Entertainment News

  • 24 July 2014, 10:31

Crowdfunded Book Up For Biggest Literary Prize

A crowdfunded novel has been nominated for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for the first time in the competition's history.

Paul Kingsnorth's The Wake was backed by members of the public on Unbound, a website set up by Dan Kieran, Justin Pollard and John Mitchinson to connect readers and writers.

Users gave anything from £5 to £300 to get the novel into book stores, receiving signed copies, limited edition covers and even a tour of the author's shed in return.

Authors can pitch story ideas on Unbound and appeal to the site's users for backing - a model used by other crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Books which reach their fundraising targets are published in a variety of formats, with authors receiving 50% of the profits.

Mr Kingsnorth said he was sure his crowdfunded novel, which is written in a language he invented and described as a mix of old English and new, would not be the last to make the Man Booker Prize list.

"The thing about it is that its publication was a collaboration between its readers, Unbound and me," the author, from County Galway, Ireland, said.

"That's special (and) in that sense, it's not just the book's language which is unusual.

"Everyone who was involved gets any credit that comes its way."

Unbound's founders claim to have started a "revolution", allowing authors to print hard copies of their work without needing to be signed to one of the large publishing houses or paying for print runs of thousands of copies.

In a recent blog post, Mr Kieran declared: "Publishing is dead."

Other authors on the longlist for the Man Booker Prize include Joshua Ferris, Richard Flanagan, Karen Joy Fowler, Siri Hustvedt, Howard Jacobson, David Mitchell, Neel Mukherjee, David Nicholls, Joseph O'Neill, Richard Powers, Ali Smith and Niall Williams.

The winner will be announced on October 14.

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