1. Talisien
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    Talisien Member

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    "Unbound" website

    Discussion in 'Publisher Discussion' started by Talisien, Jun 20, 2016.

    Does anyone have any experience of this publishing website? Or any advice on using a website such as this for publishing a book?
     
  2. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    They're essentially a "crowdfunding" it was called begging in the old days platform. It places all the risk with the author rather than the publisher, and absolves the publisher of having to read the 'slush pile'.

    I don't know the stats--I expect these platforms keep them well hidden--but I expect it would be very very hard for a new author to succeed with this kind of business model. An established author has a following who will be willing to pay in advance for her next book, knowing they will get something of quality at the end, but a newbie? I wouldn't pledge.

    It depends on your goals, but personally I would completely exhaust agent/editor avenues before I pursued something like this.

    Edit: I'm sorry, that was really negative. I shouldn't project my issues with "crowdfunding" onto you. I should have asked what your goals are. Do you just want to be published? Do you want a long-term career in publishing? Will you be happy just to have made it into print or do you want maximum readership and maximum income from writing?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  3. Talisien
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    Talisien Member

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    :) Interesting how you chose to leave the 'edit' in the comment rather than taking it out and re-writing the post in the positive light! I wonder why you should feel so negative about 'begging'? When someone has no funds available but a lot of heart, courage, time and commitment is this not a good opportunity for them?

    What I would have answered if you had asked the positive questions would have been:

    I have a story to tell of psycho-somatic illness which also gives self-help processes for recovery. This is a subject that has been made very relevant recently by a best seller that has sparked a great deal of interest in the news. My goals for this book are many. I would like to see it in print and with maximum readership and of course maximum income.

    The well known debate is whether to go the traditional route pursuing literary agents and large publishers who will assist in the marketing or go the self publish route and so the marketing falls to the author. I am also told that most big publishers now require the author to do most of the marketing themselves in any case. Then someone told me about this website and I wondered if it was a good middle of the road option.

    All thoughts on the subject are welcome.
     
  4. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I don't believe in editing/deleting posts once they're out there, except for SPAG errors. If you'd quoted before I'd edited, or responded to a post I'd deleted, the thread would have made no sense. I also think people should 'own' bad posts rather than cover them up. Nothing underhand!

    Anyway, that's by-the-by, as are my issues with crowdfunding. For the reasons in my first post, I don't think this is a good option for new writers. There may be no harm in trying--I don't know if, once you've pitched, you're somehow obliged to produce the goods at the end of it. If not, and you're comfortable with the business model, maybe give it a go.

    Traditional publishers don't expect you to do most of the marketing. Many authors carry out some marketing themselves because they're the ones who benefit, but some have no social media presence at all. Some don't attend signings or promo events. But the people who do only help their careers, and it's probably true that a publisher would be less interested in a newbie who wasn't prepared to make any effort to market than one who was.

    If readership and profit are important to you, IMO traditional is the way to go. Others disagree with me. It sounds like you've done your research and probably understand the pros and cons of each.
     
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  5. Talisien
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    Talisien Member

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    Thank you for your thoughts. Love your forthrightness :)

    I have done a fair amount of research but, as in all things, there are so many conflicting views on the way forward for new authors. I have begun to set up my online presence and started a certain amount of marketing already. You have raised a couple of interesting questions about the website already which I will find out answers for.
     
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  6. cydney
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    cydney Banned

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    I have a similar question. Is it ok to have fun on this website or do we are we supposed to be serious all the time. :)
     
  7. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    I do not understand this statement question. Have you got a bee in your bonnet about something?

    As to the OP, I tend to agree with @Tenderiser here. Crowdfunding for a first novel seems unlikely to be successful. Then again, I also don't like crowdfunding, except in a few rare instances. The problem with begging is that it sort of runs backward logic. Instead of "Let me prove myself to you and I will earn my reward," it's sort of saying, "Give me what I want first, and then I'll show you if I'm any good." Like trying to guarantee success on the front end, before you've even proven your merit. Too often it feels like a snake oil sales pitch, and that gives me the skeevies.
     
  8. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    @cydney - pay attention and stop pissing about, otherwise you face a month of detentions. How does that sound?
    ...
    Crowdfunding

    A small magazine in London called 'Open Pen' crowdfunded for £1500 - the costs toward publication of their 'Five Year Anthology.' I don't see anything shiddy about the project, think it's a good way to go..:/
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
  9. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    https://sociallyacceptable.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/unbound/

    This article gives some insight on the platform, but I have a hard time of finding a review from somebody who's actually used the site.

    Overall what I found that this website is essentially just a crowdfunding site specifically for literature. Crowdfunding is never a bad way to go, but what I don't like about crowdfunding is that it enables unfinished ideas/concepts to obtain money, and then if the creator feels like it they can abandon the project completely leaving the supporters with nothing.

    It appears this platform will dish out refunds, but I feel like placing your audience's money in risk is never a good idea since it could cause you the author to receive backlash later on if you don't come through the first time.

    What I personally would recommend is if you want to go the crowdfunding route I would use more well-known crowdfunding sites that are known to actually work such as Kickstarter. Of course that's just my own opinion.

    I would say do more research yourself and figure it out.
     
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  10. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't see any issue with it. From the sounds of it, they check a manuscript sample and only take on ones they think have a decent chance of succeeding, which'll go some way to explaining the 60% success rate they advertise.

    I can see their value over Kickstarter in that they'll do the production work once your target's reached, and if they've got Faber and Faber backing them (which I didn't see on their website, but was mentioned in @theoriginalmonsterman's link) they should have decent distribution.

    I think the main thing to watch is that just like with any platform built on crowdfunding, you need a crowd to fund it. They ask you to submit crowdfunding plans, so it doesn't sound like they're going to help out much in getting the initial funding together. You say you're starting some marketing already, so might be that's not a problem for you - but crowdfunding always works best when you've already got a sizeable following.
     
  11. Philsy
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    Philsy Member

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    Unbound does sound interesting. Be good to hear from someone who's had experience of it.
     
  12. Robert Musil
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    Robert Musil Contributing Member

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  13. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    The generation before mine refer to this one:

     
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