In lieu of an in-person event, JordanCon is happening online this year and the folks at Dragonsteel have been kind enough to come onto a panel. Isaac and Kara Stewart, Brandon’s art director and event manager, respectively, gave us a rundown of what’s happening with the Kickstarter for the Way of Kings leatherbound edition and answered some of the most burning questions.
The whole panel was live streamed on YouTube and you can watch the recording here, but for a quick summary of the key points, read on! If you haven't had enough of Isaac talking after that, tune into the live stream from our Spanish friends over at cosmere.es on Saturday, 7PM CEST!
Why a Kickstarter and what’s included?
If you weren’t aware before, Kara explained that they’re doing a Kickstarter as an “online release party” for the Way of Kings leatherbound edition. Due to the sheer size of the book, they had to split it into two volumes, which will also place the entire leatherbound novel at a hefty $200 price tag. Because not everyone can afford that, especially in the current situation, Dragonsteel has decided to use Kickstarter to provide tiers with different goodies! Furthermore, using Kickstarter helps Dragonsteel organize their shipping and warehouse more easily, as it's geared to this sort of release.
Even cooler than that, Way of Kings Prime, Brandon’s first attempt at writing The Stormlight Archive - but a very different book from what was eventually released - will be made available for free online for everyone! They had an editor go through it to get it up to their standards and it will probably be released right around the campaign start. Keep in mind that this version of the book is not canonical in any way, though!
For those that do have some money to spare, there’s a bunch of digital swag available: Wallpapers, printables etc. For an extra individual touch, there will be an online personality test to get yourself sorted into one of the Orders of the Knights Radiant. You may then choose one of the Orders in the campaign and will get appropriately themed goodies. Another digital reward will probably be a Stormlight novella, which Brandon has talked about before. This is not set in stone yet, as Brandon has to actually write it for it to be included.
At higher tiers, you’ll also get physical rewards, namely a hardcover copy of the novella akin to the Edgedancer release as well as a movie-style poster of most members of Bridge 4! Additionally, you’ll get sticker sheets appropriate for your Order of choice. If you have enough money to spend, you’ll get the leatherbound volumes and all of these physical rewards.
Kara and Isaac also mentioned that they’re planning to add stretch goals to the campaign. If the first goal will be hit, the volumes will be bound in gorgeous dark blue genuine leather. If the campaign hits the second stretch goal, the books will come in a slipcase, the design for which Isaac has already finished and is very excited about.
How many tiers will there be and how much will they cost?
Currently, we’re looking at 4 tiers that the campaign will most likely provide. None of the prices are fixed yet, but they should be roughly in the ballpark of what you can expect:
Tier 1 (Probably $10): This is the digital-only tier and will probably include the novella as well as wallpapers, printables and phone backgrounds
Tier 2 (Probably $30): This will include all the digital rewards from tier 1, a physical copy of the novella and the Bridge 4 poster as well as the swag corresponding to your Order, such as a sticker sheet.
Tier 3 (Probably $200+): In addition to all digital and physical rewards from previous tiers except for the novella, this will include the actual leatherbounds.
Tier 4 (Price not yet set): This is the superfan tier and will most likely be limited to 1000 backers. This tier includes all the physical and digital rewards from the lower ones. The books for this tier will most likely be numbered, you will probably get the goodies for all the Orders and something special in addition to that. It will likely be set in the hundreds of dollars as a price range.
For all tiers, the exact content is not yet set in stone and might change with the stretch goals that will be hit. For those that do not want to spend a substantial amount of money on the superfan tier or simply are too late, the merchandise for each Order will also be available as add-ons. Furthermore, a hardcover copy of Way of Kings Prime will also be purchasable in the campaign. The novella will also have to be purchased as an add-on for tier 3 backers.
When will the campaign start and when will I receive my stuff?
Due to the current situation, it is not yet clear when Dragonsteel will launch the campaign. They had initially planned for a July start, but depending on how the economy will look in a few months, they might delay it. As far as shipping after the campaign is concerned, Kara did confirm that for backers from the US, they will be sending out the rewards in waves, as soon as the respective merchandise arrives at their warehouse. International backers will unfortunately have to wait a little longer, as they will receive all their rewards in a single shipment due to the cost of international shipping.
What if I miss the campaign or can't afford everything then, will all the stuff still be available?
As far as the leatherbounds are concerned, you will be able to purchase reprints, but they will likely not be bound in genuine leather nor will they come in a slipcase, unless those options prove to be financially viable. The novella will probably be made available in digital and physical form at some point after the campaign.
Edited by Paleo