Brandon Sanderson’s Second Kickstarter…
Brandon’s campaign is about to break the record for the largest campaign in Kickstarter history. It is over twenty million as I start to write this and still climbing.
And he is doing this in the FICTION category with four books. Three years ago Loren Coleman and I got it in our heads that Kickstarter could be another sales-of-books source, like a bookstore for preorders.
We started a free Kickstarter for Fiction Writers place on Teachable, and Loren wrote an entire book on Crowdfunding for Fiction Writers, which is basically the bible. Our intent was to make Kickstarter pay attention more to the Fiction category like they did the gaming category.
And over three years, as more and more of us did Fiction campaigns, Kickstarter started paying more and more attention and helping us with all kinds of things.
Now, thanks to Brandon, 80-to-100-thousand new readers will know they can buy books on Kickstarter, nifty books, books ahead of publication or outside of normal publication channels.
Thanks to Brandon, the Gaming category will no longer be the place for the biggest campaign.
Kickstarter for all sizes has now officially become a great place to start the sales of your new book. Even if you get just a few hundred, or five hundred, or a thousand, it is still money and readers you didn’t have before.
There are three basic levels of fiction Kickstarter campaigns.
— The lower level where what you want is to get maybe $500 to a $1,000 in a goal, get some new readers, and get some good advertising for putting up the book preorder (after the campaign) for a month or two before it comes out. (Many writers have done two or three a year and made between $5,000 and $10,000 a year, once they get up to speed with both the writing and the structure of the campaigns.)
— Mid-level campaigns, which is what we do at WMG, are books and projects that can generate from $10,000 to $40,000. Lots of rewards, depth of goals, and a social media and fan base that can handle that level. (We did six mid-level campaigns last year, got our books out, and got out a lot of fun other stuff like workshops and such for writers and readers. We were right at $150,000 official money last year from campaigns, plus some unofficial after sales.)
— Big campaigns like what Brandon is doing. You see the big campaigns all over Kickstarter. Loren did one that ended up over four million on the gaming side. He has done small ones as well under other names that got $5,000. The big ones are dependent on brand and size of project. That takes years to build. Brandon has been working on his brand every day for twenty years now. And he’s good at it. If some of the other bigger brand writers get their heads out of their asses and give this a try, they will do big campaigns as well. They need a team to help them, though.
So I have seen over the last few days some of the funniest and stupidest comments about Brandon’s success. One person who was planning a really nice $500 campaign wrote me and said they had decided to wait to let Brandon get out of the way. Really?? That’s like saying you don’t want to publish a book because James Patterson is publishing a book. Head-shaking.
Others think Brandon is taking all the money out of the system. Really? You do realize that bookselling is a multi BILLION dollar yearly industry, and that’s just what the idiots doing the counting can count. They do not count book sales on Kickstarter or on y0ur own web site or other ways, and it is still BILLIONS OF DOLLARS in just the states. While most of us just take a sip from the giant ocean, Brandon is filling a canteen. Draining the money. Really? That’s just uninformed.
So if your petty little heart is jealous of all the hard work Brandon has done to make a campaign like this work over the last twenty years, might want to go run your head under really cold water, take a deep breath, and regain some perspective.
Brandon is proving to readers that they can find really fun and original books on Kickstarter. He is helping us all by breaking the ice.
Well, he is helping all of us with the ability to do Kickstarter campaigns and the ability to learn how to make one work and fund.
And if you think you can do it, and have the books for it, go get Loren L. Coleman’s book on Crowdfunding and he will walk you though what you need to do detail by detail.
And then do that thing I constantly tell writers to do. Study other kickstarters and support a bunch of them that look good to you to see how the system works from the reader side as well.
So thank you, Brandon!! You are helping us all.
(And scaring the hell out of traditional publishers at the same time, which just makes me giggle.)