Just days after opening the crowdfunding campaign, storied fantasy and sci-fi author Brandon Sanderson – perhaps best known for his completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and creating the Mistborn line of novels – has raised over $20 million in anticipation of a new line of books.
Announced on March 1st, Sanderson’s Surprise! Kickstarter campaign offers readers the chance to receive four as-of-yet-publicly-unnamed books – three set in Sanderson’s original Cosmere universe and one described by the author as “something completely different” – in a series of blind box-style releases across the entirety of 2023.
Speaking to the campaign’s secrecy, Sanderson explained that he and his team “thought it would be fun to keep those hidden for now.”
“Some of you might want to receive these books with minimal spoilers and just enjoy them fresh and new, without even knowing the title ahead of time—kind of like going into a movie blind, never having seen the trailer, on the promise that it’s by a filmmaker you know you love,” said the author. “We also thought this might make it fun for book clubs or groups of friends and family to co-read a mysterious Sanderson book, knowing almost nothing about it.”
However, refusing to leave fans who “enjoy teasers, minor spoilers, and previews” out to dry, Sanderson further announced, “So, while we kept the surprise intact on this page we’re also going to be releasing detailed previews of each book.”
“We’ll be unveiling a new one each week throughout March on my YouTube channel, where I’ll reveal the title and do a reading from the first chapters. As these previews are released, we’ll include links to the videos below.”
The books themselves, which are set to be released in January, April, July, and October of next year, are being offered in three different formats.
In addition to ebook ($40) and audiobook ($60) formats, the four novels will be printed in a possibly-limited set of 400-page long “premium hardcover” physical editions.
These premium releases will feature acid-free paper, a faux-leather cover, and ” 1-4 color interior illustrations throughout along with designed endpapers and chapter headers, all commissioned specifically for this project.”
On the possibility of a future reprinting of these premium hardcover editions, Sanderson noted that “while regular hardcover and paperback editions with a traditional publisher are possible sometime in the future, after this campaign is fulfilled the premium version of this book might not be available again.”
Additionally, Sanderson and his team are also “also offering a monthly swag box for the eight months you will not be receiving a new book,” each of which “will be shipped to you each month and will contain at least three [mystery] items: one featured item and two supporting items” – some themed after the wider Cosmere universe.
This ‘swag box’ subscription plan is available as an add-on to the above format releases for an additional $320.
Opening with a total goal of $1,000,000 USD, as of this article’s writing – perhaps due in part to Wheel of Time fans feeling scorned by Amazon’s awful live-action abuse of the author’s co-written material – Sanderson’s campaign has already raised over $20,596,666 USD across roughly 83,499 backers.
In a video announcing the campaign’s opening playfully titled “It’s Time to Come Clean,” Sanderson explained that during the COVID-19 pandemic, he had taken the free time afforded by lockdown orders to begin penning a new ‘secret novel,’ to which his wife was the only individual privy to its existence.
“It reminded me of the early days of my career, before I published, when I could write whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted,” recalled Sanderson. “So after two years of keeping it just to her and me, I’m telling you.”
Fans interested in backing Sanderson’s campaign can do so until March 31st, 2022.
What do you make of Sanderson’s plan to release four new novels? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!