Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Unbound - authors pitching books directly to readers!

Alright, I'm a bit gutted on Adele's behalf that they're using the name Unbound, which I automatically associate with her blog, but I still felt I *had* to bring this interesting idea to people's attention.

In a period of time where the publishing industry seems to be at its most volatile, here is another method for authors to circumvent the traditional publishing method.

Here's how it works:

Unbound is a new way of connecting with writers. Most of the writers on our site will be well known, others will appear here for the first time.

What's different is that instead of waiting for them to publish their work, Unbound allows you to listen to their ideas for what they'd like to write before they even start. If you like their idea, you can pledge to support it. If we hit the target number of supporters, the author can go ahead and start writing (if the target isn't met you can either get your pledge refunded in full or switch your pledge to another Unbound project).

There are several levels of support, each with different rewards. The higher your pledge, the greater the rewards you'll receive, from your name in the back of the book to lunch with the author. Plus you can alert your friends and earn Unbound credits on the site when they support a project too.

But that's not all. As soon as you make a pledge to support an Unbound project you gain access to the author’s private area or 'shed'. Here you can get updates on the book’s progress, watch exclusive interviews, read draft chapters, find out information about the author's backlist and join discussions with the author and other supporters. It's a portal into a new community of writers and readers: a place to comment on and contribute to a work in progress.

Then comes the exciting bit. The book is written, designed, edited and printed and we send it to you, either as an e-book or a beautifully bound, limited edition hardback (or both). For the first time, you will be able to hold in your hands a book that wouldn't have existed without you.

Currently there are six novels listed on the site - and one, by Terry Jones, has been 100% funded.

Personally I think this idea has real legs. Readers get to connect personally with authors and contribute directly to the production of a novel that interests them. They get to judge the pitches that would usually only appear on the desk of an agent/editor. They get to follow the progress of a novel as it is written and then moves into production.

What are your thoughts? Interested or not? Would you pledge for a novel to be written like this?


  1. Interesting idea. I didn't see a link in your post to the Unbound site, so I Googled it - for any interested, it is

  2. This feels very much like the novel version of Kickstarter projects which I've seen done for comics and fan made TV shows, or short films.

  3. I like it. Anything that helps get new stories out there has my support. Also a good way of discovering new authors. I've pledged for a novel. The price point seems pretty reasonable, doesn't cost too much to get involved.

  4. I really like this idea. I've hoped that there would be a Kickstarter like website that specialised in fiction. I'm keeping a very close eye on this one :D