Canadian author Elena Kaufman’s collection of short stories, Love Bites is soon-to-be-published if she reaches her target on Unbound, the digital platform where authors support the work of other authors and “the reason why I’m not selling my book from the back of my car,” she says.
“It’s nearly impossible getting a collection of stories published these days unless known or having had a novel out there first,” Kaufman tells me.
She’s not quite in the clear yet. Authors whose projects are accepted into the program have 90 days to raise all the funds before they can publish their work. Kaufman, who studied literature and drama at the University of Toronto and Oxford University, is counting the days she has left to reach 100 per cent of her pledges.
See Elena Kaufman’s pitch that got her signed with Unbound:
Video by Nettie Hendricks, production by Nick Marshall
The 13 stories in the collection run the extreme from funny to dark but they all have a common theme in that the characters share a “sense of isolation and not quite fitting into your landscape or your setting,” Kaufman says in her video pitch she submitted to the company to get them to accept her project, her dog sitting quietly on her lap.
Seven of the stories are independently published “but a collection was what I really wanted,” she adds, and what she has the chance to get by signing with Unbound, once recommended to her by a writing teacher.
It’s a writer’s crowdfunding network built on a system of subscription publishing with its roots in the 17th century. Bibles, atlases, numerous novels written by women, and Milton’s Paradise Lost were published this way.
The platform joins writers and readers more closely and makes readers (pledgers) part of the process. Content-wise you can do more with them, whereas agents usually think more of the bottom line – selling potential – Unbound is more interested in creative ideas. All sorts of people do their crowdfunding there, including one of the Monty Python guys, adds Kaufman.