Day 54: Why The Hell Should I fund Your Book?
Tuesday, 9 February 2016
It's a good question isn't it?
I have to say I had serious concerns when I started on this journey.
I figured that Unbound were just another vanity publisher or self publishing house - not that I am saying that's a bad thing - it just wasn't my thing. I reckoned they were simply accepting any old tat, after all, within 24 hours of sending it, my synopsis was accepted and off we went - it seemed too good to be true.
So much so that I originally turned the offer down.
I decided to do some more research and found that Unbound are unique in that they are a professional publisher with a crowdfunding platform but in actual fact the system of writers being sponsored by readers was very much alive and well in the 1800s. Charles Dickens wrote in this exact way and it has the advantage that the writer knows his book already has a readership and the reader has the pride that they helped make it a reality. With the arrival of publishing houses that method died a death but in the internet age it has resurfaced to great effect.
One of the Unbound authors (Paul Kingsnorth, author of The Wake) has since been longlisted for a Man Booker prize - the adjudicators of that particular prize would stay well clear of Unbound if they thought for a moment that they were a self publishing house or publishing for vanity's sake.
And as one astute author pointed out to me Unbound have a huge slush pile and I was not in it - so what was holding me back?
It was these facts that made me realise that I was actually very lucky and in very good hands.
And then there's the problem of publishing in general. These days publishers have become very conservative. Less new writers can emerge because many publishers are looking for the next safe bet such as a celebrity kiss and tell book or the next Fifty Shades, so it is is increasingly difficult for new talent to be seen and heard. Many independent publishing houses have to rely on funding from arts councils in order to survive. However, by relying on patrons to fund the process Unbound have neatly sidestepped this problem and can be truly independent whilst they form a closer bond with their target market - that's you, the reader!
I cannot lie. It's been absolute hell and very humbling asking people for money, particularly in the current financial climate, but I have learned alot about myself along the way and about other writers and people's attitudes towards the process of being published. Whilst there are various ways to publish, and I don't adhere to all of them, I do think that if someone has obviously worked hard to get funding for whatever they are trying to do then they should be commended regardless of whether we might agree with it or not.
All artists need the support of other artists because without it we cannot live and breathe our work.
And that is so much the case here too.
This book has been a lifetime in the making and I am finally so close to it being born.
Please, even if you do not see eye to eye with this project, at least take the time to consider that it took alot of blood, sweat and tears for it to get here on this very page and that, dear reader, is remarkable in itself.
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