Simon & Schuster UK has won a “heated" six-publisher auction to publish SAS expert Billy Billingham’s memoir The Hard Way: Adapt, Survive and Win for a "significant" six-figure sum.
Iain MacGregor, publishing director for non fiction at S&S UK, won the title, acquiring UK and Commonwealth rights from Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown following a six-way auction, the publisher said. As part of the deal, S&S UK will publish in print, e-book and audio formats on 31st October.
“The Hard Way will chronicle the wild life Billy led – expelled from school, running with gangs, near-death knife fights, etc. – until the British Army saved him,” S&S UK said. “His career of almost three decades as an elite soldier saw him served in various theatres of conflict; winning a Queen’s commendation for bravery, and awarded the MBE for his outstanding service in the SAS.
A presenter of Channel 4’s reality show “SAS: Who Dares Wins”, Billingham is Special Forces trained and is a qualified mountain specialist, jungle warfare expert, and professional sniper. He has also worked as a bodyguard for actors and is a public speaker.
Billingham said: “I am excited to finally publish my story of almost two decades service in the SAS, but also what led me to join them, what I learned in the regiment, and how it has equipped me to handle the life I now lead. For the millions of fans of the Channel 4 series, my memoir will have everything they need to understand our motto of ‘Who Dares Wins’.”
MacGregor said: “Billy’s story is multi-layered, as it not only tells of heroic deeds serving with the SAS, but goes deeper than that to show the reader how one can turn around hugely significant low points in one’s life to find a way through it and succeed. This ethos of the SAS - which is at the core of Billy - is the reason why his speaking tours across the UK are sold out, and why there was such a hot auction for this book.”