Ever wondered just how on earth a book ever got published? Thought that you might have a talent for picking out a manuscript winner? Or dreamed of seeing your own words in print? Well, the website Unbound.co.uk might just help.
The company behind the initiative - which has been described as a cross between The X Factor and Dragon's Den, but for literature lovers - says that it wants to involve readers in the writing process, while simultaneously helping to fund authors' (both unknown and established) new works.
The site allows writers to pitch their ideas directly to the public, by publishing an extract from their book and a video appeal, in an attempt to gain financial backing for the endeavour. Should a reader feel compelled by what they see, they can pledge money in support: a £10 (Dh58.5) donation would buy them a first edition of the book, whereas for £250 (Dh1471) they will get to have lunch with the author, a first edition and the e-book. Patrons will also have access to the author's "digital shed", allowing them to propose ideas and make suggestions, as the book is written.
The Monty Python star Terry Jones is the first author to have his book, Evil Machines, published through the site. Kate Mosse, who wrote the bestseller Labyrinth, has also received funding for a future work. Bids have also been made by unknown and as-yet-unpublished authors, hoping for a generous benefactor.