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The Way of Kings Leatherbound Kickstarter Sneak Peek
I’m excited to announce my Kickstarter for The Way of Kings leatherbound. It will go live Tuesday, July 7th at 9:00 AM MDT and go through Friday, August 7th at 3:00 PM MDT. If you don’t want to miss out on the first day, check out the landing page over on Kickstarter, click the green “Notify me on launch” button, sign up for a Kickstarter account, and you will be notified when the campaign goes live.
We still might make a few tweaks between now and July 7th, but let me share with you some of the things you’ll see on our Kickstarter page when everything kicks off next Tuesday.
Hold onto your seats! This is going to be a long post with several tall graphics to scroll through. I hope you’ll find it fun and informative because we’re excited to finally get these details out into the world.
In the past, we’ve offered the anniversary editions by themselves for reasonable prices. The Way of Kings is so large, however, that we needed to split it into two volumes to maintain the quality and integrity of the physical books. This results in a set that costs more to produce, therefore it also retails for more. We recognize this is your hard-earned money, so we’ve turned to Kickstarter as a way to:
- Give you more bang for your buck.
- Bring the excitement of a book release party home to you.
Book release parties sometimes offer attendees goodie bags full of extra swag. In this case, the more people who back the Kickstarter release, the more swag we’re going to put into your goodie bags, so to speak, mostly in the form of stretch goal rewards, which we’ll discuss further down.
I’ll save most of the photos of the unbound sample we have of The Way of Kings leatherbound for release day, but here’s a mockup of the two volumes. We’ll post more photos as we get them from the printer and bindery. Please note that many of the images are just mockups, not actual photographs, and many of the designs are not final.
When you finally hold these volumes in your hands, we hope you’ll agree that they’re the finest books Dragonsteel has produced so far.
I recognize that many of you are perfectly happy with your existing copies of The Way of Kings, in whichever format you prefer. With this in mind, we’ve created six pledge tiers so you can get involved with the campaign at whatever tier you’re most comfortable with. We’ll use BackerKit to facilitate add-ons, which will further the customizability of your pledge, allowing you to buy some of the rewards à la carte once the campaign is over. Even pledging $1 to the “make a pledge without a reward” tier will allow access to the add-on store. More on this later. Here’s an overview of the pledge tiers with explanations for the different rewards further down.
Since the books, the posters, and the other goodies are various sizes and will arrive from the manufacturers at different times, you will be charged shipping for each package we send out, depending on which tier you pledge to. For more information, there’s a handy shipping chart in the shipping section further down.
To save on shipping (particularly overseas) some of you asked for a tier that has no physical rewards besides the leatherbound. We gave this some thought and don’t feel that discounting the leatherbound is fair to those buying it in the other tiers—plus, the amount of work and effort we’ve put into this has pushed the margins pretty tight—but we think we’ve found a balance. You can either opt for physical rewards in Tier 4, or you can opt for none of them in Tier 3, and in exchange we’ve added this reward to Tier 3: a $10 digital gift card to our store. If shipping is an issue, you can buy digital copies of some of my novellas there—or you can save up for a physical item you want, when you want it.
You’ll notice that Tiers 3, 4, 5, and 6 have a limited number of backers available. If we sell out of these, we might open up new tiers, but be aware that the leatherbound books in these new tiers won’t ship until sometime in 2021, though these books will still be considered part of the first printing of this edition. If we do open new tiers, we will only be able to do it once for Tier 6, capping the signed and numbered copies to just less than 2000 copies total.
Bridge Four Movie-Style Poster
Even without the stretch goal rewards, each pledge tier comes with the bonus of a Bridge Four movie-style poster—by the amazing Zack Stella—in either digital or physical format. Pledge Tiers 1 and 3 come with 1920 x 1080 and 1080 x 1920 digital wallpapers based on the Bridge Four poster, and Pledge Tiers 2, 4, 5, & 6 each come with a physical 23.75″ x 35.75″ Bridge Four poster—rolled, not folded.
New Stormlight Novella
I’m working on a new Stormlight novella in the vein of Edgedancer, a story about Lift that bridges the gap between Words of Radiance and Oathbringer. The new Stormlight novella will be available as an e-book in all tiers, or in both physical and digital formats in Tiers 2, 5, and 6.
Alternate Novel: The Way of Kings Prime Free E-Book
I understand these are hard times and not everyone has the funds for The Way of Kings leatherbound, so I decided to take something originally planned as a stretch goal reward and give it away for free on my website in e-book and PDF forms. You’ll be able to find these in the Online Library on July 7th.
The Way of Kings Prime was written in 2002 and is basically an alternate version of The Way of Kings, which was published by Tor Books in 2010. The Way of Kings Prime is very different from the published book. Think of it as set in a different universe with a completely different plot. If you haven’t read the 2010 canonical version, please read that one first.
The Way of Kings Prime is what we’re calling a Sanderson Curiosity. A hardcover version of it is included in Pledge Tiers 5 and 6, or as an add-on for backers of the campaign. We can’t guarantee we’ll ever reprint it once the campaign is over.
Pick Your Order of Knights Radiant
After you back the campaign, and before we fulfill your pledge when the campaign is over, we will give you the opportunity to pick an Order from among the ten Orders of Knights Radiant. If Order-specific stretch goal rewards are unlocked—and you choose Pledge Tiers 2, 4, or 5—those rewards will be themed to your chosen Order. (Read further down for more about the stretch goal rewards.)
For example, if you pledge $200 for The Way of Kings leatherbound and choose Windrunner as your Order, all five Order-specific stretch goals (sticker sheet, patch, art print, pin, and challenge coin) will be themed toward that Order, using its unique glyph and color scheme.
Not sure which Order of Knights Radiant to choose? Take the Official Knights Radiant Order Quiz. Or if you’d prefer, you can read about each Order and make a decision based on that. We’ve worked hard to give each Order its own visual identity, so when in doubt, pick your favorite symbol or color scheme.
Stretch Goal Rewards
We have prepared ten stretch goal rewards as a way of telling our backers “thank you.” Each time we unlock one by meeting a certain amount of pledged money or backers, all pledge tiers will get more rewards in the digital art package, and Tiers 2, 4, 5, and 6 will receive more physical rewards. (The exceptions to this are the “genuine leather” and “slipcase” stretch goal rewards, which only apply to Pledge Tiers 3 through 6.) Thus, the bigger we make this release party, the more rewards the “attendees” get in their goodie bags!
We hope all of these will unlock during the course of the campaign, but if there’s something you want here and are worried it might not unlock, you can check out the add-ons further down.
Please note that while we’ll carry The Way of Kings leatherbound in our online store after the Kickstarter, we can’t guarantee that future printings will have the slipcase and genuine leather (if unlocked). Future printings of the leatherbound sold through the online store will be sold separately from any of the stretch goal rewards available here.
Anyone who pledges to any tier of the campaign—even if it’s only $1 to the “make a pledge without a reward” tier—will have access to the add-on store through BackerKit once the campaign ends. These are items that you can purchase in addition to what you already receive with your pledge. For example, if you pledge to Tier 4 and the campaign ends without unlocking the playing cards, you will still be able to buy the playing cards for the add-on cost through BackerKit. If the campaign ends with the playing cards unlocked, you will get a copy of the playing cards with Tier 4, but you will also be able to buy additional copies of the playing cards (and anything else in the add-on store), if you would like.
Another example: Maybe you’ve pledged to Tier 4 for The Way of Kings leatherbound but also want goodies from a second Order without needing to buy a second copy of the leatherbound. We have the Order Pack add-on that allows you to buy the five Order-themed goodies in any Order of your choice at a discounted price from what we’ll eventually sell it for in the online store. This, and any of the add-ons, can be purchased multiple times with a different Order of Knights Radiant chosen each time, but please note that some add-ons might have a limit on the quantity you can purchase.
While we hope many of these goodies will be sold later in our online store, we can’t guarantee availability and pricing outside the campaign. The backer pin is exclusive to the Kickstarter and will only be available in conjunction with the campaign.
We love independent bookstores, so as part of the campaign, there will be a few limited vendors who will have copies of The Way of Kings leatherbound as well as some of the swag items. These bookstores include:
- Subterranean Press
- The BYU Store
- Murder By the Book
- Mysterious Galaxy
- Powell’s Books
- Borderlands Books
We’ll have more information about this after the campaign, but the books likely won’t be available at these vendors until the holiday season.
New to Kickstarter?
If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s a platform that allows creators to crowdfund their creative projects. The campaign lasts several weeks, and when it’s over, my team will go into full production and fulfillment mode. We will send out Kickstarter surveys, which will allow you to choose your Order of Knights Radiant—if your pledge needs that information—and also to give you the chance to give us your most up-to-date information so that your books and goodies arrive to the correct address in as timely a manner as possible.
If you’d like to know more about how to make a pledge on Kickstarter, here’s a short overview.
After the campaign, your shipping will be calculated based on your pledge tier and shipping address. Some rewards will have to be shipped separately from others. For example, The Way of Kings leatherbound will be shipped directly from the bindery so that it doesn’t have to come across the country to us before we then ship it back out to you. The rolled posters will be shipped separately in 24” wide triangle boxes. Because of these realities and others, we unfortunately can’t use a one-size-fits-all approach to shipping, therefore, rewards will be sent out in waves (more on that below), and shipping will be charged to you depending on how many packages you are receiving.
Reference the chart below to see how many packages and the total cost of shipping you can expect for each tier. Please note that the Total Shipping side of the chart is not the price per package, but represents the total you will pay for shipping and handling.
We welcome international orders! However, we do not ship everywhere, so if your country is not listed, we apologize. It means we haven’t been able to establish reliable delivery in that region yet.
We hope to have most rewards fulfilled by the holidays 2020, but many things like the physical editions of the Stormlight Novella and The Way of Kings Prime will not be ordered from the printer until after the campaign is over and might not ship until early 2021. If we wind up opening extra leatherbound tiers, they will ship sometime in 2021 as well.
When The Way of Kings leatherbound is finished, we will verify all backers’ addresses—including addresses outside of the United States—and then provide this information to the bindery who will ship your books, shrinkwrapped and packaged in custom-fit boxes, directly to you.
Posters will likely also be sent in this first wave of shipping, both to addresses inside and outside of the United States.
Many of the stretch goal rewards and add-on items will be produced after the end of the Kickstarter. As soon as we have all of these rewards in-hand (except for the books), we will once again verify addresses before packaging up the rewards and sending them out to you, hopefully in one box of awesome happiness.
If your shipping address is outside of the United States, your goodies will be shipped in Wave 3, as described below, to save you on shipping costs.
The Way of Kings Prime and the Stormlight Novella are the items most likely to be shipped in this final wave. These will be fulfilled as soon as we get the books back from the printer, but not without once again verifying addresses. Please keep in mind that printing usually takes a few months, but in some cases can take much longer.
If you live outside of the United States and have chosen pledge tiers 2, 5, or 6, postage is more cost effective for you if we wait until the Stormlight Novella and The Way of Kings Prime are delivered to us so we can ship your books and goodies together.
Risks and Challenges
As part of each Kickstarter, they ask those running the campaign to outline the risks and challenges associated with producing the products you’re asking people to help fund. Here’s what ours says:
We’ve been producing our anniversary editions for several years now, and before that, we produced some of our own hardcovers, so we’re experienced in the production of nice books and other goodies. Currently, most of the files are ready to send to the manufacturers, and some of the products are already in various levels of production.
One of the biggest challenges will be getting everything produced or printed and delivered to you in a timely manner. Our printer, bindery, and other suppliers are all top notch, but producing quality books and products takes time, with quality assurance steps all along the way. We don’t want to rush any of these steps because we want to send you the best products we can produce.
In addition, as we’ve seen from world events this year, there are sometimes things out of our control that affect more than just supply lines. If we have to hit pause once in a while because people’s safety is on the line, then we will do so, but rest assured that we will do all in our power to deliver your books and goodies as quickly as possible.
I have the best fans in the world. You’ve proven that to me time and again as I get to meet and interact with you, so I can’t say thank you enough. You are awesome and you are amazing. I hope you’ll join us for this online release party for The Way of Kings leatherbound on July 7th this year.