Sorry it's been a while. Lots of planning for exciting things in the pipeline, lots of visits lined up, lots of research going on.
This week we had our first big pledge from a brewer who has taken advantage of the offer of a day of my consultancy time on their brand, plus a bunch of books at a discounted rate for sale in the brewery shop. If you work for a brewery and you'd like to take advantage of a similar deal, please let us know!
This has given the funding drive a boost and we're now up to 63%. Unlike other crowdfunding schemes there's no deadline with Unbound which is great, I think, but it does mean I know loads of people who intend to pledge but haven't got round to it yet, because there's no rush.
If you know anyone lilke this, give them a nudge! I know we're going to make our target because the interest is there and when a book gets this far it always gets to the finishing line. My only concern is that a lot of you pledged two or three months ago and I don't want you to get too impatient. We need to get to 80% funded before we start to talk about the process of setting publilshing schedules, manuscript delivery dates and publication dates, so the sooner we hit that target, the sooner you'll get the book you've paid for. We're only 17% off that now!
In promoting my books, I've always done a lot of readings, tastings and events. I enjoy taking a book on the road and meeting people. Lately, my events have got a little bit more sophisticated, and I use visuals, sound and video clips, and carefully script some of the stories I tell.
The usual process of course is that I write a book, the book gets published, then I go out on the road to persuade people to buy the book by attempting to make it sound as appealing and entertaining as possible in an hour-long show.
So with the Unbound way of doing things, I need to think differently. I'm asking people to buy the book before it's published, which means I should really be touring the hour-long show about the book before the book is finished.
So that's what I'm going to do! I'm currently writing a show where I talk about the four ingredients of beer, with tastings of beers that reflect and demonsrate what each ingredient brings to the party - for example a hoppy IPA, a rich, malty stout, an ale brewed with the famous 'Burton snatch' from the local well water, a spontaneously-fermented lambic, that kind of thing. I'll also be borrowing some tricks from organisations like the Beer Academy and have some hops to rub, some malt to crunch, and may even make hop teas and malt porridges to demonstrate how the character of these ingredients gets into beer, all wrapped up in some of the amazing stories and facts behind each ingredient.
I'm trialling some of the material for this show at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival this weekend, and then I'm hoping to do shows in various locations over the summer, including at the forthcoming London City of Beer week in August, and the Abergavenny Food Festival in September. I'll post dates here and on my blog when they're confirmed.
Of course I'm hoping we'll have met the funding target by then. But the other nice thing about doing it this way round is that I can try out ideas in front of an audience, and hone them before writing them up for the book, making the book even better! The Unbound publishing model just keeps getting cleverer...
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