How to crowd fund a novel with Unbound

Tim Atkinson, blogger, author and stay-at-home dad, shares his tips for crowd funding a novel. How new book is currently a work in progress as he is seeking support to get it published. To be part of bringing this book to life and getting your name printed in every copy, support Tim here. Tim explains how it all works…

The Glorious Dead book cover

Book cover: The Glorious Dead by Tim Atkinson

There are so many ways of publishing these days it can get a tad confusing. From self- and assisted options, print-on-demand and Kindle Direct right up to the traditional (but increasingly parsimonious) deals with a major company, there’s probably never been more choice for the author. But there’s a middle-way, too – crowd funding. Specifically, with the world’s first crowd funding publisher – Unbound.

In case you’ve never heard of it, Unbound was founded in 2010 by authors Dan Kieran, John Mitchinson and Justin Pollard. They realised that traditional publishing had become – for writers and readers alike – a stale and formulaic business-driven venture. ‘Put simply,’ they said, ‘there are lots of potentially great books we’re not getting the opportunity to read.’

As a reader I can certainly vouch for that. When they first launched I clicked to see what the fuss was about and soon realised there were (potential) books up for grabs that were never going to appear in Waterstones or on Amazon, but which I really wanted to read. The next step – to pledge, to support them in advance – was obvious. And that’s how Unbound works. Authors pitch their ideas direct and if readers like what they see, they pledge. It’s a bit like buying the book before it’s published in (in order to make sure it is).

But it can be a bumpy old ride, having to market a book before publication. There’s no getting away from the fact that crowd funding is hard work. But it can also be immensely rewarding. The engagement with the reading public has largely been a real pleasure (there have been a few exceptions) and the privilege of having conversations about my book before it’s written is endlessly stimulating.

There are drawbacks, as I’ve said. It takes a lot of time. But then, so does any publishing model these days. There also seems to be some confusion about what crowd funding books is about. My manuscript was assessed – twice – by Unbound before I was allowed to sully their Booker-nominated imprint. But to judge by the reactions of some people (including a couple of ‘friends’) you’d think what I’m doing is a cross between vanity publishing and pyramid selling.

Well, you can’t win ‘em all. Except with Unbound, that is. Because as a reader (and this is where I started) the real bonus of crowd funding books is the opportunity it gives you to be part of something, to help get a project off the ground and to have the chance to ‘talk’ to the author as s/he writes the book. As well as to make sure, of course, through your support and involvement that the
book you really want to read gets written.

You can find out more about my book and pledge your support for the project here:

I do hope I’ll see some familiar names among the growing list of supporters.

Tim Atkinson

Tim Atkinson

About the author: Tim Atkinson is the author of five books published variously by Hodder Wayland, Need2Know Books and Dotterel Press. His work has appeared in The Yorkshire Post, Times Educational Supplement and The Dalesman magazine and he has a strong online and media presence both as an award-winning blogger ( and through numerous TV and radio appearances.
The Glorious Dead is his second novel, following ‘Writing Therapy’ which was nominated for the 2008 Young Minds Fiction Award. You can find Tim on Twitter @Dotterel.

Home page image by via Shutterstock

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