Kenilworth man launches crowdfunding campaign to fund new book

Jason Cobley
Jason Cobley

A Kenilworth man has launched a crowdfunding-like campaign in an effort to get his new book published.

Jason Cobley's new book, 'A Hundred Years to Arras', is a historical novel is based on real events with its central character based on one of his relatives, Robert Gooding Henson.

A Hundred Years to Arras

A Hundred Years to Arras

Robert is a 23-year-old farmer’s boy from Somerset, and the novel tracks his journey from joining up for the First World War against his father’s wishes in 1915 to Easter Monday in April 1917 during the Battle of Arras.

Robert, a member of the Somerset Light Infantry, is stationed outside the French town of Arras with his brigade and is launched into the battle, where he is separated from his company.

Jason is trying to get the book published through a crowdfunding-like method called Unbound. He has reached 47 per cent of the required amount needed for publishing and 150 supporters.

Jason explained Unbound as a 'traditional mainstream publisher, but they use the pre-order model in order to be able to take more of a risk on previously unpublished authors.'

A Hundred Years to Arras

A Hundred Years to Arras

He added: “The deal is that if I can generate enough pre-orders to demonstrate that there is a market for the book, they then go full steam ahead on publishing and making the book available to all high street bookshops and online sellers.”

Jason explained how there are a range of pledges available. Supporters can pay £10 for the e-book or £15 for the paperback. Either of those pledges gets the supporter listed in the back of the book.

For a £20 pledge the supporter become a Super Patron, and gets listed in the front of the book.

There are also other pledge options, which include how for a £50 pledge supporters can choose a ten-song playlist to be played on his show on Radio Abbey in Kenilworth.

Supporters have access to frequent updates, exclusive excerpts, as well as an invitation to the launch party.

Existing supporters include the Kenilworth Books shop, The Treehouse Bookshop, as well as some other authors such as Mike Carey and John Wagner (creator of comic book hero Judge Dredd) and people involved in TV production including Mike Collins and Andrew Wildman.

Jason, who has taught English to teenagers for more than 25 years, serves as the head of English faculty at Light Hall School in Solihull. Jason also hosts a weekly show on Radio Abbey in Kenilworth.

Jason is also known for his work writing scripts for the long-running commando comic and graphic novel adaptations of classics such as 'Frankenstein' and 'An Inspector Calls', as well as the children's novel 'The Legend of Tom Hickathrift.'

Jason added: “The biggest advantage in pre-ordering the book is the satisfaction of knowing that you've played a part in getting the book published, and being part of the creative journey.”