Some of you may remember that when I announced that Penny Arcade artist Mike Krahulik was doing the cover to Agent to the Stars, that I also mentioned that when people ordered the book from the Subterranean Press site, Subterranean Press would donate 10% of the cover price to Child’s Play, the charity the Penny Arcade folks have established to provide toys and games to children who have hospital stays. I’m pleased to say that a few days ago Subterranean Press publisher Bill Schafer sent Child’s Play $903 dollars culled from this effort. I kicked in the additional $97 to bring the contribution to an even $1,000 dollars, and then Bill personally dropped an additional $100, bringing the total “Agent” contribution to $1100. I want to make sure that everyone who bought Agent from the Subterranean site knows how much I appreciate their doing so — it’s really cool to be able to send over a significant sum to money to Child’s Play based on your purchase.
For those of you that have been thinking of picking up Agent but haven’t done so yet, allow me to offer an incentive for you to do so by the end of the year: I promised that if the entire print run of Agent was sold by the end of the year, that I would kick in an additional $350 to Child’s Play out of my own royalties. If you buy the book off the Subterranean site, 10% of your purchase price will go to Child’s Play regardless (and on top of my own pledge — the Child’s Play kickback on the Subterranean Press site goes until the print run is gone), but for the purposes of my pledge it doesn’t matter where you get the book, just as long as the print run sells out by 11:59:59 on December 31. So get it on Amazon, B&N, Powell’s or wherever you want. The print run was 1,500, and there are only a couple hundred copies left, so causing me to fork out $350 is entirely doable. So, again, if you’ve been thinking of getting Agent, consider doing so in 2005. There’s 10 days left — that’s enough time.
Regardless of any possible Agent purchase, I do hope that you’ll check out Child’s Play when you’re considering your end-of-the-year charitable giving. The Penny Arcade guys have done a truly amazing job with this charity over the three years they have run it: All the contributions go directly to the hospitals they sponsor; PA charges no administrative fees whatsoever. This year alone they’ve raised a jaw-dropping $420,000 from Penny Arcade readers, game companies and others who see the value in making a kid’s stay in a hospital a little more tolerable with a game or toy. Even before I kicked in the $97, I had gone in and made a contribution: I picked a hospital (the charity sponsors hospitals in the US, Canada and the UK), went to its Amazon wish list, and picked out some toys. The wish lists have requests for toys and books that only cost a few dollars, so there’s almost always something that’s in the price range for anyone who wants to contribute. So I hope you’ll go over and consider a contribution.
Once again: Thank you to everyone who bought Agent from the Subterranean Press site. You did good.