Most of you will be familiar with the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, as a way of raising finance for a new project.
It’s possible to fund the publication of a book with Kickstarter, but Unbound is a relatively new publisher that uses contributions from the public to get literary projects into print. Founded in 2010 by author Dan Kiernan, John Mitchinson, director of research for British panel game Q.I. and Justin Pollard, a historian and researcher for Q.I. Unbound has raised funding for some unusual books. Paul Kingsnorth‘s The Wake made it to the Man Booker prize longlist in 2014, something that wouldn’t have happened without Unbound’s help. It’s due to be made into a film.
Crowdfunding for all sorts of projects has been around for a long time. Two of the best-known companies are Kickstarterand Indiegogo.
For getting books into print, the main player is Unbound.
One thing I’ve noticed about Unbound, is that the proposals that achieve their target funding are often peculiar and rather esoteric—unlikely to excite thousands of readers.
I’ve considered approaching them a couple of times but figured that my crime genre novels were too conformist and mainstream. Having said that, I’ve been querying recently, using the fifth story in the series, whose plot one agent rejected as being “too outlandish.” Maybe I should put some spin on it, exaggerating the sex scenes, bizarre murders and opium taking to entice sponsors of kinky books.
As with any commercial enterprise, there are some dodgy dealers around, claiming to be what they’re really not. I came across this troubling report about Publishizer, who boast they’re the first Crowdfunding Literary Agency.
As the old adage goes:‘If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.’