'Phenomenal' reaction to Sidey fundraising

'Phenomenal' reaction to Sidey fundraising

Two more books by the late Paul Sidey, former editorial director of Hutchinson, could be published if his first, The Book of Wag, “gets the right reaction”, his widow Marianne Velmans has told The Bookseller.

Sidey, who worked at Hutchinson for 31 years, died in September 2014 after a battle with cancer. A fundraising page has been set up on the crowd-sourced publishing platform Unbound to raise money to publish The Book of Wag, the novel which was “closest to his heart”. 

The Unbound campaign, which launched in mid-January, has so far reached 80% of its fundraising target. Velmans said: “I thought it would take a long time [to raise the money]. It has been phenomenal.”

Velmans, who is publishing director at Doubleday, said that Sidey “wrote several books after he retired; he felt he was writing against a deadline”. Of those, there are “certainly two other books easy to get into shape for publication”, said Velmans, if The Book of Wag “gets the right reaction”.

The Book of Wag is described on the Unbound page as a “cross between family memoir and fiction” and covers the Western Front, World War II and up to the “political tumult of the ‘70s”. It is narrated by Wag, a veteran of the First World War, and his nephew Jack, and features a cast of characters including the “richly eccentric Bolton family”.

“After he retired in January 2012, Paul finally powered up his laptop, and the fiction began just pouring out,” the appeal continues.