It was therefore fitting to wake up this morning and find an email from Unbound: a UK based crowd-funding publisher which was founded a few years ago by three British writers as a way for readers to have a more direct say in which books they want to read, and how they want to buy them.
I was at the official launch of the project at the ever-fantastic Hay Literature Festival, attracted mainly by ex-Monty Python Terry Jones being one of the original authors on their roster, and have funded a couple of books over the years, (selected authors ‘pitch’ a book idea to the public, and in traditional crowd-sourcing manner those which reach their funding level get written, printed, and sent to you…with your name in all future copies!)
Success stories include ‘The Wake,’ one of the dozen books long-listed for this year’s Booker Prize, and the incredibly gorgeous and fascinating ‘Letters of Note‘ (based on the website of the same name), which is one of the finest coffee-table books I have ever seen/read.
Being a past pledger, I receive regular emails from Unbound which don’t always grab my attention. Luckily this morning, tempted to skim through their latest correspondence, I decided to give it my full attention. I was rewarded with the news that not only had they had their one million pounds-worth of pledges but that to celebrate, anyone who has ever pledged towards a book was allowed to download any and all of their back catalogue in e-book form for a week.
As if I don’t have enough books to read right now!
I haven’t read a book on my computer, phone or iPad for a year or two now, but working my way through the past releases, numbering over 50, I found around a dozen on top of the ones I had already funded which sounded fun or interesting, covering everything from: museum pieces, the history of wine, the story of modern music, the geography of ‘places,’ and a book by Stephen Fry’s ‘wife,’ and I downloaded e-versions of them all.
As I promised that for every book I downloaded I would let one person know about Unbound, I hope this blog entry finds at least a dozen of you, and you check out their work. There’s few better feelings than knowing you are responsible for the creation of a piece of art: and you can do it with a £10 discount the first time you pledge, by entering ‘newcomer’ when you make your first order.
Maybe someday I’ll be on their books, too!