Saturday, August 30, 2008

Monsoon Making Waves in Local Publishing

It was so good to see Singaporean-based publisher Philip Tatham of Monsoon Books in the Telegraph yesterday talking about his ambition to "put South East Asia at the heart of the literary map".

The piece by Rosie Milne profiles Tatham, a British expat who studied South-East Asia Studies at Hull and then moved to Malaysia and spent a decade in publishing before moving to Singapore in 2004 to set up his company. Monsoon has really taken off, finishing 2007 with top ten bestsellers in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

(The Malaysian hit of course was the wonderful Growing Up in Terengganu by Awang Goneng.)

Some of the problems Philip is working to solve :
Sorting out distribution was a big problem, but I think we've cracked that one now ... We also face constant problems getting paid in some of our smaller markets - getting money out of the Philippines is an ongoing battle. It's also a struggle to get agents to take us seriously. There are very few agents working in Asia, and agents in London and New York as yet seem reluctant to show us manuscripts. That should change, as we become more established.

2 comments:

animah said...

I've put the Readings photos up on facebook for you.

By the way I'm now in GE Mall. There is a stall with Shamini Flint's books - the detective ones, the environmental fiction for YA, and the kid books. I'm in awe of her. Wow.

Daphne said...

I have to say I am not a fan of Sharmini Flint's writing, although I do admire how motivated and prolific she is. I've read her first detective novel and am quite surprised that she was signed up by Little, Brown. Perhaps they are more able to recognise her potential that I am.