I think it’s safe to say that we’re all pretty familiar with the principle of crowdfunding, and some of us have likely contributed to a crowd fund or two. Kick Starter and Crowd Funder are two of the leading crowdfunding platforms, with the latter being the choice for Book Blogger, Amber, from A Mile Long Bookshelf, when she successfully crowd funded for her A Level studies, an initiative that saw her story hit national headlines.
Patreon is another crowdfunding-esque platform that has seen a significant rise in popularity in recent years, mostly due to the number of YouTubers who have accounts that enable them to receive financial support from subscribers, fans, and followers, so that they can spend more time focusing on creating great content.
Being aware of these methods of sourcing funding, and being a Book Blogger, you can imagine my surprise when I heard about Unbound, a crowdfunding book publisher that I had no idea existed until I stumbled across a recent blog post from Amy at Ten Penny Dreams.
Amy’s novel, The Disappeared, has been picked up by Unbound, and (hopefully) if it receives enough support, it will be turned into a physical novel, with the names of the supporters printed in the back of the book.
I’ve followed Amy’s blog for quite a while, often assuming the role of “lurker” instead of “commenter”. However, I always appreciate her posts and really enjoy her writing style, so I clicked through to her Unbound page for a nosy at how the process of publishing by crowdfunding works, and ended up falling in love with the blurb for her novel:
What would you do if reading the wrong book could get you arrested?
In a decaying city controlled by the First General and his army, expressing the wrong opinion can have terrible consequences.
Clara is haunted by the disappearance of her father when she was 11-years-old.
Except he didn’t disappear: he was taken by the Authorisation Bureau for the crime of teaching banned books to his students. Soldiers came to the family home in the middle of the night and dragged him away. Clara never saw him again.
But she never forgot his passion for books, for the truth. She grew up to teach at the same university, determined to rebel against the regime that cost her family so much.
The only weapons she has are the banned books her father left behind, so she decides to share them with her students. Despite his reluctance, she persuades her boyfriend, Simon, to help. But when one of their students disappears, they are drawn into a nightmarish investigation that leads to Lumière, a rebel group with plans to fight back against the government.
Major Jackson is obsessed with the wife of his latest detainee. He’ll do anything to possess her, even if that means destroying her husband and daughter completely.
But as their relationship deepens, their lives become entwined in a toxic combination of love, fear and regret that threatens to ruin them both.
Told from the perspective of two characters on opposing sides of the regime, this is a story about what happens when our rights are stripped away, when we don’t have freedom to speak or to follow our dreams. When democracy is replaced with something more sinister and society begins to forget what came before.
It could never happen to us.
But… what if it did?
How AMAZING does that sound? I made a Patron Paperback pledge for £15, and I will receive a 1st edition paperback and special e-book edition of the book when it’s published, and my name will be in the list of Patrons in the back of the book. If this book sounds like something you’d love to read, check out Amy’s Unbound page for more information.
After making my pledge, I checked out more of the website, discovering that over 3 million pounds has been pledged by over 136,765 people from every corner of the globe, who have supported the publication of 290 books, some of which have gone on to receive critical acclaim and become prize-winning works.
We’ve seen the publishing landscape change and develop over the past ten years or so, with traditional publishing being shook by indie and self-published works that have taken the world by storm. I’m not gonna lie though, those self-pub titles can be quite hit-or-miss, but Unbound is a company ran by experienced individuals from the publishing world, and all titles that are on the site have been pitched to their commissioning editors first and approved for a crowdfunding campaign, so there is an element of quality control that can be missing from the self-pub world.
Is this the future of book publishing?
I’m excited to see what Unbound publish next. In the meantime I’m off to check out another interesting title on their site – The Little Girl Who Gave Zero Fucks, an illustrated feminist fairy-tale for grown ups sounds like it’s right up my street!