Thursday, March 06, 2008

An Alternative Bookfest!

Here's something that has needed to happen for a long time. I'm lifting the whole of Amir's post:
The day after the launch of New Malaysian Essays 1 (a 2-hour event where over 200 local books managed to be sold), I spoke to Zulhabri Supian (who works at Gerakbudaya) about the possibility of organising a longer event that focuses on local books. This idea was strengthened when, a week later, I found out that several Malay fiction books were rejected by a large distributor; although no reasons were given, the fact that none of them had 'Cinta' or "Kasih' in the title may have been a contributing factor. So this is what we came up with; do join us!

The 1st KL Alternative Bookfest (KLAB) will be held on the weekend of 3-4 May, 2008 at The Annexe, Central Market.

Held less than a month after the mammoth Pesta Buku KL (where you can buy as many text-books, romance novels and religious instruction manuals as you want), it will be held simultaneously with the very popular Art For Grabs event – but in a different room.

KLAB is ... basically a gathering of small, independent publishers who would like a popular venue to sell, launch and discuss books. We seek to fill 10-15 tables. Each table can be taken up by one publisher, or it can be shared between various people who each have books to sell.

There are many happenin' Malaysian books now being published; the trouble is, not many of them are readily available in the main bookshops. This is an opportunity to bring these books to the public, and to make the whole process fun lah.

4 tables have already been filled up; they are by Gerakbudaya, SIRD, Silverfish, and Matahari Books. We seek 6-11 others. We are in negotiations to bring one publisher each from Singapore & Indonesia too.

The events we plan are:
- Book launch by Hishamuddin Rais
- Discussion of new books, with the authors present
- A 'book give-away' where people can simply get rid of books they no longer want, for free. This will physically take up one corner of the room, where people can just leave the books. The idea is to make interesting books available even to those who can't afford to buy 'em. The remainder of the books will be donated, most likely to The Ricecooker Shop
- Bilingual poetry slam, where the audience gets to vote for favourite performers (to be coordinated by Ted Mahsun)
- And more!

The fee per table (for both days) is RM100
The event is from 12-6pm both days.
Deadline to receive entries (including payment) is April 26
Payment goes directly to The Annexe

Interested? Contact zulhabri at gmail dot com.


Madcap Machinist said...

good idea!

Tunku Halim said...

This is just wonderful. Publicity is extremely important.

lil ms d said...

does anyone need help?

bibliobibuli said...

i've told zulhabri that you're interested in helping ms d. me too.

CW said...

Ohhhhh.. how I wish I could drop in! Each time I've visited Malaysia I've been very disappointed at the lack of variety in Malay language books available in the bookshops (the description "text books, romance novels and religious instruction manuals" is very apt). Kudos to the organisers, semoga berjaya!

Amir said...

Thanks to anyone who can help :-)

It would be great if celebs like Ms D & Sharon can moderate or take part in the book discussions!

(Or even help jaga some of the booths for a while, heh).

I am particularly interested in the book give-away. I know many of us get books (review copies, duplicates, comps, etc) that we have no space left for. The idea is that the donors will leave the books there, an inventory will be kept, and the donors will be notified by email about which of their books went to which person. I can give at least 20 books. (Probably we need to limit to 3 books that can be taken by each person? To give chance to others). And this stock will be continually replenished during the 2 days because people can just drop them off anytime).

Zulhabri is off to Jogja next week and he will try and get one of the happenin' publishers there to set up a booth, and of course for a representative to share news about the Indonesian DIY publishing scene.

If 'poetry slam' is indeed a copyright term, we will switch it to something else :-) Poetry slap? Poetry dunk? Any other suggestions?

lil ms d said...

eh eh quick must have meeting. i plan to cabut for a week, for a long deserved solo trip! in april la. speak soon?

i cna help with the pr. :D

Kak Teh said...

sharon, what's wrong with your email? tried to send twice but failed.

Chet said...

Can I join in the fun, too? I can help jaga booths, and maybe the book donation inventory, too.

bibliobibuli said...

amir - course lah. :-D but "celeb"? no lah. hate the thought. "poetry dunk" is a great name!

i don't have many books to give away as i've been constantly passing them on, but i think i will recycle some of abu's thrillers if everyone promises not to tell him!

kak teh - the other one is defunct since streamyx couldn't get it back up and running for me.

chet - i'm sure there will be a need for people to help out. liaise with amir and zulhabri.

synical said...

I'll go if I remember.