In conversation with… John Mitchinson, co-founder of Unbound

John Mitchinson is the co-founder of Unbound, a revolutionary crowdfunding publishing concept. He is also the co-author of QI books and director of research for QI. As 26 Treasures builds support on the Unbound website, John tells Elen Lewis why we all need to make sure the 26 Treasures book sees the light of day.

What makes 26 Treasures an ideal project for Unbound?
It’s exactly the kind of book that might get overlooked in today’s rather confused publishing environment. Yet it comes with wonderful writers attached – some well known; many not – and four museums supporting it. It offers us the chance to collaborate with readers to producing a memorable, beautiful object – an artefact in its own right – made from words and images. That kind of idea – one which stimulates excitement and offers the chance for readers to create something new and different seems to be the ones that work best for Unbound.

What advice would you offer aspiring writers keen to be considered by Unbound?
Be bold in your ideas and don’t become preoccupied with which niche you fit into. There’s far too much second-guessing in publishing already. Send us your ideas as a pitch, in your own words explaining why you want to write it, with an excerpt of 1,000 words or so. If we like what we read, we’re pretty sure other people will too.

Describe Unbound in 26 words.
Unbound is the UK’s first crowdfunding site dedicated solely to books. It is a place for writers and readers to connect and new ideas to blossom.

If you could write a 26-word poem about a favourite museum treasure – what would you choose?

I’d choose one of the beautiful maps woven from twigs and shells from the Marshall Islands in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. Armed only with these and the stars above them, over thousands of years, Polynesian navigators mapped the vast Pacific Ocean, preserving their knowledge in song.

26 needs all members to throw their pens and their finances behind the 26 Treasures book to make sure it’s seen in print. Please pledge your support at The future of our book is in your hands.

Need a reminder of what 26 Treasures was all about? Watch our video below. Then follow @unbounders and @johnmitchinson on Twitter and visit their Facebook pages to keep up to date of what’s really going on in the new brave new world of crowdfunded publishing.

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