Olu Famous caught up with Munir Bello. A Nigerian author based in London who’s debut novel, The Break Up Recipe has recently been released as a paperback and he is also filming a dating show in London for the next four months. We wanted to find out more about this daring young man who posed naked for the marketing picture.
Munir Bello released his book last year as an ebook on Amazon. The marketing material caused quite a stir as he opted to pose nakéd in order to promote his work. He has been steadily making noise on the underground scene and is now looking to break the mainstream. His success has come from a strong work ethic that has seen him take the marketing tools of social media to a whole new level.
Despite being based in England, the author has definitely not forgotten his Nigerian roots. I want to explore the mind of a man who wrote a book so racy that it has been compared to the ‘Fifty Shades’ series and find out what makes him tick.
Hello Munir, welcome to Olu Famous, please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi, my name is Munir Bello and I am the author of The Break Up Recipe. I wrote the book after I went through a break up as a way to do something constructive. I found myself with plenty of time on my hands as a single man and so I decided to write the book as it is something that I have always wanted to do.
You chose an interesting title, tell us the inspiration behind it.
The book is about a man called Mark Mutton who shares his various relationship encounters with the opposite sex. Each chapter sees him involved in a series of funny situations that act as an ingredient for and from breaking up hence the name.
You self published the book and in what is an incredibly competitive market managed to do rather well for yourself, how did this happen?I worked very hard and continue to do so to get the word out. I was working full time when I was writing and my routine was, go to work, go to the gym, write and then sleep for three hours. I did this for a period of nine months. After I wrote the book, I thought of the most cost effective way to get the book out there and decided to pose naked for the publicity material. I then spent any free time I had sending out emails to publications for a publicity opportunity and handed out flyers on the streets to people to raise awareness. I sent over 5000 emails and handed out over 10000 flyers to get the ball rolling. Using social media I continuously tweeted and spoke about the book through facebook also. Luckily the people that purchased the book liked it and it reflected in the reviews.
You mentioned a few things there that I’d like to revisit, firstly the nakéd picture…
Haha yes, It was a spur of the moment thing that I decided to do. I hoped that it would get people talking and ultimately draw them into looking at the book. It worked. On the day I put it out it got shared rapidly and gained interest. I only told my parents about the picture after it was released and at first they were a bit taken aback but they have fortunately been supportive.
10,000 flyers and 5,000 emails?!
It had to be done, nobody was going to give me the time of day if I didn’t put myself out there. Looking back on it now it was a crazy time, I was very tired but so excited that it was enough to keep me going and I’d do it all again today if I had to.
Your reviews in the UK show that your efforts were worth it. You’ve had some glowing tributes. The word funny is consistent in most of them. Must make you feel pleased?It really does, to reach 100 reviews was a source of pride. The fact that they all happen to be good is something I’m very grateful for. I just hope for more from other parts of the world and am working my hardest to crack other markets.
I commend your work ethic, we’ve read snippets of the book and the content is very out there. How does a Hausa boy get away with writing a book containing such racy material and where did the stories come from?Thank you very much. The book just have a lot of swear words and situations involving toilet humour but there are no sex scenes in it. The stories are a mixture of things that have happened to me and the rest is just figments of my imagination.
The most talked about chapter is set in a ladies toilet. Did that happen to you?
I’m glad to say that this particular part of the book is total fiction. It was something that I thought would be funny when I was on my way home and I wrote about it. Thank God it had the desired effect, which was to make people laugh.
In your bio we noticed that you were born in Nigeria but live in the UK, how did this come to be?
You’re absolutely right, I lived in Lagos until the age of 10 and was then sent to school in the UK, my family moved here 5 years later and I have permanently lived here since. I used to visit Nigeria frequently but that reduced as most of the family over there have moved to different parts of the world. I do miss a lot of things so, from Fura da nono to Suya and the continuous warm weather, to name a few things.
Are you likely to visit Nigeria anytime soon?
I certainly hope so as I really miss home, there are a few upcoming family weddings that I’m due to attend so it might be sooner rather than later.
We hope it’s sooner, what else does the future hold for you?
I have just released the book as a paperback. There was a big demand for it from more traditional readers who wanted something they could hold as opposed to an ebook. I am in the process of writing my second book, which is a follow up to, The Break Up Recipe, which I’m hoping to release later this year. I am also filming a dating show during the summer, which will be airing over the next few months. It’s great fun hooking up singletons and I’m really enjoying it.
A lot of things taking place. How can prospective audiences keep up to date with your work?
I’m very active on social media and can either be found on http://www.facebook.com/thebreakuprecipe or my twitter handle, which is @munirbello1983.
Thank you for taking the time to speak to us and we wish you every success with your book, I’m sure our female readers will love the marketing picture.
Thank you for taking the time to interview me and I hope we speak again soon.
The Break Up Recipe is available to buy on Amazon worldwide.