To Work Or To Write

That is the question. According to many writers, it is difficult to do both.

“I walked eight to 12 miles each day, carrying a heavy satchel. I actually liked being drained that way, as if each piece of paper I put in a mailbox represented a small packet of my own energy. But at the end of the day, there wasn’t anything left for Second Book. I had the stamina to do the job and come home and recover from doing the job and then go do it some more the next day.”

Excerpt from I Published My Debut Novel to Critical Acclaim—and Then I Promptly Went Broke

And I can empathise with Merritt Tierce, the author of the above-mentioned article, all too well.  I couldn’t do it either, working and writing at the same time. When I started working on Guards Gone Wild! I was also working as a security guard at the same time and, just like Merritt, I had no energy left at the end of a work day for any kind of creative work. Read the rest of this entry

Job Cuts In Security Industry

And that’s not a good thing, despite what this glowing article from the Straits Times is saying.

For starters, any situation where workers are let go is never good. After their removal from the shopping malls, where can they go? Condominiums? Office buildings? But what if other places decide to follow suit and use technology as an excuse to cut down on the number of security guards at their premises?

Where would those guards go? Let me tell you one hard truth about the security industry in Singapore. I have been working (on an on-and-off basis) as a security guard myself since 1999, and I can tell you that many security guards are unable to move out of their comfort zone in the security industry.

Many of my colleagues don’t even have ‘O’ levels. And I met plenty who were only educated up to primary-school level. But they were able to make a somewhat decent living because security guards working at malls get paid several hundred dollars more than guards at other assignments like schools or condominiums.

Now, maybe those guards who were let go by the malls can find vacancies at less lucrative sites and they can continue to wear their uniforms, but if they are unlucky… What then? Factory jobs are even harder to come by nowadays and many cleaning companies tend to hire cheap foreign workers. You tell me. What can a ex-security guard with primary-level education find in today’s job market? Read the rest of this entry

Shameless Solicitation For Reviews And Likes!

Hey everybody! I did it!

2 sample chapters from Guards Gone Wild! have been converted to PDF format and posted on my blog. They are not too refined at the moment, but don’t worry! My friend, who did the layout work for the samples, assured me that a professional layout artist will be able to do an even better job for the final version that will go into the book itself.

I also have the Table of Contents out there so you can see how many chapters there are in my book and what kind of stories I have written. Some of the titles are self-explanatory.

And why am I telling you this? Because I am shamelessly soliciting for reviews and likes and comments and so on and so forth! Because I am a writer!

So, come on. If you like the samples, feel free to write reviews or favourable comments. Or just like that post. Or just share it. But don’t copy and post my stories elsewhere.

Okay! Talk to you later!

Teck Y. Loh

A Question About Crowdfunding

I need some feedback regarding my crowdfunding campaign.

Because there’s a possibility that I may fail to raise the targeted sum, I wish to have a way to return the donations to the donors.

And there’s the free limited edition postcard offer. To send the postcard to the donors, I will need their mailing address.

For Paypal users, there’s no issue. I can use the Paypal Return button. And they can include their address in their email to my Paypal address. So that’s convenient.

HOWEVER, for those doing internet banking, how am I supposed to know their bank account number (for the purpose of refunding donations) or their mailing address? Read the rest of this entry

Would You Like To Be In My Book?

And I will throw in a limited edition Guards Gone Wild! postcard as well!

Previously, I made a blog post about one problem I am having with my crowdfunding campaign.

And that’s figuring out what sort of gift I should thank my donors with. I have thought long and hard about this and decided that the first idea I had, giving away free copies of my book, would overwhelm me financially.

So here’a an idea I thought of as an alternative to the free book offer.

For a minimum donation of 10 dollars, the donor’s name will be included on a special Thank You page in my book. And so, anyone who buys a copy of my book will be able to see who are the contributors who helped me make Guards Gone Wild! a reality. And the names will stay in my book, even in future print runs. That’s my way of saying, “I will never forget those who helped me before.”

In addition to getting listed in my book as an honoured contributor, a minimum donation of 10 dollars will also get you a limited edition Guards Gone Wild! postcard with a personal Thank You message written by me.

So what do you think of my idea?

Also, should I leave this postcard idea as it is or should I tweak it?

What if I announce that a donor can get one extra postcard for every additional donation of $10 (on top of the original minimum donation of $10)?

Personally, I am really uncertain about this particular tweak. It seems like it will make my crowdfunding campaign look crass and shift the focus from crowdfunding to raise enough money to produce a book to “selling” postcards.

But because this is my first crowdfunding project and I really don’t know enough about this subject, I feel that it is important to look through every option very carefully before I discard it. And it would be immensely helpful if those of you following my blog can weigh in on this topic.

Is it a good idea to replace the free book offer with the free postcard & a place in my book offer? And if I do that, should I tweak the postcard deal further by offering a free postcard with every extra $10 donated?

Your thoughts?

Teck Y. Loh

Why Not Lulu?

A lot of people have asked me:

“Why not use Lulu or some other print-on-demand site to publish your book?”

If I have to give a short answer, then it would be:

“Because I don’t want to.”

But I don’t want to leave it at that because that would be rude to the people who are offering me their sincere advice. So I will tell the long version of the story.

I do not want to use a print-on-demand publisher like Lulu because of the following reasons. Read the rest of this entry

Don’t Be Cheap And Do Away With Security Guards

That’s my advice to banks in Singapore.

Because according to this The Star Online article, there was no security guard present at the Standard Chartered bank that got robbed by the mysterious Australian robber on Thursday, the 7th of July.

And apparently, the mysterious Australian robber wasn’t even armed.

Which means, if there had been an armed Certis Cisco officer present, this robbery could have been prevented.

And it isn’t just me saying so. Here’s a quote from a bank customer.

“If there was a security guard present yesterday it would’ve made a difference,” said another bank customer Mr Willy Lau, 43, who is self employed.

Well, at least the bank learned its lesson. When it opened for business on Friday, an armed Certis Cisco officer could be seen guarding the entrance.

Teck Y. Loh