"Democratic" publishing venture launched at Hay

"Democratic" publishing venture launched at Hay

A publishing platform which allows readers to choose what should be published has been launched, supported by Faber and created by "QI" writers John Mitchinson and Justin Pollard, and Crap Towns author Dan Kieran.

Launched at the Hay Festival today (29th May), Unbound.co.uk will enable authors signed up to the site to pitch book ideas directly to readers. Readers then pledge their support to an idea, from £10 to funding the whole book. When an idea has attracted enough support, the book will be written.

Supporters of the book will receive a clothbound limited Unbound First Edition with their name in it, and can also receive rewards such as e-book downloads, book launch party invites and lunch with the author.

Faber will sell and distribute trade editions of selected titles under an Unbound imprint. Authors will receive 50% of all profits from their Unbound books. Authors Terry Jones, Gavin Pretor-Pinney, Amy Jenkins, Tibor Fischer, Rupert Isaacson and Jonathan Meades are among the first authors to sign up to the idea.

Mitchinson, Kieran and Pollard said: "There are lots of great books that we're not getting the opportunity to read. Unbound democratises the book commissioning process by enabling authors and readers to make the decisions about what does or doesn't get published."

Supporters can track the progress of the book through the author's private area on the site, where they can upload blogs and recorded interviews and meet the author and other supporters.

Faber c.e.o. and publisher Stephen Page said: "We're delighted to be partnering with Unbound. This is an age of great opportunity for writers, and at Faber we are always looking for imaginative ways of partnering with authors. Unbound offers a new, rich means for writers to connect with their readers and we're excited to be involved."

He told The Bookseller, "Our criteria for publishing will be a good editorial conversation with Unbound about the commercial opportunities of a trade edition and part of that will be a sense that we can print a decent number . . . We haven't settled on exact criteria yet but a several thousand copy first run would be necessary."