We talked about Unbound yesterday in episode 14 of the podcast, but I thought it worth another mention. From the Unbound site:

Unbound is a new way of bringing authors and readers together. We believe both deserve a greater say in which books get published. Starting now, Unbound will make that happen. No middlemen or marketers. Just authors, readers and great ideas.

Essentially, Unbound allows authors to pitch an idea to potential readers, who can then pledge varying amounts of cash to help get the project up, running and completed. The more you pledge, the better your reward - £10 gets you a digital version of the finished book, £250 gets you lunch with the author and all manner of goodies.

For authors, this is really interesting and it's good to see something innovative and different taking shape. Kickstarter in the US has used a similar model and that seems to work great, although that allows you to pitch any project or product, not just books.

There's potential here for a new kind of relationship between authors and readers. Blogs and social media have already broken down barriers, allowing authors much more contact with their audience. But what Unbound adds to the pot is a sense of ownership. By effectively pre-ordering a book before it's even written, the reader has a vested interest in its progress. An interesting proposition, I reckon.

Anyway, enough waffling. Watch the video on Unbound's homepage to get a good overview of how it all works.