Cover story

Sunday, 25 June 2017

If crowdfunding a book has a downside, it’s transparency.

In the normal course of things, the reader learns about a book maybe a couple of months before its release. Usually it’s not until it’s actually published, and often not even then.

But with Unbound’s model, the reader is in on the process from the very beginning, and is an integral part of the book’s creation. Without them, the book doesn’t exist. And while we do our best to manage expectations with regular updates explaining the process and where we’ve reached, there’s no doubt that having shelled out your hard-earned cash you want to see results. The days drag, you look wistfully out of the window, your inner melancholy somehow embodied by the rain trickling down the panes. Life seems pointless.

Occasionally we send you something to lift your hopes, only for them to be dashed almost immediately.

This is one of those times.

Part A of the above process: we have a cover for Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear? Here it is.


The bird itself, for those who aren’t familiar with it, is a goldcrest. It’s Europe’s smallest bird.

’Joint smallest!’ pipes up the goldcrest’s equally diminutive cousin, the firecrest.

Ok then, joint smallest.

The illustration of the goldcrest is by the estimable Alan Harris. Birders will know his work from the Helm Guide to Bird Identification. He does a mean goldcrest, does Alan.

I am beyond excited about this cover. Not only is it beautiful and alluring, it means we’re one more small step closer to the appearance of the book.

But here’s Part B: there’s still a way to go. Lovely as the cover is, there’s plenty of work to be done to make the inside of the book match it in every way. I’m shortly to get the copyedit back, and when it arrives I’ll be in a position to explain a bit about that part of the process, and what will follow once that’s complete.

Hang in there – we want to make the best possible book for you to enjoy, and that takes time.

Thanks again for your continued support!

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Design & editorial
Publication date: June 2018
117% funded
287 backers