Now another possibility for new (and existing) writers has cropped up. National TV in the UK has highlighted the website Unbound. The concept is that authors and readers can cut out the middle men - the publisher, or I should say the traditional publisher - and get together direct. The author tells you what he/she wants to write, you take part in funding it, and derive some benefits if the book reaches its financial target and is published, albeit in a limited edition.
The problem for naturally reticent authors, who do not like having to promote their own books in the traditional world as it is now, is that they have to 'pitch' their idea by way of a video clip. I guess the more professional an author is at this stage, the better his/her chances. But how good is an author at using the visual medium? And isn't the likelihood that potential 'angels' (to use a theatrical term) will go for big names? Terry Jones is already the flagship author trailing the site.
I wouldn't knock it though. Any means of getting a work published that does not rely on the traditional process through major publishers, who are controlled by accountants, has got to be good. Could this be another nail the big publishers' coffin?