In a matter of days, fantasy author Brandon Sanderson’s record-breaking Kickstarter campaign to support the release of four novels he wrote in secret during the pandemic will come to an end. As it stands, the Kickstarter has taken in just over $35.5 million, setting a new record for the crowdfunding platform by over $11 million. It’s felt like a historic moment, and Sanderson’s Kickstarter has ignited plenty of discourse about the publishing industry and how things might change as a result of this shake-up.
I’ve been a fan of Sanderson’s work for quite a few years now, not just of his stories but also the way that he gives back to up-and-coming writers by doing things like teaching classes (which he has shared for free on YouTube) or doing podcasts like Writing Excuses. Sanderson has been doing these sorts of things throughout his career, but with the success of this Kickstarter he’s taken things to a whole new level.
On March 25, Sanderson posted a video to his YouTube channel to let fans watch in real time as he and his team at Dragonsteel Books went through and backed every single publishing project on Kickstarter. It’s an amazing way of giving back, and just one more example of why so many people love this dude.
Brandon Sanderson backed over 300 publishing Kickstarters
Brandon Sanderson may not be a YouTuber by trade, but he’s certainly made a good showing for himself on the platform by getting into a regular routine of posting videos. In one of the author’s most recent videos, he and a few other members of his company Dragonsteel Books went on a Kickstarter-backing marathon.
“Today, we are gonna do something awesome,” Sanderson announced to introduce the video. “The Kickstarter has been successful beyond my wildest dreams. So I got my team together and I said, ‘what can we do to give back a little to this community that has supported us so well?’ So we are going to back every single Kickstarter in the publishing category.”
He then proceeded to make good on that declaration. Over the course of the half-hour video, he and his crew at Dragonsteel parsed through all the publishing project currently listed on Kickstarter, and backed every single one (unless it was NSFW). They even came across a few that spoofed Sanderson’s Kickstarter announcement video, where he punked fans by making it seem like he might be taking a break from writing before dropping five manuscripts onto his desk. And yes, he backed those too.
The range of projects backed ran from a home teaching aid book for Kindergarten-aged children, picture books, adult fantasy books, and even some books written by kids. There were a handful of projects which Sanderson even decided to give extra to in order to push them over their funding limit and ensure that they get made.
By the time the dust settled on Dragonsteel’s Kickstarter-backing extravaganza, they had backed 316 projects. As Sanderson said, this was a pretty amazing way to give back to the community.
The Kickstarter for Brandon Sanderson’s four Secret Projects ends on March 31, so if you haven’t gotten in on it yet there are still a couple more days. We’ll be doing a more in-depth analysis of the Kickstarter and the details Sanderson has shared about his Secret Projects once the Kickstarter ends and we can look back on the final numbers.