This week I heard about a fundraiser that author Patrick Rothfuss has been doing for Heifer International. After having run a successful contest on his personal blog, Rothfuss decided to try raising a little money for his favorite charity, Heifer International. On November 10th, he announced the fundraiser on his blog, offering to match reader contributions dollar for dollar, hoping to raise a couple thousand dollars. In less than four days they contributed over $5000 (not including Rothfuss' matching donation), and he increased the goal again, and again. When the fundraiser ended on December 11th, readers had contributed over $50,000 to Heifer International, and Rothfuss promises to match every dime. Rothfuss, who only quit his day job this past year after The Name of the Wind, the first book in the Kingkiller Chronicle series, sold well in the US and internationally, is delighted, and so is Heifer International.
Then I started wondering about other authors, and what similar projects they might have done. I know that J. K. Rowling's new book, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, is a fundraiser for a charity she helped found. The book is the collection of stories that Harry and friends use to reach their goals in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Both these stories help me feel good about the authors I love to read. Do you know of other authors who use their public attention to help others?