So, What Now?

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

​Now that Weightless Fireworks has hit 100% funding I am no longer shouting about it every couple of hours on Twitter and Facebook. No, I am much more restrained now, only mentioning it once a week or so.

But last time I did mention it, someone asked me why I was still plugging the book seeing as "you're funded now, aren't you?"

It is a fair question, so I thought it might be worth explaining what 'funded' actually means on Unbound and what happens to my book now that I have hit the magical target.

Before a book is launched on Unbound it goes through a costing process which tots up the charges likely to be incurred for editing, design, printing, distribution and the like. The end figure becomes the target, the value of pledges we need to raise to hit 100%.

But there is no profit built into that. At 100% the book breaks even. It can exist. It will get made. But no one really makes any money from it.

And that, to answer my friends question, is one of the reasons I will continue to promote the book. Every percentage point over 100 represents a little bit of profit and at Unbound profits are shared 50/50 with the author.

Of course, my friend probably won't read my answer on here as he hasn't bloody well pledged for the book. But I digress.

Obviously I am delighted that my book has reached 100%, and I would be even more delighted should it hit 125%, or 150% or beyond. But I am realistic. This is a book of haiku and I have a limited number of friends and acquaintances likely to cough up for a copy. I am frankly amazed that so many have already. Anything over 100% will be remarkable.

But, before you worry about how I am going to be able to afford loose women and biscuits if I only make twenty quid out of my book, the crowdfunding isn't the only way Weightless Fireworks can make money.

Every book that Unbound successfully funds will also be published by Cornerstone, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Unbounders receive a beautiful subscribers' edition, perhaps with a signature or some cake or some other tasty extra. Everyone else gets a slightly more bog standard version from their local bookshop, or Amazon, or wherever else they like to buy books. The money Unbound receives from this edition is split 50/50 too.

So my book will exist as a posh version for you lot, and a less posh version for the hoi polloi. Which is as it should be. Of course, it would not exist at all if it were not for your support at the outset. You made the stuff that is about to happen happen.

So what is that stuff?

Well, to start with, I have to finish writing the bloody thing. I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting it to fund so quickly, so I have a bit of catching up to do there. I plan to finish the writing over the summer.

Once that is done, and I have handed it over to the production team here, they can start turning it into a book. As you may know, Vaughan Oliver will be doing the cover and text design, so once someone has checked that I haven't spelt any of the long words incorrectly he will work his magic and create the insides. We'll probably get him working on the outside bits well before then, though. Actually, I am off to see him next month to discuss how it will look.

Once all the design stuff is done, and Kat (my business partner at Abandoned Bookshop, the digital imprint we set up earlier this year to reissue lost and forgotten books) has proofread it, the files go off to the printer and your beautiful editions will be created. Realistically, I cannot see this happening until much later in the year but we want this to be a gorgeous object, so I can promise you it will be worth the wait.

And there you have it. That is why my book is still funding and what happens once I've written the thing. In the meantime, forgive me if I mention it from time to time online... it is just that I want to upgrade from normal Hob Nobs to milk chocolate ones.

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Design & editorial
Publication date: Autumn 2018
124% funded
221 backers