Usher launches Unbound appeal for second Letters of Note

Usher launches Unbound appeal for second Letters of Note

Shaun Usher has launched an Unbound appeal to raise money for a sequel to his crowd-funded book Letters of Note.

Letters of Note: Volume II will contain a selection of letters “even stronger and more varied than the first” book, said Usher in the appeal.

Usher’s first collection of letters was co-published with Canongate and has now sold 61,889 copies through Nielsen BookScan.

Letters of Note: Volume II will feature 125 letters, more than half of which have not yet appeared on the Letters of Note website.

Among them are a letter from Eleanor Roosevelt to the Daughters of the American Revolution to cancel her membership, in protest at their racism; Florence Nightingale's letter home about the appalling horrors of the Crimean War; a customer complaint letter from 1450 BC; and Charlotte’s Web author E B White writing to his little boy pretending to be Daisy the family dog.

Letters of Note: Volume II will be published in autumn, said Usher.

Donations start at £10, the reward for which will be an e-book edition of Letters of Note: Volume II and the donor’s name in the back of the book. The highest donation that can be made is £5,000, the reward for which is a a special frontispiece dedication facing the title page at the front of every copy of the book, plus two tickets to the launch party, a signed deluxe edition hardback, e-book edition, and the donor’s name in the back of the book.

Canongate has held a series of Letters Live events inspired by the book, and this month the publisher announced that it had created a spin-off company, of which Usher is a shareholder, to develop the series ().

Five shows, which will feature actors including Benedict Cumberbatch and Louise Brealey, will run at the Freemasons’ Hall from 31st March to 4th April 2015.

The live events will celebrate the “enduring power of literary correspondence”, and will support the literacy charities The Reading Agency, First Story, and Ministry of Stories.