Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wena Self-Published

I mentioned Wena Poon in the previous post as one of the writers who has a story in SNW6. I first came across her work when I edited Collateral Damage and she submitted one of my favourite stories - Kenny's Big Break - in which a teenage boy swipes his sister's wedding ang-pow to pay for his studies overseas. Re-encoutering her work in SNW6 made me wonder: why doesn't this very-talented writer have a book out? I would definitely want to read it, as I've read both of these stories with a big grin of delight on my face, and Wena's stories have been widely published.

It turns out that she's gone the self-publishing route with her first sci-fi novel Biophilia. (Which I just - heaven help my poor overheated credit card - one-click ordered from Amazon). On Raman's website, Wena talks about her experiences with POD publishing with Amazon's BookSurge and encourages other local writers to do the same.

Personally I think it high time that some publisher in this part of the world would give Wena (who is Singaporean, but living in the US) a proper publishing contract.

I know I would.


Anonymous said...

If we did she would likely want to be paid in US$, and who would find it feasible here ?

bibliobibuli said...

there's no dilemma - why can't a writer have a book in 2 markets at the same time? - that's what i'd like to see happening - publication for writers here and perhaps POD in other parts of the world so that they can reach a wider audience. there's no reason why that shouldn't happen. just no-one in publishing is thinking like this yet.

plus being published by a publisher is a mark of recognition for writers

Anonymous said...

What I mean is that it wouldn't be worth her while (or the publisher's for that matter.) The revenue from sales would not make up for the cost of publishing or marketing the book. Whether publication is a mark of recognition depends on who the publisher is I guess. :)

Anonymous said...

Anyway all the links are wrong or missing, what's going on ? :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the spam LOL wasn't too clear earlier. Lets try this again. An Asian author will not sell in the US/UK unless he/she writes about things Asian. Look at Jung Chang, Amy Tan, Tash the inexorable etc. they're not writing sci-fi. "Asian" is a brand. Americans (and British I think) still think in terms of Asia like it was in the 60s. So books that are identifiably Asian in content will sell. Science and technology are not and have never been identified with Asians. There's a mental block there. If your name is Wena Poon, and you don't write Asian, you won't sell. Case in point : Glenda Larke Norramly. Some of her early work was published under Glenda Norramly, after which she changed to Glenda Larke, possibly on the advice of her publisher. If you're writing Sci-Fi or Sword & Sorcery, you want to have a caucasian name because it's part of the image and illusion.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon! This is Wena. Thank you for your great compliments. It's so gratifying to know that my stories bring you so much enjoyment! Re: comments by anonymous, I wouldn't necessarily conclude that Asian writers won't sell in the US if they write non-Asian books. There are notable exceptions, such as Kazuo Ishiguro, M. Night Shyamalan. A lot of the responsibility lies with the writer - you choose the best way to market yourself. Ultimately if the product speaks for itself, and can bring in money, few publishers care about the race of the author. Of course you can always use a pseudonym - even white authors do for marketing reasons.