Unbound makes four editors redundant

Unbound makes four editors redundant

Unbound is making four editors redundant following a "strategic reorganisation".

One of the crowdfunding publisher’s commissioning editors, Simon Spanton, revealed he had been let go from his “dream job” after just over a year in the role. The Former Gollancz associate publisher joined Unbound in January 2017 as part of the company’s move into genre publishing. Spanton was tasked with developing a science fiction and genre list for the publisher, following a hiring drive which saw six editors newly appointed.

Spanton, who is based in Edinburgh, tweeted on Monday (23rd April): “So; my dream job is not to be as long a dream as I hoped. Due to cost-cutting I am one of four editors being made redundant at Unbound. I am gutted as I was working with amazing authors on amazing books. I am also in the market for editorial work (DM me).”

Dan Kieran, c.e.o. and founder of Unbound, confirmed that the company's editorial team had been cut by a third.

"I can confirm we have made four editorial redundancies in our team of twelve (having tripled the size of the team last June) as part of a strategic reorganisation," he told The Bookseller. "Redundancies in any business are always hard for everyone involved but Unbound has and will always continue to evolve." 

Kieran added: "We’re growing fast with our trade sales up over 100% on last year, and we’ve broken our own crowdfunding records raising over £200,000 a month for the last three months alone. We are also making investments in AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning, which will enable the evolution of our platform to continue."

Spanton is listed on Unbound’s website as “specialising in sci-fi and fantasy”, alongside 45 other employees, spanning editorial and production, development, commissioning, finance, management, community and support, PR and crowdfunding divisions.

The company recently brought its sales and distribution arms in-house and strengthened its sales team with two new hires. It agreed a new sales and distribution agreement with PGUK, which will take effect from 1st September 2018, after the services were previously handled by Cornerstone, a division of Penguin Random House. Brian Martin joined as key account manager for Amazon (print and digital) from Titan Books, and Julian Mash became trade sales and marketing manager.

Last August the publisher launched an independent literary magazine headed up by former Independent literary editor Arifa Akbar, now the company’s head of content. Boundless began in the autumn featuring “long, well-written pieces" (2,000 to 3,000 words) and boasting a commissioning budget larger than the one Akbar was given for the books pages in the Independent, she said at the time. The content “is free to read and also free from distraction – no adverts, no pop-ups, no listicles”, remaining editorially independent from Unbound.

Spanton left Orion in November 2015 after 19 years “by mutual agreement”.