Self-published Clarkston author sells book rights to Seoul publisher

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A veteran Glasgow public relations consultant has sold the Korean rights of his self-published personal finance book to Rok Media for an undisclosed sum.

Translation by the Seoul-based publisher is well underway and copies of the Korean language version of RESET are expected to be on sale in the new year.

Zude PR owner David Sawyer, 47, who lives near Clarkston, published RESET in August 2018 after 10 months working on it full-time.

The non-fiction work – the first book to translate the millions-strong US financial independence movement to a UK context – has gone on to sell 7,600 copies worldwide, against average per-book lifetime-sales for self-published authors of 250, and 3,000 for those who publish traditionally.

The Korean deal (RESET’s first foreign language translation) was brokered by Charlotte Staley at UK-based independent publisher Harriman House, which represents Sawyer on global licensing rights for the book. The Korean agent that found the right publisher was literary agency Imprima.

David commented: “When I got the call to say a Korean publishing house wanted to take on my book, I nearly fell off my chair. All I could manage to blurt out was, ‘north or south?’

“But when I looked into it, I could see the potential. South Korea has a population of 50 million and people there are committed to self-improvement and getting their finances in order.

“Fingers crossed that the translator does a good job and sales do even better over there than in the UK and US. I can’t wait to see the front cover.”

RESET is a self-help/personal finance book aimed at UK midlife professionals aged 35–60 who are stuck in a rut and looking to restart their lives halfway through.

Its one-year practical programme spans a range of topics including: a method to future-proof your career; a way to declutter your life, physically, digitally and mentally; a fully costed route to financial independence; a system to manage your finances and a comprehensive set-and-forget investing plan.

And three months after its publication on 21 August 2019, the self-published audiobook version of RESET, narrated by Sawyer, is closing in on 1,000 sales.

David added: “It was a bit of a gamble doing the audiobook at a recording studio on Glasgow’s south side because I didn’t know if people would want to buy it and the time investment was significant.

“However, Ross Cameron at Riverside Music College in Busby did an excellent job and the sound quality exceeds audiobooks produced by some of the big publishing houses.

“It also helps that Amazon have got behind it with a promotional deal that runs out at the end of November.”

RESET is available to buy on Amazon. Until November 31, if you purchase the Kindle version at a reduced cost of £0.99 you can get the audiobook for £3.49, instead of its full price of £22.89.

David has received 1,000-plus messages from newsletter subscribers who have read RESET over the past 15 months. The book has 137 customer reviews on Amazon with a 4.7-star average rating.

As well as featuring on blogs, podcasts and national media, RESET has drawn praise from influential sources in Scotland, across the UK and the US.

Monevator, this month voted the UK’s number one personal finance blogger, said: “Hidden in plain sight within the 300 or so pages of RESET is an elegant synthesis of the latest thinking in financial independence, lifestyle design, and age-old philosophical wisdom – cunningly disguised as a breezy pep talk from your witty mate down the pub. In a world that’s forever racing past us on a screen, it’s a reminder of the potentially life-changing power of a book.”

William D. Danko, PhD, co-author of The Millionaire Next Door, said: “Sawyer’s RESET shows us how to achieve material wealth. It emphasizes discipline, sacrifice, and hard work…”

Charlie Spedding, LA Olympics medallist, London Marathon winner and author of From Last to First and Stop Feeding Us Lies said: “Reading this book will guide you in the pursuit of change but it will not make change occur. You have to do that.”

Brad Barrett, co-host, ChooseFI (podcast) “I don’t say this lightly: this is one of my top, if not my very top, financial independence books that I’ve ever read. I absolutely loved it. I feel like it’s the book if I had the guts to write my own book, that I would have written this.”