Crowdfunding publisher Unbound is to expand into the US next year. The press, which was founded in 2011 by writers Dan Kieran, John Mitchinson and Justin Pollard, is planning to hire US editors to source Stateside projects as part of its global expansion.
Speaking at a party held last week (3rd November) to celebrate the publisher’s fifth birthday, c.e.o. Kieran said: “When we launched, traditional publishers were unanimous about one thing: whatever the future of publishing was, it definitely wasn’t Unbound. This helped us hugely in the early days. We were largely ignored, which gave us the time and space we needed to learn, evolve and try to get our heads around what we were doing and what, ultimately, the company was for. We did learn. We put pressure on ourselves to improve, iterate, and…it’s working. With our sights now set on the US, we are going to have to start being a little less British and walk with more of a swagger, because the truth is, we’re on fire.”
Kieran (pictured) outlined the publisher’s trajectory, stating: “It took 38 months for us to take our first million in pledges, which are direct sales. Pre-orders, essentially. We did our second million in 19 months, and we have just done our third million in eight months.
“For anyone who is unfamiliar with this, it’s called ‘exponential growth’—in publishing it’s pretty rare. The reason we have achieved, and can continue to achieve, exponential growth is because we have created our own marketplace platform, something we learned from Amazon, which is crucial for any publisher who wants a viable future.
“Creating a platform that offers exponential growth is obviously a good, and potentially very lucrative, thing. But there has to be a vision, a purpose, that drives the company—and Unbound’s vision is exponential too. “
Kieran added that the press set out to “liberate ideas” and “give authors creative freedom, as well as professional publishing expertise and a better financial deal”. He said: “There are so many potential books that communities of people want that the traditional model doesn’t, and simply can’t, serve. We are only just beginning to map the potential size of the market that exists for books when you let readers decide for themselves what they want to read.
“If you combine a marketplace platform that offers exponential growth with liberating ideas and serving these communities, you have the potential to build a truly great global business”.