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!
Thanks so much for writing this Rachel, and for pledging for The Disappeared, it means such a lot to me! Launching a crowdfunding campaign is a little scary, so it’s amazing to see people supporting it. And please continue to lurk as much as you like 🙂
❤ ❤ ❤
I'm browsing my shelves for the next book I want to read, and all I can think of is the blurb of The Disappeared. I really hope you reach target soon so I can get my hands on it! Well done you for making your own dreams come true! I would love to publish someday, but know I'm quite far away from it just now, but knowing resources like Unbound are out there (and that they work!) gives me more hope! R xx
This is a really cool idea. Getting to fund the books you want to see published out there in the world is a great idea. I know authors have one this before, tried to crowdfund their next book and sometimes it has gone well and other times there was some push back from readers. I know Stacey Jay tried to do something like this a while back and folks weren’t happy, although I think they tried to fund their living expenses along with the book publication, which is harder to be okay about.
Isn’t it?! It could be dodgy if it wasn’t ran by publishing professionals, but as I said in the post there’s a great element of quality control because you have to pitch your idea, it’s not like just anyone can raise money to self-publish! And some of their authors have become quite well known! I’m really excited to read Amy’s book, so I’m hoping it reaches target soon! Yes, I remember the Stacey Jay controversy, though she was one who was crowdfunding to cover rent, food bills, etc. She was quite open about it, but I can see why that would put a lot of people off! R xx
[…] Crowdfunding for Books was a new discovery for me, and I’ve supported two books already. […]
[…] Little Girl Who Gave Zero Fucks – I stumbled upon this book when I helped to crowdfund The Disappeared by Amy Lord, and obviously had to have this one too. A lovingly produced, full colour hardback […]
[…] Coffee Table Books, 14 Recommendations for Non-Fiction November, and tried to convince you all to crowdfund for a blogger’s book to be published by Unbound, because the blurb sounds […]