Saturday, March 6, 2010
Coming Soon to a Town Near You! (Offer Not Valid in Towns Not Near You)

As many of you know, a couple of days ago I decided to take a bit of a road trip down to Virginia. And, because I am an accommodating Midwesterner, I thought I might do a reading or two on my way down. So some folks could get their books signed, if they wanted.

When I posted up last week's blog looking for venues, I was hoping to maybe hear from 2 or 3 bookstores or libraries willing to help me throw a couple signings together. Maybe.

I didn't expect to get 30-40 offers. While it was terribly flattering, sorting everything out has been a bit of a logistical puzzle.

But I think I've finally got it all sussed. Here's the current list of times and places where I'll be stopping by to do readings and signings.

[Edit: All signings now confirmed.]


March 16th
7:00pm

Reading and Signing
Borders
348 East State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Phone: 765-743-7775
Website


March 17th
2:00-3:00pm

Signing (No time for a reading here, I'm afraid.)
Josephbeth Book Store
692 Madison Road
Cincinnati OH 45208
Phone: 513-396-8960
Website


March 17th
7:00pm -

Reading and Signing
Josephbeth Book Store
161 Lexington Green Circle
Lexington, KY 40503-3323
Phone: 859-273-2911
Website


March 19
th 6:30pm -

Reading and Signing
Prince Books
109 East Main Street
Norfolk, VA 23510-1691
Phone: 757-622-9223
Website


March 20th
2:00-4:00

Reading and Signing
Books A Million
3312 Princess Anne Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

(757) 368-3167


March 22nd 7:00pm -

Reading and Signing
Borders
6701 Frontier Drive
Springfield, VA 22150
Phone: 703-924-4894
Website


March 23rd
7:00pm -

Reading and Signing
Barnes and Noble
5500 Buckeystown Pike (Fixed. Sorry.)
Frederick, MD 21704
Phone: 301-698-0121
Website


March 24th
7:00pm -

Reading and Signing
Joesephbeth Bookseller
24519 Cedar Road
Lyndhurst, OH 44124
Phone: 216-691-7000
Website

As you can see, there's not a lot of time in between those stops. So I probably won't be adding any more stops. I'll hit somewhere in Chicago in maybe a month or two, as that's relatively close to home and I can just drive down there any old time I feel like it.

I've had several people ask, "What exactly do you do at one of these readings?"

So here's the deal.

First, I drink a strong cup of coffee. Something like a white chocolate mocha with two shots of blackberry and four sugars. This is the source of my power. After one or two of these, I look like something out of Kulba Kahn and can lift up a truck.

Second, I hang out a bit and chat with the people that show up early.

Third (Readings only) I spend about an hour reading stuff and answering questions. What I read really depends on what people are in the mood for. Sometimes I read a few humor columns. Sometimes I read a little poetry. Sometimes I read a bit of one of my books.

In between readings I answer questions about pretty much anything. Sometimes I tell stories. Sometimes I give advice. There are occasional descents into madness.

Fourth, I sign books. Generally speaking, I'll write whatever you want in a book: a quote from Bast, a profession of my undying love, a letter of recommendation to grad school.

But it's best if you give me some direction. If you say to me, "Just write whatever..." there is a very real possibility that I will simply write "Whatever" in your book.

I will also try my very best to spell your name correctly. Though sometimes I fuck up.


Caveats and Addendum:

Do not touch my baby. Little Oot will be coming with me to some of these readings and signings. If you see him, you may gaze at him adoringly or coo in his direction. But touching him his not acceptable behavior.

No offense. But I don't you. I don't know where you've been. I don't know if you might be sick, or if you've been around someone sick. You might be a sociopath. You might be from Illinois.

Here's the deal. Oot is my first baby, and I'm very protective of him. So when planning your behavior around him, it would be safest if you thought of him as a tiny bear cub, and me as his momma bear. Any sudden movements or over-familiarity might lead to sudden and terrible wrath.



We clear here? Fair warning.

I occasionally cuss. I try to restrain myself if there are tiny kids present. But if the thought of hearing the word "shit" spoken aloud horrifies you, then... well... you're probably going to be horrified.

My handwriting is not pretty. My handwriting is such that young children mock me for it. Seriously.

You can have a hug if you ask nicely...


...Just don't get all handsy on me.


Lastly, one request. Since I'm scheduling these events not even two weeks ahead of time, there really isn't much time for typical promotion to spread the word about them. Most bookstores won't even be able to get up posters advertising these signings until next week.

So if you know someone that lives in the area who might be interested in coming. I'd be much obliged if you passed the news along to them. It's always so sad when I get an e-mail that says, "I just found out you were in [insert hometown here]! I can't believe I missed it!"


Thanks so much for your help everybody,

pat

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Personalized books for sale

[This is a blog about the Worldbuilder's fundraiser. If you don't know what that is, you can get the details HERE.]

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 for return postage, and I'll sign your book.

But for the Worldbuilders fundraiser, I'm streamlining the process. Rather than having you pay shipping both ways, you can just buy a book, I'll sign it however you like, then I'll ship it back to you. Hopefully in time for Christmas.

I can inscribe any of the following books however you like and mail them off to you.





These are anywhere from the second printing to the 6th printing. All of them have the cool new blue cover. Signed however you like.

  • Your College Survival Guide.




This book was my first publication, and it's a shameful piece of my sordid past. It's a collection of of humor columns I wrote for the college paper between 1999 and 2003. Columns dealt with pressing philosophical issues such as the fast zombies/slow zombies debate as well as everyday problems like how to bribe your professor or start a career as a prostitute.

The book is full of illustrations by BJ Hiorns, the same guy that illustrates my blog. It also contains annotations where I explain how some columns got written, the lies I told, and what sort of trouble various jokes got me into

Only 500 copies were printed, so the Guide is hard to come by these days. Collectors sell them for as much as 200 bucks. Myself, I think it's perfect for reading on the toilet.

  • First edition copies of the Name of the Wind. [SOLD OUT]




I've got about 20 of these. Some with the green man cover (above) some with the Fabio, and some that have been re-covered with the blue jackets. You wouldn't believe what some people are charging for these things out there.

I can sign this however you like, but make sure to specify in your order which cover you'd like.

Edit: As of December 3rd, I've run out of the first editions. They went WAY more quickly than I'd ever guessed. If I can find some more, I'll put them up here again. But for now we're sold out. Sorry.

If you mailed in your order, and it's postmarked on the 3rd or earlier, I'll should have enough books to cover your order. But if your mailed-in order has a later postmark than that, we'll contact you contact you and see what you'd like done with your check.


  • Tales of Dark Fantasy.




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's a beautiful hardcover book with stories by folks like Tim Powers and Kage Baker. The cover price was $40, and that was back before it went out of print. Now it's hard to find one for less than 80 bucks.

  • Original galley proofs of The Name of the Wind.




A galley is an early version of a book that publishers occasionally print to promote a book. This version of The Name of the Wind came before the final edits, so there are about 5000 small changes I made before publication, as well as two chapters that I re-wrote almost entirely.

There weren't that many of these printed, and I have a handful that I kept for sentimental reasons. The last one of them I saw on e-bay was going for over a hundred dollars, and that was a year ago. The few signed ones out there are going for more than that...

  • Please be aware that I have limited copies of these. So they might sell out kinda fast depending on how many people are interested.
For the most part, prices for the books are double what they cost me, plus a little for packaging. I can get a 6th edition hardcover for 20 bucks, so they're up there for 45. Tales of Dark Fantasy is out of print, and would cost me 50 bucks off Amazon, so they're going for 105....

The reason for this is that it's in keeping with the fundraiser 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?

And remember, all the money goes to Heifer.

* Signed hardcover - $45

* Signed copy of Your College Survival Guide - $85

* Signed copy of Tales of Dark Fantasy - $105

* Signed First Edition Hardcover - $145 [Sold out.]

* Signed galley proof - $255


You can pay one of two ways:

  • By Mail:

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 before I make the lump donation to Heifer at the end of the fundraiser.

3. Mail the note card and the check to:

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


Rules for International orders:

If you live outside the US and want to buy a book, the rules are a little different. International shipping is expensive, and you need to fill out your check a certain way or my bank won't cash it.

It costs me about $25 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 25 dollars (or more, if you have more books) to the prices I've listed above.

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

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.

  • By Paypal
You can pay online with paypal. But make sure you include your contact information and detailed signing instructions with your order.

Note: When you pay on paypal. Make sure you include how you want me to sign the book BEFORE YOU COMPLETE YOUR TRANSACTION. Seriously. Look around, find the little area where you can add extra instructions and put your signing instructions in there.




Choose Which Book You'd Like...






That's all we've got for now, folks. Hopefully before too long we'll have t-shirts and posters for sale too. Keep an eye on the blog.

Want to go back to main page for Worldbuilders? Click HERE.



As always, special thanks to our sponsor, Subterranean Press.



(All Hail Subterranean Press!)

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Facebook and Fortune Cookies

A while back, I heard a rumor that Facebook wouldn't let you have more than 5000 friends.

At the time, it was just a little blip of information: interesting, but not really relevant to my life. I remember thinking, "That's sensible. Nobody could ever have 5000 friends anyway, and some sort of limit will keep facebook from getting all myspacey."

Fast forward to two days ago. I'm going about my business on facebook, adding another handful of people who've sent me requests, and what do I see?





So apparently the rumor is true...

I mention this for two reasons:

1) If you send a friend request and I don't add you, don't feel snubbed. And take it personally. And show up outside my house clutching a bouquet of flowers and a homemade shiv. Naked.

2) To let folks know that most of my activity is moving to the official facebook fan page. That's where I'll be posting most of the book-related events, pictures, and other assorted ephemera from now on.
(Editorial note - In response to some comments below: I'm still planning on doing the blog. No fear of that going away. I'm just moving most of my facebooking from one place to another.)



Now, the main event. Audience participation requested...

More than a year ago, someone sent me a copy of their book to sign. As per the rules I've laid out in a previous blog, they sent something cool: fortune cookies.
(Editorial note - Yes I'm still signing books according to the rules set down in the blog. But if you want a simpler option, I'll soon be selling signed books as part of the upcoming Heifer Fundraiser. Just so you know.)
Now this might not sound terribly cool at first. After all, you get fortune cookies for free when you order take-out Chinese food. Personally, after packing myself full of garlic shrimp, I'm not always in the mood for a dry, kinda almondy cookie. So for me, fortune cookies slowly accumulate in my kitchen where Sarah arranges them in vaguely ocd patterns on the countertop.

But you need to believe me when I tell you that the cookies these folks sent were, in point of fact, terribly cool. Turns out they actually run their own business where they do custom fortune cookies. Cookies in all manner of delicious flavors like orange or strawberry. Cookies dipped in chocolate. Yes. Chocolate.



(Rock. On.)

Better yet, this company is located in Indianapolis. The same place as Gen Con.

And this year I'm going to be GOH at Gen Con....

I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this.

So I'm going to get some cookies to hand out at GenCon this year, but I'm not sure what they should say inside. These days fortune-cookie fortunes are all cheerful and nice. ("Everyone loves you, and your ass looks great in those jeans.") That's always bugged me. If these cookies are supposed to predict the future, then simple statistics say that some of them should foretell some dire shit. ("You should really see a urologist.")

Also, I miss the old, cryptic, badly translated fortunes. The ones that said things like, "The onion in your salad is someone else's orchid."

And I feel like I should have a few cookies that relate to the books. Maybe a few portentous hints about book two. (Some true, some not.)

Here's the problem, I tend to write long things, not short things. Fortune Cookie fortunes are short.

So I turn to you, my clever and creative fanbase. Any suggestions?

pat

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Friday, June 26, 2009
Upcoming Appearances and Internet Etiquette

So the power was out in my neighborhood today. This doomed me to an afternoon of stewing in my own juice. The weather in Wisconsin right now has been roughly equivalent to living inside a dog's mouth. It was not a good day to be without air conditioning.

Also, the power outage threw a wrench into my plan to fine-tune and post another blog about Europe. So, instead, I decided to pass along some news and answer a piece of fanmail I got yesterday instead.

First the news: I've just finished updating the tour page.

The busy part of convention season is fast approaching, and I've got a lot of events scheduled over the next couple months. From relatively small conventions and signings here in Wisconsin (I'm in Wausau this Saturday, btw) to big conventions in Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Montreal, and San Diego.




(Rare footage of the elusive Rothfuss at his natural migratory habitat: the convention.)


At some of these conventions, I even get to be Guest of Honor. I'm not sure, but I think this means someone will be contractually obliged to fan me with a large palm leaf. I also expect to be given a shiny medal of some sort or at least a rather dapper-looking hat.




(The Rothfuss uses his bright plumage to lure readers into panels, where he devours them. )


So head on over to the page and take a look at where I'm going to be. I go to these to meet readers and hang out, so the more the merrier.


Now the piece of e-mail:
Pat,

I have a quick question I hope you don't mind answering. I saw you do that sometimes in your blogs.

After finishing The Name of the Wind, I called my local bookstore to see when the next book was coming out. They didn't know. So I called my local Library. They didn't know. So eventually, I gritted my teeth and borrowed a friend's internet and found your blog.

Over the next week I read all of it. Including most of the comments. I was a little addicted. I'm guessing it took me fifty hours.

I don't have a question about book two. Take your time. But as someone who doesn't spend a lot of time online, I am curious about this whole blog thing. Specifically about the comments you receive on your blog. After reading these, I feel like I know a lot of the posters.

Many of them are funny, and some of them are really clever... But some of them seem downright insensitive or rude.

What is up with that? Am I just oversensitive, or are a lot of the people commenting on your blog actually rather rude?

I'm tempted to say it's the former. I'm not really a blog reader. And I've always assumed that people smart enough to read your book would also be courteous and polite.

Sincerely,

Jen J.

Jen,

I've always assumed that people who read my book are not only intelligent and polite, but more attractive and better in bed than your average person. They also smell like fresh pie.

Unfortunately, the internet is like a great machine designed to make humanity look stupid. Oh sure, there are good things the internet does for us. Smart things. Noble things. But for every one person using distributed computing to cure cancer, there are ten people forwarding me a letter that threatens impotence and the death of a fluffy kitten if I dare to break the chain.

The problem is this. The internet is allows people to do things very quickly.

Now don't get me wrong, some things are better done quickly. Getting someone to the hospital. Mowing the lawn. Making my 7-layer burrito.

But many things are not improved by speed. Most things, actually: Backrubs. Baths. Getting a haircut. Writing a novel. Cuddling. Kissing.

And blog commenting. Contrary to what people believe, fast is not always better in terms of communication.

The problem is, language is a slippery thing. People have a hard enough time getting their point across when they're face-to-face. Over the phone is harder because you can't see body language or facial expression.

But pure text is the hardest. That's why e-mail misunderstandings abound, because you don't even have timing or vocal inflection to help get your point across.

This means when a person types a comment without thinking things through, it's much more likely that their intended message will get lost and they'll seem rude when they really didn't mean to be.

Take my announcement today for example. I know what's going to happen as soon as I post about my upcoming convention appearances.

I'm going to get people posting comments that say things like: "Screw Indianapolis! Come to Mucwanigo!!! We have a bookstore!!!1!!"

Now this person probably wants to say three things:

1. They have a lot of enthusiasm for me and my work.
2. They won't be able to make it to Indianapolis and this ensaddens them.
3. They'd appreciate it if I came to Mucwanigo.

But despite the egregious overuse of exclamation points, this is not what this comment actually communicates. To a lot of readers, this comment seems rude. Here's why.

Signings and conventions require a great deal of effort on the author's part. Doing a even a handful of events like this means an author will spend dozens of hours on planes breathing recycled farts, hours scheduling panels and e-mailing plans, then days at the event itself.

It's also expensive, thousands of dollars on plane tickets, taxis, hotel rooms, and overpriced airport burritos.

Knowing all of this, a courteous internet user can understand why a comment of, "Why don't you ever come to St. Augustine?" seems a little insensitive.

At the same time, rude is sometimes in the eye of the beholder, too. That's why I try my best to read comments in the spirit they were written. That means looking at them with a generous eye sometimes, trying to cherish the enthusiasm and ignore the fact that the poster didn't take the time to think things through.

Still, when someone writes, "Minneapolis is a whole 30 miles away! Come to Wanamingo!" it's bound make me feel like a cat that's been rubbed backwards.

Not only is it issued as a command (which is never endearing) but it implies that even though the author is traveling several hundred miles, leaving his pregnant girlfriend home alone for the weekend, and effectively skipping his own birthday, he still isn't doing enough to please you.

So that's what I think is going on in the comments, Jen. Sure there are a few mean-spirited or genuinely snarky people out there making posts. But the vast majority of the people that come across as rude are probably just guilty of posting without thinking things through.

Of course my readers. My clever readers. My clever, polite, sexy, apple-pie readers are a class of person quite above the normal internet rabble. They think twice before they post. Some of them even think three times. Right?

Right?

Later space cowboys,

pat

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Thursday, May 21, 2009
Signing In Taunton..
Sorry for the delay getting this information to you, but here's the information about the signing in Taunton on the 26th.

I'll be signing books and hanging out in the store from 1:00 until 3:00 in the afternoon. Then, for anyone who's interested, we'll wander off and find a place to hang out and talk. I'll answer questions, and maybe do a bit of informal reading. Maybe something from book two...

Here's the info for the Waterstones in Tauton, I think:

The County Hotel, East Street
GB - Taunton TA1 3LU
Tel: 01823 333 113

Gotta Run, I've got my Forbidden signing in 10 minutes...

pat

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Monday, May 18, 2009
The Upcoming London Reading (and my growing pigeon obsession.)

It's 4:30 AM here in Paris. Sarah has been asleep for hours. And I'm exhausted from a long day of fighting the urge to try catching a pigeon with my bare hands.

I'm fairly certain I could do this. What I don't understand is *why* I want to do this. I know I shouldn't for good reasons: ethical and social, not to mention my own health and safety. Nevertheless, this is a growing desire in me, and it takes more energy to fight the impulse every day. I don't know how much longer I can resist...

I said I'd post up a picture of the Amsterdam reading - So here you are:




We had a great turnout, and they were a great audience. Thanks for coming everyone.

Oh my god. Sarah just oinked in her sleep. It was like a tiny little snore that she closed her mouth in the middle of. It sounded just like a tiny little piggie, "oink." It was the cutest thing.

Okay, she can't know that I told you about it. It will be our little secret.

I've already mentioned my London signing. That's at Forbidden Planet and everyone is welcome to come.

There will also be a reading afterwards, unfortunately, it will only have about 50 seats available. It will be on Thursday May 21st at 7:30 PM right after the signing at Forbidden Planet.

Since there probably won't be enough seats for everyone interested, there's going to be a drawing to see who gets to come. If you'd like to be one of the chosen few, send the answer to this question to the address listed below:
"Kvothe is the main character in the fabulous The Name of the Wind, but what is his name when we first meet him?"
Now, do I have to state the obvious here? You should only send in the answer if you're interested AND AVAILABLE TO ATTEND THE LONDON READING. This means if you work on Thursday night, don't e-mail my UK publisher with the answer. Because then they might draw your name and it might screw someone else out of the chance to go to the reading. Similarly, if you're in jail, don't e-mail my UK publisher with the answer. If you live somewhere like, say, Montana, don't e-mail my UK publisher with the answer.

The last one doesn't have anything to do with you being too far away to go to the reading. I just don't like folks from Montana.

Okay. We clear on the basic principles here? Don't you embarrass me in front of my British publisher. I swear I will pull this blog right over....

You can mail them at: gollancz.feedback [squiggly at sign thinger] orionbooks.co.uk.

Lastly, thanks to the kindness of several fans who have offered to drive my worthless right-side-of-the-road American ass around, I WILL be doing the signing in Taunton on the 26th. I don't have all the details yet, such as address, exact start time, etc. But I'm figuring it will be in the evening.

Just giving y'all as much advance warning as possible, and I'll post the specifics as soon as they become available.

More soon,

pat

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Monday, May 4, 2009
Signings in Rome and Amsterdam.

Okay folks, I've got the first round of foreign book signings organized.

First off, we've got two in Rome:

Location: Le Storie
Date: Saturday, May 9, 2009
Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Street: Via Giulio Rocco, 37/39
City: Rome

Here's the link to the appropriate facebook event, if you're into that sort of thing.
And a link to Le Storie bookshop.


Location: Fanucci Bookshop

Date: Sunday, May 10, 2009
Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Street: Piazza Madama, 8
City: Rome

Here's the facebook event.


Then we've got one in Amsterdam.

Location: American Book Center – ABC Amsterdam
Date: Thursday, May 14, 2009
Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Street: Spui 12, 1012 XA
City: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Here's the link to ABC bookstore.
And the facebook event.

In Amsterdam, because more of the locals speak English, I'll actually be doing a little bit of a reading, then a Q&A session before I sign books. I love doing Q&A.

Even better, my Dutch translator will be be making an appearance at this signing too. Lia Belt was my very first translator. Not only did she really hold my hand through the process, but she helped me understand a lot of the dangers of translation. It's because of her that I've made a point of getting in touch with all my other translators since then, trying my best to work with them so as little is lost in translation as possible.

So I'm excited to meet her. I've invited her along to sign books too. After all, the Dutch version is more than half hers, and it's always seemed like a shame that translators don't get more credit for the work they do.

Edit: Additional: my Italian translator will be around during the Saturday signing in Rome.

Anyway, those are the first three signings we have planned. If you know anyone that might be interested, you'd be doing me a great favor if you passed the information along to them. We're setting these things up pretty quickly, so there isn't much time for word to spread.




(This illustration has nothing to do with a book signing.
I've merely inserted it here to confuse you.)


Despite the cool cover, I won't be doing any public signings in Paris. It's just too early. The book hasn't been out long enough there for people to want to show up for that sort of thing. And if there's one thing more depressing than sitting in a bookstore for two hours while everyone tries to avoid eye contact (As was the case in many of my early US signings) it's sitting around in a bookstore in Paris while people avoid making eye contact.

And for those of you in England, fret not. Things are in the works. Fabulous things. We'll have at least one in London, and hopefully a few more scattered around the rest of the country.

I'll post details as soon as those plans firm up. Soon.


Best,

pat

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009
A Love Note to Germany (And Other Things)

Okay. There's been a flurry of excited messaging ever since I mentioned I'd be making a trip to Europe, and was willing to sign books while I'm over there. Details are over here on the previous blog.

Here are a few general comments and some answers to questions in response to the hubbub.


To my German Readers:

Oh my German readers. I do love you. I love you with a fierce love that is big as the sky. I know there are many of you. I know you would like me to stop in your country and sign books and do various authory things.

Do not think that I scorn you. Do not think that I neglect you. Do not think I fail to appreciate you, because I do. It is because of you that I can now legitimately call myself "International Bestselling Author" Patrick Rothfuss.

Before that, I was forced to call myself merely "Skilled Lover of Women" Patrick Rothfuss or "That Strange Guy Who Sits in the Back of the Coffeeshop All the Time" Patrick Rothfuss.

I appreciate this. You must believe me. I love you.

But as for making a stop in Germany this time around. I just don't think I'm going to be able to.

You see, Sarah, she says. "I would like to go to Rome."

And I think, "Rome? Have they done five hardcover printings of my book in Rome? No. That was Germany. Did my book get all manner of cool reviews in Rome? No. That also was Germany. What of the swank little bookmark? Surely that was Rome? No. It was not."

But you see, Sarah, she has this baby in her. This baby gives her remarkable powers.





I say to Sarah, "Where would you like to go on your trip to Europe?

Sarah says, "I would like to go to Rome."

And lo. We go to Rome.

Sarah says, "Also, I would like to see Paris."

And suddenly, it is so.

I'm not saying I'll never visit you, Germany. I will. I promise. It's just that when I do visit, I want everything to be perfect. I don't want to rush this part of our relationship. I don't want to go too fast. We need to be sure we're both ready. I want this to be special for both of us.

Perhaps I'll come to visit when book two is translated. Or maybe when your paperback comes out. Hopefully, if the German publishers are willing to help, we can do it up proper and I'll hit a bunch of places all over Germany, rather than just making a two-day stop in one city.

Be patient, I love you.

Sincerely,

pat


To my readers in Dublin:

As above. I was really hoping to make it there during this trip, but it just didn't work out. You'll see me before too long. I promise.


To my readers in other countries:

I would love to come to Sweden. To Ireland. To Spain. To Belgium. To Estonia. To Finland. I would love to come to Russia. To the Czech Republic. To Turkey. To Wales. To Portugal....

I'm sure you can see the problem.

If you can't see the problem, it's this: if I went to all of these countries, I wouldn't have time to do anything but drive around. I wouldn't see anything except through the window of a train. It's pure logistics. I can't do it all this trip. Someday. Hopefully.


To people eager to help schedule a signing:

1. If you want your local bookstore to host a signing, you need to tell *them* you're excited about it, not me. I'm already interested in doing a signing. So are you. We're on the same page. We've established a rapport.

But without the bookstore it's just not going to work out. It's like a three-way. It doesn't matter how much you and me want it. Without that third person, it just doesn't work out.

2. If you have a friend/relative/lover/former roommate that works in a bookstore, and you think they'd be excited to help schedule a signing. Contact *them* about it, see if they're really interested, then have them drop me a line if they are.

3. If you want to contact me about a potential signing, use the contact form. If you post it in the comments, I won't know how to get in contact with you. I will be similarly helpless if you shout the information out your window, or write it on your bathroom mirror. Sad but true.

4. If your town isn't on the list of places I'm stopping, I probably won't be able to come out and do a signing. The possible exception to this is Manchester, as it's on my way between London and Edinburgh. But even that depends on the interest of the local bookstore. (See #1)

That said, if you're actually one of the folks in charge of scheduling events in a bookstore or a library, and you'd REALLY like me to stop in, you can still drop me a line.


A few quick answers:

Q: "Will I be posting up the dates, times, and places of the eventual signings?"

A: Um... Yes? Rest assured. I'll be posting them here on the blog, and on the Tour Schedule Page.


Q: "How's the book going?"

A: Very well. Don't bug me about it. It harshes my vibe.


Q: "Does Sarah have any news about the baby?"

A: I just asked her. Sarah says: "It's freaking huge."


Q: "I live in a town in Europe! We have a bookstore! You should come here!"

A: That is not a question. Also, please see above points one through four inclusive.


Hugs and kisses,

pat

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Friday, April 17, 2009
European Tour - a call for bookstores.

First: My Thanks

Thanks to everyone who offered their congratulations.

(I'd be more properly verbose and flowery, but I have to be brief here. I'm using borrowed internet up here in the northwoods of Wisconsin, and this place is closing in 15 minutes.)

Second: The Tour

A while back, I promised Sarah a trip to Europe. Now, with the baby coming, I'm realizing I'm going to have to either make good on that promise, or wait for years until we no longer have a newborn. Because dragging a newborn around an international trip is not cool on many levels.

So we're going. Sarah deserves her trip for putting up with my endless bullshit.

Soon I will be turning over a solid draft of my book for my editor to read and... well... edit. This will take her a while, because the book is beastly long and she's good at her job.

While she's doing that, I have a window of opportunity. Rather than sit around, twiddle my thumbs, and fret over what my editor will say, I'm going to take Sarah to Europe before she gets too big with baby to do more than waddle to the fridge and make me rub her feet.

I'm looking forward to the trip. It will do me good to take a break from the book for a bit. If I don't get a few weeks away from it in between drafts, I lose perspective.

Also, it will be nice to have a bit of a walkabout on my own before finalizing Kvothe's own set of adventure as he goes out to make his fortune in the wide world.


Third: Sending out the Call.

For years now, I've had folks in the UK and the rest of Europe saying things like, "When are you going to be coming to [insert name of foreign country here]??!!?"

Well now's the time.

I'm more that willing to do signings at the cities I'm stopping at. But since this is happening on the spur of the moment, I don't have time to go through official bookstore channels, or perform the typical courting dances with foreign bookstores: first researching, then calling around, then playing phone tag, then trying to convince them that it would be worth their while to order a dozen of my books and set up a card table....

By the time I finished that, I'd already be back in the US.

So here's where you come in.

I'm posting my itinerary below. What cities I'll be and where. If you own a bookstore (or work in one) and you'd like me to come in and do a signing, lovely. Drop me a message off the contact form and we'll set something up.

If you don't work in a bookstore, but you know a cool one you think would be interested, ask them if they might be interested. Then, if they are, drop me a message. Or have them do it.

May 8-11 Rome

May 13-15 Amsterdam

May 17-19 Paris

May 21-25 London (And environs.)

May 27- 28 Edinburgh

May 30 Glasgow


Crap crap crap. The place is closing.

More later,

Fondly,

pat

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It is coming....

Ever since I posted up the pictures of the nunchucks someone sent me, I've been getting e-mail asking all sorts of questions from who want to get their books signed. Some people want to know if I'll sign them as gifts to other people, other people want to buy copies of the college survival guide, other folks are worried that the thing they're sending along won't be cool enough.


I just wanted to mention that I'm planning something. Something that will involve signed books, among other things.

So if you're thinking of sending in your book to get it signed, you might want to wait for a little bit. Very soon there will be a opportunities for people to get signed copies of all sorts of things. I just need a little more time to work out the details.

If you've already sent in your book, that's fine. I'll still sign it.

But otherwise, wait for a little bit, and stay tuned....

pat

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008
How to be Cool - A Primer.

As I've mentioned before, due to angering some fickle deity, I only had one scheduled event at DragonCon: a reading.

When I showed up to the con, the programming staff were nice enough to schedule me a signing too. Then, using my not inconsiderable charm, I sweet-talked my way onto a couple of the writing track panels.

The panels went pretty well. Since they were already on the schedule, they had good audiences. I gave a few good pieces of advice, got a few laughs, and avoided - for the most part - making an ass of myself. If I can do all three of those things, it's a good panel.

My signing was another matter entirely. Since it wasn't on the schedule, nobody knew about it. You could hear crickets. Two people showed up, and I was surprised to have that many.

Rest assured that my ego did not suffer any permanent trauma due to low attendance. Why is that? Well... mostly because of the signings I used to do back when my first story appeared in an anthology....

They were brutal. Most signings are when you're a new writer. Typically you spend two hours sitting at a card table in front of a Waldenbooks at the local mall. Then everyone ignores you. Pointedly ignores you. Ignores you as if they fear making eye contact will give them herpes.

Those early signings, while grueling, did a great job of setting my expectations low. These days, if I have a signing and two or three people talk to me, I consider it a win. Everything beyond that is gravy.

The other reason my ego wasn't bruised by the low turn-out is that earlier this month at Worldcon, when my signing *was* on the schedule, I got a turnout that surprised so much that I took a picture of the line:





By comparison, my DragonCon signing is pretty relaxing. I talk to the two people who stop by, drink my coffee, and read the program book making plans to stalk Nathan Fillion, Morena Baccarin, and Jewel Staite.

Then I pack up and head over to my reading. My expectations understandably low.

Imagine my surprise when I see that the room is pretty much full. It's surprising to me that all these people, in the middle of all the glamour and weird of DragonCon, have chosen to show up and listen to me read. What's more, they all started to applaud when I came in the door.

It was a good feeling. I felt cool. Really cool. I was a hoopy frood. I was about .8 of a Gaiman on the cool-o-meter, which is pretty cool.

I briefly excused myself to use the bathroom - as I said, it was exciting - then did my reading. They laughed at my jokes, asked good questions, and didn't hassle me too much about book two. In brief, it was a great crowd.

When my hour was up, so many people wanted me to sign that, after a half hour, I needed to move the remainder into the hallway because the next reading was scheduled to begin. Then I signed in the hallway for another half hour.

Needless to say, I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Then I realized that my zipper was down. Which means that it had been down since I used the bathroom right before the reading.

Thank you, oh universe, for reminding me of the truth. While I may be all that and a bag of chips, I'm usually all that and a bag of chips who doesn't know his zipper is open.

I learned my lesson though. Later that night, in order to prevent any further zipper-related embarrassment, I changed into my kilt before I went out to dinner with some of the folks who had participated in the photo contest a couple months back:





And a good time was had by all....

pat

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Thursday, March 6, 2008
Ask the Author #5: Where can I buy the new version of the book?


Since I posted up the new cover for The Name of the Wind, folks have been asking me where they can buy a copy.







Doubtless some of you want a copy of this book because it is clearly A Novel. I also know a lot of folks want this cover because the style will more closely match the hardcover for The Wise Man's Fear:





I understand your desire, and I feel your pain. I wanted this new cover too, and even though I'm the author, I still had a bitch of a time locating it. I had to hunt around for weeks before I managed to get my hands on one.

The truth is, I don't know where these new copies will be showing up. These are the books that currently live in the warehouse. If a store orders a book from the warehouse, this cover will probably get delivered to them. But if the bookstore orders from a distributor, the distributor might not have this fifth printing in stock. They might still have first printings, or third printings. It's a crap shoot.

However, since so many people were asking about it, I worked something out with a guy I met out in Seattle last year. His name is Shawn Speakman, and he runs a business that sells signed books over the magical interweb.

So, when I head out to Seattle at the end of the month for Norwescon, I'm going to swing by his place and sign a bunch of books for him. If you want one you can go order a copy at his store.

Please note that I'd be more than happy to personalize your book for you, free of charge. Just make sure you enter what you'd like me to write when you your order your book.

Now, the more astute of you that have doubtless already clicked on the link and noticed that Shawn is charging 29.95 for the books. Five bucks more than the cover price. This isn't because he's a greedy son of a bitch. No. Shawn is a high-class gentleman. I know this because Shawn is giving me that five bucks to help offset the cost of my plane ticket out there. If not for that, I wouldn't have been able to justify making the trip out to the coast.

Lastly, as an added bonus for those of you who have been dying to get hold of a copy of the Illustrated, Annotated, College Survival Guide, Shawn will be selling some of those too.

Those will be signed by me, and each will have a cool doodle and a signature by my longtime friend, illustrator, and co-conspirator, Brett Hiorns.


Later all,

pat

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Monday, March 3, 2008
Italian Style - Part Two.

Okay, before we do anything else, I feel like I should mention that I've updated the TOUR SCHEDULE part of the page. Over there you'll find a list of some conventions/readings/signings/etc that I'll be doing this year.

Of particular note are my two appearances in St. Paul this weekend. I'll be appearing at two separate libraries, one on Saturday, the other on Sunday. It's free for anyone to attend. I'll sign books if you bring them, and there will be books there to buy...

More events will be posted in the weeks to come. Seattle folk - I'll be out near y'all over Easter weekend. I'll be posting those details soon.

Okay. On to business.

Response to the Italian cover was every bit as varied as I expected. But there was rather more of it than I'd thought there would be. Since there were a lot of good comments and questions, I decided that I'd do a follow-up post to clarify a few things.





Points of interest and/or clarification.

  • The art is done by a guy named Brom.
I didn't know about him before someone made reference to the cover as Brom-art in the comments of the last blog, but I have seen his stuff before. Mostly on D&D books back in the day....

Side note: I am currently working on a theory that once you reach a certain degree of fame, you get bumped up to a new quantum energy state wherein you only need one name.

This is easier to achieve for artists (Donato, Brom) and musicians (Sting, Madonna).

It's much rarer for authors. I suspect they need way more energy, like electrons in different valence shells. So for writers, only the SUPER elite have enough juice to make the jump (Cervantes, Tolkien, Shakespeare, Chaucer).
  • Brom's website is OVER HERE if you're interested.

  • The art wasn't drawn for the book specifically. The Italian publisher bought the rights to a pre-existing piece of art to use as the cover for the book.
That means:
  • It's not Kvothe or one of the Chandrian. Don't sprain anything trying to make that fit in your head. (Though I would like to see Brom's take on the Chandrian.)
  • You didn't miss the part of the book where someone has an eye in his hand. Neither is the eye-hand a mistranslation issue or some strange cultural signifier.

  • My favorite comments on the cover:
  • Kip: "It's obviously a picture of Kvothe LARPing his favorite Vampire: The Requiem Character."
  • "They must have wanted to picture someone with good eye-hand coordination."
  • "NOTW? WTF?"
  • Sarah: "Kvothe has some sort of pointy pain stick. He should be careful or it will poke him in the hand-eye."

A few responses to questions and comments:
"Oh man Pat. As a graphic designer can I just say that that is a bad choice. There is no connection to the book that I can come up with at all. The thing on his hand is so prominent that people are going to wonder why its not in the book. It will be confusing. Then the really bad drop shadow, or black glow around the text is just bad design. The whole composition just was not meant to have text covering it."

I think you're right about the composition of the piece. It obviously wasn't meant to be obscured. I got the permission to show the original artwork from Brom: So here it is...





I'm pretty sure that they used that black shadow and my name to cover up Gothy McHotBod's nipple ring.

And yes, for those of you who are wondering, my chest looks exactly like that when I take my shirt off. By which I mean that I am pale as a bleached ghost on a moonlit night.

Christian asked: "Pat, I am very curious as to who that person is on the cover of the Italian version of your book. I'm pretty sure you would have a big say into what visually depicts your book to first time ( and in my case, long-time) readers."

Typically, authors get little-to-no say as to the covers of their books. Part of this is because the cover is, ultimately, a marketing choice, rather than an artistic one. And truthfully, publishers know more about marketing than authors do. Also, authors are word-smart, not necessarily picture smart.

That said, in my opinion it is a shame that authors aren't included in that process more frequently.

I did get to participate in the discussion about my US covers. But that is the exception to the rule, as my publisher, DAW, is very considerate. And my editor, Betsy, respects my opinion on these things. Still, they didn't say, "what do you think we should do." they said, "Here's what we're planning, what do you think?"

Still, it's nice to be asked.

My French publisher asked for my thoughts in the planning stage, and my Japanese editor asked early on if I had any suggestions as to who I would like as an artist. But none of the other foreign editors have included me so far. The first time I saw the Italian cover was about a week ago...

In a few of my more recent foreign contracts, I have approval of the final covers. But that doesn't mean that I get to design them. If the books continue to sell well, I'll probably get even more say in the future. I'm guessing.

"Why do they keep changing the cover? What's wrong with original Shirtless Kvothe and Green man?"
Those covers belong to the US publisher. The foreign publishers would have to buy the rights to them if they wanted to use them. They probably don't want to do that because they're marketing the book to an entirely different culture.


That's all for now, folks. I'm back to work on book two...

pat

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007
What should I do #1 - Cat and Girl

Welcome to the first instalment of something I'm going to call "What-Should-I-do Tuesdays."

Over the last several months I've received many e-mails where at some point the person says something very similar to this:

[...] I can't wait for the sequel. Write faster! I don't know what I'm going to do with myself until your next book comes out. [...]
I usually thought of this a just a rhetorical comment until I got this e-mail:

Hi, Pat!

I was catching up on your blog and realized that one thing that would make it even better would be a list of your favorite authors, movies, games, etc... Clearly, you are a Joss Weedon fan, adore Orson Scott Card, and so on. It's likely you could turn us, your humble audience, on to some other great stuff you like. I'd love to read your recommendations.

Kelly,

So I thought, why kill two birds with one stone. I turn you on to some good authors AND keep you from wasting away while you wait for book two.

Since this is the first week, let's start at the top.

If you like good fantasy, you have to read Neil Gaiman.

If you're into novels, I suggest starting with Neverwhere or Stardust. If you like comics, I suggest reading his Sandman series. Read it in the proper order too, or the continuity gods will strike you down.

Another of the best and brightest in the fantasy Genre is Terry Pratchett. He has written a metric ton of novels over the years. A few of them are merely great, but most of them are hands-down excellent. It isn't that vital that you read them all in order, but I still recommend trying to start with some of the earlier books first, as there are continuing characters and plot lines.

And finally, a webcomic that I'm guessing many of you have never heard of. It's not fantasy, but it is one of my favorites. It's funny, clever, and has healthy doses of social satire. Other comics out there might be funnier, or have more stylish art. But Cat and Girl is possibly the smartest comic I've ever read. And it does it without getting snobby or preachy, and it makes me laugh too. It may not be for all of you, but I'm guessing that some of you will really dig it. Browse the archives and find out.


In other news, I'm going to be down at a new convention in Madison this weekend - Geek Kon.

Details are on the tour schedule page, but here are some of the panels I'll be doing....

SATURDAY,
4pm - Lord of the Rings
6pm - Defining the Genres

SUNDAY
12 noon - SF/F Roundtable
1pm - The 36-Hour Day in Flatland

On Sunday I'm also have a reading/booksigning at Room of One's Own just off State Street. It's at 3:00.

Note: Those of you sending books out to me to get them signed, please remember to pack them carefully. One showed up today that had just been dropped in a box with no padding at all. It was banged up pretty badly and the dustjacket was in shreds. If you want specific advice about packaging, check out the details at the end of the blog I wrote on the subject.

Later all,

pat

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Thursday, September 20, 2007
The long awaited address, plus webcomic coolness

Before we get to today's main event, I have to say that when I saw THIS, I was filled with geeky delight. Something Positive is one of my favorite webcomics, and if your sense of humor tends toward the slightly deranged, odds are you will find whole days of your life destroyed by the uncontrollable urge to read every last scrap of his archive.

Share and enjoy.

Now. On to business.

A few weeks ago, somewhat overwhelmed by people asking me to sign their books, I posted THIS BLOG. I expected it to act as a slight damper to the book signing requests, but quite the opposite happened.

After hearing a few horror stories from fellow authors, I started to get a little freaked out at the thought of giving out my home address. I tried to get a PO box, but to do that I'd have to get a new driver's licence. And to do THAT I'd have to go to the DMV.

I don't know what your local DMV is like. But personally, I can think of better ways to spend my afternoon. For instance, I could go to the local hardware store, buy a ten-penny nail, and then hammer it directly into my eye.

So the PO box plan is temporarily out. But I found a new option. You can send your books to my office at the University where I work.

If you're sending it through the post office, use this address:

Patrick Rothfuss
English Department
UW-Stevens Point
Stevens Point, WI 54481

If you're sending it UPS or FED-EX, use this address:

Patrick Rothfuss
English Department
486 CCC
UW-Stevens Point
Stevens Point, WI 54481

And remember the rules. If you want me to sign your book, you need to include:
  1. The book. (duh)
  2. Seven dollars for return postage and packaging materials.
  3. A return address and instructions as to how you'd like me to sign it. (Be specific, I work well under direction.)
  4. Something cool. (If you don't know what I'm talking about check out the blog I linked to above.)
Lastly and most importantly, I would like to encourage you to pack your books carefully. Perhaps even obsessively. Padding is important, but the true key to keeping the book safe is to make sure your it can't move around inside the package itself.

If you have any doubts about your packing job, think to yourself: "If I threw this package across the room, into the wall, would the book get hurt?" If the answer is, "yes" then you need to pack it more carefully. These things get really knocked around sometimes. And if your book shows up damaged, I'll have no real choice but to shed a single tear, sign it, and send it back in its crippled state....


Later,

pat

P.S. Remember, I'm going to be making an appearance over near Minneapolis this Friday (the 21st) from 6-8 at a local store called Back to Books in Hudson. Festivities include signing of books, chatting, and answering of questions. For more details, check out the tour schedule page.

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Monday, August 13, 2007
FAQ: "If I Mail You My Book, Will You Sign it?"

People have been asking me this question more and more often lately, and strangely enough, the question has been getting more and more difficult to answer.

First, I should explain something. While I've been a writer for a long time. I've been a *PUBLISHED* writer for a very short time. As of right now, my novel has only been out for a little more than four months.

This means that I'm still a total geek about most things. I still get a glowy, warm feeling whenever someone likes the book enough to post up another five star review on Amazon. I keep looking back at the Amazon page to see my sales rank is. And when someone tells me they like the book, I feel like a mom must feel when someone compliments her baby.

I still read all my fanmail, and I respond to all of it, too. (Though right now I'm really behind, and I apologise to everyone who hasn't received a response yet. Sorry.)

The other thing I did for a couple of months, was agree to sign any books that people wanted to send me. It was just cool for me that anyone would buy my book, let alone care enough to want my signature. So whenever asked me this question, I gave them my address. Then when the books showed up, I signed them and sent them back.

After a few months, a couple things started to change my feelings on the matter.

First, the number of people asking for me to sign their books has been slowly increasing. This is a problem because it probably takes me around half an hour to unwrap, sign, repackage and drop the book off at the post office. While I love the thought of making a fan happy, that's time I could be spending working on book two, or doing the dishes, or kissing girls. There's only so many hours in the day, and I've been very, VERY busy lately.

Second, I became aware that some of the people who wanted me to sign their books weren't fans, but book collectors. Or rather, signed book re-sellers. Imagine my surprise when I found copies of my book out there selling for hundreds of dollars.

At first I was stunned. Then I was flattered. Then I started to realize that I might be getting hustled a little. I don't mind taking twenty minutes out of my day to get someone a signed copy of my book if they're geeking out over it. I'm less thrilled about spending that time so that someone else can make 100 bucks off the deal.

Now I'm not implying that all those people out there selling my books screwed me. Many of them approached me honestly and asked for signed copies specifically to sell. Some of them were even generous enough to cut me in on a piece of the action.

But a few people did hustle me. That and my busy schedule made me think I should give a firm, polite "NO" to this question once and for all. I even made a humorous flow chart to soften the blow of this news to hopeful folks out there:





(If you click on the picture, you'll be able to read it.)


As you can see, the best possible result is that I end up eating tacos. And honestly, I can do that whether or not you send me a book to sign.

This was all about a month ago. I was ready to pack it all in when I got the following e-mail.

Pat,

I managed to pick up an Advanced Copy of NOTW at a small used
bookstore. I felt a bit guilty about buying a book that clearly states "Not for Sale" on every surface of the binding... but I've purchased four legit copies so far (attempt at justification), and have distributed them to those I deem worthy (coupled with altruism)... And I know that you're a bang up guy (flattery), and would likely not hold this against me.

So the favor is this: If I pack the book up in a self addressed, postage paid box and send it to you, would you be willing to sign it and drop it in the post?

I would make sure it was carefully packed in bags of high-quality Ethiopian coffee (I assume whole bean is acceptable), and safely wrapped with other "recyclable" material. Interested? ; )

Thanks, Pat -- I know you're a busy guy, so don't feel obligated to
reply if you don't have the time. I completely understand-

This letter was not only flattering and funny, but the guy was smart enough to realize that I didn't make any money off the him buying an ARC of the book. What's more, he recognised that I was a busy guy, and that signing the book would take time out of my schedule. So he agreed to send me a present to make it up to me.

So I e-mailed him back with my address and gave him the thumbs up, then forgot about it. A week or so later, I get this in the mail:





In the middle is the ARC copy of the book. The rest of the stuff is the "packing material." Chocolatey sugar-bomb cereal, coffee, candy, and a Powell's Bookstore T-shirt. It was like Santa wanted my autograph.

Then, again, just a few days ago I got a bottle of wine in the mail as a thank you present from someone who asked me to signing a few books a month ago.

This made me re-re-consider my position on the book signing. Not just because I was getting swag. But because it made it clear to me that for some people, getting a signed book was a really big deal. I know that feeling. I've had it myself in the past.

So here's what I've decided. If you want me to sign your book, I will. But here's the price.

1. You need to send the book. (Contact me for the address.)

2. You need to send me the Return Address and an explanation of exactly what you'd like written in the book(s).

3. You need to send a check for seven bucks per book to cover postage and the cost of good packing materials to keep the book safe when I send it back to you.

4. Lastly, you need to send me something cool.

It doesn't need to be expensive, or big, or edible, or rare. (The guy who sent me the ARC clearly went overboard.) It just needs to be something that I'll pull out of the package and think, "Hey, that's pretty cool."

Then I'll eat it, play with it, wear it, or put it on a shelf. And when I'm signing your book, packing it back up, and walking to the post office, I'll feel happy. Because the coolness of your gift will convince me that getting a signed book is kind-of important to you. Then, even if you decide to sell the book on e-bay, I won't really mind because you took the time to send me a present as a way to say thank you.

If you don't want to go through all the trouble and delay, you can catch me in person by keeping an eye on my tour dates page here on the website. Or you could just buy a signed copy from any number of online places, such as Dreamhaven, Adventures Underground, or any of a number of other places online....

Edit: Here's the address where you can mail your packages, if you are interested:

If you're sending it through the post office, use this address:

Patrick Rothfuss
PO Box 186
Stevens Point, WI 54481

If you're sending it UPS or FED-EX, use this address:

Patrick Rothfuss
English Department
486 CCC
UW-Stevens Point
Stevens Point, WI 54481

Lastly and most importantly: I would like to encourage you to pack your books carefully. Perhaps even obsessively. Padding is important, but the true key to keeping the book safe is to make sure your it can't move around inside the package itself. I also strongly recommend that you take the book jacket off the book and keep it at your house, as it's the most easily damaged part of the book.

If you have any doubts about your packing job, think to yourself: "If I threw this package across the room, into the wall, would the book get hurt?" If the answer is, "yes" then you need to pack it more carefully. These things get really knocked around sometimes. And if your book shows up damaged, I'll have no real choice but to shed a single tear, sign it, and send it back in its crippled state....



That's all for now, folks. I've got to go get some sleep.

pat


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Monday, April 2, 2007
My First Signing
I had my first reading and book signing last Tuesday. A cool if slightly surreal experience.

I showed up at the Barnes and Noble in Madison about ten minutes before the signing was supposed to start. There were about a half-dozen of my friends hanging around, and my grampa was sitting in the front row. That was about it. Ten people tops, and that was including me.

Honestly, I was kinda relieved. With less than ten people the potential for looking stupid is greatly reduced. And since everyone was either a friend or a relative, I could trust that they'd already seen me humiliate myself on a far grander scale than anything I was likely to achieve tonight.

But I was pretty disappointed. You want a little fanfair for your maiden voyage, and in terms of the beginning of my writing career, a turnout of less than ten people is not a good omen.

But soon the place started to fill up. We put out more chairs and they filled up too. Eventually we ended up with about two hundred people. A crowd. Perhaps even a throng.

I read some of the book out loud, which was a new experience for me. We also did some Q & A, which I very much enjoyed, as I love talking about writing. I got a few laughs and avoided walking around with my fly undone, so, as a whole, the experience was a positive one.

Then came the signing. I was a little nervous because of certain penmanship and spelling issues I posses. However, the B & N organizer had everyone sign a little post-it and put it on their book, so when they got to the front of the line, I could personalize the books without having to ask the spelling of names.

I made my way through about 40 or 50 people without any trouble. I'm chatting with people, shaking hands, having a good time. I feel just a little bit like a rockstar. And that, of course, is when I let my guard down.

A woman gets to the front of the line and hands me her book. "Could you inscribe this 'to Helen?' " she asks.

"No problem," I say. I take the post-it off the book and stick it on the table where I can look at it: H-e-l-e-n.

Because I'm feeling pretty good, I try to chat with the woman while I'm signing. As a result, I misspell the name.

I laugh it off and move her book over to the side, replacing it with the book I brought with me to read from. I stop talking and focus my considerable intellect at the task at hand. Using my full concentration, massive brain, and over eleven years of higher education, I'm able to successfully transcribe a five-letter name... the second time around.

So now I'm left with this: a memento of my first signing.

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Yeah. That's all me. Totally rockstar.


pat

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posted by Pat at 14 Comments



Monday, March 26, 2007
My Misspent Youth.
So a couple days ago, I come home, open the door, and find this waiting for me:



My first thought is that I might have blacked out and overdone it on Amazon again. But when I looked closer I realized what was really going on:








My book. My baby.

My next thought was that these might be my author copies. But there was WAY too many for that. Then I remembered that a couple weeks ago, one of the PR people at Penguin told me that a bookstore owner had read the advance copy of the book and really loved it. He wanted to buy a hundred copies for his store, and was wondering if I would sign them for him.

I said, "sure, no problem," then pretty much forgot about it.

Carrying all the books inside really made me realize that 100 books is, to put it delicately, a whole shitload. And this is just for one store....

So anyway, I pulled out a book and decided to get started. I figured this was going to take me a while, unpacking, signing, then repacking the books to ship back out.

But before I even opened the first book, I was paralyzed with performance anxiety. Seriously. I held the pen and thought, "What if my signature doesn't look... well... authory enough?"

You know that phase you go through when you're in middle school, where you practice your signature so you're ready for when you become a rock star and have to sign autographs all the time? I know most of my peer group went through this somewhere between the ages of 11 and 16. One of my friends actually developed an entire variant style of cursive writing that he's used ever since. It was, and still is, totally cool looking.

Anyway, I never went through that phase. I wanted to be a rock star. But I suspected I didn't have the right sort of hair. I also had the penmanship of a demented monkey. Plus, I was lazy and had no musical talent to speak of.

Instead I wasted my time reading books, talking to girls, and doing my physics homework. As I looked down at the hundred books I was supposed to sign, I mourned my misspent youth.

So I sat down and signed my name a couple times. Its one of those things that's easy if you're not thinking about it, and hard when you're concentrating too much. I suddenly became very aware of the fact that the O leading into the T and the H is kinda hard to do quickly. If you rush it, you get tripped up and your H gets tangled up with the F.

That's right. Laugh it up. It's a hard name to sign, especially when you're obsessing, and nervous, and you have, at best, the penmanship of a third grader.

Anyway, I toughed it out and did my best. I still think my signature looks a little goofy, and there are a few of them where the H looks like it's getting freaky with the F, and the F might not be entirely cool with it. But still, given the fact that I started this whole process with a significant handicap, I think I did pretty well.

I just finished the last one, repacked the boxes, and got them ready to send out.

So before I go to bed, I'd like to give you aspiring writers out there some advice. Learn from my mistakes. Practice your signature now.

pat

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posted by Pat at 21 Comments



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