I’m currently writing a book. It’s the story of a London-based women’s rights activist Diana Nammi and her time when she was a 17-year-old freedom fighter in Iran, fighting for the rights of the Kurdish community she lived in after it was violently attacked by the new Islamic regime. We are writing the book together and every time we meet I am amazed by the incredible twists and turns in her life. At heart, it’s also a story about family and love – with a powerful romance in the middle.
Traditional versus Unbound
We had thought to go the traditional publishing route. The true story is so strong and Diana is such an inspiration, that I was sure we would be able to get a deal. However, I went to a networking event where I heard a publisher from Unbound talk about their new model of publishing which is turning the industry on its head.
Unbound are behind the best-sellers and prize-winning books The Good Immigrant and Dead Babies And Seaside Towns. They are like any other publisher in most ways, staffed by professional, talented people, with a great editing process and beautiful finished products but they have one key difference: they take any risk out of publishing for themselves by getting authors to crowdfund for the cost of the first edition. Many publishers take very few risks these days which is why we see endless celebrity memoirs. Unbound are able to publish exciting and ground-breaking books that might otherwise never get out there. It also means a better financial deal for the authors.
As Diana and I both enjoy a good campaign, I was excited by this model and we submitted and were really excited to have our book Girl With A Gun accepted. We’re 20,000 words in so we still have a long way to go in the writing process but we are also marketing it at the same time which has been a steep learning curve and also quite exhausting. We have been advised by Unbound that around 30% of the initial pledges, which basically means pre-ordered copies of the book, will come from friends and family which means we have to tirelessly tell everyone we know about the book!
We’ve also been interviewed by the press, me by my local papers and Diana for the award-winning Sisterhood magazine and we did a talk at Waterstones Gower Street with other Unbound authors where we had five minutes to pitch our book.
If this is a story you’d be interested in, do have a look at our Unbound page and watch our two-minute video here. You can order a copy of the book by hitting the pledge button. This would make my day.