I need a favour!

I am now a published author.

Maybe I need to qualify this statement: I am now a self published author.

The wonders of technology – and Amazon – have made this possible. Although it was a bit of an arseache I have published my first book on Kindle, the joyful black tablet (that’s also available on iPhone, Android and iPad as an app) that has made traditional publishers a tiny bit nervous.

I wrote this book a while ago and took the manuscript to a whole bunch of traditional publishers. I managed to actually get it on the desk of the editor who publishes thrillers and he read it and he liked it…but not enough to publish it. Which is a bummer. He  – rather nicely – sent it onto three friends of his who were literary agents and they liked it…but not enough to publish it.

Then, I sort of slunk off, my tail between my legs, feeling as if I had had a great chance and I sort of blew it.

The editor gave me some good advice and told me which sections to work on and which to leave well alone; he told me to read a selection of authors who were in the same segment and he advised me to write as much as I possibly can. So, I worked on my manuscript a bit, I read some other authors working in the same sector and I started a blog so that I could get used to writing every day.

Then a penny dropped (in extreme slow-motion) that I could publish it as an ebook. So I investigated publishing on the iPad but it was so bloody complicated that I just gave up and then, one day, as I mooched around Amazon I saw – down at the bottom – that I could self publish and discovered that it wasn’t that complicated and I could use what I had. So I did.

Today, you can search for my name (Michael Shevlin) on Amazon and you will get a few hits. There is a guy who has the same name as me who is a child psychologist – that ain’t me. My book is called Insecure and is about two brothers who rob a bank even though they don’t want to and don’t know how to.

I kind of wrote it a while ago and there are bits I love (the last few chapters) and there are bits I don’t like. Some of the dialogue needs a bit of work and there are some little diatribes in it that make me cringe a bit but overall I don’t think it’s too bad for a first effort – I enjoyed writing large sections of it and I got stuck on one bit for ages…and then just wrote through it.

So. I now need everyone’s help. I know nothing about marketing or promotion or any of that bullshit. I don’t have a marketing budget like Hodder or Random House. But the way I figure it is this: I really want to write for a living and write books. I think I could be good. I am not going to win the Booker prize but I might be read by a lot of people in airports…and that’s fine by me; so I need to use my meagre network to help me sell and promote my book.

I think that if everyone I know on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn buys a copy (for the princely sum of £1.80 or something) and asks all of their friends to buy a copy…then maybe it could chart and maybe people might like it and maybe I might sell a few thousand and then maybe I can write another with a bit of interest to back it up.

I know, it’s a lot of maybes.

So, will everyone help me to stick one up the traditional publishers and when they come grovelling to my door and ask if they can publish my book traditionally I can say: begone! I smite thee! I did it without your help, you ignorant J.K. Rowling rejectors!?


Even if you don’t buy you could promote it for me. If you’ll do this for me then when it gets made into a film I’ll get you a part – all of you.



26 thoughts on “I need a favour!

  1. Fabulous! Congratulations, I can’t wait to read it. I’ll get on the case re: posting, tweeting etc, as well as leaving glorious reviews at Amazon. Once I’d read the book, of course – don’t want anyone accusing a future Whitbread winner of faking it before making it… Seriously impressed that you’ve done this – I ‘know’ an author!

  2. Most impressive big man – I’ll never work out how you managed this whilst working and raising kids but it’s certainly given me a kick up the arse. Consider a copy bought and re-tweet to follow! Keep it up, N

    1. I will have a look and see what the guidelines are. I am trying to publish (paid) to the iTunes store and it is akin to pushing a camel through the eye of a needle…

      1. I have to have an American bank account, mailing address and IRS EIN number. I have the last one, but not the rest. Shame, as the Nook looks kind of awesome.

  3. Bloody hell. I’ve not been over for ages and here you are with a book, doing brilliantly. Congratulations!
    Might take me a while to read, as I can’t hold the iPod touch in the bath.
    Punting now…

  4. Good for you, Michael! You should be very proud of yourself! As you know I’ve recently published a book as well. Would you be interested in exchanging books and reviewing each other’s on our respective blogs? Let me know if you’d be willing… I am. Talk soon.

  5. Thanks for your kind words about my blog. I try to have fun with it. Just purchased your book and look forward to reading it. I have to do a paid review of another book first so I’ll probably aim for posting a review about yours sometime in March. Hope you enjoy mine, it’s a light piece of fluff!

  6. I have had the same experience…good feedback, but no takers from agents or publishers so far.

    I now have a book or two out, and sales plod along…but it is worth taking a lot of time over the editing and checking.

    1. I hear that (editing & checking). It has been an illuminating experience but it was more of an experiment than anything else – but I have clocked up over 1000 sales . Not sure how. I don’t know 1000 people.

      I don’t know 500.

      Okay, 200.

      100 is probably nearer the mark.

      50 well.

      Okay, 20.

  7. Sorry…finished too early. I went through Night Publishing, which helped a great deal due to my lack of expertise in all things computing and designing (I’m a words man). I can’t complain at all.

  8. Congrats!
    Have you read john locke’s ebook on how to sell a million ebooks? It’s great and really helped me – although I haven’t sold a million yet!
    Also you can do a blog book tour to get reviews & new readers.

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