Tag Archives: Kickstarter

Lily Poole by Jack O’Donnell

How much is too much to spend on a book? As with so much in life, George Orwell has already considered and quantified the answer for you. That said, I imagine the ideal price of a book is different for all of us and, while I love picking up the out-of-copyright classics and browsing through the 99p list on Amazon, for me – for a new-ish book I have a real hankering to read – the sweet spot is around a fiver. Perhaps it is a relic of all those book tokens I used to get for birthdays and Christmases.

So how much would you spend for a book that hasn’t been written or printed yet? Unbound is a concept akin to Kickstarter, for both established and new authors who are seeking funding for new works of fiction or non-fiction. They have already created a bit of a splash with their backing of Paul Kingsnorth’s Man Booker Prize-longlisted The Wake. For the readers, it is about becoming more than a consumer, being a talent-spotter perhaps, or paying it forward. You may even gain the opportunity to name a character…

And for the writers? As Miranda Ward writes in her Unbound-published and utterly brilliant book F**k The Radio, We’ve Got Apple Juice:

This whole idea is fundamentally about sustaining yourself, as a creative type, so that you can create more. Ultimately, it’s always about the creative output, and the act of creating, not about the money, the money is simply what allows that process of creation to occur unfettered.

Of course, to be successful at this you need to – let’s be real, here – milk your contacts list for all its worth. You need benefactors, patrons and preferably rich ones, as every Renaissance artist knew. Or you need your idea to resonate with many, many people, so that they see fit to bung you a tenner. In these straitened times, that’s no mean feat. But if anyone is worthy of a portion of your hard-earned, it’s ABCtales writer Jack O’Donnell.

Jack

His novel-to-be Lily Poole, ‘a ghost story without a ghost’, is currently at 47% with an array of different pledge rewards available. Here is the pitch:

Lily Poole breaks the mould of horror fiction to ask serious and urgent questions about society and psychology, and does it while telling a gripping story about murder and deception, about Scotland and mental health, and about love and family.

There’s also an excerpt from the book available on the pledging page and I am sure it will whet your appetite for more. Which will be forthcoming, if enough of us stick some cash in the hat. Articles on the future of books and publishing are often full of doom and gloom, and who knows where things will eventually end. I wouldn’t want to venture any predictions. Other than to say that Unbound offers an alternative, a chance to discover books from outside mainstream publishing – such as their recent ‘Women in Print’ initiative – and to follow them from idea to realisation. How could any book lover resist?

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Thanksgiving

Long-time readers of ten minutes hate may remember this post, about Emily Richmond and how she was going off for the horizon to sail around the world single-handedly.  She funded the trip via creative projects funding site Kickstarter and her excellent website recording it is here.  It is well worth a read if you are sitting at a desk and feeling the need for inspiration to get going on making your own dreams come true.

Ms Richmond has also written a great Thanksgiving email for Kickstarter, in which she gives thanks for:

-friends and family and every single person who’s been a part of making this little dream come true (nearly 500 of you now!)
-i’m thankful for being alive in 2011 where technology/magic make it possible for me, even from the furthest corner of the globe, to stay connected with you lovely people
-i’m thankful for the shortwave radio that tells me of this great American Awakening: the lifting of that malaise that had made it so hard to see that bigger is not and has not been better, that each and every one of us has the ability to change our world into the one we want to see (and that it starts in our lives).

To which I can only really add ‘me too’.  I am thankful for all my friends and family around the globe and the technology that makes the distances between us feel so small.  And I am full of thanks for everyone who dreams of something better to come as well as hope that we can all find the strength to start steering a course towards sunnier horizons.

Thanks to everyone for reading.  Domo!

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Filed under The Golden Country

You’re gonna need a bigger boat

If only it stays that calm the whole way round...

May it stay that calm for all the journey...

There are days when I feel I should have the words “epic fail” branded onto my forehead because I have never been anywhere that wasn’t Europe or North America, never travelled anywhere where I didn’t speak the language or knew enough words to get by or wasn’t with people who were fluent.  There are other days where I stare at maps of the world and wonder how I would get to there from here, what would it look like when I arrived and then want to shake myself for my complete lack of a sense of adventure.  I’ve read the books, sure, seen the films and surfed the web.  But as yet, never left the comfortable bubble of the first world, never trekked in a hostile environment where I’m not at the top of the food chain and never climbed a mountain that went above the clouds.  What a terrible state of affairs.

So, then I read about this lady and how she is fearlessly heading off to sail around the world, where there are pirates and sharks and waves the size of a building, in a boat that to my inexpert eyes, seems a trifle, well, tiny.  And all she wants me, and by extension, YOU, to do, is bung her a dollar (so less than the value of proper money, heh) and she’ll do all the scary exploration stuff, with the added bonus of sending regular updates on her adventures and even letting you sign the boat.  This is the very definition of a win-win situation, I feel.  It doesn’t get much better than this.  We get to act like members of the Royal Geographic Society or one of Shackleton’s millionaire backers, someone else gets to battle with the elements.

All pledges need to be made by 31 August, so take a look at the website here and get pledging.  Then sit back in your most comfortable armchair, perhaps light a soothing pipe, read your favourite book and glory in the knowledge that you don’t have to go anywhere more threatening than Shoreditch High Street on a Friday night.  Perfect.

I found out about this great adventure via the lovely ladies at No Good for Me, your ultimate fashion mix-tape.  Hopefully this post is grovelly enough to win me a whistle, as I plan to use it to alert my close acquaintances to the presence of suitable candidates  for ridicule on this website.

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Filed under The Golden Country