76 percent! Sacrificing Interns & Annoying the Publisher
Thursday, 15 June 2017
Word-of-Mouth is a fickle creature. It lives under a bench in Stockwell and compels passing commuters to buy books with its high, chilling call. When you speak its name in front of a marketing manager you can see their eyes take on a glassy sheen as rivulets of sweat run down their cheek. Nobody knows how it works. The closest any publisher has come is the notorious team behind THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, who located the correct bench and sacrificed nine baptised interns on nine consecutive nights to guarantee the book's runaway success.
(Image not relevant but I think it's good for the soul to think about space once a day.)
Nothing comes without a cost, however (not counting the interns), and that entire team has now vanished in a series of unusual incidents. Word-of-Mouth is a fickle creature indeed, and - if I may address everyone on this mailing list at once - I don't know how you managed to appease it but I'm very grateful you did, as we're now 76% funded, and I look down the 'supporters' list at a bunch of extraordinarily good-looking and generous strangers every day with a kind of baffled awe. Please, all of you, keep watch for unexpected banks of fog, localised thunderstorms and mysterious strangers in your gardens as 100% draws closer.
A quick tribute to our latest batch of cohorts, with their new ranks and ship assignments:
- Mark Vent, Chief Engineer, CDS Hardy Ventricle
- Imran Khan, Onboard Chronicler, HRD Alchemical Bequest
- Satu Kumpulainen, Inquisitions Manager, PLD In Good Company
- Claudio Corbisiero, Weapons Decommissioner, HRD Ready Or Not Here I Come
- Nick Davey, Requisitions Officer, CDS Absolute Boy
- Kate Lee, Head of Espionage, EREM Duty Free
- James Robinson, Head of Acoustics, BH Predictably Devastating
- Lisa Quattromini, Art Commissioner, WD Benevolent Acquaintance
- Leah Jones, Captain, HRD Helpful Glaswegian
Thank you, all. Watch your backs, and remember that if each one of you tells a friend and that friend pledges, then we'll hit 100% in no time and you'll actually get to, y'know, read the book. Also, thank you again! I can't stress enough how cool it is of you to take a chance on an unknown author.
I've been hard at work creating unnecessary work for the good people at Unbound (to whoever has to read and green-light my incomprehensible updates: I'm sorry). The problem with spending four or five years on one novel is that you develop as a writer quite a lot, which often leaves unsightly seams in the text, some bits becoming so old you become afraid to touch them in case they crumble away.
To avoid ending up with a Frankenbook I've taken a cheese grater to the crumbly bits and replaced them with shiny new bits. Don't worry, I've got like a million backups so we can pitch the different versions against each other in a kind of illicit novel cockfight and just wipe the blood and ink off the strongest for publication. Unbound: please don't be mad.
Anyway I've filled this email with too much nonsense so all the actual news has to be crammed into this sentence: I'll be hollering nonsense in-person at the next Unbound Pledge Party on Monday 26 June, 6.30pm at Waterstones Gower Street; I've cobbled together a website out of string and sellotape at niallslater.com; you can still get those super-cool super-limited-edition only-about-100-will-ever-exist badges at certain pledge levels; and finally: you look nice today! Good job.
In your debt, as always,
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