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Self-Publishing News: Brandon Sanderson Sets Crowdfunding Records. Again.

Self-Publishing News: Brandon Sanderson Sets Crowdfunding Records. Again.

ALLi News Editor, Dan Holloway

One of the things Sacha and I talked about in our fireside chat at London Book Fair is the importance of physical books for the indie model in 2024 and beyond. This fits perfectly with the discussion of the future of publishing at the recent Mastermind workshop. It coincided with the announcement of a new crowdfunded special edition project from the master of the art, Brandon Sanderson. In a few days his new project has raised nearly $20m.

What’s really interesting interesting is looking at the take up of the various tier levels for the project. And what’s clear is that there is a kind of fan, and a kind of author, for whom the Kevin Kelley 1000 true fans model really does work. People who love Sanderson want a beautiful special edition of his book. But fans with deep wallets want as much more than that as he has to offer. So far the $650 pledge tier, which claims a retail value of over $1000 has gained over 9000 backers. That’s a lot of money from a devoted group of followers.

Sanderson’s last Kickstarter raised over $40m and a lot of questions. It funded a set of 4 books issued through 2023 in special editions, along with swag. This time around the focus is Words of Radiance, in his The Stormlight Archive series. The special edition is a beautiful leather bound book. And again it comes with swag and secret volumes.

Last time around there was some considerable chattering among the author classes about the level of financial devotion shown by Sanderson’s fans and whether it was seemly or not. This time around, there is controversy again. But rather than taking aim at fans for being, well, fans, the questions are around the platform Sanderson has used. Backerkit is a direct rival of Kickstarter, with a slightly more flexible pledge model to give makers of cool things more options. The $17.8m and counting in the words of Radiance campaign is the site’s record.

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Author: Dan Holloway

Dan Holloway is a novelist, poet and spoken word artist. He is the MC of the performance arts show The New Libertines, which has appeared at festivals and fringes from Manchester to Stoke Newington. In 2010 he was the winner of the 100th episode of the international spoken prose event Literary Death Match, and earlier this year he competed at the National Poetry Slam final at the Royal Albert Hall. His latest collection, The Transparency of Sutures, is available for Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transparency-Sutures-Dan-Holloway-ebook/dp/B01A6YAA40


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