Brandon Sanderson, a Utah-based author who recently announced the upcoming release of four new secret novels, set a goal to raise $1 million in 30 days using Kickstarter.

He achieved his objective in 35 minutes and continued spiking upward to the single most successful day in Kickstarter history.

Two day’s later, the prolific sci-fi and fantasy author has received more than $19.5 million from nearly 80,000 backers and counting with 28 days still to go.

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Brandon Sanderson’s unique relationship with fans

What worked for Sanderson is his unique relationship with his fans, Kristen McLean, the executive director of business development at NPD Books, told The New York Times

  • “Publishers need authors to be entrepreneurs these days,” McLean said. “This is just going to build his profile and continue to drive the backlist sales of all his books.”

What Brandon Sanderson is saying

Sanderson is best known for creating the Cosmere fictional universe, in which most of his novels are set, and for helping to finish the final three novels in Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” book series.

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Sanderson started his own book company, DragonSteel Entertainment, with 30 employees and has a warehouse near his home in Pleasant Grove, Utah. He started self-publishing e-books in the early 2010s and ran a Kickstarter test campaign in 2020 to fund a leather-bound reprint of one of his books, The New York Times reported.

Sanderson doesn’t want to disrupt traditional publishers, only experiment on what is possible.

  • “My goal in all of this,” Sanderson said, “is to see what’s possible.”

Sanderson’s Kickstarter offers backers four new novels, three of which are set in Cosmere, as digital e-books, audio books or physical copies based on their donation level. People who spend over a certain amount will also receive eight monthly “swag” boxes of items related to Sanderson’s work, the Deseret News reported.

Sanderson announced his Kickstarter with a YouTube video posted on March 1.

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