…is bringing the wildest takes out of the woodwork, I swear.
“Why does he need a million dollars?” Buddy, making each book costs money, and he knew a lot of people like his books. If one book is $10 to print and ship, and his readers preorder 100,000, there’s $1 million already. That’s just math.
As of this writing, he has almost 150,000 backers. Lots of them are getting multiple books! Some are getting merch! All of that has production costs.
“Why doesn’t he use a publishing company?” He’s been using publishing companies for 20 years. Now he OWNS a publishing company. That’s…probably how he knows how much books cost.
Any publisher would also be taking a million in preorders, btw.
(Probably more. Sanderson’s website says the number of people ordering the new books through his campaign is much lower than the numbers he’s used to getting through Tor.)
“Why doesn’t he use a POD service?” You get that readers still have to pay for the books, right…?
Even if you didn’t keep any profit to pay your own staff (and, uh, keep your own lights on), the POD company is still taking a profit! Guess which path is ultimately more expensive for the book-buyers?
Also, POD services are optimized for authors who sell 1 book at a time. Maybe 10 if we’re lucky.
A print run for an NYT bestseller? Would straight-up break their machines.
My toaster oven is great at making 1 burger for my lunch. Doesn’t mean I should walk into McDonald’s and say “lol, why do you guys bother having an industrial-grade fryer??”
“Maybe he could use that money to support other authors!” The backers didn’t pay for books by other authors. They paid for Sanderson books.
So…you think he should commit mass consumer fraud?
Orrrrr he could produce and send everyone the products they ordered! What a concept.
…and, for a different flavor of wild take, “This shows how much success an indie author can have!”
No, this shows how much success a Hugo-winning, NYT-bestselling, 20-year mainstay of mainstream SFF publishing can have. (Again, the crowdfunding total is a downgrade from what he’s used to getting.) Presenting this as a typical or realistic indie experience is bonkers.
Look, I don’t begrudge Sanderson his success. His readers are getting books they like! This is a good thing.
Just don’t go “so inspiring! See, this means anyone can get this level of preorders. All you need is a bit of hustle and a few more podcast bookings.”
That’s not how it works. And we don’t have to pretend like it is. There are actual reasons to find this happy and uplifting — we don’t need to make stuff up, I promise.