Back in 2009, I wrote a short book about my Dad. I called it The Bookie’s Runner and I asked my wife to read it. She did, cried all day and said it was the best thing I had ever written and would ever write.
Encouraged by her reaction, I uploaded the manuscript on the Authonomy website. Because the book was very personal and Authonomy members could be extremely cruel, I was highly nervous about doing that. I shouldn’t have been. In the space of only six months, after which I withdrew the manuscript from the site, it received well over 800 – I’ll repeat that: well over 800 – heartfelt reviews. And almost all of those reviewers said they had shed a tear or two in the reading of it.
Early in 2011 the book was published by Night Publishing (recently re-invented as Taylor Street Publishing). And early this year it was re-published under my own McStorytellers label. During its lifetime as a published book, The Bookie’s Runner has made regular appearances in Amazon’s Kindle bestseller charts, even being propelled on a couple of occasions into the Top 100 Paid Kindle list in both the UK and the USA. Truckloads of the Kindle edition have also been downloaded during its many free promotion periods.
Since that first tentative exposure on Authonomy, therefore, I reckon that the book has been read by many thousands of people, the very large majority of whom have been touched in some way by its story. The thing is I want that level of popularity to continue. Not because I want to make money out of the book; it wouldn’t be on sale at the lowest prices allowed by Amazon if that were the case. But because I want it to live on as a classic (as many, many readers have dubbed it); as a record of a time and a place that have long since disappeared; and as a lasting testament to a downtrodden man who in his own quiet way was a real working-class hero.
Naturally, therefore, McStorytellers was recently delighted to accept an invitation to enter the book for the Summer 2013 People’s Book Prize. Now I don’t know whether that competition holds much prestige in the literary world, but its founding patron was Beryl Bainbridge and its current patron is Frederick Forsyth, so it must have something going for it. And, right now, it’s the only game in town.
All of which brings me to the point of this post on Father’s Day 2013. It’s a request to go to the following page on the People’s Book Prize website, to negotiate the not very helpful registration procedure and to place a vote for the book, perhaps even leaving a wee comment while you’re at it:
Vote for The Bookie’s Runner
If you haven’t read the book yet, you can go to Amazon and download the Kindle or order up the paperback and then decide whether you want to vote for it.
I would be very grateful for your help in making the story of an ordinary working man, a special father, become the people’s choice in 2013.