Monday, January 11, 2016

Sponsor Letter January 11th, 2016

Dear Sponsors,

I'm sorry that there have been so many emails coming to you over the past two weeks.  As I've said, I've making this up as we go along and that leads to quite a few, "Oh, we'd better explain that" moments.  Don't worry though, this is a short one and (hopefully) the last 'til next month.

The Dashiell Hammett Version

1)  If you're a 2016 sponsor and you would like to be in the drawing for the private event with Pat Rothfuss at 5:30 pm on Friday, January 15th, please reply to this email and say so (and, do look at the details below).

2)  As requested by several folks, I've set up an on-line calendar listing all of our sponsor events.  The URL is The events aren't all up there yet but they should be in a few days.

3)  Also as requested by several people, we'll be videoing the presentations that we're doing in February.  Probably both as live-streams and stored at Youtube.  Details in the February newsletter.

4)  We made a typo in one of the dates listed for the February presentations.  The correct date for the final presentation, "Been There, Done That, Wish I Hadn't", with Gail Carriger, Richard Kadrey, and Pat Murphy, is Tuesday, February 23rd.

5)  If you were a sponsor in 2015 and haven't renewed yet, please feel free to come to the social on January 28th.  If you like, you could renew on the spot but you are very welcome to just come and celebrate with us.  That party is in just a few weeks, so it's time to RSVP if you're coming (as usual, one guest is welcome).  You are also welcome to come to the sponsors' general meeting on Thursday, March 31st, at 7 pm.

6)  I think I made a mistake by rushing into making the offer to loan money to help Precita Eyes (please see the last sponsor note for details).  I'd like to know if you approve of that action or not.

The Charles Dickens Version

1)  As I mentioned earlier this month, we're going to be hosting an event with Patrick Rothfuss this Friday.  As a special treat for some of our sponsors, Patrick will be attending a private reception for a small group of you before the public event.  To make this an intimate gathering, rather than just a smaller version of the signing at the store, the number of people attending is sharply limited.  If you would like to come, please reply to this email and let me know.  The deadline to express interest is 8 pm tomorrow, Tuesday, January 12th (if you've already asked, don't worry, we've got your name down).

After the deadline, I'll draw names out of a "hat" to determine who will be attending.  The event is at 5:30 pm on Friday, January 15th, one hour long, and walking distance from the Borderlands.  Appetizers and nonalcoholic drinks will be included and the cost will be $10 (to defray food and venue expenses), payable in cash upon arrival.  Regrettably, it will not be possible to bring any guests.  I will be notifying the winners on Wednesday afternoon and giving them further details.

Of course, the later event at the store is open to the public and, as a sponsor, you can reserve a seat for yourself and one guest (three guests, if you're a +1 sponsor).  If you're planning on coming, I'd suggest that you do reserve a seat.  There were over 175 people at the first event we did with Patrick and this is sure to be a standing-room-only crowd.

2)  To make it easier to keep track of all the cool stuff we're doing this year, I set up an on-line calendar listing all of our sponsor events.  The URL is If you use something like iCal or Outlook, you can use the following URL to sync up -  Although the calendar has been created, I haven't had time to get all the events listed there, so right now it's blank, but I'll be getting it filled soon.

3)  I've been talking for a while about getting us set up to live-stream events.  With the announcement of the series of presentations for writers that we're doing in February, a lot of people wrote and said that they can't make it, but they really wanted to be able to see it on-line.  So, rather than doing my usual routine of planning to a faretheewell but taking forever to implement, I'm going to jump in fast and work out the fine points second.  Jeremy and I have already found what seems like the right camera, a site that will host the stream, and we're looking into posting the video on Youtube for later viewing.  All the details should be in the next sponsor note.

If anyone out there has some solid experience doing this sort of thing, I'd love to go over what Jeremy and I have planned and check if it makes sense.

4) We made a typo in one of the dates listed for the February presentations in the last sponsor note.  The correct dates for all of the presentations are as follows:
Feb. 2nd, Alan Beatts, "The Life-Cycle of a Book"
Feb. 9th, Jeremy Lassen, "Publishing Contracts: Good, Bad, and Ugly"
Feb. 16th, Scott Cox, "Public Reading, Tips and Tricks"
Feb. 23rd, Panel Discussion with authors Gail Carriger, Richard Kadrey and Pat Murphy: "Been There, Done That, Wish I Hadn't"

5)  After what you did for Borderlands last year, I don't want to just shut the door because you have not renewed your sponsorship this year.  So, regardless whether you renewed or not, I invite you to come to the Sponsor Social on Thursday, January 28th, and feel free to bring a guest.  We're going to be celebrating a successful second year and I'd really like you to be part of it.  Likewise, we'll be having our General Meeting on March 31st, at seven pm. Please feel welcome there as well.

6)  In my last note, I told you that I was going to offer a low-interest loan to a local arts non-profit which is trying to buy their building.  At the time, it seemed to be a kindly, supportive and community-oriented move that would have no downside for you, our sponsors.  However, after I announced it, a sponsor got in touch with me and said they were uncomfortable with what can be seen as my redirection of funds away from what you all had chosen to support.

After thinking about it for a while, I agree with them.  Although I hadn't looked at it this way at the time, it's not up to me to make a determination for you about what things, outside of Borderlands, are desirable to support.  Certainly, I can imagine situations where, were I in your shoes, something like that would really piss me off.  So, in the future, I'm not going to do that again.

But, at this point, I've already started the conversation with the folks at Precita Eyes and so it feels to me that it wouldn't be right to simply back out.  On the other hand, if there are a significant number of sponsors who are opposed to it, that changes the complexion of things drastically and I will kill that deal.  Regardless, taking the step of offering that loan is not something I think I should have done without consulting with you first, so I'm now trying to rectify that error.

If you want more information about the details surrounding the situation that Precita Eyes is in, these links will be useful --

For information about Precita Eyes --

And, finally the outline of the deal --
The loan would be for $20,000 at 2% interest with a 12 month term.  In regards to my question about how secure the loan would be, I received the following reply, "We are only purchasing the building assuming that the City can ultimately refinance the purchase with their small sites program. The program has already lent $18 million since being launched in June 2014. Unfortunately, the city takes 90 days to fund any purchase and most sellers want a 30-45 day closing. We don't expect to lose the principal amount because the purchase would only happen with the city's commitment to refinance."  The building is going to be purchased by The Mission Economic Development Agency, a non-profit, who would act as the new landlord. Information about MEDA can be found here -  The purchase will be taking place through the City of San Francisco's Small Sites Program (more information -

So, if you have feelings either in favor of the loan or against, please write to me directly at  One favor that I ask -- though I try to make sure that sponsors get thoughtful and prompt replies from me, I've been buried in email since we announced the sponsorship renewal.  I promise that I will read all your comments and respond accordingly but it may be quite some time before I reply to all of them.

Thank you for your patience, both with the big chunk of information I just dropped on you, and also with my inevitable mistakes as I figure out how this wacky sponsorship thing works.

All Best,

No comments:

Post a Comment