On the heels of launching the most-funded crowdfunding project of all time, author Brandon Sanderson and his company, Dragonsteel Entertainment, are bringing their highly-anticipated Words of Radiance Leatherbound campaign to BackerKit on March 5th. Words of Radiance, a New York Times bestselling fantasy novel originally published in 2014, is the second installment in Sanderson’s epic series, The Stormlight Archive. Dragonsteel has come to BackerKit for the release of the leatherbound edition of this beloved book with their fans in mind.

“We’ve already had a great relationship with BackerKit, using their Pledge Manager to fulfill our last two campaigns,” the Dragonsteel team says. “Once BackerKit launched their crowdfunding platform, we felt a streamlined process on the same platform would provide the best experience for our fans. And BackerKit has done a great job innovating their platform to bring our vision for the campaign to life!”

Never missing an opportunity to thrill and surprise, Dragonsteel hasn’t waited until launch day to deliver special treats to their dedicated following. In the lead-up to March 5th, they’ve been using BackerKit to connect with their fans and build excitement months ahead of the campaign.

Bringing community together with BackerKit Launch Party

In a recent video, Sanderson explains that one reason why he has continued to crowdfund over the years is because it’s a fun way to bring his community together.

Crowdfunding is by definition a communal endeavor. But that interplay between creator and backer doesn’t have to be limited to a creator launching a project and a backer pledging. There are so many more opportunities for interaction, collaboration, and relationship-building. The most memorable campaigns take their communities on a journey. The creators ask their audience for feedback, share cool things they’re working on, and find ways to delight fans along the way.

The Dragonsteel team keeps their community at the forefront of what they do. In fact, the idea of community is one of their core values. In the weeks leading up to the Words of Radiance Leatherbound campaign, the team has been using Launch Party on BackerKit to start a dialogue with their community and introduce them to their new project.

Launch Party enables creators to turn a crowdfunding launch into an event. It allows them to tap into the energy and excitement that happen on day one and extend that throughout the campaign and beyond. Creators can host a Launch Party page and experience and use it to gather and activate followers before launch, set up conversation starters like polls, and livestream the countdown to launch.

As you might expect from an author known for developing engrossing fantasy worlds, Sanderson and the Dragonsteel team have engaged their community like storytellers, week by week, building more anticipation for the launch. For the past two months, they’ve released follower-exclusive content through their Launch Party page. Fans were given early access to this new content once they logged into BackerKit and followed the Words of Radiance Leatherbound project.

A screenshot of a project update from Dragonsteel's Launch Party page indicating that the update includes follower-exclusive content

When you’re a crowdfunding creator who wants to spread the word about your project, using Launch Party in this way not only enables you to nurture your community but also incentivizes people to follow the project while giving them something special in return. “We have a history of transparency and engagement with our fans,” the Dragonsteel team says. “And BackerKit provided a way for us to easily continue that with this campaign.”

Since January, Dragonsteel has used these content releases to share videos about the world of the Stormlight Archive and the characters that exist within it. They start conversations by asking their community questions thematically linked to the content. For example, when sharing a video that delves into the lore of the Dustbringers — an order of magic users with destructive powers — they ask “what physical item would you ‘uninvent’ if you could?”

Each content release is like a new chapter in an unfolding narrative, offering the community glimpses into the upcoming campaign. The Launch Party page provides a platform for the community to actively participate in this new crowdfunding adventure and creates a space for them to celebrate a shared passion. As the Dragonsteel team engages their community on a weekly basis, they get valuable insights into what excites their fans and are able to deepen the relationship they have with them.

A screenshot of a project update from the Dragonsteel Launch Party page that describes the Dustbringer order.

With the release of the follower-exclusive content leading up to the launch, fans have been given a taste of what’s to come. But the Dragonsteel team assures us that the journey is far from over. “As one of Brandon’s characters famously says, there’s always another secret! Find out on March 5, 2024.”

Check out the Words of Radiance Leatherbound campaign today!