Brandon Sanderson’s Surprising Fiction Overtook Pebble Watch as the most successful Kickstarter of all time
Prolific fantasy author Brandon Sanderson Just broke the Kickstarter record For the most successful publicly funded project ever, grossing $20,338,986 determined by Pebble Time All the way back in 2015.
Sanderson’s achievement is not only remarkable for the sheer amount of money raised but also for the speed. The project — for four new novels the author has secretly written during the pandemic — was announced on Tuesday, March 1, and broke the record early on Friday morning, March 4.
The project’s original goal was to raise $1 million in 30 days; Sanderson hit that number in about 35 minutes, according to New York times. The campaign currently exceeds 82,000 supporters and still has 27 days to collect additional contributions. The Pebble Time ended its record-breaking campaign with contributions from 78,471 supporters.
There are actually two halves of the Kickstarter project: the four novels listed above, which Sanderson will release directly to audiences on a quarterly basis throughout 2023 in e-book, print or audiobook formats; and a larger subscription fund “The Year of Sanderson” which combines four books with eight additional boxes of swag with different themes across the various Sanderson series and novels.
Pledges start at $40 for the four e-books only, $160 for the hardcover, $360 for the e-books and the rest of the gifts, and a full $500 for the four books in all three formats and eight gift boxes.
Sanderson is one of the most prolific contemporary writers in science fiction and fantasy, known for the sheer speed with which he brings out new books across his diverse series (often compared to the icy pace of other famous writers such as George R. R. Martin or Patrick Rothfuss), as well as for his varied and complex magic systems across his books. He also rose to prominence for his work in finishing the last three books of wheel of time Series after the death of original author Robert Jordan.
Sanderson is best known, however, for Cosmere – a massive, interconnected super series of various fantasy series, including Stormlight ArchiveThe Mistborn Novels nitrisAnd the the war, and other books and novels. While each series or novel aims to stand as a standalone work, similar to projects like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the end goal is a much broader story, where characters (and their different powers and abilities) intersect and confront each other as the stories progress in each series.
Three of the four novels in the Sanderson Year Pack are new Cosmir stories, which may help explain some of the popularity — much like the new Marvel series, fans of Sanderson’s work tend to follow each new release with enthusiasm to follow the overall story of Cosmir.
As with any Kickstarter – especially high-profile projects with huge numbers of backers and on a large scale – there is always a risk that products won’t materialize or the company won’t follow through (Like the infamous crowdfunding disaster The Coolest Cooler(now the third most funded Kickstarter campaign). However, Sanderson’s project seems less serious than most, given that the author has already written all four novels, as well as the fact that books are a relatively solved problem in terms of mass production.
A subsidiary of Sanderson, Dragonsteel Entertainment has successfully run Kickstarter by – $6.7 Million Project for Leather Pound Editions of Kings Road Which ended up with about 30,000 backers, so the company has some experience in handling large projects like this.
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