ZeldaDad

Was making Warbreaker free a good idea or a bad idea?

41 posts in this topic

In an attempt to bring Warbreaker back to life on the threads, I thought I'd start a new topic. What is your opinion on Brandon's decision to make Warbreaker free, including its progress and final version?

I personally think it was a great plan and I still intend to but the paperback at some point soon. However, I wonder if this has made it less popular in some ways. I'd like to hear your thoughts. :lol:

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I think it was a good idea because it gives us Brandon fans something to point people at to convince them to become Brandon fans too. Without having to loan them our precious books.

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Even though I had been a "long-time" fan of Brandon's web he was posting his drafts of Warbreaker, I waited until publication to read it. I was intrigued in his process as a writer, but I'm not a huge fan of extended electronic reading, plus it felt like watching a "the making of" before ever having seen the movie; didn't appeal to me. I'd rather be taken for a ride on my first read. It looks like, if I'm to be an alpha reader, it can't be of an author that I already love.

That's my longwinded way of saying it wasn't a bad thing as far as my experience went; I mostly just ignored it

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So funny story about this. I read the first... 8 or so chapters online. It was about a week before my birthday, and I was telling my girlfriend about it, and then she said very quietly, "So um... do you think you could... stop reading it for now?" Yay for me spoiling her birthday present for me.

But for the most part, I like it. I also do not particularly enjoy reading online, but I needed a book then, and I definitely did not have money. I was planning on buying it later, though. Why? The prologue of Way of Kings in the back of the book. And... because I wanted to have a full collection of cosmere books. Both reasons apply here.

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Yeah its an excellent way of doing it, especially for those who aren't yet as popular as they could/will be.

As my dad always says, free is always better. >.>

And yeah, I held out until I got the hardcopy, still dont know how well I can cope with e-reading.

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Well, I read it for free online. Then bought the hardback. So, net win for Brandon there. Although I had already read and liked Elantris (and IIRC, Mistborn) by that point.

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Also, it's a LOT easier to find things in Warbreaker than it is in any of the other books. But considering that only applies to the uber-fans (who would almost certainly buy a book anyways), It's mostly irrelevant to the cause

Which makes my post pointless.

So I'll try again.

I think it's a great idea, but I'm glad that he doesn't do it with all of his books. It gets people interested in him without having to make an investment.

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My opinion is similar to what Zas just posted. I think it's great that he has free material available online - not just Warbreaker, but sample chapters too - but I'm glad you can't get all his books for free. That said, by the time I became a Brandon fan and read Elantris and the Mistborn trilogy, Warbreaker was only a few weeks away from publication, so I just held out to get the hardcopy. I'm not a big fan of e-reading, though I will do it on occasion.

It's great to hook new people to Brandon's writing, though. In fact, reading those free chapters was what made me really want to buy his books. So kudos to Brandon on that. While some people might not get the concept of giving away his livelihood for free, I think it was a really smart decision.

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Although I don't know what he's going to do for Nightblood. I know he was thinking of doing the same thing that he did with Warbreaker (with anyone who wanted to be an Alpha reader being one), but he is much more popular than he was back then.

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That would be awesome if he did. I know I'd totally be on board with it. We could even have a dedicated thread here on the forums just for Nightblood discussion.

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I totally agree with pretty much everything said. I really doubt he lost out on anything by doing this, though I've heard "his people" were pretty sceptical of it. I think it worked out amazingly. It's the perfect way to intro someone to a new author that you love. I've done it with two friends of mine who were big WoT fans and didn't know Brandon. They were like, "Who is this Brandon guy taking over?" So I pointed them to free Warbreaker. It worked out nicely. Now at least one of the two is a Brandon fan that I know of.

I would totally be all over an alpha of Nightblood. Or anything of his for that matter. Mr. Sanderson is by far my favorite author. I would love to get my hands on Dragonsteel/any other unpublished works of his. It is hard for me knowing I haven't read all of his books. :unsure: So on a side topic, if any of you know how I might go about attempting access to such works, please PM me. :D

Edited by Endra kin'Fox
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Well, as soon as any news comes out regarding the status of Nightblood - or any of his books, of course - you'll find it here, as well as on his personal website. He has a lot in the works right now, so it'll likely be a little while yet before we hear anything.

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I think we're at least like... 8 books away. Allow of Law, Memory of Light, 2 and 3 of Stormlight Archive, 2nd Elantris book, books 4 and 5 of Stormlight Archive, and then maybe Nightblood. If memory serves, that's his hopeful schedule for books up to and including Nightblood.

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It may be a toss-up between Elantris 2 and Nightblood. He *might* decide to go forward with the 2nd Mistborn Trilogy, but probably not.

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I'm voting for Elantris 2 (shocker)

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I'm in favor of them coming out in the order Brandon wants them to come out, honestly. But this is a discussion for another topic. If we're going to talk about his book release schedule, it shouldn't be in this thread. :P

Getting us back on topic, I don't think I've spoken to anyone yet who thought making Warbreaker free was a bad idea. For all his publishers seemed anxious about it, it seems to have been a brilliant success.

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I'm in favour of Nightblood coming out sooner. I love Vasher. but either will be awesome.

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It was successful if only because of the timing. Around the time he did that, or maybe it was when he released the first draft for free, it was announced that he would be finishing the Wheel of Time. This led thousands of Wheel of Time fans, who had never heard of him, to descend upon his website. I know several of these people, and while they liked the sample chapters and whatnot, it was being able to read Warbreaker that sealed things for them. It was mostly through that book that they moved to his other books (if they liked his writing) or turned their noses up at it (if they didn't like it).

If he had not had as much exposure... I don't think it would have worked out so well. It would have been better to release the book first, then start releasing the free drafts - as it was, I had to wait months to buy the book after I finished reading the free, unedited version, and I almost forgot about it. The release of a free sample should be as close to the release of the full product as possible. That's why when they have free samples of something at the grocery store, it's not of the stuff that won't be on the shelves until next year.

Of course, the question is was releasing it free a good or bad idea. It was good, clearly. But the timing was bad, and it only worked due to a very specific circumstance not many authors are going to have.

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That said, though, the timing worked out perfectly, and it ended up as a smash hit. I actually first heard of Brandon via Wheel of Time myself, and never even heard of Warbreaker until it was almost done because I had no idea he was doing that. I instead looked to his already published works, read sample chapters, and bought the books. By the time I knew about Wabreaker, it made more sense to wait for the book in hard copy. So that didn't actually work for everyone.

On a sidenote, I was talking books with a classmate today and when I told him he could get a free, LEGAL copy of Warbreaker, he suddenly seemed a lot more interested in Brandon.

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I got into Brandon after Warbreaker was released, so I'm not sure if it was good the first time around. That said, I'd love to see him do it again so I can see the process unfolding. It would make the most sense to do this with Nightblood, since he's already established the series that way, but I'd like to see him do something new.

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I too got into Brandon after Warbreaker was released.... I did think it worked out well, although I only found out about Warbreaker being free online because Brandon himself told me. >.<

But it helped me get into him more as an author, and sealed the deal on my fanshipdom.

For all that, I don't really have much of an opinion on whether or not it worked.... I think it's nice to have a sample of your work for free to get people interested in you, but only if you're well-known enough that people will even find out that you HAVE something for free.

If that even makes sense.

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From a marketing perspective, I'd say it probably does a lot more good than it does harm. If people want to read a book for free, they can just go to their local library.

However, I'm not sure about the whole process of releasing each draft and allowing everyone to give advice for the later ones. Yes it's good to be able to so many voices offering feedback, but I've noticed in my fiction workshop that even with twenty people, the advice can often be contradictory, and I have trouble deciding which ones to follow. And that's with only twenty people. Too many chefs can ruin a meal kind of thing.

But at the same time it puts you in direct contact with your audience and you can get a very good idea of what's working for them and what's not. So I guess it's a trade-off.

I'm rather curious how Warbreaker would have turned out if it had just been released in its final draft instead of incrementally and how it would compare to the final draft of Warbreaker we actually got.

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It's not so much too many chefs as one chef taking the feedback of his customers and translating it into changing the recipe, something only he knows how to do.

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I thought for sure someone would point out the typo in the title of the thread before it reached its second page.

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I studied Spanish for 4 years; I think it didn't really strike me as odd because of that. >.>

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