It used to be that books stayed the same. You could count on them, hold them, smell them. You bought them at a bookstore, where you also had the chance to hear the author speak. Not so much anymore.
But that doesn’t mean authors and companies aren’t thinking outside the book.
According to an article in Fast Company, Unbound has “crowd-financed” a book. The principle behind Unbound is “to take the ancient, leather-bound business model of book publishing, rip out its crumbling pages, and replace it with crowd-funding, social interaction, and tandem digital publications and real hardback books.”
Unbound proposes a book on its website. People can then choose to donate or fund the book. The more you donate, the more “access” to the author you get, such as a dinner with him/her.
I think this particular model would work best with authors who are already names, either as writers or some other form of celebrity.
But…in a way, it is similar to the rise of the Internet as a way to promote yourself. Because of blogs and other social media, readers now have greater access to writers they love, as well as new writers. Knowing a writer online means you’re more likely to buy their book.
Unbound is revving up the idea, but so are individual writers. Each time you connect with a reader via your tweets or posts or other online method, you, in a way, give that reader access to you. And as they get to know you, they’re more likely to buy your book, read your book, possibly review the book, and buy the next book.
So, if you’re thinking that all the time you spend online is a waste, think again. It pays to think outside the book.
5 months ago