Crowdfunding books was once commonplace, and now, albeit in a different form, it is back.
Unbound is a traditional publisher with a different way of doing things.
It grew out of the need to counter the increasingly difficult commercial realities of publishing. It was becoming harder and harder to publish books by debut authors, or books that might not have huge commercial appeal. The mainstream publishers stopped wanting to take risks.
And then Unbound came along. Books are selected on merit, books that are deemed worthy of publication and then the process of publishing is undertaken using a crowdfunding model.
The top-quality editing and design takes place once the book has raised enough money to reach its goal. This means that Unbound are able to take risks, and to publish more unusual books. It also means that they produce prize-winning and popular books that might not otherwise have made it to the shelves.
The downside can be a long wait for a book you have backed, but the upside is a real connection between reader and writer. The name of each person who pledges (or a name they nominate if they wish) is acknowledged in the back of the book, in every single copy. Unbound has created a community that privileges the reader as much as the author, building a link between them as they engage in a joint venture. The readers are directly and vitally a part of making the books happen.
Unbound’s community of 236,857 people from 205 countries have pledged £8,402,326 to fund 507 projects — and counting — from bestsellers to award-winners. I’m very pleased to be able to say that one of those books is my first, Twice the Speed of Dark, and soon, it will be joined by my second, Salt Lick.