Previously in this series – The Dissent of Man – 4th epoch
I’m going to conclude this series of posts about The Dissent of Man project with a closer look at the Unbound crowd-sourced publishing process from the point of view of …, well …, me, the author.
Stage 1: The Proposal
As you will know by now, Unbound is a pretty new and neat idea in modern publishing, but the subscription model upon which it is based actually extends back beyond the great works of Dickens and Carroll.
When they started up, Unbound made it known that they were soliciting submissions of book proposals. Already in contact with one of the founders, I wrote to them direct, using a proposal that I had recently developed for a book idea. The book was The Dissent of Man and it had been in gestation for the best part of a decade. (It’s a long story, and not for now).
I count myself very, very lucky. Firstly, the timing was coincidentally just right: I had just completed my proposal and they were looking for new book projects. But, most of all, I was lucky that even though what I sent them didn’t conform to their requested format, but was instead a more typical, dour, non-fiction book submission, the Unbounders (as they have become to be known), have wonderful vision and could see the promise of what I was proposing. Since meeting them all, I can also say with all sincerity, that they are among the nicest, kindest, funniest, most joyful, professional, capable and generous people I have ever met, and I do love spending time with them.
Stage 2: London Town
I have been back down to London a few times now to attend various Unbound events: Terry Jones’ book launch for the first Unbound title, Evil Machines, an Unbound Live event where other authors pitched their book ideas to an intimate gathering, and the visit that took a very excited, return-to-my-childhood me, to the Natural History Museum to film my very own pitch video.
What I also discovered fairly soon is that at that time Unbound were homeless (they have since procured office premises), so meetings were often over meals, and plotting and planning would often entail pints. I had absolutely no qualms about this, indeed welcomed the change from emails, offices and telephone calls.
A popular haunt was, and still is, the legendary Pillars of Hercules in Soho, and I make a pilgrimage to this Dickensian shrine at any excuse. The last time I was there, Stevyn Colgan regaled me with countless fantastic and fascinating anecdotes and made a long afternoon flit by in a flicker. I don’t hesitate to point out again that Stevyn has a brilliant book project also currently on the go at Unbound called Constable Colgan’s Connectoscope. Please support it and make it happen.
Don’t get me wrong. Hard work is done during these gatherings, and it’s not all about drinking. Honestly. There’s a huge amount to be prepared in getting an Unbound book project ready to go “live”, and that’s what I can tell you about next.
Stage 3: Going Live
Pens, paper, ruler, long wibbly thing with round spronk on the end. Got everything? Right, we’re ready, TO GO LIVE! Well, perhaps we don’t need the pens, paper and ruler.
The format on the Unbound website is the same for each book project, and each requires,
a video pitch
a written pitch
an excerpt from the book
a short author bio
a range of levels for which supporters of the book can pledge
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