Could the Future of Publishing Lie in the Past?

In a bid to battle the homogenisation of books, three published authors have joined forces to establish ‘Unbound’, a company that allows readers to help publish the books they want to read.

The founders of the company, Dan Kieran, Justin Pollard and John Mitchinson, have an impressive mix of experience under their belts: between them they have authored 18 books, write 4 regular columns in national press and have worked in television, feature films (including Atonement, The Boy in Striped Pajamas and Elizabeth) and naturally, publishing.

Feeling that modern-day publishing houses are rejecting original book ideas in favour of producing near-identical copies of already successful titles, the trio were inspired to find a way of placing the decision-making in the hands of the readers.

The brand new company enables authors to pitch ideas directly to readers, via a quirky and well-designed website, with the aim of encouraging readers to fund the publishing of their titles. With graded contributions of between £10 and £250, readers can support authors whose book ideas they favour, and in return receive first edition hardback copies, e-books, invites to launch parties and much more.

The methodology behind Unbound is not a new one; in fact the system harks back to how authors such as Dickens would have had books published. As a book-lover, reluctantly living in this age of Kindles, iPads and Nooks, could reverting to age-old publishing techniques be the answer? I hope so.

by Erika Burrows


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