Friday, 1 February 2019
One author in search of some readers
Now that I’ve hit the 30% target I thought it was about time I updated you on the progress of getting Saving Hitler published.
I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am to everyone who has pledged so far. You never quite know with this kind of project whether your work will capture people's imaginations or not, but there’s a hidden crowd funding rule that those projects that hit 30% in their first few days are usually the ones that reach their target – so it’s great to have hit that significant marker.
After a lifetime of writing for stage and screen I decided to make the transformation into novelist at the exact time the bottom fell out of the publishing market. There’s no doubt that people are reading books. Recent statistics show year on year growth, but at the same time finding publishers able to take risks on non-celebrity voices is almost impossible.
As I was writing Saving Hitler I started to look at the options out there, and realised with growing dread that even when I had secured a publisher, the battle to get that book into the hands of readers would be even harder.
And then – in steps Unbound. I loved the idea of Unbound as soon as I saw it, as the model made sense to me. It reminded me of the time I wrote a play for the Arcola Theatre. We knew that we would need to sell a certain number of tickets in order to pay for the show. The transaction was simple and honest – we created the play, and if enough people bought tickets we could pay for the production. With Unbound I don’t even have to try and get everyone in the same room, in the same city at the same time – people can pledge at any time and in any corner of the world.
I’ve realised – this isn’t just about getting published – it’s about getting the story read, about my voice as a writer being heard. I’m not simply interested in reaching the financial target needed to get the book into production – I chose Unbound to publish my book because I want to build a relationship with my readers (probably another concept I owe to theatre).
I’ve never been a very good employee. Traditional publishers feel too close to employers; with Unbound I know I’m simply an author in search of an audience.
So to those of you who have pledged – one more favour – if you know someone who might like the novel, please tell them about it, and send them to the Unbound website. Help me to find my readers, and help them to find me.