Supporting Ukraine, One Writer at a Time | Guest Bloggers | From the Front Row

Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin

Self publishing sensation Mark Dawson mailed his 200,000 strong list with this appeal today 17th March, and we wanted to share it so you can give your support too. Here’s Mark’s newsletter:


Hello from Salisbury,

It’s been difficult not to be swept up in the awfulness of what has happened in Ukraine over the course of the last three weeks. I’ve found it difficult not to doom-scroll and during one session I happened across a BBC article that included an interview about parenting during wartime. The main interviewee was an author from Kyiv called Anton Eine. He has been sleeping on the concrete floor of an underground car park with his wife and three-year-old son. It makes for a difficult read, especially if you have kids.

You can check out the article for yourself here.

It’s difficult to know how we can help people in Ukraine, but, given that Anton is a writer, I thought I’d send him an email and offer my services. This was his reply:

“I planned to launch 2 new novels this year, but I have to postpone any launches because of this merciless war. I cannot think about my books now. Neither about writing nor publishing and promotion. Instead, during one of the air raid sirens, hiding in a shelter, I have realized my only wish now is to write a non-fiction book about this war, sharing my own feelings and experience and stories of other people I know. People say I am very good in writing, so I believe this is what I have to do to share this nightmare with the world. When I finish it, I am not sure if I want to go the self-pub or traditional way. Self-pub is faster. And I want to donate everything I earn from that book but I am ready to invest in it. Maybe then I would ask you for some advice and help.”

With regards to his already published works, he added:

“I have published a collection of sci-fi stories called Human Kind. My readers love it, but I have failed to promote it as this format is not marketable and rather a niche one.”

I asked if there was any way we could help:

“I would appreciate it if you help by posting about my collection. Many people do it on Twitter these days. I reply to them that my family is not in need but I am grateful for their help as it gives me extra resources to help other people who need help.”

So that’s what I’ve done. I shared his story with my readers in this month’s newsletter and on Facebook, and posted about it in the SPF Community. Anton’s book ranked in the millions last week but, yesterday, we managed to send it into the top 150 in the UK and top 1,000 in the US.

And I don’t think we’re done yet.

We knew that we wanted to get Anton on the podcast and so the SPF team has pulled out all the stops to get it done in record time. Big thanks to James for his usual fantastic interview, to Jon Stone for a super quick edit and to everyone else behind the scenes; everyone has rallied around so that we can bring you Anton’s story as promptly as possible.


Click here and listen via your preferred channel.

What can you do to help?

Buying a copy to help Anton is a great way to raise awareness and to show him – and other writers in the Ukraine who are affected by Putin’s terrible misadventure – that we care about them, we’re thinking of them and we want them to emerge safe once this horror comes to an end. Anton’s collection is less than $3/£3 and you can grab it with a couple of clicks. I’d ask you to do so – it’s a simple thing and just think how cool it’ll be to see a Ukrainian author topping the bestseller lists at a time like this.

Do it! There are 200,000 authors on the SPF mailing list. If even a quarter bought a copy…

You can visit your local Amazon store here.

Thanks again. I hope you are well and that you’ve been able to write despite what’s happening in the world. Writing – and reading – have always been great escapes for me when I’ve need to get away from the news, and that’s once again been proven to be true this month.

Best wishes and Slava Ukraini!

Mark Dawson

We met Mark when he visited Dublin as part of the live streamed Amazon Self Publishing Conference that we programmed and ran. He’s an award-nominated, USA Today bestseller, with more than 20 books published and over 2 million books downloaded in multiple countries and languages. As well as writing, he also teaches other authors how to self publish and speaks regularly at writing conferences all around the world.

Find out more about Mark Dawson here.

Anton Eine’s “Human Kind” is a thematic compilation of science fiction short stories dedicated to questions that have concerned humanity throughout time. Who are we? Where do we come from? What awaits us? Are we alone in the universe? Why can’t we travel in time or divide by zero? What does it mean to be human? And of course – what are we here for?

This collection comprises works in various formats – from flash fiction and short stories to novella. Funny and witty, kind and appetizing, sad and sometimes tense and disturbing. They are also all presented in various different styles ranging from traditional narratives, monologues and memoirs to modern stories in the form of pure dialogue, chat messages or an email thread.

The confession of a fallen angel, the ruthless business practices of corporate aliens, Napoleon in the heat of a decisive battle, experiments on human beings, role-playing games on a planetary scale, fantastic culinary competitions, unexpected future fashions, witch hunt, mysterious disappearances, monsters under the bed, temporal paradoxes, cosmic archeology and the artefacts of extinct civilizations – all this and much more can be found in Anton Eine’s “Human Kind”!

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