A new type of publisher is doing something new for women writers
Unbound is a revolutionary new way to get books published. Founded by three authors, John Mitchinson, Justin Pollard and Dan Kieran, all their titles are crowdfunded. Authors pitch their book ideas directly to their readers. Readers choose the ideas that they like on the website and pledge their support. When an idea has enough supporters, the book is written and produced.
To date Unbound has published books from several well-known authors including Kate Mosse, Julie Burchill, Jonathan Meades, Chris Yates, Robert Llewellyn and ex-Python Terry Jones, as well as a first novel from comedian Katy Brand and the bestselling Letters of Note by Shaun Usher. The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth, published by Unbound, became the first crowdfunded novel to be longlisted for the Man Booker prize this year.
And what is it doing for women writers?
Out of the 43 books they have published so far only a third have been written by women. That’s not surprising perhaps when most – in fact two thirds – of submissions are made by men. In a bid to right the balance, Unbound have launched the Women in Print campaign to support female authors and encourage more women to submit their ideas for fiction and non-fiction books. Unbound’s editors will review the new submissions during November 2014, choosing the best three female writers to begin crowdfunding in the New Year.
A survey of fiction and poetry publishers and authors’ agents commissioned by Mslexia, the creative writing magazine for women, found that women are over 50 per cent less likely to submit their work for publication than men. I have no statistics to back up my conviction that women write more than men…but there is clear evidence that fewer women push themselves forward to the next stage and submit their work for publication. Unbound are looking for bold new ideas for fiction and non-fiction books. If you’re a woman with a manuscript (or a book idea) they want to hear from you.