Tuckerization is the accepted name for the process, not only in Discworld novels, by which people buy a chance to be written into novels as (usually) minor characters, often in return for a suitable donation to charity. It is derived from science fiction writer Wilson Tucker, who either originated or popularised the idea.
Sometimes this involves no money changing hands – Hodgesaargh, the Lancre castle falconer is based on Dave Hodges, the man Terry used for research on falconry, and the seamstress Colette who appears in Maskerade is a tribute to a fan who appealed to Terry because of her infeasibly large and different earrings. "Fascinatin'", you might say.
Beneficiaries in the Discworld canon include:
- Colette, after Colette Reap
- Dr Follett, after author Kenneth Follett
- Hodgesaargh, after falconer Dave Hodges
- Marco Soto, after games editor, artist and writer Marco Soto.
Another notable Tuckerization happens in The Long War, where real-life animal experts and owners of a large feral cat sanctuary, Doctor Christopher Pagel and his wife Julia Pagel, are written into the story as themselves - but given the management problems associated with large cat species not known on Datum Earth. A note at the end of the novel acknowledges them and their work in large cat preservation (owners of the Companion Animal Hospital in real-life Madison)
- TV Tropes, for a fuller definition, history of the practice, and lots of examples.
- Product Placement, article written by David Langford in 2006 for SFX magazine.