Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How do I pledge?

This crowd-funding business is new territory for all of us, so I thought I'd put together a few FAQs to help you decide.

This is one of those internet scams, isn't it? Not at all. The people behind Unbound are highly respected in the literary and media worlds. They have a sound business model and have already brought established writers like Terry Jones and Tibor Fischer into print, with Kate Mosse and Jonathan Meades set to follow soon. They make lovely books and publicise them well, and I want mine to be one of them.

What are the risks, then? There aren't any. You either get a beautiful book (and help a writer get back into doing what he loves most) or, if the project isn't funded, you get a full refund.

Why are you self-publishing? I'm not. If I were self-publishing I would be paying for my book to be printed. (Here's some more on how the Unbound model differs.) There are many reasons for taking the subscription-funding route, and one is that it gives me a chance to talk about why the book is important before it is actually published. (I've been doing that here and here.) There's nothing particularly new in the subscription-funding model; it was big in the eighteenth century and Unbound are simply reviving it for the modern era.

What's this about getting your name in the back of the book? When you pledge for a book, your name is recorded and entered into the subscription list, which will then be printed in the back of every edition that appears.

So can I change the name to make it a gift? Certainly. Once you have pledged, there's a button on the right which allows you to change the name in the back of the book. Change this to the name of the gift recipient, and their name will be printed in the back of every edition of the novel. How's that for literary immortality?

Am I going to get loads of junk mail? No. You have to register with an email address so that Unbound know who you are. They send a weekly newsletter, but you can easily opt out of that. That's all.

It's OK, I'll just wait for the paperback. Er, no. There will be no paperback unless the project is funded. Help me to cross the finishing line and there will be a subsequent trade edition in partnership with Faber (due next year), with the potential for foreign editions and translations. Once the book is published by Unbound (in August, if I get funded on schedule), it will automatically be eligible for prizes and various other good things. But for that to happen, I need your support. You can do everything you need to do here. Thanks so much.