By Sarah K. Marr
Spanning Victorian Oxford to the London of the 1980s, “All the Perverse Angels” is a novel about the nature of loss and the confusion of love, about the stories we are told and the stories we tell ourselves
Wednesday, 29 June 2016
On Sheds and Publishing with Unbound
So, here it is, the first post in the Unbound 'shed' for my novel. Welcome. For comparison purposes, here's a picture of the actual shed in which I wrote a great deal of the book. (And in fairness to my mother, who built it, I feel duty-bound to point out that it's more of a summer house than a shed.)
John Mitchinson has been kind enough to say a few words about why Unbound accepted "All the Perverse Angels" for crowdfunding and publication—you can read them on the Unbound blog—so I thought I'd reciprocate with some thoughts on why Unbound is such a good match for the novel. I shan't repeat everything in the mission statement, but do take a look at it if you have a moment. Theirs is an approach to publishing which has produced books from well-known authors, and led to bestsellers and the Booker long-list. But, for shed purposes, here's a more personal view.
Since completing the final draft of the novel I've had responses from publishers which are almost universally of the same form: "love the book, but hard to place it in a market". Unbound's approach, for me at least, comes down to, "love the book, so let's find the market". And to support that task—part search, part act of creation—Unbound have established a platform which allows me to stand behind my own work and reach its audience. What's more, the result of achieving our crowdfunding goal is more than just print between cardboard covers: it is a professionally produced book, backed with expertise in editing, design, publicity, ... In short, it is precisely what both author and reader would expect from a publisher, irrespective of that publisher's approach to funding.
On the other hand, it must be acknowledged that Unbound's approach does require the crowdfunding of this first-time novelist's literary fiction. That is no small challenge, and it is a challenge which I would not have approached at all if I did not believe that Unbound and I can together deliver a book worthy of your support. Hopefully, the synopsis and chapter extracts, together with John's blog post for Unbound, will convince you of the same.
Finally, as tangible proof of the existence of written words on paper pages, here's a picture of the "first first edition" of the novel, which I printed and bound at home, for family to read. It's resting on top of a first edition of Swinburne's "Poems and Ballads", itself the source of a Victorian scandal, and destined to be the subject of a later shed post.