A Patroness of the Arts

I recently sponsored my first book via Unbound, the UK’s crowdfunding publisher. You’re probably familiar with some Unbound titles even if that name doesn’t ring a bell. For instance, you might remember that The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth, an Unbound title from 2014, became the first crowdfunded novel longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. I’ve reviewed another previous Unbound title, Martine McDonagh’s Narcissism for Beginners, and will be participating in the blog tour for Lev Parikian’s Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear? in May.

The forthcoming title I’ve chosen to support is Women on Nature by Katharine Norbury, which promises to be a wide-ranging and learned anthology celebrating the tradition of women’s writing about nature (both fiction and non-). I enjoyed Norbury’s first book, The Fish Ladder, which is a memoir in the vein of H Is for Hawk, and also saw her speak at the New Networks for Nature conference in 2016.

Albums that exist because I helped crowdfund them.

I’d only ever crowdfunded music before – albums by The Bookshop Band, Krista Detor, Duke Special and Marc Martel. Beaming internally at feeling like a patroness of the arts after funding my Women on Nature hardback, I kept the smug glow going by signing up to support The Bookshop Band via Patreon (where you can commit to a certain amount per creation, e.g. per music video, and have the option of setting a monthly cap) and to fund an album by their singer/cellist Beth Porter and her band The Availables via Indiegogo.

 


Have you ever gotten involved in a crowdfunding project? How about for the arts?

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12 thoughts on “A Patroness of the Arts

  1. I’ve funded a few books, mainly about Europe or graphic novels or poetry which would otherwise have difficulty getting published. It’s a great way to get involved and makes the book feel even more special, doesn’t it?

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    1. That’s wonderful! I’m hoping Norbury’s book goes ahead — last time I checked it was only at 37% funding — and I’ll secretly be looking forward to seeing my name in the back on the list of supporters 🙂

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  2. My cousin Shere is a supporter of the visual arts. My Uncle George and Aunt Ruth supported both visual and Musical arts. And of course my Great Uncle George and Aunt Mac were participants and supporters of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and many vocal artists.

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  3. I’m currently reading an Unbound book – All the Perverse Angels by Sarah K Marr, which I saw on the site about two years ago and desperately wanted to help crowdfund then, but couldn’t because I was skint. It’s as wonderful now as the first chapter was back then, and I’m hoping I can help support it by bulk-ordering and selling a lot of it through the bookshop! (Key points: art; art history; same-sex relationships; Oxford; history of women’s education; marriage and infidelity; mental health. Fantastic.)

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  4. I’ve just participated in a crowdfunding effort for an album for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It’s for a new album coming out later this year by one of my all-time favorite bands, Jump Little Children. They took an extended hiatus to do other things and have families, and now they’ve reunited and it’s very exciting! Of course I was going to support them. I’ve never participated in an effort for a book, though. Very cool.

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  5. I participated in a crowdfunder for a lovely book for toddlers called The Election and have stayed in touch with the publisher and bought more of their books. I’ve just remembered I put in for an Unbound or something for a book on John Cowper Powys that failed and I was told I could only reallocate my money … hmm … I have also helped crowdfund a new The Men They Couldn’t Hang album which should be out soon. All fun!

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    1. Ah, that’s interesting. Well, I’m happy to support an alternative Unbound project if this one doesn’t go ahead — though I hope it does; it should be a good mixture of old and new nature-themed writing by women.

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