Crowdfunding platform Unbound has had an “exhilarating year” with turnover up 33% and gross profit up 150% the company has said.
At the same time, it announced it has also recruited Scott Pack, currently publisher at Gallic Books’ imprint Aadvark Bureau, to become its associate editor, joining the company next Monday (5th October).
Unbound was founded in 2011 by writers Dan Kieran, John Mitchinson and Justin Pollard and since then the company has published over 40 books, including the Sunday Times bestselling Letters of Note by Shaun Usher and the Man Booker Prize long-listed title The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth.
It has recently completed another investment round, raising £1.4m and in January struck a deal with Penguin Random House division Cornerstone to take over trade publication of titles crowd-funded on its platform.
While Unbound would not reveal financial figures, it said overall turnover was up 33% in the year to the end of June, while profit was up 150%.
Meanwhile, its user base has grown to over 65,000 with an average transaction per user of £40, it said.
The platform has funded three to four books a month for the last year and is scheduling 22 titles for trade publication in the first half of 2016.
Unbound’s c.e.o, Dan Kieran, said: “This has been an exhilarating year for Unbound which saw the business re-locate from a tiny flat in Soho to a new office in St James’s, developing a crucial and positive new strategic partnership with Cornerstone, completing an investment round of £1.4m and making some key new hires. We’ve funded and now published some extraordinary books, including More Letters of Note by Shaun Usher, Notes from the Sofa by Raymond Briggs, and Pure by Rose Bretecher, which has already been described as a ‘publishing sensation’ by The Times.”
Coinciding with its expansion, Unbound has hired Scott Pack as associate editor from his position at Gallic Books, where he headed up an imprint called the Aardvark Bureau. The company said it was “actively seeking” other freelance recruits to create a network of “scouts” to bring new projects to the platform from across different media and interests with pack being the first such hire.
Pack joined Gallic Books in March this year and the Aadvark Bureau has since made a number of acquisitions.
Prior to launching the list at Aardvark Bureau, Scott spent seven years developing The Friday Project at HarperCollins.
Pack said: “Jane and Emily and the team at Gallic Books are firmly behind the Aardvark list and will continue with them as planned. And I will still champion them online, and probably help out by hosting a few Q&As at launch parties. So it is full steam ahead, and the Dan Rhodes book we publish tomorrow is already doing extremely well.”
Kieran added: “Scott has been pushing the boundaries of publishing for years and we’ve been hoping to persuade him to join us for some time. He reads more and more broadly than anyone in the industry and will bring an extra dimension to our rapidly expanding list.”
Other recent hires include Hannah Whelan as community analyst from Farmdrop.com, Emily Shipp as head of marketing from Shelter, Amy Winchester as Publicity Manager from HarperCollins, Owen Connor, web developer from EagleAlfa and Jason Cooper, formerly digital and enterprise development director at Faber and Faber, who joined as chief commercial officer last autumn.