Friday, 24 June 2016
How does it feel to be a publisher?
That's what this post's about. Exactly that. Because I'm not publishing Midland, and nor in fact are Unbound. Unbound are just enabling this book to be published. The publishers of this book are you - by which I mean the 140 of you who've pledged so far, at a rate of about 1 per day, and who collectively have got the book to a third of its funding target.
That's right! We're at 33%. A major milestone. And it's all down to you.
You are the publishers of the future. Not just of Midland, but of many other books, albums, movies... because this is how it's going to be now, increasingly, in the arts. The old ways are gone. Even "traditional" publishers aren't traditional anymore, and won't touch writers unless they come with hugely compelling online marketing packages and thousands of followers on Twitter.
And alas, I don't have thousands of followers on Twitter. I don't have a hugely compelling marketing package or a urge to make comedy films of myself looning around in the hope that they'll go viral on YouTube. What I have is a quarter of a century of writing experience and five books under my belt, including this new book that I really believe is the best piece of work I've yet done.
And - and this is my secret weapon - I have you.
So here's the thing, which maybe wasn't quite what you signed up for: you're publishers now, and if you want Midland to be published, you're going to need to help me spread the word and tell your friends. I've all but run out of people to email, so I need you to go out and find a friend who loves fiction, who also wants to be part of the future of the arts, who wants their name in an exclusive first edition of a new book... and get them to pledge too.
If each of you manage to find just one person to do that... well then we'll be 66% of the way there, won't we. And if they all find one person, well, then we're done. I can do the final draft of the book, we can all get our limited edition hardbacks and ebooks, and Unbound can print the paperback edition that will go into the shops.
Now, I hear you say, that's all very well Jim, us being publishers and all. But we haven't even seen the book yet. How are we supposed to go out and sell it to our friends when we haven't read it ourselves, and can't put our hands on our hearts and say that it's good?
I hear you. I do. With responsibilities come rights. I get that. So here is a special offer, that I'm only making to the 140 people who have pledged so far. If you'd like to see the book as it stands, the complete latest draft, and get a full preview in advance of the print-ready edition, I will email it to you as a PDF. I think you deserve that for the faith you've already shown in the book. You, after all, are my publishers. So if you're interested just drop me an email or message me @jamesflint and I'll get you that PDF. And only you - you members of the very special Midland 140.
It's not the final version, it needs a copy edit at the very least, and it is not yet as polished and smooth as I intend it to be. But I'm pretty sure the story's all there and as long as you swear on the memory of your childhood pet that you won't share it with anyone else and - if you like it - that you'll do your level best to get one other person to pledge, I'll send it over. Because this is how it's supposed to work now. This is the power of the network. I get 140 people to pledge, they all get one person to pledge, and those pledgers in turn all get one person to pledge, and the project is funded.
What could be simpler?