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

A Question About Crowdfunding

Last year, I completed the manuscript for Guards Gone Wild!, a memoir of my adventures in Singapore’s private security industry. It was submitted to 4 publishers based in Singapore. As of today, my manuscript has been rejected by all 4 publishers.

Singapore being a small country with an even smaller literary market, it is blindingly obvious that it would be a futile waste of time to hang around and wait for fresh and receptive publishers to appear on the scene. Therefore, I have to self-publish. To do that, I will need to raise the necessary fund through crowdfunding.

This is the first time I am doing crowdfunding and so, naturally, I am not 100% sure about how I should go about doing things. If there are any self-published writers here who went through the crowdfunding route, please offer your advice and guidance. Thank you in advance.

And here’s my question:

What do people want in return when they contribute to a crowdfunding campaign?

Originally, after talking it over with friends, we thought it would be a good idea to offer a free (and signed) copy of my book to any Singaporean donor who donates at least S$10 (the intended selling price of my book).

But now, I have just received the price estimates for various essential services related to the publication of a book, such as cover design and layout and copy editing and so on and so forth, and the total cost comes up to S$6960! And at the end of it, I get 500 printed copies.

500 copies. That makes our 1-free-signed-copy-for-every-$10-donation offer mathematically impossible. Because if $6960 is needed, then that would mean 696 ten dollars are needed and that means after giving away all 500 copies, I will still need to come up with an extra 196 copies to give away. And how am I supposed to do that?

I could make it if I offer a free signed copy for a $20 donation but then, that would make it look like I am overcharging them for the book.

So if giving away free copies to donors is no longer feasible, what can I do for the kind people who would be donating to my crowdfunding campaign?

Teck Y. Loh

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

If You Are Sexually Harassed By A Security Manager

It’s probably a bad idea to get your boyfriend or husband to march down to the security office and create a scene. Recently, All Singapore Stuff published a story about a female Certis Cisco employee who was sexually harassed by a “security manager” while she was stationed at the National Gallery. The angry husband went down to express his unhappiness and got nowhere.

After I read his letter to the All Singapore Stuff‘s news site, I came up with some advice, based on my own experience as a security guard, for the aggrieved party. If you or someone you know have been unfairly treated or harassed at work by your security manager or supervisor, you can take my advice and tweak them to suit your own unique circumstances.

Using the All Singapore Stuff‘s story as an example, my first advice is to find out the offender’s official job title before filing any official complaint. In the letter, the angry husband said the security personnel harassing his wife was a “security manager” who was working for a “security manager”. Well, there can’t be two managers in the same department. One has to be the assistant manager or maybe he’s just the supervisor. The job title probably isn’t too important if you know the offender’s full name but stating it clearly in your letter would help make the situation clearer to whoever is reading it. Read the rest of this entry

The Last Rejection

I have really bad news.

Publisher #3, the final publisher I was counting on, just wrote to me. They have decided to reject my manuscript.

“We have taken much time to consider your story and its potential, and regret to inform you that we will not take it on for publication.”

They are a little kinder than the other 3 publishers, namely #1, #2 and #4. Because Publisher #3, wrote a long paragraph explaining why they decided to reject my manuscript. I will not share the entire email here however, because that would just make me look petty and sore about getting rejected.

Anyway, it looks like I have to use crowdfunding to raise the money to publish Guards Gone Wild! and try to sell it myself.

For such an endeavor, should I set up a separate bank and Paypal account or use my current accounts? Advice and tips welcomed.

Teck Y. Loh

3 a.m., Pork Buns And A Haunted School

It happened yesterday. Early in the morning, at around 3 a.m., when I got hungry.

So I went out to the 24-hour coffee shop for some takeaway pork buns. I reached the dim sum stall, woke up the sleeping night-shift worker, paid for my buns and left carrying the two buns that were packed in a styrofoam box.

At this point in time, the situation was normal.

Then I reached the public housing block next to mine where I had to traverse through a narrow corridor before reaching my destination. And that’s where I encountered another person, a lady, out roaming the quiet pre-dawn streets. Taking care not to startle her, I maintained a proper distance behind her. Between 10 and 15 meters.

At this point, the situation was still normal.

Until my fellow walker walked behind a pillar. Read the rest of this entry