Joëlle Anthony, one of my lovely clients, pointed me to this article about a new crowd-funded book project, Unbound. Much like Kickstarter, but only for books and only in the UK, the site allows you to make contributions to a project that’s been conceived but yet begun. There are several levels of support, starting at merely £10, which gets your name in the back of the book plus a free e-book, up to £250, which gets you two tickets to lunch with the author, tickets to the launch party, goodie bags, signed books, e-books, etc. Not a bad deal, if you ask me. In addition to all of this, readers also get access to what they’re calling the author’s “shed,” where the author will post updates on the book, interviews, and even material from the work in progress.
What makes this even better is that the authors that they’re working with have, for the most part, already been published. There’s already an audience for their work. This could be an ideal set up for an author who is trying to branch out, say a novelist who decides to write nonfiction, or vice versa. It could work when a publisher says to an author, “You know we love your writing, but there’s no audience for this idea.” It’s a safer way to test the waters, even for the author, who won’t be committing to writing the book until the funding is secured.
I don’t think this is a system that would be appropriate for every author or every book, but I know I’ve been in situations with clients in the past where I wish this had been a possibility. Anyone out there going to crowd fund (oh, how I hate buzz words!) their next book? Or has anyone supported an author in this way?