Monopolizing on mental health for book sales

Brandon Sanderson, world-famous international fantasy author, has received a frosty response to his latest video announcement.  He went to his YouTube channel last night to let fans know about his new 5 novels written during the pandemic which would be available to fans from 2023.  So why wasn’t this received well you may ask?!

Jen Sutton - Account Manager
Picture credit: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dragonsteel/surprise-four-secret-novels-by-brandon-sanderson/description

The Cliffhanger

Prior to his announcement video, Sanderson released a video a day earlier, implying the pandemic had affected his health, and as a result he had news that he would be sharing the very next day. Concerned fans flocked to social media to wish Sanderson a speedy recovery for what many assumed, was related to his mental health. 

Using concern to Profit

To discover the following day that his first video was in fact, a marketing ploy to gain more traction for his book announcement, has left many fans disappointed in his insensitive approach, and I have to agree. Sanderson is one of the most popular fantasy authors of our time, so would have undoubtedly have had similar success with a regular announcement. Instead he has used mental illness, during a time of global crisis as a sales tool. Given that this video has also been released following the outbreak of a war, when anxieties have been heightened for most, makes it feel all the more insensitive.  

The Fallout

It may have angered many within the reading community but it doesn’t seem to have impacted his sales as he has made a whopping £11million overnight. Regardless, I think his PR team have made a huge mistake here, and whilst it may not cost him financially, its cold reception has left a sour taste in the mouths of many.