Friday, July 17, 2009
Heifer International Part II - Return of Baby Ducks...

Those of you who have been reading the blog for a while know we did a fundraiser for Heifer International last year.

For those of you who are new to the game, you can see some of the details HERE.

In a nutshell, I started what I thought would be a little fundraiser, offering prizes and various other incentives to get people to donate. Things quickly spiraled out of control, other people in the Fantasy and Sci-fi publishing world pitched in, and by the end of it we had raised over 100,000 dollars.

Have I mentioned yet that Heifer is my favorite charity? It's my favorite charity.

So imagine my delight when Heifer's publication, World Ark, showed up this week and I found this inside:




(Click to Embiggen)


They're using us as an example of good fundraising. Go team us!

Seeing this has made me think of several things...

1. My hair looks pretty good in this picture.

2. We still need a good name for the fundraiser.

So far the best we've come up with is "Geeks for Goats" or "Worldbuilders Ink." I kinda like the second one, but it's punny. (Ink = Inc. Get it? Yeah. Not that funny.) What's more, the pun makes me wonder if the possessive apostrophe is really appropriate. Should it be "Worldbuilder's Ink" or maybe even "Worldbuilders' Ink?"

And as for "Geeks for Goats" well... it's kind of a silly name. While I'm not opposed to silliness, a fundraiser with a goofy name does not inspire confidence in donors. And we want donors. Many, many donors.

That means we need something clever, catchy, and subject-appropriate. Penny Arcade's "Child's Play" is a good example of a this.

3. In a couple months we'll be starting fundraiser version 2.0. That means....

  • If you're interested in participating, start saving your pennies.
  • If you're going to *raise* money to donate, start gathering your troupes.
  • If you'd like to donate something, like signed books, collectibles, or a cool service, drop me a line at paperback.contest (squiggly at thinger) gmail.com.

Last year most of the prizes were Sci-fi and Fantasy books, given out lottery-style. This year, with more time to plan, I think we'll be auctioning off some specialty stuff as well.

Some of the auction items will be things like signed books and one-of-a-kind manuscripts. Or services like having a pro author read your book and give you feedback.

Don't get me wrong, we'll still have the lottery prizes for people that want to donate. But in addition to that we'll be running auctions for the specialty items: things like, say, getting your name into The Wise Man's Fear.


So if you have stuff you'd like to donate to the cause, drop me a line. (Not money. That will come later. Right now I'm looking for stuff like signed books, memorabilia, stuff like that we can use as prizes.)

So stay tuned folks. It's going to be a good time.

pat

P.S. If you have any clever ideas for what we could call the fundraiser, comment below. We're creative people, right? We should be able to come up with something....

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posted by Pat at 125 Comments



Monday, December 22, 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

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Thursday, November 20, 2008
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

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008
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

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Monday, November 17, 2008
Heifer Fundraiser: Raising the Bar - Again.

Well folks, as I sit down to write this, we've raised over 12,000 dollars, and it hasn't even been a full week yet. That's not counting my matching donation,or any of the people who are choosing option #2 as described OVER HERE.



Click Here to Donate



Again, I wish I could make that thing say "we've raised."


I've raised the donation "goal" to 20,000 on the Heifer page because I don't want anyone to pass on donating because they think we've reached our limit.

To accommodate our growing numbers, I've increased the number of DAW samplers, maps, and signed books being given away. Also, two days ago I found an old copy of the UK galley proof. Though I have a sentimental attachment to it, I can throw it into the mix as well. I've only seen about 10 of these in my life, so a signed one is probably worth something as a collector's item.




Also, the donations have started to come in. Most of them are signed books from other fantasy and science-fiction authors. I've been amazed at how willing everyone has been to contribute.

I'll be posting those other donations up as they show up at my house. I might start as soon as tonight....

And now, a little more Q & A.

  • "If your name goes into the lottery hat multiple times, can you win multiple prizes? The first prize your name is drawn for? The Coolest prize your name is drawn for? How will that work?"
Here's how it will work.

Say you donate 120 dollars, enough for a goat.





Your name would go into the final drawing 12 times. Then, if we draw your name out of the hat and you win a signed book, your name is still in there 11 times for the rest of the drawing.

Then I'll drop you an e-mail telling you what you've won, and asking for your address. At that point, you can choose to pass on any of the prizes you've won. (For example, if you won two copies of the map, and you only want one.) I'll keep those re-donated prizes in storage until we do this again next year.

You bet. Personally, I can't think of a better way of keeping The Man away from your money.

  • I have something I'd like to donate to your lottery option. Where can I send it?
Well... before you drop that macrame owl into the mail, why don't you drop me an e-mail at Paperback.contest (squiggly at thinger) gmail.com and tell me what you're thinking of sending.

It's not that I don't appreciate your generosity, and it's not that I have anything against macrame. Or owls. It's just that right now we kind of have a tight focus of things we're giving away as prizes. It's mostly books and SFF related stuff. For now, I think it might be best if we keep that focus.

That said, if you've got a book or something you think would fit in into the mix, I'd love to include it. So e-mail me or send it to:

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

  • "I have an idea for an awesome prize. You could offer to pass the winner's manuscript along to your editor or your agent. I'd love to win that..."
Several people sent e-mails similar to this one. Believe me folks, I know where you're coming from. I struggled to get someone to read my book for years. Back then, I would have loved to win a prize like this too.

But though I feel your pain, I don't think this is a good idea. Here's why:

1) Most of the people participating in this contest don't have manuscripts I can read. I don't want to give out a prize that would be useless to 90% of the people eligible to win it.

2) It really isn't polite of me of me to inflict some random manuscript on my editor or agent. They're busy people.

3) The implication here is that you'd get published off the deal. And that just isn't a fair thing to imply. Hope is a wonderful thing, but false hope is actually more destructive than constructive.

But I think I might actually be able to offer a constructive option....

For you writers out there, I'm going to add something under the "Sure Thing" option. If you're willing to make a sizable donation to Heifer, I will read your manuscript and give you feedback on it. Revision advice.

Now, let's be clear so we don't have any misunderstandings. What I'm offering is this:

I'll read your manuscript just like I read my own, with a red pen in my hand, making notes on my thoughts: What I like. How I feel about the different sections. What is working well and could be expanded. And what, in my opinion, needs fixing.

Then I'd call you and we'll talk about the book. It's not as good as getting together over coffee and looking at the same manuscript, but it's better than me just dropping it in the mail and you trying to decipher my demented scribbling.

Also, and this is key, I'm not going to blow a lot of smoke up your ass. I'll tell you what I really think about it, both good and bad.

That said, I should mention that I was a writing tutor for almost a decade. I know how to give constructive criticism without it being excruciating to the writer. It's a talent I'm proud of. Too many tutors (and teachers, and writing groups) aren't good at this.

Here's what I'm not offering, just so we're clear.

I'm not offering to do this right now. I have some deadlines myself. We'll have to schedule it for some time after December.

I'm not offering to pass your manuscript along to my publisher or agent. Not. This is just you and me. Two writers having a discussion about your story and what you could do to make it better.

I'm not offering to work on your book with you as part of an ongoing editorial process. It's a one-shot deal. I'll read your manuscript once, a solid, careful read. Then I'll chat with you on the phone about it. Then I'll mail it back to you with my notes.

Just so we're clear.... Are we clear?

How much is a "sizable" donation? Well.... It needs to be fairly high in order to protect my time. If it was $10, I'd get 200 manuscripts and spend the next year reading Harry Potter fanfiction. Then I would kill myself.

So I think I'm going to have to set it at 1000 dollars or more. If you're willing to donate at least a thousand dollars to Heifer, drop me an e-mail and we'll negotiate.

Negotiate what? Well... YA fantasy is easier for me to read than quantum entanglement based science fiction, so I'd probably negotiate you to kick in more out of consideration for the extra time I'd be putting in. Same thing if your manuscript is 200,000 words long. If it's full of hot lesbian vampires making out... I'm okay with that. No extra charge.

Lastly, I feel obliged to say that the only reason I feel comfortable doing this is because it's for Heifer. You see, I'm trying to do what good I can, given my situation.

It's like this, if I were a movie star I could help Heifer by showing up and taking some pictures with a goat. Then they would use my name and my picture to help spread the word about the organization.

But I can't do that. Being photogenic is not part of my skillset. If someone took a picture of me with a goat, the journalists would get confused and the caption would end up reading something like, "Heifer also gives goats to shabby hobo-looking authors like Patrick Rothfuss. Before Heifer gave him a goat, Pat was too poor to afford a haircut or a second pair of pants. Now the nutritious milk will supplement his diet of ramen noodles, keeping his bones from becoming brittle as chalk."

And that's a best-case scenario. More likely the caption would read, "Goats provide milk to needy families, while sheep can be sheared for their wool, providing warm clothes and a source of income."

No. I'm not pretty, and I'm not famous in any conventional sense of the word. But I know stories, and I eat and breathe revision. So that's what I'm offering up on Heifer's behalf.


Lastly, can any of you out there think of a cool name for this fundraiser? Obviously (given the title of the blog) I haven't been able to come up with anything cool so far. Suggestions are welcome in the comments below.

Best,

pat

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Friday, November 14, 2008
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

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posted by Pat at 25 Comments



Monday, November 10, 2008
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
  • Signed copy of Your College Survival Guide - $65
  • Signed copy of Tales of Dark Fantasy - $75
  • SOLD OUT First Edition Hardcover - $85
  • Signed galley proof - $250
  • New - An ARC of book two - $1000 (Not now. When it's finished. Details HERE)
  • New - 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


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posted by Pat at 68 Comments




Heifer International: Part One - A Charity for People Who Love Baby Ducks.

Earlier this year, I held what I thought was going to be a little photo contest. The response surprised me; hundreds of people sent in almost a thousand photos. People dressed up, stripped naked, and climbed onto rooftops. It was an eye opener for me. I realized that there were a lot of folks out there who *really* liked the book.

Ever since, I've been thinking about what sort of contest I'd like to run next. Fanart contest? Video contest? Something for the writers out there? What sort of prizes would people be interested in? Posters? Signed books? Sneak peeks of books to come?

But then I had a better idea.

Eventually, I will run the contests I mentioned above. There will be good times. We will revel in our shared geekery. Blogs will be writ. Prizes will be had.

But first, I'm hoping to direct some of this energy in a slightly different direction. If I'm going to hand out prizes, I'd like it to be for a good cause. Something I believe we all have in common....

I believe that deep down, people are good. I believe that most of us would go out of our way to take care of baby ducks.


My favorite charity is called Heifer International. They are a great force for good in the world, and I'd like to help them raise some money.

There are a lot of worthwhile charities out there. Important causes. Things I feel strongly about. But Heifer is my favorite. Here's why.

Let's say by some miracle I raised ten thousand dollars to help fight cancer, or Parkinson's, or Alzheimer's. While it would help the cause, it would just be a tiny drop in the bucket. Enough to help fund some lab's research for a couple weeks.

But we don't need to research a cure for hunger or poverty. We know how that works. Heifer doesn't just hand out bags of rice, Heifer gives a family a goat and teaches them how to take care of it. Then that family has a continual source of milk for their children. They can sell the extra milk to make money. When the goat has babies, they give those babies to other members of their community, sharing the gift.

Heifer helps people become self-reliant. As someone who has just recently become self-reliant, I know what a nice feeling that is.

My Mom loved Heifer. Every Christmas I would donate enough money for a goat, then give it to her as a present. I remember the first year I did it. She opened the envelope where I had drawn a crude picture of a goat and a happy stick-figure child.

She knew what it meant right off the bat. "Oh! I love it!" she said. And she got a little weepy, because she loved nothing better than helping people who needed it. She had a heart as big as the sky.





This is why I love Heifer. If we raise a couple thousand dollars for them, it will make peoples' lives better. A couple thousand dollars means little kids get milk to drink. It means families get sheep, which means wool for warm blankets and clothes. It means better wells, so moms with babies can have clean water to drink.

I think this is something we can all get behind, can't we?


So here's my plan, the bare bones version.

1. You will help by spreading the word, and making donations.

2. I will match all of the donations, dollar for dollar.



3. We both have a big warm fuzzy feeling in our chests that lets us know we've helped make the world a better place.

4. Finally, as a gesture of my appreciation, I will supply gifts for the people who participated: Signed books, maps, sneak peaks of book two, stuff like that.

This blog is to explain *why* I'm doing this. The details about *how* are over here on THIS BLOG. There are links to my Heifer Team page and details about the prizes. So hop on over there and check it out.

Excitedly yours,

pat

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posted by Pat at 17 Comments



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