Crowdfunding is a thorny topic in the beer industry just now, so it was a ricky experiment to try crowdfunding a book about beer. But the experiment has paid off - we're almost there.
This is a final push/plea/reminder - there's no time limit in the Unbound model, and I know people who are intending to pledge but haven't got round to it. If you're one of those people, now is the time to make your pledge - we're just over 90% funded and on course to reach the target very soon.
In case you missed it, here's a recap: provisionally titled 'What Are You Drinking?' this is an exploration of the four key ingredients in beer: hops, barley, yeast and water. Books on these exist, but they cater for the professional brewer rather than the general reader. They get discussed in many books on beer, but I want to do an in-depth exploration of them for the first time. I'm looking at their history, how they ended up in beer and what they add. I'm also looking at them holistically - the cultivation and agriculture, the people who grow them, their link with terroir and place. It's a narrative of my journey of exploration - harvesting Maris Otter barley, picking hops in Kent, drinking well water in Burton on Trent... today I'm in Washington's Yakima Valley, rubbing and learning about American hops. (n.b. Your pledge money does not pay for me to go travelling around the world. The funding is specifically tied to the physical editing, production and distribution costs of the book).
You can choose your pledge level - and watch a video and read an extract from the book - here.
If you're undecided, here are a few things to help you:
- By pledging for the book, you're not investing in the equity or anything like that - you're buying a book, and perhaps a few extra perks, such as invitations to the launch party etc. (Trust me, you wouldn't want a share of the profits. The margins in publishing are slender. There are over 400 subscribers to this book and any profit would be sliced up wafer-thin if it was divided between them.)
- The book you get as a subscriber is different from the one you'll eventually be able to get in the shops - it will be an exclusive hardback edition. It will also have your name in the list of subscribers at the back.
- I'm still researching the book at the moment, and will be researching and writing it well into 2016. The lead times on books are long, and this one involves me doing research all around the world and then writing. I think we'll be looking at a publication date in early 2017, so there's a bit of a wait before you get what you've paid for.
- If you don't like the idea of subscribing, when the book is published it will be available to buy just like any other book. Unbound has a distribution deal with Penguin Transworld, the world's biggest publishing group, so it will be available in bookshops, Amazon etc.
- If you do decide to subscribe, you'll get your copy of the book several months before it goes in sale publicly, as a thank you for waiting so patiently.
So I'm not begging you to subscribe if you don't like the idea of it - that's absolutely fine. But if you're thinking about it, now's the time to act.