There’s a new route to publishing your book: find the audience first. You’ve heard of Kickstarter, yes? Well, take that model, apply it to your unpublished manuscript, add in a dash of philanthropic good-will you’ve got a potentially game-changing new company: Pubslush. Been trying to find an agent, publisher, anyone to take your manuscript seriously? Perhaps it’s time to take it to the people:
The process is simple. First, authors submit ten pages and a summary of their book. Then, we let you browse the submissions based on your preferences. You read a brief overview, and if it strikes your fancy, you click through to read a more in depth description. If you’re still interested, you read an excerpt. And if that leaves you wanting more, you support it (which is like committing to preorder the book)! You don’t get charged unless the book is published, so there’s no risk. And for every book we sell, we donate a book to a child in need.
There’s more on the site about how the model works, as well as the current crop of manuscripts courting votes. One attractive element to the model is that by cutting out the various layers – agent, big publisher with overhead – the author keeps a higher percentage of profits. There’s a strong case to be made that the traditional route tends to lead to a higher readership – that a smaller percentage of greater sales may put you ahead anyway. But we’re curious to see how models like Pubslush split the difference between the classic bricks-and-mortar publisher route and self-publishing. What do you think? Would you be inclined to pull a Louis C.K. or a Radiohead and go to your fans — or potential fans — with a direct appeal? Do these things work the same when you’re not … say, Thom Yorke, with a built-in fan base loyal so loyal they’ll pay for something you’re offering free?