Week eight already! I didn’t blog last week – I had too much to do. On Monday I met up with four other Unbound authors for an evening of readings and crowdfunding discussion. It was a free event but we suffered Monday night syndrome and only a handful of non-readers turned up. Never stage an event on a Monday.
It didn’t really matter, I mean it would have been nice if it had been packed to the doors but even empty it was a blast. My good friend Lonny Pop did a great job of hosting. There were readings from Unbound authors Rachael de Moravia, James Ellis, Stephen McGowan, Pierre Hollins and me. All the readings were brilliant and it was so nice to meet people undergoing the same terrifying crowdfunding process. James has read for Rattle Tales a few times so I knew him already but I’d only met the others online. Everyone is so talented and all the books deserve to be funded. All are extremely original and diverse, not your usual publications, and that is why Unbound exists.
There were some good tips. Pierre is fully funded and we were all very jealous. He said that he favoured the personal approach, talking to potential pledgers individually and eventually building up an audience. James talked about why he chose Unbound. The contract is good for authors with 50% digital sales but he also pointed out that Unbound have full industry distribution, which means they can get physical books into bookshops. My first novel, Starlings, was published by a tiny (but gutsy) Independent called Revenge Ink and the problem was that, although they had an excellent and original list of authors, they didn’t have access to a widespread distribution network. Distribution seems to be a bit of a closed shop. To get a book stocked nationwide by Waterstones for example, you had to apply well in advance. I got Starlings stocked in some of their stores by going in and talking to individual managers and doing meet the author events. I’ve always regretted that it didn’t get a bit more exposure but then I suppose you could describe it a s ‘cult’!
As well as being 37% funded, the first story in the collection has just been published by New London Writers. Sourdough was the first story I read at Rattle Tales and it was short-listed for the Writers & Artists Yearbook Arvon Award five years ago, since then I have submitted it to every journal, comp, performance night and radio show you can think of all to no avail but then New London Writers said they loved it and couldn’t wait to promote my work! I am so glad Sourdough has finally been published. The moral is never give up and I’m going to live by that in the month I have left to raise funds for In The Future Everyone Will Be Famous For Fifteen Minutes. Please pledge to help create this book.