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  • Michael Cargill Q&A
    I ran into an author recently who was engaged in an act so strange it made me take notice— he was giving his books away!

    At 32, Michael Cargill is an experienced IT support technician who doesn't need to make his living on his writing just yet. He told me that he got involved in writing when he landed a job as game reviewer for the now defunct boomtown.net. So he started blogging . . . and writing and now he has written four books and self-published them all.

    Diary of a Dork: Articles of Sarcasm and Irreverence
    Slaughter at Barnaby Close
    Shelter From Thunder
    Shades of Grey

    Intrigued by his reasoning, I asked Michael to stop by and answer some questions.

    RC: What made you decide to give your books away?

    Michael Cargill: When I first started it seemed rude and unfair to charge people for what I viewed as my practice work. They were short things that really didn't hold that much value on their own and making them free meant that I got the ego boost of seeing my downloads increase with none of the complaints of people feeling ripped off.

    I am also just one indie author among thousands/millions trying to get noticed.  I don't posses the looks of J. K. Rowling so appearances in FHM Magazine are not something I can try. Eagle-eyed people will see that my early books are actually for sale on Amazon. That is because it isn't possible to put things up for free on Amazon. I was hoping they would have price-matched them from Smashwords or Barnes and Noble by now but they ain't.

    RC: Is this temporary to get noticed or do you plan to sell books eventually?

    Michael Cargill: Assuming that everything went well I had always planned to start selling my books at some point. I had no set number or time frame for this, I just viewed it as a learning process. My latest book, Shades of Grey, is not free in the traditional sense. It's my first book that I consider a non-practice one so I am charging for it via Amazon and the usual sites. However I have upload this book, along with my other books, to some torrent sites. I can't magically undo this so they will always be free in a sense.

    I have no plans to start charging for my first books (Amazon annoyance aside!) and they will always be free on Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, etc. I will be charging for my future books but will probably whack them up on torrent sites as well.

    Whilst I am an unknown my sales are incredibly low anyway so I am not actually losing sales by torrenting them. If/when I get more popular someone else will torrent them anyway so I may as well get in there myself. Stealing 1.72MB of someone's hard drive space is more fun than people thinking they are stealing from me.

    RC: I read a good bit of 'Diary of a Dork', how would you describe this book?

    Michael Cargill: Marmite.  Some people like putting sticky, smelly brown stuff near their mouth but others don't. The humour in it is similar to what is on my blog and it is completely different to my other books. It's a collection of emails and other short, humorous articles I wrote last year. Some of the characters are based on people I have worked with...

    I am unlikely to write another book like that really. Access to my blog is free so it would be hard to do both.

    RC: Which book of yours would you suggest that one start with? Describe it.

    Michael Cargill: Shelter from Thunder. Although it was my first fiction book I am still happy with how it turned out. It's free, it's short and can be read in less than 15 minutes but contains a good story. I have had nothing but good feedback from people who have read it.

    It is set in WWII and is about a boy sheltering from a German air raid.

    RC: How can we get a copy of your books?

    Michael Cargill:


    Shades Of Grey, An Ebook By Michael...
    John is not a very nice man. He works for the government. So who...

    Michael Cargill
    I am a new author currently living in England. Over the years...

    Amazon UK:

    Amazon.co.uk: Michael Cargill:...
    Online shopping from a great selection at Kindle Store Store.

    Amazon US:

    Robot Check
    no description

    Note: Reviewers can use the code 'NT88S' for a free copy of Shades of Grey.

    Blog -


    Wildcard is awesome.
    So guys discuss: Is this the distribution method of the future for indie authors? Could we see this carry over the other forms of art?

    Wildcard is awesome.
    Oooh, that's me that this!

    Mark, your avatar is disturbingly hypnotic.

    Blog of satire - http://michaelcargill.wordpress.com/

    You will find my books on Amazon and Pirate Bay. Search for 'Michael Cargill'.
    this sounds all very interesting,new angles and all that
    (03-16-2012, 11:00 AM)srijantje Wrote:  this sounds all very interesting,new angles and all that

    Yup. Only time will tell what effect it has.

    Ultimately I would prefer someone read my stuff for nothing than not at all.

    Blog of satire - http://michaelcargill.wordpress.com/

    You will find my books on Amazon and Pirate Bay. Search for 'Michael Cargill'.
    How many download/hits you getting?

    Wildcard is awesome.
    (03-19-2012, 06:49 AM)Mark Wrote:  How many download/hits you getting?

    Hard to say with such a small torrent. The overall share ratio for me is about 150 but I haven't been the only one uploading.

    I have been getting hits on my blog from people searching for more info about my books since doing this though.

    Blog of satire - http://michaelcargill.wordpress.com/

    You will find my books on Amazon and Pirate Bay. Search for 'Michael Cargill'.
    i really liked the doorhandle,very funny
    I have my moments!

    Blog of satire - http://michaelcargill.wordpress.com/

    You will find my books on Amazon and Pirate Bay. Search for 'Michael Cargill'.
    I am searching for other authors that are taking this approach and drawing a blank. If anyone comes across an article or page about an author that self-published free works, post it here please.

    Wildcard is awesome.

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