My biggest news this month was the incorporation of my publishing company, Gadfly Press, which has been officially established as a business with Companies House in the UK. As it costs thousands to publish a book, I'm focusing on true crime and the subject must have international relevance such as the Pablo Escobar level of interest ie) movies, series or millions of followers online as that should generate enough sales to cover the costs. Writing and publishing are not without challenges: over 1 million books are published each year in the US alone, and over 99% of them never sell.
I’m hoping that September will be a strong month for my publishing company. I have a book tied into season 3 of Narcos, which is about the Cali Cartel, who took over Pablo Escobar’s business. Here’s the blurb that I just refined with the help of Woking Writers Circle:
The Cali Cartel: Beyond Narcos
An electrifying account of the Cali Cartel beyond its portrayal on Netflix.
From the ashes of Pablo Escobar’s empire rose an even bigger and more malevolent cartel. A new breed of sophisticated mobsters became the kings of cocaine. Their leader was Gilberto – known as the Chess Player due to his foresight and calculated cunning.
Gilberto and his terrifying brother, Miguel, ran a multi-billion-dollar drug empire like a corporation. They employed a politically astute brand of thuggery and spent $10 million to put a president in power. Although the godfathers from Cali preferred bribery over violence, their many loyal torturers and hit men were never idle.
Here’s the cover, featuring Gilberto:
On September 29, the Tom Cruise movie American Made arrives in the cinema. It’s about Barry Seal, a CIA pilot who flew billions of dollars worth of cocaine into Mena, Arkansas. Pablo Escobar put a hit out on him, and George HW Bush wanted him dead because he was threatening to blow the lid on CIA cocaine trafficking. My book about Barry Seal is available worldwide on Amazon as a paperback and e-book. The audiobook should be up in a few months. I just received an email from Barry Seal’s son, who said he really enjoyed the book. Here's the cover:
So far only my book about Pablo Escobar is available on audio. The audiobook for Un-Making a Murderer: The Framing of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey should be available in May. Un-Making a Murderer has received over 100 Amazon reviews in three months. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to leave reviews on my books.
My next event is in London on Monday, May 22. I’m doing a talk about Pablo Escobar. Tickets and info. 10% off tickets with promo code pablo10
I did a second Ted Talk: Overcoming fear and building resilience in America's deadliest jails. It was filmed at the University of Surrey, and the video should be up in 1 month.
If you are stressed out about life, my first Ted Talk might help you: What facing 200 prison years taught me about happiness. I was a bit breathy in the first Ted Talk, so I hired a voice coach for the second. I just got invited to do a third Ted Talk in India.
On Rt.com, I was interviewed by Sean Stone, the son of film director Oliver Stone. Sean has read my books about Pablo Escobar and Barry Seal (American Made). He is helping to expose the prison industrial complex and the dark side of the War on Drugs. I managed to get over 10 minutes of airtime, a record for me. Here are the two clips: clip 1 clip 2
My talks in the schools are still going well. Here’s some recent heart-warming feedback I received from a family member of a student:
Hi Shaun you gave one of your talks at my grandson's school and gave him one of your books life lessons. He was very impressed by you and gave me the book to read. I was a bit sceptical but the book was small so I started to read. Well my goodness I was captured by the first page and was overwhelmed by your courage and insight. I lost my daughter and he his mother last year. And we have both held it together through sports rugby for him and gym for me but I am going to get the book on yoga you mentioned in your book and try and conquer meditation. I have never read anything so inspiring. Thank you so much for putting your life on paper. Fond regards