Archive for February, 2014

Con or Bust’s 2014 auction: final report

I’m thrilled to report that the final total of pledged bids in the 2014 Con or Bust auction stands at $14,476, which is a Con or Bust record. I’m very grateful to you all for your enthusiasm and support in offering items, bidding, and spreading the word.

Thanks also to those of you who donated for the matching gift from Arachne Jericho of $1,000, which we met with about an hour to spare the deadline, and to those of you who made donations before the matching gift or bought T-shirts.

All this support is particularly welcome because in the request period that just closed, Con or Bust set another record by receiving thirty (yes, three-zero) requests for monetary assistance to attend upcoming cons. On one hand, this is a good thing: more people are hearing about Con or Bust! On the other hand, I am now going to postpone deciding whether to move the next auction later in 2015; given the current level of demand, it seems irresponsible to allocate the funds from this year’s auction and other fundraisers to cover fifteen upcoming months, instead of the usual twelve. (I was hoping to move it later in the year to avoid overlapping with Worldbuilders and to give myself more time after the holidays.)

If you haven’t paid for your auction item yet, please head to the The auction’s over, now what? post. There’s also a post for general feedback about the auction, including a poll about last-minute bidding.

And, of course, you can always support Con or Bust by donating money or con memberships and by spreading the word about free memberships to upcoming cons. (Last call for JordanCon memberships!) Thank you all again!

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Your Con or Bust donation doubled—ending Friday!

Last week, Arachne Jericho offered to match regular donations to Con or Bust up to $1,000 over the next week. There’s a day left to go on that match—specifically, until noon Eastern on Friday, February 28—and Con or Bust has received just under $800 toward the matching gift.

So if you’d like to help fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF cons, and you’d like to have the effect of your support doubled, now is a great time to donate! Any amount is welcome indeed.

You can donate with a PayPal account or a credit card (after you click the orange button below, click “Continue” on the left side of the screen, above the credit card logos). On the “review your donation” screen, please click “Add special instructions to the seller” and state that this is for the matching gift, so that I don’t try to figure out if this matches an outstanding auction payment instead.




Thanks for your support, and thanks again to Arachne for the generous matching gift. Please spread the word!

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Free Norwescon memberships

Con or Bust is pleased to announce that Norwescon has donated two free memberships for the use of fans of color/non-white fans. Norwescon takes place from April 17-20, 2014, in Seattle, WA, USA. It is the Pacific Northwest’s Premiere Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention and one of the largest regional Science Fiction and Fantasy conventions in the United States. Its Guests of Honor are: Writer: Michael Moorcock; Science: Catherine S. Plesko; Artist: Robert Gould; Costuming: Anima! X; Special: Seanan McGuire; Publisher: 47 North.

Those interested in the memberships may request them through the Request Assistance page (through today, Tuesday February 25th, use the general form (you can also request monetary assistance); after that, use the linked memberships-only form).

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Auction feedback post

This is the post for general auction feedback (if you want the what-to-do post, head here). Behind the jump, I’m revisiting the topic of last-minute bidding as well as addressing some feedback I’ve already heard. I’d very much like to hear your thoughts on any other topics, as well.

Read More →

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Con or Bust accepting requests for assistance through Tuesday!

From now through Tuesday, February 25, Con or Bust is accepting requests from fans of color/non-white fans to attend upcoming SFF cons. Find out more at the Request Assistance page.

This includes requests for free memberships to specific cons, all of which are listed on the Upcoming Cons page. Four of these cons are coming up very soon, so I will mention them in this post:

  • Escapade, February 28-March 1, 2014, Los Angeles, CA. Escapade is a multi-media slash convention with programming designed by the attendees. Escapade has donated one membership to Con or Bust, which must be claimed today because the con is this weekend!
  • JOFcon, March 28-30, 2014, Linthicum, MD (near BWI airport). JOFcon is a collaborative convention for those who are interested in learning about convention running, teaching about convention running, and talking about fannish conventions. JOFcon has donated two memberships to Con or Bust.
  • Chi-Fi, March 29, 2014, Chicago, IL. Chi-Fi is a new con that will be holding a one-day event in 2014; it is conveniently located off of public transit. Its current guest list can be found here. Chi-Fi has donated ten memberships to Con or Bust.
  • JordanCon 6, April 11-13, 2014, Roswell, GA, USA. JordanCon is a fantasy literature convention founded in honor of the late author, Robert Jordan. Its Guests of Honor are Patrick Rothfuss (Author), Larry Elmore (Artist), and the cast of TWoTCast (Toastmasters). JordanCon has donated two memberships to Con or Bust.

But there is also major support available for Detcon1 (this year’s NASFic), Loncon 3 (this year’s Worldcon), and World Fantasy Con 2014, among many others, so please check out the full list! (Remember: you can request assistance for any upcoming con in the future, not one just in the next three months; the next request period will be in May.) And if you’re not requesting assistance, please spread the word!

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The auction’s over, now what?

If the magic of scheduled posts has worked properly, this has posted at 5:01 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, February 23, 2014, and Con or Bust’s 2014 auction is now over.

Did I Win?

Winning bids are the high bid that was published to comments on or before 5:00 p.m. today (which is to say: if you’re seeing this post, it’s too late). If there is a tie, the first comment published is the winning bid.

This is a purely mechanical determination, so you shouldn’t need me to make a mod ruling, but in unusual cases or if you just want to be sure, feel free to comment at the post in question and I will come take a look. (If you’re commenting right after the auction closes, it may take a few hours for me to respond, because of dinner and kids’ bedtimes.)

If you can’t quite remember what you bid on, you can either search for the name you would have commented under in the sidebar, or you can comment here using the same email address you would have used for bidding and I will email you when the spreadsheet is sorted out. (There are literally two hundred auction items this year, so please be patient.)

I Won; What Do I Do Now?

Congratulations and thanks very much for bidding! You can pay with a PayPal account or a credit card (after you click the orange button below, click “Continue” on the left side of the screen, above the credit card logos). On the “review your donation” screen, please click “Add special instructions to the seller” and state what auction item or items this is for. (It’s fine to aggregate payments for multiple auctions. No-one’s ever run out of room, but if you do, just email con.or.bust@gmail.com with the information.)

Other things that should go in the “special instructions” field: (1) if your email address is different from the one you used to comment; (2) if you DON’T want your PayPal mailing address to be used to ship your item to.





Once you’ve paid, you will get an email acknowledgment of your payment and I will notify your seller. Important note: this year, these emails will come from con.or.bust@gmail.com, because the wonderful Yoon Ha Lee is helping me with some of the administrative tasks, so be on the lookout for that address.

I Offered Something for Auction; What Do I Do Now?

Thank you for offering something! Just wait until you get email from con.or.bust@gmail.com, letting you know that your winner has paid and providing you with their contact information. Then make whatever arrangements are necessary!

If you can’t quite remember all the things you offered, you can use the drop-down menu in the sidebar titled “Find Posts by Author.”

Finally, I mention this only because some people have asked if they could do it in past years: if bidding was vigorous, you may, where practical and in your sole discretion, offer additional items to people with the high losing bids or who got their bids in late. But that would be an entirely optional exercise of extreme generosity on your part—which means, bidders, don’t importune or I will frown disapprovingly at you over the Internet.

I Need Help!

Comment here or email con.or.bust@gmail.com. (After 90 days, I will close comments on posts to reduce comment spam, but I want people to be happy with their auction experience, so I will always be glad to hear from you by email. Update: comment spam has been very vigorous, so I’m closing comments on individual auction posts and leaving them open on the end-of-auction posts.)

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Con or Bust’s auction ends in 24 hours!

Con or Bust’s annual online auction will end tomorrow, Sunday February 23rd, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time (GMT -5). Any bids must be timestamped 5:00 or earlier to be valid.

If you’re looking for last-minute deals, check out the auction index: you can use the drop-down menus at the top to see only auctions with 0, 1, or 2 bids; to see only auctions with multiple items; or to see mod’s picks—at this late date, I’ve changed that to mod’s picks of everything (instead of mod’s picks of only things you couldn’t otherwise filter for). These reflect what I think are overlooked deals; if I in turn have overlooked something, please let us all know in the comments!

(And if you’d like to support Con or Bust but don’t see something in the auction to bid on, may I mention the current $1,000 matching gift? Double your donation’s effect—learn more over here.)

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Anuja Chauhan box set

Item Name & Description: box set of Anuja Chauhan’s novels, including Those Pricey Thakur Girls, Battle for Bittora and The Zoya Factor

book covers

Starting Bid: $10

Notes: Last year, Deepa started The Anuja Chauhan Reading Club, where she passed out copies of Anuja Chauhan’s three published novels, which are currently only available for purchase in India. Each person read the book and then sent it on to the next person in the club. I got to read all three (my reviews: The Zoya Factor, Battle for Bittora, and Those Pricey Thakur Girls) and enjoyed them very much! I thought I’d like to give more people outside India an opportunity to read and enjoy these books, which is why I’m offering this box set up for auction. Please note that I ordered the books from an online retailer in India, and I’m getting a friend to receive the delivery and ship them to the winning bidder, so it may take a while to receive the books. However, I will cover all shipping costs.

Bidding is now open; it closes Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. More Information.

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Matching gift of $1,000; discounted T-shirts

Want to help fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF cons, but don’t see anything to bid on in the auction? I’m excited to announce two additional ways people can support Con or Bust: a matching gift of $1,000 from Arachne Jericho, through February 28, 2014; and a new lower price for T-shirts!

First:

For the next week, through February 28, 2014, the wonderful Arachne Jericho will match regular donations to Con or Bust up to $1,000. (You may recall that she also generously matched donations last summer.) Donations of any amount are always welcome, but this week they will be doubled!

Note: matching applies only to regular donations, not auction payments or T-shirt orders. You can donate with a PayPal account or a credit card (after you click the orange button below, click “Continue” on the left side of the screen, above the credit card logos). On the “review your donation” screen, please click “Add special instructions to the seller” and state that this is for the matching gift. Soon there will be many, many auction payments to process and this will make bookkeeping immensely easier.




Second:

Con or Bust has adorable dinocorn T-shirts! These used to be $20 plus shipping; I’m dropping the price to $15 with free US shipping (for shipping outside the US, please email me and I will give you a quote). Check out the available sizes, styles, and colors, then click the PayPal button and add what type you’d like in the “Add special instructions to the seller” field.

(If you bought a shirt recently, I’m happy to give you a refund on the difference in price if you’d like; please let me know.)

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Another auction index update–now with mod picks!

I have updated the auction index with the following:

1) up-to-date bids;

2) a column to filter on offers that include multiple items;

3) a column to filter on offers that have 3 or more bids and only include single items, but I think are still really good deals. (There are also extremely good deals on items with 0, 1, or 2 bids, and on many of the multiple-item offers, but those are separately filterable.)

Go forth and find something awesome! And if you’d like to support Con or Bust in other ways, stay tuned tomorrow for more information.

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