Unbound: the future of publishing?

Unbound is a novel new crowdfunding site, allowing readers to fund books that they want to read. Marketing themselves as a ‘crowdfunding publisher’, the website aims to be a middle path between the traditional publishing route and self publishing, which comes with its own difficulties. In a world where the long term future of the published book is increasingly endangered by Amazon and e-Books, could this be the future of publishing?

Rather than following the equity crowdfunding model, if a person likes the look of a pitch they are invited to pledge money in return for various rewards, including special edition hardbacks, a name in the front of the book and lunch with the author. If the target is reached, around £10,000, production begins and sales begin by the traditional route; profits from the book are split 50:50 between Unbound and the author.

Unbound is the brainchild of successful author, Dan Kieran. The idea came after the financial crisis of 2008, when advances offered to him by publishers dropped to so little that his writing career became unsustainable.

“There weren’t millions but there were thousands who would buy a book I wrote if they knew it existed. So I saw that someone had to build a platform for an author to connect with their audience directly and have a relationship with them,” he told IBTimes.

Arguably, the site’s biggest success story is The Wake, by Paul Kingsnorth; a story detailing the resistance of the invasion of 1066, but written in its own language. Given this quirk it was perhaps unsurprising that mainstream publishers weren’t interested. However the Unbound community supported it wholeheartedly, wth 400 people pledging money towards it; it ended up being shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Unbound is now publishing around 8 books a month, having published 40 to date. For more information, or to invest in one of the books, visit unbound.co.uk

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