This story gets more and more odd.
Author Brandon Sanderson Shares Kickstarter Success by Backing Almost Every Other Literary Project
By Alyssa Shotwell, Mar 29th, 2022, 5:40 pm
Earlier this month, successful science fiction and fantasy (SFF) writer Brandon Sanderson broke Kickstarter records within a few days with his secret A Year of Sanderson project. Currently sitting at over $36 million and over 157,000 backers, this 12-month project promises four new novels in various formats (physical, audio, and ebook) and a merch edition for the two months between books in 2021.
In a recent CBS Mornings profile, he stated, “The big dream is to be Stan Lee […] I would love to be Stan Lee. The person whose stories changed millions of lives, that are beloved and told time and time again.” This tracks, considering Sanderson’s writing and dramatic flair. He literally teased another announcement this morning! When I wrote on this a few weeks back, I noted that some hoped he would use this massive success to lift others, particularly marginalized and struggling authors—and he did this … kind of.
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Except for projects that were “extremely NSFW” or “slipped through Kickstarter’s Terms of Service,” Sanderson and his team contributed some money to every literary Kickstarter. It got to the point that Kickstarter temporarily locked his account for suspicious activity! In addition to donating, he uploaded it as a video on YouTube and brought attention to many relatively unknown authors, artists, and projects.
Below the video, Sanderson linked about 15 projects. Parody project aside, two of the projects are still in need of funding. The Beautiful: Poets Reimagine a Nation needs about $3,000 by April 2. This full-color poetry anthology features poets from every U.S. state, district, territory, and commonwealth. The other project, Smol Books, is an independent publishing house based in Brooklyn, specializing in new and diverse voices. Smol Books intends on releasing three novels per year and already has 2022 in progress. They need roughly $9,000 more by April 30 to complete their campaign.
While most of the projects Sanderson and his team highlighted were just flat-out cool and very important, he also donated to some fun silly ones. By this, I mean he even backed (albeit with just a single dollar) a parody campaign, vying for half a million, called Surprise! Four secret books NOT by a famous fantasy author! All in all, Sanderson financially backed over 300 projects and took several of them across the finish line to their goals.