Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's only a fiver

To celebrate their first birthday, those lovely people at Unbound are offering a £5 voucher towards a pledge on any of their books. That means you can help A Box of Birds to be published for only a fiver (the minimum pledge is £10). That's the price of a London pint (I think; I never carry cash in London). What you'll be doing is helping me with a book I've been working on for more than a decade, and which now finally has a chance to see the light of day.

If you have any queries about how the process works, this blog post will help. If you'd like to read a summary of the conversations that have been going on around the book (including coverage in Wired, the Telegraph, the Independent and BBC Radio 4), please read this. You can also read what some wonderful writers have been saying about the book.

If you've already pledged, thank you (though please feel free to pledge again as a gift). If you haven't subscribed yet, now is your chance. The £5 voucher is available to anyone, but only until 12 June. All the details are here.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Box of Birds: update

A Box of Birds is now 60% funded. Lots of people have pledged support to make this book happen, but there is still a way to go. Here are some things you can do to help.

1. Spread the word. I have been doing a lot of publicity around the book, and there are plenty of ways of getting into the conversation. I’ve tweeted about it a lot, and my Facebook page also has links for easy sharing.

I followed up my interview with Jonah Lehrer in a piece for Radio 4’s ‘All in the Mind’, which you can listen to again here. The book has had a second pre-publication quote from the acclaimed novelist Sara Maitland, which you can read here.

I have written about the Unbound crowd-funding process here, and answered some common questions about the process works. I wrote about the challenges of combining being a scientist and a writer in this blog post for the Independent. I have also written a blog post specifically about how neuroscience explains motivations, and how novelists can make use of that knowledge.

I was interviewed about the book for the magazine Notes from the Underground. The book was also mentioned in this piece in the Daily Telegraph.

I’ll be doing an event at the Hay Festival on Tuesday 5 June. Looking further ahead, I’ll be in conversation about fiction and science with the American writer Ben Marcus at the Edinburgh festival on 11 August, and I’ll speaking about the book at Medicine Unboxed: Belief in Cheltenham in November.

2. Persuade a friend. If everybody who has pledged for the book could persuade one more person, I would quickly reach the target. You can find out who has already pledged support by going here. For those who want to try before they buy, the first chapter of the book is free to read at the pledge page, and the second chapter has just been published too. The third chapter is posted in the Shed, to which only subscribers have access.

3. Pledge again. Unbound make beautiful books which are perfect gifts. This gift is even more special because you can put the recipient’s name in the back of the book. Supporters’ names will appear in every subsequent edition, including the trade edition which will be published by Faber next year (if the Unbound edition reaches its target) and any foreign editions and translations. Remember that the Unbound edition will appear some time before the Faber one, so those who subscribe now get an exclusive preview.

It’s easy to change the name that appears in the back of the book. Simply go into the Shed (as a subscriber you have access) and press the button at the right.

Thanks for your support.