Tag Archives: Worldbuilders 2008

Reaping the Whirlwind

First, I’d like everyone to take a moment and appreciate the clever title of this post. I’m unreasonably proud of it.

We good? Okay.

After a long week, Sarah and I have finally managed to tie up about 99% of the loose ends on the fundraiser. We’ve drawn numbers, sorted prizes, sent e-mails, and packaged nearly everything up.

And when I saw “we,” I mean “Sarah.” I did a lot of the sifting, number juggling, and e-mailing, but Sarah was the package queen.

Awww…. She loves those packages. Those hundreds and hundreds of packages.

Also, as you can see in the lower lefthand corner, the holy light these prizes exude can shine through cardboard, tape, and two layers of bubble wrap. It’s powerful stuff.

I’d also like to note that these packages do not include the Subterranean Press books. Because not only was Subterranean Press cool enough to donate a great pile of stuff, they were nice enough to handle all the shipping for those books too. Which is why I am filled with love for them.

And speaking of love….

Here Sarah is modeling the catgirl hat many of you have seen before. I wanted to prove that I actually did buy it for her, and wasn’t secretly keeping it for myself.

Simply said, the fundraiser would have been impossible without Sarah. She spent dozens of hours bundling up books, running errands, and generally getting everything done. Hell, the trip to the post office alone took two full hours, and that was with a friend with a van helping.

Everyone say, “Thank you Sarah.”

And now, answers to some final questions.

  • Things went really crazy right at the end of the fundraiser. What happened?

Things did go a little crazy. On December 9th, I mentioned on the blog that I thought we had a decent chance of breaking $40,000. Then, we raised over $16,000 in the next two days, tearing past $50,000 and leaving me worried that I was going to have to take out a loan so I could cover my half.

A big piece of this was brought about by folks spreading the word on their blogs. Most notably, Neil Gaiman.

I’d heard through the grapevine that Gaiman was a bit of a Heifer supporter, so I sent him a little e-mail, asking if he’d be interested in mentioning it on his blog.

I should have realized that asking for something like this would be like sticking my tongue into…. well… into anything, really. In my experience, whenever you stick your tongue into something, the outcome is going to be either very exciting, very dangerous, or both.

This was one of those “both” situations. After his blog, Gaiman’s readers flooded over to participate in the festivities. Felicia Day mentioned it on her blog too. Plus, I know a lot of folks were finishing their own personal fundraisers and/or waiting until the very end to make their donations. Hence the crazy.

Rest assured, everyone who got their donations in by the 11th was entered into the lottery.

And yes, I’m all twitterpated that Gaiman referred to me as a “good author.” Though I hope at least some of that was referring to my storytelling as opposed to my ethics.

  • The donations hit nearly $55,000. How much are you matching?

The other day I asked Sarah, “What do you want for Christmas?”

Nothing you can afford to get me,” she said huffily.

And we laugh. This has become the running joke in our house.

I’ve decided to match all the donations. I could have stopped at forty thousand, but I said I’d keep matching until the 11th, and I like to keep my promises.

  • What was the final total?

If you’ve read the blog that started it all, you know I offered two options to people who wanted to donate. There was the Sure Thing option, and the Lottery option.

A surprising number of people chose the Sure Thing, which meant they mailed me a check and I mailed them something back, usually a book or a map signed however they wanted it.

(Click to Embiggen)

A *lot* of people chose this option. So many that I ran out of first edition books. The total amount raised from the Sure Thing option was over six thousand dollars.

That, plus my matching donation from the lottery, minus the cost of postage and packaging materials, brings us to $58,493.14

I’m showing you the check not as proof that I’m mailing it, but because it took me ten friggin minutes to write this thing out. I screwed up five checks before I managed to get it right. I misspelled “ninty,” wrote the wrong amount, wrote the wrong year, and failed more than once to get the total to fit on the line.

I keep pretending that I’m a grown-up, but I’m not.

Anyway, this money, plus the donations that were made directly to the Heifer page, makes a grand total of $113,466.28.

I don’t have words enough to express how happy this makes me. I firmly believe that deep down, people are fundamentally good. But it’s nice to have some data that backs that sentiment up every once in a while.

I’d like to thank all the authors who donated books, all the people who mentioned the fundraiser on their blogs, and all the people who donated money to the cause. Yay us.

  • Are you planning on doing this again next year?

Yes. But I’m planning on doing some things differently.

More stuff. A lot of people wanted to contribute books or other goodies to this year’s auction, but they didn’t hear about the fundraiser until it was nearly finished. I’ve already got stuff piling up for next year’s fundraiser.

Streamlined lottery. Next year, when you make your donation you’ll be able to mark what prizes you’re interested in. That way if you win something, it will be something you’re sure to like.

Auctions. Some prizes are really cool, but only to a very select group of people. So next year we’re going to auction those items off separately. These might be things like manuscripts. Or they might be services, like an author agreeing to insert your name into an upcoming book, a lawyer offering legal consultation, or feedback on a manuscript from a literary agent.

  • I want to be a part of next year’s fundraiser. How can I help?

Donate. Want to chip in a signed book or two? Lovely. Have a cool collectible or unique skill you think would be a worthwhile addition? Wonderful. I’m already collecting prizes for next year. Send them along.

Or maybe you’d like to be an even bigger part of the fundraiser? I’m going to be looking for official sponsors to help me match donations for next year. I’d like to be able to do all of it on my own again, but I just can’t afford it.

If you’d like to help out, drop me a line on my contact form or send an e-mail to Paperback.contest (squiggly at thinger) gmail.com.

Spread the word. Not everyone has signed books to donate or money to throw around. But you can help a lot by letting people know about the fundraiser. A lot of the prizes I received came from authors who contacted me, saying, “A fan sent me an e-mail about your fundraiser and I’d love to be a part of it.” So if you know someone that might be interested in helping, donating a prize, or potentially being a sponsor, talk to them about it. It’s a big help.

Help me come up with a name.
We *really* need a name, folks. We can’t keep calling it “The Heifer Fundraiser.” It lacks panache. Names are important things, you know. And they can tell you a lot about a fundraiser.

Right now, the best I’ve been able to come up with is “Worldbuilders.” But we need something catchier than that. I know that a lot of you are word-clever, as shown by your constant, witty definitions of the word verification giberish. Funnel the churning magma of your creativity toward this problem and I’m sure we can come up with something good.

In fact, let’s try to get the ball rolling in the comments below. Serious suggestions only please. Believe me, I’ve come up with enough sarcastic-sounding ones on my own…. (Geeks for Goats being the least lame of these.)

Thanks again everyone,

pat

Posted in baby ducks, Catgirl, cool things, Heifer International, Neil Gaiman, Sarah, Worldbuilders 2008 | By Pat75 Responses

The settling dust….

Well, the fundraiser is over, and most of my weekend has been spent dealing with the fallout.

I’ll post up a more detailed blog about the aftermath in a couple of days. I’ll talk details, show some pictures, give the final totals, and discuss the plans for the future.

But for now, my priority is sending out the books to everyone who won prizes. That means I’m too busy packaging things up with Sarah to write up a new blog right now. And no, that’s not a euphemism.

(Click to embiggen)

Check out all the swag, and this isn’t even including Subterranean Press’s books.

The more observant of you might note that my book is glowing with some sort of holy light. That’s right folks, not only is it a cracking good read, but The Name of the Wind will actually help you cut energy costs by illuminating your house. Plus, basking naked in its warm glow will help your body generate much-needed vitamin D.

This is why they don’t let me write ad copy.

In other news, if you’re looking for a way to pass the time, I did an online author panel thinger with a few other folks over at bookgeeks, talking about the classic science/magic issue.

So if you’re interested in what we had to say, or if you’re just looking to kill time at work, feel free to wander over there and check it out.

Later all,

pat

Posted in Interviews, Worldbuilders 2008 | By Pat15 Responses

Heifer International: Part Two – The Details

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, local industry, and clean water.

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.

I think this is something we can all get behind.

If you’re wondering *why* I’m doing this, that information is OVER HERE. This blog gives details on *how* the donation drive will work.

You’ve got two options for donating. Please read things all the way through before making your choice.

Option One: The Lottery.

I’ve created a webpage OVER HERE on Heifer’s website. For every dollar you donate there, I’ll donate a dollar too.

It works like this:

Elegant in its simplicity, no?

After a month’s time, on December 11th, we’ll have a drawing for prizes. I’ll use the information from the Heifer site to get the donation totals. For every 10 bucks you’ve kicked in, your name will get entered into the drawing once.

So if you’ve donated thirty bucks, your name would go in three times. Think of it as buying tickets, if you like.

When I started this fundraiser, I thought it was mostly going to be for my readers and people on my blog. So most of the prizes centered around my book (as you can see below.) But the fundraiser has grown since then, and we’re getting new stuff from generous donors all over the world. Stay tuned for new stuff.

Added Nov 18th – We have a bunch of signed books and ARCs OVER HERE.

Added Nov 20th – More signed books and ARCs OVER HERE.

Added Nov 24th – Signed manuscript of Enemies and Allies OVER HERE.

Added Nov 26th – More signed books and collectibles OVER HERE.

Added Dec 1st – Signed books from Bad Moon Press OVER HERE.

Added Dec 2nd – Signed books and prints from Peter S. Beagle OVER HERE.

Added Dec 3rd – $8000 of signed, limited-edition books from Subterranean Press OVER HERE.

Added Dec 9th – More signed books, ARC’s, DVD’s, and other cool swag OVER HERE.

  • 40 color maps of the Four Corners. Signed by me.

Drawn by my friend, Nathan Taylor. Nate is also the illustrator who drew the black and white map that ended up in the book. This is the color version, so you can see some of the detail that’s not available in the book, including some of the political borders.

  • 40 Copies of The Name of the Wind Movie Poster. Signed by me.

Also drawn by Nathan Taylor. He was fantasising about them making a movie out of the book, and drew this as a mock-up of what the movie poster might look like. I love Kvothe’s expression. It really captures a key piece of his personality.

Nate and I are also working on a not-for-children children’s book together. So here’s your chance to get hold of some of his art before he gets super famous….

  • 90 Copies of the DAW sampler. Signed by me.

DAW put this out earlier this year as a promotional item. It’s got teaser pieces from all sorts of upcoming DAW books, from authors like Tad Williams and Mercedes Lackey.

It also has a chapter from The Wise Man’s Fear.

  • 25 signed hardcover copies of the Name of the Wind.

The 5th printing with the sexy new cover.

  • 5 copies of the College Survival Guide. Signed by me and the illustrator.

My first publication. The first four years of the humor column I wrote for the local paper, along with illustrations and annotations. Only 500 copies of this were printed, so they’re hard to come by these days. Perfect for reading on the toilet.

  • 5 First edition copies of the Name of the Wind. Signed by me.

With the old out-of-print cover. You wouldn’t believe what some people are charging for these things out there.

  • 6 Copies of Tales of Dark Fantasy. Signed by me.

This is the Subterranean Press anthology that printed my short story, “The Road to Levinshir,” which is an excerpt from The Wise Man’s Fear.

It also has some great stories by folks like Tim Powers and Kage Baker. It’s a beautiful hardcover book, and the cover price was $40, and that was back before it sold out.

  • A signed copy of the first printing UK hardcover.

There aren’t many of these in existence the simple reason that I don’t live in England. Plus, you know how everything sounds way cooler when it’s pronounced in an English accent? Well this book is WRITTEN in an English accent. How cool is that?

  • 2 Copies of the original galley proofs of The Name of the Wind. Signed by me.

A galley is an early version of a book that publishers occasionally print in order to promote a book. There weren’t that many of these printed, and the last one of them I saw on e-bay was going for over a hundred dollars. The few signed ones out there are going for more than that

  • A copy of the UK galley proof. Signed by me.

I’ve only seen about ten of these, so a signed one is probably a bit of a collectible item.

  • Two advance reading copies of The Wise Man’s Fear.

I need to stress that this book is not ready to read yet. Not. Ready. To Read. Yet. That means you can’t have it right now. (This picture is a cruel lie.) But here’s the deal, if you win this, I’ll make sure you get a copy as soon as it’s ready to show around, before it officially hits the shelves.

  • An early editorial manuscript of book one.

A proto-version of The Name of the Wind, printed out on my trusty HP printer, and marked up as part of my ongoing editorial process. Includes the now absent first chapter of the book, as well as a hundred other small differences. A similar item sold for 1000 bucks over in England a while back, and the one they have now is going for more than that. So odds are, if you don’t want it, you can sell it to someone else who does….

Two things:

  • Make sure you donate on MY PAGE. Otherwise I won’t know you donated, won’t have access to your e-mail, and won’t be able to include you in the fun.
Option Two: The Sure Thing.

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

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

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

But right now, in honor of the Heifer fundraiser, I’m willing to streamline the process. Rather than you buying a book, finding something cool, packaging it up, and paying for shipping both ways, you can just mail me a check and I’ll send you a book signed however you like. Then I’ll ship it right back to you, carefully packaged and in time for Christmas.

Here’s a list of the books I’ve got stockpiled here in my house. (For more detailed descriptions, look above.)

  • New – Signed color version of the Four Corners map. $40
  • Signed hardcover (5th edition with the new bluish cover) – $45
  • SOLD OUT Signed copy of Your College Survival Guide – $65
  • SOLD OUT Signed copy of Tales of Dark Fantasy – $75
  • SOLD OUT First Edition Hardcover – $85
  • SOLD OUT Signed galley proof – $250
  • SOLD OUT  – An ARC of book two – $1000 (Not now. When it’s finished. Details HERE)
  • SOLD OUT – I will give you feedback on your manuscript – (Details HERE.)

For the most part, these prices are double what these things cost me, plus a little to cover shipping. I can get a 5th edition hardcover for 20 bucks, so they’re up there for 45. The anthology I can get for 35, so they’re going for 75….

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

If you’re going with option two, please follow these directions.

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

A) Which item you want.

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

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

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

C) Your return address.

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

2. Include a check. Make it out to me because I’ll be using a couple bucks from each one to cover postage.

3. Mail the note card and the check to:

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

If you live outside the US and want to buy a book, follow the instructions I’ve laid out in THIS BLOG. International shipping is expensive, and you need to fill out your check a certain way or my bank won’t cash it.

  • If you’d want to buy something AND do the lottery, that’s fine. So if you send in a check for 85 dollars, and specify that you’d like a copy of the College Survival Guide, I’d mail you that book, then match the extra twenty dollars and throw your name in the hat twice when we did the drawing.
  • If you’re an author or some other interested party who would like to donate something other than money to the cause, feel free to drop me an e-mail at Paperback.contest (squiggly at sign) gmail.com

Additional questions? I might have answered them HERE or HERE or HERE. Please read through those FAQ’s before you e-mail me.

That’s all for now. If you have any other ideas for things that might make good prizes, feel free to leave them in a comment below.

And one more time, here’s the link to MY TEAM PAGE.

Hopefully yours,

pat

Posted in baby ducks, being awesome, BJ Hiorns Art, Nathan Taylor Art, Worldbuilders 2008 | By Pat66 Responses
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