Blog Archives

Should Writers Help Each Other?

Trust Hand Teamwork Keep Cooperation Unity

* The above image is from Max Pixel.

Although there are a lot of writers who say that this industry is already as competitive as can be and what a writer doesn’t need is more rivals, I think there is room for cooperation. Especially among self-published writers.

And here, I will talk about the 2 most difficult hurdles a self-published writer has to overcome.

Shops Will Reject You

For starters, brick-and-mortar bookshops usually do not carry self-published books. I worked at a bookshop myself so I know everyone, my shop and our competitors, only carry books published by established companies. A small independent bookshop MIGHT deal with individual self-published authors but independent bookshops are dying so we can’t really depend on them.

So how can a self-published writer get exposure and sell his books? Well, other than bookshops, bookworms also head to writers’ festivals and similar events for their fixes. But these event organizers only invite established writers to hawk their stuff. So if you are an unknown writer with only one self-published title under your belt, you are not likely to be offered a spot at such events.

I thought to myself. Okay, what if a ragtag band of unknown writers pool their resources together and have their own writers’ festival? It’s impossible for one single writer to rent a venue and have his (or her) own writer’s festival. Because the costs will be sky high and who would come to an event that sells only one title published by only one author?

It’s a different story though, if a group of hitherto unknown writers suddenly band together to make their debut at an event. Possibly some gimmick will be needed to promote the event but that shouldn’t pose any sort of difficulty to a group of writers. Read the rest of this entry

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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

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

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

Writers Don’t Always Show

Sometimes they just tell.

Don’t believe me? Well, then check out this interview with New York Times bestselling author, Lee Child. You can’t go wrong listening to the advice of a New York Times bestselling author. 🙂

Personally, I just go by my gut feeling. If I feel like showing would work better for a particular scenario, I show. But I won’t hesitate to simply tell if I feel that showing would get in the way of storytelling.

My book, Guards Gone Wild!, is a collection of short stories about my adventures in the private security industry. As such, it contains scenes where I diligently perform routine security work. If I show in detail every instance where I greet a visitor to my building, Guards Gone Wild! will become a lengthy (and boring) textbook about security work.

On the other hand, certain scenarios must be shown in detail to add colour and depth to the story. Such as fights, for example. Read the rest of this entry

What’s Wrong With Guards Gone Wild!?

mallcopcover3

As the title for my book, I mean.

Recently, I had a meeting with a friend to discuss the possibility of using crowdfunding to raise fund to publish Guards Gone Wild!, a collection of stories about my adventures in the private security industry.

During the meeting, my friend had a strong reaction to the title. He said Guards Gone Wild! will make my book look sleazy. He also told me I will receive criticisms from others, including publishers, over the title.

That came as a surprise to me. Because I had already decided on using Guards Gone Wild! as the title since September last year and have been tossing it around here and there ever since. No one complained about sleaziness or whatever.

On the other hand, my friend felt rather strongly about the sleaziness of my title of choice. Which is why I would like to do a poll here. To see how many people actually consider the title to be too sleazy and if that might affect sales of the book. Read the rest of this entry