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Unbound – Crowdfunding Your Novel by Daragh Breen

Writing.ie | Magazine | News for Writers | The Big Idea | Uncategorized

By Daragh Breen

Unbound is a new way of bringing authors and readers together. The world of publishing is currently undergoing an unknowable metamorphosis, an old beast being forced to shed its obsolete reptilian skin. Unbound is a platform that enables would-be supporters to help bring an author’s project to fruition, allowing individual readers to focus on a single project from start to finish, from pitch to hopeful publication.

The Unbound website is a very easy to use, paperless, costless platform on which you simply register as either a Reader or a Creator. If you want to submit a Project, then you register as a Creator and follow the simple steps that it takes you through to load your initial Pitch. This involves the usual Synopsis, your manuscript or a sample if it is still in progress, and a short pitch about why you think your project should be taken on by Unbound. Extras like a promotional one minute video etc. are optional at this stage. However, I wouldn’t let that put you off as it is fairly easy to put one together on an iPad. I didn’t do my video until my project had been accepted and it was done, after a day’s work, in our kitchen, with my wife holding the iPad. You can also just use a photograph.

If your project is accepted, this is when the real anxiety starts. You are given a breakdown of the budget that your project would require to bring it to book format. It is then up to YOU, and you alone, to try and manage your own crowd-funding campaign.

You have access to your pledges via an Author’s Dashboard and will probably watch, painfully, in real-time as no pledges are being made.

You also have what is known as your Shed, access to which is used as a lure to secure pledges. This usual takes the form of an on-going blog on your project’s progress, or a kind of DVD-extras disc.


To be honest, I’m probably not the ideal Unbound candidate, as I am not full of self-belief or very social media savvy. However, what drew me to Unbound were the facts that you do not need an agent, and you do not need a famous author friend making wine-soaked representations on your behalf.

Also, it will cost you absolutely nothing and, even in the event that your project is accepted and goes live on the website but you do not manage to get it over the final funding line, then you lose absolutely nothing – and whoever has pledged support to you is reimbursed.

But if your project is successful, then the rewards are incredible: a properly edited, professional designed, fully distributed book.

The Cinema Paradiso of the mind: a look at my project.

A Few Dark Acres is a home-movie that starts to roll on a family in 1920’s Cork, and eventually unspools and unravels in a frizz of flames in 2012.

It is the story of a family entrapped in the labyrinth of the Irish Civil War, of the bullish stampeding against one’s own fate, and of the order that is placed on things by those who operate at higher, darker realms.

History’s large ledger is a palimpsest of foxed pages overlaying mildewed pages overlaying mould and time-mottled pages, its pages being constantly turned slowly for a camera, and the stuttering footage uploaded into the common archive of general acceptance.

In the privacy of the Cinema Paradiso of our minds, we are constantly sitting on a stool in the dark, cutting and editing, whiting out and fading out, slowly and endlessly assembling the movie of our own lives.

This book speaks of a vintage armoured-car in a glass-bottle that has been dropped on the filthy floor of a male-infested 1970s betting-shop where the occupants stand silently and listen to the fugue of horse-racing results that is broadcast endlessly through a faulty tannoy-system from a despised country where an Empire once sat and where the exiles still huddle as the rain forms in curtains over their homeland as men take to boxing rings in damp parish halls and people refuse to speak about a past that lurks in the corners of the bedrooms of older generations beneath holy water fonts and pictures of the Pope and a lament is something secreted in an envelope bound for Boston as the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea create a micro-climate of grey winters and greyer Easters when nuns take to the city’s river to swim and fish-stalls sell prayer cards and the Angelus divides the living from the dead and a puppet master can hide in plain-sight and Time is no longer sure of what is day and what is night and even the seasons question their order as the march of the past echoes forward to the here and now which could still be the there and then but which we all conspire to firmly believe is the common truth forming the here and now.

(c) Daragh Breen

The pitch for A Few Dark Acres has just gone live at


It is due to finish up on 13th-ish April 2017.


About the author

Daragh Breen was born in Cork in 1970. He has three published poetry collections, Across the Sound: shards from the history of an island (November Press, 2003), Whale (November Press, 2010) and What the Wolf Heard (Shearsman Books, 2016). An e-Chapbook, The Lighthouses, is available to read online at Smithereens Press.

His poetry has appeared extensively in Irish literary journals, including The Stinging Fly and Poetry Ireland, and he was also included in Poetry Ireland’s 2015 anthology Everything to Play For: 99 Poems About Sport, edited by John McAuliffe.

Having lived in London, Wales and Dublin, he now lives in West Cork. He has read at various Irish poetry festivals including the Cork International Poetry Festival.

At one time a herder of ghost-wolves on the Beara Peninsula, he is now responsible for the lighting of their commemorative seasonal bonfires in the wake of their second passing. These are sometimes visible on Google Earth.

Daragh will be reading at this on Feb. 15th


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