I'm going to release [Dragonsteel Prime] digitally (likely for free) eventually. The thing is, I don't think the book is very good--so I kind of don't want people reading it. And beyond that, there are a few things in it that are cosmere spoilers--AND more than a few things that are no longer relevant to the cosmere.
I realize it's a curiosity, however, to cosmere fans. I just don't feel it's equal in writing skill to my two other unpublished books from that era (White Sand and Aether of Night) despite them also having their problems.
I haven't been able to bring myself to say, "All right, here you all go. Read it" because in some ways, it's way more personal for me than the other weak stories from my unpublished days, because it represents me trying very hard (and failing) to boot up the cosmere, so it's extra cringeworthy for me in that regard.
This just made my night, so thank you! That being said, I feel like you have the kind of fan devotion that would allow for a type of “podcast paywall” or “YouTube patreon” situation where those that would want to learn more could be offered some additional information (like Dragonsteel) without having to make the trip to BYU.
I know I would! And I know I would understand that I’m paying for the right to see a rough draft.
I understand this. I think I'm going to experiment with offering Way of Kings prime first, as that one's not quite as bad. I will say this: eventually, I'll release Dragonsteel. I think it's inevitable that I'll bend and give it to the fans, so you don't need to make the trip, so long as you're okay waiting a few years.
Maybe also drop Mistborn Prime/Final Empire Prime the next couple times there's a gap in your publication schedule?
They're technically accessible through email, but having them on the website would make things easier to discuss, and it seems like an easy way to throw a little red meat at the fanbase without putting in too much effort (and you could stretch it out by just putting up 1 or 2 chapters a day).
Yeah, there is enough serious fan and academic interest in my roots as a writer, that I should probably do this, as you suggest. Let me find the right way to do it.
Maybe you could release a digital anthology of all the Prime/Unpublished works?
I'll consider the right way to do this--but either way, I will start trying to get them out to people.