The death of books has been proclaimed many times, with digital assumed to be the chief assassin. Print can’t last they say, as Kindles and e-books take a larger share of a market in apparent crisis. The truth is that it’s not the format that dead, there’s room for paper and digital editions – but the business model is looking a bit peaky. In troubled times, publishers become more risk averse, only taking on what’s guaranteed to sell. And that limits the flow of new writing.
So we at Unbound have come up with a new approach to book publishing. We’re flipping the commissioning model – publishers don’t decide what gets published, readers do. It works like this – authors upload their ideas to Unbound and readers then choose the ideas that they like and pledge their support (from £10 to funding the entire book). The idea is to get more and more people involved in the creation of books. If we build a wider community (including Facebook and Twitter), then we can help people find, and create, new writing.
So over the next few weeks, we’ll be parading some of the best projects in front of discerning Independent readers. We’d be interested in your feedback, just as much as your pledges (but don’t hold back).
So, for starters, The Elegant Art of Falling Apart…
Written by Jessica Jones, an Australian who has been a long-time resident in London, this about as far away from a misery memoir as you can get. For one thing, it is entirely free of self-pity and very, very funny.