We’ve been following the fortunes of crowd-funded publisher Unbound for a few months but for the first time this week we saw a copy of one of the books.The double bill of short stories from Brixton-based Tibor Fischer presented in flipbook format dropped through our letterbox and we were thrilled to see the finished article is worthy of this potentially gamechanging literary phenomenon.
Writers can submit an idea for a book and if enough people pledge funds to make it a reality then Unbound publishes it – with all donors’ names recorded in the book and special copies/treats such as lunch with the author for those who really dig deep to make it happen.
This is the second book published by Unbound since it launched in May, after former Monty Python member Terry Jones’ Evil Machines. The two stories presented here – Possibly Forty Ships and Crushed Mexican Spiders are both uncomfortable modern morality tales, one focussing on a young woman ground down by metropolitan alienation and the other a torture scene related to the Trojan war.
Anyone who pledges money towards a project that gets the go-ahead can track the author’s progress through the website, while a professional designer is commissioned to work on how it’s going to look. This clothbound Tibor Fischer tome features cover photographs from Czech photographer Hana Vojakova.
It will be interesting to see how the project develops and whether over time donors might be able to have their say on the design process too.
But one thing is for sure – this is a bold and imaginative project which has the potential to change the relationship between writers and their readers for good.