Ever since I started announcing on Twitter the names of fans that I was adapting to go into THE GATHERING STORM and TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT, readers have been asking me how to get their names put into the next book. Well, there will be another oppoturnity to participate in a charity drive and have a chance to get your name put into A MEMORY OF LIGHT, but that's not what I'm talking about today. Instead, I'm talking about how one person can get his or her name (or most likely a variation thereof; see below for examples) used for a significant second-tier character in the next Stormlight Archive book.
There's a charity auction for naming rights going on right now at eBay, with a final bell Saturday evening at 9:30 p.m. Mountain time. Proceeds will benefit the local science fiction and fantasy symposium, called Life, the Universe, and Everything (LTUE). (Yes, that is a Douglas Adams reference.)
As it was held at my university, LTUE was one of the science fiction and fantasy conventions that I attended regularly while trying to break in, and it was always an invaluable experience. Now that my books are published and available worldwide, I like to take opportunities to give back to the community that fostered my development as a fan and as a writer.
I was Guest of Honor myself at LTUE in 2010 (my first stint as a GoH), and for a science fiction convention the crowd at my Guest of Honor speech was amazingly young—full of people in their twenties. (If you want to know why this is significant, do a Google search for the "greying of fandom.") In my opinion, local conventions of this sort, which promote the sharing of our excitement for the genre among the up-and-coming generation of readers and writers, deserve all the support they can get.
LTUE has been running for nearly 30 years, but it is and always has been organized by unpaid volunteers. For one reason or another there are always funding issues, especially they try to keep registration free for students—a practice I support, as I can easily recall how little money I tried to spend while working my way through college and writing thirteen novels at the same time. So I'm more than pleased for the proceeds from this name auction to go toward keeping LTUE going next year.
The auction listing follows. And see the bottom of the post for information on donating directly.
LTUE Benefit Name Auction Brandon Sanderson
Here’s your chance to become immortal! Bid now on naming a character in a forthcoming novel from New York Times Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson.
Up for auction: Brandon will begin work on the second Stormlight Archive book, a sequel to THE WAY OF KINGS, due for release in late 2012 or early 2013. As the winner of this auction, you can submit a name (or variation thereof) that will appear for a second-tier character who plays a significant role in a few scenes in the book.
All proceeds from this auction will benefit Life, the Universe, and Everything: The Marion K. “Doc” Smith Symposium on Science Fiction and Fantasy held in Provo, Utah. LTUE is an annual event dedicated to helping students, up-and-coming authors, and professionals hone their craft and network with their peers. Now in its 30th year, LTUE is the premier genre publishing event in the Intermountain West.
Some examples from winners from past auctions for names illustrate the variations that Brandon may use when the novel actually appears. For example, charity auction winner Brian Neff’s name appeared as Naeff in THE GATHERING STORM and TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT. Winner Scott Franson’s name appeared as Llarimar ("Scoot") in WARBREAKER. Aaron Yeoman’s name appeared as Yomen in THE HERO OF AGES.
Rules and Conditions
If you participate in this name auction, you acknowledge that you understand and agree to the terms and conditions below. You must have an active PayPal account to bid. As the host of this auction, UtahSF reserves the right to reject any bid at its sole discretion and to screen any and all bidders regardless of their eBay feedback history.
Brandon will adapt the winning bidder’s submitted name to fit the world of the Stormlight Archive (as seen in the examples above). Usually this means altering the spelling/pronunciation to fit the culture of the fictional world. However, Brandon reserves the right to reject any name he may find to be inappropriate.
If the winning bidder chooses to submit the name of someone else (such as a friend or family member), the winning bidder must submit a written release from this other person giving permission to use his/her name.
Finally, we hope it doesn’t have to be mentioned but the submitted name will be rejected if Brandon feels that it is in any way offensive, mischievous, or ill-intentioned, or if it is disruptive to the story.
This auction is for the name only. The winning bidder may not dictate the character's personality, description, or role in the story. If the winner supplies any of these things as part of the name submission, Brandon may or may not draw from that when implementing the character in the novel as the story demands. Any such ideas become the sole property of Brandon Sanderson with no further compensation or acknowledgement.
Your bid is a legally binding contract and it requires that you make full payment of your bid amount if your eBay ID is the highest bidder. You must make full payment through PayPal within 2 days of the auction close. Do not bid if you are not 100% sure that you can follow through with payment at the winning bid price promptly. You will also be bound to make full payment even if a higher bid has been removed for whatever reason, resulting in you becoming the high bidder.
Be aware that if a family member, another person in your household, or any other person who has access to your account uses your eBay or PayPal account, you are still fully liable and cannot avoid payment if you win the auction. All sales are final.
UtahSF is a 501(c)3 organization, so your winning bid amount (or portion thereof) may be tax-deductible. Contact a tax accountant or advisor for specific information.
If you are the winning bidder, you must provide contact information (email address, physical address, telephone number) with the payment email for ongoing correspondence as the submitted name is processed.
Novel Release Date
As mentioned, the release date for the novel is in late 2012 or early 2013. However, publication dates are naturally subject to change. The winning bidder may receive email with updates on the actual release date.
As you can see, the auction itself is already up above a thousand dollars, which means many readers won't have a chance at winning. But if you would like to donate a few bucks toward the convention without bidding, that's something you can do. Make a check or money order out to UtahSF, print on the info line that this is a donation for LTUE, and mail it to:
c/o Joe Monson
PO Box 360
Orem, UT 84059-0360
Note though that this isn't like the Wheel of Time charity drives; it doesn't mean you have a chance of your name showing up in the book just by donating. That's mostly due to the way I create names for my books as opposed to Wheel of Time books. Roshar is a world very different from our own, so its names bear little resemblance to names in our world but rather are in line with principles I have worked out for the planet's languages and cultures. The Wheel of Time, however, takes place in a world that is ours in both the distant future and distant past, so names adapted from those in our current culture blend in well there, and Robert Jordan adapted many names from mythology and the world around him.
Still, if you do donate directly to LTUE, feel free to drop me a line and tell me. You never know what might happen.
Anyway, happy bidding!