Brandon Sanderson has raised more than $33 million on Kickstarter, but some people aren’t too pleased about that. In an effort to turn the criticism into praise, the prolific fantasy and science fiction author put his millions to use by backing 316 different publishing projects on Kickstarter.
The story goes like this: Sanderson launched his crowdfunding campaign on March 1. He offered four previously-unreleased novels to fans and hoped to raise $1 million so that he could publish them independently. The response he received was overwhelming. It didn’t even take a single day for Sanderson to reach his seven-digit goal, and within a week, the project became the most lucrative campaign in Kickstarter history. At the time of this post, the 37,935 backers who have pledged $160 in order to receive hardcover copies of all four novels have contributed $6 million to the campaign all by themselves.
Not everyone was so enthused by Sanderson’s runaway Kickstarter success. One tweet expressed frustration that lesser-known fantasy authors don’t get the same support. Perhaps Sanderson saw that tweet and decided to fund all the lesser-known fantasy authors himself.
Sanderson documented his back-a-thon in a 31-minute video released on his YouTube channel. As he explained, his initial goal was to back every single active publishing project on Kickstarter except for the “extremely not safe for work” ones and the ones that violate Kickstarter’s terms of service.
In the video, Sanderson’s staffers highlight a few specific campaigns, in case any viewers want to chip in as well. If you’re a fan of re-issued short stories from the 70s, poetry collections inspired by Black history, or “soccer moms of the apocalypse,” there’s a crowdfunding campaign out there with your name on it.
By the time the dust settled, Sanderson had sent contributions to 316 different publishing projects. At least two of those projects were able to reach their funding goals thanks to the support the Mistborn author provided. And as one commenter joked, Sanderson may have gotten some of his own work done while his staffers distributed his money.
It’s awesome to see the amount of love Sanderson has for authors who are not able to generate the same level of fervent readership he enjoys. While I have nothing but praise for what he’s already done, I will say that $33 million is a lot of money, and there are plenty of publishing projects on Indiegogo that could also use some love.
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