Some of you may already have seen this over on my blog, but I really wanted to make sure that all of my supporters got a chance to read this and to understand why I'm asking you to part with your hard-earned cash in support of my book.
Today I would like to talk to you about Unbound.
Unbound are a relatively young publishing company, having been founded in 2011, by Dan Kieran, John Mitchinson and Justin Pollard. These three men saw that that publishing industry was becoming narrower and narrower in the books that it would consider publishing.
From the website: “We think people who love books – primarily readers and writers – deserve a say in what does or doesn’t get published. You may not be aware of it, but even best selling authors are beginning to have very restrictive parameters imposed on the kinds of books they get to write. Put simply, there are lots of potentially great books we’re not getting the opportunity to read.”
They decided to do something about it. Unbound is the world’s first crowd-funding publisher.
The idea is simple. Authors pitch an idea, readers pledge to buy it, when the book reaches its funding target, it is published. Authors are paid royalties of 50% of net receipts. For a good look at the industry standard for royalties, read Authors and the Truth About Money by successful author, Ros Barber. For a quick comparison, most authors can expect to receive soemwhere in the region of 10% of net recipts.
I can’t say whether Ashael Rising would have been considered by traditional publishers or not since Unbound is the first publisher I pitched to. What I can say is that there are a few things going against me, on top of the fact that I’m a new author. I’m writing in epic fantasy, a genre that for some reason people tend to associate with men, despite the many female writers doing great work in the field. My protagonist is female and she is neither a warrior in a skirt nor a damsel in distress (another post to follow about female protagonists in fantasy). The lead group of characters are not white. The book features a same sex couple. A key secondary character is elderly and vibrant. Now, all of these things are divergent from what is common in the genre. A big publisher may have picked it up because of that, but it’s just as likely they would have considered it too risky.
Unbound are more interested in supporting good books than they are in massive profit margins. Because of the crowd-funding model, they can afford to take risks on books that may not sell hundred of thousands of copies, instead looking for voices that they feel need to be heard.
From their website: “Under the traditional model an author is lucky to earn 10% of the cover price, whereas retailers are regularly expecting discounts of over 60%, plus a contribution to the costs of display and marketing. This is why books with print runs of fewer than 5,000 copies make less and less economic sense – even though it is precisely these books that contain the most innovative and challenging ideas.”
Unbound publish books that they believe in. Unbound believe in Ashael Rising. I believe that Unbound is the right home for my book. With Unbound, we have the opportunity to change the face of publishing. I would love it if you joined me.
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