Thursday, 11 July 2019
Every author knows the challenge of finding a publisher, and every published author knows that the next, and perhaps even greater challenge is to achieve respectable sales. The era of self-publishing means that over 200,000 new titles are published in the UK every year. Even mainstream publishers with big marketing budgets find it hard to punch through the ‘noise’.
I’d heard of Unbound as a crowdfunding publisher, and when fellow author Geoffrey Gudgion told me that his novel Draca had been accepted by them I asked him for his perspective on this unusual route to publication.
“I thought long and hard about accepting their offer,” Geoff admitted. “I was confident in the book, which had already won rave feedback from my agent and some well-informed Beta readers, but I wasn’t so sure about my ability to raise money. I’m the classic writer type who’d rather be in a quiet shed, writing, than out there promoting and selling.
“In the end, their reputation convinced me. They are selective, and have chosen some winners including a Man Booker long-lister and, this May, a finalist in the £30,000 Rathbones Folio prize. I liked the concept of building a body of support before launch that helps to ensure a book’s success, and they’re open to cross-genre works like Draca that don’t quite fit an Amazon tick-box. With my agent’s encouragement, I signed.”
“So tell everyone about Draca,” I prompted.
“It’s the story of a war-damaged veteran of Afghanistan who tries to rebuild his life by restoring an old sailing boat, the Draca. His dysfunctional family push him ever closer to the edge, while a yachtswoman friend tries to pull him back. The reader has to decide whether he is haunted by his past, or just haunted.”
“Exciting! So how’s the crowdfunding going?”
“I decided to share the royalties equally with the veterans mental health charity Combat Stress, and that has given the project quite a boost. I also find it easier to ask friends for money if it’s in a good cause. We’re over 60% funded already, and when I’ve collected enough pre-orders Unbound will start the publication cycle. I’m hoping to reach 100% in September.”
“Would you recommend Unbound to other writers?”
“It wouldn’t be for everyone. I think Unbound are best suited to books with an identifiable niche market, or for authors with an established following. Very few authors will know enough people personally to fund a book through friends, so you have to reach out to a wider community. That’s hard work, even with a charitable link, but it will be worth it in the end. If anyone would like a more in-depth view, or crowdfunding tips, they can reach me through my website at https://geoffreygudgion.com"
“And of course, support for Draca would be hugely welcome at https://unbound.com/books/draca/ ! Pledges range from a single £10 ebook up to a book group bundle, and every supporter’s name will appear in the book. If the book isn’t published for any reason, the money is refunded. End of sales pitch!”
“Geoff, the very best of luck with Draca. I have to tell everyone that I was one of those Beta readers, and I can truly recommend the book!”
“Kate, thank you so much for inviting me. It’s a great privilege to be on The Scribbling Sea Serpent.”
Follow this link to find out more.