiple free entries that have the same phone number, or those with no phone number at all. It’s the classic “one entry per household.” Except in this case it’s not a house, it’s a phone.

And yes, I know it’s not a perfect system. But it’s the best we can have without going to ridiculous lengths.

Are these prices in American dollars?

Yes. Foreign payments are one of the mail reasons I’m including a paypal option. Paypal will convert from your currency to US dollars.

If, for some strange reason, you want to send me a foreign check you need to do the following.

1. Figure out how much you want to donate.
(Let’s say you live in London and want to donate 50 dollars.)

2. Add three dollars. Because that’s how much my bank charges me to cash a foreign check.
(That makes your total 53 dollars.)

3. Convert this into your local currency.
(53 dollars = 32.96 British Pounds.)

4. Write your check out for this amount in your native currency. My bank can’t cash it otherwise.
(So you write me a check for 33 pounds. Rounding up because you’re a generous human being.)

Keep in mind that the raffle will be happening pretty soon after November 15th, and international post is slow. So if you’re going to mail me a check, do it sooner rather than later.

I was really looking forward to this being an auction. I’m all full of money and was willing to pay whatever it takes to get my daughter’s/husband’s/dwarven monk’s name in the book.

I’m willing to entertain the thought. If you really want an auction, let me know in the comments below and I’ll think about setting one up, maybe in conjunction with the other auctions we’re going to be running for the main fundraiser in a couple weeks.

More FAQ over here.

I’m excited, folks. Let’s do this.

pat

Posted in book two, cool things, Heifer International | By Pat133 Responses
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