Thursday, November 16, 2006

E-publishing for Writer's Circle

The MPH Writer's circle meeting this month will focus on trends in e-publishing on demand. The guest speaker is Mr Paul McLean , Epicenter Manager, Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific Pte Ltd who will talk about the role of print-on-demand in e-publishing.

I will be there because 1) it's good to know everything about publishing if you're a writer ... and even if the knowledge doesn't seem relevant now, a little light bulb in your head may go on further down the line 2) I have no choice 'cos am the moderator.

So come along and join us:
Date : 18 Nov (Sat)
Time : 11am - 1pm
Venue: The Booker Room, MPH Megastore 1 Utama, 1 Utama Shopping Centre
To register, please call Customer Service at 03-7726 9003 or email
Yesterday an MPH catalogue Tokens of Love with a picture of Christmassy baubles on the front fell into my letterbox, and I expected to be beguiled and tempted by bookchoice. But the fiction pages (all two of them out of 27) featured only popular stuff - thrillers and chic lit and the like (fine in its place, but not my cup of tea).

More literary (more quality? more prize-winning) fiction was nowhere at all to be seen (she says wagging an accusing finger in the direction of the marketing department).

Bibliobibuli's heartfelt message? Please don't dumb down the choices or underestimate your readers.

That said, I will be enjoying a little bookspree after the meeting on Saturday and I hope the books I've coveted will be there. (I haven't bought a book in days and have delirium tremens.)


sympozium said...

And the short descriptions on the books were probably done by an illiterate moron - for Lincoln Child's "Death Match' - 'For $25,000, singles can find their life partner using Eden's flawless matching system. But when a 'super couple'died from double-suicide, investigations led to such a tragic end.'

HUH??? A book shop can't even hire people who can write proper English?
No wonder I prefer to shop at Kinokuniya...

bibliobibuli said...

kino's little book flyer sets a standard, doesn't it? and their recommendations are mouthwatering sometimes ... (i better stay away)

Eric Forbes said...

There's lots that Malaysian bookshops can do to improve the sale of books. The core of the business is books, and that's where local bookselling should focus on. As simple as that, really. But I guess the simplest thing is always the most difficult for most people. Educating the reading public is imperative, not just pandering to the lowest denominator. Yes, Kinokuniya has established a benchmark in Malaysian bookselling.

sympozium said...

And MPH can start by getting someone to proof-read its catalogues!!! Not a hard job, surely. Want to act all classy and la di da with its Christmas catalogues but it's these little details which show up MPH. Try harder.

Anonymous said...

"lowest common denominator" was the phrase that sprang to mind for me too, eric. it's necessary to educate the reading public, but first booksellers have to be enthusiastic (just as librarians must)

bibliobibuli said...

sorry - that anonymous was me - locked out!

Kamal S said...

Dear God! Pls help us! MPH Xmas catalogue s_____ big time! And, God, don't get me started on Times............

I've just finished SHALIMAR THE CLOWN. Fantastic. Superb. Now am trying to get a hold of Satanic Verses (Hi, KDN people!). Am done with ON BEAUTY too.

Speaking of Malaysian bookstores, PLEASE CARRY MORE AMERICAN PRINTED TRADE-IN PAPERBACKS than those of mass market British or international-only versions. The latter formats are crap......poor cover, horrible papers.........

Am attempting Thomas Pynchon's GRAVITY"S RAINBOW next, in anticipating his next release GAIANST THE DAY next week......

BTW, congratulations to Prof. Richard Powers of UI Urbana-Champagne for winning the National Book Awards for Best Fiction -- THE ECHO MAKER (HIGH ATOP on my Xmas list).

bibliobibuli said...

thanks kamal! - if you want to borrow SV (shhhhh!) i might know somewhere so contact me

i endorse what you say about trade paperbacks as opposed to the mass market horrors with stiff spines, too small print, a cheap feel and a shelf-life measured in months not years

it's one reason i spend too much on books and have so many unread ones - i buy up decent copies so that i won't have to read the crappo ones. i've got fussier as i've got older and am now happier to buy better copies second-hand than crap copies new

good luck with the pyncheon and let us know how you get on. i have it and keep intending to start it. have heard that it isn't an easy read so am making an effort to read other american stuff that i will enjoy

yes, i have to blog about the national book awards