A HAMPSHIRE author hopes he has found a novel way to get his work into print.

Damon L Wakes, 26, has been signed up by Unbound, a company which aims to revolutionise British publishing.

Damon, from Fair Oak, believes Unbound’s crowdfunding approach offers a unique platform to new writers, whose work may be too high-risk for conventional publishers.

His own book, Ten Little Astronauts, is based on Agatha Christie’s popular mystery thriller Ten Little Indians, also known as And Then There Were None.

It is unusual because at 22,000 words, it is around one fifth of the length of a conventional novel.

“It’s basically a very tightly written sci-fi version of And Then There Were None in space,” Damon told the Daily Echo.

New writers submit their work to Unbound’s team of editors but, if accepted, publication is not automatic.

The work must register enough public interest to push it to print.

Unbound asks readers to show they are interested by pledging money towards publication costs. For a minimum of £10, readers can buy the book before it is published. If the author receives enough pledges, they will be distributed by major publisher Penguin Random House.

Writers can offer extra incentives to encourage pledges of hundreds of pounds. Incentives can include anything from dedications and name checks in the published work, to a writing workshop with the author.

Damon’s interest in writing started when he was a pupil at Fair Oak Junior School, and it grew through his time at Wyvern College and then Peter Symonds College in Winchester.

He now has an MA in creative writing from the University of Winchester, and is focusing on developing his writing portfolio, running talks and writing workshops, and making jewellery to sell on the side.

Ten Little Astronauts has received pledges for half its funding which is just enough for Unbound to print standard paperbacks.

He must get the rest by Christmas to be distributed by Penguin, and to have more options for its design.

Damon said: “If you like literature and the arts, you have to contribute somehow. This is a great opportunity to do so, and give someone a leg up at the same time.”

l Unbound is offering Echo readers a 10 per cent discount on their pledges of support for Damon. The code is: ECHO10, and can be applied at: https://unbound.com/books/ten-little-astronauts.