Well that didn't go exactly as planned, really. After a year of trying to raise funds for this book, I think we can all agree that it has not been a success.
For those of you who have pledged, I am sorry I couldn't make it happen. This project will be taken down in the next few days and, when it does, the money you pledged will be returned to your Unbound account - you will then be able to request that it be refunded. I'm assured that you'll receive full details of how to do this in the email you receive from Unbound - but if you have any problems, please reach out to me on twitter, facebook or by email (email@example.com).
I think, looking back that there were a few fundamental problems with what I was proposing here. First and foremost I think I struggled to make the case that what the book was offering would be a significant upgrade to the 10,000 word article which I had already written for free. To be honest and in retrospect: I'm not sure even I am convinced that I had very much more to say - though I'm sure I could have come up with something convincing. I'm the first to criticise, say, Horizon for spinning two minutes of science into an hour of TV and I think there was a justifiable suspicion that I would be padding an adequately expressed idea into a bloated one.
Additionally, I think I was pushing my luck by asking for money for writing when the established rules of our relationship are such that I charge for recorded music and write for free. I'm not unhappy with that - and hey, check out juniverbrecher.eu or indelicates.com on Thursday for more news on that front...
I also think there's a lesson for me here about listening to my own advice. Unbound is staffed by lovely people who make very beautiful books that sit prominently in fine bookshops. They are doing great work in making books viable that the traditional publishing industry could not. However - I am not clueless about this process. I know how to manufacture and design books - and, while it is well below what it would take to publish a book using Unbound's model, the amount that you pledged is more than enough for me to have done it all by myself.
I would have sold fewer copies, my vanity would have been less flattered and the childhood Simon who longed to see his name on a book in a high street retailer would have been disappointed to meet his future self - but, honestly, I doubt I would have been poorer. Unbound make many books viable that would not be - but there are still more viable books that the existing market could support if we were to relinquish our grip on the guiding fingers of the middle men.
I think, on reflection, that I will not write this book anyway. The moment has probably passed. But I thank you very much for supporting it last year and wish you all well in whatever you're doing.
TL;DR: Book cancelled, instructions for refund coming in next few days, thank you and goodnight.
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