For those of you who aren’t familiar with me, you should know that I am quite a ridiculous person. For instance, this internet persona of “HiuGregg” is mostly known for silly reddit threads, stories about cabbages and magic, and (most importantly) for making nonsensical fake covers for published fantasy novels.
So yes, I am a fairly ridiculous person. But sometimes my nonsense can make people laugh. I’ve built up quite the portfolio of novelty fantasy covers over the last year (you can view an album here) and I started to wonder if I could use this to do something meaningful.
Enter the Oathbringer cover.
Hmmm. Yes. It’s quite awful.
This cover was made on a whim a few months ago, when someone challenged me (it was totally a challenge) to make a cover worse than that of Carol Berg’s Transformation. I like to think that I succeeded.
Aaaaanyway, this cover soon became a full-fledged dust jacket, which I intended to print off for use on my own copy of Oathbringer, since my sense of humour is just that terrible.
This was mostly to amuse myself and my friends. It’d be something ridiculous (almost as ridiculous as myself) that we could look back on and laugh about.
But then, Brandon Sanderson announced his UK Oathbringer tour. What’s more, he was coming to Scotland!
Scotland! That’s where I live! This was amazing. Then… I had an idea, and though my friends told me not to….
So, as you can see, I took the fake dust jacket to the signing. Full credit to Brandon, he took it really well, and seemed to really find it funny. In fact, my co-blogger Tam was able to get a video of Brandon’s reaction – which you can see here. I posted this photo on reddit, and a quick glance tells me that 145,000 people have seen this photo since it was posted last Friday – that’s insane!
But this is where I have to get serious for a moment.
There was a second dust jacket, same as the first. Brandon signed this one.
In fact, I actually offered him the second cover to keep for himself. I handed Brandon the second dust jacket and said that we made a second copy for him, but if he liked, he could sign that second copy and we would auction it for Worldbuilders.
Brandon signed the copy immediately, and handed it right back.
Worldbuilders is a fantastic charity, and one that many fantasy fans will be aware of. They raise money for wonderful and important charities such as Mercy Corps, Global Giving, and First Book. Every year, they do a massive fundraising effort for Heifer International, which involves a massive geeky prize lottery with books and board games and comics, and a few auctions for amazing things such as novel critiques by best-selling authors, or signed first-edition books. They are currently in the middle of this years fundraiser, which still has another 5 days to go.
Now, my horrible silly cover isn’t as cool as all those things, but it’s at least something. I unfortunately can’t afford to donate substantial sums to Worldbuilders, but what I can do is create something truly ridiculous, and meme myself some money for a great charity.
To that effect, the signed cover is now listed for auction on eBay UK.
I should note that this is not an official Worldbuilders auction. I did reach out to Worldbuilders, but between the shipping times and the cost of shipping, it was too late in the game for them to auction the dust jacket themselves, and the high fees for international shipping would have resulted in less money going to the charity.
As a result, the auction will be handled entirely by myself, and I will donate the money received from this auction to Worldbuilders. I had hoped to auction this off through more official channels, but this is just the way the dice have fallen.
So please, if you would like to own something unique, special, and most of all ridiculous, why not throw in a bid and donate money to charity at the same time?